February 08 Personal Branding Prize Goes To John Halamka – Healthcare CIO Blogger

February 29th, 2008

A bit of history about this You Get It Personal Branding Award. I started this in September, 2006. This is my 18th month doing it, where I recognize professionals who are using online technologies to “portray their personal brand.”

What does that mean? I am looking for people who are doing an excellent job showing me (as a hiring manager or recruiter, partner, customer, vendor, employee, etc.) what their professional breadth and depth is, and what their passions and opinions are.

If I end up with your resume, and it sits on my desk with four others, they are all probably going to look pretty much the same (to some degree). I’ll know you are all smart, achievers, volunteers, accomplished, etc. By this point in my process, all five resumes look like commodities (or, they make you look like a commodity). If I can go to your professional blog (not your personal/cheerio blog) and get to know your breadth, depth, passions, etc., I’m going to get sucked in. Are you smart? Do you think about things in a way that will add value to my company? Are you abrasive? Have you build a following, or are you becoming a thought-leader/SME in the space? All of these things are going to come out better in your blog than in an interview or a resume (not a replacement, but a strong complement).

At the bottom of this post you can see the others that I have awarded over the last 1.5 years. It’s been an exciting run, and I know the award winners have benefited from their excellent online presence. Now, let’s get to John Halamka!

You Get It personal brand awardI came across John Halamka’s blog from a simple Google search. I think I was looking for CIO blogger, or something like that. John’s blog stood out, significantly, beyond the others that came up. Here’s what I like:

  1. His content is king for the reader. John’s content is amazing, it’s so right-on. If I was an IT person in the healthcare space this would be required reading. If I were a CIO (or an aspiring CIO) this would be required reading. He’s really able to hit both the industry and the profession in a way that doesn’t exclude one another.
  2. The content is great for Google. I’m not sure John did this on purpose, but his posts have enough industry/profession specific terminology (aka, jargon) that he should come up for a number of terms that other IT, CIO or executives should be searching for. His vendors will probably come up in top search results based on his blog. I tell people to make sure their LinkedIn profile has all the right jargon to come up in searches – John’s blog is an excellent example of this.
  3. The blog is clean. This is very uncluttered, leaving the content for the readers. I applaud John for not putting all kinds of widgetry on his blog, which usually does nothing but distract the reader.
  4. The URL is good (enough). I am a big fan of getting your own URL, but I’d say his is fine. “Geek Doctor”… has a ring to it. And it is descriptive. I have to admit, I do like the main header on his blog: Life as a Healthcare CIO, instead of putting GeekDoctor there, also.
  5. I LOVE the header and personal descriptions. They are well-written, informative, and authoritative. Very good job.

That’s it! I don’t want to overwhelm you, and make you think that YOU can’t do this. Like John, YOU are a Subject Matter Expert in your space, aren’t you? You can do this!Let me share just a few things that I’d recommend John do. Even if he doesn’t do this (I’m sure he’s busy, as the CIO and all that ;)) he’ll still have a great blog. But here’s what I suggest:

  • Get off of blogger. I wouldn’t recommend blogger to anyone, at least John chose the white background (instead of the gray one). The main reason to get off of blogger is because they could delete his blog. I favor getting the blog software from and putting it on your own server – then you get all the control you want.
  • Add to the blogroll. John is not the only CIO blogger out there. He can really extend his virtual relationships to other healthcare professionals, and other CxO’s if he were to look for and link to some of them. Not sure if that’s a goal, but hey, it never hurts to strengthen your online brand and network, right?

John Halamka - CIO bloggerJohn Halamka, 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! And, a new addition to the prize list is the 90 minute recording of Blog Marketing 201 – 501 (part of the CEO Training for Me, Inc. – listed at $49.95 (but much more valuable than that!).

Feel free to post the You Get It award on your site!

Here are the past winners:



Branding Contest Update and Recruiter Rant About Job Seekers

February 28th, 2008

I have really been out of the loop as I try and recover from my trip last week. The good news is, there was a lot of good that came out of that trip. That not-so-good-news is I have a lot of follow-up that I’m doing, which is taking a lot more time than I thought it would.

