You Get It Winner of the Month – Sean O’Donnovan

November 30th, 2007

Personal Branding award - You Get It!!This month’s Personal Branding You Get It winner of the month award goes to Sean O’Donnovan.

And for the second time in the history of this award, you’ll notice it’s a non-blogger.

The purpose of this award is to showcase examples with you so that you can start to take control of your own personal brand online. I know many of you are intimidated and don’t want to blog, and think that many of my past winners are doing way more than you can commit to.

Sean’s website is an example that you can and should do certain things to own your personal brand in search results. In fact, when I searched for Sean O’Donovan (even without quotes) his page was third (only following a .gov city website and the imdb website, which Google loves):

Sean O'Donovan is third in google results

Here’s what I like about Sean O’Donovan’s website, which I think portrays who he is nicely:

Sean owns his name – can I stress this enough? It’s huge for branding, makes you look more professional (and serious), and search engines love it!

Sean O'Donovan at

Sean O'Donovan - image and endorsementSean has his picture (which looks nice and professional) and a rotating quote from someone on every page of his website – see image at right –>

Sean has all of the stuff I’d expect to see on a resume, and he took advantage of the formatting you can get online (colors, bolds, etc.). Not rocket science, and even expected, but he’s doing it right, and that’s good.

The header for Sean, a senior executive, is simple yet powerful, with a quote that exemplifies what he brings to the position:

Sean O'Donovan is capable

Do you have any testimonials about You, Inc? Sean does! I suggest you harvest these – get genuine, specific testimonials from people that carry some weight (which is usually because of the company they work for or their title). You can even get them from your LinkedIn profile and put them on your personal website. Check out the first testimonial from Sean:

Sean O'Donovan is a swell guy - check out his testimonials

Sean has been in the press. Have you? He hadn’t before, but check out what he writes:

While in career transition in late 2006, I successfully pitched the Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper to write a weekly column. Entitled “Diary of a Job Hunter”, the column ran for 10 weeks and tracked the ups and downs of an executive job search.

I think this is great, of course, the best part is his very last column, where he lands the job:

Sean O'Donovan lands the job!

Finally, he makes it easy to contact him with a “Contact” page, and he puts a link to his LinkedIn profile, which is very well-done.

View Sean O'Donovan's LinkedIn profile

Sean O’Donovan, congratulations! You join a special group of professionals and have earned a coveted link from my monthly winner’s blogroll area (on the left), six months of premium JibberJobber (you can transfer/award this to someone else :) ), and a cyber-high five! Feel free to post the You Get It award on your site!

Here are the past winners:

Special kudos to Paul Copcutt, of Square Peg Solution, who worked with Sean on this project, and helped him through the 360 review process (more on that later).



When Contacts Aren’t Network Contacts

November 29th, 2007

I got the following question today:

I add contacts from the company screen with the link that is provided. Yet when I go into my network panel, the contact I entered doesn’t appear, even when I search. Shouldn’t the contact be available in both places?

This is a great question, and brings out one of the ways JibberJobber manages your contacts.

Let me give you two scenerios:

Scenerio 1: I met someone (Ms. Jones) at Franklin Covey who can be influential in helping me network my way into the company… someone who is a considerable influencer.

Scenerio 2: When I went in to meet with Ms. Jones I met her secretary who was kind and pleasant.

Now, let me first say that I think that all contacts are, or can be, valuable. I’m not going to discriminate between the professional/boss who makes a lot more money and the secretary who makes a fraction of the income. Here are two differences:

  • The Ms. Jones will get different kinds of communication from me, like my newsletter (which they would be more interested in)
  • The secretary may not be interested in my newsletter, but she may be more open to making other connections within the company for me. I have to develop a relationship with her in a different way than I would with Ms. Jones, but this can be a great contact.

Within JibberJobber we allow you to trap contact information for people that you might not consider part of your professional network. Why? In addition to Ms. Jones and her secretary, you are likely to meet people who really don’t even want to (or shouldn’t) be in your “network.” This is where nomenclature gets a little muddled (can you have a contact that’s not a network contact??), but here’s how we handle it.

