Competition in the Job Search

February 18th, 2015

Today I was on Lisa Rangel’s webinar about how to write executive resumes that get interviews. You can probably find her next webinar here.

Lisa is one of a few hundred resume writers that I know.  Resume writers are good people.  They are nice, service oriented, and are thrilled when you get an interview, or better, a job.

Resume writers are usually masters of their craft, which includes manipulating a Word document, converting to pdf (and still having it look good), and producing a marketing document in a way that many people can’t do very well.

Resume writers are also creative, and because of their expertise (or how many good/bad resumes they’ve seen), they can be blunt, telling you exactly what you need to hear.  This isn’t always what you want to hear…

I was thinking about how different Lisa is from her peers (and the strengths and weaknesses of some of her peers), and it made me think of … YOU (the job seeker). I was wondering, if you were in a room of your peers and colleagues, all unemployed, how would you compete.

I use compete loosely because it’s not all about competition. I like “coopetition,” and working together, and win-win, etc.

But at the end of the day, some people are going to pick one.  And then the “top 10″ will be picked, and eventually the bottom 50% will be left there.  Still very talented, and competent… perhaps more than the first 10 that were picked… so why weren’t they picked?

Lisa is very purposeful and strategic about her marketing.  She has a right-hand-man (Frank… hi Frank!) who helps her, and has contracted with other resume writers and ex-recruiters to help her deliver services.  She uses current tools (webinars) and reaches out to channel partners to help her get in front of her prospects.

From where I’m sitting, she appears to be crushing it.  And I’m happy for her.  There is plenty of room for others in this space, and I like to see people succeed… there’s really nothing stopping her competitors.

Let’s switch back to YOU.  How purposeful are you? How strategic are you?  Are you incorporating current tools, techniques and strategies in your own personal career management, or job search?  Or are you kind of sitting back, watching others, and waiting?

My suggestion is that you are more purposeful and more strategic.  My suggestion is that you figure out who your partners are, and who your Frank is.  My suggestion is that you don’t let your boss, or HR, or your professors tell you everything is okay, and you’ll be just fine.  I remember asking my boss “should I be getting my resume ready right now?”  The answer was “well, no, of course not!”  Within weeks I was getting my resume ready.

And that began my journey to becoming much more intentional and purposeful about my own career management.

Great things can happen to people who patiently sit and wait for them.  But there are plenty of great things just waiting for you to get up and move towards them.  Just read up on Lewis Howes if you need some inspiration on literally going from the couch to grabbing opportunities.

You are not out to crush your competition, but you don’t have to wait for their lead on how purposeful and strategic you should be.

GO FOR IT!

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job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

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New Job Search Tools

February 17th, 2015

I’ve been working, for months, on a special project just for you.

I am almost ready to unveil it.

It should bring you a lot of value… and I’m super, duper excited to offer it to you.  It won’t cost you anything… I’m not really trying to sell another thing to you.

But I know that pretty much everyone who sees it will see value in it.

Want to know what it is?

I’ll tell you… but not yet.  I’m a few days (maybe a few weeks) away from launching it.

Why write this post?  Because for weeks I’ve been so excited about this but really couldn’t share it with anyone. I wasn’t sure how, or when, it would be ready.  But we are so close, it’s time I can share that SOMETHING NEW IS COMING!

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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Bogus: LinkedIn search limits

February 13th, 2015

From the Office of Face Palms at LinkedIn comes another ridiculous move to make you upgrade.  Have you heard about this?  You will only be able to search a certain amount of times, or see a certain number of search results, and then you are cut off.  Here’s my message, right in line with the search results of a name:

linkedin_limit

Are you kidding me?  

Here’s what I did: I did a search for a name on Google… and then clicked on the LinkedIn result that would show me all of the people with that first and last name.  I scroll down and bit and see that in fact I have been penalized for clicking on that link.

I do this regularly.

This is seriously dumb.  Unless you are at LinkedIn, and want to force people to upgrade, but with the alternatives that are coming out, and the change in direction and value that LinkedIn has, I think this is one more thing that will drive usage and value down.

I was on a call with some career center directors today from a school that everyone’s heard of and we spent too much time talking about how LinkedIn has decreased in value for people who want to network.

WHAT?

That’s what they were set up for in the first place! To help people network!

Things have changed.  Networking is harder on LinkedIn.  And people have noticed, and they are tired of it.

This limit is one more thing that makes me think “okay, if I can’t find it on LinkedIn, I’m going to go somewhere else.”  Which is exactly what I’ve been hearing from recruiters… they are going somewhere else.

