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Get Out Your Chicken List And Make A Call

February 28th, 2007

Who is on your chicken list?I was at a presentation last week where the presenter (a CEO in transition) talked about his chicken list. I may have heard the term before but didn’t remember when. A chicken list is the list of names that you are scared to call – for whatever reason. Its funny to hear such a high-level executive talk about his own chicken list but it was a good reminder for me. Why? Because someone at his level may have been on my chicken list, and to hear that he has his own chicken list (aka, insecurities) helps me bring things into perspective.

Why do people end up on the chicken list? Perhaps…

  • They are veterans in the industry or community, and everyone knows them and talks about how incredible they are
  • You have tried to contact them a number of times but they have never responded
  • Everyone else is so hot to contact them that you don’t want to be just another person trying to get in their schedule
  • They are the hiring manager, or the hiring manager’s boss
  • They have a ‘gatekeeper’ that seems nice but never lets you get past

I’m sure there are many more reasons. And I’m sure you can think of at least one person on your chicken list! Its easier to find other things to do (like apply to one more job on Monster.com)… but here’s my challenge to you: call someone from your list today.

This chicken is not on the chicken list anymore ;)One more thing. If you aren’t going to do this once a day, at least do it once a week. One thing that helped me go through my chicken list was to remember that most everyone on it was one day away from being terminated… that would quickly eliminate them from the list and make them much more human!

I know you have a chicken list. Make a phone call today.

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Be Kind To The Downtrodden

February 27th, 2007

The following post was really hard to write. I’ve been thinking about it for months. As you read this you might wonder about JibberJobber’s current state and future. Don’t worry about that – this is all stuff during my time unemployed. Currently JibberJobber has the capital and cash flow for at least the next 3 years. The point of this post is summed up in the very last paragraph.

Offer someone a helping handI went from General Manager to Unemployed (yes, that has a capital “U”). I was the average American, living from paycheck-to-paycheck – but at least I could pay for things like my brakes going out, or a plumbing leak. And overnight I became the neighbor, friend or guy in church that “didn’t have a job.” It was embarrassing, degrading and unsettling.

I really didn’t expect help from anyone because when I saw people between jobs I didn’t help them. I didn’t know what I could offer them. I couldn’t imagine taking some of my money to give to them as charity. I can see now that I was a Scrooge. Partly because I didn’t want to give my loot away, and partly because I didn’t know how to do it gracefully.

But over this last year my family has been the recipient of various forms of charity. And I’ve discovered just how valuable a little bit of thought and help means. I hope this post can inspire you to be a little kinder, a little more open-minded, and maybe even pay it forward for someone that you know that is having problems right now.

Here are some of the most amazing, meaningful things that have happened to us since we’ve been laid off (some where anonymous, some where not):

