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The Professional’s Job Search Creed – 9 of 10

December 19th, 2006

This is part of a series where I’ll introduce 10 points of a creed, and comment on them. The series is summarized as we go (see bottom of post) and you can link back to the commentary on any of the 10 in that summary.

I’ve been excited to do this one for quite a while because its always been a favorite of mine. In my own networking and professional life I’ve seen people from one end of the spectrum to another, and number nine wraps it up quite nicely:

9. I will exude credibility, confidence and expertise, and use a professional voice, grooming and handshake at all times.

One definition of exude is “to exhibit in abundance.” Have you ever had to shake hands and it felt like you were shaking a dead fish? Bleh! There are variations of the dead-fish handshake, all of them are, well, gross. And there’s no place for them – not when meeting a client, not when greeting a vendor, and certainly not in an interview! The only thing a dead fish exudes is, well, aside from the stink, “I haven’t been shaking hands long enough to know how to do it” or “I don’t have any friends or professional acquaintences that care enough about me to tell me how to do it right.” (Special note: if you know someone with a dead-fish handshake, do them a favor and have a little 5 minute handshaking lesson!)

“Credibility, confidence and expertise” is basically saying “I can do the job.” Perhaps you can answer interview questions well, and you have a great “me in 30 seconds” pitch (because your storing them in JibberJobber and practicing them, right?), but what is your body language and dress saying? Can you imagine Donald Trump in an interview with bad body language? How about a politician, or one of those famous CEOs that we all know and love?

What you have to do is figure out how to exude confidence without looking uncomfortable, unnatural or over-doing it. Some people have this down really nicely. I remember a guy I hired as an intern programmer who looked like a CEO – he had the dress, the voice, the eye-contact, the right enthusiasm, everything. It was an amazing skill he had.

If you are unsure of yourself there are two things I recommend. First, watch others that you admire, hang out with them (especially in social settings), and try and learn from them. This is especially critical for people that didn’t get this kind of training or exposure growing up. Second, practice! Shake lots of hands, dress like a professional, and pay attention more than usual to the non-verbal messages that you are sending.

The last part, “at all times,” is a great one. You never know when you are being watched, or who is watching you. When I was a hiring manager I was always on the lookout for someone that impressed me. I was always building my team in my mind, trying to figure out who I would want working with me. I know quite a few managers and executives who also do this – they understand that having the right person on the bus (as Jim Collins would say) is the key, and they are always looking for that next “right person.”

So be polite in the grocery store, watch your language on the street (do I even have to say “don’t spit in public?”), and put that smile on. Let this confidence exude from you – not only will it impress others around you and show that you are a capable person – but in a long job search you need all of the confidence you can get (even if its self-generated).


Running List:

  1. I will get a job coach (not my spouse) to hold me accountable for my job search efforts. I will encourange him or her to be honest and indicate that feedback is the greatest gift that I could receive. I will ask for at least weekly contact. (read the post here)
  2. I will network for contacts, opportunities and more market knowledge; making at least 10 networking contacts each day and working towards at least 10 interviews each week; with at least five of those with decision makers. (read the post here)
  3. I will attend the Professional Career Workshop and attend at least one Professional Networking Group each week. (read the post here)
  4. I will define and continually refine my professional brand and unique value-added proposition. (read the post here)
  5. I will identify and understand the needs of my target market – looking for industry gaps, problems and trends – and will target my best prospects within that market. I will do the same for each target company I am pursuing. (read the post here)
  6. I will understand and will be able to discuss my leadership style. (read the post here)
  7. I will do the homework needed to develop my own unique value-added proposition(s) (to be presented in less than 90 seconds) that are based on the company’s needs and my own talent, skills and abilities. (read the post here)
  8. I will initiate and proactively pursue activities that will put me on the ‘radar screen’ within my industry and with my targeted companies – such as joining and interacting with targeted professional associations and community service groups, and working to get top-level leaders within my targeted industry to know me and know of me. (read the post here)
  9. I will exude credibility, confidence and expertise, and use a professional voice, grooming and handshake at all times.
  10. (haven’t done yet)

(picture credit: Jerry Hocutt’s blog (Foot-in-the-Door) – thanks Jerry!)

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The Professional’s Job Search Creed – 8 of 10

December 18th, 2006

This is part of a series where I’ll introduce 10 points of a creed, and comment on them. The series is summarized as we go (see bottom of post) and you can link back to the commentary on any of the 10 in that summary.

Eight is the longest, and just as powerful as the others:

8. I will initiate and proactively pursue activities that will put me on the ‘radar screen’ within my industry and with my targeted companies – such as joining and interacting with targeted professional associations and community service groups, and working to get top-level leaders within my targeted industry to know me and know of me.

Let’s start with the end…. “within my targeted industry” – Ron, the guy who put this list together, loves to ask how many targeted companies you have. You can have more than one targeted industry (I couldn’t name an industry as I’m in I.T. so I was looking at retail, medical, high tech, etc.), but you really should know some target companies that you like. Perhaps you are looking at these companies because they have a great benefits program, or the culture is outstanding, or the company is doing exceptional and you want to be a part of it… or maybe it will be “safe” and comfortable… whatever the reason, can you tell me your targeted companies?

Hint on this: Ron says 1 is too few, 5+ is too many! Targeting companies means that you narrow it down, and once you have them targeted you can take actions to (a) meet the right people, (b) find the right activities to participate in (ie, conferences, networking meetings where they’ll be, (c) study the company, industry, competition, vendors, partners, news, etc.

So number eight is all about how to get exposure in these companies and in this industry. How can you do that? Well, you know that I’ve been a proponent of blogging to substantiate your personal brand, but it takes time to build the credibility as an expert, especially at the C-level. There are other ways to get on the ‘radar screen,’ I hope that you can add to this list:

  • Associations – There are national, local, regional, college associations, etc. It doesn’t have to be an association tied or sponsored directly to the industry or company… you could find out if one of your target companies has representatives in other associations and then look into joining and participating in (remember the “proactively” part in number eight?) those.
  • Service – As Seth Godin wrote in the blog carnivalthe best way to network over the next six weeks is to do NOTHING but help other people. Volunteer at a non profit, pitch in at a startup, create a blog pointing to great companies and great ideas. Help other people 60 hours a week for no other reason other than you’ve got some time and it’s the right thing to do.” Why is this a great idea? Because this is where many hiring managers, decision makers and C-level execs are. What a great way to build your network. And the karma has got to be good!
  • Lunches – What have you got to lose – invite someone to lunch. This “someone” should be targeted from the company or industry, and you aren’t there to ask for a job (or make a big deal that that is eventually what you want). You are there to learn about the industry/company, find out who the players are, get advice (everyone loves to give advice, right?), and develop a relationship. You are having lunch with an insider, and you should make the best of it. Hopefully by the end of the lunch you will have some new contacts to pursue, you will have learned some great information from the insider, and you will now be on this person’s radar screen as someone that is competent and capable!
  • Consulting – This has always been a great way to substantiate who you are, meet decision-makers, learn intimate details about a company, and make some money during the job search. It takes time, and you never want to skimp on your committment, so don’t get in over your head (perhaps you should be a consultent, eh?), and don’t charge too low (maybe it is appropriate in your special circumstance, but you can’t afford to do lots of consulting and charge too low – its hard work, and it isn’t your primary job (if you are a job seeker)).
  • Newsletters – Great way to “stay in touch” with people, even if they aren’t sure of who you are. CM Russell has a great example of a newsletter that he used in his job search in his book “Ultimate Job Hunting Secrets.” Think of this newsletter as a targeted, off-line blog (so keep it heavy on the substance/expertise factor).
  • Articles – This is more of a long-term strategy, but I’ve found it rather easy to get articles in various magazines. The key is consistency – don’t hang your laurels on one or two published articles – this is part of a long-term strategy, but this goes a long way to establish credibility and could put you on the radar as a big blip.
  • Speaking – Not the easiest thing to do but with good networking you may be able to speak at a conference or convention. This is a great thing to have on your “resume,” and as a speaker you have the opportunity to influence thought change in leaders at the conference. Take advantage of this opportunity to establish and develop relationships with those in attendance. The fact that you were a speaker gives you insta-credibility (just make sure you are well prepared, well rested and your message is on target – or else you can ruin that credibility!).

These are some of my ideas to get on the radar screen. Again, knowing what radar you want to be on is critical (you should know that by now), but some of these ideas are short-term answers and some of them are long-term answers. Remember, one of my messages is that this is all about career management, so do not neglect the long-term solutions!


Running List:

  1. I will get a job coach (not my spouse) to hold me accountable for my job search efforts. I will encourange him or her to be honest and indicate that feedback is the greatest gift that I could receive. I will ask for at least weekly contact. (read the post here)
  2. I will network for contacts, opportunities and more market knowledge; making at least 10 networking contacts each day and working towards at least 10 interviews each week; with at least five of those with decision makers. (read the post here)
  3. I will attend the Professional Career Workshop and attend at least one Professional Networking Group each week. (read the post here)
  4. I will define and continually refine my professional brand and unique value-added proposition. (read the post here)
  5. I will identify and understand the needs of my target market – looking for industry gaps, problems and trends – and will target my best prospects within that market. I will do the same for each target company I am pursuing. (read the post here)
  6. I will understand and will be able to discuss my leadership style. (read the post here)
  7. I will do the homework needed to develop my own unique value-added proposition(s) (to be presented in less than 90 seconds) that are based on the company’s needs and my own talent, skills and abilities. (read the post here)
  8. I will initiate and proactively pursue activities that will put me on the ‘radar screen’ within my industry and with my targeted companies – such as joining and interacting with targeted professional associations and community service groups, and working to get top-level leaders within my targeted industry to know me and know of me.
  9. (haven’t done yet)
  10. (haven’t done yet)

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My Christmas Present to You

December 15th, 2006

Well folks, I’ve gotten various comments about signing up or upgrading in JibberJobber. After thinking about it we’ve decided to give you two Christmas presents. If you don’t celebrate Christmas then let’s just say its a gift from me to you (but I’m still referring to it as Christmas below) :p

First, for those that think that they can manage their job search using an Excel spreadsheet – go for it! As a matter of fact, I’m linking to my old spreadsheet that I set up in January when I got laid off! I cleaned up as much as I could without taking away from the idea, but this was a pretty cool tool that I used for about 250 hours… then things started to get complicated. I left some data in so you can see how convoluted it began to get… but it is very useable, and a great tracking system. Here are some comments about this spreadsheet:

  1. There’s a reason why I thought this would be way cooler on the web. How many spreadsheets do you have from 10 years ago? Do they make sense? Are they outdated? … I know I’ve lost a bunch of them. Also, how many computers have you gone through in the last 10 years? This spreadsheet is an okay one-time tool, but if you want real career management, and track data over a long time, use JibberJobber. What a shame it would be if you build a nice network, and strengthen relationships now, only to lose track of the data and relationships over the next couple of years! My spreadsheet kept changing and changing and after a while it was A MESS …. I just can’t say enough why the spreadsheet IS NOT a long-term career management solution – whereas JibberJobber is (more than anything else out there (including your trusty spiral notebook!).
  2. The first sheet is Business Listings. This is the main sheet that I tracked where I applied to, important dates, etc. May seem simple but its way better than other stuff I saw (notice that I linked the first column to another sheet, if I started another sheet – see the VSPRING tab for more explanation on this). Also notice that i used color coding and the comments feature on cells.
  3. The second sheet is SLCCompanies. As I found out about new companies to check out locally (I did this job search in Salt Lake City) I added them here, with notes and a URL if I had it. You’ll see that I had it subdivided into various cities in the SLC area.
  4. The third sheet is NonSLCCompanies. I think this was for companies that were headquartered outside of this area – which would have an impact on possible promotions, travel, etc. Working close to HQ has benefits and working away from HQ has benefits 😉
  5. The fourth sheet is boards_recruiters. This is where I kept track of job boards I was on, and what recruiting firms I had contacted. (notice in the login name column it shows something else… this is part of the “getting out of hand” thing…)
  6. The fifth sheet is for UI Tracking for unemployment insurance filing. I had to “contact 2 new companies each week” and this is where I kept track of it. Lots of intersting thoughts on that whole process, but that’s for another post. I still have this data in case I get audited.
  7. The last six sheets are what I called company detail pages. This had the general information at the top and then a place to log contacts, thoughts, info, etc. Again, I left info there so you get an idea of how I used it.
  8. Finally, you heard it here first, this is a little bit of JibberJobber history, and we’re proud of it :)

Merry Christmas – eat your heart out! Use this spreadsheet as long as you want! And when you get frustrated, or want the data to last longer then come on over to JibberJobber! The free version is WAY better than this sweeeeet spreadsheet 😉

My second Christmas present to you, as a regular user, is… drum roll…. I’m bumping the free network contacts from 75 to 250. What???

You now get 250 contacts in the free version!

Have a happy, safe, prosperous and family-filled December (well, unless you don’t like your family, then skip that last part)!

Why the bump in contacts? Because it just needs to be that way. That’s why. Who’s da man?

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Podcast interview with Jim Stroud & Karen Mattonen

December 14th, 2006

Jim Stroud - The Recruiter's LoungeRecruiters know who Jim is, he has been a blogger and podcaster for quite a while and has a great show called “The Recruiter’s Lounge” … I had the honor of being a guest on his show last week and he posted the podcast early this morning. It was the first interview I’ve done with 2 interviewers at the same time (Jim Stroud and Karen Mattonen) I encourage you to listen to it if you have been curious about JibberJobber – especially from a recruiter’s perspective.

I really encourage you to listen to it if you want to hear Jim’s first on-air prophesy (hint: it has to do with JibberJobber’s future).

I’ll have to say that we chatted before and after the interview and it was an exciting, high-energy discussion. Many thanks to Jim and Karen for the time they spent with me, the probing questions, and the great discussion after the interview!

Click here to listen!

Here are the highlights:

Karen Mattonen - The Recruiter's Lounge0:38 My blog was nominated for an award by Recruiting.com! (Yay!)
0:50 Pleeezzz vote for me!
1:44 And now a word from our sponsor – Online Recruitment Magazine
2:30 I just love the way it sounds!
3:55 As soon as heard the name, he too fell in love
4:08 So why do this in the first place?
6:31 Name the bells and whistles
8:20 From jobseeker to entrepreneur in one fell swoop
10:26 JibberJobber is for the people, for a lifetime
12:55 Just getting in the game and he already has bragging rights
15:35 In the future, a yacht in the carribean
16:33 JibberJobber goes beyond jobsearching and into networking
17:10 JibberJobber would be a GREAT complement to LinkedIn (see breaking news about LinkedIn Founder)
19:15 Jim Stroud makes his first (on-air) business prophecy
20:36 Karen chimes in with a YouTube comparison
21:15 Shocking stats don’t surprise Karen at all.
22:45 Tune in next year to hear how accurate Jim was today

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Ever wonder what recruiters think of you?

December 14th, 2006

I came across a great article by Sarah Needleman of the Wall Street Journal that had me completely entertained. If you’ve followed my blog over the last 6 months you’ll recall that I like trying to decipher “the recruiter” and explore the relationship between the job seeker and the recruiter.

Sarah wrote a great article on something that I hadn’t really considered, although there are a few recruiters that immediately come to mind when I read through this list (I’ll mention no names ;)). I’ll give you the skeleton here, take a few minutes and read her entire article – especially if you are working with a recruiter now! I swear its worth the time to read this :)

A Job Seeker’s Guide to Recruiter Code Words

  • TMI (Too Much Information)
  • FD (Factual Discrepency)
  • Search Virgin
  • NonCom
  • PP (poor presentation)
  • ↓ Sizzle
  • Serial Networker
  • Mortician
  • WD (walking description)
  • Purple Squirrel

So what best describes you (read the article for full descriptions)? Once you figure it out shoot your recruiter an e-mail and ask them where you fit (they’ll probably lie to you if you are a mortician, FD, PP, noncom, etc.).

Recruiters, is it true? Are we indeed stereotyped into these cute little tags?

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The problem with my blog is…

December 13th, 2006

… for those of you that get my posts in RSS or via e-mail, you may be missing out on some great dialogue in the comments. You are missing out on brain candy 😉

For example, have you checked in on the post about last month’s Winner of the Month, to see almost 40 comments from the cream of the crop about personal branding, what to leave off your resume, where to compromise? There was so much good stuff in there I can’t stand it!

And just a couple of hours ago Steve Levy left a terrific comment on yesterday’s post on “substantiate yourself“… I was so impressed with the comment I’m including it here:

As a recruiter it is relatively easy for me to discern what is truth and what is rubbish when hearing someone talk about their personal qualities. Resumes are propaganda constructed to put one’s best foot forward. Yet resumes pale in comparison to personal statements that include things that, while they may make some uncomfortable, speak to the individual. (there’s more than this, want to read it all?)

Anyway, please come check the blog for comments every once in a while. It is amazing the dialogue that I see here!

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A Yucky Way To Go – Julie Roehm, Wal-Mart

December 13th, 2006

I know there are two sides to every story, but reading about Julie Roehm anywhere leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. It reminds me of my first real job as a programming intern where I’d see an exec escorted out (two thugs on either side, a box in his hands). The e-mail we got about 30 minutes later would say “Mr. So-and-So has chosen to pursue other interests…” and then go on and talk about great things they could or would do (or something about take some time off). We all snickered (the intern group was full of snickerers!) as none of us bought the idea that they “chose” it on their own! But at least in those days, that was the end of it, we’d never hear about it again.

I kind of disgusted to see Julie Roehm’s plight all over the press and blogs (press = formal; blogs = informal) in the way that it is – I had never heard of her before but now I know that she is unruly Julie, a change agent, and she was the one at Chrysler that signed them up as a sponsor for the lingerie bowl. So she rocks the boat – I can understand that – business is crazy. But Wal-Mart knew who she was before they hired her.

There are a few lessons to learn here. Liz Handlin does a nice job talking about what we can learn – focusing more on company culture and termination issues. I love how she says that it may have been more of an issue of Roehm and Wal-Mart being “culturally incompatible,” as you want to make sure that you are a fit for the company as much as the company is a fit for you.

I just want to leave one little thought to chew on – what happens when “its over?” I imagine that many of my blog readers won’t be on the front page of any major newspapers, but still in small communities (either small towns or very tight-nit industries) the last thing that you need is some kind of smear campaign to tarnish or destroy your personal brand. If she were her own company she could take years to recover.

Roehm had a chance to make a huge difference at Wal-Mart, and I’m sure she was pushing many envelopes at once (isn’t that what she was hired to do? Wasn’t she brought in as a “change agent?”) – and that would have been part of her huge legacy. But now she has lots of damage control to do. I’m guessing she’ll play the “they hired me to do a job but didn’t let me do it” or “we just weren’t a good match”… and I’m also guessing there will be a lawsuit. I won’t be on the edge of my chair because I don’t really follow this stuff, but I found it interesting as a general topic.

What are the lessons to learn here, from an employee’s perspective? How would you handle the ensuing issues, if you were Roehm? (and notice we don’t hear much about “the other guy” – Sean Womack … hm?)

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Substantiate Yourself

December 12th, 2006

Substantiate - from Dictionary.comI don’t know where I picked it up but substantiate is a word I’ve said a little too much these last few months. I usually say “having a blog is a great way to substantiate your breadth and depth”… or “you need to substantiate your personal brand”… this isn’t a post on personal branding per se, but I’ve been thinking about sharing this with you for a while – I hope you find it interesting! More than that, I hope you find it intriguing enough to figure out how to do something similar.

When I began my job search (we’re just about at the 1 year anniversary of getting laid off!) I thought I was hot stuff. I had a degree in CIS, an MBA, cool job titles (IT Manager, CIO, VP, GM), great experience (internet programmer with newer technologies, “increased revenue 500%”, etc.). I had even moved from a small town (population 50,000) to a small metro area so I’d be closer to more job opportunities in case I needed to find a new job. It was “a job seeker’s market” and I was assured by many that I would have a job soon.

So I did what any regular person would do – I spent a week getting my resume ready, making a list of companies that I should target, establishing accounts on pertinent job boards, and even talking to some “players” that were connected in town. Since I was relatively new (I had been here for almost 2 years but spent most of the time working or commuting) it was easy for me to say “I don’t know anyone,” so my networking efforts were pretty whimpy.

I’ll never forget the first 6 weeks. I got one interview invite from a regional hospital chain and one interview invite from a company that I targeted and just sent a resume to “info@company.com”. Both of those led to a second, and at the company, a third interview, but “someone else was chosen.” After six weeks I had nothing, and not much hope of getting much more than that (my succss rate was less than 2%). It was a very, very discouraging process, and completely different than what I thought I was going to experience.

What happened to all those years studying, all those cool job titles, all that great experience? Why did no one want to hire me on the spot? What was going on??

Fast forward a couple of months to May 15th. That is the day when we released JibberJobber. I sent out e-mails to friends, and many of them signed up to check it out. What they found was a very cool, functional application. Sure it was rough around the edges, but it was colorful, functional, and pretty dang cool (if I don’t say so myself ;)). I never expected what would happen next…

The next time I saw those friends, almost every single one of them, they treated me differently. The common reaction was “hey, I want you to meet my boss (or pres. of the company)” or “hey, you need to meet my friend that works at xyz company” What changed? Not my resume. Not my skillset. I’m sure my demeanor changed (there’s an important post I wrote on not letting others smell blood that definitely came into play)… but the most significant thing was that I had substantiated who I was. Instead of people asking “what do you do” or “what are you looking for” they were able to see the website and guess that I was involved in very cool web applications, leading edge stuff (design, functionality, marketing, etc.).

This was the most significant thing that I did in my job search. How can you substantiate who you are? I know you are busy looking for a job, but if what you are doing isn’t working, can you take some time to substantiate yourself? If you are a web designer or graphics artist do you have a portfolio that is easy for people to see? Take the Seth Godin route and combine this substantiation with service, which will allow you to market your substantiation (subtly) to an elite group of others that would otherwise be impossible to meet with.

If you are a marketing/advertising/PR professional, I’ll make you an offer – contact me at jason at JibberJobber.com and let me know what you can do. I have a bunch of projects but I’m no expert – I’d love to have you help me out – I can’t pay you but I’d be more than happy to provide a reference, blog on your contribution, or otherwise help substantiate your skills.

If you are a graphics artist you know there are some places where JibberJobber could use some polishing. Again, same offer applies.

If you are hung up over doing it for free then go find another opportunity where you can charge for it. Go hustle some work and build your “portfolio.” Or go find a non-profit that needs it.

I don’t know if it will do it for you, but substantiating my skillset was the single most important thing I did in my job search – and it changed the results that I had previously seen.

As a result of my work I’ve been recognized in ways that I never thought possible… here are just some of the more significant results of my substantiation, and I’m honored to be on either of these:

Thom Singer’s Praise Other’s Project – this is a month-long project, I encourage you to subscribe to his blog via e-mail. Anyone that Thom praises is someone that I want to know!

Dave Perry’s 12 days of Christmas – I blogged on this a few days ago and now he’s up to day 6 – where he lists JibberJobber as an essential tool (he says to download, although it is just a website ;)) – you should check out the other tools he recommends, and definitely follow this series).

I’ve also had mention in articles or blogs by Patricia Kitchen of Newsday, Carl Chapman, Dave Mendoza, Jeff Tokarz and others that are experts in their fields. I’ve made a little wave in the recruiting world, the coaching world, the personal branding world.

I’m certainly not bragging about the results that I’ve seen, that’s why I’ve hesitated to put this post up for so long, but I think its critical that you begin your own substantiation journey – for most its not overnight – and I’d love to hear your results!

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Metrics and YOUR data – using the ranking effectively

December 11th, 2006

Ranking and Degrees of SeparationSo in JibberJobber there are various places that you could measure the strength of certain things using a five-star system. I want to talk about this a little as I’ve had discussions and chats with users and have been impressed by the creativity, but also by the fact that I need to communicate what my intentions are with ranking.

The image on the right is just a snippet of my personal JibberJobber list panel – I’m a little surprised that by defaultI have so many high ranking contacts in this one little shot because I usually reserve the four and five stars for strong, strong relationships. Notice the second colum is DoS – degrees of separation – that is, is this someone that I know or met on my own (1), or someone that a network contact introduced me to (2).

The bottom line, though, is that the rankings are loose enough so that you can use them the way you need to – hopefully I’m not restricting the functionality.

The idea of the ranking came early on as I was learning a key issue in networking – that having a network is much more than just a directory with contact information. How cool would it be to know how strong your relationship is with each contact? That way you could view your network by those that would step out of a board meeting to talk with you (five-star), and someone that may not even remember who you are (zero or one-star). Note that ranking a network contact is in the free version, since its such a critical part of career management.

Taking it one step further, what if you can set goals to improve those relationships? Well, of course you can do that in JibberJobber (premium version). Its simple to say “take 30% of my network (or, certain categories within my network), and bump them up to the next rank within 30 days”… or, “take 40% of my one-star contacts and move to to at least two-star within 45 days”… whatever you need. Its a great way to proactively manage your relationships.

That was the intention of ranking – but when I was doing JibberJobber training a few months ago I had two other users that told me how they used it – and both ideas were fine! Actually, if you notice, I don’t call it “relationship rank” – I leave it open so the rank can mean whatever you need it to mean.

Ranking in JibberJobber

There is also ranking in other areas of the system – ranking a job that you are tracking, ranking a company, etc. Here are some of the different things that ranking can mean… I think that any are viable, but just be consistent or else it can lead to confusion:

  • network contact – the strength of the relationship
  • network contact – how strong I want the relationship to be
  • network contact – how important (powerful) this person could be (or is) to my network/career
  • job – how likely it is that I will get this job
  • job – how bad I want the job
  • job – how qualified I am for this job
  • company – how cool this company is
  • company – how closely this company matches what I want/need
  • company – how bad I want to work at this company
  • company – obviously, whether I like this company or not (if you get pink-slipped, and have bad feelings toward the company, recognize that you are in a position to be a connector and help others learn more about the company — and that your contacts there are more important than your feelings about it… so put your old companies in JibberJobber, even if you give them one measly little star ;))

These are just some simple ideas – I’d love to know how you use the ranking – leave a comment here or e-mail me offlist.

Note: I have some very cool things planned for the rankings throughout the system – it hasn’t bubbled up to the top of the list yet but when it does I know you’ll be impressed!

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Why I’m Not a Professional Writer

December 9th, 2006

Patricia Kitchen - NewsdayTonight I was reminded of why I am not a professional writer – just compare my stuff to this article!

Patricia Kitchen of Newsday interviewed me this past week and just today put up an article titled Position Yourself Online For Success. This article is more complete and offers more concrete evidence of the need to, and power of, personal branding than I have yet imagined. I strongly suggest you take the 5-10 minutes to read it, and then go back and use the examples to learn more about what people are doing right.

I know that blogging for your personal brand is intimidating – my first reaction when presented with the idea was “I have nothing to say” and “I don’t have the time.” I’m sure you have your own excuses. And I realize that it might not be the right answer for you, or the timing just isn’t right. But don’t discount it, if anything, just delay it until you are ready.

Honestly, I’m not just posting this because I’m quoted in the article 😉 – this really is an excellent piece that merits your attention. Thanks, Patricia, for bringing this to a new level in the press!

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