Learn How To Write LinkedIn Recommendations: Part 1

LinkedIn Recommendations

In the last post, I had promised you about sharing tips on writing a stellar LinkedIn recommendation for your colleague, boss, or batch mate. There are some great things you want to write in recommendation note for them; but when you sit down to frame it, it becomes a pain. Here in this blog, I am going to share few great tips on wring recommendation that will make your contact stand out without sounding fake.

LinkedIn Recommendations

 

  • Start with a knockout line

Start with a line that would grab reader’s attention (recruiters or customers to be precise) describing how awesome the person for whom you are writing this recommendation is.

What not to do: Avoid phrases like ‘one of the best’ or ‘one of my favorite employees’, as these words might be strong but are less qualified and have lost their real value due to over usage. So don’t pick superlative terms in describing the person.

Sample Reference: You may use terms like:

  • It’s rare that you come across standout talent like (name of the person).
  • Ridiculously efficient’ is the phrase that comes to mind when I think about (name of the person).
  • Few people have the opportunity to report to a manager who is also a coach and mentor—but I did when I worked for (name of the person).

 

  • Talk about your relationship with the person

Readers reading your recommendation would want to know why you are qualified to write recommendation. So talk about how you know the person-your reporting relationship, and for how much time have you been working together (or have worked in the past).

What not to do: Don’t talk about any negative connection. Also, LinkedIn would show your name, company and job profile, so don’t waste your words on describing these.

Sample Reference: You may use terms like:

  • I had the pleasure of working with (name of the person) for (number of years) at the (Company name), collaborating on several project teams.
  • I hired (name of the person) as a (designation) in (year) after seeing his work portfolio, and he’s completed seven flawless projects for me since then.

 

  • Mention the standout skill/trait

There might be many qualities in the person whom you are recommending; but focus only on the traits which he do better than anything else. Your recommendation should be relevant and focused upon what makes him stand out.  Also, you may ask the person what skills does he want you to focus upon, because there is a possibility that he was working at organizational level with you but now needs to get into managerial role so want you to frame your recommendation accordingly.

What not to do: Avoid being generic, do not talk about any random thing. Recommendations are asked for a purpose, make sure if you are bothering to write something for them, it should be helpful for them.

Sample Reference: You may use terms like:

  • I was particularly impressed by (name of the person)’s ability to handle even the toughest clients—and effortlessly. That skill often takes years to develop among customer service professionals, but it seemed to come perfectly naturally to him.
  • (Name of the person)’s ability to cope with multiple projects was unlike any I’ve seen before. It was usually because of this skill that he could make a remarkable difference in the efficiency level of our team.

So here I have discussed about 3 most crucial aspects of writing a LinkedIn recommendation for your friend/colleague/boss. Stay tuned to The Career Muse Blog, as I will soon come up with more on this.

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6 Golden Traits That An MBA Can Learn From Mumbai’s Dabbawala

Management lessons to learn from Dabbawallas

Formed in 1890 by Mahadeo Bhavaji Bachche and re-launched commercially in 1968, Mumbai Dabbawalas have now become an important part of city’s supply chain. Divided in a group of 25-30 people, around 4000 to 5000 dabbawalas are responsible for the timely delivery of almost 2 Lakh lunchboxes in different corners of the city. With utmost organizational skills, these dabbawalas have created a unique example for all the management students.

What can an MBA learn from these extremely organized and disciplined dabbawalas; who’s immense hard work and management skill, converted a mere service into a highly organized industry?

It’s extremely important for MBA’s to learn organizational qualities that can enhance their management capabilities. Dabbawalas work is based on 6 key fundamentals. If wisely implemented these basic management principals can add high value to an organization’s end-goals. As an MBA fresher who is looking for a job, it’s important to incorporate these basic yet important skill set in your life and resume.

1.Discipline: Dabbawalas are extremely disciplined professionals. Maintaining accuracy in every 2,60,000 transactions/per day is not an easy task and there is no place for any indiscipline. For a dabbawala “Error is Equal to Horror”, and they have maintained 100% track record of on-time delivery. Mistakes are extremely rare.

