Should You Accept All LinkedIn Connection Requests?

Mallisa Watson - Friday, October 09, 2015

linkedin With over 360 million professionals using the LinkedIn platform, as a job seeker, you can only imagine the amount of opportunities waiting to be discovered by you. Because LinkedIn is so popular with professionals, it is important that you be active and your profile reflects who you are. This brings us to who you keep in your “circle.”

As a teenage girl, my mum always used to give me a lecture on the kind of friends I keep company with and she said it will mirror what I get up to. To a certain extent, the same goes for whom you are connected to on LinkedIn. This can echo the quality of your professional network you have and you want this to reflect nothing less, than positively on you.

What you want to do on LinkedIn is build a smart network. By smart, I mean make sure the person has a professional profile picture, is credible and legitimate. This has proven to be very good criteria for making sure your connections are high quality.

But on the other hand, if you limit who you connect with to only the people you know or who are in your industry of work, you could potentially miss out on the massive networking and business building opportunities that LinkedIn offers. So keep in mind that every time you connect with someone new, you gain exposure to their network.

Deciding who you connect to is a personal decision, but I believe you should build a powerful network that will assist you with your career, because you never know when you will need it in the future. Here are two guidelines on how and who you should connect with.

1. You don’t know the requester
Meeting someone in person at a networking event and handing them your contact information is far more different than connecting with them on LinkedIn. You are entering into a mutual circle of professional trust.  But, if you don’t know the person who sends you a connection request and you have zero connections in common, it would probably be a good idea to just ignore their request.

Also, if you don’t know the person and they send you a generic invite and not a customized request detailing the reason for wanting to connect with, I would think twice.

2. The requester looks like a spammer
I am sure most of us have gotten and still do get spammed and it is one of the most annoying things ever. If you receive a connection request from someone you don’t know who is advertising products or services, it might not be a person at all. It could be an automated computer program designed to send spam. Or, it can turn out to be an actual sales person. Both are alike and deserve to be reported to LinkedIn as spam.

Again, if the person doesn’t have a profile picture, don’t accept that invitation. Another red flag is that the culprit might be from another country that you’ve never visited. No face = No connection, that simple!

How do you decide who to connect with on LinkedIn? What kind of discretion do you use when accepting invitations? Remember, if you’re going to invest the time in utilizing a platform like LinkedIn, do it right! Because the more meaningful your connections, the better the chance that those people will vouch for you when you’re looking to connect with potential employers in their network.

Communicate Personnel is a specialist recruitment company with great consultants that can help you with exciting new career opportunities which includes Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Supply Chain jobs and Freight jobs. Visit our website and apply today!


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Are You Asking the Interviewer the Right Questions?

Mallisa Watson - Tuesday, October 06, 2015

concept You start to feel a little at ease as you realize your job interview is coming to an end, especially if you think you’ve answered the questions with self-assurance. But when the interviewer (s) asks:"Do you have any questions for us?." What goes through your head? Do you want to say NO? Think again!

Asking the right interview questions can help you get a better idea about the role and is a great way for you to show your interest in the job. After all, it is important to determine if the job is the right fit for you too.

Do you know what questions you should be asking your interviewer? Remember the questions you ask should relate to the position you are being interviewed for, think carefully about their relevance before the interview.

Branch Manager for Engineering, Sarah Kirkman, shares her expertise on what questions every candidate should be asking in a interview.  

In preparing your questions for the interview, also keep the following in mind.

  • Ask realistic questions!

  • Don’t make the questions too complex

  • Asking interview questions can be challenging and a little intimidating. However, it is very important that you do ask questions to get clarity regarding the position. Who knows, maybe it could add credibility and increase your chances of landing the job. One more thing, before walking into that interview, keep in mind that how you dress is just as important for success at any job interview.
    Here are more tips on What does dress for success mean in a new Millennium?”

    If you are looking to move on to a new career adventure, get in touch with us now!

    Communicate Personnel is a specialist recruitment agency with remarkable consultants who will match your skills with the relevant job.  We have career opportunities which include jobs in Finance, IT, Engineering, Supply Chain jobs and Freight jobs. Visit our website and apply now!


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    Video Credit: Careers24

Job Interviews: How to ensure success

Sandra Olivier - Friday, October 02, 2015

advice You’ve prepared your CV, familiarized yourself with the job market, completed the necessary applications, worked alongside your recruiter and managed to finally secure an interview for that great new career opportunity you’ve been wanting.

