How To: Email2Log and the “Log End Line” (to help organize your job search)

October 30th, 2014

This post is to document the power and importance of the “Log End Line” when using the Email2Log.  You don’t *have to* use the Log End Line, but a few scenarios came up recently where I really understood how (1) powerful it is and how (2) important it is.

This blog post is kind of long, but it’s a lot of pictures, and it’s meant to be comprehensive coverage of the Log End Line.

Note that the Log End Line is optional (you don’t have to use it), but I hope that after you go through this post you’ll know why you should use it (at least sometimes).

What is the Log End Line and Where do I set it up?

The Log End Line is one of the three fields you fill out in order to activate the Email2Log feature (remember, this is a premium feature).  Mouse over Logs, then click on Email2Log:

jibberjobber_email2log_log_end_line

Then, you’ll see the form, where the third field is for the Log End Line:

jibberjobber_email2log_log_end_line_setup

You can put anything you want as the Log End Line.  I do not recommend putting anything that any normal human being might put in an email, like —————–, ____________________, ==================, *****************, or other such characters.  Those might be normal separators that anyone could type in, and it would effectively mess up what you are trying to do with the Email2Log.

Our example (see the red dotted line in the image above) is a series of characters that most people aren’t ever going to type… it’s kind of hard to type that string.  That’s what I’ve been using for years. You can simply copy and paste that into the Log End Line textbox, if you want.

How and when do I use the Log End Line?

I include my Log End Line in every email that I send.  My email signature looks like this:

 jibberjobber_jason-alba-email-signature_log_end_line

Every email client I know of allows you to create an email signature.  This way you don’t have to retype it every time you send an email. (As a side-note, I’m really big on signatures and think they are powerful personal branding tools!)

I never delete this, as it simply looks like a natural line separator between the body (which goes above) and the rest of the email signature.  So it doesn’t detract or distract.

The main idea behind, and most common use of, the Log End Line is that anything after the Log End Line IS NOT included in a Log Entry created when you use Email2Log.  To say it in a more technical way, the Log Entry created will be truncated after the Log End Line.  More on that in the next section.

Tip: some advanced users will put the Log End Line under their email signature, and then change the font to white, so it isn’t seen by email recipients. I don’t do that, but I think it’s kind of clever :)

What does the Log End Line do? (Part 1: Power)

The power of the Log End Line is that it truncates your email so you aren’t creating long Log Entries with a bunch of unwanted text.  Use the Log End Line to smartly cut the Log Entry so that you only have what you want, and not all the superfluous stuff.  For example, in this image you can see I have NOT edited my Log End Line, which means that ONLY my reply will be in the Log Entry created by Email2Log.

jibberjobber-email2log-logendline_1

However, the original message is really something I want to include in my Log Entry (it gives my reply context, and it includes a phone number and location for this contact – that’s good stuff).  Therefore, with this email I would actually delete two characters (I do two simply because it keeps the Log End Line symmetric… I could delete just one and it would have the same effect).  Here’s what the new one looks like, less two characters.. note that this ENTIRE email is going to go into the Log Entry:

jibberjobber-email2log-logendline_2

Is it hard to see the difference between the two?  That subtlety is exactly what I want … I don’t want you to think “oh, something is different… WHY?”

Tip: If I want to include some stuff below my email signature, but not EVERYTHING below my email signature, I will copy the entire Log End Line and paste it where I want to truncate (for example, after your name or your email signature, in the case that there is stuff your email signature (like a disclosure, or more of the email thread), and then I will go to my original Log End Line, above my signature, and then delete two characters.

This ability to truncate your Log Entry, simply by putting a string of characters (aka, the Log End Line) in your email, is POWERFUL!