Anyone that you add as a contact in the Professional Networking section is in your network.

Anyone that you add as a contact in the Company section can be in your network, but might not be. It’s up to you.

In order to add someone to a company AND put them in your Network list panel (or, make them a network contact), make sure you choose a network to put them into (see the red 1 below):

Adding a company contact and putting them in your network

(note, #2 allows you to quickly add contact info without retyping it)

If you leave the Network Category at the default (– choose one –), this will add the contact to the company but will not add them to your network list! Let me show you:

adding contacts to your database

#1, if you leave it at –choose one– then this contact will be added as a company contact but NOT as a network contact.

#2, if you choose No Category, or any other category, then this contact will be added to the company and to your network list.

I hope this helps clarify why you might put someone in JibberJobber and not have them show up in your list panel! Also, adding more than one contact to a company is premium feature.

Does it make sense to make a contact that isn’t really a network contact?

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Constructive Criticism When You Are At The End Of Your Rope

November 28th, 2007

There is light at the end of the tunnelOn a job seeker Yahoo group that I’m on we saw a sad plea for help that ended like this:

Can anybody please give me any constructive suggestions. I don’t need slams or criticisms, I do that to myself enough. Any help would be appreciated.

I don’t want to post the entire request here because I don’t have permission to, but this is from an accomplished professional who has family and bills and all that stuff tugging at him, his job search has been fruitless, and he’s about to get his utilities cut off and his cars repossesed. It’s pretty bad. Here was my reply to this plea for help:

[username], wow, this is a painful e-mail, I’m sorry to hear about your trials. I went through a very difficult, non-fruitful job search last year and it changed my life. Here are some of my non-preachy thoughts:

1. What is your name? I’d like to do a Google search on you and see what others find when they want to find out more about you. Do you have a LinkedIn profile, a blog, any articles, any mentions online?

2. When you say “worked all of my contacts,” I’m trying to understand what that means. Do you have a weekly or monthly e-mail (like a newsletter) that you send to your contacts to keep them apprised of your situation and progress? I found that a lot of people didn’t seem helpful but it was either because (a) they didn’t know how to react to me, an unemployed guy, asking for help, or (b) it was out-of-sight-out-of-mind. Just letting them know that you are still fighting to find a job, and letting them know about what you are looking for, may prompt them to think a little harder.

3. Do you attend a local network meeting? I found the contacts at these meetings, over the months, were excellent. I would gravitate towards people that were really good at networking OUTSIDE of this meeting, and we were able to share leads in a big way. There should be at least 2 or 3 people that you can hook up with that will provide you emotional strength as well as good leads from the networking that they are doing.

4. Do you have a job search coach? This isn’t necessarily someone that you pay (you can’t afford that, as per your e-mail below), but you should be able to find someone that can help you and ask “I really need some help. Would you be able to be my job coach, meet with me weekly, and hold me accountable for my job search?” This person should ensure that you are doing the right things in your search, and will have an interest in your success. Do not underestimate the power of bringing someone in to help you (but, not your spouse).

5. Do you do volunteer service? You should look for some non-profits that could use your help and go give your services to them, like a consultant. This is an excellent way to meet new people AND show them how competent you are, and they should be able to help you meet others (lots of professionals and execs work with non-profits).

These are just some thoughts off the top of my head. Please hang in there, I know how horrible this is, and you aren’t alone, even though it feels like it.

I don’t push JibberJobber, even though I want to (I’d probably get kicked off the list if I did).

If someone has reached out to you in the last couple of months about their job search, please follow up with them today to see where they are at. You never know, they might be ready to give up on their search (or life), and just a call or invitation to lunch can make a huge difference in their life.

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Are You in the Right Virtual Place? Find the Hidden Job Market!

