JibberJobber How-to: How to add a Glassdoor URL for a Job or Company

September 19th, 2017

I got this question last week from Robert:

Add Glassdoor URL field to company page. I regularly check the Company’s About page and Glassdoor information when researching companies. It would be nice to have all this information available via a simple click of a hyperlink.

Guess what? You can already do this, on your own. And if you want to add other links, instead of or in addition to Glassdoor, you can!  Here’s how you do it (you can do this on the “edit” page, at the very bottom, but I’m showing how to do it on the Detail Page):

First, click the Add button towards the top right, and choose

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Then you’ll see this on your Detail Page… this is where you can choose an existing Custom Field or add a new one:

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I clicked the dropdown and I see the field I have already created (oops, you see the one I created to test for this blog post :p), and “other”… click “other” to create a new Custom Field:

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Next, on your screen you’ll see this dialog box, to create a new Custom Field. This is the name or title of a field, not the value. In other words, you would put “Glassdoor URL” here, not the actual URL:

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Once you hit OK, you’ll go back to the Custom Field, and you’ll see your new field there, and now you can add the URL (in the second box):

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When you save this, we can tell it’s a URL, so we make it a one-click hyperlink!

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You can do this on Companies, Contacts, and Jobs, and you can add any URL you want!

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JibberJobber Video Library: How Recruiters Hire (Robert Merrill Interview)

September 18th, 2017

Last week I shared Kristi Broom’s interview… she is a hiring manager.  This week I want to introduce you to Robert Merrill, a tech recruiter.  This is another video interview you’ll get, along with JibberJobber Premium for a year, for only $60!

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How do recruiters hire? What systems do they use? Do they care about your resume, or LinkedIn Profile? What about salary negotiation, follow-up, etc. This is what you’ll get in this video, and other interviews in the JibberJobber Video Library.

The purpose of these types of interviews is to get inside the minds and though processes of people who are doing the hiring… whether they are hiring managers or recruiters or business owners.

You can upgrade here and get immediate access to this interview, the rest in the series, and all of the JibberJobber premium features… for just $60!

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Ask the Coach #5: How to Network in a New Area?

September 15th, 2017

This is part of a continuing series called Ask the Coaches, where YOU pose a question that I send to dozens of career experts, and they give their awesome responses. IF YOU ARE A CAREER EXPERT and want to be on the list, email me (contact link at bottom of any page).

This week’s question comes from Kathy:

I am struggling with networking. If you are in a new area, what is the best approach to making new contacts?

Great question… for many, they aren’t new in an area, but once they are in job search it sure can feel new.  The responses are below…


atc_3_headshot_gavan_ambrosini_125Gavan Ambrosini, Executive Coach, Career Consultant

It’s not easy breaking into a new area with few contacts and resources to lean on. Three things I recommend to get you started:

  1. Join a job seeking group–they pop up in different forms but the best and easiest way to find one is to check in with your local One-Stop Career Center (www.servicelocator.org) and they should be able to point you in the right direction to one.  Other entities to check out are local churches, veterans associations and experience Experience Unlimited and MeetUp.com to name a few. You will meet other professionals, and get on their radar for opportunities that might not be a fit for them but perfect for you. It also helps to know you are not alone–and to be a support to others on this journey.
  2. Join and/or attend association or industry events to increase your visibility and to get to know what is happening in your new town.  You don’t need to say you are “unemployed”, but that you are “working on some projects” (sure it may be yourself) and that you are looking at (not for) new opportunities in the area.  The idea is that you are always in charge of your job search and that everything is a possibility (not a need, want, desire).
  3. Volunteer somewhere.  It doesn’t have to be in your industry, but it will help to get you involved in the community and away from the computer and outside of your head.  Serving others less fortunate than you is the best way to get you into a positive mindset and with an attitude of gratitude. If you can find somewhere that can utilize your unique skills sets, even better!
Just don’t get yourself so busy, that you don’t have time to look for a job!  If it starts to feel like too much–ease up and pick and choose what events will give you the best return on your time.  It’s ok to take a break and go back to what you started or try something completely different–just as long as you are getting yourself out there meeting people. Remember, the goal is to expand your network and to make important connections along the way.
Good Luck!

atc_headshot_sonia_cerezo_125Sonia Cerezo, Certified Professional Career Coach

Dear Kathy,

I am not sure if you are looking for a new job in your new city or you simply want to meet others but either way, the process is the same.

First, start by reaching out to newcomer’s groups in your area.

Second, via meetup.com, join groups you are interested in.

Third, become a member of the professional associations in your industry.

Fourth, going to church on Sunday, not only helps the spririt but it is a great way to meet others.

Fifth, volunteer either at your church or pick a nonprofit you feel strongly about.

But remember true networking is about meeting one person at a time, so be intentional about getting to know others.

I hope these suggestions help.

Wishing you the very best in your new career!


atc_headshot_jenna_hartwell_125Jenna Hartwell, Director of Veterinary Career Services & Professional Development

Excellent timing for this question – networking has been on my mind a lot this week!

Before sharing some ideas, I think it’s extremely important to first mention what networking is NOT.

Networking is not about the number of people in your contact list.

Networking is not being fake.

Networking is not about being an extrovert.

Networking is about trust.

It is about creating a community of people around you who want to invest in your success (and believe that, if given the opportunity, you would do the same for them). From those trusting relationships we build our network and from building that network we develop a positive reputation which, in turn, fosters more trust. It’s a cycle. See:

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Keeping all of this in mind, here are some practical ideas:

  1. Start with the people in your life who already know and trust you. You never know whose uncle’s cousin’s sister in law lives in your city or is knowledgeable about your field.
  2. Join affinity groups through meetup.org or your local chamber of commerce. These don’t have to be in your career area – they could also be for a hobby or interest! Several of my friends have built new networks through the World Adult Kickball Association.
  3. Find alumni from your college/university through LinkedIn or your school’s alumni association (call the office – they would love to help you!)
  4. If you’re someone who isn’t at your best in in-person situations; use the phone! In an age where so many of us are bound to email, a call can be refreshing and a nice middle ground for people who prefer to network from home.
  5. Engage your “nag” – find that overly honest person in your life who pushes you to do the things you don’t want to. There is nothing a nag wants to hear more than “I need your help.” Schedule a weekly call with them about who you met since your last conversation.
  6. Find the local chapter of your professional association. When I first moved back to North Carolina, the people at the NC Association of Colleges and Employers quickly became my second family!
  7. Focus on your successes no matter how small. A case of the ‘shoulds’ coupled with negative self talk lead to spending the evening on the couch (not networking).
  8. Take a class at your local university.
  9. I love the forums on city-data.com. Every city has their own unique culture and learning from the locals is a great way to find places to network.
  10. Volunteer. Idealist.org, volunteermatch.org, or even your local non-profit association can help you find places to help yourself while you’re helping someone else.

atc_headshot_adele_leah_125Adele Leah, Career Wingwoman whose mission is to help careers fly and put people on the path to career happiness and success

Leverage the power of LinkedIn, whether it is a new area in terms of location or in terms of industry sector you are looking to move into.