What does the Log End Line do? (Part 2: Importance)

Did you know you could put some special lines into your email and multiple the power of your Email2Log Log Entry?  For example, with a few lines in the email I could make the Log Entry an Action Item, and I could associate it to other Contacts, Companies and Jobs.  This is really cool.  My email might include these special lines:

jibberjobber-email2log-logendline_more-variables

Some important information about each of these lines (which are all optional):

startdate:

This creates an Action Item.  You can put in a date, like 12/12/2014 or you can put in something like + 1 week or + 3 months, etc.  Sometimes you’ll know the date for the Action Items, sometimes the date doesn’t matter (“ah, remind me in a few months”).

contacts: (or, contact:)

You need to have at least one email address.  You can have more, separated by commas.  If you put in either of the examples below, it will (a) associate this Log Entry to an existing Contact with the same email address, or if it can’t find that email address on any of your Contacts, it will create a new Contact record. The key is that it is looking for and matching based on an email address, not on a name.  Examples of what this line might look like:

contacts:email@address.com  <– no FirstName or LastName required – I’m assuming this is an existing Contact in my system, and it’s only going to associate the Log Entry, not create a new Contact record.  If it doesn’t find the record, though, it will create a new Contact record and the FirstName will be the email address (so put the name!)

contacts:”Jason Alba” <email@address.com> <– this is FirstName LastName (no comma)

contacts:”Alba, Jason” <email@address.com>  <– this is LastName, First Name (the comma makes all the difference!)

contacts:”Jason Alba” <email@address.com>, john@doe.com  <– this has more than one contact, separated by comma (note, whether I put in one or multiple contacts, I always use contacts instead of contact… just my habit)

companies: (or, company)

Separate Companies by commas (which means, if you have any commas in your Company records, you should remove them, or this feature gets mixed up).  Like Contacts, JibberJobber will try to find an existing Company record and associate the Log Entry to that record, but if it can’t, it will create a new Company record. (yes, this is new, this week!  Before this week it would not create a new Company record.)

jobs: (or, job)

Like Contacts and Companies, JibberJobber will try to find an existing Job record and associate the Log Entry to that record. If it can’t find a match, it will create a new Job record. This is also new, as of this week!  Before this week it would not create a new Job record.)

Commas are powerful!  Just like companies:, you can add multiple jobs on this line (you rarely will, but you might), and separate them with commas.  If you have commas in your Job records, remove them or this feature gets mixed up).

NOTE: if you have 10 jobs with the same name, the Log Entry will be associated with all of them.  This is a nut we need to crack, but for now I would recommend that you have different names for each job, if you want to use this feature.  You might do this: Project Manager 1, Project Manager 2, etc. or this: Project Manager – ebay 1, Project Manager – ebay 2, etc.  Sorry about this, and hopefully we’ll figure out a more elegant solution.

That is advanced Email2Log stuff… what does it have to do with the Log End Line?

If you put those special lines (to create an Action Item, or associate the Log Entry to Contacts, Companies or Jobs), you HAVE TO put it after the Log End Line.

So, this isn’t going to work, because there is no Log End Line:

jibberjobber-email2log-logendline_more-variables-no-Log_end_line

This will work, because there is a Log End Line:

jibberjobber-email2log-logendline_more-variables-Log_end_line

So, the Log End Line becomes important because it allows you to insert these other special commands in your email.  Essentially, when JibberJobber gets the email, it says everything before the Log End Line can become the Log Entry, and everything after the Log End Line (1) won’t, but if there are any special lines (like you see in yellow, above), it WILL create an Action Item date, and associate the Log Entry to other Contacts, Companies and Jobs.

When would you do this?

Scenario 1: If I have a panel interview at my target company, I’m going to send a follow-up email to the people on the panel, and use the Email2Log feature to log it.  I’m not going to include my recruiter in the To or CC, but I might want to associate the Log Entry to her record… so I’ll put the contacts:____ with her email address.  I’ll also put the Companies and Jobs lines in so that the Log Entry will also be associated to the target company, and the job I just interviewed at.

Scenario 2: If I send an email to you, but then I forget to do the Email2Log, I can forward the sent email to JibberJobber, and put contacts:______ in the body, below the Log End Line.  For example, this will create a Log Entry, but it isn’t going to be associated to anything (because the contacts line is NOT below a Log End Line):

jibberjobber-email2log-logendline_notworking

This one, however, WILL create the Log Entry and associate it to the right Contact because the contacts: line is after the Log End Line:

jibberjobber-email2log-logendline_working

Whew… I know this is a long blog post, but I wanted to get this all documented in one place.

