A thought for today: No-one will give you a job. You have to earn it!


I regularly visit LinkedIn and read the discussions, where they exist. What amazes me are the responses to job posts which just have “Interested”, a name, or an email address. Those who post this type of response are only boosting LinkedIn’s count of “engagements”, not their chances of landing that job.

No-one will give you a job. You have to earn it!

It is true that doing well in a job interview it usually critical. However, in order to do well in the interview, you have to be offered one. A good CV/resume will help, but, even before you send that to an employer, there are ways to improve your chances of being offered an interview:

  1. Are you already known to the employer? Do you know anyone that already works there?
  2. Are you actively participating in LinkedIn or other groups? By participating I don’t mean posting “Interested”, but asking insightful questions or offering helpful answers, which demonstrate your subject knowledge.
  3. Have you presented in conferences or webinars? Presenting papers can be difficult at first, but by researching your topics thoroughly in advance, and incorporating your research into your presentations, you will gain confidence and show that you can explain your subject knowledge clearly to others. You will also find the questions asked afterwards to be easier to answer, or could lead you to research a new topic for a future presentation.

Getting a job should never be easy. It requires you to put in that extra little bit of effort, so that you can stand out amongst the candidates, and the employers see the potential in you and also see the benefits you can bring to their company.

No-one will give you a job. You have to earn it!

What does your LinkedIn profile photo say about you?


The following table investigates what you are telling a potential employer by using a specific style of profile photo. I’m taking the role of an employer here, so these are my own opinions, and my own photos. However, you may not realise that this information is what you are giving away!

Sample photoPhoto descriptionEmployer’s interpretation
Head and shoulders view with a smile, and wearing professional working clothesProfessional, serious, but approachable.
Head and shoulders view with a serious face, and wearing professional working clothesProfessional, serious, and may not welcome human contact.
Full length view wearing professional working clothesProfessional, but might not welcome close scrutiny.
Wearing casual clothesUnprofessional.
Wearing sports kitTeam player, but not necessarily at work.
In vacation settingRelaxed and has a life away from work.
In front of company posterMay have been forced to publicise their employer’s or some other company’s name.
No photoWishes to hide real identity from someone, or can’t be bothered to find a photo. Interestingly, using #opentowork without a photo shows a corrupted profile image on desktop web page!
Company logoWishes to hide real identity from someone behind a company facade, which may not even be their own.
Random non-personal photo, e.g. artwork, children, stock image, cartoon etc.Wishes to hide real identity from someone, and also is not at all serious about business connections.
Group photoMay want to show they are family oriented, team players, or just prefer to hide in a crowd.
Image of single initial of First NameWishes to hide their face from someone, but not their identity.
Blank single colour photoWishes to hide real identity from someone, but has got around the bug in #opentowork without a photo, which, at least, shows some understanding of LinkedIn.
Background has contrasting colour Wants to be noticed.
Background is busy and multi-coloured, which makes them difficult to see in a smaller imageWants to hide from someone, lacks self-confidence, or doesn’t understand how to compose a profile photo for LinkedIn.
Image at an obvious angle, or even upside-downTrying too hard to get your attention.
In image, but facing away from the cameraWishes to hide real identity from someone, or lacks self-confidence.

I’ll leave you to decide which profile photo I prefer, but which have you got on your LinkedIn profile?

“Interested” (revisited) – What you can do to improve the way employers see you!


Previously, in ‘“Interested” – I have no idea what that means!‘, I talked about blindly responding to LinkedIn posts, and how it would change how employers see you. This post is a follow-up to help you correct some of your previous behaviour and give a better impression of yourself.

I don’t believe LinkedIn really understands how to encourage and measure genuine discussions, so it has decided to count responses to posts as a measure of engagement, and provided, by default, messaging suggestions for every comment. These, apparently, are generated by ‘machine learning’, which only means that the more you use them, the more often they will appear.

Do you want your discussions to be generated by a machine? I sincerely hope not, and employers would prefer to get to know the real you too!

The first step to getting your real identity would be to prevent these ‘machine’ suggestions appearing altogether. There is a menu called [Messaging experience] in your LinkedIn settings under [Communications]. The menu looks like this on my laptop:

In the [Messaging experience] menu you can switch off [Messaging suggestions], and then you will have to write your own replies. This may seem to be a lot of hard work, but, hopefully, you’ll no longer appear to be a machine, but a human again!

Now you are free to express yourself. Remember to read the whole job post, because a good recruiter will always include a link or email address you can use to apply for the job, so use it, and don’t reply “Interested” on Linkedin (or even worse, post your email address, which could be a security risk to you, and suggest to a future employer that you are a security risk!).

Good luck!…………..Phil


“Interested” – I have no idea what that means!


Sometimes I am truly baffled by responses posted to messages in LinkedIn. Maybe it is due to my advancing age? However, while I may be getting old, I’m fairly sure that isn’t the whole story. I think many LinkedIn users are getting lazy, and LinkedIn is encouraging this laziness in the search for “engagement” by supplying quick and easy 1-click replies, which alas mean very little. To me the use of these shortcuts does suggest a general lack of understanding of how to portray oneself online, and, if that is true, as an employer, I would probably remove them immediately from any interview list, because a SAS programmer must be able to read, understand and respond clearly to specifications, just like we all did when answering questions in examinations. It is fortunate then that I’m not an employer!