  • Someone left us $600 in gift cards to our local grocery store.
  • People left us clothes and food on our porch.
  • Someone paid $200 to a utility bill (about 3 or 4 months worth).
  • Good friends who had been out of work for months brought over two boxes of food and shared “survival techniques” for about an hour, leaving us in much better spirits.
  • Someone left $100 in our mailbox, with a very kind note.
  • Various church members chipped in and asked our congregation leader to give us some cash for Christmas.
  • A family sponsored us for Christmas. Our kids got amazing toys and clothes, stuff that we wouldn’t have bought even if we had a job!
  • Our neighbor brought over frozen dinners from MyGirlfriendsKitchen – very helpful considering my wife taught piano until about 5:30 and both of us were way stressed to pre-plan dinners.
  • My wife’s good friend invited her out to Chile’s for a lunch – just the girls. Something that we wouldn’t budget for, a very nice treat, and encouragement to make it through.
  • A piano student’s mom paid an extra $120 one month. Just because.
  • My wife went to a movie/lunch play date with the kids and another mom insisted on paying for our family.
  • Our parents immediately chipped in with loans – no terms, no expectations.
  • My dad said “I’ll expect you to be out of work for at least six months” – I couldn’t believe that, I thought I’d be back to work in about four weeks. But he was right. The job search was long and fruitless. It was incredible knowing that his support would not turn sour after a couple of months. It was depressing enough, I didn’t need a major supporter to have a deadline associated with the support.
  • He also bought me a cell phone, attached to his plan, and he called me every day. See, he had been unemployed for a while after law school, and knows how discouraging it can be, and wanted to “chat” and gauge my mental state. I think it cost about $10/month extra but it allowed me to have a cell phone in hopes of getting a call from an employer, and the show of support was invaluable.
  • People would share produce with us – a bag of fruits and vegetables. It was nice to not worry that our kids were going to get scurvy from a no-produce diet.
  • When I cut my hand open my doctor didn’t charge me. And later I went in for something else and he didn’t charge me. I didn’t abuse this, but how amazing it was that the Doctor considered my situation and saved me over $70 for each of these visits.
  • Our neighbor-plumber came to fix things on two ocassions. And we never got a bill. They said to not worry about it.
  • Many friends and neighbors would quickly offer us contacts. This cost nothing but allowed us to begin networking (remember, we were fairly new to the area and didn’t have a bunch of network contacts).
  • A neighborhood family that owns a successful business invited our family to go to a local amusement park with their company for the day. We NEVER would have afforded this, and thought this type of celebration would have been years away. All we had to pay was gas, and even then they gave us some spending cash.

I’m not sharing this so you can see how cool we are. Or how blessed my family has been.

Its hard to receive charity. It’s humbling. I went too school to darn long to have to scrape by like this.

I’m sharing this with the hope that you can reconsider someone that is in need, and without judging their situation, why they are there or what they should be doing, figure out a meaningful way to help them, lift their spirits, help them get through one more day or one more week.

Each of the things listed above (and more that aren’t listed) have brought a huge amount of gratitude, tears, and a desire to be more helpful to those that are downtrodden.

Please, think of someone to help this week. And do something significant for them (it may be insignificant to you). You have no idea how much of an impact you will have.

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JibberJobber + Anagram = Quickest Data Entry!!

February 26th, 2007

Anagram eases data entry saving time and effortQuestion: What do JibberJobber, NetSuite, SalesForce.com and JigSaw have in common?

Answer: We all integrate the Anagram software so that you can easily enter data to our systems!

Note: this is FREE for regular and premium users. Please continue reading to see how it works (its super easy).

Anagram is one of those cool little programs that makes your life easier – basically it allows you to copy and paste data into a box and have it auto-populate the entire form.

On the Add Network Contact page there is a new box on the left (see image above). You can copy and paste an e-mail signature, or a block of text from a chat or a website or anything into this box.

Then, click on the “<< Fill Out Form” button and Anagram will take this information and fill out the Add Contact form – its that easy!!

Is this cool or what? Go check it out, for me this reduces the amount of time to create a new entry from 60 seconds to… 10 seconds!

Please be a little forgiving with this feature – I found that some signatures are not optimized for the Anagram logic so I had to do a little more copying and pasting once the form was filled out.

For example, I had “CEO, JibberJobber LLC” which all went into the Company field.

The easiest way to fix this is in the big box, put each thing on its own line. So after I made it look like this:

CEO
JibberJobber LLC

and then it went to the right boxes.

Anagram (tm) - Capture Critical Information FastIs this cool or what??? (yes, I’m excited!)

To try it for yourself just add a new contact (Network, Add Contact). The box is on the right. Note that you can even just type things in this box and then hit the “Fill Out Form” button, instead of tabbing through the form.

What? Don’t have an account on JibberJobber yet? Why not?? Go get one for free.

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What If Your Network Doesn’t Respond?

February 26th, 2007

Is Your Network Ignoring You?My post last week on creating a monthly newsletter to keep in touch with your network has some interesting comments. The first is from Mario, a CPA in Mexico, who asks:

In other words, how to ask proactively for replies when those guys simply say “I’ll let you know…” but they don’t tell me when they are supposed to let me know and despite efforts to contact them again, the response is… nothing?

