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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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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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Fred Coon: Ask The Expert, April 22

April 10th, 2014

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.

Register here: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/938296386

fred_coon_largeHeres’ a link to one of Fred’s books, Ready… Aim… Hired!

what where
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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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How Long Does a Professional Resume Writer Take to Write a Resume?

March 27th, 2014

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!

Right??

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:

First Option: look for someone who’s experience matches exactly what you need and who you are.  There are resume professionals like Liz Handlin (Ultimate Resumes) who are so focused on executives, especially finance executives, that you should NOT consider using someone who doesn’t do finance executive resumes before talking to someone like her.  There are resume experts that specialize in IT executives, CEOs, entry level (recent college graduates), and everywhere inbetween.  When you are looking for the right match, don’t disrespect these professionals and tell them how the process works.  See if they are a right fit, and then humbly work with them within their system.  Otherwise, you might hear a very kind “I’m not sure I’m the right person for you – let me recommend you to one of my colleagues.”  That really means “I wouldn’t choose to work with you for double the money – I can tell you are going to be a massive pain to work with.

Second Option: if you are looking for a low-cost just-get-me-to-the-next-level and clean up what I already have, consider JibberJobber’s new partnership with JC Resumes (we have negotiated discount bundle available to you to get you what you need).  I have been hesitant to do a partnership like this for YEARS.  But I have talked to the owners of this service and I always come back to “is this high quality?  I don’t want to recommend a resume mill that just pumps them out like typists.”  I have asked them about their writing and quality process, and I’m really quite impressed.  I personally should have spent the money to do this instead of wasting a week or two trying to write my own… get it done, have something you can be proud of, and if you find out it’s not good enough, then go back to the first option above.  But I doubt it will be money wasted. Here’s the page to get started.

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.

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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Guerrilla Job Search DVD NOW FREE.

March 18th, 2014

I just got off the phone with David Perry, author of the must-have best seller Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters.  David is one of the most passionate job search advocates that I know.  I love talking with him.  We even did an Ask The Expert together (click here to find it).

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!

gm4jh_free_dvd

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.

Sign Up Now! »

Searching for Great Job Search Advice: How to Find It

March 17th, 2014

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):

Easiest Method: 

In a search box, simply add “JibberJobber” to any of your searches.

job search advice -> JibberJobber job search advice

job search newsletter -> JibberJobber job search newsletter

job search depression -> JibberJobber job search depression

import from linkedin -> JibberJobber import from linkedin

personal relationship manager -> JibberJobber personal relationship manager

And so forth… this isn’t rocket science, but if you leave off JibberJobber (or the name of your trusted content source) you will get a plethora of generic junk articles.

Next Easiest Method:

This is also very easy… you just have to remember to do it (and do it right).  Simply do a “site search,” which I blogged about here: Do you use Site:_____ in Google searches? I DO!

Guess how I found that post?  I did a site search, like this:

google_site_search

 

Check out the post for a very easy tutorial on how to do it… but really, a site search is as simple as putting site:(websitename) (search criteria) in the search box.

So, any of the examples above could be refined, like this example:

jibberjobber_google_site_search_job_search_advice

 

There you go – two simple ways to get more relevant results back in your searches – enjoy!

 

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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Ask The Expert (ATE): Robert Merrill, Internal Recruiter, Sr. Tech Recruiter

March 5th, 2014

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:

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.

Sign Up Now! »

The Discouraged Job Seeker and an Interesting History of the “Career Path”

March 4th, 2014

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:

Hi Jason,

Thanks again, it really does mean a lot.  It was a great blog.  You captured the essence of my feelings extremely effectively! Very cogent.

Somewhat related, as a point of reference or context:  I notice more and more, on LinkedIn, the number of GenX middle tier tech-managers like myself, seemingly out of work.  I think the phenomena is bigger than it appears on the surface. Of course, I am biased :-)

Note: the following is a stream of consciousness “rambling babbledeegook”. Please do not hesitate to ignore/delete it.

START RANT

The fact remains: During the entirety of the 1990′s, MANY techies (my age) were able to forgo classical higher education, because the demand was *so high* for network and systems engineers, program managers, and others across the broad scope of the “tech industry”.  We were so busy building the WWW, it did not occur to many, a college degree would one day (soon) become a bullet proof glass ceiling.