Important Management Lesson – “A well-disciplined team has the capability to deliver error-free results in some of the most critical situations too.”

  1. Organization:Each dabbawala collect lunchbox from allocated locality and delivers the same on assigned location within given timeframe. Lunch box is then organized and taken to different destinations via public transportation. It’s once again rearranged and delivered to given address before lunch. Same process is repeated anti-clock wise and lunch box is delivered to their owners by evening. Just imagine all the skill it takes to organize and timely deliver around 2 Lakh lunchbox in mere six hours a day.

Important Management Lesson – “If you have a well-structured team, where each member is aware of their responsibilities and perform their duties on time, desired result can be achieved effortlessly.”

  1. Work Management:If a team member is not able to perform his work or fall sick, someone is always there to manage his task. There is no legitimated retirement age of dabbawala, even a senior worker help others and is paid same salary. There is no room for error but a backup is triggered if something unexpected interrupts the process. Each dabbawala works in synergy to achieve the same goal of “on-time delivery”.

Important Management Lesson – “If a team focus on end goal, nothing can stop them to deliver unexpected results.”

  1. Time Management: Time is crucial. Dabbawalas can’t be late. They have to deliver lunchbox before lunch on given address. Hence, their entire work depends on effective time management. Each task has to be completed within given timeframe. If someone is not able to do so, alternatives are performed immediately.

Important Management Lesson – “Time is crucial and success of a project lies in efficient time management.”

  1. Simple, Flexible & Accurate Process:Dabbawalas use zero technology or software to manage their work. Every code that they use is simple and has basic information like, street/floor address (office and residence both). They use a standard organization method which does not change. The tiffins used for delivers are of same structure and have standard codes. Visual data is used to remember key facts like who is the owner of lunch box, etc.

Important Management Lesson – “Simple and standard codes/rules can help with better organization. Minimal usage of technology is not bad. Focus should be given to more user specific and visual data. Complex systems can slower entire work process.”

  1. Strong Culture of Belonging –A dabbawala remain in his group for his entire life. Hence, the essence of friendship, care and bonding is high and it helps them to work on mutual understanding. Having same code of conduct and dress make them unique and easy to find.

Important Management Lesson – “Mutual understanding and a sense of belonging is extremely important in a team. It enhances performance, quality of work and indirectly adds value to an organization’s work culture.”

Final Words

Management is a technique which can be developed from implementing basic organizational skills. Success of an MBA professional lies in better management of these skills and incorporates the same to enhance work & performance of a team.

MBA is among few highly demanded career option and it’s expected that growing world economy is likely to produce more job for MBA freshers. With increased competition, organizations will focus more on employing highly skilled professionals. Hence it’s important to work on your basics and enhance them for better management use.

 

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Weekend Reads: Blast From The Past

thecareermuse_past_posts

Sunday! It is the day when we look forward to delicious recipes and whey the appetite with the delicious dishes. Isn’t it? Let me help you with some. Hold on, these are not food recipes but Recipe to Make Your Meetings Fruitful.

thecareermuse_past_posts

Check out some of the workable tips that will help you hold outstandingly well meetings.

Let’s start with 5 Clever Ways for Calling worthy Meetings. Yes, reading this one would help you learn about the tricks that would make your meetings worthy. It is important to communicate the real essence behind the meeting to get the desired results. And this blog would tell you how to do that.

Moving ahead, one of the important qualities to have is confidence. Reading Do You Know The Trick To Sound Confident? will give you the 6 tricks, implementing which can make you sound confident at any meeting or discussion.

Meeting doesn’t always mean a conference room or a board room. You can have it anywhere. Ahem just tell me do you use Office Lunch Breaks Just To Feed Hunger? Well this is not what successful people do. Read this blog to learn what they do and how they do it.

 

Last but not the least; do not forget to read these Little Things That Matter in a Meeting.

 

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Weekend Reads: Blast from the Past

Career_advice

Sunday morning, a cup of tea, and some good reads! What a perfect combination, isn’t it?

Incase, you haven’t yet figured out what to read while taking a sip from your morning tea, here is a great list for you.

