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Interview Follow-up Checklist (Mary Elizabeth Bradford)

September 15th, 2014
career coach, resume expert

career coach, resume expert

Here’s an article on the Careerealism site by my friend Mary Elizabeth Bradford: The Best Interview Follow Up Checklist

Her points (read the article because she has more details):

  1. Find Out The Next Step
  2. Don’t Think The Worst
  3. Use Your Common Sense
  4. Leave A Great Follow Up Voicemail
  5. Send A Thank You Letter
  6. Include A ‘P.S.’ In Your Follow Up Letter
  7. Send A Follow Up List Of Short Testimonials

Note three opportunities to FOLLOW-UP! As you follow-up, focus on potential long-term relationships, not just on a yes/no answer. Of course you want a yes/no answer, but if you change your mentality from “it’s a numbers game,” you’ll leave less casualties on your job search journey and strengthen your network size and depth (of relationships).

Attitude is so powerful, isn’t it?  Just going through the motions without the right attitude will be detrimental (trust me, I did that).

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How To: Word Cloud and Key Word Analysis of Job Descriptions and Resumes (on JibberJobber)

July 15th, 2014

Many years ago I heard about the brilliant idea of pasting your resume, or a job description, into a word cloud generator to get an analysis of what words and phrases were commonly used.  We now have a tool to help you do this type of analysis in JibberJobber.  What we have now is Phase I of a bigger project, with some really cool and useful enhancements in the planning stage.

This type of reporting and analysis can help you create better resumes, and prepare for interviews better.  If I had an interview I was preparing for, I would do this analysis on ten jobs with the same titles and then compare, side-by-side, what the analysis shows me.  Smarter resumes, smarter cover letters, smarter interviews, smarter networking dialogs… it all comes from understanding better what companies are looking for.

Below is how our word cloud stuff works (this is all on the Jobs Detail Page – I would create a “Job” record of just my resume, and do the same analysis of my resume as I would of a job description):

First, put a Job into JibberJobber.  You can see this is for a Senior Systems Analyst / release Manager:

jibberjobber_wordcloud_analysis_feature

Then, scroll down on the Detail Page (the page after you save the job, not the Add/Edit page), and you’ll see these three tabs (right above the Log Entries area):

jibberjobber_wordcloud_analysis_feature_2

The first tab is for Notes, which is what we have in the other Detail Pages, and what we’ve had in JibberJobber since 2006.  The second tab is where you paste the Job Description, which is a simple Copy/Paste from LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, Dice, etc.  The third tab is where you will see the Word Cloud, and other analysis (see below).

Here’s what a Job Description looks like, pasted into the second tab (NOTE that double-clicking on the tab will allow you to add/edit the Notes, and add (paste) a Job Description):

jibberjobber_wordcloud_analysis_feature_3

Now that we have a job description in, we can click on the third tab, and see the Word Cloud (first tab), and the Analysis.  Here’s what the Word Cloud looks like… notice I can change the output to different types of word clouds, and I can show x% of the top words/phrases:

jibberjobber_wordcloud_analysis_feature_4

So that’s it – that is what most word cloud systems let you do (afaik).  The next thing we do is show you a simple statistical analysis, under the Analysis tab:

jibberjobber_wordcloud_analysis_feature_5

NOTE the last line in this image (there more more below this one) is TWO words… we allow you to create multi-word “phrases (see more below), as well as blacklist words or phrases, in the last two tabs.

So, click on the Phrases tab and you can see that we can force phrases – if “computer systems” are two words right next to each other, we force them to be a phrase, instead of making computer one word and systems another word… pretty cool way to “clean up” the results:

jibberjobber_wordcloud_analysis_feature_6

We can also blacklist words, like and or the or something else we don’t need to see in the analysis.  This also helps clean up the analysis:

jibberjobber_wordcloud_analysis_feature_7

SO that’s it’s for Phase I.  There are some REALLY COOL features that I want to introduce in Phase II… stay tuned!  If you have any requests to enhance this analysis and reporting, let me know: Jason at JibberJobber dot com – thanks!

