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EP 1238 It is bizarre to me what people do on LinkedIn.

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This is a show where I want to do dealing with the goofy things that people do on LinkedIn that are absolutely bizarre to me. I got requested to connect on LinkedIn; most of the time, I'm not reaching out to connect. I’m doing sourcing and recruiting (as you can tell, this was previously recorded when I still did search) and I'm not really going out aggressively and say, “hey! Connect with me on LinkedIn!” But people do that with me. After all, I am a very recognized figure it and people want to connect with me.

There are two things that are absolute bizarre to me. The first one is the person who has a first name and last initial. Like if my profile read, “Jeff A.” Why? Are you embarrassed by your last name? Are you ashamed of your last name? Or are you trying to hide something from me?

I don't know which of the above it is but I would assume there is a fear of racism orientation. So, if you’ve got a long foreign name, your concerned that native US people are going to discriminate on the basis of your name. Okay. So, you think if there's a connection request and you try to build out the relationship, we’re not going to find out about your name? Like in the first phone call or first conversation.

“Jeff A? Hey Jeff, what is your last name?”

That is really my first question because I want to know who I’m talking with. I have gotten to the point where I don’t accept those requests. For me, that’s not my concern. My concern is getting to know someone. I don't want them holding out on me during my first interaction with them. So, I I delete those immediately.

The other thing that is absolutely bizarre to me is no contact information. I connect with you and there is no way to reach you. You want me to talk to through LinkedIn by messaging you? That isn’t a relationship to me. It's nothing to me. So, someone reaches out to connect with me today on LinkedIn and they seem like they’re a normal human being. I connect with them and there is no email address, no phone number, no way that I can reach out to them except through the system.

In case you haven't noticed, LinkedIn is pretty clumsy and, in addition, or you on LinkedIn every day you? Probably not, but you expected me to sit there waiting while I'm trying to do some networking, I’m trying to ask some questions, I’m trying to get an opinion, do some informational reach out and why did you reach out to me? Was this supposed to be a one-way street where I'm the one who supposed to give and you are the one who supposed to take period I'm not allowed to ask you anything?

So, right off the bat, I have a trepidation and recognize that if I do, and I'm a very open networker, what are you doing with other people? The answer is you or annoying them. There is no value to your connection if it's a one-way street.

So, I just pause for a second and say, “don't be foolish.” You are on LinkedIn, trying to connect with people in order to get some help. Don't be a mooch. Reach out. Connect. That's fine.

Be generous. Be gracious. Be helpful to people. Don't start hiding at the very beginning. After all, if you're looking for job, you want to make it easy for people reach out to you, right? Right?

So, be open with your information. Email address. Phone number. State your preference as to how you want to be contacted. People will respect that.

In terms of your name, put your damn name there. Don’t hide it. People will find out anyway and what have you accomplished? It's goofy and racism will occur if you have a 47 letter last name with no vowels in it that people can’t pronounce or they're going to wind up seeing a letter, “L” because you have your picture there, right?

Don’t be foolish about these things. Be generous, be gracious and recognize that, obviously, bigotry exists. I know I'm the target of bigotry at times and you’re going to experience the same thing. There's no hiding it’s. I wish it were different but putting the first initial of your last name there, doesn't do anything.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1200 episodes, “Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

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