Many of you have asked about the branding contest deadline… I’m extending it to Monday, March 3rd. We’ll comment on and vote from there, and I still plan on announcing the results on March 10th.

Now, with that out of the way…

Recruiting Animal ShowWant to hear what recruiters think about job seekers? The Recruiting Animal went off for about 5 minutes – no holds barred. Just be forewarned, he is irreverent. But if you want to know what recruiters think about YOU, and what YOU DO, you really need to take a few minutes to listen to him rant. Listen here, for the first 6 or 7 minutes, as he “delivers a message to all you job hunters out there, to give you a little hope!”

Are you dumb or stupid? Go listen to find out.

I love the Animal. And the fact that he’s laying it all out like this is great, because some people really need to hear it.

Listen here. If you have time, stay for the rest of the show, where he interviews Robert Merrill (of



My Journey To Better Thank You’s

February 26th, 2008

I’m kind of a weird guy. I have a hard time saying Thank You. For all of the times when I want to, and when I know I should, I don’t.

the ultimate book of thank you notesI started to seriously think about it when I came across a partner’s blog post (Liz Handlin’s, on her eBook about thank you’s), and I wrote about it here. For me this was like a “guy’s guide to saying thanks.”

So I went to WalMart and found a pack of 25 thank you cards that weren’t too, you know, feminine. I got them just before a conference last year with the idea that I’d write them for people who touched me, from my partners to conference organizers to new friends I would meet.

I chickened out.

I did, however, force myself to write a heart-felt thank you to someone who did something significant for me (and JibberJobber). It was awkward to write a note like this but it was straight from the heart, and I felt good after I dropped it in the mail.

I still have 24 thank you cards left.

Deb Dib - executive power brandThen, a couple of weeks ago I got a thank you card from one of my other partners, Deb Dib. Deb and I have a neat relationship – the kind you get when you are both stuck at the airport for hours together. We had a chance to really get to know one another and get beyond the superficial part of the relationship.

She had to send me something business-related, which she could have done in a regular envelope, with a short note. Instead, she sent me a card. It wasn’t a regular thank you card, like the kind I bought at WalMart. This was a real card, with the following message:

If you want
happiness for an
hour, take a nap. If
you want happiness
for a day, go fishing.
If you want happiness for
a month, get married. If
you want happiness for a
year, inherit a fortune. If
you want happiness
for a lifetime, help
– Chinese Proverb

This message really touched me (I’ve had the card next to my keyboard since I got it). It was above and beyond, and definitely cooler than my standard thank you cards.Heather Gardner - Volt Recruiter

Continuing my journey to better thank you’s, I got a box in the mail yesterday from Heather Gardner. When I was in Silicon Valley last week Heather had a gift for one of my kids. As we were driving around she found out I have four kids (hey, I’m from Utah, what can I say? :p), and she said “oh! I’ll send you a box with gifts for them and have it there when you get home!”

Now understand, I didn’t ask for, or expect anything like this. But it has left a lasting impression on me. And a huge impression on my kids (they think my JibberJobber buddies are pretty cool. I think so too ;)).

This is an impression I won’t forget. Like when my coworker, Cory, would take me to lunch for my birthday. Every year. I never took him (I was the boss and wasn’t sure how to handle it). I regretted that then, and I regret it now. But I’ll never forget how it made me feel to get a birthday lunch from Cory.

Or the special card from Deb. Or the box from Heather.

Feel awkward to do this stuff? Yeah, probably, especially if you are like me. But man, the lasting impression it leaves! These are shining examples of how to nurture relationships!



The New Employee Loyalty — “Cautiously Optimistic”

February 25th, 2008

perfect example of cautious optimismI had a cool discussion with two fascinating people on a flight out of San Jose, to Las Vegas on Friday night. On one side was a VP of Marketing for a mid-sized company, on the other side was a junior at a local college.

