Job Search Tools: The Ax vs. The Chainsaw

April 21st, 2015

Last week in Utah there was a crazy wind storm… it caused all kinds of accidents, and blew people’s stuff around their backyards.  And, of course, it caused a few Globe Willows to fall down.  Globe Willows are called “garbage trees” because of the amount of branches that fall from them… they grow very, very fast, but are also susceptible to having big branches fall in a storm.  Last week a friend posted a picture on Facebook of his tree that had fallen towards his house.

I had only had one occasion to use a chainsaw before, and it was pretty fun, so I jumped on the chance to do it again.  On Facebook he said he would chop it up best he could… he said he didn’t have a chainsaw, but he had an ax.  I’m sure he was joking about using an ax… have you ever used an ax? It’s very hard work, especially on a job like this.

A chainsaw is the tool that can make this a job to do in less than an hour.  Using an ax would be a full day of frustrating and tiring work.  It is NOT the right tool for this job.

I took my kids over and we had a fun time with two chainsaws.  My 14 year old did a lot of the work, and two of my girls got a chance to use the chainsaw… their first experience.  We are all more experienced now… and on the way home we got some ice cream cones, and unloaded a van full of firewood.

If we used an ax, we would not have finished even half of the tree, it would have been a lot messier, and I would have been completely worn out.  None of that was the case… because we had the right tool.

In your job search, JibberJobber is the chainsaw.  Your spreadsheet is the ax.

Yes, the spreadsheet can do the job. But it will require more time, and be more tedious, and take more mental energy, leaving you drained.

Put your effort into networking, not into forcing your tools to work.  

The night before we did this job, we went to a friend’s house to borrow his chainsaw.  He said “most people want to push down on the branch they are cutting.  Don’t do that… let the chainsaw do the work.”

If you are muscling through a spreadsheet, you will have to “push down” and do a lot of work.  You’ll get tired, and wear yourself out.  Or, more realistically in a job search, you’ll become less organized, and spend too much time making the tool work.

It’s your choice.  You can even use a steak knife or garden shears to do this job…. but in a job search you don’t have to go for the wrong tool.  Simply get an account on JibberJobber. It’s like a free chainsaw.

Before picture:

jibberjobber_right_tool_1

After picture:

jibberjobber_right_tool_2

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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New Course: Resumes and Self-marketing (for Software Developers)

April 14th, 2015

Last week my newest Pluralsight course went live: Resumes and Self-marketing for Software Developers

This is a course on what to do with your resume… how to use it to self-market, and basic understanding of the resume as a marketing tool.

Remember, for any Jason Alba course you watch on Pluralsight, and as many times as you watch it, you can get an additional 7 days of JibberJobber Premium… no limit! Follow these steps (or scroll down and watch the new video below the image to see exactly how to watch this for free, and get additional Premium on JibberJobber!).

Here’s Pluralsight’s announcement on Facebook:

 

pluralsight_course_resume_facebook

 

Not sure if I’ve had anything on Facebook associated to me with that many likes!

Here’s the video on exactly how to do 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! »

How To: Use the Pluralsight Course Tracker

April 11th, 2015

I have some images on this but I think this 4 minute video will be a better tutorial… check it out!  This is how you self-report on courses you have watched:

If you have any questions, please ask :)

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! »

Announcing: The Getting Started in JibberJobber Video Series!

April 10th, 2015

I’m excited to finally get this project to a point where I can announce it – I’ve been thinking about it for way too long, and this week I finally made it a priority!  This should help a lot of people “get started” on JibberJobber.  If you recommend JibberJobber to friends, family, job clubs, etc., point them here!  You get here by clicking on Videos, and then it’s right up at the top.

Since October of last year the Focus Friday calls have been structured so that they were in order for someone new to get off on the right foot.  I’ve taken those videos and removed the Q&A, and reduced the time to considerably less than what is in the Focus Friday series… and put them in the right order.

When you come to the Getting Started page you’ll see them numbered so it’s easy to keep track of where you left off. You can also see which videos you have seen.

Confused about what to do next in JibberJobber?  Start watching the short videos, in order.