This is a great question. I think that proponents of networking (like me) probably have a tendency to come across with a PollyAnna attitude, leading you to believe that once you start doing “all the right things” then you’ll get amazing results. Things like “networking into the hidden job market is more effective than applying online” may be misleading (although I obviously recommend it) because (a) the effectiveness likely depends on the position (level) that you want, and (b) just because its more effective doesn’t mean you will get a job faster.

Mario brings up a great point – which falls in the “networking isn’t all that easy” category. Here’s my thoughts on how to respond:

- when you are valuable to someone they will make an extra effort to repond to you, or help you. Ask yourself if they perceive you as valuable to their network, and if the answer is no (or, not much), figure out ways to become more valuable to them.

- Along with the idea that networking is about giving, its kind of also about not expecting (or… demanding?). I’ve put out hundreds of e-mails asking for things, giving updates, and keeping in touch, and have not received replies on many of them. I can either stew over it, or ignore it and send the monthly update to them next month. I really don’t think that you’ll get a 100% response from a campaign like this.

- Why are you not getting responses? It could be that they are not strong network contacts (in which case, you would rank them with zero, one or two stars in JibberJobber)… and that’s okay. It could also be that they don’t have anything significant to offer, and instead of saying “I don’t have anything” they just don’t respond.

- Should you take them off your e-mail list? I would say NO. Circumstances this month may be different next month, and your newsletter next month might remind them of what they committed to, or prompt them to reply.

- when you say “I’ve tried to contact them again”… did you try and contact them by e-mail? I would suggest a face-to-face meeting, perhaps you buy them lunch. This is not a meeting based on “why didn’t you respond to me” – rather, its a meeting of “I’d like to get to know you better and see how I can help you with your personal or business goals.”

- One thing that I’ve had to realize is that my sense of urgency is different than other people’s sense of urgency. I want an answer now, and waiting a week to get a response really hurts my plans (especially true when looking for a job). But don’t penalize your contact because of your situation. If you communicate your sense of urgency don’t do it in a way where they can smell blood, as that might drive people away.

- Networking is a long-term thing. I do not open my network to everyone immediately. Its based on trust – so ask yourself what you are doing to increase the level of trust between you and your network contact.

When its all said and done, some people just aren’t going to reciprocate. And that has to be okay. Salespeople understand that not everyone is going to buy from them right now – but the good ones consistently communicate to keep that relationship moving.

What this means is that you have a lot of people in your network, and it grows over time. I really, really, really, really suggest you get a free account with JibberJobber to keep track of those network contacts. If nothing else you can put in 250 network contacts, rank the relationships, put log entries and create action items. This is a long-term thing – something you do the rest of your career. If 250 is not enough, there’s a loophole to get an additional 75. If that’s not enough, consider the upgrade :)

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Book Review: Some Assembly Required

February 23rd, 2007

Some Assembly Required - Thom SingerI met Thom Singer through blogging last summer and had the honor to meet him in person just last month in Austin, Texas. I was pretty excited to meet Thom because I found it hard to find networking blogs, and here’s a guy that has written a book on networking. After dinner he gave me a copy of his book, which I’ve been dying to get my hands on.

Many of you know that I love Never Eat Alone, and have recommended it various times. I was anxious to see how this compared, and as I read through the book my biggest question was “is this different? If I’ve read Never Eat Alone, will reading this add value to my networking?

One comment I heard from someone elsebefore I cracked the book was that Some Assembly Required said everything that Never Eat Alone says, but without all the fluff. It is supposed to be an easier read, quicker, etc. While the book is shorter, I did not find it to be a faster read. I actually read it slower because Thom has so much substance, so many examples, suggestions and definitions that I couldn’t “skim read.”

