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.
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:
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:
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!
I’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):
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.
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:
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.
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.
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!
Yesterday I rolled into the office and pulled up my normal sites – JibberJobber, JasonAlba.com, etc. None of them were coming up.
I could tell you what happened, technically, but it really doesn’t matter. I could tell you about the meeting I had with my server admin yesterday in the evening, after the dust had settled, but that doesn’t matter (and it would be a bad idea to publish how what we are doing with our server).
The bottom line is that we were down for a few hours, and it was unscheduled. And we are sorry
We work hard to make JibberJobber better, faster, secure, and more valuable to you. None of us like down-time. We scramble to figure out what is wrong, and get the site back up before anyone notices. Yesterday we scrambled, but it took longer than it should have to get the site up.
We are putting a plan together to help with the “next time” this might happen. We already have various things in place, such as nightly backups and off-site backups… and a few other things. Now we are going to the next level.
The preliminary plans for that next level includes some new components that could also increase the speed of JibberJobber, so I’m pretty excited about that… but that’s down the road.
For now, just a simple “we’re sorry.” We’re aware, and we’re working on doing better (even though it’s not uncommon for a website to go down or have issues, we recognize that the service we provide is a service that needs to stay up!).
On Friday I wrote How To: Import Contacts Into JibberJobber Without Creating Duplicates, explaining how we do a dup check before you import… it’s a pretty nifty tool/feature.
I want to address a different question from Michael’s original message to us, where he says:
>> … my contacts from [LinkedIn, Outlook, and Facebook] are constantly changing so all of this will then need to be updated within JibberJobber to stay current.
Yes, those three databases will change… but I want to think about this “need to be updated in JibberJobber” idea.
If you add a new friend in Facebook, do they really need to be in JibberJobber?
If you add a new contact in Outlook, or in LinkedIn, do they need to be in JibberJobber?
I would suggest that they do not need to be in JibberJobber.
I have new additions to LinkedIn regularly, as well as new additions to my email contact list. I do not regularly update them in JibberJobber.
I put a lot of people in JibberJobber, adding more contacts there per week than any other place (probably more than my email, LinkedIn and Facebook combined). But I’m not too worried about have any of them in sync.
This is because JibberJobber is my central networking, relationship and tracking tool. When we get serious in our relationship, I’m not worried about you being a “friend” in Facebook. I’m not worried about connecting with you in LinkedIn. I’m not even that worried about you ending up in my email contact list (although just by emailing me you are already in that tracking system).
But I WILL get you into JibberJobber. I’ll track your contact information (as I get it – I might have the email address at first, and eventually a phone number or two), and I’ll track the important conversations we have.
I’m guessing 70%+ of my Log Entries are created with Email2Log. This means that with very little effort, I’m able to keep my central relationship tracking tool (JibberJobber) updated with active contacts, and our email conversations.
If we have an active relationship, I’m likely emailing you. Since it’s so easy to get a new Contact into JibberJobber with Email2Log, and the email becomes a Log Entry, I do a lot of my data entry with that tool.
This means that even though JibberJobber isn’t in sync with my other networking tools, it does have the most important, current relationships in the system.
Don’t get overwhelmed by trying to keep all of your systems in sync… let’s just focus on tracking what we need to track. The beauty of this is, if you do decide to put someone into JibberJobber that is in Facebook, (1) it’s easy to do, and (2) it’s easy to copy/paste whatever data you need from Facebook when it is the right time.
I got a great question from Michael about importing, and the potential for creating duplicates. In short, he is asking about importing regularly… let’s say monthly. If I import from LinkedIn today, then I import from LinkedIn next month, aren’t I going to create a whole bunch of duplicates? (you can see his original question and comments in the box at the bottom of this post…
In short, no, it shouldn’t re-import duplicates.
In this very important blog post, where I describe three steps to import from systems like LinkedIn, the third step has an image of the import screen with some yellow rows and some white rows (scroll to the bottom of that post to see the images). The yellow rows are for those records that we think are already in the system…. so, if you import 100 records today, then pull your contacts from LinkedIn (or Google or wherever) next month, and you have 125, the 100 you already imported will be in yellow, and not imported. The left-most column is a checkbox where you can choose to override the option to not import… but in general, as long as the row is yellow (and in that case, the checkbox to import will be unchecked), you will not create new duplicates each time you import.
That’s pretty cool, huh?
The bottom line is that you will have duplicates… I still get them and I know all the tricks. For example, let’s say I have John Doe as one of my Contacts. His email is John@Doe.com. He emails me from his personal email address (email@example.com), and I reply back with the Email2Log feature without really thinking about it. I don’t take the time to see if the hotmail email is on his record… I just shoot a reply back and… well, I get a duplicate.
