Archives for July, 2015

Don’t Let Facebook Sabotage Your Career!

Or any other form of social media!

My name is Mark Wayman, and for the last eleven years I have owned an Executive Recruiting firm focused on gaming and high tech. Compensation starts at $100,000; last year I placed eight executives north of a million dollars.

This article is about social media, and how it can sabotage your career search.  Most Executive Recruiters use the process outlined below, so here are several issues to be aware of with Facebook, LinkedIn, the Internet and Email.

LinkedIn – When a candidate sends a Recruiter a resume, whether that is a Recruiter at the hiring company, or a third party Executive Recruiter, the first stop is usually LinkedIn.  Specifically, does the LinkedIn profile match the resume?  Companies, titles, tenures.  A surprising number of people are not honest, and any discrepancy between the resume and LinkedIn is a red flag to a Recruiter.  Make sure your LinkedIn profile is accurate and your picture is professional.  Recently dealt with an executive who’s LinkedIn profile photo was him drinking with his buddies at a nightclub.  I’m not here to judge, only to make you aware that unprofessional photos will get your resume sent to the round file.  For those that say, “I can do whatever I want – this is America!”, we have a name for that – “an obsessive need to be me.”  You can do whatever you want, but you will be passed over for jobs.

Facebook, Part 1 – This can be a huge deal breaker!  Recruiters check out the profile photo to get more insight into their character.  Plenty of people are technically competent, however Recruiters are paid to get the very best.  And the best don’t post a picture of them getting tanked at a nightclub.  Or with a girl on their lap at a Strip Club.  I kid you not – these are real life examples.  I know a CFO that did this, and he has been headed down the slippery slope ever since.  He used to be a world class company; now he is at a small, mediocre company.  You have heard it before – never post anything on Facebook you would not want on the front page of the newspaper.  Set your privacy settings to “friends only.”  Same goes for Instagram, Pinterest and any other social media platform.  Use common sense.

Facebook, Part 2 – There is another “gotcha” with Facebook; controversial issues.  If you get wrapped up in debates over politics, religion, or other high profile issues, you better have your privacy settings on “friends only.”  Personally, I use Facebook to see what my friends are up to.  Anyone that posts negative, controversial comments…gets unfriended.  I just want to see pictures of the kids!

The Internet – What comes up when you Google your name?  DUI?  Lawsuit?  Naked pictures?  You are laughing, but I have seen all three multiple times.  Let me tell you what companies DON’T want…bad actors.  Executives with personal issues – drug/alcohol abuse, litigation happy employees, and those recently fired for an inappropriate relationship.  You can use a service like to help you.  Not endorsing them, just giving you an example.  Make sure your top search results on Google paint you in a positive light.

Email – Finally, last buy not least, make sure your email address is professional.  Mine is “mwayman.”  Pretty straightforward, yes?  I have seen everything from “HookUpDude” to “AmysBoyToy”.  If want to be cute, have two email addresses, one for personal and one for business.  And never, ever inquire about a job from your work email.  See it all the time, and most companies these days do monitor business email.

Don’t Connect to Everyone on LinkedIn!

Let me preface this with the fact that many of you will disagree with me. And by the grace of God, we live in the United States where everyone is entitled to their opinion. We can agree to disagree! This article is based on my ten years on LinkedIn, the mistakes I made, and the model that is successful.

In the Beginning of LinkedIn – I was an early adopter of LinkedIn and connected to everyone that asked. The more people you connect to, the better your network, right? Within 30 days I was overwhelmed with requests for introductions and referrals. My favorite was, “You know Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, can you introduce me, I want to sell him something.” That is the equivalent of going to a networking event and throwing business cards at people. If I sent those people to Tony Hsieh he would bury me in a hole in the desert. So I quickly removed the connections of folks anyone I did not know personally. Problem solved. You know why? Because your real friends rarely ask for favors.

No Cold Calls – Cold calling Recruiters on LinkedIn is the equivalent of applying to online job postings. I get ten to twenty per day. Keep in mind that Executive Recruiters get people for jobs….not jobs for people. Recruiters focus on executives they know personally and those referred by a trusted source. Representing candidates that cold call requires too much due diligence. If you are looking for a job, work your professional network – people you actually know.

The Treadmill of Life – My first priority is family and friends. Then I run my Executive Recruiting business. Finally, I give back by donating my time to charity. If you are busy like me (and you are!), you prioritize your time, and can’t take on the requests of all the people cold calling you on LinkedIn. This is why I won’t connect to people I don’t know. About 95% of the time they have an agenda. We call it the “oh, by the way” connection. You get a long winded email that ends with, “Oh, by the way, can you introduce me to Bill Gates and Warren Buffett?” Focus is a key attribute of successful executives, so they need to focus on their business. No disrespect intended.

You MUST add ValueThis is REALLY important. Successful executives are looking for relationships, not transactions. Top executives have hectic schedules and deal with tons of white noise. You need to have a strong value proposition if you want to get noticed. My motto is, “If there is a strong value proposition on both sides of the introduction, I’m happy to help.” As an example, here is my personal value proposition. First, the obvious one – I get people jobs. That definitely comes in handy at some point. Second, I have a monthly newsletter that goes out to 5,000 executives. Who got hired, who got fired. Much of that information is not public knowledge, and there is great value to keeping up with the latest industry happenings. Third, I host quarterly mixers for my friends, clients and business partners. This is NOT a networking event, just a chance for my friends to meet each other. How much value is there to meeting 50 of the best executives, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists on the planet?

Some Do, Some Don’t – Not everyone will want to be on your bus. Don’t be offended. I have a saying, “Lord, send me $20 for every person that kicked dirt on me or treated me poorly, then sent me a resume when they got fired.” There are several legitimate reasons that people won’t get back to you. First, maybe they are facing a health crisis. Second, maybe they are having personal issues with their spouse or kids. Third, they may be in the middle of a work related crisis. Any of these situations can be a life encompassing, so don’t be offended if you are not their top priority.