That’s it, in a nutshell. Keith has great stories and I found his book to be highly motivational – it was just what I needed when I read it. It helped me change my views on networking, and gave me lofty goals of what I wanted to aspire to. Thom’s book gave me solid “how to’s” to accomplish the goals. These two resources fit hand-in-hand. Here are some things that I’ve picked out from the beginning of Thom’s book:

  1. page i: “I believe strongly that relationships with other people make us stronger than we could be on our own…” – this is why networking is critical. This is why he wrote this book.
  2. page III: “Building a network of business contacts is one of the most important things you can do to help your career.” Thank you Thom! I wish I knew this while I was doing all of the other important things and totally neglecting networking!
  3. page 2: definitions of what networking is and what it isn’t – critical for those that think they can’t, are too shy, or don’t have time.
  4. page 3: how to get others to do it for you (hint, the subtitle is No one will do it for you)
  5. page 4: 5 networking myths explained
  6. page 5: networking and competition – Thom spends a lot of time in his book talking about etiquette in networking with regard to competition, customers, vendors, etc. I’m guessing this is a huge part of his public speaking message as he speaks to law firms and others training them on how to network to increase business.

Here are some other things I want to pull out:

  • Reasons why people don’t network
  • Chapter 3 – building a strategic plan – an in-depth networking plan that you can follow
  • Chapter 4 is on developing relationships, and he compares nurturing a relationship with dating someone. Excellent chapter for those that have 3 inches of business cards on their desk and think their network is strong!
  • Chapter 5 is “Tricks of the Trade“… there are lots of solid examples of things to do here to increase your visibility and expand your networks in ways that you may not have considered. And they are all doable (I know this because Thom does them, and he’s just a regular guy).
  • Chapter 7… if you wonder how to keep in touch (or, why you can keep in touch) with people in your network over time) you need to read this chapter.
  • Chapters 8, 9 and 10 go into merging your network with your career and job (emphasis on the career). He talks about developing peer groups, continual learning and even how to join a competitor without burning your bridges (if that’s possible).

The real Thom SingerSo here’s my comparison. Keith’s widely accepted book motivated me and shifted my paradigm, where Thom’s book will serve as a resource for ideas on how and where to network better. I highly recommend Thom’s book as the resource to keep handy – there are enough clever examples of HOW TO that its a keeper.

Click on over to Thom’s website to learn more about him. He’s also a speaker and loves to teach organizations or associations how to network – if you have opportunities I’m sure he’d love to hear about them. Also, you can subscribe to his blog via e-mail – you’ll find the box to subscribe to the right of the posts.

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Create A Local Networking Opportunity

February 22nd, 2007

Mimi's Cafe... make it happenSo this is to announce a monthly blog dinner in my city (see below), and I kind of feel bad because most of my readers (over 90%) are outside of Utah. So let me address you non-Utah people first.

This is a casual monthly thing (yep, second month in a row!). There is no speaker, no agenda, and no list of invitees. Its just a word-of-mouth thing, set up for the same time, same place on the fourth Thursday of each month.

I strongly encourage you to set something up where you live. It can be a bloggers dinner. It can be a LinkedIn dinner. It can be an executive/professional dinner… entreprenuers, unemployed, underemployed… get the idea? Small is okay (its more intimate, and you get to know people better). Consistency is critical. This is an excellent opportunity to build relationships at a deeper level than usual.

Next time you are in Salt Lake City on the fourth Thursday, look us up. Here are the details (this should be the same for every fourth Thursday, including tonight):

Mimi’s Cafe, in the mall parking lot around State Street and 106 South.

6pm

You don’t need to bring anything except money for your own dinner or appetizer… and maybe some questions or willingness to help.

If you are NOT a blogger, don’t come! Just kidding. Come anyway. Its a great time, and isn’t necessarily a technical conversation (although we reserve the right to talk about pinging, trackbacks, posts, comments, spam and all kinds of important things!). But realize that we’ll all spend time trying to talk you into becoming a blogger ;)

If you don’t know what I look like, click here for a picture.

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The Ultimate Revenue Stream?