LinkedIn is like attending a big networking event with more than 400 million users, it’s the largest professional social network. With the various functions, it’s a great tool to find companies, people, and jobs in any location and industry. You can reach out and connect, start conversations, network and build up new contacts. There are also various groups you can join which is another great way to join new communities and expand your network.

The important thing is that you have your profile up to date and really showcasing who you are, what you do and the value you bring. People want to see clearly and quickly what you are about and why they should connect and network with you. Not having an updated and complete profile is like turning up at a networking event in your pajamas and mumbling. Not many people would want to engage and talk with you! Your summary is key this is your introduction, think about what you would say to someone if you met them in person about who you are and what you do. This is what you want to put there

Around 99% of people fail to optimize their profile and aren’t using LinkedIn to their advantage so be in the 1% and have a profile that really stands out and then your ability to connect and network gets a whole lot easier.

Also, it’s important when you reach out you send an introduction with the connect message giving a bit of detail about why you want to connect.

Part of the work I do as a career strategist, coach and mentor is to help people to stand out and shine with their LinkedIn profile as well as understanding how to use it to its full potential to develop their personal brand, grow their network and increase their career opportunities. LinkedIn is for your career life, not just a new job.


atc_headshot_wendy_terwelpWendy Terwelp, Executive Career Coach, Speaker, Author: Rock Your Network® for Job Seekers

As the author of Rock Your Network® for Job Seekers, I recommend the following steps for Kathy and others who are newly relocated:

  1. Determine your goal for networking. This impacts the type of groups you will explore and join. If your networking goal is for job search, you’ll want to explore area job search groups. Additionally, I recommend joining a local chapter of your professional association. For example, PRSA if you’re in PR; ATD, if you’re in training and development; ASQ if you’re in quality management, and so on. Check out LinkedIn’s “groups” tab to see if there are relevant groups for your networking goals in your area.
  2. Update your LinkedIn profile with a current professional photo, summary, and experience. This way, when you’re exploring connections and groups, people can easily associate your name with a face.
  3. Create a sound bite you can modify and use when meeting new people. Instead of, “I’m between jobs right now.” When asked, “So, Kathy, what do you do?” you’ll have a polished sound bite you can share that’s positive and focused. (Chapter 5 in my book has a formula you can repurpose.)
  4. Check out the local Chamber of Commerce. Typically, they’ll have Business After 5 or other networking events you can attend. One of my clients who’d recently relocated had no local network. She volunteered for her Chamber of Commerce and updated their website. She had a master’s degree in information technology. The chamber wrote a press release about it, highlighting her expertise. She was introduced to several business leaders in the area and was hired by one of them to run their IT department.
  5. Volunteer for a cause you believe in. If you have a tight budget and are unemployed, one thing you do have is time. Volunteering demonstrates your leadership skills, you’ll meet people interested in the same cause as you, and often business leaders are involved in those efforts. This gives you a chance to talk about something you enjoy and are passionate about, which makes networking easy and natural.

Finally, don’t forget your new neighbors, friends and family who may have connections in your area, local sports events, farmers markets, and more. When you have your polished sound bite, it’s much easier to start a conversation with those you meet.

These tips will help you get started. I recommend making a networking plan to make regular progress toward your goals and positive connections with your local market. You got this!


atc_3_headshot_perry_newman_125Perry Newman, Certified Social Media Strategist, Certified Personnel Consultant, Resume Writer, and LinkedIn Transformation Specialist

Kathy, this is a great question and one I’m often asked to respond to. Ask anyone in career services (and in sales as well) and we will all agree the single most important component of success is making and staying in contact with people you know and those you want to know, both in and outside your current or desired field or profession. This is why I am a proponent of reaching out to make a minimum of three contacts a day. Imagine this – 3×30 = 90 people you reach out to every month and 3×365 = 1095 people you now have in your network in the course of one year. This is what serious and successful networkers do!

This said, networking in a new city is more challenging and requires additional effort to yield tangible results. In addition to standard Networking 101 techniques, you will need to consider more unconventional and perhaps less comfortable than you prefer measures. At the outset, you’ll also need to make a modest financial investment in yourself, if you have not already done so. The first investment is to create a catchy business card to hand out to the people you’ll meet to remember you and know how to contact you. I use and recommend Vistasprint, a low cost high quality option. The second investment is, I recommend a low cost or free website and/or blog (check out Wix.com and WordPress). Here you can showcase your resume and bona fides, and have a URL on your business card along with your fully optimized LinkedIn profile page URL so people can check you out, follow you, connect with you, and refer you to others.

Now, here are networking suggestions in a new city and they work in your hometown as well.

  1. Step out of your comfort zone. For many this means being less timid and much more sociable. Go to a sports bar for Saturday College football and Sunday and Monday night pro football (or whatever sport you enjoy or is in season) and start a conversation with the people around you rather than sitting like a wallflower and waiting to be approached by others. You can also go to a movie, a concert or the theater, a museum or a lecture by your lonesome and strike up a conversation with the people you meet on line and at the event. You never know what will happen—or whom you will meet—when you step outside of your comfort zone.
  2. Take up or continue a hobby. Find those things you want to do but your pocketbook or inner voice often says Nah. For example, join a business district or local gym or health club. Take a Yoga, Spin or kickboxing class. Join a flag football or softball league. Try a new restaurant or bar in the business district. Whatever you do, steel your nerves and walk into a room or place full of new people.
  3. Go on Dates. For those who are single, going on dates is a great way to meet new people—even if you don’t hit it off romantically, you could strike up a friendship. If you’re male, ask a woman out and don’t stop asking if you’re rejected. Women, you too can ask a man out. So get out of your comfort zone, take a flyer, and accept an offer or ask out a nice guy or gal, even if he or she is not someone you’d ideally choose. Be up front and say “I’m new to this city and I’d like to get to know you and your friends.” If you’re seeing, someone expand your horizons and get creative: Branch out from your neighborhood and go places where there are crowds. When on line at a movie, ballgame, or anywhere you go strike up a conversation with the people around you and let you partner know why are so friendly to strangers.
  4. Volunteer: So many causes you can support need your help where you can spend time doing something you’re passionate about. Try to keep it close to your field of work if possible. Political clubs are also a good place to volunteer and network and meet influential people in a new city.
  5. Seek out fellow alumni and former co-workers. Search fellow college and even HS alumni on LinkedIn. Then reach out and connect with them, tell them what your connection is and you want to speak with them. If they listed a phone number, take the initiative and give them a call. The same for fellow coworkers who may be in your new city or have contacts on LinkedIn who live where you are now living.
  6. Take chances and say YES: If you get invited to places or events, where there are a lot of people that are not in your wheelhouse or comfort zone say YES. This may be an invite to go bowling, dancing or skiing, to go to a lecture or attend a C&W, Rock or Classical music concert to name a few. In other words, make it your policy to socially say YES rather than to always say No or giving an excuse.
  7. Sign up and attend classes: Continuing education in your field or something related (or even in something that interests you) is a great place and way to meet likeminded people who you can easily start a conversation with. They are also likely to have a network of people you can tap into.
  8. Join Toastmasters: This has a double benefit. Aside from meeting career minded people who are out to advance their career, you will have an opportunity to improve your public speaking ability and hone your business persona.
  9. Check out Meetup in your new locale. This allows you to meet people in different walks of life who share common interests with you. Take a chance and get involved, after a while, you will meet some great and helpful people.
  10. Join your local area LinkedIn group and professional associations. The members of these groups are people you could and should be reaching out to, and most sponsor networking events you can and should attend.
  11. Faith Based Networking. For some this is a first and natural step in networking in a new city. For those who are unaffiliated, lapsed religiously, agnostic or atheists this can be uncomfortable. However most houses of worship and faith based organizations have tremendous resources they are willing to share with newcomers in a city and they can be exceedingly helpful in picking you up when you feel alone, down, lost, home sick or hopeless.

atc_3_headshot_elvabankinsbaxter_125Elva Bankins Baxter, Certified Master Coach

Kathy, one of the best approaches to making new connections is to join a group or volunteer to work where you have common interests and are passionate about a cause.  If you have interests in some type of sport, exercise, are a music lover or an avid reader of books or bird watcher, there are likely to be groups of people in your area with the same interest (s) that you have.  Many of these groups meet on a regular basis in your area.

