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:
Not sure if I’ve had anything on Facebook associated to me with that many likes!
I got this email from a sales professional last week:
My initial response was, YES, definitely do this.
I’ve been marketing myself, as a job seeker, and then my business, for 9+ years. What I’ve learned is that if you do not put yourself in front of people, they forget about you. You are responsible for getting and staying in front of your audience.
I’ve also learned that the initial contact is just barely breaking the ice. They key is to get in front of them regularly, as appropriate. That is one reason why you have CRM systems. If your company doesn’t provide a CRM system to you, then use JibberJobber. If your company does provide a CRM to you, but you are making great friendships and professional contacts that you want to take to your next job, then use JibberJobber
Here are my specific thoughts and reactions to this person’s questions:
Is this going to be okay with your company/boss? I can’t imagine a sales professional getting into trouble for sending this type of email, but you might want to check with your boss. They might know something about a customer they fired (that you shouldn’t get in touch with), or they might point you to some tools or queries to make what you want to do easier.
Should it be one bulk email (BCC, of course!) or multiple individual emails? Pros and cons of both. I would say it depends on a few things… where are you sending it from? If you send from a Gmail or Verizon or a personal account (which I wouldn’t recommend), they have daily sending limits. Going over those limits might get you in trouble (ie, getting locked out of sending email for 24 hours). If you bulk send from your work account, and your email server is on blacklists, count on maybe 5% of your emails getting through (I don’t know the percentage, but just assume hardly any get through). The idea of doing one bulk email is nice because it’s faster, but I’m not convinced it’s that reliable.
Sending individual emails is more reliable, I think, and you might do 20 – 50 each day. This will even help you manage the responses, over days, instead of all in the first day or two. But it will obviously take more time. The real question is how many emails are you sending? If it’s 10,000, do bulk and go from there. If it’s just a few hundred, send a few dozen each day until you finish.
About the “personal touch,” you can easily do that with individual emails… but you can also do it in bulk. There are programs you can use (like mailchimp, and even outlook) that can merge names with a general body of text…
What information should the email have? The number one purpose of this email is to introduce yourself. In doing that, you’ll reinforce the branding of your company (in other words, remind the customer that your company exists and has stuff for them). You should give them contact information… work and cell # (that’s how salespeople roll, right?). Keep the email short… don’t go into new products, etc. I would let them know I’m the new rep, I’m excited to be there, and I’m easy to reach (and I’m responsive). I want them to know that I’m their partner and want to help their projects be successful. I will include a one-liner about my company, like “we manufacture the best widgets for the _______.” so people can remember where I fit into their life. And, as overwhelming as this might sound, I invite them to call me in the next week (or two) and tell me what projects they are working on, what they have coming up, any issues from past projects with our stuff, etc.
I want this email to start the relationship, and invite them to let us take it to the next level. That might be a emails, it might be a phone call, it might be a face-to-face… but let me introduce you to me and let’s start a relationship.
How often should I follow-up? What should the follow-up have? Make sure this first email is not the last email. As a customer I know I need multiple communications before I trust you, and I need you to hit me at or around the right time (or, when I’m in the market to buy your stuff). I suggest doing a blast, en bulk, each month. This can be short, it can talk about new products, or it can talk about case studies where your products/services helped other customers. The last thing would be the most interesting read for me. It keeps me engaged (because it’s fun to read), and shows me that you understand that my success is important to me, and it’s also important to you. I’m not just a customer to help you meet your quota, but you really care. The key? MONTHLY.
How do I justify future follow-ups? What if I have nothing new to say or report? Then create something. Talk to your customers and ask them if they could share some of their wins with your list. If you don’t get those stories, then create information that will help others… suggestions, tips, best practices, industry news, etc. Don’t write too much – we all suffer from information overload, and you don’t want to be that email that I’m sure to delete.
Is that it? Will I be successful with this strategy? I don’t think so. I think you need to have an integrated sales/marketing approach… that is, pick up the phone. Meet customers in person. Don’t just rely on email. But you already knew that.
Now, get your email constructed, proof it for type-os and grammar, and make sure the messaging is exactly what your customers should understand, and then send it.
A few weeks ago I asked my daughter to take the car she drives all over town to get the tires rotated. This is a simple procedure, and helpful to lengthen the life of tires… and I’m now bought into the idea that we need to do this. I’m also bought into the idea that she should do it, and learn about vehicle maintenance by doing it.
So, she comes back to me and says that the tire tech said the two front tires needed to be changed, and that they they were running thin… I was kind of ticked (not at her) because these are less than a year old. Even though they have a warranty that should cover them for years, I’m sure the tire people would say “well, sorry, but the alignment is off, and you haven’t rotated them lately… so it’s really all on you.”