I was telling the VP of Marketing that I didn’t think I’d be able to have any loyalty towards any company I worked for… you know, after getting laid off it is very difficult to “trust” again. He said “sure you will have loyalty. But you’ll be cautiously optimistic.

I don’t mean to beat a dead horse about getting voted off the island where I worked, but experiences like that stay with you for a very long time. And I’m not alone (check out the amazing comments on my Depression Clouds Everything post).

But I’ve felt bad about perhaps not having the same enthusiasm, passion and dedication towards a future employer.

When this VP phrased it as “cautiously optimistic,” that really resonated with me. Now, with this new phrase, I can go back to an employer and give them all I have to give, do an excellent job, work for the common goals of the team or department, etc. I’ll put in the Jason Alba work ethic, for sure.

All with a new understanding of employee loyalty, which is the old way of saying “cautious optimism.”



LinkedIn meeting in Silicon Valley – Expecting 20 People and …

February 22nd, 2008

John Harper - real estate and internet marketing expertI’m having a blast in Silicon Valley. I’m totally wiped out – I really wasn’t prepared for the high-energy culture there is here. Not that I’m lazy, but we’ll go for a solid 10-12 hours each day, with about two or three presentations each day, and meals with friends. I didn’t realize how much mental energy it takes to be “on” this long, all week long.

Tomorrow is the last day, which starts with breakfast at 8:30 and ends with a dinner around 5pm, right before I get dropped off at the airport. I fly into Salt Lake after midnight on Friday night. This trip has been absolutely packed. Thanks for being patient with me this week on blog posts!

I wanted to share a link to a blog post from John Harper, who attended my presentation last night. Mitchell, my publisher, said to expect about 20 – 40 people at this meeting. There were over 100 in attendance. The hostess was concerned that we wouldn’t have enough room – so I’ll consider that “sold out!”

I really appreciate this line from John Harper, who is an expert in all-things-Internet-marketing:

It was really one of the best events I have been to in a while – well worth the drive down and the time invested.

With that, I’m going to bed – I’ll probably post again on Monday, when I’m back in the office!



Update to Start the Week

February 18th, 2008

time flies when you have poor e-mail mgt skillz!You may have noticed that I skipped my post on Friday… no big deal except I rarely skip a post.  I was battling over 500 e-mail messages in my JibberJobber inbox, and prepping for my trip to California.

I still have over 500 messages in my inbox (I get between 300 and 500 per day).  And I’m headed to the airport in less than two hours.

This week is really busy, I’m not sure what I’ll blog, but I want to share my week with you.

Regarding the branding contest, I think I’ve received over 100 submissions – some are short taglines, others are long explanations.  WOW.  Very awesome, I’m excited to write more about it soon.

If you are in Silicon Valley or San Francisco, drop me a line and perhaps we can meet.  Here’s my schedule.

If you want to read about how to recession-proof your career, check out Thom Singer’s recent post.

See Comments / Leave a Comment »


Jason Alba vs. JibberJobber (aka, My Silicon Valley Trip NEXT WEEK!)

February 14th, 2008

Jason's travels A lot of the submissions I’m getting for the branding contest talk about Jason Alba, not just JibberJobber. I know why, and I know how it has happened, I’m wondering if that is ultimately good. Why? What if there comes a time when Jason Alba can’t be JibberJobber (I cringe as I write this)?

I have received some extremely thought-provoking e-mails and submissions, thanks to all who are following, participating in and learning from this. It’s been a blast for me! But now, let me help muddy the waters a little by giving my schedule for next week. The reason I give this schedule is because it shows part of why and how Jason Alba and JibberJobber mix (because I try and get out there and my public face influences the JibberJobber brand).

Monday (Feb 18)

I’m flying into San Jose around 2pm.

7pm – 9:30pm – San Francisco – SNAP members – free event, with munchies and all that. Click here to register and for more details. (topic: I’m on Facebook — Now What???)