This could be frustrating, but really, it’s so easy to clean up and MERGE the duplicates that not only do I not worry about it, it isn’t an urgent need to merge the duplicates. I can continue to put Log Entries on both records… and when I finally get around to it, merge them, and all Log Entries are merged under the one record. It makes duplicates a minor nuisance, but not a mess that you might think it would be.
Here’s Michael’s original question and comments, which I thought was too darn cool to just summarize as a question (Michael, thanks for the kind words!). I’ve took the liberty to throw a comma in here, and make other visual changes to his comment:
The good thing about most JibberJobber users is that they have already “ditched” their job…. so that part is taken care of And they are intensely focused on finding a career… let’s join the webinar tonight to make sure we are doing the right things so the career we are chasing is one we’ll love!
A frequently asked question from newbies is how do I get started? What do I do first? Then what do I do?
This is kind of a hard question to answer because it kind of depends on how you work, what you are trying to accomplish, etc. But let me take the question 10,000 feet up and assume that I’m advising my mom (hi mom!) on how to get started using JibberJobber. Let’s say my mom just got laid off and is looking for a new job. What should she do first on JibberJobber?
There really isn’t a first thing to do… there are a few first things to do (yes, I numbered them all #1 on purpose):
1. DO NOT get overwhelmed. This is a mental thing… but the first thing I want you to think about is that you can do this. Look, the job search is a complex thing. You have to organize and manage A LOT of information and data. Who you meet, their contact info, what you talked about, when you need to follow-up. What your target companies are, who works there, what version of which resume did you share with who, and when you need to follow-up (and with who, and how). What jobs you are interested in, when you applied to what jobs, how did you apply, how do you follow-up, are you networking into that company, etc. I this was simply a linear, logical process, it could be easier to manage, BUT we’re dealing with human beings here. There is not right way to do anything (like interview) that works every single time, in every company, in every industry, for every job. You have to be totally on top of your game. Having said that, JibberJobber can help you with a lot of this complexity. Instead of feeling like you are drowning in information, and overwhelmed with complexity, use JibberJobber to help organize and manage. One of my earliest users and evangelists said “JibberJobber is my virtual assistant.” I love that he thought of it that way – let it help you not feel overwhelmed.
Further, there is a lot you can do in JibberJobber, but as you get started I want you to not worry about what you can do, but focus on what you should do. In general, your job search should be about networking and follow-up (and of course, a lot more, but that is a critical part of your job search strategy). Start there. You can ignore the other features until you are ready for them.
1. Think of JibberJobber as a long-term career management tool. You will collect a lot of information, or as I like to call it, “intelligence,” in your job search. Names, numbers, email addresses, who works where, who interviewed you, who you liked and who was a complete jerk, what you talked about, when you followed-up, etc. Can you imagine collecting all of this important information and then throwing it away? I have heard from too many job seekers who have found their dream job and within months, or usually a few years, found themselves in transition again. The new “career management” is to change jobs regularly… please, please, please don’t treat your time on JibberJobber, and the data you collect, as a temporary band-aid solution. What you do here, now, should help you for the duration of your career!
1. Sign up for the JibberJobber Orientation. We do these almost every Wednesday. Sign-up here. If you can’t attend a live one, schedule ten minutes a day and watch a recording in parts. Speaking of ten minutes, we do a “Focus Friday” each Friday where we (a) focus on one feature/topic for just ten minutes, and (b) stay on and answer your questions. You can sign up once and then just attend the Focus Friday webinars you can.
1. Import contacts from LinkedIn, Outlook, Gmail, etc. A lot of people like to come into JibberJobber and see contacts there. LinkedIn doesn’t make it super easy to export contacts (here’s how you do it), but you usually get contacts out of your other systems into a csv format. You can then import those into JibberJobber. You can also SYNC your contacts between JibberJobber and Gmail, which allows you to put your JibberJobber Contacts onto your phone in the phone’s native contacts app. I’m not going to say this is a critical “getting started” step, but a lot of people want to do it (which is fine).
1. Set up your Email2Log and use it right now. This is easily the coolest, most powerful feature in JibberJobber, and I use it multiple times every day. The concept is this: when you send an email, put a special and unique-to-you email2log email address in the BCC field. The email will go to JibberJobber where we will (a) create new contacts, if the other recipients are not already your contacts in JibberJobber, and (b) it will take your email and make it a Log Entry. This is SO VERY powerful and cool, and it easily saves me 30+ minutes a day from doing all this administrative stuff by hand.
1. Enter a new Contact, Company and Job. You can enter them in any order… it doesn’t matter which you enter first. Put in a recruiter with only the information that really matters (does a fax, or street address really matter? Probably not.). Put in a job the recruiter sent to you (or one you found on Indeed). Enter a contact, even if it is just you. This is easy stuff, but it’s the core of JibberJobber, and you’ll likely be doing this a fair amount over the next few weeks.