November 27th, 2007

Yahoo groups, where the hidden job market isI’ve talked about joining e-mail groups (forums, lists, whatever you want to call them) to be in the right place at the right time. Here’s an excellent example of an e-mail from Greg Brooks that went out just last week on YoungPRPros:

I need a Microsoft Access database pro who’s available for an immediate assignment. Anyone know anyone?

My favorite part? Where he asks does “anyone know anyone?

This is how it happens. This is the hidden job market. It’s not a secretive thing, it’s just not on the job boards.

The logic behind this elusive “hidden job market” is that billions (yes, that is an exaggerated number) of people are on job boards, which means there’s a lot of competition for that one great job posting. Think you are the best one for the job? So do hundreds of others. And your are “just one more resume.”

But these groups have opportunities that come up frequently, they are real, and the competition is almost non-existent. Want proof? Here are some comments from Greg, after he posted the e-mail to the group:

  • I found someone within one hour of posting my request to two lists.
  • Speed matters — people who didn’t contact me within the first hour or so weren’t even in the running.
  • I got the project (which I’d spec’d at about $500 worth of work) done for $140.
  • I’ll do other work with this guy again.

Even though this was a $140 job, I’ve seen other jobs on these lists, full-time, from executive to entry-level. This is the real deal.  This is your hidden job market.

To find the list(s) that works best for you try and do a search from the Yahoo Groups page, or the Google Groups page. Some terms to search for include:

  • PMP (for project management professionals)
  • accountants
  • marketers
  • … you get the idea.

Go find the hidden job market!



The Best Book on Social Networking You’ll Find

November 26th, 2007

Savvy Gal's Guide to Online Networking I just finished The Savvy Gal’s Guide to Online Networking (or What Would Jane Austen Do?) by Diane K. Danielson and Lindsey Pollak.

What an excellent primer on all things virtual networking! Here’s what I liked about this book: The way it was written, and the content they included, is perfect for a non-techno-nut like my mom. She could pick this up, go through the entire thing, understand it all and walk away with a plan or strategy to effectively use online networking tools.

Diane K. Danielson - Downtown Women's ClubHere’s what I really liked about this book: even though it feels like a primer, with very easy-to-read and easy-to-follow descriptions, suggestions and instructions, I learned a number of things. Now, I’m not saying that I already knew everything so you are hard-pressed to impress me, but there were things in every chapter that I thought “oh yeah! I really need to do that for JibberJobber!”

After reading this book you’ll have the solid understanding you need to make better use of technology in your networking, including:

  • really, how to write a good networking e-mail message
  • using newsletters effectively, and what to watch out with so you aren’t pegged as a spammer
  • press releases and other things to be more findable on Google
  • classmates, friendster and myspace to get various jobs done (ya, they are older than LinkedIn and Facebook, but they are still around, and they still serve a different purpose)
  • important information on putting together a professional profile on a networking site
  • blogging, and one of my favorites, blog networking (!!)
  • internet forums, and listservs

Lindsey PollakDiane and Lindsey chose to have a strong flavor Jane Austen / chick-flick feel to this. I can’t even name one Jane Austen book, and I’m not much for chick flicks, but it was fun to shake up the book with this theme (it really helped make the entire book not boring :)).

The blog to accompany the book is called Savvy Gal Blog.

You can find out more information about Diane K. Danielson at her Top Shelf Reading Picks (an blog), the DWC Women’s DISH blog, and her company website, the Downtown Women’s Club.

You can learn more about Lindsey Pollak at her website,, or her blog.

And of course, you can get the book on Amazon.



Thom Singer on Thanksgiving Networking

November 21st, 2007

Thom Singer - networking expertI just read an excellent article on Forbes that included some networking wisdom from Thom Singer, author of The ABC’s of Networking, Some Assembly Required, and of course his blog. Tara Weiss did a great job putting the article together, including great stuff from Lynne Waymon (co-author of Making Contacts Count) and Andrea Nierenberg (author of Million Dollar Networking).

Go read it today!