Tuesday (Feb 19)

7:30 – 9:00 am – Palo Alto – Midpeninsula Professional Alliance ($31.95 online (includes my LinkedIn book), $34.95 at the door) – Click here to register and for more details. Topic: LinkedIn

10 – noon – pending/open

noon – 2:00 – lunch with the My LinkedIn PowerForum crowd – this should be a lot of fun, to see the MLPF people in person! Place is to be determined, but coming soon!

2:00 – 5:30 – pending/open

5:30 – 8:30 – Mountain View – Silicon Valley Business Meetup ($25 ($30 at the door)) Click here to register (more details here). Topic: Facebook

Wednesday (Feb 20)

7:30 – 9:30ish – Palo Alto – SDForum Business Book Breakfast Club ($25 members/$30 non-members). Click here to register (more details here). Topic: LinkedIn and Facebook

10:00 – noon – private event at an outplacement firm – no charge, space extremely limited (might be at capacity now) – let me know if you want to attend. Topic: JibberJobber, LinkedIn, and other technologies for professionals in transition (or, who desire to become “recession-proof”)

12:30 – 2:30 – private lunch in Mountain View

2:30 – 5:00 – pending/open

5:30 – 8:30 – Sunnyvale – Silicon Valley Business Meetup – ($20 online, $25 at the door). Click here to register (more details here). Topic: using LinkedIn better

Thursday (Feb 21)

early breakfast – pending/open

9:00 – 11:00 – Right Management – Silicon Valley – free – this presentation has a limited capacity, let me know if you want to come and I’ll see if there is room. Topic: Using JibberJobber, LinkedIn and other tools in career management.

11:00 – 1:30 – pending

1:30 – 3:30 – Volt – Silicon Valley – free – this presentation has limited capacity also. Topic: LinkedIn with a corporate twist.

5:30 – pending, possibly a presentation in Cupertino

Friday (Feb 22)

open all day (as of right now)

Flying out of San Jose at 8ish pm

I’m going to keep this page updated as much as possible.

If any of these are interesting to you please register – the events that charge include my book if you register online. Otherwise, I’d love to meet you – shoot me an e-mail (jason at JibberJobber dot com) if you will be in the area and want to hook up!



What JibberJobber *Might* Have Been Called (Branding and Names)

February 13th, 2008

words create branding - alphabet soup shotBack to the branding contest. Has this process been interesting to you? I hope that you can internalize some of this process to figure out your own personal, company or product brand issues!

In a previous comment someone asked to peek into the history of creating the name “JibberJobber.” Where did it come from? What were other names that we were kicking around? I hope you get a chuckle out of these ideas we had (these are from my notes about two years ago):

— available —


— taken —


I was running through this list with one of my buddies, Tige. You can see many of the name ideas have a clear theme, which I could reinforce throughout the user experience. For example, careercaterpillar would have a fun, cute caterpillar theme, or character, throughout your user experience.

The next day Tige called me up and said, “what about Jibber Jobber?”

Immediately I loved it! I loved it because:

  1. It sounded fun, and friendly. JibJab is one of my favorite companies, from their earliest videos. This wasn’t close enough that they could say I’m infringing on their name or trademark, and plenty of people have never heard of them, but they have helped the jib and jab sounds be known as fun.
  2. It sounded familiar. Everyone has heard of jibber jabber (aka, jibberjabber). The babbling. Apparently in the UK it is a much stronger, almost derogatory term, but here in the U.S., again, it’s playful and fun.
  3. Apparently Mr. T would say something like “Jibbe’Jabbe'” in The A Team. I kind of missed that but got a number of e-mails reminding me :)
  4. While it doesn’t have “career” in it anywhere, it does have “job” in there, so it’s tied to career ideas.

I’ve had three or four people who immediately disapproved of the name. They said it was too fun, too playful, or didn’t mean anything.

Considering these people worked in stiff, bureaucratic, almost-government organizations, I figured I had made the right decision. I could go with something more descriptive, but wouldn’t that paint the company into a corner?