Now that you've been invited for an interview, your thoughts naturally turn to giving a winning performance on the day and ensuring you stand out from other candidates. How do you make sure your interview will be a success? What do you need to do to make the right impression and come across as the experienced, skilled applicant that you know you are? What do you need to avoid?

We’ve asked Harriet Smith, Branch Manager: IT from our Cape Town office to give us some of her expert advice on the matter. In the video, she offers some valuable interview tips to candidates on the following topics:

  • Why it’s important to remain professional at all times

  • How to deal with red flags or concerns potential employers might have about your CV

  • What to say about your current and previous employers

  • Why it’s important to ask questions

  • The importance of first impressions in an interview

If you are considering a change in your career and need some expert assistance, contact us. Communicate Personnel is a recruitment agency with consultants specialising in finding you new career opportunities in the Finance, IT, Engineering, Freight  and Supply Chain industries. Check out our vacancies pages and apply now! 


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Credit: by Stuart Miles
Video Credit: Careers24

Millennials and Baby Boomers: Building a Strong Inter-Generational Finance Team

Mallisa Watson - Tuesday, September 29, 2015

suit According to a study published by Ernst & Young, management are shifting to younger generations, but where does that leave the Baby Boomers? A number of articles have been written stereotyping both the millennial and baby-boomer generations, but has anyone ever thought of bringing these two different generations together? Maybe all they need is the right work environment…

Financial professionals are the pillar of your business. In actual fact, combining the Millennial and the Baby Boomers experience can make or break the success of your company, so it’s important to have the best people in the field on your team - and know how to retain these highly skilled workers once you get them. Together, they simply need the right environment and structure to ensure the company’s success.

Meeting in the middle
To bridge the gap, it is essential to establish clear communication between these dynamically different workforces. Furthermore, realizing how younger workers see their roles, the older professionals need to be there to guide and mentor the young ones, however they need to deliver this knowledge in a way younger workers can bite, relate to, and appreciate.

In the same way, younger workers need to understand the value of the experience that Baby Boomers bring to the table. As an organization, you need to identify and teach Millennials the basics of business and industry, while enabling the younger generation to incorporate new technologies and take calculated risk to be dynamic in a new "connected" age.

Here are two ways to structure a Boomer-Millennial team:

1. Don’t categorize the team dynamic
In order for the team to achieve the project goal, Millennials and Boomers need to work together to find the best way to join hands. At times they should each be leading. None of them is the boss. Under this dynamic, they have to build trust by understanding each other’s’ strengths and weaknesses.

2. It’s a two way street: teaching and learning from one another
Even if there seems to be some uncertainty to how the project is going, this should be the case no matter what. 

The Boomer probably has previous experience, so invite them to share their thoughts on the next possible course of action. Explaining it to the Millennial with specific examples and reasons of why certain approaches are likely to work better. You should also expect them to think about the Millennial’s strengths and weaknesses, and make suggestions about how they can best use their natural talents for the project.

Invite the Millennials to teach the Boomers about statistical models, cash flow management software, and web tools that they thinks would aid the project in a way that they understand.

With the variety of multi-generational employees in today’s workplace, organizations can achieve real strategic advantage by embracing the diversity among generations to create a flexible work environment that values all people and keeps them productive, regardless of age.

Thinking of adding a few talented finance professionals to your team? Contact Communicate Personnel. We are a well-known, reputable specialist recruitment company with over 30 years’ experience in the employment market. Get in touch with us.

If you happen to be in the market for a new finance job, visit our website and apply today!

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How to explain gaps in your work experience on your CV

Sandra Olivier - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

interview Whether your job was made redundant, you had to care for an ailing parent, chose to raise your family, or you took time off for furthering your education or simply travelling, never lie about gaps in your work experience on your CV. If a potential employer is going to pay you for working at their company, the least you can do is be completely honest about why there are employment gaps on your CV.

Here are some of the ways to explain employment gaps while still maintaining your integrity:

1. A gap after being made redundant
Losing your job because of redundancy or because your employment was terminated may raise the eyebrows of your interviewer or prospective employer. However, this kind of employment gap needn’t be a negative one. If your job was made redundant, don’t sit at home and mope on the couch, but rather use your time constructively by taking an online course, upskilling for your current industry, or doing volunteer work. Give your potential employer something to focus on other than the employment gap.

