How to get better feedback + dealing with rejection emails

Today’s insight: Tricks I use to get better feedback

🤷🏻  But, honest feedback is pretty hard to get. I read a Harvard survey which found that 69% of managers were afraid of giving feedback to their direct reports (crazy, I know!).

💡  Honest feedback is how we get better, both professionally and personally. If someone you respect tells you where your weaknesses are, you’ll know exactly what to improve to do better next time.

😐  Why? People don’t want to be too critical of others, in general. They’re afraid their feedback might not be taken well so they rather just not give it.

🗣️  So, how do you get honest feedback?

I’ll go through three hacks I use regularly. I don’t just use these in professional settings — I use them a ton in personal ones (e.g. with friends or family). So, hopefully you can apply these outside of work too!

1. ⚖️  “Rate it 1-10, but you can’t say 7″

Asking people for a rating out of 10 is a great way to see how they feel on something. But, the more you ask that question, the more you’ll notice that most people rate things as 7!

7 is an easy answer for people to choose, it’s almost a non-answer. When people rate things as 7, they’re saying it’s ‘okay’ without saying what they really think. 

Whereas if they have to give something a 6 or an 8, they have to choose a side: 6 is barely passing and 8 is a strong endorsement. 

Remember that easy tweak every time you ask someone to rate something between 1 and 10: “but you can’t say 7“. 

2. 🪄 “What’s one thing I can do to dramatically improve?”

Use this question, instead of generically asking for feedback. A similar good one is: “How could this have gone twice as well?” 

Both these questions force people to think past generic feedback (“I liked it!”) and focus on giving you the most significant and meaningful piece of feedback to improve. 

3. 🙌🏼 Ask for advice, not feedback.

Which of these are you more likely to respond to?

  • Do you have any feedback on how I can improve…
  • Could you give me some advice on how I can improve…

This is a small tweak, but studies have shown that framing your question as an ask for advice gets people to be more open and more willing to help. 

⚡ You should create a habit around seeking out feedback — and being open to it (even if negative!).

No one really likes hearing criticism, but it’s an important part of your personal growth — your career will benefit from you going out of your way to get feedback!


How to get head-hunted + a quick resume fix

💡 Level up your career

Every week, I’ll write one bite-sized, practical career lesson you can use at all stages of your career.

Today’s insight: How to get head-hunted

Okay…before I dive in, what does being headhunted even mean?

🎯 Headhunters are people who work for search firms and look for people who are a good fit for open positions. It’s pretty much a fancy word for an external recruiter.

💥 If someone has been headhunted for a job, that just means they didn’t apply for it traditionally. Essentially, a recruiter contacted them and invited them to an interview.

🥂 Getting headhunted is like playing the career and job search game on easy mode! Instead of applying for jobs, you’re getting found and fast-tracked through resume screeners. 

🚀 Headhunters also make it easy for you to passively job search — even if you’re happy at your current job, they’ll contact you for new opportunities and you’ll stay up to date with what’s out there.

Who can get headhunted?

🤷‍♀️ You often only hear stories about senior execs being headhunted to work at another company — and that might make you think that headhunting only happens to executives or uber-geniuses.

🙋 But, anyone — at any level — can get found, aka headhunted, by other recruiters.

How do I improve my chances of getting head-hunted?

Let’s break it down.

🔍  Get headhunters to find you (aka ‘inbound’)

  • You want to make it easy for headhunters and recruiters to find you when they’re looking for someone in your field. Since they all use LinkedIn, that’s where you should start. 
  • Improve your LinkedIn profile and use the right keywords so you show up in their search results when they go looking. How? 
    • Use this tool if you haven’t yet: It’ll scan your profile for free, tell you where you’re going wrong, and what to do to fix it so you get more profile views.
    • To be transparent, we built that tool — but it’s by far the most effective thing out there for optimizing your profile — it’ll give you keywords to add and tell you which sections are a little light. Link here.