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Feel free to leave them in the Comments below, or use the Contact Us form or email us directly :)

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

JibberJobber is a powerful tool that lets you manage your career, from job search to relationship management to target company management (and much more). Free for life with an optional upgrade.

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Take a Knife to a Gun Fight? That’s Like Going Without JibberJobber… ! (Organize your job search!)

October 28th, 2014

I started my job search naively.

I thought I was pretty awesome, and if you only read my resume you would “get it” and, in short, I’d have a bunch of job offers my first month on the market.

Boy was I wrong.  This started a journey of trying to figure out the job search stuff, including strategies and tactics, and how to “work with” recruiters.  Or, I should say, what my role is, and what a recruiter’s role is.  I also began to understand better the role of HR from the unemployed side of the equation…

One thing I learned is that many recruiters and HR departments have a tracking system, usually called an ATS, or “Applicant Tracking System.”  You, my friend, are the “applicant.  That is not too far away from being just a number in their system.  But don’t get hung up on that… I want to focus on the idea that these entities that play such a big role in the outcome of your job search use a tracking tool.  The process of tracking all of the people who apply, and how they match up against one another, and where different people are in the hiring (and onboarding) process, is just too complex to track without an tracking tool.

Why, then, would you not use a tracking tool?

HR would not track all of that information with a homemade Excel spreadsheet, or a notebook, or sticky notes.

You, as a job seeker, are doing yourself a great disservice if you think you can organize and track your networking, where you apply, which version of what resume you applied with, when you need to follow-up, etc. with anything less than a job search organizer.

I hate to say that HR and recruiters are your competition, or “the enemy,” but as a job seeker you know that many times you are working against them.  They don’t share information honestly or openly because they don’t want to give you false hopes, or get themselves in a legal bind.  Why would you let these people, who have such a huge impact on how your job search ends, have all of the high power tools, while you are monkeying around with memory and an Excel spreadsheet?

I beg you to get serious about the tools you use in your job search.  (that means, get on, and USE JibberJobber!)

And once you land your dream job, keep using JibberJobber.  There is no job security in today’s market, and your next job search could be days, weeks, months or just a few years after you land said dream job.  Not using JibberJobber “between job searches” is doing your career management a disservice. You know you need to network… what better tool than JibberJobber to help you manage and organize your network, even when you are not in a job search?

Imagine how prepared you will be when you get a layoff notice, if you have not been neglecting your career management!

Those who are best prepared for a job search started networking, and working on their personal brand, and using JibberJobber, even before they needed to.

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

JibberJobber is a powerful tool that lets you manage your career, from job search to relationship management to target company management (and much more). Free for life with an optional upgrade.

Sign Up Now! »

Using JibberJobber with a Virtual Assistant, Spouse, Friend, Cousin, etc.

October 27th, 2014

Ron, a returning user, had a great question:

“Can a virtual assistant get access to my account simultaneously as me?”

This questions reminds me of a thought we had many years ago, in 2006.  The idea was that in our job search we have people who we might be very close to, and have 100% trust in, who could help us in our job search.

For example, let’s say your mom, or son, or spouse, is the right person to help you with your job search?  You can do a few different things:

Option 1: Add them to your Email2Log list of people approved to use your Email2Log email address.

Notice below I have added Liz, who I work very closely with, to use my Email2Log.  This means that if she sends an email, and includes MY Email2Log address, it will add Contacts and Log Entries under my JibberJobber account.  She can also forward emails to my JibberJobber account and have the same affect.

jibberjobber-email2log-permissions

Option 2: If this person is super-trusted, give them your username/password.

They will login as you, and can do anything that you do.  The problem with this is that it might get a little confusing keeping track of what data is added by who.  For example, who added a new Contact? Who added what Log Entry?  If they use the same login, you can’t track that because as far as JibberJobber knows, it is you.