  • Want To Be A High-Achiever? Follow These

Sunday gives you ample of time to sharpen up your skills and make strategies to make your career a big hit. Let this blog on how to be a high achiever help you in meeting your career goals.

  • Cognitive Distractions Stress You Out More

Sunday is a stress buster day too. But do you really know how to do that? Read this blog.

  • The Smartest Workers Make These Simple Mistakes

To work smart is perfect but your smartness has to be error less. Check out the most common mistakes that smart workers make.

  • Has Stress Hijacked Your Brain? Try These Yoga Poses to Undo Desk Damage

Recently, on Yoga Day, we have heard a lot on the power of Yoga. Let it help you release your stress too. Read this to know which Yoga poses will help you do that.

  • Tricks To Make Yourself Irreplaceable In Your Organization

Are you scared of competition? Well, you need not to be, as here are the weekend tips to be irreplaceable in your organization.

 

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Do You Know The Trick To Sound Confident?

how to sound confident

Be it in any context, be it while talking to individual or a group, be it a client meeting or meet up with college friends, one thing that can make you shine or make you most popular (important) is your confidence. There is nothing like the days when you feel confident. But what about those days when you are not 100% confident? That day can be an important meeting day as well, so does it mean it will go all bad? No, atleast not with these tricks that can make you sound confident. Check out and start implementing:

how to sound confident

1. Your posture matters:

You would have heard trillion of times that your body language talks before you start speaking. So, if you are not confident, your body language can depict it. So, the first thing is make sure it sounds confident. You just need to pay little attention like stand straight, sit straight, with head held high and shoulders at back. Yes, it demands practice, and make sure you do that without fail to sound confident in every situation.

2. Gesture:

It’s similar to maintain the right body posture. Your gestures too can help you sound confident. You do not just have to wave your hands every now and then during conversations, instead you need to focus on making the gestures for the most impactful words. Also, it is an art that you might have to learn how you need to reserve the movements and use them in control. You can check out these 7 Hand Gestures that Influence Others During a Conversation also.

3. Speak slowly

Some people are naturally fast talkers while some tend to speak fast in nervousness. Speaking in a faster pace indicates lack of confidence & authority. So, if you can speak little slowly, then that can help you sound confident. It would also give you time to think through your words. Also, the person with whom you are conversing with will get more time to digest what you are talking about. So, don’t compromise with your speaking integrity and give your sentences a weightier rhythm.

4. Advantage from Pauses

Pauses are effective in their own way. This is an amazing strategy to learn from having better conversation or giving value to what you speak. If you are giving a public speech, then take a one second pause after saying a significant statement. This would not just add more weight to what you have said, but would also let the audience absorb it.

And yes, taking a pause during conversation also allows you to collect the thoughts and prepare yourself for what you have to speak next, giving you more confidence.

5. Avoid conversational fillers

Take for example that you are sitting for your job interview and you are been asked a direct question. In such situations, be as much relevant as you can. If you’ll look forward to some related story that happened years ago, then would just depict as conversational filler and would make you sound unconfident. Even if you have to include such asides, make sure they are relevant.

6. Curb your voice range

Before I say anything, have a look at this powerful speech by Steve Jobs on Stay Hungry… Stay Foolish…

 

Didn’t you feel the authority and confidence in whatever he has said? It’s so natural and attention binding and one of the reasons behind it is the range of vocal voice. Throughout his speech, he has maintained the lower tones of voice, which is adding weightage to what he is saying.

Learning from him, and hundred of other great speakers, while delivering a speech or talking generally, curb your voice and don’t force yourself, else you’ll sound unnatural, and obviously unconfident too.

Try to practice these tips and then sounding confident would become second nature to you. Goodluck!

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Are Office Lunch Breaks Just To Feed Hunger?

productivity at lunch break

Does meeting with boss at 4 means you need to gobble up the food glued to your workstation and concentrate upon presentation? It will be ok if you say ‘yes’. But it won’t be ok if you say yes to eating lunch while sitting at the workstations only eying your computer screen continuously.

