I’m thankful for being included in The Top 75 Websites For Your Career by Forbes. It’s in alphabetical order, and on their site they say they got about 700 different sites submitted to them, so they had to cut through about 90% of the submissions. That’s cool that we made it in the top 10% chosen.
What about the 75? Jacquelyn Smith, one of the two people who put this together, says:
“…it’s simply a compilation of nominated sites that we believe deserve some special recognition.”
Basically, they (2 people) went through the list and picked what they thought was good.
Let me contrast that to something like the New York Times best seller list.
The NYT list is based on sales through various channels (not all channels). The list is somewhat based on facts and purchases and demand, etc. Also, Amazon has their list of top 10, top 100, etc. which is based on actual sales. In other words, customers are voting with their pocketbook, which can tend to give a more accurate of the TOP books sold. These lists can be gamed… and they are gamed all the time (ever hear an offer to buy the $20 book and send in a receipt for hundreds of dollars of goodies? They are trying to get their numbers up so they can say they were on the best seller list).
As I went through the list of Forbes Top 75 Websites for your career, I thought “my heavens, no one has time for 75. And most of these are useless.”
Sorry, but most people are too busy for 75 websites. Job seekers usually don’t want to spend all day online reading, learning, etc. They just want a friggin’ job!
Here are my top 5 sites are for a job seeker (in no special order, since these five sites need to be used as part of a strategy that incorporates different strengths from each of them):
LinkedIn. Everyone knows that networking is critical in a job search. LinkedIn is the 8 million pound guerrilla in the professional networking space. Get on it, use it. Most people don’t do it well. Many unemployed people who haven’t been in transition in the last 5 years have no idea how important LinkedIn will be in their next transition. Too bad they aren’t getting on and using it right now. I am so convicted that LinkedIn is such a powerful tool that I wrote a book on LinkedIn, and have DVDs helping people learn how to use LinkedIn. Alternatives: None.
Indeed. As I speak around the country there are two sites that everyone talks about: LinkedIn and Indeed. Years ago it would have been Monster or CareerBuilder, but Indeed came along and ate their lunch. Indeed is a job board aggregator. The idea is that they get job postings from all over, and post them in one place. You don’t need to check multiple job boards, you simply go to Indeed, which has done all the work for you. Alternatives: SimplyHired, their main competition. I rarely, rarely hear anything about them. Also, LinkUp, which is an aggregator that says they get jobs ONLY from company job boards, so they must be real jobs.
Idealist. I love what Idealist is. It is a niche site for a certain audience (socially aware professionals, non-profits, green-oriented, etc.). It is big and successful. It is part social, part job board, part networking, part blogs. Alternatives: you should be able to find something like this for your industry or profession. I would use Job-Hunt.org as a place to start looking for resources like idealist.
Google. The big daddy of research. There’s a reason why people say “did you google it?” Every job seeker should spend time figuring out their target companies, target prospects, how to network in (who to talk to), competitive intelligence research, etc. Alternatives: any search engine that is good, Yahoo Finance, Spoke, Glassdoor, Job-hunt.org and other tools to research deeper into companies and industries.
JibberJobber. I might have just blown the credibility of this list by putting my own site on here. I know, a horrid idea. But a job seeker (and someone who wants to manage their career who is NOT in a job search) needs to have a relationship management tool. Everyone in the know (including the Forbes article authors) says to network. How the heck do you manage what goes into networking? Names, numbers, dates, conversations, relevant information, follow-up information, etc.? You need to have a real tool to do this. Since HR and the company aren’t going to babysit your career anymore (ie, they aren’t giving you job security), you need to do it. And “do it” means get on and use JibberJobber. Alternatives: I’ll redeem myself by naming some competitors… Career Shift, Clever Careerist (was named various things, including isabont and virtual job coach (or something like that)), Job Cannon are three in my space, and then hundreds of generic CRMs like Highrise, Salesforce, etc. There, does that make up for naming my own company in this list?