If you do this, I recommend you use sound password practices and use a totally unique to this account, so that if you have a falling out, they don’t have a password to login to your other stuff, like your bank account or email.

Option 3: Have your trusted associate (ie, assistant, relative, etc.) create their own JibberJobber account, and then share data between the two accounts.

Personally I wouldnt’ recommend this right now because it’s not as robust and smooth as it could be, but it does maintain privacy between the two accounts.  Two accounts can share information from one to another… this is on our list of enhancements.  It “works,” but is not as awesome as it could be.

If you want specific features that we don’t have?  Let us know using the Contact form.

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

JibberJobber is a powerful tool that lets you manage your career, from job search to relationship management to target company management (and much more). Free for life with an optional upgrade.

Sign Up Now! »

Ask The Experts: Who Do You Want To Hear From?

October 24th, 2014

The monthly Ask The Experts calls were some of the funnest interviews I’ve done since I started JibberJobber.  Below is a list of past interviews – I know there is an overabundance of information coming your way, but I strongly suggest you add these recordings to your schedule. There are a ton of great ideas, suggestions and perspectives that can help you in job search and career management.

My question to you is: WHO do you think I should interview next?

It’s time to start up the next round… and I want to hear from YOU who I should invite to be on the show.  Leave a comment with names and the “why,” or shoot me an email (which is on the Contact Us page (or just use the Contact Us form)) with suggestions.

Here are past interviews:

Fred Coon: Stewart Cooper Coon Outplacement

Robert Merrill: Internal Tech Recruiter

The Recruiting Animal

Dan Schawbel: Personal Branding and Millenials

Mark LeBlanc: Business Growth Coach

Dave Perry: Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters

Jack Chapman: Salary Negotiation

Jason Alba: 51 Alternatives to a Real Job

Dick Bolles: What Color Is Your Parachute

Nick Corcodilos: Ask The Headhunter

Tim Tyrell-Smith: Tim’s Strategy

Jason Alba: CEO of JibberJobber

Karen Huller: Resume Writer and Career Coach

Charlotte Weeks: Weeks Career Services

Jon Sosa: Aries Career Development

Kim Mohuiddin: Movin’ On Up Resumes

 

 

 

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

JibberJobber is a powerful tool that lets you manage your career, from job search to relationship management to target company management (and much more). Free for life with an optional upgrade.

Sign Up Now! »

Why Tell Your Network What You Do When They Already Know What You Do?

October 23rd, 2014

Someone at the Business Insider took one of my LinkedIn Articles (The Question That Makes Job Seekers Sound Stupid) and chopped it up to make an article on their website.  I’m thankful that they attributed it and linked to JibberJobber.

The comments are pretty lame, however.  It’s sad what people say when they are anonymous.  Here’s the first comment, from “anonymousl_66″):

Dippy article. I get the point of not looking desperate by saying “I’ll do anything”, but if you’re asking friends in your network if they know of any openings, they’ll already have a pretty good idea of what you’re qualified … because they know you.

This is a brilliant assumption.  I had the same assumption assumption when I was in my job search.  If someone “knows me,” then why in the world would I have to tell them who I am, or what I do, or what I’m looking for, or how they can help me?

If they care about me, they’ll definitely know the answers to all of those things, right?

WRONG.  

Absolutely wrong.

Okay, maybe *some* of your friends will know what you do, but do they really know what that means?  If someone is talking to them about a problem they are having, will they know enough to say “oh, my good buddy Dippy_66 does exactly what you are talking about!  He says he’s a product manager, but I know he specializes in all the stuff you are talking about!”

I bet less than 5% of your “friends” know enough breadth and depth about you, what you have done, and what direction you want to go, to really help like this.

The other 95%?

They want to help, but they might not know what you do, or what you want to do.

You see, product manager, as well as most other job titles, can be ambiguous and misleading.  They might not know that you are a master of getting a product from idea to completion, or taking it to market in a big way. They might not know that you specialize in B2C… or wait, is it B2B?  And what do those things really mean, anyway??  You can summarize “product manager” as easily as you can summarize “HR” — they are just too broad.