Well you are actually not just hurting yourself but your career too by having sad desk lunch. Stop hurting and start doing what successful people do. Check out these three things that successful people do during their lunch breaks.

productivity at lunch break

  1. They spend time with coworkers

Yes, your career can get a boost if you can invest some time talking to your co-workers. It is not just about making a strong bond but also knowing their roles in company’s success. You never know when and from what you get to learn a new lesson.

Also, it is a great idea to step out of office and take a competitor for lunch. It can expand your network and help you make new friends.

 

  1. They choose to workout:

Workout is not always a loaded term like it sounds. Like Twitter co-founder Evan Williams advices to exercise during lunch breaks to keep up the productivity. He says, we should workout during the least productive time of the day, and what would fit better than breaks here?

And hold on. It doesn’t matter if there isn’t a gym at your office. A good walk or few desk stretches can also make you feel refresh.

 

  1. They take boost nap:

Who says you should get a sound sleep only after the end of the day? The idea is to give rest to your mind, so why don’t you utilize 20 minutes from your break to have a quick nap. Either head to the break room or step in your car and shut your eyes for 20 minutes to recharge the power boosters.

So, choice is yours to plan your lunch breaks. I have given you three options, which one would you like to pick today?

 

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6 types of people you’ll meet at networking events

If you’re a frequent attendee of networking events, you’ve likely started to notice that the same types of people pop up at each event. Some you may enjoy getting to know, while others you try to avoid at all costs.

Before going to your next networking affair, read on to learn more about the different personalities you’ll encounter and how you can prepare yourself to interact with them.

featured image-event

The Wallflower

You know those people you see at events who keep their head down, avoid eye contact and will make any excuse to leave a conversation (do they really need to take an important call)? Those are the Wallflowers, says Glen Gould, networking expert and author of “Is Your Networking Working?” and “101 Networking Nuggets.” “Wallflowers come to networking events and spend most of their time hugging the wall,” he says. “They rarely meet anyone new except for those in the group charged with getting Wallflowers to mingle. Once encountered by another, Wallflowers quickly leave, because they find the entire experience so uncomfortable.”

There’s not much you can do to engage with a Wallflower, so your best bet when encountering them is to be friendly, make them feel as at ease as possible and not get offended if they suddenly take off.

 

The Dealmaker

Fan Bi, CEO of online men’s apparel company Blank Label and long-time networker, says that the Dealmaker is another personality you’ll find at these events. “The Dealmaker [is] the salesperson with an agenda, whether it be a recruiter, an entrepreneur trying to close contracts or signups or the service provider,” Bi says. “The best response in this situation is a friendly openness to the potential ‘offers.’ No need to decline anything so early on, but feel no pressure to take any action immediately either. Always take some time to think about an opportunity, to leave breathing room to make an informed decision before you close on the deal.”

The Hand-shaker

While the goal of networking events is usually to make genuine connections and ultimately find business leads or employment opportunities down the road, some people favour quantity over quality. The Hand-shaker, according to Bi, is someone who goes around, passing her business card to as many people as possible, trying disingenuously to meet everyone. “Your best response: a polite introduction and, likely, that’s all, because that person doesn’t go beyond surface-level interaction,” Bi says.

The Social-lite

“We call him the Social-lite, because he’s heavy on the social aspect and ‘lite’ on the networking aspect,” Gould says. “Social-lites are interactive, moving from person to person in an effort to get to know as many people in the room as possible but always spending the most time with the people they already know. This is how cliques in networking circles are formed.”

He may also be the person who tends to loiter around the bar or food table, taking advantage of the “perks” that come along with such events. If you’re there to have a good time, the Social-lite is your best partner in crime. However, if you want to take the event a little more seriously, you may want to steer clear.

The Power Networker

The Power Networker could be considered the “poster child” for what a good networker should be. They attend these events because they genuinely want to make connections and are buttoned up in their approach to networking.

“Power Networkers understand that networking events are for meeting perhaps three to five quality connections in the hopes to find a way to help them expand their network,” Gould says. “The Power Networker knows that when she helps others, she helps herself. She’s equipped with the Million Dollar Question: ‘As I go through my day, I meet a lot of people; tell me, how will I know when I’ve met a perfect referral for you?’ She connects with people and asks the question of most she meets. She asks for a card from each person she meets and jots notes on the backs of the business cards she receives so she can make connections of value later.”