Want help on specific functionality in JibberJobber?  Scroll through the list of topics and pick the one that will help you get unstuck.

As of right now, the videos are (each week we should add another topic):

  • Getting Started: Introduction (1)
  • Getting Started: Overwhelmed? Watch this! (1.5)
  • Getting Started: Homepage & Widgets (2)
  • Getting Started: Setting Up Tags (3)
  • Getting Started: Log Entries and Action Items (6)
  • Getting Started: Verifying Action Items and Log Entries Got In (7)
  • Getting Started: Log Entries and Action Item List Panel (8)
  • Getting Started: Optimizing the List Panel (9)
  • Getting Started: Managing Duplicates (10)
  • Getting Started: Exporting from LinkedIn (11)
  • Getting Started: Importing from a CSV File (12)
  • Getting Started: Recurring Action Items (13)
  • Getting Started: Calendar Views (14)
  • Getting Started: Interview Prep (15)
  • Getting Started: Job Description Analysis (16)
  • Getting Started: Events on Jobs (17)
  • Getting Started: The Job Journal (18)

The “viewed” shows whether you have watched it or not:

jibberjobber-getting-started_homepage

Do you have requests for other topics? Let me know!

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! »

Overwhelmed by JibberJobber? Watch This Video on the Core Values!

April 9th, 2015

I’m really, really excited about this video!

Why?

Because I’ve heard that JibberJobber is too confusing, and there are too many things you can do.  I’ve tried to figure out how to create a visualization of the what and why, and a few nights ago I finally figured it out.  Without further ado, check it out:

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! »

One Smart Organizational Hack to Speed Up Your Job Search

April 7th, 2015

This post is inspired by a link sent to me by my friend, Debra Feldman, owner of JobWhiz and Executive Talent Agent, titled Smart Organizational Hacks to Speed Up Your Job Search.

My response to that article is one single, easy hack:

Use JibberJobber!

If using JibberJobber is too hard, then you can do what they suggest, creating your own organizational system with a bunch of tools put together.  Here are some of their points, from the link above, to help you know what your organizational system should do:

  • Keep track of companies (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
  • Keep track of applications (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
  • Track company name (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
  • Track application status (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
  • Track job titles (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
  • Track application deadline (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
  • Track application submitted date (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
  • Track contact at company, with name, title and email (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
  • Track when you did an informational interview (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
  • Track when you last contacted the company so you can send a follow-up email (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
  • Track all of this in “one place” even though you have a lot of it in your email inbox (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
  • Document all meeting notes (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
  • Track everyone you spoke with, or want to speak with (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
  • Follow-up (which is the “critical factor for success”) (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
  • Schedule email follow-up reminders (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)
  • Keep your important docs, like cover letters, resumes, etc. in one place that’s easy to find/access (Check! You can do this in JibberJobber)

There’s plenty more that you could do… in JibberJobber. One reason we designed JibberJobber is so that you don’t have to monkey around with all kinds of folders and other apps… just do it all in one place. Kind of has an appeal to it, doesn’t it?

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 Principle-based Job Search

April 3rd, 2015

Yesterday I posted 21 Surprising Ways To Waste Time In Your Job Search. It’s easy to see a list like that and then wonder “okay, what should I be doing then??”  That post is incomplete… it needs a complementary post which says “here’s what you should do.”

The problem is that the “should do” could vary based on your location, industry, level, background, experience, etc.  But the bottom line is that there are certain principles you can apply to the successful job search.  Many of them tie into networking, relationships, follow-up, persistence, having a good attitude, having correct branding, etc.

I’ve said many times that if I were to start a job search today, 90% of my time would be spent on informational interviews (you can watch my Informational Interview course free on Pluralsight).  Doing informational interviews correctly involves networking, branding, persistence, follow-up, etc.

Using JibberJobber to track, know where you are at, follow-up, etc. would also be a part of a principle-based job search.

Having a schedule, and daily grooming, could be part of a principle-based job search.

Spending a lot of time on job boards, applying like everyone else is, is not part of a principle-based job search.

