linked to the ironic unknown

December 27, 2010

So… I don’t know how many of you use LinkedIN. As it turns out, I do. And, we average two new clients a month that we can directly attribute to the business network. So, I’ll take the position it’s worth the fifty dollars we pay for the extra inMail capability.

Recently I was looking for a Subject Matter Expert (“SME”), and I found a good one on LinkedIN. But, my inMail went unanswered for several weeks until his wife, who was rummaging around on his laptop, and just happened to stumble upon the link herself, advised me that her husband was deceased. That all struck me as a bit creepy. So… It’s rather unsettling to realize that, over the course of time, more and more profiles will be a lingering memory of people that are deceased. So… You can really see dead people on LinkedIN.

In the cases of the lonely or unattached, who would know to remove the profile? Who will police that?

By the way… I was meeting with a gen-something (who really cares?) upon the request of a friend (it was his son). The young lad was twenty three and a recent graduate of Georgia. He confidently advised me that he was a social media expert (seriously). When I inquired about business context, he actually waved me off and told me that did not matter in business these days. I almost gagged on the irony (and, didn’t even need a spoon).

…oh… And, he told me LinkedIN is dead.

…he’s also unemployed, with few prospects.

…which reminds me… It’s amaz­ing how the only day most people use LinkedIN is the day they lose a job.

Let’s be part of the Solution.

Brian Patrick Cork

more thinking on LinkedIN

September 20, 2010

All of my coaching clients, and the people we recruit understand that we do not advocate having a general resume handy. And, we don’t advocate having your profile on a repository like (especially and The Ladder, etc.

NOTE: Many companies prohibit outside recruiters from pulling candidates from the repositories (again – especially, and mostly because in-house recruiters can leverage those uncertain platforms themselves. Good recruiters don’t, or shouldn’t, need to use repositories.

But, the primary point I want to make concerns LinkedIN.

And, I want to keep it real simple, today.

LinkedIN is less about social networking as it is self-promotion. It can certainly be a collaboration tool. But, few people really use it to help one another. Let’s be honest about that. However Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is working better and better when it comes to Google-oriented candidate search efforts by recruiters, analysts and hiring decision-makers.

So… To that end, here are some quick job search and/ or positioning tips to optimize LinkedIN…

If you are in career-transition, or want to be in transition, be transparent about that (well… maybe not if you are employed). But, use the Summary section to highlight the best things you have accomplished relative to industries you find attractive. Reference Blogs and “Thought Leadership”. But, the real gold mine opportunity will be found in the mini-summaries in the Experience section. Take the opportunity to drop in duty post (job) highlights per job that can be picked-up under SEO search algorithms. These can include key words, buzz phrases, industry subject matter expertise (SME), Thought Leadership efforts including Blogs and White Papers, and performance awards.

In summary… Even though most people ignore your updates on LinkedIN. Use it as a filter for those companies that need you, and are looking for you. Make LinkedIN work for you.

Let’s be part of the solution.

Brian Patrick Cork

First of all, networking was invented about the time God created – someone else.

Today, younger, and less imaginative people have decided to call networking aka communicating “social networking”. It’s really cool, and different, just the same.

In any event, social networking sites like LinkedIN work because they are, essentially, platforms where we can discuss and promote ourselves. That’s why we’re attracted to them. There is likely more effort, there, to refine ones own profile, rather than striving to communicate meaningfully with other people. But, racking up contacts is like keeping score, so that’s kind of cool.

I’ll take some initial heat for participating in LinkedIN myself. But, I really do try to make it a tool to better my business community. I have very few talents or skills. However, linking people in ways that help them profit emotionally, intellectually and financially is absolutely one of them. I have more endorsements than you to prove it.

The key, I think, is something Joanne Sanders (see what I just did? Joanne is now famous!) once said – right in front of me: “Its people talking about what you care about”. Or, maybe it was “It’s people caring about what you talk about”. Either way, that’s got to be a, if not the, standard for successful networking.

From the Cloud – and, being part of the solution.

Brian Patrick Cork

We see this quite a bit.

The following exchange occurred between me and Karen, A solid citizen and a senior Human Resources professional, here in Atlanta, that was in career-transition. It’s uncensored to help illustrate the point.

Karen like many minorities (and older candidates as well) are concerned that if they reveal their age and/ or race they might be at a disadvantage in securing interviews.

The point here is “transparency”. If you are going to be profiled by gender, race or age, it’s better that be filtered right away. Why would you want to work for a company or boss that see’s the world through that sort of lens anyway.

So, our advice is to always put your picture on LinkedIN and similar Social Networking-oriented media. On the other hand, we don’t recommend photos – and, most graphics on resumes. Better to stick with common templates.

To wit…

From: brian patrick cork []
Sent: Friday, September 11, 2009 5:43 PM
To: Karen Smith

Hi Brian,

Thanks for getting back to me.  In working with my outplacement counselor, the advice is not to include the photo until after I’ve landed a job to alleviate any employment decisions based on race, age, etc.


From: brian patrick cork []
Sent: Friday, September 11, 2009 5:43 PM
To: Karen Smith

Hello Karen.

Thank you for checking in.

The good news is that hiring is really heating up. We have over 56 senior level job orders in motion.

One suggestion for you: Upgrade your LinkedIN profile to include your photo.


:: brian patrick cork, SME ::

Cultural Architect

404 451 4799 macberry

877 843 2675 toll-free

Video:  Brian Patrick Cork

Post: texting and driving to death

“We Help Companies That Change The World Build Cultures That Endure.”

On Sep 11, 2009, at 5:12 PM, Karen Smith wrote:

Dear Brian,

You are part of my Linked In network and I wanted to reintroduce myself to you.

I am Karen Page Smith and you presented me to one of your clients, who had a start up business marketing wedding favors online about 2 years ago.  Unfortunately, I was the number 2 candidate for the position.    Currently, I am seeking a senior HR management position in communications or technology or I am open to considering any industry.  My search profile is enclosed.

In my 20 years in Human Resources, I have enjoyed continuous upward mobility. Some highlights of my experience follow:

* Training employees in the aligning of individual goals and objectives with organizational goals and in measuring results against performance standards.

* Creating a vision, mission and HR plan to position the business unit of the company as an employer of choice.

* Designing recruiting strategy to attract and retain employees to meet the business objective of reducing expenses associated with outsource vendors.

I am willing to travel up to 25%.  A minimum compensation package of $110,000 plus bonus is my goal.

Should you have any positions for which I qualify, I would appreciate your consideration.  Thank you for your time.

Kind regards,

Karen Page Smith, SPHR

678-428-7887 (mobile)

By way of update, Karen is now gainfully employed, and apparently quite content with her career-path. And, it should be noted that she now has her photo on on LinkedIN profile.

Lets be part of the solution, and not the problem.

Brian Patrick Cork


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