🙇 Find and connect with headhunters (aka ‘outbound’)

  • Getting found by them can be a slow process. But, there are ways to get on their radar and speed things up. 
  • Search LinkedIn for head-hunters that specialize in your industry (e.g. search “[your industry] recruiter” and filter by your location).
  • This is key — the more specialized they are, the more connections and expertise they’re likely to have.
  • Reach out to them (use these copy-and-paste templates), tell them who you are and ask them to save your details. You’ll be top-of-mind the next time they fill a role. 

Reference: Resume Worded – Free instant feedback on your resume and LinkedIn profile

How to sound more confident

💡 Level up your career

Every week, I’ll write one bite-sized, practical career lesson you can use at all stages of your career.

Today’s insight: Simply ways to sound more confident at work

💼  Sometimes, you meet people who are just naturally confident. They have that ‘CEO energy‘ — they’re clear, direct and have a way of commanding respect from others. 

🌟  You might be surprised to learn that most of them didn’t start out confident. Even if it appears natural, confidence is always something you can actively practice and develop.

💪  There are simple things you, too, can do to appear more confident in your communication. Today, I’ll cover one of the easiest and most impactful ones that you can start using right away: language hacks.

🗣️ The language you use matters…

There are common phrases we use that can actually make us seem less confident than we are. Let’s go through three of them I see most often and explain what to use instead:

1. 🥺  Stop over-apologizing

Of course, it’s good to say sorry when you’ve made a mistake. But, most people say sorry a bit too much, which undermines your authority and makes you appear less confident.

❌  Bad: “Sorry I couldn’t get back to you sooner“, or “Sorry, I can’t make this meeting

✅  Good: “Thanks for your patience” or “I’m tied up, count me out” 

Pay attention to the times you say sorry for things that really aren’t your fault. Then, try to actively reduce them.

2. 🙌🏼 Be more receptive to compliments

❌  A lot of us often dismiss compliments we receive as a reflex action. When someone says something like “Great work”, we water it down by saying, “It was nothing…” or “It could be better…” 

Those responses not only make light of our work, but also make it seem like we didn’t put as much effort in as we could have.

✅  The next time you get a compliment, say, “I’m glad you like it”.

3. 🎯 Be direct when asking others for help

When you’re asking someone for a favor, it’s easy to be overly polite and apologetic.

❌  Bad: I know how busy you are, but…”, “I hate to bother you…”, or “It would be great if you could…”

Instead, be direct with your asks and don’t assume you’re creating a burden on someone:

✅  Good: “Can you update the spreadsheet please?”

It’s a sign of confidence to not beat around the bush.

Remove those phrases from your everyday vocabulary and you’ll already start to appear more confident in your communication.

Please let me know if you find this kind of stuff useful (a quick reply would do). Communication and confidence aren’t things I usually cover in my emails, but they are things I’ve personally struggled with so I feel they could help someone out there! 

Reference : Resume Worded – Free instant feedback on your resume and LinkedIn profile

Three step to be more visible at work

 An big part of succeeding at your job or getting promoted is making sure your work is seen and recognized — by the right people. If you do great work — but seniors don’t see it — it’s unfortunately hard for them to back you for a promotion or put you on high profile projects.

To make things harder, many jobs have gone at least partially remote — with less face-to-face time with your management, it’s even harder to be visible. 

If career progession at your job is something you prioritize, you should take an active role in identifying ways you can be more ‘seen’. Here are three quick, no-fluff ideas you can use to hack your visibility at work:

 Contribute to shared documentation

Most teams and companies have internal knowledge bases or documentation (e.g. wikis, Confluence pages or Notion docs). Contribute to key documents — make suggestions to processes and ask thoughtful questions you’re interested in publicly.

Write strong post-meeting emails

A big misconception is that writing up meeting recaps is a low status job. But it’s not — writing up good recaps is rare, gets remembered, and allows you to influence things.

  Tip: Share decisions, summarize the key takeaways, your action items, and add your personal take.

Talk to your manager

Tell your manager that getting promoted is a priority for you, and you’re open to being pulled into projects across new departments or take on more responsibility. Take note of all your achievements, however small.