Linkedin Gravestone - is this the end

Linkedin – Is it the end?

Wednesday afternoon, twiddling my thumbs, playing with google advertising, doing some business “housekeeping”. Exciting is not going to find its way anywhere near that sentence. To break up the monotony I  decided to head over to Linkedin for some inspiration, after all I had not been on my profile page for quite a while, and I had recently received some random connection requests that I had ignored and thereby can justify my “timeout”. What I found was that in the past four years nothing has changed for the better and I would argue that Linkedin, in its desperation to generate income has encouraged a downward turn in content worth reading. Linkedin has become Facebook-esque. Always threatened to happen but now it has truly arrived or maybe it happened three and half years ago when I dozed off.


The evidence was in my so called Linkedin news stream. It all started well enough, with a decent share from Hubspot, always a good source, about how to get people to click on your web content and engage.

Up next a sponsored ad about big data – big yawn, that’s not to argue against big data, but it is all a little dull, vague and requires a room full of ultra-geek personnel to decode – pop goes the staff budget, but “hey guys we are popular in the Indian subcontinent”.

Stick with me it gets better, per se..

I don’t really mean better per se, I actually mean that the peasants are revolting, bad double entendre aside and an interesting snippet from one my old MDs out of the way, but there is a small fightback being mounted. But before I get to that, let’s get inspired by some of the content further down the news, and if this doesn’t make you want to fire the person that posted it then nothing will:


Linkedin is the end - Inspired photo

Whoever that chap is he needs a promotion for being so “on message”, as does the fella that “Completely agree with this”. High fives all round. I’m not cynical before you think it, I’m just so very bored with the mindset of the people that feel the need to publish this kind of trite self-help rubbish instead of just working. What makes matters worse is that the man in the photo isn’t alone, he is with a photographer although I suppose I should be grateful that there is no selfie involved.

Further down the list, I encounter some sly casual sexism dressed up as content by Linkedin themselves:

Linkedin - is this the end sexism on Linkedin

Why is this sexist? Firstly, it’s a photograph of, in case you didn’t notice, a woman. Secondly, why couldn’t it have been a man with his shirt opened to his navel? If the point of the exercise is to encourage the Linkedin user base to upload a photo and by doing so allow them the opportunity of winning the chance of a headshot;

[success]”We’re traveling across the country to offer free headshots and profile advice to our members. So stop by and we’ll help take your profile from good to amazing.” Linkedin[/success]

If this is truly the case then have the courage to run the campaign with the headshot of a model. Maybe I’m wrong but….

Finally, after a few more adverts and some other superfluous shares I came across this:

Linkedin is not Facebook

Hooray. No really, I mean whoop with joy and share amongst all of your colleagues on Linkedin, they will after all be delighted. Or probably not. Because whoever posted this failed to see that by posting this they are part of the problem and not part of the solution. the solution is not to post at all. Why do you feel the need? What empty hole at the center of your being is this sharing papering over? None. You have no reason to share anything at all on Linkedin any longer. No one really cares what your views are other than when they come to use them against you. Linkedin entices you to share by making it simple. This is not reason enough to stop thinking for yourself and allowing your index finger to take control. Sharing will not enhance your career prospects.

Linkedin is just a global directory, let’s all be professional and treat it like one.

(In the time it took to write this article another 7 updates entered my news feed. Sign up to our non-existent mailer for an update on this circa June 2019)

Matt McCulloch Linkedin CV Crystal Dynamics

Linkedin "CV" betrays Crystal Dynamics software house artist Matt McCulloch

Principal level artist Matt McCulloch of Crystal Dynamics has seemingly let slip via Linkedin that Crystal Dynamics (famous for the Tomb Raider Game Franchise) are in the early stages of development of their next project. Other indicators have been referenced such as the advert on their website for a Senior Artist. The interesting feature of the story is revealed in two ways.