The Connector

You know those people who seem to know everyone at an event, and you can tell from across the room that they’re confident in who they are as a professional? Those are the Connectors, according to Megan Conahan, senior vice president of digital marketing company Direct Agents. “This person likes to help others – they are the best person to find at a networking event. They have been in the space for a very long time and are confident in their business. They are attending because they need to but don’t plan on doing any business today. They will listen to what you do, ask intelligent questions and introduce you to others that may be relevant.”

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6 types of people you’ll meet at networking events

If you’re a frequent attendee of networking events, you’ve likely started to notice that the same types of people pop up at each event. Some you may enjoy getting to know, while others you try to avoid at all costs.

Before going to your next networking affair, read on to learn more about the different personalities you’ll encounter and how you can prepare yourself to interact with them.

  1. The Wallflower

You know those people you see at events who keep their head down, avoid eye contact and will make any excuse to leave a conversation (do they really need to take an important call)? Those are the Wallflowers, says Glen Gould, networking expert and author of “Is Your Networking Working?” and “101 Networking Nuggets.” “Wallflowers come to networking events and spend most of their time hugging the wall,” he says. “They rarely meet anyone new except for those in the group charged with getting Wallflowers to mingle. Once encountered by another, Wallflowers quickly leave, because they find the entire experience so uncomfortable.”

There’s not much you can do to engage with a Wallflower, so your best bet when encountering them is to be friendly, make them feel as at ease as possible and not get offended if they suddenly take off.

  1. The Dealmaker

Fan Bi, CEO of online men’s apparel company Blank Label and long-time networker, says that the Dealmaker is another personality you’ll find at these events. “The Dealmaker [is] the salesperson with an agenda, whether it be a recruiter, an entrepreneur trying to close contracts or signups or the service provider,” Bi says. “The best response in this situation is a friendly openness to the potential ‘offers.’ No need to decline anything so early on, but feel no pressure to take any action immediately either. Always take some time to think about an opportunity, to leave breathing room to make an informed decision before you close on the deal.”

 

  1. The Hand-shaker

While the goal of networking events is usually to make genuine connections and ultimately find business leads or employment opportunities down the road, some people favour quantity over quality. The Hand-shaker, according to Bi, is someone who goes around, passing her business card to as many people as possible, trying disingenuously to meet everyone. “Your best response: a polite introduction and, likely, that’s all, because that person doesn’t go beyond surface-level interaction,” Bi says.

  1. The Social-lite

“We call him the Social-lite, because he’s heavy on the social aspect and ‘lite’ on the networking aspect,” Gould says. “Social-lites are interactive, moving from person to person in an effort to get to know as many people in the room as possible but always spending the most time with the people they already know. This is how cliques in networking circles are formed.”

He may also be the person who tends to loiter around the bar or food table, taking advantage of the “perks” that come along with such events. If you’re there to have a good time, the Social-lite is your best partner in crime. However, if you want to take the event a little more seriously, you may want to steer clear.

  1. The Power Networker

The Power Networker could be considered the “poster child” for what a good networker should be. They attend these events because they genuinely want to make connections and are buttoned up in their approach to networking.

“Power Networkers understand that networking events are for meeting perhaps three to five quality connections in the hopes to find a way to help them expand their network,” Gould says. “The Power Networker knows that when she helps others, she helps herself. She’s equipped with the Million Dollar Question: ‘As I go through my day, I meet a lot of people; tell me, how will I know when I’ve met a perfect referral for you?’ She connects with people and asks the question of most she meets. She asks for a card from each person she meets and jots notes on the backs of the business cards she receives so she can make connections of value later.”

  1. The Connector

You know those people who seem to know everyone at an event, and you can tell from across the room that they’re confident in who they are as a professional? Those are the Connectors, according to Megan Conahan, senior vice president of digital marketing company Direct Agents. “This person likes to help others – they are the best person to find at a networking event. They have been in the space for a very long time and are confident in their business. They are attending because they need to but don’t plan on doing any business today. They will listen to what you do, ask intelligent questions and introduce you to others that may be relevant.”

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