If your job was terminated, don’t lie about it or cover it up with a thin excuse like, “It wasn’t meant to be.” Rather, give your account of why you weren’t a good fit for your previous employer, take responsibility for your position and explain what you’ve learnt from the experience. This proactive reasoning can take on a more positive light to show that you’ve truly grown from a potentially negative experience and allow your interviewer to focus on your mature approach rather than the apparent employment gap.

2. A gap due to travel or studying
If you started a career and subsequently learned that it really wasn’t what you wanted to do, then decided to study something different or take a few months off to travel, this is perfectly acceptable. Again, don’t simply waist away your time while you’re not formally employed, but be proactive and do something constructive with your time. Even part-time work while studying or doing freelance work while travelling will demonstrate to your prospective employer that you’re a passionate self-starter and an independent worker.

3. A gap due to caring for family
If you’ve taken time off from employment because you needed to care for someone in your family, this doesn’t need a lengthy explanation. A simply worded sentence or two should suffice, such as: “An illness in my family required my presence at home. Since I knew I wouldn’t be able to give my job the attention it deserved, I resigned, but I am ready to return to the workforce full-time.”

4. A gap for raising a family
If you were a stay-at-home parent, sacrificing full-time work for raising your children, don’t hide it. Also, don’t embellish your role as parent to make it sound like a corporate position, such as “Household Manager” or “Domestic CEO”. This will only come across as patronising. Explain to your potential employer that you chose to raise your family, but are ready to re-enter the workforce. Show how you’ve re-qualified for your position or upskilled to ensure your knowledge is on par with the industry at present, or if you’ve maintained a freelance career while raising your kids, mention how this has helped you to stay in touch with the working world. If the tone of the interview allows for it, you could mention how raising a family has given you expert time management, task delegation, and negotiation skills.

5. Tips:

  • Be prepared to explain your employment gap and practise what you’re going to say. This will ensure that you don’t end up stumbling over your explanation, which could make it sound like an excuse.
  • Be confident while explaining the gap in your CV – your prospective employer isn’t trying to catch you out, they just want a reasonable explanation for your absence from formal employment.
  • Be honest. We’re reiterating this again because the employment market is connected in so many ways. The truth will eventually come out – so it’s best that it you tell it first.

Looking for success in your career? We can help you untangle the steps to your next job opportunity. Communicate Personnel has a number of exciting new career opportunities which includes Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs,  Supply Chain jobs and  Freight jobs. Visit our website and apply today!




Previous posts

  1. Should You Accept All LinkedIn Connection Requests? Mallisa Watson 1 hours 34 mins ago
  2. Are You Asking the Interviewer the Right Questions? Mallisa Watson 06-Oct-2015
  3. Job Interviews: How to ensure success Sandra Olivier 02-Oct-2015
  4. Millennials and Baby Boomers: Building a Strong Inter-Generational Finance Team Mallisa Watson 29-Sep-2015
  5. How to explain gaps in your work experience on your CV Sandra Olivier 23-Sep-2015
  6. Nervous about your job interview? Here’s some advice on how to deal with that anxiety Sandra Olivier 18-Sep-2015
  7. Smart ports transforming South African coastline Sandra Olivier 15-Sep-2015
  8. Networking Important for your Career Sandra Olivier 11-Sep-2015
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  10. Permanent vs Contracting employees: What is best for your business? Mallisa Watson 04-Sep-2015
  11. The Importance of Data Centres for Business Sandra Olivier 01-Sep-2015
  12. Do #ilooklikeanengineer? The biggest names inspiring female engineers today Sandra Olivier 28-Aug-2015
  13. Changes In The Internal Auditing Function Mallisa Watson 25-Aug-2015
  14. Three of the Most Influential Women in IT Sandra Olivier 21-Aug-2015
  15. Road Freight Challenges in South Africa Mallisa Watson 18-Aug-2015
  16. Interview tips for Hiring Managers Sandra Olivier 14-Aug-2015
  17. Women changing the status quo in leadership Mallisa Watson 09-Aug-2015
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  23. Research reveals financial services require more female millennials for growth Sandra Olivier 21-Jul-2015
  24. Managers: Would you let your team work from home? Sandra Olivier 17-Jul-2015
  25. Do You Work For A Great Company? Mallisa Watson 14-Jul-2015
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