Job Search – How To Find Target Companies

June 30th, 2009

There are lots of ways of finding target companies… here’s one that might make sense for you.

Google your town/state and “Venture Capital” or “Venture Fund.”  You are looking for local venture capital websites.  Venture capitalists are the people who help fund companies, whether they are startups, or larger companies who need some money.  You can think of them as an alternative to the bank.

Dealing with VCs isnt’ fun.  I have yet to find a VC who doesn’t think he is god.  I say he because I personally don’t know any women who are VCs.  If you don’t like dealing with people who think they are god (I don’t), then this post is quite important (because you aren’t going to deal with them, unless you are at a very senior level).

Collect a list of VC firms in your area (OF COURSE you’ll put them into JibberJobber).  Then, look on their website for their Portfolio (that is, the list of companies they have funded).  Here’s a screen capture from a company that is local to me:

Drill down on any of the categories and you’ll have a list you can filter through… these can become your target companies in your job search.


Because they have some level of funding (this is good, so you can get paid), and because a VC firm is behind them they usually have other perks (insurance, vacation, etc.).  They are also on some kind of fast-track to success, hopefully (doesn’t mean they will be successful), and are probably looking at some kind of big win for the investors (VCs) – this could mean they are acquired, go IPO, etc.  It would be a fun ride, and you might be able to cash in on stock when that time happens.

This isn’t for everyone, especially the people who are looking for job security in big companies like GE, Ford, Enron….

But it’s a great way to look for local companies you may not have heard of but should be on your list.  Once you find these companies you can try and network in through the VC (good luck), or you can go around the VC firm and network directly into the company through the company employees.

Sound like a good idea?



How to Get Started on JibberJobber: JibberJobber Tutorial

June 29th, 2009

Every other week we do a one hour tutorial on JibberJobber – you can see the schedule and register here (the next webinar is this Wednesday).

You can see all of these, and more, on the JibberJobber Vimeo channel.

UPDATE: 11/2/2010: I made a new page where I’ll have the most recent recording… go here to watch it.

If you click where the red arrow is pointing on either of the videos you’ll pop the video out so it’s full screen.



Fun Networking

June 26th, 2009

As a followup to my post Uncomfortable Networking (which got tweeted and shared a lot more than I would have guessed), let me throw out another job search networking post.

In my job search, after I read Never Eat Alone and had some personal paradigm shifts, I grew to LOVE networking.  Networking was FUN!

I wasn’t focused on landing my next job, which is stressful if that’s what you have in mind with each conversation.

I wasn’t focused on “what can this person give to me,” which is the wrong reason to talk to someone.

I wasn’t focused on wondering if I was best optimizing my time every second of the conversation, as relationships take a while to mature.

I was focused on learning about people (individuals):

  • Who they were
  • and possibly, how they might be able to help me in return

Once I got over all of my initial assumptions about what networking was and should be I started to have FUN!

Yippee, whoohoo FUN!

I thought it was just me, for a while, because a lot of people I networked with were stressed, but my stress somehow subsided.  I thought it was because I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, as I started to formulate my own income security with my multiple streams of income.

However, one day I was talking to someone and he said “Man, this networking stuff is really fun!

He had gotten the bug, too.

He had started to concentrate on the other person, not on himself.

I heard this from a few others, and I realized that networking could be, should be, fun.

If you are not having fun, perhaps you aren’t doing it right.

Yes, I know the job search is beyond stressful… but I wonder if there are some things you can do differently to have fun in this period of your life.

Whaddaya think?



JibberJobber, the Personal CRM, in a Poem (!!)

June 25th, 2009

It’s not every day your product gets mentioned in a poem, that is in a published book!  Check out what very-clever John Steensen wrote (the part about JibberJobber is in bold green).  You can get his book of 32 poems, all based on technology, from this page.

Google the Elephant

I posted my resume on Monster last year,
I got very few hits, no help for my career.
So I freshened it up and got on LinkedIn,
It would surely raise me above the awful din.

But alas, I was mistaken, for no hits were to follow,
My career plans were looking a little bit hollow.
I thought “I’ll start over” and erased all the words,
I’ll do something quite different – I’ll stray from the herds.

I’ll create a new “Me” – one no employer can resist,
A resume that says “read me first, I insist”.
I’ll heed the advice of social networking gurus,
I’ll weave in hot topics still fresh in the news.

My new resume screamed “hire me this minute”,
Your company cannot succeed unless I am in it.
I may have stretched my qualifications a bit,
But within a few moments I got my first hit.

So I posted it widely on every job board and
Into JibberJobber each day I dutifully recorded,
My interviews, follow-ups and each telephone call,
I didn’t miss one – I recorded them all.

Things were looking up nicely, I was suddenly in demand,
I gave my own back a pat with my hand.
For I had created a most perfect candidate,
Into dozens of jobs, it was clear I would fit.