Linkedin: If your Linkedin privacy rules are not set properly then you could be inadvertently informing competitors of an organisational status and this maybe a compromise that results in a disciplinary procedure for you.


Its a great marketing ploy: This will have the power to whip the gaming fraternity into a bit of a lather and could help to increase sales. Time will tell if this is the aim and if other secrets are revealed. To date, Tomb Raider has been a bit of a cash cow, and this “reboot” generated 3.6 million unit sales in 28 days. Though the volume was lower than the expected 5-6 million units. The forfeit for the publishing company Square Enix was to show the door to the long term president Yoichi Wada ahead of what they have called “catastrophic financial results”

From the outside this CV betrayal looks like the beginning of a viral marketing campaign to boost a company profile but only time and sales results will tell.

Death of the CV (again)

Jaigris Hodson of Ryerson University Toronto has heralded the death of the Resume/CV once more. Hodson has suggested that we should all embrace a digital platform as the CV will soon be (if it isn’t already) firmly on the extinction watchlist. Jaigris is quite rightly informing her pupils that to succeed in the job market will require a digital presence that employers can research or find when looking for talent. But is she correct when she claims that some employers will discount you for not having a digital portfolio?

Not quite but in only in so far that the statement is subjective.

Employers will discount you if you do not fulfill the requirement of the position requirements as advertised. If they ask for something then you should supply it as it will be a fundamental part of the application process. If they have no asked for something and you supply additional information then this could possibly exclude you too. So how can you ensure that you pass the first hurdle? Follow the requirement exactly and do not deviate without first seeking approval.

That’s enough digression, what about the death of the CV? In fairness and for clarity, Jaigris actually stated that it was the Resume headed for extinction but surely they are the same? No again, and this is where it becomes a little more interesting; our North American cousins are ahead of us in the UK & EMEA when it comes to embracing technology, and in this respect she is correct. Luckily we have more breathing space to adopt digital visibility but not much and maybe a year or two at the very extreme.

What should you do? Adopt and adapt. A Professional CV, Linkedin Profile and Executive Personal Website are the perfect solution for now and the oncoming future.

Linkedin Writing Service

Linkedin Contacts Update Released

From the Linkedin Blog: Linkedin has released an update to it’s iPhone app – which looks to organise your contacts in a “smarter way”:

Have you ever wished for a personal assistant who reminds you when your colleagues are celebrating new jobs or birthdays? Or have you wanted to quickly pull up the last conversations you had with people before you head out to meet them?

Today we’re proud to announce the launch of LinkedIn Contacts, a smarter way to stay in touch with your most important relationships. With this new product, we bring all your contacts from your address books, email accounts, and calendars together with the power of your LinkedIn network. Contacts is available both on as well as a brand new app for iPhone. Over the coming weeks, we’ll start sending invitations to try LinkedIn Contacts to a limited number of members in the United States.

With the new LinkedIn Contacts experience, we’ve introduced features in three areas:

Bring all your contacts to one place

LinkedIn Contacts brings together all your address books, emails, and calendars, and keeps them up to date in one place. From these sources, we’ll automatically pull in the details of your past conversations and meetings, and bring these details directly onto your contact’s profile.

Never miss an opportunity to say hello

Get alerted on job changes and birthdays in your network, a perfect opportunity to stay in touch. Also, you can set reminders and add notes about the important people in your life.

Take it on your mobile device

Stay connected on the go. LinkedIn Contacts is available as a standalone app for iPhone, so you can stay in touch with your contacts wherever you work.

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CV ready for the end of the recession

Is your CV ready for the end of the recession?

Your CV is going to come under increasing pressure over the next year as the economy pulls slowly from recession into a growth phase. The CBI predict that up to 35% of private sector employers are expecting to expand their workforce over the coming 12 months. In contrast 15% expect the workforce to be smaller.

