How to: Organize Your Job Search

July 31st, 2015

Around the country I asked “who is using a spreadsheet to organize their job search?”  Hands went up, and faces looked disgruntled.  No one likes using the spreadsheet in their job search, except for people new to the job search, or people who like to tweak columns and rows, instead of networking to find their next job.

The spreadsheet is a band-aid solution that will be thrown away once you land your job.  Or lost when your computer crashes, or when you switch computers.

JibberJobber, on the other hand, is a long-term tool to use in this, and future job searches.  It is a plug-and-play tool that you just sign up for and start using.  It interfaces with your email, and if you are premium (free to $5 or $10/month) you can get email and SMS (where applicable) reminders of to-do items (aka, Action Items).

Check out this short video which explains the core benefits/tools of JibberJobber:

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! »

My Professional Development (aka, soft skills) Pluralsight Courses

July 23rd, 2015

For the last month I’ve been travelling and speaking in various states in the U.S., and one of the messages I’m sharing is that of my Pluralsight courses.

I used to do this presentation and sell special bundles worth $50 or $100, but now I basically give it all away for free.  All is (a) JibberJobber premium and (b) my videos.

You can get it all for free, too, even if you weren’t at my presentations. Here’s how it works:

Go to JibberJobber.com/ps and watch the four minute video at the top of that page.

Then, do what I show you to do in the video.  It will take you a few minutes to set up, and then you have full access to my courses (and thousands of others) on Pluralsight for 30 days.  And, for every course that you watch that has my name on it (or, Jason Alba courses), you get an extra week of JibberJobber premium.

Watch all of my courses and get almost 20 weeks of JibberJobber premium.

Watch all of them again and now you are almost at 40 weeks.  Do that as many times as you want.

All at no cost to you.  But if 30 days isn’t enough, get a $29/month subscription… which is a lot less than what I sell my videos for.

I consider that a pretty sweet deal.  Thanks to Pluralsight for letting me share 30 days of access to my users.

Would you do me a favor?  Share this blog post with other job seekers, LinkedIn Groups, job clubs, coaches, resume writers, etc.  That would help me, and hopefully help many other people.  The share link is at the top-right of this post :)

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! »

What is JibberJobber?

July 15th, 2015

In the last few weeks I’ve introduced JibberJobber, as part of my message, from Madison to the D.C. area.  I don’t spend much time on JibberJobber because (1) that is not the main message, and (2) there are great resources to learn about JibberJobber online.  Here are three:

The User Orientation

When you watch the User Orientation, which is about 90 minutes long, you can ask for another week of JibberJobber premium.  As many times as you watch the orientation, you can get another week of JibberJobber premium.

The Getting Started Videos

These are, generally, less than 10 minutes long, and if you walk through the titles, you can watch any particular topic that catches your eye.  It is in an order that I would follow, but you can skip any topic you want.

The What The Heck is JibberJobber – I’m So Overwhelmed!! Video

This five miute video is a great primer to help you not be overwhelmed by JibberJobber’s features:

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 Madison Job Search Presentation

June 30th, 2015

I arrived in Madison, Wisconsin last night about an hour after dinner closed at our hotel.  Drove through a torrential rain which kind of felt like driving through a waterfall for the last hour or so.  It was crazy stressful/fun.

Why hasn’t anyone ever told me about Madison, Wisconsin?  This place is BEAUTIFUL!  The green landscape is overwhelming (I’ve lived in a desert for the last 22 years, from northern Mexico to Idaho to Utah, I’ve missed all of the green, trees, and oxygen).

Apparently, there are thirteen beaches in Madison.  The capital building is the second largest in the country, second only to the White House.  The people are delightfully nice.  You are right that Wisconsin knows and likes its cheese, but did you know that Wisconsin is a huge paper producer?  According to the Wisconsin Paper Council, Wisconsin “is the #1 papermaking state in the U.S.”  Utah doesn’t even have a “paper council.”

Anyway, I’ll have more on my speaking tour later.  You can see where I’ll be over the next month here. I am not “getting my head in the game.”  Tonight I speak to a bunch of people interested in their career.  They had to close registration because the room is at capacity.  And there might be people who didn’t register but just show up.  Like in Minneapolis, one year when I presented at Right Management… people where all along the walls, and even in the halls. I know it was uncomfortable.

I’m not sharing this because I’m awesome.  I’m sharing this because people want to know.

They want to know there are options.  They want to know what to do.  They want to know that what they are going through is okay.  They want to know that they’ll get through this.  They want to know there is hope.

A few years ago I was at lunch with Dick Bolles and his wife, after a presentation in Danville, CA, and he said “Jason, your message and my message are the same.” I was honored and intrigued. I was curious to know what he thought my message was (he was at my presentation only an hour earlier).  He elaborated: “Ours is a message of hope.” Read my immediate thoughts on it in this 2010 blog post.

Do you want to know what I’m talking about in a few hours?  I’m talking about hope. And options.  And your career.  It’s a message I have shared in Boston, and San Francisco, and Tampa and Seattle, in Albuquerque and Houston, and Twin Cities and San Diego, in Salt Lake City and Phoenix.  And tonight, I share it in Madison, Wisconsin.

In my job search I had lost hope.  And it was miserable, and I was ineffective.  I want YOU to have hope, and get out of misery, and get results.  That is my message.

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 Resume Black Hole: Disappointing Proof from CareerXroads

June 26th, 2015

In a Wall Street Journal blog post (For Job Seekers, the Black Hole Persists), there’s disappointing and perhaps disgusting proof that the resume black hole is there.  Like anyone in a job search needs to read an article to know it’s there.