But suddenly the hits screeched to a halt,
The recruiters stopped calling, what could be the fault?
What evil had happened to stifle my quest,
For the perfect job letting me be my best.

I found out too quickly my old resume,
Had leapt to the surface, much to my dismay.
You load up your odds but you’ll lose all your bets
For just like an elephant, Google never forgets.

Copyright 2009 by John Steensen

I love what he’s doing… combining a passion with wit… great way to showcase his personality and ability and creativity.  From his book page (where you can buy the Technoprose book):

Although I’ve written poetry my entire life the efforts have always been directed at a particular special occasion – a birthday, a graduation, a wedding. One day in the fall of 2008, after a particularly engaging conversation with my daughter over the amount of time she was spending on her Nintendo DS, I was inspired to capture my impressions of this encounter in the form of the poem. My wife still insists it was an attempt at self-therapy. I realized that, because my life had been immersed in technology, the verses flowed almost effortlessly. It grew from there. Here is a collection of 32 poems that try to capture the diversity of experience that technology brings into our lives. Many are humorous, some are downright geeky, but all are inspired, for better or worse, by real-world events in both my life and the lives of my family and friends.

John, great job, and thanks for giving props to JibberJobber!

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Personal Relationship Manager

June 24th, 2009

When I started doing research on JibberJobber I had a notion that this would become a personal relationship manager.

Most CRM tools, including Salesforce, Goldmine, ACT!, etc. focus on a sales process.  They have sales jargon, sales reports, etc.  I wanted to develop something that did not have that jargon or emphasis, but would help people manage personal relationships.  I wanted something that would become a PERSONAL CRM, not a corporate CRM.

I should say, in the CRM world there has been a lot of talk about the phrase “manage relationships,” which sounds cold, calculated and transactional.  I agree that it might not be a terrific phrase, but I do think that in order to nurture relationships, and to build “intimate relationships,” it’s darn useful to have some tool to help us remember when we last talked, what we have ever talked about, and when I need to followup.  So until I hear something better, I’ll continue to say “manage relationships.”  I hope you get the idea, though, that I’m not talking about the cold, transactional aspect of managing a relationship.

Let me talk about CRM really quick… CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management.  Companies would buy a CRM solution and give it to their sales professionals and business development professionals.  This is one reason why those who have had sales experience see JibberJobber and immediately “get it” … because they used something very similar in a prior job.

CRM tools allow a sales professional, or anyone who deals with external customers and prospects, to know who is in their pipeline, where they are at with each individual (has the sale been made, was there an offer, when does a follow-up need to happen, etc.), including a running log of all of the past communications.  It’s an extremely important part of a professional’s toolset, as it allows you to keep up with your relationships (and, sales).

JibberJobber came out in May of 2006, and was positioned to offer this same level of functionality to the individual, whether they were in sales or not.  Oops, what I meant to say is WE ARE ALL IN SALES, AND WE ARE ALL CEO OF ME INC.!  What do we sell?  Ourselves!  Our brand!  Our value proposition!

Whether we are unemployed or not, we are always in sales, and we should always work on our pipeline!

Here are a few relationship management tasks that JibberJobber helps you with:

  • Knowing WHO is in your network. Not just the name of the person, but information like when you met them, who introduced you to them, are they associated with any of your target companies, when you last spoke with them, etc.
  • Knowing what your target companies are. Not so much on individual relationships, but you need to know your prospects… JibberJobber helps you keep notes on your target companies, and allows you to keep track of how you “network your way into a company.”  This is critical, whether you are in a job search or not.
  • Images and log entries. Putting special extra information on a record can help you remember who the heck they are.  Many times I’ve looked at a business card and thought “I have no idea who this is, and why I have the card.”  Putting a picture on helps a lot, and putting log entries with snippets of an email conversation, or notes from a phone call, really help remind me who each person is.
  • Ranks the relationships. It’s not enough to simply have a network, or a big network, or a wide network… I want to know how strong the relationships are with each individual.  Keith Ferrazzi, in Never Eat Alone, talks about ranking the strength of the relationship with each contact – that was one of the first things designed into this personal relationship manager!
  • Tags and Categories. This helps you “slice and dice” your data later… if you tag and/or categorize a contact you can later get their info based on the tag/category.  For example, i regularly go in and say “give me all the email addresses of my blogger contacts, or my family.”  This is done by tagging and categorizing.

And, as a bonus,

  • JibberJobber is a great tool to manage a job search. While it is a comprehensive job search manager, it is not just about job search…. it is about relationship management – which is a LONG TERM thing that you do throughout your entire career!

You can see we’re merging the concept of customer relationship management and personal relationship management… and we’re doing it for YOU.

Don’t have an account?  Get one here.



Uncomfortable Networking

June 23rd, 2009

When I started my job search I knew I wouldn’t have to waste time networking.

I was too busy looking for a job to spend time networking.  I didn’t want to take hours each week in the car, spending money to going to events, and schmoozing with people who really had nothing to offer me.