It’s easy to “assume” that our contacts “know” what we do, but sometimes we don’t even understand the full breadth and depth of what we do!

Further, perhaps someone knows us from five or ten+ years ago.  Back when we were an Accounts Payable manager… they don’t know that since then we’ve finished school, got an MBA, and have been working as a finance executive.  They might remember that we were really fun to work with.  We did a good job, but in the downtime we had fun hanging out, playing pranks at the office, etc.  What are they going to tell people – that we were the funnest person in the office?  While that might be a cool distinction, it’s not necessarily going to help you in your job search.

Is that what you want them to communicate about you?

Even further, what if they knew us to be that AP manager, and they heard we were going to go to school to pursue a career as a finance executive.  What they might not have known is that when we went to school we realized we hated all-things-finance, and went on to work in the non-profit space… they won’t know that we’re looking for opportunities in that field.

Or what if we did have a great career in finance (and they knew that), but now we want to change careers and do something completely different?

Assuming our network knows what we do, or want to do, is a gamble.

When I was in my job search my wife of 11ish years asked “what do you do?”She seriously asked me what I did for a living, and what I was looking for.  She was asking because her friends were asking her, and she didn’t know how to communicate it.  She needed me to share, in my own words, what I was looking for, so she could empower her friends (aka, contacts) to help us.  She had been there during the degrees, the job promotions, etc., and I thought she “knew” me well.  She should have known the answer to her own question. But she couldn’t communicate it right, or even well.

Anonymous_66, take that gamble if you want, but I have learned there is a simple fix to not lose everything.  That is: communicate effectively, and empower your network to work with and for you!  This is one reason I’m SO BIG on recommending that job seekers send a monthly newsletter.

One last story.  When I started speaking professionally, I would be asked “how do you want us to introduce you?,” or “do you have a bio we can read?”

I wanted the introduction to be casual, informal, and not read like a robot, so I ignored the professional speakers advice and responded with something like “you know me well enough – I’m sure you’ll do a good introduction.  Just don’t make it too long.”

That’s my style – casual, friendly, and let’s get to the main event.  But I didn’t realize what people would actually say about me.  I wanted them to focus on X, and was pretty sure they would.  But no one focused on X… they all focused on A, B, C, or Y, Z… anything but X.  It was frustrating listening to these introductions, and I finally broke down and wrote introductions for each presentation.

The same thing is happening with your network.  They don’t know about your X… but they might remember A, B, or C.  Or they might assume Y or Z.

This is exactly why job seekers need to continually clarify who they are, and what they are looking for… even (especially) to their besties, even (especially) to their spouse, and to anyone who is willing to help them in their job search and networking.

And that, my friends, isn’t so Dippy.

 

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

JibberJobber is a powerful tool that lets you manage your career, from job search to relationship management to target company management (and much more). Free for life with an optional upgrade.

Sign Up Now! »

JibberJobber in the News (TheMuse.com, Time Magazine, Philly.com): Organize Your Job Search

October 22nd, 2014

I don’t share this as often as I should, but I’ll share it today. JibberJobber is regularly recommended by career professionals as a great tool to organize and track your job search.  You already know about TheMuse.com article (I blogged about it here), where we were #2 on the list of 10 Job Search Tricks That Will Change Everything You’ve Been Doing.

Yesterday Time Magazine reprinted the article, written by Anna Runyan.  We’ve been in US News and World Report and a few other magazines, but I think this is the first time we’ve been mentioned in Time (and a nice mention it is!).

time_magazine_jibberjobber

Not too long ago in Philly.com, Rita Friedman recommended JibberJobber as the tracking system you should use. The article is What’s in your job search toolkit?  I should note that in her article she talks about elevator pitches, your credentials, your interview stories, and references… all of which you can track and store in JibberJobber.  She says “with these tools you’ll be ready to dive into a serious job search.