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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The Job Search Silver Bullet (Informational Interviews)

February 12th, 2015

Sunday night I did a presentation to a group of people interested in what they could do to manage their own careers.  I talked about a lot of cool ideas, like a mindset that I wish I would have had to network more effectively when I was in my job search.

One thing i didn’t talk about was the silver bullet of the job search.  I’ve written about the silver bullet for job seekers before… I really don’t believe there is one.  I mean, there is not one single thing that you can do right now, and then land your dream job (or, any job).  The job search takes work, and there are many parts of this complex beast to finally land a job.

But if anything comes close, it is the informational interview.  I remember talking to a career professional who said that if her clients did informational interviews all day long, they would likely land within 30 days.

Informational interviews should be fun.  Doing them should be exhilarating, even if you are an introvert.  You should get leads from most interviews you go to.  You should strengthen the relationship with each person you talk to… sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. You should get great practice in saying who you are (the 30 second commercial), to the point where it sounds natural, and you sound confident.

Informational interviews get you away from your computer and in front of real people.  They make you dress up nicer than pajamas.  They put you in professional settings.  They prepare you for real job interviews.  They help you learn more about industries, positions, players in your area, opportunities.  They put you in a position of knowing more about those things than most people.

There are no silver bullets, but if you can implement a good informational interview strategy, your job search might do a 180, and you might find you have a number of solid opportunities that you are chasing (or, that are chasing you!).

What are you waiting for?

Here are some other posts about informational interviews.

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

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Sometimes, the grass really is greener

February 10th, 2015

Today I walked by my neighbor’s horses and thought “I gotta get my camera!”  I missed the shot, but the one below was good enough to show my point.  THE SHOT was when the black horse, which is in the background on the right, was looking at the brown horse enjoying his food.  It was an awesome contrast to see the brown one enjoying life, and the black one looking utterly bored on his no-greens side.

jibberjobber_blog_greener_grass

I talk to people all the time who wonder how green the grass is on the other side of the fence.  Sometimes it is, many times it isn’t.

Instead of focusing on that, though, let’s focus on the non-green side… the right side.  We’re not talking about jumping from greenish to super-green… in this situation we’re talking about the difference between bleak, scarce, horrible to life-sustaining.

Sometimes the opportunities are better, but looking at where we are, we’re discrediting ourselves.

Of course, there will be another field with greener grass… but sometimes the change you need to make IS definitely to the other pasture, where the grass is green enough.

Companies have already drawn defined loyalty for us… we don’t need to worry too much about crossing a company.  Heck, the person who feels crossed will likely not be there in three years…

As I have always said to my employees, you have to do what’s best for you and your family.  And sometimes that means leaving my field and going to something better.

* This doesn’t apply to my team right now – I want them to stay around for many more years :) :)

 

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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How To Organize a Job Search (JibberJobber Competitor)

February 6th, 2015

Andy called me this week.  It’s been at least a couple of years since we chatted last.  He was asking about programs we have for coaches and job clubs… and noted that one of my competitors has since gone away.

My reply was that I have, over the years, seen a few JibberJobber competitors go away.

I’ve always felt that being in this business is kind of like playing leapfrog.  We have something cooler than you today, tomorrow you have something cooler than us, and we hop around the competitive landscape with a “I’m better than you (for the next 24 hours)!” attitude…

I almost cared in the beginning, but knew that if I always tried to one-up my competition, I would drive myself, and my team, nuts.  And we would focus on the wrong things.

I admit that some of our competitors have had way cooler things than we have had over the years.  Some of them today have cooler things (including the interface) than what we have.

But what I know is this: we’ve been around for (almost) nine years.  And we’ll be around for at least another 9 years.  I don’t know how many competitors are left, but I’m guessing that of the 20 or so that popped up after we pioneered this space, 1/2 are gone.  Cool features, cool interface and all.  GONE.  That means your data is gone.  When you need their tools in your next job search, you won’t be able to use them.

Why?

Sometimes they had investors that got cold feet.  Sometimes they were a one-man operation (nothing wrong with that), and when they got a job, they took their job search organizer off the back burner and put it in the freezer.  Sometimes they thought they were going to be rich and famous, and when they didn’t make any money, and couldn’t figure out monetization models, they did the oh-so-popular “pivot,” which means they were too smart to stay in a very hard business.

I don’t know why they pulled the plug.  But they have.  Even if the site is still up, if they haven’t blogged for months (or years), I would take that as a bad sign.  If they can’t take 10 minutes to blog, are they working on their system?  Would you trust your data to a system that has been neglected for years?

Over the last nine years JibberJobber has been accused of looking old.  Even the day after one layout update, someone emailed and said we looked like a site from the 1990′s.  You just can’t win them all.

