Mark Hovenis a sharp senior level executive based in Australia. Here’s part of an email he recently sent me:
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!
On April 22, we’ll have Fred Coon as our Ask The Expert guest. Fred owns Stewart, Cooper, Coon, an outplacement firm based out of Arizona, with clients world-wide.
Over the years I’ve chatted with Fred at conferences, over meals, on a bus, and on the phone. Fred is a great thinker, very astute, and continually looking for strategies and tactics that work. Just as important, he puts all of these things together to create plans for his job seeking clients and tracks their progress, and overall success, so he can further refine his systems and do more of what works and less of what doesn’t work.
In this Ask The Expert we’ll drill down into some of his systems, ideas, strategies, and experience, to learn from someone who not only has been doing this for a long time, but is always looking out on the horizon to make sure what he is doing is the best.
Julie Walraven of Design Resumes has a great post titled The Chief Cause Of Many Poor Hiring Decisions. She starts off with CareerBuilder’s new stat about how long hiring managers spend reviewing resumes…as we know, it’s pathetically low.
But then Julie takes her post in an unexpected direction: how long SHE, as a professional resume writer (she is certified and has been doing this, afaik, for over two decades): she will easily spend six hours creating a resume. Usually that is for an entry-level person. It’s not unusual for her to spend ten or more hours designing a resume.
Julie is an “expert,”having investing more than 10,000 hours in her trade to claim expertise. When I lost my job I spent a couple of weeks fumbling around trying to piece together my own resume. I had no expertise, experience or training… just an attitude that if I could put myself through two degrees, I could certainly write a one or two page document!
I didn’t understand that a resume was not simply a list with work history, dates and some “cool” action verbs. I thought I could easily put that document together… but what I didn’t realize was what a great resume really is.
A great, even an excellent resume, is a marketing document. Coincidentally, a sucky resume is also a marketing document – it just screams: don’t hire me!
A resume is not a standard business document for filing away in a three ring binder, simply to be forgotten. Your resume has a very specific purpose. What’s more, the “judge” of your resume is going to take your days, weeks, and for some of you, months of work and give it a cursory 30 or 120 seconds… it’s almost an atrocity!
But really, spending less than two minutes really is NOT an atrocity.
You see, it’s not about YOU. It’s not about the amount of work you put in. It’s not about how amazing you are, how clever you are, or how dumb the viewer is for not “getting” how brilliant you are.
This is all about THEM. Pursuing you will reflect on them and could have an impact on their career. Are they capable of hiring the RIGHT person? Can they hire the BEST person? Or will they hire a dud, or a lemon? This could cost them their job! Hiring the wrong person could sink the entire company!
If an expert, like Julie Walraven, spends six hours to develop the most basic of resumes, which she can only do because she has over ten thousand+ hours of writing resumes, what makes you think that you, or I, without this expertise, can “throw something together” in a few hours, and have it be good enough (much less great!)?
The mistakes I would make would undoubtedly cause my resume to be in the “under-ten-seconds-and-then-throw-away” pile. Whether that is a typo or a grammar mistake, or not using the best word(s) to put us in the right light, it will cost me.
I know there are people out there, including one of my favorite recruiters (Steve Levy… read his blog!) who say that we must write our own resumes, and hiring a resume writer is as good as hiring a charlatan (those are my words, but that’s the message I hear from him). I agree that we should do a lot of work to help get the resume done. We should put our hearts into it. We should spend time going through our past, listing our accomplishments, and doing the very hard work of self- and career-evaluation.
But I still think we should run it past a real resume writer who will polish our final marketing document so that it gets more time, and more respect, from the person evaluating whether they should bring you in for an interview or not. (professional resume writers are not merely polishers. They are experts in creating perhaps the most improtant marketing document at this point in your career)
Convinced you need resume help? I suggest considering either of these two options:
We’re working on creating an list of specialized resume writers that you can reach out to on your own… stay tuned
The point is, make sure that you are putting enough time and resources into getting this marketing document put together the right way.
He told me the DVD he made, that he used to sell for $50, is now available for a free download. I haven’t done it yet but I have no problem recommending anything from David. Just go to PutAmericaBackToWork.com, fill in the small form on the right, and he said you will get a link to download the content. He said it is big (they had to put it on a DVD), but knowing his stuff, and his passion, I would say it is worth it.
Go on over and do that. As far as I know, there are no strings attached. This is pretty cool – thanks David!