The problem with listing things that are part of a principle-based job search is that they all look very cliche.  You would look at them and think it’s more of the same… but many things that are principle-based look cliche.  They trick is putting them into practice, consistently over time. Create a system and then work the system.  A professional speaker (Kathy Loveless) once said “create the system and honor the system.”  Same idea.

Folks, my job search system was anything but principled. I invite you to list the things you do in your job search, eliminate the stuff from yesterday’s post, and then figure out if the rest are like comfort foods… there to just make you feel better, or if they are really things that will help you get an interview.  Don’t hide from the real job search by doing the comfort-food activities… they might make you feel better, but if they don’t get you closer to employed, ditch them (or do them after hours).

 

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! »

21 Surprising Ways To Waste Time In Your Job Search

April 2nd, 2015

Been there, done that.  Some of these might seem like great things to do as a job seeker, but I can tell you, you can waste a considerable amount of time doing each of these things.  Not really in any particular order:

  1. Facebook. Duh.
  2. LinkedIn. Not so duh… but if you are poking around, reading articles, reading influencers, sifting through Group Discussions, with no purpose, just to veg or take a break, you are probably wasting time. Looking people up?  Then what do you do with them?  If you are just making lists that you aren’t going to reach out to, then STOP.
  3. Sudoko. I know, you deserve it.  It’s just one game.  It’s just 15 minutes.  It’s to clear your mind.  Two hours later….
  4. Breakfasts and lunches with friends.  Unless you are purposeful and strategic, and watch your time, you are just chilling, chewing the fat, and resting.  A friend of mine once had 5 lunch meetings… in one day.  Each one was purposeful and strategic.
  5. Twitter. Unless you are using tactics to quickly find your next contact, or info about that contact so you can have a meaningful conversation, it’s probably better to stay away.
  6. Huffington Post, Blaze, your local news site, etc. Yeah, sure you are just getting caught up on today’s news that might impact what you will talk about, or you are just taking a few minutes to rest from the job search.  This will rarely result in anything important or helpful, and will more often lead you to waste a few more minutes, which will add up.
  7. TMZ, People, etc. Stop taking a break to see what the privileged people get to wear, do, eat, drive, etc.
  8. Tweaking your resume. Yes, make necessary changes.  But if you are spending hours each day/week/month making changes, you are probably hiding behind the comfort of your screen rather than send that email or make that phone call.
  9. Tweaking your job search spreadsheet. Same as tweaking your resume.  What’s more important, having a good conversation or adding a new column to track some random thing? Stop hiding! And yeah, this is one reason we made JibberJobber.
  10. Driving.  Sure you have to go here and there, and there and here.  But if you spend too much time behind the windshield, just to make these face-t0-face connections that don’t go anywhere, don’t you think you might spend your time better from your home-base?
  11. Phone calls, when unprepared.  Do you know what you are calling for?  What constitutes a successful call (or voicemail)?  If you don’t know, then pause, figure out your objectives, and then figure out what successful calls look like.  THEN DO THAT.
  12. Information Interviews, almost all the time.  Unless you know what you are doing, you are probably going in with a resume, as a needy job seeker, and putting yourself in an awkward and unfortunate situation.  It’s a waste of time for you and them, and you won’t get what you need.  You can watch my course on Informational Interviews once you login to JibberJobber, then click the Pluralsight link in the white box.  Free.
  13. Pouting. I know, it sucks.  You were wronged. I was wronged. I worked too hard in my career, and in school, to be unemployed. But guess what? This is your story!  You get to create and live your own hero story.  That means things are hard, but in the end you win.  Don’t spend too much time feeling sorry for yourself… it’s time to get to work.
  14. Cleaning your “office.”  Whatever your office is… mine was a wobbly card table and La-Z-Boy, with a laptop, in a corner of my bedroom.  I could spend a few minutes here and a few minutes there cleaning, tidying, dejunking… and realize that an hour later I was indeed avoiding my job search because throwing away papers is a lot easier than calling someone who might reject me.
  15. Knocking one more thing off the Honey Do List. Yes, things still need to get done.  But there is a time to do it, just like when you had a job. It’s not time to repaint your bedroom, or put in a garden.  Do this after hours, like you would have done if you had a job.
  16. Job boards.  Stop the madness. I spent way too much time on job boards, looking, hoping… I should have been working my network, and finding jobs that weren’t advertised yet.  The “hidden job market,” they call it.
  17. Reading books relevant to your job search or job/career. Maybe 10 or 15 minutes a day during prime time, if you need a break, otherwise save this self-study for later.  Right now you need to send that email, or pick up the phone.
  18. Ready, fire, aim!  In other words, doing without knowing what you are doing. When I started my job search I assumed that I knew how to do a job search, I just needed to muscle my way through it. I spent the next 8 weeks living on job boards, sure that the next job posted would be right for me. I wish I would have paused, listened to the experts, and re-calibrated my strategy.
  19. Multi-tasking.  Turn off netflix, the TV, or any other distractions that are causing you to not be 100% mentally present. A couple of weeks ago I was sick and needed to sleep, so I put on a nature show to fall asleep to.  The problem was it was so interesting that I couldn’t let myself fall asleep… I had to turn it off and put on something I had seen a few times… something boring.
  20. Doing it alone. Get an accountability partner who will help you be accountable for what you should do and where you spend your time. I didn’t have an accountability partner to help me get my MBA, why would I need one for the job search?  Because for many of us, this is uncharted territory and we’ll make mistakes in tactics, and we’ll waste time on things from this list.  Just knowing that someone is looking over our shoulder, or will ask you questions once a week, should help you stay on track and do the right things.
  21. Avoiding weekly job search clubs. I was chicken. I still get nervous when I go to these things.  I get that.  But this is where I learned that (a) I was okay, and normal, and I didn’t need to internalize the blame for being unemployed, and (b) I was doing all the wrong things in the job search, and how to do the right things, and (c) I was not alone, and there were many others in my boat who would help me (or who needed my help). I swear by job clubs… just realize, sometimes you go to GET, and sometimes you go to GIVE.  Don’t just go to get.