How this will impact your CV:

Increased confidence from employers will filter into the economy and this knock on effect will in turn stimulate more interest from candidates who may have been treading time in positions that they no longer want. In turn, they will enter the recruitment market and increasingly dilute the pool of talent that is looking for the new positions. If the numbers are correct and you take the split from the two as a straight 20% then the numbers applying for each role will increase but the question is not how but by how much?

It is difficult to predict but for arguments sake lets say a minimum of 10% and a maximum of I’m not sure! What I can predict is this; More choice for employers and recruiters is the first simple assumption to make but what any candidate that has been out of work or is in an interim position should be concerned about is the competition from the people that just wish to change jobs. In a majority of situations those that have employment can be favoured over those that are out of work or interim. The bias occurs because a blanket false assumption is made that those coming from employment have a fresher skill set.

How to react:
Regardless of your current employment status it is your CV and to some extent your Linkedin profile that must start doing the work for you. Target the positions that you wish to apply for and start tailoring your CV to win interviews and jobs. If you have a generic CV or lack key detail from the job description woven into your CV (and cover letter if required) then you should not be surprised when you are not contacted to go for an interview.

If you want to beat the competition you have to beat them on every conceivable level.

Leaving everything to indifference is a catastrophic career choice.

Founder of #TruEvents. Advisor to recruiting tech cos. SocialRecruiting Implentation. Trainer. Key-NoteSpeaker. Dad.

Linkedin; Continued evolution

Whilst watching our twitter feed this morning, Bill Boorman gave his impressions of Linkedin and its constant beta state. For the non technical, this translates as ongoing change and improvement measured by the time and interaction with the site. For job seekers and those in a position it gives an insight into how Linkedin and need to be on it is a critical feature of recruitment now and for the foreseeable future;


[blockquote align=”center” cite=”@BillBoorman”]LinkedIn are on a constant path of change. Jeff Weiner, CEO of the professional networking giant describes this as a state of constant beta. The long term aims of the channel are shrouded in secrecy, but if you keep up with the changes it is easy to see a pattern developing. In the last quarters financial results Weiner commented that the company had made significant investments in increasing their sales team and in developing product. Each time I log in, something looks different or has moved to a different position on the screen. Whilst these changes might seem cosmetic, they are changing the way users are interacting with the platform, and this means recruiters need to be rethinking their LinkedIn strategy. The trend over time was for using LinkedIn from outside of the channel, with users relying on e-mail and third party applications to interact and keep up. At one time the average user only visited the channel 1.9 times a month. Most notably, engagement levels were low, and the discussion was all around whether LinkedIn was a social channel at all. What is interesting to note is that since the recent redesign of the home page engagement is now at a record level for the channel because users are driven to the home page, and the home page now contains a stream for updates which increases engagement. One of the other new features enables users to determine which updates get displayed on their home page. The default is for all updates in time sequence, with a refresh button at the top of the stream to show the number of updates since you logged in to the channel. The display options are:[/blockquote]

continue reading

Recruiters: What the new LinkedIn means to you


Another reason to be on Linkedin, WhoWorks.At

Those of you that have read my ramblings about a Linkedin and CV convergence might like to know that there is a new app for Google Chrome called that is worth looking at and works on the ability to provide Linkedin search capability while browsing, rather than searching within Linkedin itself. Once installed it enables the user to visit a company url showing you people in your network that are employed there, thus allowing you to increase your network or if you’re a recruiter find people of interest. The only downside at the moment is that because of the way the Linkedin api works you may find that not all companies have information that is accessible via the app.

The Professional CV for 2013, 2014, 2015 and the convergence of Linkedin

The CV, or as we like to call it, the Professional CV, is going through change and convergence. I’m going to try and map out how I think this could manifest through 2013, 2014 and 2015. If I get some time I will add an infographic but in the interim this is what I think may happen…

Linkedin: Even though the menu system is untidy, it can be difficult to navigate around, the cost for a full membership is unjustified, it still manages to add 10 member profiles every second (this will eventually slow as this level of uptake is unsustainable).
I can not see how the Linkedin domination of the online profile will be challenged during this period.