I was not excited about spending a couple hundred dollars to get new tires. I was not excited about the time it would take to do this (I didn’t trust the salespeople with my daughter, who has never bought tires before). And frankly, I just wasn’t finding the time to get this task done. The car doesn’t spend much time in the garage, and I have been very busy lately.
Last week my wife called me from school, where she was mentoring a class, and my daughter had come for a class… she said that the front tire was leaking air pretty bad. I knew the time had finally come, and I had to table what I was doing and get the front tires replaced.
The thing is, this was admittedly stupid.
I should have taken care of this before… my daughter drives on the highway every evening to go to stuff, and if she had problems on the highway, it would have likely been a blow-out. My mechanic told me that too many accidents are a result of bald tires that blow-out. And the anguish and cost could be much worse than $200.
Long story short, I left work, took care of the tires while they were in school, and we’re all good.
Driving home I was thinking about how I didn’t make the time to fix the tires… there really was just not a good time to do it for me. Just like when we have a job, and we put of career management stuff because we are too busy working, or resting from our work. We neglect it. The timing just doesn’t seem good enough.
And then, if you are like me, you are told that there is no more job, and all you have is time. And then you wish that you would have addressed it earlier… but you were “too busy.”
Let me invite you to rethink what job security is. It might have been a degree and a work ethic back in the 1990′s, but today it is the strength of your network (which is not how big your LinkedIn network is), and what people understand about you.
You can work on that, right now. Today. And tomorrow. And the next day. A little bit every day, whether you are in transition or not.
We were lucky to have avoided a blow-out on the highway. Work on your network and brand, and you might avoid a blow-out in your career.
I have gotten thousands of invitations to connect over the years. Mainly this is because I have a pretty public persona, from starting JibberJobber, and then writing the book on LinkedIn. I have spoken across the US and have done many webinars to global audiences. So people send me invitations… which I don’t have a problem with.
What I do have a problem with is the idea that getting a connection on LinkedIn seems to be the end goal.
In my LinkedIn trainings I’ve suggested that once you start a relationship with someone, you DO NOT ask them to connect with you on LinkedIn – yet. Why? Because connecting on LinkedIn, many times, means “we’re done communicating.” It’s the end. I have reached my goal, I have won.
Think about it – how many times have you connected with someone on LinkedIn, and then you never hear from them again? How many times have you had a good conversation with someone, then invited them to LinkedIn, and then stopped communicating with them?
I’ve seen this too many times. So my suggestion is to build the relationship more, and eventually connect… but make it clear that you are interested in the relationship a lot more than a somewhat meaningless connection on social media.
Towards the end I wrote “amazing things happen when you follow-up.” I also wrote “see what happens” when you follow-up, to your networking, attitude, morale, and job search efforts.
I share this from personal experience of a horrible networker. Playing Monday Morning Quarterback, I now realize that I was focusing on my own image, and I was focusing on numbers (how many new people I meet), but I most definitely was not focusing on real relationships.
I somehow thought that “networking” meant you meet more of the right people… but I didn’t realize that I should have been developing a relationship with them. The relationship you have when you first meet someone is what I would consider “superficial.” That is, you don’t really know them, they don’t really know you… and if you leave it that way, you are left in a position of not really being able to help one another.
I realized later that a main goal of my networking efforts should have been to go beyond superficial, and really start to get to know the other person. As that happened, they would start to get to know me. As we nurtured our relationship, we would be in a position where we could, and wanted to, really help one another. We could trust the other person with our introductions, and they would trust us. Our professional relationship would go beyond this job search… because this was not a relationship just because I was in need, looking for a job.
This is done with what I call multiple “touch points.” That is, all of the different times that you communicate with, or are in front of, that person. Send an email? That’s a touch point. Text, call, meet for lunch, see at a networking event and say hi? Those are all touch points. When you go out of your way to say hi, or when you send an email that is obviously personalized, that is an effective touch point. Contrast that to forwarding junk or chain letters (NEVER DO THAT!!), or sending too many impersonal emails without ever sending something personalized…
A big part of our career management (which has taken the place of the 1900′s term: job security) is nurturing individual relationships. Don’t make the same mistake I made and think that just adding more people to your list, meeting more people at a conference, constitutes “networking.”
Have you noticed one of the categories of this blog (to the left) is “UNsocial Networking?” It’s towards the bottom of the list of categories. But what in the world does that mean?
I created that tag with a chuckle…. after all how, how can you be unsocial and network at the same time?
Indeed, I’m not suggesting that you should be unsocial. I wanted to make a distinction between old-fashioned, non-technology-based networking, and “social networking.”
While computer-based social networking is not going away, I think that we’ve gotten away from basic principles of relationships, hiding behind screens and canned messages and false relationships. Sure, a lot of good does and can happen online… I’m even an advocate of using any tools at our disposal to accomplish what we need to (see my post on Career Management from yesterday).