I guess it’s worth mentioning that someone at Business Insider took one of my LinkedIn articles and used that to create an article on Business Insider.  At least they gave it attribution :)  The comments there are the kind that destroy faith in humanity… but I’ll blog about that tomorrow :)

Updated 10/27:

I forgot to mention we were also recommended in this article in the Huffington Post: 3 Ways to Energize Your Job Search and Get Hired Now! (thank you Mary Eileen Williams)

Thanks to the career professionals who recommend JibberJobber, and welcome to the new users who have found us through those recommendations!

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

JibberJobber is a powerful tool that lets you manage your career, from job search to relationship management to target company management (and much more). Free for life with an optional upgrade.

Sign Up Now! »

Why Track Jobs That You Wouldn’t Apply To?

October 21st, 2014

Stephen is a very smart user who has emailed my team with a number of ideas enhancement requests.  Stephen said that he uses JibberJobber to track jobs that he applies to, but also to track jobs he doesn’t apply to.  I thought this was interesting.

Why would you track jobs that you aren’t going to apply to?

Stephen’s reasons:

  • To gain insight into other needs of the company, departments, systems, etc.
  • To perhaps identify issues the company has (like high turnover)

I would add:

  • To understand what the market is currently looking for, with key words and phrases I could use in my marketing (networking, cover letters, resumes, interviews, etc.)

When I was in my job search I learned about a job title that I really hadn’t understood or thought about while I was looking for openings.  There is great information in job descriptions… are you tapping into that information?

When you find a word, phrase, or idea to enhance your knowledge or marketing message, keep track of it!

To do this in JibberJobber, I would simply tag each job I am not applying to as “reference” (or some other tag that makes more sense for you).  Then, you could filter the Jobs List Panel like this:

tags:reference

This would give you a list of all of the job descriptions/postings for your research.

In addition, I would make Log Entries (or Notes) on WHY I saved the job.

Remember, putting a job posting into JibberJobber will save it there forever, but if you just save a link, the link might be dead in a few months.  Jobs don’t stay on job boards for long.

Cool idea, huh?

Thanks Stephen!

 

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

JibberJobber is a powerful tool that lets you manage your career, from job search to relationship management to target company management (and much more). Free for life with an optional upgrade.

Sign Up Now! »

What’s New in JibberJobber!

October 20th, 2014

Last week we did a release that fixed a few bugs here, cleaned up a few bugs there.  I shared this on Friday with my JibberJobber LinkedIn Group (click here to join).

Here are three new features that you should know about:

The List Panels have been optimized to be faster.

Instead of taking a few seconds to load my Contacts List Panel (I have a lot of contacts, so it sometimes took six or seven seconds to load), it’s now taking about one second.  I’m guessing you won’t notice this if you have less than a thousand records in any List Panel, but if you have more than that you should notice it’s just generally faster.

Faster = a great enhancement!

The Log Entry window now allows you to put in “rich text.”

This means you can make part of your Log Entry highlighted, bold, italicized, hyperlinked, etc. You can also link to images, so if you find an image you like somewhere online, you can show it in the Log Entry.

jibberjobber_rich_text_log_entry

Tracking your Action Items is smarter with the Action Item Notifier (this was not mentioned in my LinkedIn Group Announcement).

 This is what you’ve seen since we introduced this feature – a count of all of the open Action Items coming up in one week, on almost every page of JibberJobber:

jibberjobber_action_item_notifier_new1

When you went to a Contact, Company or Job Detail Page, it would change to the number of open Action Items for that particular record… so you might see 4 most of the time, then go to a Contact’s page and see 0.  Confusing, huh?  We changed that so that if you are on a Contact, Company or Job Detail Page, you’ll see the number of open Action Items for that record, and the number of total open Action Items, like this:

jibberjobber_action_item_notifier_new2

This shows that I have 4 open Action Items, and one of them is tied to this particular Contact, Company or Job.

There were a number of other miscellaneous enhancements and fixes. If you requested a fix or had a problem, Liz should have already emailed you about the fix.

Waiting for something cool to be in JibberJobber? Contact us!

 

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

JibberJobber is a powerful tool that lets you manage your career, from job search to relationship management to target company management (and much more). Free for life with an optional upgrade.