Let me give you an example. Each month I post links to my monthly SAS job summary blog post in a number of LinkedIn groups. While I’m happy to start a conversation about the post, what I’m really expecting is for readers to click on the link and read the blog post. Every now and then a group member replies with “Interested”, and sometimes even an email address too (which to me is a sign of a potential security risk!). I have no idea what that means, so I’ve started responding as follows:

Please note that I am a job advertising platform administrator, not a recruiter. On my blog site all jobs should be applied for using the Apply links within the job posts, so you are sent to the corresponding recruiter directly.

However, I would recommend you to join us and register for free on my blog site, Holland Numerics: Blog and Forums at http://blog.hollandnumerics.org.uk, to discuss SAS-related topics and receive monthly summary emails about current SAS jobs posted on the site. Please visit this site if you need more details.

As a registered member, why not post an article in the SAS Skills Discussion Forum to introduce yourself to recruiters registered on the blog? Don’t forget to tag your own name in your article, as they will both be included in the Forum Tag Cloud.

Also, if you would like free access to the VIEWS newsletter archive, 55 issues of SAS hints and tips, then please let me know. Publications restarted in 2019, and the new issues will be published in February, May, August and November each year.

OK I’m advertising my blog site too, but no-one can say there is any ambiguity in my reply!

Another common response is a quick and meaningless reply like “Okay”, “Thanks”, “Sure” or 👍, when I’m asking several questions together, or when I’m just informing them that I have disconnected from them in LinkedIn. For these responses I have another stock reply:

You will learn over time that to be a real SAS programmer, or a Data Scientist, actions speak louder than words. I realise there is a cultural background to agreeing on the Indian Sub-continent that makes it the polite thing to do, but, to any colleagues you may work with in the future from the UK, Europe and North America, “Okay”, “Thanks” or “Sure” in answer to a request means “I am already doing it”!

Maybe I’m being a little harsh, but I truly believe that you can get further in your career by writing with clarity and purpose at all times!

Interested? 😉

Who’s going to SAS Global Forum 2022? Apparently no-one!


In a SAS Blog post Jenn Chase has announced that the flagship SAS Global Forum 2022 will be split into many AI and Analytics events, some virtual and some face-to-face:

  • Q1 – SAS Amplify:
    A virtual conference for SAS Partners.
  • Q2 – SAS Innovate:
    Face-to-face conferences for Business in the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific regions. So far only the conference in the Americas 2022 has been scheduled in San Diego, CA, where it was to hold SAS Global Forum 2022.
  • Q1/Q2 – SAS Hackathon:
    Virtual competition to convert curiosity into innovation.
  • Q3/Q4 – SAS Explore:
    A virtual conference for SAS Technologists.

I’ve also found a number of other links with information about these changes:

  1. A New Era of SAS Global AI and Analytics Events
  2. For those of you who are members of the SAS Professional Forum on LinkedIn, then you can read Andrew Howell post discussing his feelings about the changes from his own perspective as a non-US SASGF attendee and presenter: “A New Era of SAS Global AI and Analytics Events”. But SAS Global Forum is no more..

LinkedIn is dead! Long live Google+ and WordPress!


I have managed and owned LinkedIn groups since 2010, and have struggled to cope with LinkedIn removing group management tools over the last 6 months. This WordPress site was created as a direct result of a LinkedIn Groups “upgrade” in October 2015.

I have now set a deadline for LinkedIn to restore most of the useful stuff they removed by 24 December 2015, otherwise I will close my own “SAS Author: Philip R Holland” group (650+ members) and resign from being a manager of the “SAS Professional Forum” group (30,000+ members).

In the meanwhile I’m encouraging the members of both these groups to register on this site, and to join my parallel Google+ community called, with outstanding originality, “SAS Professional Forum”. I would encourage everyone who reads this post to guide their friends and colleagues to these sites too, as I don’t believe LinkedIn will be capable of fixing sufficient bugs and restoring previously working LinkedIn Groups functionality to make it worthwhile using that platform again!

Where did you hear about this Blog site?


In order to determine the best way to advertise this Blog and Forums site, like all data analysts, I need to collect together some data to analyse. This is why I’ve created the poll below, so I hope you will help me by voting. Note that you will be able to vote for more than one option, so you shouldn’t have to decide between them.

Where did you hear about this Blog site?

  • LinkedIn: SAS Professional Forum (37%, 10 Votes)
  • LinkedIn: SAS Author: Philip R Holland (22%, 6 Votes)
  • None of these (11%, 3 Votes)
  • LinkedIn: SAS Freshers (7%, 2 Votes)
  • LinkedIn: sasCommunity (4%, 1 Votes)
  • LinkedIn: SAS University Edition (4%, 1 Votes)
  • Google+: SAS Professional Forum (4%, 1 Votes)
  • Twitter (4%, 1 Votes)
  • Email from friend or colleague (4%, 1 Votes)
  • Web search (4%, 1 Votes)
  • LinkedIn: from Pulse, from status or in another group (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 19

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