You are in luck if you are on Facebook.  There is an “Events” tab that appears under the “more” tab on your home page.  Check this out because by clicking on this tab, you will find a list of events that are happening in your area that may be of interest to you.  I found Fall Festival train rides to watch the Fall Foliage in October, a few jazz events, a tour of vintage homes, a few plays at local theatres and book clubs…all in my local area.   And, the best part is that it lists my Facebook friends who are planning to attend.

Once you attend one of these events or contact the leader of the group, the networking becomes easier.

Not on Facebook, try your local newspaper.  There are always listings of what’s happening in your new area.  If possible, bring a neighbor or co-worker with you.

If you are in a career transition, perhaps there is a local Five O’clock Club meeting that you can attend. Simply “Google” the name and view their website and attend a meeting. The key is to attend these events and making those connections.  Don’t forget to connect with everyone you meet on LinkedIn and your number of connections will increase greatly!

All the best and happy networking!


atc_3_headshot_rich_grant_125Rich Grant, Online career course instructor for Peak-Careers

Unless you have family or friends in a new area when relocating, networking can be a challenge. If you don’t know anybody in your new community, the best approach to making new contacts is by searching on LinkedIn for that location. You might be surprised to find that you have a connection who knows someone in the new area. I was surprised when I searched on LinkedIn for “Cheyenne.” I’ve lived in New England all my life, and I chose the most obscure location for illustration purposes. I don’t know anybody who lives in, or has ever lived in, Wyoming. However, on LinkedIn, I found that a former co-worker of mine knows an executive director of a prominent non-profit organization. If I were moving to Cheyenne, I’d call John and ask him to introduce me to this individual. I would then call the person in Cheyenne to introduce myself, and that John suggested I contact him since I’m planning to move to Cheyenne. Being a friend of a friend, I have no doubt he would be helpful and make my transition much smoother. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, “Don’t search for jobs; search for people.”


atc_3_headshot_ron_auerbach_125Ron Auerbach, Job search author, expert, and educator

I was in this exact situation when I moved from the East Coast to the West Coast. So I know what it’s like to have to make contacts in the new location. Now one thing I had done is this. Once I knew where I planned on moving, I took an extended vacation to visit and stay in the new location for a while. And while there, I had worked with some local temp agencies to gain some employment. This helped put me in contact with companies in the new area. And gave me an opportunity to meet some people there. So I was able to gain some local work experience ahead of my move.

Another thing one can do when they have relocated is join local groups. For example, there may be a local networking group for job seekers in your particular field or just in general. This is a nice way to interact with people in the local community who may be able to throw you some leads. And/or introduce you to others who may be able to help out.

You can also use a local religious house of worship. So becoming part of a local congregation will also help put you in contact with locals in that area. And allow you to let them know you’re seeking employment. They might know somebody who can help. Or take your resume and pass it along where they happen to work.

One more way to network is visiting the local unemployment office. Depending upon the area, there may be more than one. That’s the case where I live. Other places just have a single office. Either way, it gives you a chance to interact with some local job seekers. And you can meet with a local counselor there to look over your resume, do a mock interview, and help you with companies in the area.

It’s also pretty common for unemployment offices to host local events. So they may have one or more employers coming into the office to meet with potential new hires. Picking up a calendar of events will let you know what’s upcoming. And there may be postings of upcoming job events posted in the office.

Visiting a local park or other public place is another networking opportunity.. For example, you may be sitting on a park bench next to somebody and strike up a conversation. That gives you the chance to let them know you’re new to the area and are looking for employment.

The same goes for visiting local coffeehouse or juice bar. It’s very common to meet new people in warm and comfortable settings like this. So it’s easy enough to converse with others who might be able to help. Or may take your resume and pass it along to where they work or somebody they know. FYI, it’s pretty common for recruiters and hiring managers to meet with people in this kind of place. And work on going through applications and resumes. I’ve seen this many times at various coffeehouses in my area. And have struck up conversations with those people.

The bottom line here is this. Look to places where there are lots of people around with whom you can strike up conversations. And where it’s more relaxed so people are more willing to open up and meet new people. Also take advantage of the local unemployment office and library for upcoming job-related events. And hit the local employment agencies for some work, even if it’s temporary. Lastly, make sure you are always armed with your resume! So keep a stack with you to hand out at a moments notice.


atc_headshot_victoria_crispo_125Victoria Crispo, College and Professional Outreach Manager at Idealist Careers

I find that the very word “networking” tends to bring out nerves and apprehension among most job seekers. My first suggestion is to throw the word “networking” out and look at it as relationship-building, and then approach it as you would any new relationship. Also, since you’re in a new area, it’s a great opportunity to do double-duty: you’ll likely want to check out the “hot spots” in your new locale, get a feel for the local culture and vibe, and discover activities that fuel your interests…and you can meet people who can become new companions and also serve as professional connections.

You may want to join a local club, take a fitness class, or sign up for a “sip and paint” event! The main thing is that you select activities that you are interested in and that allow for conversation– and make it a point to say hello and introduce yourself to people! When the pressure to network for a job (or to advance your career) is off, you’ll be able to relax, enjoy yourself, and present the “real you”! These conversations will naturally turn towards what your new friends do for a living, and since you’ve already built a rapport, it will feel less like “networking”.


atc_3_headshot_craig_toadtman_125Craig Toadtman, Job Search Consultant, Career Adviser, Coach, Executive Search Consultant

Establishing relationships in a new area can often be very challenging. Your “pirate” behavior must be in full force to find the treasured contacts. Put bluntly, find all the doors, wherever they may be. Your sources for networking are many, so, here are a few options:

  • LinkedIn – Be sure to check your profile to make certain your profile and settings (particularly security and privacy) are up-to-date and crisp. Then begin the process of expanding your network.

I suggest entering the city of your new location in the “search” field of LinkedIn. Scroll through the resulting names of potential contacts and identify people with similar interests, people from potential employers, and people with shared connections. Pay attention to shared connections. If you are looking for a new position, click “Jobs” to search for openings in your new city. Click “Work” then “Groups” and review appropriate groups to review for possible connections.