I regularly look for old blog posts to send people to, in response to their questions. Sometimes it is job search related, sometimes it is about depression in the job search, sometimes it about how to send a job search newsletter… sometimes it is about how to import LinkedIn contacts into JibberJobber.
When I go to Google to do a search I find that JibberJobber blog posts are not as high up because of the 1%ers of the internet (MSN, AOL, etc….. the article archives that have a lot of content, but their content is “questionable” :p).
The search tool on the blog kind of stinks… so here’s how I easily find the content I’m looking for. You can use this to find posts/articles from JibberJobber, or any other place you trust (just replace JibberJobber for another source):
In a search box, simply add “JibberJobber” to any of your searches.
This call was AWESOME. Off the charts. Seriously. There is so much good information in this call that it should be required to listen to.
I’m sure there are recruiters who do things differently. That’s one of the challenges that job seekers face: there is no single right or best answer for the situations we face (like, working with recruiters). Robert gives us a great look into the processes and systems that we need to know about. You can tell he has a heart for job seekers. Enjoy:
Note: This is hosted on Vimeo. To make full-size, push play and then on the bottom right click the icon that looks like this:
On Friday I posted The Job Seeker’s Secret Weapon: MENTALITY, which I think is a really important post for all to read. I referenced “a guy” that sent me an email that kind of triggered that post. I sent him a link to the post and he had a brilliant response.
No amount of massaged economic and unemployment reports can compete with the reality of what has happened to “careers.” I think there is tremendous opportunity in the changes, but that doesn’t take away any pain that we, from baby boomers to Gen Z, have to live with.
With “the guy’s” permission, I’m posting the email in it’s entirety. Please take a moment to read what I thought was a brilliant message to me – to brilliant to just stay tucked away in my own inbox:
I had to read that email twice, but really appreciate the perspective and the learning points. This is something I would give to my kids!
You might not be familiar with the Ask The Expert series so let me share the back-story.
Over a year ago I decided I wanted to help my amazing contacts who have expertise in career-related topics intersect with my users, people who are interested in job search, career management or JibberJobber. What started out as a fun idea turned into a very cool series of interviews. You can see ALL of the Ask The Expert calls we’ve done at JibberJobber.com/ate (feel free to share that link).
Below is a list of recordings, to date. I don’t expect you to spend 15 hours and listen to them all right now, but I do suggest you check them out over the next few weeks – there is GREAT stuff in these interviews (the name links to their website, after the dash links to JibberJobber.com/ate):
I’ve written about calling, and the Chicken List (that list of people you are too scared to call) plenty of times… here and here and here and here and here. I get it, I really do. I’m afraid of the phone, too. Sometimes I wonder if the person will punch me through the receiver, or take away my first-born, or some other horrific thing. The phone tends to paralyze job seekers. I’ve heard “the phone weighs five hundred pounds!” or “my tongue weighs a thousand pounds!” I get it all. I live it, just like you do.
But there is something special about the phone. I challenge you to get good at it. Instead of envying others who seem to do it well, instead of blaming your personality profile and saying if you had a different personality you would do it, JUST PLACE THE CALL.
A mentor in my job search, John, is the one who introduced the Chicken List phrase to me. His advice was priceless: start calls with the hardest person on your Chicken List. Get the hard people CROSSED OFF. Get through those. Let me add, if you are still alive after those calls, then calling other people will be a breeze!
Check out the Just Place The Call video, and after taking the two minutes and twenty three seconds to watch it, PLACE THE CALL! I haven’t downloaded the 501 Telephone tips from that page but if you do it, and like it, let me know! (apparently, this is their blog, with lots of cool looking blog posts about improving your phone skills)
Robert is a friend of mine who I met at blog dinners many years ago. While I haven’t seen him in person for years, we keep in touch mostly through chat and email. Robert is a busy guy, and has had some crazy-cool recruiting jobs. When I met him he was a tech recruiter at a staffing firm. Since then he has been in-house at Novell (which was “kind of a big deal” here in Utah for a while), and is currently a senior “engineering and technical recruiter” at Fuision-io, which I think is the greatest thing to come out of Utah’s tech space in a long time.
Robert is a … how do I say this,… a geeky nerd. Let me clarify – he has great people skills, and can communicate very well (which you’ll figure out on Tuesday). But he LOVES to learn. He loves technology and dabbles in it all the time. He is also one of the better recruiting bloggers out there… check out his blog at Connected Well. Click the link below to see his LinkedIn profile:
Anyway, join us on Tuesday. And put your questions in the comments below, or shoot me an email so I can list them and be ready with YOUR questions.