Sign Up Now! »

How To: Use a Contact Manager (JibberJobber is a Contact Manager)

October 17th, 2014

david_bradford_headshotI’m reading David Bradford’s book Up Your Game, and on page 41  he talks about using a contact manager.

David is the consummate networker who has also had a terrific career.  He’s a grandpa living in Utah and just recently was the CEO of HireVue, and before that, CEO of the amazing Fusion-IO. He is active on social media and has a big, giving heart.

Back to the “contact manager” concept.  In the olden days (well, actually, even today) most people had not heard of a “contact manager.”  Everyone had heard of a Roladex, which is an old-fashioned device that sat on your desk, and allowed you to quickly flip through cards that had your contacts’ information on them so you could find their phone number and call them.  Here’s a modern-looking roladex (image courtesy wikipedia):

roladex_image

According to what I’ve found online, ACT! was the first digital contact manager – that is, a contact manager on a computer.  It was 1986 (where were YOU in 1986??) and ACT! would be the first of hundreds.  There were a few others that you probably haven’t heard of, the one I briefly used was Goldmine.  Today you have likely heard of the massive $5B/annual company Salesforce.com.  Perhaps there are thousands of CRM systems now.

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management… and this software has mostly been designed for sales professionals.  Some of them LOVE the software, and live-and-die on CRM, and others abhor CRM (because they are people people, and not software nerds).

The Roladex, and the little black book of contacts, were for anyone trying to keep track of their friend/family, etc.

CRM was really mostly for salespeople.  Who else would pay that much for software that was that hard to use, when all you really wanted was a place to write down a phone number?

When David wrote about using a “contact manager” in his book, I got excited.  He is not using it as a sales professional, he’s using it as a real contact manager!  He’s using it to keep track of who is is meeting, what their important phone information is, when he communicates with them, and when he needs to follow-up.

Let me break that down, and make this a “how to” post.  This is more of a “how to get value out of a contact manager” than how to use any bells and whistles.  And just for fun, I’m going to use “JibberJobber” instead of “contact manager.”

First, store your contacts in  JibberJobber.

You can store all of them, but you don’t need to.  Don’t get stressed that one system (perhaps your email contact list) has contacts that are not in JibberJobber, or that LinkedIn doesn’t have all of the same contacts as you have in JibberJobber.  Recognize that these are different systems with different purposes.  The purpose of your contact manager (JibberJobber) is not to have the contacts everwhere else, but to serve as a central repository of IMPORTANT contacts that you are, can or want to nurture.  If someone comes into your life through LinkedIn, eventually they’ll probably end up in JibberJobber.

Second, record information about those contacts.

When you first enter a contact, you likely won’t have all of the information you could put in about them.  I usually start with just the first name, last name, and email address.  As my relationship progresses, or as we exchange more and more emails, I will find out other information, like a work address or phone number, which might be in their official work email.  Just collect this information as you get it, and gradually enter it into JibberJobber.  Don’t stress about not having it to begin with…

Third, record important communication as “log entries.”  

When you reach out to someone, or respond to them, log it into JibberJobber.  I don’t do this all the time, but as I’m starting a relationship I’ll log any communication just to put a timeframe around how fast or slow our relationship is forming.  Once I have a strong relationship with someone, I find myself logging communications less, but the quality of what I’m logging increases.  For example, we meet at a networking event and I send you an email.  I’ll log that email, even though it’s not going to have anything more substantial than “nice to meet you – let’s get on a call next week.”  A few years later I’m not going to log every email we exchange, but if there is something big, or important, then I’ll log that.  Don’t beat yourself up for not logging everything… you’ll get used to what you really want to track and what you don’t need to.

Fourth, indicate when you need to follow-up with your contacts.

This might be one of the hardest things to do, and track, for people who are starting to get serious about networking.  Why?  Because the more you network, the more follow-up you can do!  And it feels rotten to meet people, start a relationship, and then forget when to follow-up, or who they were, or why you should follow-up, etc.  In JibberJobber, you’ll create “action items,” which is basically a due date on a log entry.  You can even create recurring action items, which means you can say “Ping Johnny every quarter,” to help you nurture relationships over the long-term.