I did, however, single out UNsocial networking because I want to focus on those principle-based strategies and tactics. Let’s really focus on relationships, nurturing relationships, helping others, etc. Pick up some old books, whether it is How to Win Friends and Influence People or any of Harvey Mackay’s networking books. Learn about relationships beyond being Friends on Facebook or Connections on LinkedIn. Don’t let those become the goal… lest you find your network is nothing but a house of cards.
Over the last few years I’ve given hundreds of presentations titled Career Management 2.0. I’ve done webinars which people from around the world have tapped into, to listen to Career Management 2.0.
I’ve thought about this for years. Career Management replaces “job security.” I’m sure career experts can give you a five, seven, or even twenty-one point list of what Career Management means… if I had to, I could come up with long list, too.
But here’s the bottom line: I’ve boiled Career Management down to two things:
Networking, which includes growing your network and nurturing individual relationships, and
Personal Branding, which is simply how others would define you (or, whatever elegant definition you want to give).
I can (and do) talk for hours about this stuff. I’m passionate about it. When I lost my job in January of 2006 I still believed in job security. I didn’t think that a guy like me would have a problem finding a new job. I did “all the right things,” and so somehow, someone owed job security to me.
Of course I was wrong. And along my journey, I finally realized that the power I was looking for was only that which I would create. Where I needed to start is listed above… and it’s the exact same two things I still focus on today.
As we close the year out, take some time to let this settle in. What have you done to strengthen your network this year? What will you do next year?
What have you done to strengthen your brand this year? What will you do next year?
If this is top-of-mind, you’ll have a fun career. Transitions will come and go, but they’ll be much less painful, and shorter, if you internalize Career Management.
On this morning’s Focus Friday webinar I was astounded to read a comment from Paul in Minnesota about how many levels of connections he reached before he landed his job.
Some context: on many of my webinars, I’ve repeated one of the greatest things I learned in my own job search, which is that you find your job leads from your third and fourth degree contacts, not from your first and second degree contacts. This is such a profound concept…. the idea that as we develop relationships with people, we continually ask for introductions. More often than not, you won’t have your first or second degree contact. Unfortunately, the way LinkedIn works, they mess up how we track this. But in JibberJobber we can track down to the nth degree.
Anyway, Paul wrote this comment on our webinar today, in response to talking about the free vs. premium levels of JibberJobber (note that we were talking about the email2log feature… which is premium, but the tracking to of referrals is in the free level):
I’ve heard this type of gratitude for JibberJobber before… and I love hearing it (especially on a Friday, what a great way to end my work week ). But what floored my was what Paul was doing: 22 Levels?
That is so awesome! That is how an effective job search is done! Talk to people, ask for referrals, do informational interviews….!
I’m a sucker for a good job search story. Enter a LinkedIn article by Liz Ryan, where she shares an awesome, inspiring letter from one of her job seeker clients, and then her reply. Please read the entire thing – it’s kind of long but if you are in a job search, this will give you a boost that you just can’t get enough of!
Doug’s story is our story… your story, my story. We think that if we do a great job, we’ll have security (“I thought I was going to retire from that job.”). We think that we can send out hundreds of resumes, because it’s a “numbers game,” and eventually someone is going to interview us and hire us. We are absolutely appalled at the resume black hole and the salt-in-the-wound auto-responders. Finally, when something comes along that gives us a semblance of control, we gravitate towards that. We thirst for control, since we feel like we’ve been thrust into this dark fantasy world where we have NO control. Doug talks about “Pain Letters” and a “consulting business card.” It’s a great letter – read it here.
Liz responds with two awesome follow-up assignments that EVERY job seeker should do. The first is to get on LinkedIn, and get a good profile. The second assignment is awesome:
This is such a powerful assignment. I don’t even want to call it a recommendation because I think that devalues it. It’s not a suggestion… this is a must-do assignment.
I have heard from hundreds of coaches and career professionals that they all say something like this: “when you land your next job, you need to continue networking!”
And the job seekers says “Yes, of course, I’ll never let my network get stagnant again!” You feel repentant, you are humbled, and even though you don’t like networking, you swear you won’t fall behind on your relationships again.
BUT YOU DO. You get busy onboarding yourself at your next job. You can take a breather and release the stress of being unemployed. You get to play a bit, and of course you don’t have to go to any networking events. Whatever resolution you had gets swept away in the new routines.
YOu aren’t bad… you just need some ideas on how to network moving forward. And Liz’s assignment, to reach out to every person you met in your job search (and the people you knew before that, who you were in touch with during your job search), is THE TACTIC that you need to pursue.
Awesome stuff. Click the image to read the whole thing: