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The Real Hidden Job Market Exists: Valerie Gonyea’s Experience

July 29th, 2014

Valerie Gonyea is one of my favorite people… she recently posted this on Facebook:

valerie_gonyea_headshotSo, lemme tell ya a little story about the hidden job market. It does, in fact, exist. You just have to believe…and not in that airy fairy kinda way…more like in the clap-your-hands kinda way. Because it does take action on your part…you do have to reach out and network and ask and offer in return, etc.I can’t get into why (it doesn’t really matter), but I have chosen to move on from one of my clients. But before I did that, I wanted to be able to make up for the loss of billable hours. I reached out to only and exactly TWO people in my network. One of them talked to the CEO of the company about me and…whaddya know…the CEO and the CFO had just started to come to the conclusion that they needed some help. Someone exactly like me…and not full time…maybe just 1-2 days per week…which just so happens to be exactly the amount of time I was going to give up.

A VERY cool company, run by VERY cool people…everything is setup as online as possible. I am thrilled!

So, if you’re looking to move on someday, make sure you have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile and a strong network infrastructure and then go WORK IT!

In the comment thread, she continued:

Oh, and another follow up to the story…instead of just following up with a normal thank you note, I followed up with a LinkedIn invitation thank you note…they both accepted…and it gave me the opportunity to bring them to my profile that had all of my recommendations on it :)

The hidden job market has been defined as job opportunities that exist but aren’t posted for the public to know about them.  In other words, once it’s online, or on a job board, it is not “hidden.” In this example, this opporunity came when “the CEO and the CFO had just started to come to the conclusion that they needed some help.”  Who knew about it?  NO ONE.  It was “hidden.”   No one could have known about it because the to CxOs had just started to come to the conclusion… this was far from being posted online, and far away from them going to a recruiter to find talent.

Valerie “tapped into the hidden job market” (which is what we all want to do) by, as she said, working it.  She reached out, and I’m sure she let the two people she reached out to know who she was (what kind of work she does) and what she was looking for.  She did it in a clear enough way that they could communicate that to their network… and it worked.

Will you talk to only and exactly two people?  Probably not… some people talk to two hundred plus people…. but talking is where it is at.  Valerie probably had NO competition in the decision-making phase… contrast that with the idea of being one of hundreds of resumes submitted online.

Think differently about where you spend your time.  This concept would have changed the way my job search went entirely.

 

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Never Going to be a Pathetic Job Seeker? On Food Stamps? Read This (and weep)

July 10th, 2014

darlena_cunha_headshotStop what you are doing and read this fantastic story: This is what happened when I drove my Mercedes to pick up food stamps

This was written by Darlena Cunha (blog, twitter).

It’s her story.  It’s kind of my story (sans Mercedes, but with plenty of humility), and the story of many others.  It can very easily be your story.

It’s a story of humiliation, reliance, and resilience.  On her very own blog she writes (about this story):

The lesson is: believe in yourself. Do your thing. Eventually, someone will see you. Eventually, the story will be told. Keep walking. Never stop.

You are worth it.

Yes, you are definitely worth it. Even if you have to be on food stamps, or otherwise ask for help.

Keep walking, never stop, and please be kind and gentle with those in need.

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A Real Curriculum for Career Management at the University Level

July 3rd, 2014

elliot_lasson_headshotCheck out this post by Elliot Lasson, Executive Director of JobLink of Maryland: How Common is Your Core?

Elliot makes great points about the education we get, what is required to graduate, and electives.  He says that students should HAVE TO go through a career course. I know this is required at some schools (who I’ve worked with), but it’s by no means required everywhere.  I would suggest that in too many classes it’s seen as a lame freshman course, with no meat (substance) and no teeth (or authority).

Check out the bottom of the post to see what Elliot suggests would be covered in the 16 weeks.  You might have better ideas (mine would be to focus more on long-term career management, not just immediate job search skills), but the main idea is that this should really happen.  It would have provided me more value than some of the other required classes I had to take to graduate.

Bonus: his other idea is the next required class would be for programming.  I think this is a really intriguing idea… ! What do you think?

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Get Useful Resume Feedback

June 26th, 2014

Nine times out of ten, when someone asks me to look at their resume, I’m assuming it’s because they want me to make an introduction, or help them find a job.  I don’t assume it’s because they really want my feedback on their resume.

Maybe you have truer intentions, and only want feedback on the resume, but the truth is, I’m not the person to give it to you.  My brain and resumes don’t mix very well.  They are too formal, with boundaries that I think are dumb.  I can point out glaring issues, but so can most people.  Why are you taking up my time (and potential help) by asking me for something that doesn’t make sense.

It’s like asking your neighbors to check your oil in your car.  You can do it, you can learn to do it, or you can find someone qualified to do it.  But you don’t ask all of your neighbors to check your oil, right?

If you really want my help with your job search, find out how I can help you, and then ask for that!  It might be networking, introductions, sitting down and giving you ideas, participating in a mock interview, or a host of other things.  But don’t let the first request be “will you look at my resume?”

Here’s a post I wrote about this last year: What do you do with a Killer Resume?

Here’s a recent post from Thea Kelley, a resume expert, titled How to Get Useful Resume Feedback

There comes a time when you have to stop hiding behind “I’m working on my resume” and realize you simply need to have the right conversations with the right people.  And you don’t need to use your resume to do that.

 

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Keyword Tips For Resumes (cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, etc.)

June 13th, 2014

chris_russell_headshotChris Russell is a job seeker’s advocate. I met him before I started JibberJobber, and in a way, he introduced JibberJobber to the world (in a blog interview he did back in 2006).