Keith Ferrazzi says that if you want to be better than 95% of your competition, all you have to do is follow-up.  We know this, but there’s a reason why 95 out of 100 people don’t do it: it’s hard to manage!

Let JibberJobber be your contact manager and your follow-up tool.

The focus is not on sales, rather on relationships.

Are you ready to get serious about this yet?  Jump on a User Orientation webinar, and let’s start by taking baby steps together.

 

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How to Explain a Sabbatical If You Were Taking Care of an Ailing Parent or Loved One

October 16th, 2014

Last week I was doing a LinkedIn consultation with a professional who had taken time (a couple of years?) off to care for her father. She has had a fantastic, awesome career, but didn’t know how to explain her years off.  She asked me how to explain this, and I reached out to career professionals in the Career Directors LinkedIn Group for advice.  The experience these professionals have is broad and deep, which is why I like getting input from different professionals.  Below is what I learned. I hope this can help you if you are in this situation:

don_goodman_headshotDon Goodman, Certified Resume Writer, GotTheJob.com, and reseller of my video course: LinkedIn for Job Seekers

I would say,

Sabbatical (Date) – Attended to urgent family matters now fully resolved,

or

Sabbatical (Date) – Attended to needs of ailing parent now fully resolved,

It is perfectly OK to help family members in need and all the employer needs to know is that it is completed.

mary_schumacher_headshotMary Schumacher, Writer and Coach, CareerFrames.com 

Hi Jason – I would also use a sabbatical statement such as the ones Don provided. I also might just insert a statement such as:

“Took two-year leave to serve as caretaker for parent. Stayed current on industry trends and learning to remain fully prepared for next corporate challenge.”

Employers want to know that your knowledge is up-to-date as far as their needs, and that your skills aren’t rusty. There are plenty of free online courses to help even those very immersed in their caretaker roles.

irene_marshall_headshotIrene Marshall, Executive Resume Writer and LinkedIn Profile Writer, ToolsForTransition.com

Jason — I don’t think it requires a big explanation. I would either put “Family sabbatical,” “Personal Sabbatical” or “Professional Sabbatical” without adding anything else in either resume or cover letter. It just accounts for the time. And I only use years, not months/years.

There are millions and millions of Baby Boomers taking care of parents (myself included). And over the past several years I have worked with many people who have relocated, quit their jobs or took part-time work to handle what their parents need.

It is very common now and nothing your client should be nervous about. You never know that maybe the person reading would have given their eye teeth to be able to take time off work rather than feeling guilty that their job was keeping them from doing it..

I moved my mother with Alzheimer’s into assisted living in January. I was at part-time work until about the end of July because none of her affairs were in order. And I’m still dealing with two attorneys, etc. even though I’m close to full time work now. I would have had to quit a corporate job.

But in the first half of the year there was absolutely no way I could have been doing anything related to my work for keeping up with my industry or anything else. I was up to 3 am, 5 am and more trying to sell my mother’s home and everything else. I would not have been able to even think about online coursework because it frankly was not my top priority and I was exhausted.

And I wouldn’t include “fully resolved” because I think it then puts the reader in a slightly awkward position of assuming that mom or dad actually died.

christine_robinson_headshotChristine Robinson, CPRW, ChristineRobinsonCPRW.com

Jason, I try to be as straightforward as possible, composing a quote based on the client’s circumstance. Also, I usually refer to it as a “professional leave” or “career break” because I feel the word “sabbatical” has some nuances that don’t necessarily apply to every situation.

I place the quote under the Professional Experience heading.

2012 to Oct. 2014: “I took a professional leave to attend to my terminally ill brother; following his passing, I engaged in a variety of professional development opportunities to maintain credentials and volunteer roles to keep abreast of industry trends.”

You get the gist. It may be wordy and it may be slightly shocking, but on the other hand, it leaves nothing to the imagination of the reader. Plus, the dates will (ideally) be captured by ATS.

Thanks to Don, Mary, Irene and Christine for sharing their thoughts – if you have a different idea, please share it in the comments below!

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