But here’s what we do have: a dedicated team of programmers and QA, and myself, who have been working on JibberJobber non-stop for nine years.  We have grown, improved, added more features, enhanced and improved for nine years.  We don’t have an investor breathing down our necks telling us what features to add or remove, or what numbers we need to hit, or we’ll have to pull the plug.  It’s been a tough road, but we are in a position where we are here now, and we will be here for your next job search, and the next one…

I love getting emails from people saying this is their third or fourth job search, over the last nine years, that they are using JibberJobber for.  That is freaking cool.  Not that they are in job search three times, but hey, it’s the world we live in. I love that we are there for you.

If you don’t like our colors, or our boxes, or our reports… you can go check the other systems out.  It will make their day if you say you are sick of JibberJobber and you like them better.  Go for it.  But when they go belly up, or stop development of new features, or don’t fix bugs for months and months, or one day they just disappear… you can always come back.

We’re focusing on four words this year:

  • Easy
  • Fast
  • Reliable
  • Intuitive

I’m not saying we are awesome at those four things, but those are our focus for 2015, as far as development goes.  Each time we create a new work order, we are tagging it as something that will make JibberJobber easier to use, faster, more reliable, or more intuitive.  Do we have a lot of work to do?  Tons.  But we’re dedicated to doing this smart, so that we can be around for many more years.

Want to check out our competition?  Go for it.

Want to help us be there for you, for the rest of our career?  Join us.  Help us.  Give us suggestions.  Tell us what we fail miserably at… and how we can improve.  We are in this for the long haul.

And honestly, good luck to our competitors.  It’s not heartening to see so many companies pivot too early.  At the end of the day, we are all in this business to serve YOU.

 

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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The Great America Road Trip (JibberJobber Presentations)

February 3rd, 2015

I’m feeling antsy… maybe it’s cabin fever.  Maybe it’s the crazy low gas prices.  But I’m ready to get on the road and do some presentations.  My favorite presentation is Career Management 2.0.  It is fun, and eye-opening, and encouraging… maybe even a little motivating.  A very popular presentation is anything on LinkedIn, since I wrote THE BOOK on it :)

This summer, I’m planning on going on a trip.  Email me and I’ll give you dates and specific times/places, but for the most part I’ll be driving from Salt Lake City towards New York City, and then down to Virginia, and then back to Salt Lake City.

I want to speak at job clubs… these are typically groups of around 50 – 200 people that meet weekly.  They don’t have a budget for speakers.  That’s okay.  While I don’t “sell” during my presentations, I find that people want to get my stuff, so I respect the “no selling!” rule, but I do make it easy for people to buy… which means I offer packages and stuff for people who come.

If you are in or around any of the following cities, and you know about job clubs I could visit, let’s talk. I need introductions to the people who run the show.  Without an introduction I find they are typically very closed and protective of their group… with an introduction, it’s a different conversation.  Here are some ideas of where I plan to be (the map is tentative):

road_trip_2015

Any city in Nebraska,  Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio along I-80/I-90

  • Chicago
  • Cleveland
  • Buffalo
  • Rochester
  • Philadelphia
  • New York City
  • Baltimore
  • D.C.
  • Northern Virginia

Coming back home, we might go on more of a southern tour… so cities along I-70 or I-40.

Do you live anywhere near these areas?  Can you make introductions?  If so, email me (Jason at JibberJobber dot com).

 

 

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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20 Things To Do In A Job Search (or, I just lost my job!)

February 2nd, 2015

alison_doyle_headshotMy friend and sometimes neighbor Alison Doyle wrote a great post titled TOP 20 THINGS TO DO IF YOU LOSE YOUR JOB

As I was readying through Alison’s post I thought “this is like a mini book!”

Her list is a little different than my list (What I Should Have Done In The First 30 Days), but if I were to advise you on your new job search, I would have you print out her list and work on (or check off) every single thing she includes.

Click here to see her post, then print it off, and work on every single one of them!

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! »

Kicking Off The New Year with Your Career (Video)

January 30th, 2015

A couple of years ago I was my own guest on my Ask The Expert call.  All of these are free.  You can watch this January 2013 recording below.  To see this full screen, simply click the little icon by the volume which will make it full screen.

AskTheExpert Jason Alba Jan2013 Vimeo from Jason Alba on Vimeo.

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! »

JibberJobber Certification Course 1/2 done!

January 29th, 2015

This week we finished our third course for the JibberJobber certification program for career professionals.

If you are a career professional, you can still sign up.. all courses are being recorded, and you can listen/watch at your own pace.

The schedule is here.

The “why” is here.

It is my hope that career professionals who earn this certification can bring more value to their client relationships…!

If you are ready to move forward, you can pay here… in the description box, let me know it is for the career pro certification program.

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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