Linkedin offers connectivity, without the inane content of Facebook or twitter. There are alternate options to Linkedin but at this juncture only a radical game changer can challenge this situation and the alternatives do not. Linkedin is invaluable. If you lose someone’s business card and do not wish to ring the company the person works for; go to Linkedin. All of which becomes incidental if the person you wish to locate has not filled in a personal profile.

This gives rise to another question; Do you need to be on Linkedin?

Yes. If you want to advance your career prospects then there is no longer a reason for not using Linkedin and at it’s basic level it’s free. Over the last few years, and in conjunction with the rise in popularity of Linkedin, our recruitment technique has seen the increased use of search facilities provided by Linkedin. In a recent management campaign we found that Linkedin provided us with the majority of our candidate list. Whereas previously we would search companies to try and find the names of individuals, now, with Linkedin we achieve an increased reach and overall, a superior short list.
Anyone can contact you or if you prefer you can set contact parameters that suit your requirements. This can help filter and prevent unwanted contact. I have mentioned previously that everyone should consider using Linkedin in the same manner as you would a business card, this should now be considered the minimum requirement. As the next year passes this will increasingly become the norm. When HeadHunting, Linkedin is the simplest and most efficient way to find prospective candidates and at some stage in your career you may this to be you.

So how does this affect the future of the CV?

It’s a question of convergence and the uptake of other supplementary technologies such as Interview Rocket and tablet computing. If you are currently active on Linkedin you will have noticed the changes that have taken place since the floatation in 2011. It is increasingly pushing users for more data, splitting definitions to improve search results and increasing subscription costs for recruiters to access the information filters. You can also upload your traditional CV and this can be stored with your profile. This could be considered a rudimentary progression and to a certain point it is, but I’m betting that some of the really significant changes are just around the corner.

1. CardMunch; Launched for iPhone August 2010, eaten by Linkedin and regurgitated November 2011.
Significance: A utility that will not only backup a business card but searches its database for a person match and integrates the detail into your contact list.

2. Linkedin app: If you are familiar with the app then you will know that it has recently undergone a facelift to make it more touch friendly. This, along with CardMunch, will be seen as the start of significant changes on touch devices.

3. Adoption: The user numbers show that adoption is already significant, but the key will be how Linkedin further builds on this success:

4. Recruitment: Your data and its split definitions can be searched and referenced by recruiters, headhunters and employers. This is where the next series of developments will continue the convergence with the traditional CV. Currently, Linkedin is used for search but not used very often for interview notes or candidate reports.

What should occur next, and the developments thus far seem to indicate the right direction, is that an interviewer will be able to tick off against a list of prerequisites and/or note take against a candidate profile on Linkedin then generate a suitability report. If this procedure can be completed via a tablet computer then we start to lose the requirement for a paper CV. Between now and 2015 some of this needs to become a functioning adopted reality and convergence is completely reliant on this.

In summary, to remove the paper CV another suitable system for reference and information exchange has to take its place, or fundamentally change the way we currently operate. As mentioned, there has to be adoption first by subscribers (you) and by paid users (recruiters etc). Adoption needs a foundation in trust, and this acts as a proverbial speed bump to any social media uptake but there is always a tipping point in the public consciousness whereby you begin to feel left behind; as if you are missing out on something.

It is probable that companies such as Monster that have a database of uploaded CVs will be seeing profit erosion within this part of their business. Linkedin is directly responsible for this, why would you bother updating your CV across the multitude of CV banks when you can do it all on Linkedin?

Join Linkedin, update your profile and start using it as an accelerator for success.

Free CV review for 2012

Will you and your CV meet the criteria for 2012? (or how to avoid another fine mess)

Recruiters and employers are all saying the same thing; A CV has to make a positive visual and content statement about the person it represents. In a depressed recruitment market your CV has to be superior to that of your peers. In 2012 this trend will continue and also expand with social marketing playing an ever increasing role in the recruitment process. Social channels such as twitter, linkedin, facebook and google+ are looked at and scoured for information about you and your past but the CV is still, and will continue to be, the most important document for attracting interest from third parties. However, if you show neglect in any of these areas, you may find that you could be letting opportunities pass you by, ignore you completely, or that neglect could even cost you your current job.

