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Do You Look Like A Desperate Job Seeker?

Okay, think about this for a moment… pretend that you are a recruiter, or maybe even a hiring manager…

You do a search on LinkedIn or one of the other social networks for potential candidates to contact regarding a key opening for which you are recruiting. You find three individuals: one individual describes himself as an experienced professional in the targeted area, one indicates that she has a similar title but is working for another company in the same market, and the third one’s title says “Looking for a new opportunity…” Which of these candidates is most likely going to be the first one you attempt to contact, and which one is going to be the last?

Life’s not fair. I’m sorry, it’s not. If you are the unemployed expert, you may be the most qualified candidate out there, but if you lead with that, you are putting yourself at the end of the line. It’s like choosing which milk to put on your cereal in the breakfast buffet line: the decanter in the ice bucket or the one sitting on the counter. The one on the counter may be just as cold (or colder) and was just put there, but I choose the one in the ice bucket. It’s human nature… we make unconscious or semi-conscious choices that are not based on a full assessment of the facts. We naturally narrow our choices, especially when in a hurry, based on a very rapid (and not always valid) read of what we see in front of us.

The same criteria that guide how you write an effective cover letter should be used in building your social network presence. You have just a few seconds of the recruiter’s or hiring manager’s attention to either stand out positively, or (at a minimum) avoid being culled for negative reasons.

Be honest; be crisp and factual; speak to the bottom-line; but don’t stand there holding a sign that says, “Don’t choose me!”

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