But for the rest of the world… there’s no question.

Thanks to Mark Mehler and team at CareerXroads, who put together a fake resume each year and send apply for jobs at companies listed on Fortune’s “best companies to work for” list, we can see how these best companies treat applicants.

If this is how the best companies treat applicants, how do the worst companies treat applicants?

To be fair, the list is of the best companies to work for, not companies who have the best, most respectful hiring process.

Employers (should) know that if you are rude and disrespectful to a job seeker during any part of the hiring process, they remember your company and form new opinions about your products and services that run deep and stay for a long time.

Here are some highlights from the blog post:

“… his CV was loaded with the keywords needed to float to the top of today’s automated job-applicant software.” So in this test, they are playing to the ATS algorithms.  Note this is not about networking in, talking to the hiring manager, etc.  It’s all about the resume strategy, and, optimizing the resume.  Yes, do that, but also network into the company!!!

“He was also not a real person, a fact noted at the bottom of his one-page resume.”  Later in the blog post you learn that only 2 out of 100 companies spotted that.  Of course an ATS isn’t going to look for some statement that this is a fake resume, but from this might we deduct that 98% of companies have no human involvement for much of the process? Mark Mehler, founder of CareerXroads, suggests that “recruiters [only] read the first three paragraphs of a resume.”  Lesson?  Make those first three paragraphs awesome and engaging!

“…64 never sent Stein any notification that he was not being considered for the job for which he had applied.” This has bothered me for a long time.  Companies, please  give me ANY notification of a status update!!!  I know you have legal and HR breathing down your necks to say nothing, but for goodness sake, be humane!

There’s still a lot of work to do. I’m not talking about automated technology.  I’m talking about basic, respectful communication, and managing expectations.

Until that gets figured out, folks, please do not solely rely on the spray-and-pray resume blasting strategy.  No JibberJobber user should ever say “I’ve sent out 1,000 resumes and I got nothing… no leads.”  Maybe you will send out 1,000 resumes, but JibberJobber users should use a networking strategy that far outweighs any time spent sending emails and applying to jobs online.  I know it seems harder, but this is how you’ll get closer to getting your next dream job!  Make me proud!

 

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! »

Why Organize Your Job Search?

June 25th, 2015

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:

  • Contacts
  • Companies
  • Jobs
  • 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:

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! »

Job Seekers MUST Understand the Difference Between Status and Brand

June 24th, 2015

One of the biggest challenges I’ve seen in the last nine years since I’ve lost my job and communicated with thousands of job seekers is a misunderstanding of who they are.  Too often people think “I’m unemployed,” and that label needs to be their brand.  For example, when I had a job, my introduction was:

“I’m Jason Alba, the General Manager of this company.”

Then, when I lost my job, it changed to:

“I’m Jason Alba, and I’m…. uh… uh… In transition?  Unemployed?”

However you say that new thing, let me suggest that it is said WRONG!!!  I know we are used to having a title, and a professional identity, but this new thing is not our title and it is not our professional identity!

Here’s a simple analogy to show you why: Let’s say your neighbor is a master carpenter. You’ve seen his work, and he is amazing.  You can say: “My neighbor is a carpenter.”

But, what if your neighbor has all of his tools stolen, and he can’t work until he buys new tools?  Is he still a carpenter?

Or, what if your neighbor gets chicken pox or cooties, and can’t work for at least a week.  Is he still a carpenter?

YES, he is still a carpenter!!!

His status is “not working,” for the moment.  I actually call this his temporary status.  But “not working” is not his brand**.

Some people think that when they are in transition they are unemployed.  They don’t understand that is a temporary status, and they begin to believe the lie that they are “professionally unemployed.”

Please realize the difference between your brand (including skills, competencies, etc.) and your temporary status.

With this information, you should network differently.  Are you an out of work product manager?  Break that down to status (out of work) and brand (product manager).  You don’t have to wear the out of work like it’s a badge of honor or a badge of shame.  It’s simply a temporary status.

Now, go out and communicate better, and more accurately, with your network!

** I use the word brand loosely here, since I don’t think a job title is a good way to brand… but for the purpose of this article, it’s good enough.

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! »

6 Secrets of The New Interview + JibberJobber and Job Search Organizing

June 22nd, 2015

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.

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! »

LinkedIn Decreases Value for Users… Again

June 19th, 2015

Chris Russell shared new rules for messaging other members of LinkedIn Groups on this blog post: Linkedin Sets New Limits on Messaging Group Members

Basically, you now are limited to messaging only 15 times to other members of all (not each) LinkedIn Groups you are a member of.

I’ve never messaged more than 15 people in a month, but I know job seekers who are very good at reaching out to people… and this hampers their networking.  Read more at the link above.

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! »

Nick Corcodilos, Ask the Headhunter, on JibberJobber

June 18th, 2015

Here’s an oldie but goodie from Nick Corcodilos.  Nick calls it like he sees it, and has no problem calling foul on junk.  Because of that, it was very flattering to see this PBS article from Nick titled Ask The Headhunter: Two Job Hunting Resources I Don’t Hate.

It starts off saying “Nick isn’t down on all online job-hunting resources,” but I can tell you from reading his stuff, he is down on a lot of them.

The article is a fun and a funny read.  And we’re honored to be on Nick’s good stuff list! Read it here.

nick_corcodilos_jibberjobber

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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