  • Local Professional Associations and Groups – Google searches can reveal a lot of information about professionals in your area. The local library is also a great resource.
  • Churches, Temples, Mosques, etc. – Many places of worship provide opportunities for like professionals to meet informally.
  • Volunteer – You would be amazed how quickly you could grow your network by volunteering at the local library, hospital, or other public organizations needing help.

As you expand your network, perhaps the biggest challenge will be to remember names, so be sure to have note-taking tools with you!


atc_3_cheryl_lynch_simpson_125Cheryl Lynch Simpson, Career, Job Search & LinkedIn Coach & Master Resume Writer

Hi Kathy, thank you for sharing your question. Assuming you want to land a job in the area you are new to, here are some suggestions that will help boost your networking.

Offline Networking

  • Search Google and local newspaper events calendars for job clubs in your new area. These face-to-face groups specialize in local networking and will help you to quickly build regional connections. Such groups are generally sponsored by area churches or funded by not-for-profits and/or United Way.
  • If you cannot find these groups through an online search, check for an Information & Referral Service in your area. This service is generally funded by United Way and exists to help you find not-for-profit resources. A quick call should prove beneficial.
  • Attend local events sponsored by professional associations relevant to your career field. You can usually attend several before you are required to join a local chapter.
  • Consider joining local chapters of professional, civic, and social organizations to help you meet a variety of folks in multiple industries.
  • Sign up for a library card, go to the local library’s web page, and find a listing of their database/electronic resources. One invaluable resource for job seekers that is free to use is ReferenceUSA, a database of companies in the US and Canada. By conducting one or more searches via ReferenceUSA, you can identify local companies you may wish to target. Note that ReferenceUSA is only available via your library’s subscription and that you may be required to pay a modest fee for printing or downloading data.

Online Networking Suggestions:

  • On LinkedIn, make sure you search for and join as many local, regional, or state groups as you can. Since LinkedIn now allows you to join up to 100 groups, this should be easy to do. This will help you cultivate local connections. Look for geographically relevant groups via the search bar in the upper left.
  • You can also search for people on LinkedIn to connect with in your local area using the same process. Additionally, you can search for potential connections in the local companies you identified via ReferenceUSA.
  • Don’t assume that the offline or online networks you already possess are useless just because you’ve moved to a new area. Take the time to alert everyone you know of your move and request suggestions of people to contact in your new area or people who may know someone in your new area.

Once upon a time, job seekers used to complain that they couldn’t network because they didn’t know anyone in their new area. LinkedIn has completely eliminated this concern — you can leverage it to build a local or regional network from scratch within weeks if you stay focused.

  • Conducting the LinkedIn searches mentioned above, make it a goal to identify and invite 25+ people each week to connect with you.
  • Join as many industry-specific LinkedIn groups as you can — the more the better. LinkedIn only allows you to request to join 10 at a time, so you will need to keep checking your status in order to progress toward your goal of joining 100 groups.

Make it a point to get to know your new connections face-to-face and/or via LinkedIn. DO NOT make networking requests unless and until you do so. Networking is not a drive-by activity — it requires an investment of time, interest, and energy to get to know people first so they want to help you.


Another great roundup!  Email me (Jason@JibberJobber.com) if you have questions you’d like me to put in front of my list of career experts! See previous questions/answers here.

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New JibberJobber Widget: Your Calendar!

September 14th, 2017

We recently announced the first (and second) versions of our first Chrome Browser Widget, which we call the JibberJobber Job Search Widget (info here, download from here). Now we get to announce our next browser widget, the JibberJobber Calendar Widget. This allows you to click on your browser toolbar and access your JibberJobber Calendar from anywhere.

I have already identified a few touch-ups I’ll send to the team, but I’ll also wait to hear what your feedback is.  For now, here’s the awesomeness that this brings you:

Convenient view of what’s going on

The Calendar Widget travels with you. Yes, Google Calendar does too, and there’s no way we can replace that… but as long as you have Chrome open, you can look at your Calendar at any time… just click the icon for the widget (this icon will likely be replaced):

jibberjobber_calendar_widget

Login, and then choose your view

I have logged in (otherwise the Log Out button will be a different color, and prompt me to login). The default view is Monthly, which is my preference (on Google Maps my preference is weekly… weird, huh?).

jibberjobber_calendar_widget_header

Under Option you can choose to show or hide things… such as birthdays, closed Action Items, etc.  Poke around those preferences, but I just left them as default.

Note the green Add Event button… we’ll get to that in a minute.

See what’s going on

In my monthly view I am showing holidays (Sept 4th), birthdays (on Sept 5th, I blotted out the name), recurring Action Items (Sept 4th), and regular Action Items (Aug 30). I can also show Log Entries (that would be a lot of stuff!)

jibberjobber_calendar_widget_view_month

Add new things (Log Entries, Action Items)

If I click the Add Event, or a plus icon next to a date, I can add a new Log Entry or Action Item.

jibberjobber_calendar_widget_monthly_view

The green Add Event opens the entire add dialog, whereas the plus icon by a date opens up a small form that you can expand by clicking “edit” (just like in Google Calendar).

Is this useful? When I was first presented the idea I thought “meh… kind of cool… not sure if we should spend out time on it.” But then I started playing around with it and honestly, this is a very convenient tool.

If you have ANY suggestions or enhancement requests, please send them my way (Jason@JibberJobber.com). I already have my list of six items… and can’t wait to hear from you.

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“Will you review my resume?” How to Review someone’s resume

September 13th, 2017

Raise your hand if you love it when someone asks you to review their resume.  Me neither.

It’s not my thing. I don’t have the brain to go into the detail on something like that… maybe it’s just that I don’t want to be your eleventh grade English teacher… maybe it’s because resumes are boring… maybe it’s just because I’m not nice.

Or, perhaps I assume that what you are really saying is “take my resume and you’ll be so impressed, you’ll feel obligated to send it to a bunch of people at your work, or in your network…!”

Okay, all of those excuses are my problem. The truth is, if you are a close friend I’ll definitely check out your resume. However, I also send you to some other resources who are much, much, much more qualified than I am to review your resume.

Having said that, if you ever feel like you should, could, or want to review someone’s resume, here’s my primer on what to look for.  I’m no expert, so take it for what it’s worth.

Proofread: You are looking for typos and grammar. I look for consistency in periods at the end of the bullets. I hate it when you have a bulleted list and some lines have a period while others don’t. Aside from that you are looking for any typo (too easy to do, hard for the job seeker to find), or grammar that just doesn’t make sense. Also, look for a strong action verbs at the beginning of each bullet, and consistency on each bullet with these verbs.

Messaging: What is the primary, main message the resume conveys?  Is that aligned with the role they are applying to? This is critical. If someone wants to list their entire history, but only 30% of it is relevant to what they are looking for, their resume will not be effective. A resume is not a brag sheet… it’s a marketing document. Make sure the marketing message is the right message for the audience and purpose.

Substance: The resume should be meaty. The reader should walk away thinking “wow, this person is qualified! They have done some great things in their career!” The easiest way to do that is by quantifying achievements… that is, are there percentages (“increase production by 400%”) or hard numbers (“decreased expenses by $200,000”)? I’m not saying that has to be on every line, but every time a resume shows a quantification it strengthens the message that you really get results.  The hiring managers wants someone who will get results (as opposed to someone who might just bring drama, be a warm body, etc.).

Story holes: After you read through the resume do you feel like something is missing? Specifically, if your friend is trying to paint a picture of their expertise, or show what they have done in the past (something that is valuable to the job they are applying to), is there a complete, compelling story? I’ve seen resumes that start to build up to a narrative and then end it at a point where I think “did you do anything? Or did you fail? I don’t get it…”  (see note below on cover letter)

Distractions: On the other end of the spectrum from story holes is having stuff that should not be there. Is there information about roles that is better suited for a different job? In other words, perhaps your friend worked as a gear head at one company, but they are applying as an analyst at another company. They need to bring out skills that an analyst has or needs… don’t talk about the screwdrivers they were so good at. Instead, talk about how they analyzed screwdriver brands, quality, etc. to pick the best screwdriver for the job.  Think: transferable skills. Again, this isn’t about listing all the stuff they have done (brag sheet), rather it is about showing they have the skills and experience to do the job they are applying to. If something does not support their main message, or show they are qualified for the job they are applying to, take it off.

Those are the main things that I look for on a resume. It doesn’t take terribly long to do this… it’s pretty clear where a resume is missing the mark. As long as you think of a resume as a marketing piece that is trying to compel the reader to think about you differently, and not just a list of cool stuff you’ve done, you should get closer to a great resume.

Finally, let me talk about the cover letter.

I recently had a call with a recruiter who said “send me your resume, and an email with either a few paragraphs or bullet points to specifically talk about the main things my client wants.”  This is also known as a cover letter. I believe a cover letter is a “must!” A cover letter is a great complement to the resume, and can fill in some gaps that a resume just isn’t formatted to address. Like, “I’m perfect for this job because,” “I want this job because,” “Here is a little more information about your particular needs, and how I fill those needs.”

Maybe the person getting your resume should already understand that you are the best person, the right fit… but remember, they have a bunch of resumes that all kind of look the same. Writing a few paragraphs to show you are the right fit, add more information that just don’t belong on a resume, and even express enthusiasm is well worth your time.

Now you have the cheat sheet to review someone’s resume… I hope this can help you help them. If you are a resume writer who does this for a living, feel free to add your two cents in the comments!

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JibberJobber Video Library: How Hiring Managers Hire (Kristi Broom Interview)

September 11th, 2017

You know you get JibberJobber Premium for a year, plus the entire JibberJobber video Library, for only $60. But what do you get in the Video Library? I’ll share a series of posts that go deeper on that for the next few weeks… this week we start with Kristi Broom’s interview.

This is a premium video. If you have upgraded, simply login to JibberJobber, go to Tools, JibberJobber Videos, and search “broom” (or kristi, etc.). Or just click on the image below.

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Kristi Broom is an astute professional… the kind you tend to like right away, and then are super impressed the more you get to know her. She’s very sharp, creative, thoughtful, and without a doubt, kind and caring. Just the kind of person you would want to work with.  Kristi spent almost an hour and a half with me talking about her hiring process. The insight she shared was remarkable.

The purpose of these types of interviews is to get inside the minds and though processes of people who are doing the hiring.

Interviews with hiring managers and HR are invaluable, and should be a part of your job search research.  I imagine that for many people, just Kristi’s interview alone will be worth the $60!

You can upgrade here and get immediate access to this interview, the rest in the series, and all of the JibberJobber premium features… for just $60!

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Ask the Coach #4: How do you do a confidential job search?

September 8th, 2017

This is the fourth question we’ve put in front of a bunch of job search coaches and resume writers… to see the others in this series, click on any Ask The Coaches.  This question comes from… someone confidential :) K asks:

How do you keep your current employer from finding out about your current job search?


atc_3_headshot_craig_toadtman_125Craig B Toedtman, Job Search Consultant, Career Adviser, Coach, Executive Search Consultant

Our typical client is seeking an opportunity on a confidential basis. It is our firm belief that while the initial process can be kept confidential, ultimately, you will have to assume that your employer could find out.

There is major preparation that can be done prior to risking public exposure.

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At this point, you are ready to move forward by making direct contacts to individuals identified in your initial research. Posting your résumé and responding to posted opportunities can also commence. This is the time when another person is now aware that you are seeking an opportunity outside of your current employer. You can explain to contacts that you are conducting this on a confidential basis; however, there is now risk involved. You cannot assume total confidentiality once you have brought another person into the process.

Utilizing outside professionals could extend the risk of public exposure; however, there are still no guarantees.

  • Career Services Professional: could be contracted to present initial information to potential opportunities by providing your background without your name and contact information. Once your name is revealed to the potential employer, confidentiality could be broken, and you should assume that your employer could find out.
  • Recruiters: many recruiters submit candidates without identifying the name or contact information. However, you can’t be totally positive, and your name could be floating in the job market without your being aware. There is risk that your confidential search has gone public.

Ideally, if you have reached the point that confidentiality could be breached, depending upon your relationship with your superior, it might be wise to make her/him aware that you are in fact seeking new opportunities. There could be great concern when doing so; however, there are times when this is the best professional way to move your career forward. In some cases, the supervisor may even help with your search!


atc_3_headshot_perry_newman_125Perry Newman, Certified Social Media Strategist, Certified Personnel Consultant, Resume Writer, and LinkedIn Transformation Specialist

How to keep your current employer from finding out about your current job search is a great question.

There are several telltale signs, and some self-destructive actions, that hint at people undertaking a job search while still employed.  Here are my Top 10.

  1. Be positive on the job. Disgruntled and unmotivated employees are generally looked upon as ones who are, or should be, looking for a new position.
  2. Don’t share your job search with people while you are on the job, and not with people who you do not have a confidential relationship with.” Loose lips sink ships.”
  3. Avoid all job search activities at work i.e. making-receiving phone calls, doing computer job searches, sending-receiving emails, text messages and faxes on or from company equipment.
  4. Let recruiters know not to call you at work and especially not to leave a VM on your work phone..
  5. Try to schedule interviews (or have them scheduled for you) in advance so, if needed, you can ask for time off in advance. Make people know your preference is to take interviews before or after hours.
  6. Try not to be bullied into taking sudden and /or excessive unexplained time off in the middle of the workday. If it means missing an interview this may be a better option.
  7. If you do need to take time off for an interview, do not make up a lie to cover yourself. Worst is a doctor’s appointment. If it is checkable, do not use it, you will be caught in a lie. Just say a personal situation came up that needs immediate attention and it is personal.
  8. Don’t keep you current resume on your office computer.
  9. If or when you update your LinkedIn profile turn off the active status and share changes.
  10. When in doubt use common sense  to make a decision and think like an employer and not an employee.

atc_3_headshot_lorraine_rise_125Lorraine RiseCareer Coach, Resume Writer and Columnist for Workforce50.com

This is a very common question among job seekers. If you are using LinkedIn in your search (which I would highly recommend), you can privately signal to recruiters that you are open to new opportunities. You can do this by clicking on the Jobs tab on the top menu. Then, scroll halfway down the page and click on Update Career Interests. Fill out the brief list of questions and hit the “On” button. This will notify only those with a LinkedIn Recruiter account that you are open to new opportunities. Nothing is published on your public profile. As an added benefit, LinkedIn says that turning this feature on will increase your profile’s search rankings.

One more tip is to go into your LinkedIn privacy settings and adjust them so that only you can see your list of connections. For example, if you and your boss are connected on LinkedIn, you may not want your boss to see that you have been connecting with recruiters or people who work at your company’s competitors. Good luck!


atc_headshot_lucie_yeomans_125Lucie Yeomans, 6X Certified Career Services Professional and Job Search Strategist

There is no 100%, fool-proof way of keeping your employer from catching on that you are in a job search. However, there are 5 very important tips you need to follow to lessen the chances of your employer finding out.

  1. Do NOT post your resume on a public job board. Many HR departments and decision makers use these public job boards to find candidates to fill vacancies. Don’t be one of those job seekers who gets caught searching for a job this way. If you see a job you want to apply for, go directly to the company website instead.
  2. Do turn off your LinkedIn “Sharing profile edits” in your privacy settings. If you are updating your LinkedIn profile to appeal to recruiters, make sure you turn off this setting to avoid waving “I’m searching for a new job” flags in front of your employer. LinkedIn is an excellent tool to use when you are secretly job hunting, but you need to be cautious and strategic about how you use it.
  3. Use your own personal computer, phone, and time to search for a job. Some IT departments are watching what you do.
  4. Do NOT tell your colleagues, customers, vendors, etc. you are searching for a new job, unless they are someone you trust with your life. Face it, you are trusting them with your life with that information. Subtle, yet over-zealous ladder climbers have done far less to get ahead.
  5. If you do have an interview during regular business hours, do NOT come to work dressed differently than you typically do. Bring a change of clothes.

atc_3_headshot_jeri_hird_dutcher_125Jeri Hird DutcherCertified professional and international resume writer

A confidential job search is difficult because of competing priorities: An effective job search depends on networking, and a confidential job search depends on secrecy.

The most important strategy is to conduct a targeted job search that focuses on a small number of specific companies you have chosen because they are a good fit for you professionally, geographically, financially, and culturally. This immediately cuts the public exposure of your search.

Further, here are some things you can do to protect the confidentiality of your search:

  1. Forget about posting your resume to job boards. That is the quickest way to tell the world of your search. Instead, choose carefully those you tell about your job search. If you must share this information, ask the person you tell to keep your search confidential.
  2. Make small, incremental changes to your LinkedIn profile in the months ahead of your search.
  3. Know whom you’re networking with. Is the hiring manager at the company you’re targeting best friends with your boss? It’s possible. Use LinkedIn to find out.
  4. Create a confidential resume and confidential cover letter to protect your identity.
  5. Ask people you contact at your prospective new company, such as those with whom you interview, to honor your confidentiality.
  6. Do not use any company resources, including phones and computers, in your search. Conduct your search activities on personal time, even if it means taking a vacation day. If this creates difficulties in scheduling interviews, assure your prospective employer that you respect your current employer and do not wish to have your job search infringe on work time and resources. This displays integrity and should be honored by any employer worth considering.

atc_headshot_heather_maietta_125Dr. Heather N. Maietta, Master Career Coach

Because K is asking this question, I’m assuming she wants to keep her search completely confidential from start to finish. Here are 10 points to consider:
  1. Be a model employee: The world is small. Same-industry job searches are even smaller. When the time comes to turn in your resignation, you want to leave your current employer with as much dignity and integrity as possible. And you never know when you’ll need to call on somebody for support or when you’ll run into someone at a networking event.
  2. Be mindful of who you tell you’re on the market: You need to network it’s the pillar of any job search. Use your best judgement and air on the side of caution when you let your colleagues know you’re searching. This also might require you to accept the fact that there will be certain people you’re unable to reach out to for support because of their affiliation with your current company or simply because you can’t trust them to keep your search confidential.
  3. Tell potential employers and recruiters you are conducting a confidential search: Most professionals will appreciate and honor your request.
  4. Don’t job search at work: Everything that’s done on your work computer is property of your employer, and likely accessible by your current employer. On the flipside, potential employers recognize when you were searching for a new job on company time. This is probably not the first impression you want to make.
  5. Avoid applying to blind positions or posting your resume on job boards: You run the risk of applying for a position within your own company if you actively apply to blind positing. Same goes for posting your resume on job boards. If you’re resume is visible to all, it is visible to your current employer.
  6. Skip the job fairs: It may not be your direct supervisor, but there is a chance someone in your company is actively recruiting at the fair, especially if you’re searching within current industry.
  7. Watch what you discuss on social media: This tip is pretty self-explanatory although needed to be included. Assume nothing you post on social media will stay private.
  8. If you’re not an avid networker, increase outreach gradually: There is a chance signs of uncharacteristic activity will raise flags, drawing attention to your search.
  9. Make sure your family knows you’re searching confidentially: I can’t tell you how many times a family member has accidentally divulged information I’d rather have preferred to keep confidential. It is likely your family will be aiding your search, so be clear with them upfront that as they’re reaching out to their contacts on your behalf, they’re communicating your search is confidential.
  10. Put together a thoughtful reference page: if potential employer does call references, you will need these people to vouch for you at the same time being discreet when they find out you’re in an active search.

Moving up and out of a job is acceptable and more frequent than ever. At the end of the day, if you’re thoughtful about how you execute your search, you’ll be more successful in moving from your current role to a new and hopefully more satisfying position!


atc_3_headshot_ron_auerbach_125Ron Auerbach, Author of Think Like an Interviewer: Your Job Hunting Guide to Success

A lot of people are fearful of their employers finding out about their job search. One major fear is that once an employer discovers you’re looking to get out, they’ll cut you loose ahead of time. Another fear is once your employer finds out you’re looking for other employment, they may treat you worse. Something that could lead to your making errors on the job. And this will hurt your chances of a positive recommendation. So the fear among many job seekers like “K” is very real. What can you do to shade your job search from your employer? Here are some steps you can take.