And with regard to not “meaning anything,” I wonder what the following company names meant before they were branded:

  • Dogpile
  • Amazon
  • Nike
  • Yahoo
  • Google
  • … the list could go on and on.

Of course, they mean something to you now, right?

So does JibberJobber – almost two years later, something that meant nothing now evokes some kind of emotion.

What is the emotion, or impression, that you get from JibberJobber? If you want to participate in the branding contest, for $900 and more in prizes, do it on the Contact Us form.

(thanks to Pamela Slim at Escape from Cubicle Nation for the cool picture :))



Interview with Volt Recruiter Heather Gardner (Part II)

February 12th, 2008

More on the branding contest tomorrow! You can read the first five posts here (Introduction, Q&A, Brand Issues, Education Factor and Tag Lines), and if you want to participate, submit your entries here!

You can see Part I here. Heather Gardner's profile picture from LinkedInNext week I’m going to meet Heather Gardner in person. I’m really excited – I’ve gotten to know her on the MLPF Group and have found her to be genuine and helpful. All of her responses in this interview sound different than most recruiters that I communicate with, but I can say, she is the real deal. Enjoy this the second half of our interview!

We are told to network into our next job. How can I network with you? I mean, you are super busy… is that just going to offend you, or is there a way that I can actually have a healthy recruiter/candidate relationship?

Yes, let’s network together into your next position!

Yes, I am super busy, but never too busy to communicate with you, the candidate. If I do my job, I will set up expectations with you. Since the positions I recruit for change continuously, I may not be the best resource for every candidate all the time. For example, I don’t recruit for Bio-tech positions. I may refer the Bio-tech engineer to a more appropriate career search recruiter. There is generally one recruiter in our employ that I can refer a candidate to if I’m not the best resource.

As a professional recruiter, I am always open to candidates sending me emails or calling me. It doesn’t mean I will have your “perfect” job each time we chat, but it is nice to hear about changes in your job status, receive a revised resume, or discuss an interview you just went on. Sometimes you may want to call for career advice or share with me a few target companies you’d like to work for in the future that I didn’t already know about. Keeping this professional line of communication is important.

As I mentioned earlier, it’s always nice to stay in touch throughout your career. I had a candidate recently contact me after 8+ years. She saw me on LinkedIn and wanted to reconnect. This amazing sales professional was working at the same company I had originally placed her at and doing quite well. Excellent match 8+ years ago!

How many communications (e-mails, phone calls, voice mails, etc.) do you deal with on a daily basis?

How many is endless? Sometimes I am surprised at the sheer volume of communication I deal with on a daily basis.

To be quite honest with you, it’s like Christmas to me every time I log in to my email or listen to my voicemail! I am not kidding you… all those emails and voicemails are like getting a ton of wonderful gifts. I never know what to expect. I make so many recruiting calls and when the responses start coming back in, it’s always surprising to me what the results turn into. Christmas every time! I love it!

As a recruiter, I am constantly working, even during my off hours. When I attend a birthday party, BBQ or other social event, I am always networking. I never know when I will meet the candidate of a lifetime or a contact at a target company. Whether the communication is face to face, telephone or email – it’s 24/7. I like to think of it as the “recruiter lifestyle.”

What is your opinion about the resume … what makes a good one? What is a common mistake that turns you off?

The resume is really just the first impression. It’s to get you the interview.

I keep an open mind when it comes to resumes. I will learn more about you and what it is you are looking for in your next position by speaking with you directly, not by your resume. Some of the worst resumes came to produce the best candidates. I use it as merely a “working document.”

If I’m doing my job well as a recruiter, I will pre-screen you so well that I can introduce you more effectively to the hiring manager than your resume ever will.

A good resume is generally one that is written specific to the open position. If you aren’t working with a recruiter, it’s best to tailor the resume to your background that matches the job description – NOT word verbatim. It’s so difficult to list every task or accomplishment in your resume without turning it into a novel, but making sure to select things you know are important to the hiring manger is always a good choice.