Note: I don’t blog about that because my competitors like to read my blog posts to see what we’re up to, and see what they can squeeze into their system…

 

 

 

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Ask The Expert: Fred Coon, Outplacement and Job Search Expert

April 25th, 2014

My call with Fred Coon was awesome.  There were a lot of gems throughout this call.  I have two regrets:

  1. We didn’t have more time.  It seems like Fred just skimmed the surface on an 8-step plan… I think we could have talked for hours more.  BUT, what he was able to share in 90 minutes was a great foundation for anyone.
  2. I asked Fred, impromptu, to provide a little banjo music in the back while I wrapped it up.   He did, I wrapped up, and I mistakenly stopped the recording when I was done instead of when he was done.  I’ve never been banjo’d before… it was very cool :)

Below is our conversation.  I encourage you to take notes, and if you want, let us know what impacted you most, and the minute mark of that impactful moment, so we can get to it easier.

Enjoy!  (vimeo provides a full screen option comes on after you click play, but there is no visual… you can put this on while you do something else (like take notes?))

See past Ask The Expert recordings here.

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A superb, brilliant and sagacious list of ways to communicate better

January 23rd, 2014

I saw this on Facebook, I’m sure.  It is a list of 45 ways to avoid using the word ‘very’, and it is a MUST-READ.

Why is this a must-read?  Not everyone here is a writer… but everyone here is a communicator!

This list is all about taking normal conversation and enhancing it.  The goal is not to confuse people with fancy words (like sagacious, which I would actually have to look up).  The goal is to have more impactful communication.  Say or write your message differently to have more impact!  Can you imagine being a job seeker in an interview, or a salesperson in front of a prospect, and being the most memorable because you were the most impactful?

It’s really that important.  Check out this brilliant list from Amanda Patterson in South Africa :)

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Elon Musk and Lying in Interviews

January 22nd, 2014

I LOVE what Elon Musk is sharing in the short video on this page: Here’s How Elon Musk Can Tell If Job Applicants Are Lying About Their Experience (it is about minute 1:05, but watch the first minute)

If you interview people, understanding how Elon dives into the interview will help you interview a thousand times better than asking those dumb questions everyone expects you to ask.

If you are a job seeker, and preparing for interviews, if you can figure out how to talk to the depth and breadth of problems you have solved, you should rise above your competition.

Brilliant. Watch it here.

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The BEST article on video interviews for job seekers

November 21st, 2013

I’ve seen a lot of articles on video interviews, this one easily takes the cake: How To Nail A Video Interview.

Save it, print it out, highlight it, and read it three times before you do a video interview.  There are examples of what not to do (keep your finger out of your nose, even if you think the interview is over / don’t get sloshed to “calm your nerves”) and a great list of what you SHOULD do.

Yes, you can buy the guy’s book if you want, but make sure you save this article for a quick reference when you are preparing for the interview.  From lighting to makeup to waiting 3 seconds after the question is asked… this stuff WILL make or break your interview.

 

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Critical Interview Tip From Someone Known to be Cocky

October 28th, 2013

That would be me… the guy knows as cocky (aka, self-confident).   I’m sure I’ve made this mistake, but I also heard of someone else who recently made this mistake.

Imagine this: you are in a job interview and the interviewer asks you “can you do this particular skill?”  You either answer:

a) “oh yeah, I can do that. “

b) ”I haven’t done it before, but I’m sure I could learn it.”

Does that sound familiar?

Is this a response you have made, heard, or might make?

Let me give you a tip to give a response way, way, way more impactful. Instead of saying a), “yeah, I can do that.”, say something like this:

“Yes, I can do that.  In my past job I had this exact responsibility.  I was given the task and within six months was training others to do it well.”

Isn’t that 1,000% better than “yeah, I can do that.”

Here is something better to say than b), “I haven’t done it before, but I’m sure I could learn it.”

