It’s All About the Content

During a recent LinkedIn Group session, I noticed an interesting and yet not uncommon post from an HR Specialist:  “Please recommend a recruiter whom you respect and have done business with.”  Check.  This is precisely one of the objectives that LinkedIn was designed for:  recommendations.

Several industry veterans chimed in to voice their opinions and to support their favorite recruiters.  What bothered me most, however, was the first post from a recruiter who was promoting herself.  To paraphrase her post:  “I recommend myself!  Please contact me at this email address or check out my website at this URL.”

As a consumer of social media, I was horrified.  This LinkedIn Group boasts over 20,0000 members and over 15 Group members responded to this particular post.    This recruiter’s post, where she blatantly promoted herself, was the only post of its kind in response to this discussion question.  There’s a reason for that-

Social media is about a lot things:  building trust, loyalty and relationships top that list.  I often joke that social media is also about “shameless self-promotion,” and it is, to a degree.  The point of differentiation, however, is content:  i.e. answering the “What’s in it for me,” question, without any strings attached.  Pitching “Hire me!  Hire me!” from the rooftops sounds, well:  desperate – and is likely not the look you’re going for.  Several industry folk responded to the post endorsing their favored recruiters.  I’ll bet you any amount of money that one of them got the phone call from the HR Specialist:  not the recruiter who screamed, “Me!  Me!”

If the “Me! Me!” recruiter had been my client, here’s how I would have suggested she respond to this request:

-Determine if your connections are also members of this Group who can view and respond to this post.  Ask them to support you by responding to the post and recommending you.

-Even if you don’t have any connections that belong to the Group who can recommend you, you can still respond.  Be humble and deferential, but state your credentials with confidence.  “I’m a recruiter with X years of industry experience and X connections.  I’d love the opportunity to speak with you about the opportunity and to further demonstrate my qualifications.”  If you think about it, this introduction is not dramatically different from the cover letter you’d send with your resume.

Answer questions and drive your connections toward resources:  even if you’re not one of them.  The results you’ll yield down the road from the relationships you build now will be tenfold.

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