The article really got me thinking about networking (or, relationship building) with your family during Thanksgiving (or another lazy holiday). You know the setting, you see many of these people only once a year, everyone is hugging and smiling at first, then they go to eating, then the lazy stuff starts. People have a few more hours together that they usually burn in discussion, watching football, napping, or going out to play catch.

You really can take advantage of this time to develop relationships with your family. Here are some things I’ve been thinking:

  1. Have the right attitude. Even though you know Uncle Jim at a personal level, remember that he got where he’s at because of various competencies, and that he’d probably love to give you a mentoring session and help you with your career.
  2. Have a specific thing to talk about. Instead of engaging them in a brainstorming session about your future, ask specific questions. You can start with “Hey uncle Jim, I am looking at going into the supply chain arena and was wondering if I could bounce some ideas off of you.” Then, some of the questions might be “what do you think about focusing on the supply chain as a career move,” “do you know anyone in your company that specializes in logistics that I could talk with to get a better feel for what I need to know,” and “who else do you think I should talk to?”
  3. Show you are serious about networking. Uncle Jim doesn’t want to jeopardize his relationships, and may be a little guarded about opening up or really making connections. Simply asking “can you introduce me to…” and then say each persons name. You have to follow-up with them quickly, and Uncle Jim will be happy to help you in the future. Don’t follow through on this and he won’t have much confidence in your seriousness.
  4. Continue your relationship with Uncle Jim. Now that you have started this professional relationship, keep it up. Get into Uncle Jim’s world and you may see the things that have helped make him successful, which can help you down the road.

Between Thom Singer’s stuff and these family networking tips, remember one thing: the holiday’s are no excuse to put your career (and networking) on hold!

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Bob Sutton on my Book

November 20th, 2007

A few weeks ago I sent a copy of “I’m on LinkedIn — Now What???” to Bob Sutton, who I’ve come to admire and respect over the last year. I asked for an endorsement, if he thought it was worthy of one. Here was his reply:

Robert Sutton - author of The No Asshole Rule“I was ready to abandon my LinkedIn account before I read Jason Alba’s concise and remarkably useful guide. Jason writes with remarkable clarity, provides one useful tip after another about how to use it most effectively, and unlike so many users guides that offer breathless and uncritical hype, Jason candidly explains the virtues and drawbacks of Linkedin’s features. Beyond that, Jason has such deep experience with the web that the book contains hundreds of broader lessons about how to get the most of the web: I learned an enormous amount from this little gem.”

Robert Sutton, Stanford Professor and author of The No Asshole Rule

The No Asshole Rule - Robert SuttonI fell out of my chair. And when I got back up and read it again, I fell out of my chair again.

I e-mailed Bob and thanked him for such a kind review, and he e-mailed me back with a very encouraging, supportive e-mail that reinforced this review. It was unbelievable.

My first brush with Bob Sutton was when I read a book review by Kent Blumberg about his book. It was an excellent review so I was a fan right away. But when I started learning more about his publishing story, and how the Harvard Press wouldn’t print his book unless he changed his title, and that he refused to change the title, I gained more respect for him.

Then I started reading more reviews about his book from bloggers. Bob Sutton hit a major hot spot for the working class around the world, and has continued to evangelize the message. I’m sure that what he is doing has freed or empowered people to get the self-confidence to deal with rotten boss situations, as scared as they may be.

Thank you, Bob Sutton, for encouraging me and helping me with my first book. I’m really a nobody in your world, shoot, I’m the guy that couldn’t even get a job interview and was out of work for too long. Writing a review like this, and even reading the book was above and beyond cool, and I’ll appreciate it for a long time!

There are other reviews that have come in since the last time I posted about it, which I’ll post soon! If you are interested in learning more about “I’m on LinkedIn — Now What???” you can click here to find pricing on the hard copy or the soft copy.



Personal Branding Summit Podcasts Available (free)!

November 19th, 2007

I am a few days late on announcing this, but the personal branding summit recordings are now available in iTunes, or MP3 recordings right from this page.