Here’s why I think my list is better than the Top 75 from Forbes, and even the even narrowed down Top 10 they got from that list:
These are 5 different types of sites/tools that are practical and high-value.
They are really in five different categories:
LinkedIn -> Professional Networking
Indeed -> Job boards
Idealist -> industry- or profession-specific social+ environment (social+ means more than just social)
Google -> research and learning
JibberJobber -> relationship management
Take those five categories, or types of sites… what am I missing?
If you were my friend and asked me how to get started in a job search or managing your career, I think those are five SOLID categories. They are the five you’ll need through the rest of your career.
If I’m missing one more it would be something for personal branding. And my recommendation for that is blogging with a WordPress blog (alternative: typepad).
What do you think? What category (or site) am I missing in my TOP FIVE?
Join me and Kim Mohiuddin as we talk about what could be wrong with your resume. Kim owns a company called Movin’ On Up Resumes and has had a really cool approach to creating a resume (or, career marketing documents).
As Kim and I planned this webinar here are some other titles she thought of:
Job Search Stalled? It’s Not You, It’s Me. Signed, Your Resume.
Job Search Stalled? It Could Be Your Resume.
Could an Antiquated Resume Be Hindering Your Job Search?
When Bad Resumes Happen to Good Candidates—And How to Fix It!
Here are some things we’ll talk about:
The Resume Black Hole: What Happens After I Hit “Submit?” Talking about what the ATS is (software that analysis your resume, but she’ll go into more depth)
Navigating The Black Hole: How Do I Give Myself a Fighting Chance With an Electronic Screener?
Beyond the Black Hole: How Can I Optimize My Resume to Appeal to Human Decision-Makers Sharing simple formulas for how to write your opening profile, work history, education, and extras. She’ll also include some Word templates to get them started since most people have trouble formatting their own resumes and Word’s templates are pretty bad for visual and technical reasons (i.e. ATS systems don’t read tables properly and Word templates involve many tables).
In my job search my resume was my #1 enemy. It was keeping me out of interviews, but I didn’t realize it until months later.
Okay, just to clarify, I think tweaking is GOOD. Check out the last part of Andy Routledge’s blog post titled Why your UX design doesn’t go live. He talks about “kaizen,” which is the idea of making small improvements (it’s more than that, but for this post let’s leave it at that).
I hear career coaches complain that job seekers, especially engineers, will spend hours, days and weeks tweaking their job search spreadsheet. What are they doing?
They are hiding. They are hiding from the phone. They are hiding from networking.
They are hiding out in a comfortable place so they don’t have to do the uncomfortable stuff. It’s much easier to tweak a spreadsheet than it is to pick up the phone and make the call.
Lately I’ve been busy doing design stuff for my business. Whether it is for courses I’m recording, JibberJobber user design, layout, blogs I’m working on, etc.
I’ve felt like I’m that engineer who is tweaking the spreadsheet, hiding from things I need to do.
Of course, what I’m working on needs to be done.
But it’s easy to let days, weeks and months go by in my comfort zone, while my business does not grow the way I want it to.
What about you? What have you done today? It’s afternoon… can you say that you have spent this Monday morning and early afternoon doing things that will give you the highest return?
I have blogged a lot about personal branding, and depression in the job search.
I have said that when I lost my job I lost my identity. I used to be “Jason Alba the General Manager,” but when I became unemployed I was “Jason Alba the … I have no idea who I am.”
It might sound weird to someone who hasn’t gone through it. If you told me I would think that way I would have thought you were crazy.
Alas, that’s really what happened.
Perhaps our identity should not be so tied up in our job title, or position within a company. But it is. And you don’t realize it until it is taken away.
How does our brand impact this issue?
People ask what to put in the current title on LinkedIn if they are unemployed. I suggest they could put something like “Interested in ______,” “passionate about _______,” Experienced _________” where each of the blanks are job titles (or something similar).
I heard a speaker say a carpenter who loses his wood and hammer is still a carpenter. Isn’t that so true?