February 22nd, 2007

You - Pizza Maker ExtraordinaireHave you ever felt that you are the reason for successes in your past companies? I heard an elevator pitch Monday morning from a lady who was responsible for an unexpected 2 million dollar contribution to the bottom line of her company. I bet she didn’t get much for that.

Step back a bit and consider out-of-the-box options. I’ve blogged on having multiple streams of income. Many professionals I know have their own “consulting” business. I met a pizza shop owner who told me that they recover the startup costs within about 6 months of opening a new store (trick: they share space with a gas station). I know dozens of recruiters that worked for a huge recruiting firm and now work on their own.

One way to avoid allowing your boss to be in control of your future (which usually means job changes every 3 – 5 years) is to own your own business. Then you can let your customers be your boss (… that’s a little joke, which is supposed to mean you’ll never get a break, work longer then you ever thought possible, miss holidays and weekends, etc. ;) )! The truth is, owning my own business (JibberJobber) has been so much more rewarding than anything I’ve ever done. Its been a lot of work and there has been stress but its amazingly different owning your own thing.

There’s lots of ways to do it – here’s an article from Peter Siegel, who is a business broker. My only advice in starting your own business is to go in with eyes wide open, be skeptical and cautious, hire professionals to make sure you are doing all the right stuff (and aren’t getting scammed)… and then work hard!

Can’t Find a Job? Then Buy Yourself One!

Peter Siegel - Business BrokerMany people think of getting a job or starting a business. However there’s another avenue that is most overlooked: buying an existing business. It’s a popular choice as more and more Baby Boomers retire. If they are already small business owners, they probably want to plan to sell their business. Otherwise, they might be motivated to be their own boss through purchasing a business that fits their business background. They often have 401k money or home equity to put down on the purchase. They often have specialized business skills they can apply. One thing I like about buying an existing business is you don’t have to work out all the kinks in the business and you have immediate cash flow.

I recently chatted with Carl Chapman, a restaurant recruiter who told me sometimes resumes come across his desk that don’t seem to fit the jobs he is recruiting for. Sometimes they have a lot of expertise but it’s tough to find a job that pays them what they are worth. He suggested some of these may be ideal for buying a restaurant and applying their skills to improve it. A lot of people call this ‘buying a job’. I laughed as he explained the trait of a true entrepreneur. He said they are like someone buying a boat: their best day is the day they bought a boat and the next best day is the day they sell a boat.

Small businesses come in all types. You can buy a web site that is already taking orders. There are “lifestyle businesses” like a golf course repair service in a beautiful location in a small town. These not only provide a living but offer a sense of freedom to make their own decisions and benefit directly from their business’ success.

Peter Siegel is a small business owner and small business expert who started USABizMart. Browse the small businesses for sale where you live at www.USABizMart.com to start dreaming about your next job as the owner of a small business. Peter blogs at www.USABizMart.com/blog.

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How To: Power Statements

February 21st, 2007

example power statement for a job interviewOne of the features of JibberJobber is the Interview Prep area, where you can enter your personal responses to interview questions. Power statements is one of the three things that you can enter. I learned about power statements when I went through a two day workshop here in Salt Lake City. The idea is simple yet powerful, and can be useful in various ways. So what is a power statement?

A power statement is made up of three parts, and concisely communicates a specific skill you have with quantifiable evidence. When you have prepared and rehearsed your power statements you convey your skills with authority. Each of the three parts contributes to this authority. Here’s an example:

I am creative. For example, in my last job I was tasked with updating the SOP manual using old technology. I figured out how to use various software I found on the Internet and was able to deliver a more professional deliverable in half the time. As a result I saved over two man-months of work and was received the employee of the month award.

The first part is I am _________. This is where you put a skill, such as ambitious or tenatious. You can also say I am a hard worker. You are simply stating what you are.

The second part is For example, ________________________________________. This is where you tell the story that backs up your skill. It would start off like this: For example, when I was at American Express I …

The third part is As a result _______________________________. This tells why your example is so powerful. You want to quantify the results here, so something like a dollar change, percentage saved, time saved, etc.