I have not listened to all of them, but plan on listening this week. I’m anxious to hear some of my friends as well as some of the celebrities that participated. I heard the panel with Guy Kawasaki, Krishna De, Tim DeMello, John Jantsch and Andy Sernovitz was awesome, as was the call with career and workplace expert Anita Bruzzesse. One that I really enjoyed, as a business owner (definitely applicable to career management) was Promoting Brand You with Viral Marketing on the Web with David Meerman Scott. I can’t play favorites yet… if you heard any of them (or listen to the recordings) I’d love to get your feedback.

Also, for those interested in (a) hearing my voice, or (b) hearing me babble on 😉 you can listen to my recording: Use Personal Branding to Take Your Job Search from Zero to 60 (links to the MP3). I was really nervous going into this call but felt pretty good about it after I was done.

Finally, right after my call I was the interviewer with friend and relationship geek Phil Gerbyshak: Identity You: Creating a Personal 5×5 Branding Strategy (links to the MP3).

This 24 hour series was incredible, unbelievable, awesome, packed full of cool stuff – if you have any interest in managing your own career, job security, or having quicker success in your next job transition, I highly recommend spending some time to check out these free recordings.

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Adjusting your Birthday Reminders

November 16th, 2007

blowing_out_the_candles.pngI saw a suggestion in my e-mail early this morning and thought I should make it a blog post, since it directly affects you:

Have JibberJobber send it’s current get ready to tell someone Happy Birthday message, and then have it send another email on the day of each person’s birthday.

Actually, we are allowing you to set this up already, if you want to get an e-mail on the day of the birthday. Here’s how it works:

  1. Put a contact in and make sure you put the month and day of their birthday (year is optional, allowing you to say something like “happy 39th!)
  2. Go to My Account, Preferences and find the option that looks like this:
    Birthday reminders for your contacts - free!
  3. Change the number “2” to “0,” which means that you’ll get the e-mail reminder the day of. If you want time to send someone a card, perhaps set it to “5” or “7” so that you can buy a card and drop it in the mail.

Note that there is an additional option to get birthday reminders, which looks like this:

Free birthday reminders via e-mail

Having this option set will send you an e-mail at the end of each month with a list of birthday’s coming up for that month and the first week of the next month, so that you can make preparations for someone that needs something more than just an e-mail saying happy birthday!

This is all in the free version of JibberJobber, which means that anyone would get use out of JibberJobber, whether they are job seekers, career managers, never-eating-alone-networkers, or someone who’s not into any of that but has family members with birthdays 😉

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The Perils of Owning a Side Business

November 15th, 2007

Ben Yoskovitz is THE INSTIGATORA few weeks ago I wrote a post advising “you” to get a side business. I have always loved this advice when I read it in magazines, the newest version of it says that high school and college “kids” should get an eBay business. What a great way to learn about business – fulfillment, customer service, pricing, promotion, vendor relations, income potential, risk… the list goes on and on!

After that post I got a comment from someone who warned about jumping in and starting your own gig. I certainly don’t want to give a false impression that it’s all roses, and it isn’t a tactic for everyone. I love the idea because I don’t want to depend on one employer for my income, especially since I tend to live paycheck to paycheck.

It’s hard, and most business fail early on. Whether it’s a multilevel company, selling homemade doggy biscuits or a service company, there isn’t much that’s easy about getting it up and sustainable.

But imagine what could happen if you could supplement your income by a few hundred, or a thousand, bucks each month.

Last night I chatted with a buddy who is a social/clinical worker who has a side gig where he works one night a week and pulls in about $1,000 a month. Nice supplement.

It takes time from his family and energy and effort to do the job right. I know that many of you have skills or talents that you could “sell” to others – what are they? Bookkeeping? Web design? Ghost writing? Jewelery making or dog walking? These are all things that can cushion your not-so-stable income.

Ok, enough of my rambling… check out the perils that Ben Yoskovitz lays out on his post Exposed: The Pros and Cons of Freelancing. Note the awesome discussion in the comments area…

what do you think? Are you ready to hang your shingle and start your side business?


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