  • Do not discuss your looking to leave or seeking additional employment
    Keep everything to yourself to prevent the accidental or intentional leaking of your looking for work. Even if you have very close friends in the office who you know you can trust, the problem is they may be caught off-guard. Or be swamped or preoccupied with something else and let it slip. A risk you do not want to chance! So live by the adage, Loose lips sink ships!
  • Be very careful with postings on social media
    More and more employers are using social media to keep tabs on employees. So you want to make sure that anything you’re posting or responding to on social media sites will not even remotely hint of your looking for work. Remember, even if you forgot and deleted the post(s), it still exists out there. And for all you know, it was already seen. So you must be extremely careful with your social media activities. This includes your online profile(s). You do not want your profile to show that you’re looking for work. Remember, many will just look at your headline and make judgments and/or decisions based upon this. So make sure your headline does not say or even hint of your being involved in a job search. The same applies to the rest of your profile. You must be consistent here in hiding your seeking employment in both sections.
  • Don’t use work for your job search
    A big mistake is conducting your job search from your work phone, computer, and/or email. The last thing you want is any record of your seeking work elsewhere from within the company. So do all your job hunting from outside the company! This includes not using your company’s Internet connection. So do not connect your personal smartphone, tablet, and/or laptop to your company’s Internet or WiFi connection. Your goal is to avoid any records of your job search on the company’s end.
  • No interviews from the office
    You don’t want anybody overhearing or walking in during a phone interview or inquiry. So this relates to what I had said above, hide your job hunting activities from prying eyes and ears! And do not give out your work phone or email to prospective employers and recruiters. They should only have your personal email address and phone number(s).
  • Behave normally
    A big tip-off to somebody’s looking for work is their being dressed out of the ordinary and/or behaving differently. So you want to make sure you’re looking and acting the same as you normally would at work. This way, nobody will suspect anything is odd or strange. Also make sure you’re not carrying or bringing anything that sticks out as out of the ordinary. You want to make sure you’re behaving completely normal to avoid raising suspicions.
  • Schedule interviews outside work hours
    Do your best to schedule any interviews outside your hours of work. So if you can do it when you’re done, great! The same with having them before you need to arrive at your job or on your day(s) off. These will avoid your needing to take time off from work to meet with employers. And let you just continue on as though everything is perfectly normal. I’ve done interviews during my lunch. So that’s another possible time for you to schedule an interview without raising any eyebrows in the office.When you’re looking for work, it’s also a good idea to save your personal days, sick days, and vacation time for interviews. So ahead of your need to look for work, begin saving up as many of these days as you can. This way, if you’re not able to schedule interviews in your off-time, you’ll be able to use up these days for interviews during working hours. And do your best to have as many employer interviews during the day. This way, you may be able to minimize how much time off from work you’ll need.
  • Don’t update job search materials at work
    You do not want to be working on or updating your resume anyplace in the office. Or putting together job search materials that will be used during interviews. Just do all these things away from the office when nobody there will be able to notice. So don’t use your personal office, if you have one. And not using the lunchroom, break room, or conference room. Your entire job search activities should be made from locations away from the company where nobody from there will catch you.
  • Avoid using employees of the company as employment references
    You don’t want to risk somebody at the office being contacted by a prospective employer or recruiter. And having somebody else possibly overhearing the conversation. You also want to prevent your reference(s) from accidentally letting it slip they did a reference check for you. What about using one or more former employee as references? Some job seekers will do this to prevent their employer from discovering their using current employees as references. But don’t forget that even former employees can still be in contact with others in the company. So it is possible a former employee you’re using as a reference let it slip to somebody currently working there. Now you just got caught looking for employment somewhere else! So my professional advice is not to use anybody with your current employer as a reference. This way, you’re keeping everything under wraps. And prospective employers and recruiters will understand.

atc_3_headshot_gavan_ambrosini_125Gavan Ambrosini, Executive Coach, Career Consultant

Great question!  And one that has a lot of folks worried as they scan the horizon for new opportunities.  If you are searching on LinkedIn–there is a way to let recruiters know you are looking but without alerting your employer. You can go to your settings and turn on a button just for recruiters to let them know you are open to new opportunities.

It’s hard to be an actor when you are looking elsewhere and try to keep your game face on at work–but in the end, you are probably doing your employer a favor by leaving.  Try not to call in sick to make an interview–but do use your PTO to schedule needed “appointments” and if possible schedule them later in the afternoon or early morning so as to not disrupt your day at work. When you can, take the entire day off!  That way you can fully focus on the new opportunity and not have to worry about giving an Academy Award-winning performance when you go to work.

One last thing, it is not always a bad thing if an employer finds out you are looking.  If they want to keep you, they may entice you to stay with a promotion, more pay or other goodies.  Everything becomes a negotiation if they happen to approach you with the news they know you are wanting to make a move.  If they don’t outright ask you if you are looking, they might “check in” to see how things are going and to see if you need additional support in any way.  Thank them for asking that question, and then think long and hard of what it might take to keep you there. Then would be the time to ask for whatever you want to keep you there.  It might be no–but at least they will be clear of what is motivating you to leave.  If they let on they know you are looking but don’t offer anything to keep you around–take it as a sign that it is time to go anyway.  Either way, maintain a positive attitude throughout your search, and always keep up your professionalism. You never know when you will cross paths again, and you always want to leave on a high note.  After all–no hard feelings–it’s just business, right?


atc_headshot_frank_pomata_125Frank Pomata, Labor Tech/Suffolk County Dept. of Labor

In today’s over-connected world where everyone’s business is so out there for the world to see, including our employers conducting a confidential search can be challenging.    That being said, one can still discreetly conduct a job search without overtly alerting one’s employer.

  • Avoid a drop off in enthusiasm, participation and productivity as these can be tell-tale signs to an experienced supervisor that someone is losing enthusiasm and may be job searching;
  • Do NOT tell anyone at your employer, even friends, you are looking UNLESS you need a peer reference AND know they can be trusted 100% not to disclose to anyone else.
  • Adjust your settings on Linkedin to allow recruiters/employers to contact you.
  • Constantly be passively looking by regularly keeping your resume/Linkedin profile up to date.  This way any sudden changes or updates are not viewed as suspicious should your employer be surveilling your social media (and don’t think they don’t).
  • Emphasize the confidential nature of your search to prospective employers and/or recruiters.  Even saying or writing this is no guarantee as I know all too well from a friends’ personal experience.
  • Be careful, even away from work, who you tell about your search or where you discuss it.   You never know who might be in earshot or who knows who.

Hopefully, the above tips are helpful to those of you seeking to change employment without tipping your hand to your current employer.


atc_headshot_virginia_francoVirginia Franco, Certified Resume Writer, Interview Consultant

Try and Flex 

If your job does not require a set hourly schedule, experiment with flexing. Try coming in an hour or two earlier and leaving an hour or two earlier, or conversely coming in an hour later and staying later.

Another option is to try and schedule interviews during and around the lunch time hour.

Avoid Excuses

The most direct and professional way, and the one that eliminates the need to come up with an excuse for missing work, is to inquire if an interview may be conducted before or after work hours.

Take Personal Business Time

If your request for a before- or after-hours interview gets denied, consider taking a full or half personal or vacation day. While too many of these may eat into actual future vacation plans, no excuse is needed and your paycheck won’t take a hit. Just remember more than one day’s notice will be appreciated by those in your current workplace.
Less is Best

The most nerve-wracking part for most employed job seekers is communicating a workday absence. In these cases, aim for vague – as the fewer details you provide the less cover up required. If asked, explain that you have an appointment and if your job allows try and work from home. If pressed – only you can decide if it will help or harm to be up front about your job search.

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Thanks K, for the question, and thanks to all the career experts for their insight!

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Mechanics and Soft Skills

September 7th, 2017

Yesterday I was at my mechanic’s shop to have him check a car my daughter was going to buy. We were on the shop floor waiting while him and his employee checked out the car, and I commented:

“Kevin, your shop is really clean!”

It’s not something I noticed before, but it was in stark contrast to the dirty engines, oily rags, and even oily uniforms they were wearing. The floor was clean, the surfaces of work areas were clean, the tool benches were clean… I was really impressed!

He replied, “It’s soft skills!  You wouldn’t believe how much having a clean shop makes a difference for customers!”