Obviously this will come in handy during an interview (it can also provide information to help construct a resume). When you are asked “tell me about a time when you showed X skill” you can deliver a power statement. As an interviewer I’d really appreciate an answer like this as opposed to a rambling story about all kinds of details that are not important (and detracts from what you have to offer). Ending it with a result ties it all together and nails the point home.

One quick note – in the image you will see the first drop down is “Category” – this is a premium feature which is very cool. After you categorize your interview responses you will be able to print out responses for certain interviews. For example, I will have specific interview responses for a high-tech startup which will be different than a large university. Or, different responses for a Project Manager position than a Customer Service Manager position. Create different responses for these different scenerios and then print off just the answers you need before your interviews.

Don’t want to pay the $9.95 to upgrade just to have categories? Here’s how to get around the category thing (it ain’t the best, but it works): When you put your skill name, instead of putting Creative put a little code to group them. For example, HC-Creative for health care interviews and HT-Creative for high tech interviews.

So do me a favor – in the comments leave one of your power statements! If you don’t have one then now’s a good time to create one. Here’s the question: What is one of your greatest strengths?

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A Monthly Newsletter To Let Others Know Your Status

February 20th, 2007

Maintain your network contacts (image credits: www.maynardleigh.co.uk)Yesterday I was at a network meeting and a guy said something like “I’m a very private guy, but I made a goal to tell 10 people that I’m in the market and what I’m looking for. Last week I found 10 people and told them.” I think its great to let others know your situation (unemployed, underemployed, whatever), but I think there might be a better way. Here’s an e-mail that I get from a buddy that is looking for a new position right now (note: the changes in blue are an attempt to keep him anonymous):

Jason,

I got a call in mid-January from a recruiter who knows me. He’s looking for a president of a $10 billion Salt Lake City based maker of widgets (the kind you see at Babys-R-Us, for example). The job looks like a nice fit with my goals, and the recruiter thinks I’m a good fit with the specification. I heard last week that my resume passed the first hurdle.

My lean manufacturing course is complete and I have submitted my project assignment. The final is February 22, so I’m reviewing and preparing.

This month I am particularly interested in high level contacts at widget manufacturing companies. Example targets include WidgetPros, WidgetMakers (owned by All Things Widgets), WowzeeWidgets, Widgiwidgits, AWC (Another Widget Company) and Acme Widgetry (just purchased by Widgipro Asset Management). If you know anyone at any of these companies, please let me know.

I’ll keep you posted.

John Doe
1234 Main Street
Small Town, UT 12345
Phone: (555) 555-5555
Email: john.doe@mail.com

Author of “Experts In Widgets” at: http://widgetexpert.blogspot.com

Ok, here are my thoughts on this:

  1. I think its excellent that the guy I met yesterday personally spoke with 10 people – and he’ll probably speak with another 10 this week. But after 4 weeks how is he going to keep those 40 people (10 people each week) up to date on what’s going on? This is not a replacement for talking to people, but another tactic to keep your vast network updated.
  2. I really like the length – this is not going to be a pain to read and digest.
  3. The e-mail came personally addressed to me. I did not feel like I was getting spammed – this is a good friend of mine and I want to help him. Having my name there was an extra touch that I appreciated.
  4. Telling me the position and size of company of a good prospect is critical – it helps me know what to look for. Huge difference between the president of $1M company and a $10B company, right?
  5. In the e-mail he told me what the company does, and gave me a tangible example. This really helps me because so many company names are NOT descriptive of what the core business is, but now I can ask others who they know at widget companies.
  6. Knowing that he is a LEAN expert is also important because it helps me quantify his skillset. This may be a transferrable skill, further helping me understand what this dude does.
  7. When he says “this month I’m particularly interested in…” helps me udnerstand that part of the purpose of this e-mail is to help him. This is not a passive “we’re doing great – hope you are too” e-mail. Rather, this is a call to action.
  8. Telling me the names of the companies (and even parent companies) is huge – now I can ask my network for specific information. The difference between “I’m looking for manufacturing companies” and “do you know anyone that works at Company X, Company Y or Company Z” is huge – and critical.
  9. At the end of that last paragraph he calls me to action. Nicely, respectfully, but it is clear that he wants to know if I have contacts there.
  10. His signature gives me ways to get in touch with him. I already have him in my JibberJobber database – we’re buddies! But he makes it easy for me to find his number – and if I want to forward this to anyone then they can have it too.
  11. And, he ends with a link to his blog. This is an excellent way to remind me that he is a thought leader in something, and gives me substance that I can forward to my network. I’m sure you can include a resume with this e-mail also.