1. Create a Log Entry and Action Item. Once you have a Contact, Company or Job in JibberJobber, go to the Detail Page of that record and create a Log Entry. For example: “I had lunch with Jason today. We talked about xyz, I need to follow-up on abc.” Then, click the Action Item link and put a date to follow-up. This is another core feature in JibberJobber, and should help you keep things from slipping through the cracks. Your job search, and career management, is about “nurturing relationships” and “follow-up” and this is how you manage that.
There is more you can do. This is probably just 10% of the functionality… but this is the GETTING STARTED advice I would give my mom. Pretty simple, right?
Really, make sure you get on an orientation webinar, and please do not hesitate to ask us for help. When you ask us for help, you help us understand where people are getting stuck, which can help many other people!
On Facebook my colleague and well-respected career expert Susan Whitcomb asked if there was a way to block people from seeing updates in LinkedIn. The typical scenerio is that someone starts a job search, and wants to NOT broadcast that to their network. They might update their resume, post an “update” on the homepage, participate in groups, etc…. how do you block individuals from seeing what you are doing?
The short answer is, YOU CANNOT.
This question about privacy reminds me of my IT security professor back in the 90′s who said that if you want or expect any privacy, UNPLUG your computer from the internet. Period.
You really shouldn’t have any assumption or expectation of privacy online, ever.
In LinkedIn, there aren’t any foolproof ways to shut people out of what you are doing. In fact, you can’t even do that in Facebook.
Let me give you an example. Facebook has more refined personal privacy options than LinkedIn does, partially because of what Facebook is for and what LinkedIn is for. Anyway, even with the very tight privacy settings in Facebook, it’s possible to *think* you are ranting privately, and you kind of are. But what if one of your “friends” shares your rant with someone you mutually know, who you have blocked?
The rant isn’t so private anymore, is it?
What if they take a screenshot of your rant and post it on a blog?
Not private at all, huh?
You can have all the locks in place, but as long as humans are involved, there is potential for social engineering, which means that your update you thought was private is now shared in the lunchroom and boardrooms of your current company.
Are there security options in LinkedIn to block? Kind of.
Should you trust them? Only if… well, actually, NO. NEVER.
But what if you aren’t connected with anyone at your company?
Um… let me explain how LinkedIn works: it doesn’t matter!
They can go to LinkedIn and still see some (most) of your stuff. They can also do a search on Google and find some (most) of your stuff. LinkedIn, by it’s nature, is a place to find and be found, to be visible, to share your brand, experience, etc. It’s not a place to hide stuff. That’s what a diary is for (you know, the book you write stuff in, and it’s not connected to the Internet!?).
Like I said, there are some technical privacy tools in place, kind of … BUT none of those matter as long as ANYONE in your network might share what you posted with their contacts… who just might be your boss you are trying to hide from.
I get David Safeer’s newsletters, and this was had an idea that was too good to not share. David is a management and leadership consultant – read about him on the front page of his site. He’s done a very nice job communicating who he is and why he is relevant to his right audience.
In his most recent newsletter he shares his “business principles,” which are business principles “to achieve outstanding performance.” It made me wonder, what are my business (or life, or marriage, or father, or entrepreneur, or CEO, or product manager, etc.) principles?
He says he wrote these almost ten years ago, and that reviewing them now, there are NO changes to make. To me that indicates they are indeed principles instead of tactics, which can and usually should change over time. Go check out his list – it really reads like a short book on how to do better in business.
As I read his list I had three thoughts:
His list is about people and relationships, not about numbers. He says: “I am convinced that people are THE key to a successful organization, so my thoughts about business principles turn often to the people side of things.” Where do your thoughts about your principles turn?
Can you create your own list of principles? This could be like a personal business plan, or map, that helps you make decisions and be true to yourself. What would be on your list?
Once you have a list, this is a great way for you to stay relevant. How? Read on…
Being relevant is an interesting concept. When I started JibberJobber I thought people would talk about me and JibberJobber for a long time. I got interest and buzz at first, but then things died down, and I found I had to continually put something interesting and/or new in front of people. I wrote a book on LinkedIn, and that did it (for a while). But then 40 other people wrote books on LinkedIn, and I wasn’t THE expert anymore. I was losing relevance. I had to do other things, which I did. I still do other things to stay in front of people and try to stay relevant.
Why do you think LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook make so many changes to their systems? Some are good and needed, others are simply to get press.
Think about this for YOU. What can you do to remain relevant with your audience?
Don’t get me wrong, this is not just a branding/networking thing. I think having guiding principles is AWESOME. I encourage you to work on your own. And, use what you come up with as a reason to get back in front of your network contacts and create a bit of buzz or conversation.