I started JibberJobber as a frustrated job seeker. While other people use JibberJobber, including entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, people who don’t work (but want to manage their network), I regularly go back to my roots as a frustrated job seeker.
I wanted to organize my job search with a spreadsheet, but that didn’t work out. It was a mess. A rat’s nest. What if you just give up, and wing it? Impossible. Once you get deep enough in your job search, you have to stay organized, or else too many opportunities get lost. I’m not talking about job offerings, I’m talking about opportunities to follow-up with people.
Using Excel is a great option, for about two weeks. Then the amount and complexity of data, and what you are trying to track, get’s too messy. And you’ll be tempted to create more and more columns and sheets, only muddying things up worse.
Using a paper-based system (spiral notebook, sticky notes, day planner, writing on your arm, etc.) is an okay system, until you can’t read your writing, and can’t follow anything.
Both of those systems, though, are not long-term solutions. I bet a month after you find your dream job (the one that will end in two to five years), you’ll not be able to decipher what you wrote. It will become garbage, encoded to the point where no one can make heads or tails of it.
When we designed JibberJobber, we were looking for something that would be:
Fairly easy to use: This is a significant challenge because of the complexity of the task. We try and hide as much complexity behind the scenes, but simplifying the UI is always on the top of our list.
Long term: I wanted something that you could use after you land your job, and in five years, and between job searches, and when you got freelance gigs, and even after you retired.
Actionable: collecting and organizing data is one thing… reminding you to act on something is another thing. I missed a key call with a hiring manager because my spreadsheet was messed up (hard to read), and it didn’t say “CALL THIS PERSON TODAY AT 10!!” Instead, I missed the call. I wanted JibberJobber to put those reminders right in front of you.
I learned from recruiters that they hate calling a candidate, asking about their interest in a job they had applied to, and the candidate not knowing what they were talking about. I get that – it’s hard to remember everything, and sometimes we are trying to remember if we had sent a resume, or which resume we sent… or maybe we just mowed the lawn and our brain was somewhere else. But the message we send to the recruiter is that we don’t care. That we’ve forgotten and our interest level was low to begin with.
Why have an organized job search? So you can talk to people, even recruiters, and know what you are doing! So you can sound interested!
JibberJobber helps you stay organized by allowing you to keep track of:
Interactions you have with any of those (aka, Log Entries)
Follow-up you need to do (aka, Action items)
You can even use your email to add new records (email2log).
Look, I know this can be overwhelming… here’s a video that will help you put all of this into perspective:
Nick Corcodilos, Ask the Headhunter, shared 6 Secrets of the New Interview from his book, The New Interview (an instruction book), on this blog post.
Here are his six, with my commentary:
1. Insiders have the best shot at the job. They also have the best shot at recommending outsiders for the job. Are you networking with people at your target companies so that you could be recommended by an insider? This, my friends, is what I would call working the hidden job market. How do you keep track of all of your networking touch points, and follow-up conversations? Using JibberJobber, of course.
2. The real matchmaking is done before the interview. Nick says “a headhunter never sends a candidate to an interview unless the headhunter already knows the candidate can do the job.” How do you keep track of which recruiters know what about you? Use JibberJobber to keep a profile on your recruiters, and when you send them what information, and who you have referred them to.
3. The interview is an invitation to do the job. Nick says the interview is not an interrogation (even thought it might feel like one, since the stakes for you are so high!). In JibberJobber there’s a section called Interview Prep, to help you prepare for your interviews.
4. The employer wants to hire you, and he will help you win the interview. Combine the idea of interviewing well and having insiders network you in and refer you, and you’ll be ahead more than if you didn’t do those two things! As noted above, JibberJobber helps with both.
5. The boss wants one thing from you: He wants you to solve a problem. Same as #4 – can you, in the interview, prove you can solve the problem? And, do you have insiders that influence the boss vouching for you? JibberJobber helps organize and track this.
6. You will win the job by doing it. That is, not talking about it, but somehow assuring them that you know how to do the job, without any doubt. This, I think, comes down to your personal brand, and how well you have communicated your abilities and success to your contacts. You can use JibberJobber to keep track of which contacts need to know what about you, and whether you have told them the right stories or not.