He has a great LinkedIn article/post titled Keyword Tips for Every Job Posting.

His first and last tips are my favorite… are you optimizing your marketing material so it is seen by others?

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How To Get A Job Without A Degree

June 2nd, 2014

Nick_corcodilos‘Tis the season for all the new graduates to finally hang up their backpack and enter the “real world.”  Either move back in with mom and dad (ugh) or prove your independence… and get a real job! Exciting times.

What about people who, for one reason or another, didn’t get a degree, and are competing against people with degrees?

Nick Corcodilos has a great post (Desperate: No degree, can’t get interviews!) about how to do this.  Read the question from his reader, then his answer, and then read the comments…

There is plenty of discrimination out there… not having a degree isn’t the end of the world (I know it seems like it).

Nick’s suggestion is not the “easy button,” but what is?  This stuff takes WORK!  Now, get to work…

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Job Search Attitude

May 23rd, 2014

Speaking of your attitude, and where your mind is at, during the job search, check out this great article on Fast Company: 8 PERSONALITY TRAITS OF PEOPLE WHO DON’T LET JOB HUNTING CRUSH THEIR SOULS, by Jane Bianchi.

They are (read the article for more):

  1. They accentuate the positives.  Focus on your real worth, what you have accomplished, and what you can, rather than negatives.
  2. They identify their hang-ups. And tackle those hang-ups (aka weaknesses) head-on!
  3. They have passion and purpose. Study the power of this concept – I found some articles a few years ago and am amazed at how powerful it is to have passion, purpose, vision, etc.
  4. They “pressure-proof” themselves. Thick skin.  Accept negative feedback and direction. This is the real, uninsulated world, and people are watching to see how you’ll react under pressure.
  5. They network, network, network. JibberJobber anyone??
  6. They always do their homework. Be prepared…. or look like you are uninterested (or incompetent).  You don’t have to know everything, but know enough, and be able to say “I’m not sure, let me look into that.”
  7. They convey confidence, not arrogance. Quite a difference between the two.
  8. They learn from each letdown. Change is unavoidable, right?  So let’s embrace change, and learn, and grow.  That’s what life is, isn’t it?

How do you do with these eight?

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Six Things To Do Before You Leave Your Job

April 29th, 2014

I’m doing some research on how to onboard yourself once you land your next job. I found this great (important) article on TheMuse titled 6 Things to Do Before Leaving Your Job.

leslie_moser_muse

I hadn’t thought about it much because I focus so much on forward-facing stuff, not what to do to tie up loose ends from a job you have left.  But Leslie Moser is absolutely right.  Her six things are (read her post to get more):

  1. Write a transition plan
  2. Archive, archive, archive (don’t archive information that is not yours, though)
  3. Figure out your health insurance (COBRA is a joke… it is SO expensive)
  4. Have an exit interview (be careful not to burn bridges in this interview, though!)
  5. Keep in touch! (I know this can feel very awkward)
  6. Plan a vacation (take some time, but NOT TOO MUCH TIME!)

A book I’ll recommend is Scot Herrick’s I’ve Landed My Dream Job – Now What???  This book helps you plan your first 30 days on the job, and includes thoughts on wrapping up well from your last job.

In the amazon review I love the person points out that Scot’s book helped her put together a 30/60/90 day plan… FOR AN INTERVIEW!  So maybe this book is a great interview prep book… ?

ive-landed-my-dream-job-now-what-scot-herrick

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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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Mark Hoven, Executive Leader in Melbourne, Australia, on JibberJobber and Empowerment

April 14th, 2014

Mark Hoven is a sharp senior level executive based in Australia.  Here’s part of an email he recently sent me:

mark_hoven_small“JibberJobber has been a very helpful organisational tool for me over the past 3 years I have been using it. Your tool is a great reference, forces a discipline to my search and documentation efforts, and provides a small sense of control over proceedings which can make a big difference in those ‘dark’ moments when you wonder if anyone values your professional skills any longer.”

I love how he says JibberJobber “forces a discipline” to his job search and documentation efforts. Many professionals who start a job search are frustrated by the lack of systems and accountability in their job search, wonder if they are doing the right things, and get lost in all of the freedom and choices they have to make.  JibberJobber helps alleviate this a bit with structure and tools to accommodate the job search system that works for you.  (this means that some people are extremely structured, some have aggressive metrics, others have less time and less data to manage – JibberJobber accommodates any job search system)

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how he talks about the dark moments, which I’ve blogged about repeatedly, and especially this statement: JibberJobber “provides a small sense of control over…”

As a job seeker we feel like we have little-to-no control.  Many times we feel like we are spinning out of control.  Do this (network) but don’t do that (apply online).  Oh wait, someone just applied online and they got the job that we are more qualified for… ?  I don’t get it!  I’m confused!

Going from a JOB where you are in control of so many things (you might not realize this until you don’t have a job anymore), to unemployed and looking where you are at the mercy of so many things (people’s vacation schedules, the economy, weather, your ability to pay for help/services, etc.), you feel out of control.

When I started JibberJobber, eight years ago, I knew I wanted to EMPOWER job seekers and professionals.  I wanted to make this bigger than just a spreadsheet-like tool.  I wanted to make the features much richer than what you would get in your homemade spreadsheet.  I wanted to give you stuff you didn’t even think about, but stuff that first class citizens (that is, people who have jobs) would expect.

I want to take away your sense of being out of control and replace it with a sense of EMPOWERMENT.

If you dare to use JibberJobber, that’s just what you’ll get.  Empowerment.  Control.  A peace of mind.  No more “am I forgetting something???”

What a difference that would have made in my own job search!

Thanks for sharing, Mark!

mark_hoven_linkedin_profile

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