A few thoughts:

There is time to do any of all of this stuff… but it’s not during the prime time of your job search.

Being busy does not equal being effective.  Re-evaluate where you spend your time, and face your fears (which is usually the phone).

You can learn about a principle-based job search, and specific strategies and tactics, from my premium job search and career videos on Pluralsight – no cost to you.  Here’s the step-by-step of how you do it (and get 7 days of JibberJobber premium for each course you watch!).

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! »

Is Technology Hindering Your Job Search and Networking?

March 20th, 2015

There was an interesting article in the news last month titled: Technology inhibits millennial job performance, according to managers

I don’t think this is just a millennial thing…. people texting someone while you are talking to them, or spending too much time on Facebook while neglecting family and friends… this is our new normal.  The disrespect we have for others because we got beeped or buzzed, and heaven forbid we ignore a call or text or facebook message or whatever… even while we blatantly ignore the person we are spending time with, is unfortunate.

It goes further than disregard for others.  In the article they talk about how we’ve become bad at inter-personal relationships because we spend so much time on technology that we aren’t skilled at interacting with real people, face-to-face.

So, I’ll let you read the article if you really want to get into that, and I have an invitation for you.  It is not to go on a media fast, or a social media fast, or to turn your phone off at a certain time, or stop checking emails after hours, or any of those things. Instead of those things that you already know to do, and expect someone like me to challenge you to do, here’s my invitation:

Go to an in-person networking meeting once a week this year.

It could be the same group of people, or it could be different meetings… but each week dress up, get out of the house, leave your phone in your pocket, and MEET and TALK WITH other people!  Look in their eyes!  Shake hands, laugh, and have real conversations!

Magic can happen when you get away from your technology… I challenge you to do this.  Imagine how much better you’ll be at in-person interviews if you haven’t spent the last 500 hours behind technology, barely LOL-ing in real life, with other people!

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! »

Trap Interview Questions with Ford Myers

March 18th, 2015

You know, when you are in a job interview, the question the interviewer asks might not really be the question they want you to answer.  Or, to put it another way, they might ask a question just to see if you have… issues.

Here’s a great youtube video where Ford Myers addresses the why’s and how to answer specific questions in a job search interview:

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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