In Nick’s post he shares a link to the interview flow chart… this is a complex process, and I can see how JibberJobber could add value to almost every step in the flowchart.
This week I was on a call with JibberJobber user Cary who said that when he recommends JibberJobber to his colleagues, they say “I’m already on LinkedIn, so I don’t need that.”
I’ve written about this before: JibberJobber + LinkedInin 2013 and JibberJobber vs. LinkedIn in 2009. In Joshua Waldman’s best selling book Job Searching with Social Media For Dummies, he recommends JibberJobber as a “tool to organize your job search via social media” (reference). He does not include LinkedIn as a tool to “organize your job search.”
Because LinkedIn is not a tool to organize your job search.
LinkedIn is not a CRM.
LinkedIn is barely a roladex replacement.
Let me jump into an analogy. Let’s say that you are going build a house (which, for some people, feels as complex as managing a job search). What single tool is the most important tool to use to build a house?
Is the hammer more important than the saw? Is the plumb bob more important than the level? Is the heavy machinery (caterpillar tractors) more important than the drill, more important than the measuring tape, more important than the wet/dry vacuum, more important than the nail gun?
To think of building a house with one tool is crazy. It’s probably impossible.
That’s the difference between JibberJobber and LinkedIn. They are both tools, and they each have different purposes.
I use LinkedIn to find and research prospects. What do they say about themselves? Where did they go to school and work? What are their specialties? Where do they live? Should I get on the phone with them?
I use JibberJobber to keep track of my relationships with people. Not what necessarily what jobs they have had over the last 10 years, although you could easily track that. I’m talking about keeping track of where I’m at with a person. Have we talked? About what? What number did I call them at? Was I supposed to follow-up? About what, and when? Who introduced me to that person? How strong is my relationship with that person? Did I talk with them, and others, at the same time (like in a panel interview)?
Of course, LinkedIn does other things, like allows me to communicate with people who supposedly have something in common (with LinkedIn Groups), and share my brand statements through Articles and status updates.
And, of course, JibberJobber does other things, like helps me track which jobs I’ve applied to, which versions of which resumes I used, when I sent them, to whom, and whether I’ve interviewed at any jobs and when I should follow-up.
Can you see the difference between these tools? One is a hammer, which is very, very useful for certain jobs, and the other is a power drill, which is very, very useful for other jobs. Apples to oranges. Or, as Cary said, “chalk and cheese” (a delightful British phrase).
Would you ever need to use JibberJobber, if you are using LinkedIn?
The question is, really, “is it okay to use the right tools for different jobs?”
I think it’s a pretty obvious yes.
If you think about it, using multiple tools to build a house is the only way to get the job done.
Now, figure out how to actually get value out of LinkedIn (more than just being on it), and combine that with the power of the organizing and tracking features in JibberJobber. Your job search will change.
I used a spreadsheet in my job search. It simply wasn’t enough. That’s one big reason I started JibberJobber, which is the best alternative to a job search spreadsheet you’ll find.
I’ve seen job search spreadsheets in the last nine years, some are very colorful, some are cool with filters… you can download some for free, or pay someone a few bucks for the one they made.
But the job search spreadsheet didn’t solve some important issues I had, as a job search:
The job search spreadsheet doesn’t ping me when I need to follow-up with someone. A web-based system, like JibberJobber, should.
The job search spreadsheet requires a lot of data entry. When I talked to a recruiter about a job at a company, I had to leave notes about our call on the recruiter, job and company records. That was a lot of duplicate data entry. JibberJobber allows you to create one Log Entry, and associate it with multiple records.
The job search spreadsheet does not interface with my email. Job seekers find it easier to send an email than pick up the phone. If I’m sending emails, I don’t want to have to turn around and copy and paste to my spreadsheet. You can guess that JibberJobber does this nicely.