“I haven’t done that before, but I really think I could learn it quickly.  In my last job I was asked to do learn a new software program we were going to use at the front desk.  No one had any experience with it, but I dove into the user manuals and got on the training webinars, and was quickly able to train the rest of the front desk team.  In fact, the software company recognized me as one of their best users and asked if they could refer some of their other key customers to me for consulting.”

Isn’t that impressive?  Much better than “yeah, I’m sure I could learn it.”

SHOW ME.

Of course you need to have your own, and better, wording.  The idea, though, is to give examples, and what I call “mini stories.”  If you can get it into a Problem-Action-Result format, your response will be way better than what you were going to say, and probably better than your “competition.”

Sound good?

what where
job title, keywords or company
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175 Questions To Ask At A Job Interview (JobMob)

July 17th, 2013

jacob_shareMy friend Jacob Share posted this: 175 Helpful Questions To Ask At A Job Interview

Of course, you aren’t going to have time to ask 175 questions.  If I interviewed you and you asked me even 17 questions (at the end) I might be annoyed.

I would suggest you print this out and go through it with a highlighter, picking out your favorite questions.  Or, questions based on various things like: company size, promotion potential, industry, job title, etc.

The questions are broken up as follows:

Questions 1-71 are about the job itself

Questions 72-111 are about the company

Questions 112-131 are about the boss

Questions 132-162 are about the team

Questions 163-175 are about feedback and next steps

If you ask smart questions in an interview that show me you’ve done your homework or are knowledgeable or passionate about this company, industry or the role, you will be heads and shoulders above many other interviewees!

Great resource for those who are going to interviews – thanks Jacob!

what where
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What do you do with a Killer Resume?

May 22nd, 2013

Recently a JibberJobber user sent me a resume that one of my colleagues did for him and asked me what I thought.

The resume was really quite impressive.  I’m not surprised. The resume writer is someone who has been doing this for a long time and loves to stay current and do a great job.

My first impression after looking at the resume was that this guy had decades of doing amazing things.  The companies he worked at, and the products he worked on, are household names.

If I were interviewing I would want to satisfy curiosities and ask more.  I would want to ask stories about his experience.  Some of my questions would be because it would be intriguing to know, and others to learn how involved and instrumental he really was in each of the things he claims on his resume.

He needs to go through his resume, pull out every claim, and put at least one story behind it.

In JibberJobber we have the Interview Prep area, where you can put those stories together, and even “categorize” them so you can pull them up when you are getting ready for an interview. (I recommend categorizing based on industry, title (aka, profession), or size/type of company, but you could categorize based any criteria.  Use the Interview Prep in JibberJobber to create those stories.

I’m not much for critiquing resumes.  I almost always decline when someone asks me to look at their resume.  But I opened this one and that was my very first impression.  You have a great resume, now what?  Be ready to TELL STORIES!

My second thought was to be careful not to ask too many UNQUALIFIED people their opinion of the resume you just got.  I asked people for opinions of my resume and the information I got was misleading (making me think it was great, while it really kept me out of interviews).  Everyone will have their opinion but recognize this is a marketing tool to get you interviews, and that is it.  Dick Bolles talked about resumes very frankly in our last Ask The Expert – you can view the interview here (he comes on 20 minutes into it).

what where
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city, state or zip jobs by job search

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Job Seekers hate unsophisticated interviewers

June 25th, 2012

After getting some interview training, I was apalled to go to an interview and see how unprepared the interviewers were.

I’ve heard this repeatedly… how bad interviewers are.  It feels offensive. It feels like they are wasting your time.  You wonder why you are unemployed while they still have a job.

I’d guess that the majority of job seekers complain about how unsophisticated (or unprepared, or unprofessional, etc.) their interviewers are.

Here’s a fun video to start your week. I found it from a TechCrunch post. It’s funny, but for me it’s all too real!

You must watch this – it’s a great way to start your week :)

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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