In an ironically fickle way, those of us (as described) with a strong sense of ownership and responsibility were hit much harder than those who weren’t as “professionally honorable” (they typically remained in lower Individual roles)…and here is why: Many of us climbed half way up the ladder into the mid-range of management; necessarily losing our tight grip on technical skills to broaden our scope. This is necessary to manage the synergistic boundary where strategic demands meet tactical implementation…

But, when the labor force took a huge hit after the turn of the century, suddenly, there were a LOT less jobs for those of us senior enough to have moved (half way) up the food chain….

Now fast forward a few years, to the end of the first decade of the 21st century: The juxtaposition of all those prior elements, in combination with human nature (middle age, building families)… resolves into a painful mid-life professional crisis that is….quite legitimate.

In hindsight, migrating above the day-to-day trench warfare of Individual Contributorship during the DotCom days, was not much more than a professionally brutal reminder of the Technology Caste system (at least here in Silicon Valley) we live within.

The lessons learned:

  • Get a degree… I don’t care what its for: just make sure it is from a reputable institution.  This can be a REAL limitation if you wait until it is too late (financially).  Note: I fall into this last camp
  • See a shrink:   Getting educated in “you” is a HUGE benefit:  You are a mess inside…Understanding *WHY*, will REALLY help keep your ego and emotions in check, when you are tested (like my cisco failure)…
  • Read up on psychology:  Understanding that everyone else is a mess inside as well, and that everyone else has the same physiological needs as yourself (wanting to be safe yet significant, and all the mechanisms we invent to attain this, for example)
  • Deal with boring:  Understand that you cannot see the adventure lying in wait, just over the horizon (out of view)…Watching that professional “pot” boil is certainly boring..but the steam eventually bubbling off can be harnessed to propel your career: IF YOU PLAN FOR IT.
  • The concept that every job is TEMPORARY is absolute GOSPEL.  PLAN FOR REPLACING YOURSELF OR BEING REPLACED….THE MOMENT YOU LAND A JOB is the MOMENT you need to update your CV and start looking for the next one.  There is not a single company that can legitimately “look out for the best interests of its employees” at all times:  You ARE disposable; get over it, accept it….and plan for it. prep to harness the steam.

END RANT

Positive Mentality is challenging when you are starting at the bridge…not to consider the precipice it spans, but instead to consider its ability to provide shelter for you and your family.  That said, one of my favorite all time quotes is from Winston Churchill, and for the most part, I am known for being a stalwart proponent of his advice: 

“Never, never, never give up.”

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!

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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Ask The Expert: Job Search Edition

March 3rd, 2014

Tomorrow morning is the next Ask The Expert, with Robert Merrill. Have you heard of these?  They are AWESOME!

Tomorrow’s is with Robert, an internal recruiter specializing in high tech and engineers.  You can learn more here, or just sign up here.

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):

Kim Mohuiddinon your resume

Jon Sozapersonal branding

Charlotte Weekscareers in the association, society and non-profit world

Karen HullerI have my resume, now what?

Jason Alba (me, Jan 2013) - 13 things to do for your career in 2013

Tim Tyrell-Smithalternative revenue streams

Nick Corcodilosworking with recruiters and headlines

Dick Bolles (the legendary author of What Color Is Your Parachute) – open questions

Jason AlbaCareer Management 3.0 and 51 Alternatives to a Real Job

Jack Chapmansalary negotiation

Dave Perry - guerrilla marketing for job hunters

Mark LeBlancbusiness growth coach (principles of business growth for an individual in career management mode)

Dan Schawbelpersonal branding and millenials

The Recruiting Animal - external recruiter talking shop, experiences, etc.

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.

Sign Up Now! »

The Chicken List Smackdown Video: Just Place The Call

February 27th, 2014

I saw a link to this website from my business mentor Mark LeBlanc: Just Place The Call!

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)

 

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.

Sign Up Now! »

Ask The Expert with Robert Merrill (internal recruiter)

February 26th, 2014

On Tuesday, March 4th at 9am Mountain Time (do the math on your own Time Zone so you don’t call in an hour early… or late!), we’ll talk with Robert Merrill.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER SO YOU CAN JOIN US. This is free, and we aren’t here to sell you anything. Just come, enjoy, ask, and learn.

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:

robert_merrill_linkedin_header

 

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.

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.

Sign Up Now! »

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