When we lose our title we feel like we can’t say we are that thing… but we are. Even though our temporary status changes, we are still that thing!
Basically, Nick says that old data showed that job boards were the “source of hire” for less than 10% of all jobs found.
And today, the numbers seem to be the same, based on some analytics he’s done… including taking some statistics and digging deeper into what they really mean.
I think the stats most career people talk about … network accounts for 65ish % of jobs found, and job boards and want ads account for 14%, etc are from a study from the 1960s. I could be wrong, but these are numbers that are really old.
So Nick took new numbers, which seemed to be misleading, and broke them down, and show that the effectiveness of job boards for job seekers has not really improved. It’s less than 10%, according to his analysis.
What does this mean?
For companies, it doesn’t much matter. It’s an easy place to put money to “find” people. In fact, it’s a multi-billion dollar industry.
For job seekers, it means you need to spend less time on job boards. OR, it means you need to use them differently.
Spend less time on job boards. What a concept. I heard about this 6 years ago at a job search workshop. The presenter said “if job boards account for 14% of jobs found, why are you spending 90+% of your time on them? You should spend 14% of your time on job boards, and the rest of your time on things that are more effective. For example, if network accounts for 65% of jobs found, spend 65% of your time networking!”
Use job boards differently. Instead of looking for opportunities to apply online, use them as resources to learn about industry and company information, find names and contact information, etc. Use the boards to gather “competitive intelligence” and then act on that intelligence (store the information in JibberJobber, and use LinkedIn to figure out how to network into the companies or people).
I know job boards work, can work, and people get jobs from them. But these numbers will hopefully encourage you to adjust how (and how often) you use job boards in a job search.
A good friend recently told me he landed what I think will be his dream job. He was excited to describe everything from the work environment to the opportunities to the compensation (not in detail, but he’s very happy with it).
He’s been in transition for a while and this great news at a great company is a breath of fresh air for him and his wife and his family. Smiles and high fives all around!
As we were talking I said, “Jackson, NOW is the time to use JibberJobber! Now that you have a job you’ll be meeting people at your company, vendors, clients, people at conferences… you have to use JibberJobber to organize and track all of the networking you are going to do!”
Saying this caught me by surprise, since I didn’t plan to, but it’s true!
Some people say “I’m not in a job search so I don’t need to use JibberJobber.”
To them I say “you are merely in-between job searches!”
The next transition, which is inevitable, can be painful or painless. Painless will only happen if you are prepared. Stay up with networking and branding – in practice and in learning.
Keep your contacts nurtured and tracked.
Imagine starting a job search feeling like you know nobody. That’s how I started, and I’ll tell you now, it sucks.
In contrast, imagine starting a job search feeling like you know dozens or hundreds of industry/profession-relevant people. You’ll have quite a different job search experience.
I can’t bend anyone’s arm to use JibberJobber. I can’t bend your arm to do anything. I can only encourage, educate and provide opportunity, and HOPE that YOU take control of your own career.
Waiting for a transition to use JibberJobber? You’ll get plenty of value out of it while in your job search.
But if you want to be serious about your own CAREER MANAGEMENT, and be in charge of your own JOB SECURITY, start using it right now, and continue to use JibberJobber whether you are in transition or not.
When you add a Contact, you’ll see the Referred By field. If you don’t have many Contacts (a few hundred?), you’ll see them in a drop down. If you have a lot, you have a blank field… but once you start typing a name, we show you all possible hits:
So I fill this in… and it automatically assigns it a Degree of Separation, based on who referred that contact to you.
Then, you can see your network in a “Tree View,” like this:
On the left you’ll see the Degrees, in an icon. John is a 1st Degree Contact, and you can see he introduced me to Johnny (2nd Degree), who introduced me to two people: Jose and Sally (both 3rd Degree Contacts).
The right is pointing at multiple introductions from one person…
Is this powerful or WHAT?
Seriously cool folks. Where else can you see something like this?