Tips for optimising you in 2012

Take care of your social profile:

Watch for the ubiquitous photo tags and hash tags. Ensure that you are on top of your social image on twitter, facebook and google+. If something in your profile makes you recoil in horror, imagine how it looks to everyone else.

If you are currently employed and on Linkedin, make your profile an extension of your business card and not your CV. See this story and our previous article for more details.

Your CV:

Does it portray you in the most favourable light? People are often surprised to find that their CV is not as great as they think it is. There are many factors for this with the main being that most people have not referenced their CV against another. Thankfully, the internet now provides via image search the ability to see other variations of CVs, the content and layout. The downside is that the vast majority are average to poor and do not provide the content needed, but it is still possible, with a careful eye, to roughly gauge how your CV compares. The easiest way is to opt for a free CV review and let us make it easier for you. Just click here to go back to the homepage and fill in the form in the bottom right of your browser.

Linkedin profile forces John Flexman out of job

Linkedin CV forces Exec to resign

Linkedin CV forces Exec to resign
A human resources executive was forced out of his job after angering his employer by putting his CV online and advertising that he was interested in other “career opportunities”, a tribunal heard. Original story here

Ticked a box to register an interest in “career opportunities”

John Flexman, 34, is thought to be the first person in the country to bring a case for constructive dismissal after a dispute with bosses over his profile on the professional networking site LinkedIn.
Mr Flexman is claiming hundreds of thousands of pounds from BG Group, a major gas exploration firm based in Reading, Berks, where he earned a £68,000 salary in charge of graduate recruitment.
As well as loading his CV onto the site, Mr Flexman ticked a box to register an interest in “career opportunities”.
But he was contacted by his manager while on holiday in the United States and ordered to remove his CV. On his return he was accused of “inappropriate use of social media” and called to attend an internal disciplinary hearing.
He was handed a list of disciplinary charges and told he could be sacked, Reading Employment Tribunal heard.

Confidential information in his CV

BG Group said he was in breach of new company policy on conflicts of interest which it said banned employees ticking the “career opportunities” box.
He was also accused of including confidential information in his CV such as details about how he had reduced firm’s the rate of staff attrition.
However, Mr Flexman claims the details he posted were available in the company’s annual reports and that 21 of his colleagues, including the manager of the disciplinary process, had ticked the “career opportunities” box but had not been disciplined.
Mr Flexman, a married father of a two-year-old daughter, said: “In his email Mr [Antony] Seigel [Mr Flexman’s manager] said that a complaint had been made about my LinkedIn profile and that I was required to remove it immediately.
“He told me to remove from my profile all information regarding BG Group except for job titles and dates. I did not think this was reasonable.
“It seemed to me that the focus of the charge sheet was the posting of my CV online.”
LinkedIn is social networking service similar to Facebook, but focused on building professional rather than personal relationships. More than eight million British members are encouraged to keep a record of their skills and experience online and up-to-date to help them make useful business contacts.
The dispute over his profile led to Mr Flexman’s resignation in June following a breakdown in his relationship with senior executives.
The case raises broad issues for how employees use websites such as LinkedIn. According to a study of the service in 2007, around half its members indicate they are interested in career opportunities on their profile.
“We welcome the opportunity to present our case at the tribunal, the appropriate forum,” a spokesman for BG Group said.
“We will defend our position but do not wish to pre-empt the tribunal’s ruling by commenting further.”
The hearing continues.

We always caution about Linkedin and this story is a timely reminder that whilst Linkedin can be a great asset, you should always err on the side of caution when constructing your profile. I gave a warning on this in October and this story provides a very good reason for reading it once more.

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