The job search spreadsheet doesn’t make it easy for multiple (lots of) follow-up. Most spreadsheets have a first contact date, and a follow-up date… but what if you communicate with someone 3 times? Or, 30 times? That’s why we have Log Entries in JibberJobber… to have umpteen+ relevant records of communication. Sure you could do this in Excel, but who wants 30 extra columns of data?
The job search spreadsheet is a band-aid. When I was using mine, and tweaking it, I realized that it was getting messy, and if I had to come back to it in two to five years, I wasn’t sure if I would understand any of it. I wanted something that would provide value to me years later… which is what JibberJobber can do. I’ve had many users who come back for a second, third, or fourth job search, and pick up right where they left off. But with cooler features, since we are continually enhancing it
Is there an ultimate job search spreadsheet? If you are looking for a band-aid with limited functionality and not much room for growth, about anything will do. It will work great for the first week or two, but as you network more, and apply to more companies, you’ll probably get more frustrated.
Why not forgo the frustration? Just sign up on JibberJobber. The free side allows you to pretty much everything. The premium side, which is $9.95 a month (or get 50% off if you buy a year for $60) is pretty amazing (here’s what you get on the premium side – yes, everything else is really on the free side).
Then, if you really want spreadsheets, just export your data in a multitude of ways to a spreadsheet :p
I think that it’s a good idea to be active on LinkedIn, although I don’t agree with what the article says. In my experience, the main thing you should do is improve your LinkedIn Profile. I have never seen a Profile that is awesome (or, that couldn’t use some help). If I were to grade Profiles, most of them would get a C-. IMO it’s more important to fix your Profile than put up weekly status updates. You can get access to my LinkedIn Profile course (titled LinkedIn Strategy: Optimize Your Profile) for free on Pluralsight, just login through JibberJobber, and watch the video below to see how to access it (and get free JibberJobber upgrades).
I am writing this post because I don’t want you to think that if you are not putting in status updates, you’re using LinkedIn wrong. Trust me, recruiters are smart enough to figure out your skills and competencies, even if you aren’t posting an update weekly.
I thought it was going to be fluffy, but it’s really, really good. I agree with almost everything, except I think you should zoom in more on the head, rather than have a belly-button-and-up shot. That’s just my gut reaction… they are the ones with the data. I’ll still recommend zoom in, though. I think their examples of “zoomed in (face only) is perhaps TOO zoomed in.
Anyway, great article, very informative, and it proves you can have an effective Profile image without paying big bucks … although I will say that a professional photographer with experience in profile images can do wonders.
I like how the breakdown in this post is trying to determine how different characteristics of a photo will impact how the viewer perceives your competency, how likable you are, and how influential you are.
Those are good questions… in today’s Focus Friday we talked about this. You can see the exact video here.
Basically, the Tree View, degrees of separation, and “relationship,” is all controlled by the field “Referred By.” This is one of the top fields on the Add/Edit Contact page, and it’s on the right, just under the Relationship field, of the Detail Page.
When you are on a Contact’s record, and you fill in the Referred By, you are saying “I was referred to this person that I’m adding by this other person (in the Referred By).”
If John introduces you to Jane, or you find Jane’s name from John’s LinkedIn Profile, you would add Jane as a new Contact, and in the Referred By field choose or put John’s name in.
If you don’t do that, Jane is a 1st degree contact.
If you do that, Jane will be one degree past John… if he is a 1st, she will be a 2nd. If John is a 7th, Jane will be an 8th Degree Contact.
Unfortunately, the export you get from LinkedIn are your 1st degree contacts. The CSV file LinkedIn gives you doesn’t tell you what degree of separation they are, probably because they are all 1st degree contacts. So, the answer is no, there is no degree of separation logic that happens on an import.
I’m regularly asked what tags people should use in JibberJobber, for Contacts, Companies, and Jobs.
That, really, is up to you. I have things like family, friends, recruiters, prospects, and things that make sense for me. I even have a tag for “service_providers” which I’ll use for my garage door guy, small appliance repair guy, accountant, etc. You know, all of the people I don’t necessarily want to have to call (because calling them usually mean paying money I didn’t plan on paying), but it’s nice to have their numbers at my fingertips.