So there you go – another excellent example for you to follow. I did not do this in my job search last year but I see the value in sending this type of e-mail out to people to proactively work my network.

Who should this go out to? Everyone in your network. People care about you and your welfare. Include friends, family, past customers, past vendors, etc.

I can’t wait to get the e-mail that says “I landed my dream job! Thanks for your support during these last few months…

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Basics I Didn’t Even Think About A Year Ago

February 19th, 2007

Free Job Search Advice I got an e-mail from a new friend in South Carolina a few weeks ago which basically said:

I hope that you could possibly offer me some advice. I live in Charleston, SC and I have read your article that was posted on the CharlestonJob Network and I have attempted to follow your advice to the tee, but without success.

I’m leaving out details, of course, but my reply listed the best practices that I could think of… I’d like to present these seven things to you so you can ask where you stand on each of these things:

  1. Have you read Never Eat Alone? Simple stuff, common sense, especially for a sales veteran. But there are lots of things in there that might be reminders, or something like that. It might be educational or motivational (for me it was both) – but it should be read. (Another great networking book I just finished is Thom Singer’s Some Assemby Required – different than Keith Ferrazzi’s book and style, I consider it very complementary)
  2. Do you have a tight relationship with a recruiter? This can be someone local, or someone far away. But you need to be able to get coaching from a professional recruiter before an interview, after the interview, with regard to your resume, etc.
  3. Would you consider a career coach? I “work with” or at least network with a few career coaches. I think that when you are in a state of despair its so helpful to have someone that can help you, hold you accountable, and their focus is to help you move on to that next step!
  4. How effectively do you network locally? 30 interviews is a ton, and now you know some important people in lots of companies. Do you go to any networking meetings? I’m not talking about the job seeker meetings, but industry or niche associations? These are smaller, tight-nit groups that focus on their specialty, but the relationships there are usually really valuable. I never did this because I was too busy working, but now I’ll never NOT do it.
  5. Do you work on personal branding? From what you told me you could be an established authority in the sales space. There are tons of specialties, like you mention (you are B2B software) – are any of them underserved, or can you transfer your knowledge from your specialty to help in another specialty? You would do this with a blog (see my Monthly Winners in my blog for excellent examples) or by writing articles. You need to be THE AUTHORITY, someone that is a superstar, and undisputed – and you can do this through your personal branding strategy.
  6. Do you give service regularly? I had a blog carnival where I basically said “Yikes! You just lost your job and your network has been neglected – what do you do now??” Seth Godin replied with “Do service for 6 months!!!” It was an amazing answer, and I think many felt it was unrealistic, but doing service allows you to substantiate yourself, and rub shoulders with other execs, hiring managers and professionals that want to give back – these are excellent network contacts!
  7. I think you are a prime candidate for a professional resume writer. I would have cringed to think about paying for that because its such a simple document, but you clearly have issues with your moving around (I don’t think they are issues but you have to figure out how to communicate it both on the resume and in an interview!). I could be wrong here because you have already had 30 interviews (which leads me to believe you need to network more – apparently getting an interview isn’t a problem), and you need coaching on the interview (and how to answer questions regarding moving/job changes). This is NOT insurmountable, and I wish I could tell you the answer, but it ain’t my thing.

This is stuff I didn’t think about a year ago, but might constitute my response for best practices in a job search. What do you think – are these things you need to reconsider?

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