I thought that was interesting… I didn’t think about having a clean shop as “soft skills,” but it was outside of what I paid him for (fixing my car). Honestly, my number one objective with a mechanic is to get a car fixed at a reasonable price. I usually don’t go into the shop and the cleanliness usually doesn’t impact me. But when I was there, seeing the attention to detail he put into that non-critical part of his business, I could see what he meant.

He also said, “You’d be surprised at how little effort it takes to keep it clean like this.”  Meaning, systems in place, such as clean up after each job, wipe down spills immediately, etc.

I recently talked about bedside manner from a dentist and a tire guy (How Is Your Bedside Manner (as a job seeker)?), so apparently I’m on a soft skills kick. I’m convinced that we, as job seekers, need to take this very important concept into consideration and improve who we are, so we can see improved results in our job search!

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Networking not worth it? What, then?

August 30th, 2017

I saw a link to this on Facebook: Good News for Young Strivers: Networking Is Overrated. I think it was written by Tim Enthoven… while reading the first part of this I thought it was an attempt at sensational writing to buck convention, but then towards the end he got into something that is too often overlooked…

And, to his defense, someone in the comments points out that the title has the word “overrated,” not useless, or bad, or something else that is final. It’s just not all it’s cracked up to be.

I didn’t like how Tim gave examples of ultra-rich, ultra-successful people, for example, getting on Oprah (after all, who needs to network when you can just get on Oprah and then get rich?). Do you know how hard it was to get on Oprah?

By the end of his article, though, I got it. And I agree with it (mostly).  His main message is that we have to have substance, quality, product, excellence… something more than a brand and a business card and a handshake.  Without having (or being) something to talk about, what’s the use of networking?  Schmooze all you want, but if you are lame, or have no value to bring to the table, why put yourself in front of others?

I agree.  And all of the JibberJobber users that I’ve communicated with are expert in something… they might not be The Expert, but they have expertise.  Of course, they can refine their skill, but they have something worth talking about.  As do you, I’m sure.

Tim says to get better, be better, be worth knowing and talking about.  And the rest will come to you.

That may be the case.  But let me remind you of ABC.  Salespeople know what ABC is.  Business owners know what ABC is.  Marketers should know what ABC is.  It is Always Be Selling. Never turn it off.   I know, it’s annoying, and tiring, and you sound like a broken record player, but if you want to sell (get results), then you need to sell (the action). What are you selling? Yourself.

I agree that your product or service (YOU) should sell itself…. but what I’ve learned the hard way is no matter how good your product or service is, you need great marketing and sales. You need to package it (you) well. You need to present it (yourself) in a compelling way. You need to put it (you) in front of the right people.

Guess where you do that? By networking.  With humans.  Sometimes this is at networking events. Sometimes it is one-on-one, or with email… but really, you can’t just sit there all awesome and not let anyone know.

So yeah, like Tim says, be awesome(r).

And go network. Today.

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How Is Your Bedside Manner (as a job seeker)?

August 30th, 2017

At least one person that I’m close to (okay, it’s my wife) can tell you that I have the tendency to be a grump old man. Apparently it’s becoming the normal.  But for a minute, while I write this post, I’ll put that aside, and talk about other people’s grump.

I recently heard about a dentist visit where the dentist was working with a child and said things to the mom that would have freaked out the child (who was already a bit freaked out).  Why didn’t the dentist not say that until (a) he was done, and (b) he was alone with just the mom?  He had zero consideration for the state of mind his patient was in, and how unhelpful the conversation was.

I also heard about a mechanic who treated a customer with impatience and downplayed the customer’s concerns. The customer went away frustrated, feeling unheard, and unresolved.

There was the time when … oh, you get the idea. You’ve had bad customer service experiences also… I’m sure you could share your top five bad experiences. But that’s not the point of this post.

Let’s contrast this to a recent experience I had at my local tire shop. For years I’ve wondered why their customer service has gone down… in the olden days (the 1900’s) I remember pulling up and having someone on the crew run out to my car to see what I needed, before I even got out. That doesn’t happen now, and hasn’t for years. But recently I had a problem tire replaced. Or at least I tried to. I drove off without realizing they replaced the wrong one!  So, Monday morning, I’m back at the shop and explained the problem, even saying “I’m not sure if I miscommunicated it, or the desk lady put the wrong thing in the computer,… maybe it was my fault. But the problem is you didn’t replace my bad tire…and that’s what I need fixed.”  About 45 minutes later they called my name. The verdict? No charge, an apology, and now I have two new tires!  That is excellent customer service. No lecture, which was great bedside manner.

Or, that same day I was in my office and noticed our internet service provider’s van pull up. He was supposed to come the following day but his schedule opened up and here he was… could he fix our problem today instead of tomorrow?  Of course…!  What followed was almost an hour of excellent “don’t worry, I’ll find this and fix it, I’ll get you back up to speed in no time!”  There was no downtalking, no grumbling about his job… he was cheerful and made us feel like he cared about us.  We felt awesome, and when he left, we had our problems fixed.  That was excellent service, and he had an excellent bedside manner.

Now, let’s relate that to you and your job search.  You are the provider of experience (even though you are closely observing everyone else’s manner). You are the mechanic, the dentist, the tire guy. You have a chance to delight me, and make me feel special, or you can, with a simple look, tone, or word choice, make me feel unheard, unresolved, and not anxious to do more business with you.

This impacts the results you get when you network. Do you help others feel comfortable with you, and recommending you? If not, check your bedside manner.

This impacts your interviews. Are you going to be remembered as “the jerk,” or “the person that would fit well on our team!”?

This even impacts your emails. If you have poor bedside manner you might find that people are put off by you, which means they might not want to recommend you, network with you, interview you, hire you, etc.

I think there are two parts to this:

Who you are, really. Where is your heart? Do you care about others, or what you are working on? Changing who you are might not be fair, but self-realization could help you understand why you are (or are not) getting the results you want.

How you communicate. Communication is a skill. We all need to improve our communication… and we can. We might not need or want to change who we are, but we can certainly learn and practice and improve our communication skills.

The dentist’s job is to fix teeth. It’s not to be the best communicator in the world. I’d rather have a competent dentist who fixes my teeth problems than someone who doesn’t know teeth but is an excellent communicator.

But, the excellent communication skills can help a dentist have satisfied, fulfilled, delighted, happier patients. Better communication skills can help the dentist have better relationships with his/her staff, which means a better culture, less turnover (and cost), more loyalty, more job satisfaction, etc. Better communication skills, with excellent dentist skills, can help increase referrals, business, margins, etc.

I assume that, whatever your profession is, you are competent. You can do the job. Some of you are excellent. You are the best of class.  That is the “who you are” professionally. It’s the “what you bring to the table.”

I challenge you to think about the communication part of equation. If you had excellent communication skills, paired with your professional competencies, how would your networking improve? How would your interviews and offers change?

Would you have more career security, if you improved your communication skills?

I bet you would.

The rude, those that self-serve, and aren’t considerate, are likely those who have rough careers.  Not to say the nice guy always wins, but I bet the nice guy is a lot happier, and has a better and more fulfilling career, over time.

Your bedside manner is a skill…. improve it!

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