The most common mistake that people make on their resume is not using spell check. I have received countless resumes that have incorrectly spelled words or incomplete punctuation. Again, it’s such a simple fix, most people just don’t think to print and proof their resume before sending it off.

Do you ever Google candidates, or look at their blogs, or social profiles?

I have never done a Google search on a specific candidate before, but good idea! I have looked at LinkedIn profiles. It would be a great way to get to know your candidates prior to an introduction call and give you a better snap shot of their professional background before talking.

I am still trying to better understand how social networking can work for me as a recruiter. Let’s talk a year from now when I figure all this new social networking technology and read your new book “I’m on Facebook — Now What???”

My experience with the local branch of an international recruiting firm was lame. It continues to be lame, two years later! Getting these types of responses from Heather, who works at Volt Workforce Solutions is really cool – instead of forcing them to focus on numbers, she is given the latitude to focus on people. And I like that :)



Interview with Volt Recruiter Heather Gardner (Part I)

February 11th, 2008

Note – we are having a branding contest. And it’s exciting! You can read the first five posts here (Introduction, Q&A, Brand Issues, Education Factor and Tag Lines), and if you want to participate, submit your entries here!

Heather Gardner's profile picture from LinkedInI met Heather Gardner online, at the MyLinkedInPowerForum Yahoo! Group. We picked up a discussion outside of MLPF and have begun networking and nurturing a professional relationship. I’ll warn you now, Heather is different. She is not the typical headhunter that you hear about (the one that everyone complains about). I’m not sure how many recruiters would respond the way she has, but this is clearly an example of the type of recruiter you want in your corner.

What bugs you about candidates?

As a professional recruiter, I am nothing without my candidates. Candidates NEVER bug me. I would not be successful in my job without good solid candidates.

What do you wish candidates knew about your job?

Recently I’ve had a few candidates say to me “just send my resume over and see what happens.” I am not in the business of resume pushing. My primary focus is to develop a professional relationship with my candidate so that I know more about their career ambitions, job requirements and what will motivate then in their next position.

The flip side of this is making sure that I send the “perfect’” candidate to my client for their open position, not just a resume. Sometimes candidates may not realize that it’s my job to keep in contact with them over the life of their career. Even if I was not the recruiter to place them at their current company. Just because their job search is over for now, doesn’t mean my job as their recruiter is. I always want to be able to contact you with a great career opportunity in the future regardless of where you are. Building long term professional relationships is my focus.

What do you wish candidates understood better about the job search process?

Searching for that “perfect” job can be time consuming. An active job search is a full time job in itself! Depending on the candidate’s working status, it can be a frustrating experience for them. It’s far too easy to get discouraged and impatient at times.

For the unemployed job seeker it can be an anxious process of finding that needed job. Working with a full service staffing company actually expands a candidate’s search efforts, without having to do much more than they are already doing in their job search process, giving their resume more visibility. With locations throughout the US. I can refer such candidates to a local branch to better assist with ready opportunities while they continue to search for the right long term position. I have had several candidates start on a contract assignment through a branch for one of our clients and then end up getting hired on by the company. It’s a win for everyone!

I also want to encourage job seekers to have patience with the job search process. There are so many new job search tools. JibberJobber is one of the latest tools out there that can really help out the active job seeker.

I understand your client is the company that has a position open. Can you help me, as a candidate, understand where I fit in?

As the candidate you are also my client. Just as I would qualify the needs of the company with the open position, I need to qualify you as the candidate. I need to know what you are looking for in your next position and see if it’s in line with what the hiring manager is looking for. I’m like a professional match maker.

Often times, you as my former candidate, become the hiring manager with an open position for me to fill. I can’t tell you how many times it cycles like that. As long as I’ve done my job well as a recruiter, you will call me first with your open headcount needs.

I’ve heard tons of horror stories about recruiters who forget their customer service manners and mistreat the candidate. That’s a foolish, short sighted approach. I would not be nearly as successful if I didn’t treat my candidates as clients and provide you with the same level of good customer service.

Different, right? Part II is tomorrow… stay tuned!


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