One day I broke down and thought I’d give it a try, but I did it on my own terms.  I really was uncomfortable putting myself out there in front of people, not sure how to network.  And of course, since it was on my own terms, I didn’t get much value out of it (and I guarantee I didn’t give any value to anyone).

My terms included:

  • going to the meeting late… heaven forbid I got there early enough to have to talk to people,
  • leaving the meeting as soon as the speaker was done… again, no need to talk to people!

Reading Never Eat Alone and Thom Singer’s Some Assembly Required helped change my thoughts about networking… I got excited about those meetings, and changed the way I thought about the attendees.  I started going earlier and stayed until almost everyone was gone.  I started asking for lunches from individuals, and following up in email and on the phone.

Everything changed.  Even, and especially, the results.

At lunch a few days ago I was talking with a local entrepreneur and I had a thought – sometimes you have to be uncomfortable in your networking.

If you look at me now, especially if you don’t want to network, you might think that I’m a networking fool… a crazy networker who does nothing else, and thoroughly enjoys networking.

The truth is, many times I am uncomfortable.

I am not saying we have to be in ethically or morally uncomfortable situations, but many times we are sitting in the network meeting, or in the parking lot before the meeting, or right by our phone before we make *that* call, and we are uncomfortable.  Queasy.  Scared.

I’m going to guess that everyone, even Mr. Networker himself Thom Singer, who has written multiple books on networking, gets uncomfortable sometimes.

But let me encourage you to go through with it – don’t let the discomfort be a show-stopper for you.

Go into that meeting, open your mouth, meet people, and grow your network!  Uncomfortable is OKAY.



Want to become a LinkedIn Expert? Check out my LinkedIn DVD!

June 22nd, 2009

Seems like nowadays everyone says they are a LinkedIn expert… there are a bunch of people talking about LinkedIn… how to use LinkedIn in a job search, how to use LinkedIn to make a sale, how to use LinkedIn for  _________.

I realize I’m totally biased about my LinkedIn DVD (I’m quite proud of it :p), perhaps it’s not fair to tell you what I think of it.  Let me share what others are saying about it on

VerySuperCool Sue writes from Austin:

I was surprised at the amount of information that was on the dvd. I thought I had finished, when I realized I was only beginning! I think everyone who has a Linkedin account could really benefit from watching this.

Paul Jones from Salt Lake writes:

I loaded Alba’s LinkedIn DVD and immediately started using the spacebar. You know, the spacebar pauses the video. And I needed to pause the video because so much of his advice was immediately actionable.

Kelly Kennedy says:

What I especially liked is that the DVD is a webinar format of Jason using LinkedIn, not just him standing there talking about it. As you view the DVD you see what he is clicking on, what Jason thinks about various features, and what you should do with LinkedIn for job search and career management. It is especially helpful how Jason highlights sections of the program and then discusses each section individually for clarity. Our undergraduate and MBA students have taken full advantage of the program and I admit that it was clearly worth the small investment we made.

Jeffrey Ogden in Bethpage, NY writes:

Jason has created a very useful and informative DVD for anyone who wishes to optimize his or her Linkedin profile. Why is it important? I just met with a Chairman and CEO of a good sized business. He said “I loved your resume.” I responded “What resume? I never gave you one.” He said “Oh, I mean your Linkedin profile.[I LOVE THIS STORY!!]

Sophie Lagace from Eureka (!) writes:

I have used several other LinkedIn resources, including Jason Alba’s own book and blog, and I’m employed, not looking. Yet I still found value in the tutorials, and I took several new actions to connect with people and improve my profile.

Cultural Tofu writes:

Although it’s geared towards job seekers, I found the information to be relevant for non-job seekers just trying to build their professional brand and grow their professional network. … I highly recommend this DVD to anyone interested in updating their professional brand using LinkedIn.

Thom Allen in West Jordan, UT writes:

Most of the information in the DVD isn’t a secret, but Jason brings new ideas on how to use the features that already exist for LinkedIn users. You will find more opportunities to improve your LinkedIn connection base than ever. You need this DVD.

Julie Walraven in Wausau, WI writes:

… even though I have read his book before and worked with LinkedIn for a couple of years, I found a few more tips and changed my profile once again. … Screen by screen with Jason giving clear advice, jobseekers will learn what to do and what not to do with LinkedIn and why. As a professional resume writer, I am excited to use this new tool with my clients and am recommending it on my website.

Marc W from West Jordan writes:

Jason Alba shows us in his new DVD what works and why and how to implement it. He presents his material in a very easy to follow format with excellent examples.

Thomas Clifford writes:

What I like best is I can review any of the segments quickly and easily and then jump onto LinkedIn and execute the concept. … Books on LinkedIn are fine; this is like having a private one-on-one tutorial in your home. Pretty cool!

Awesome folks, thank you for those testimonials!

If you haven’t gotten a copy of LinkedIn for Job Seekers, the DVD, yet, click here to order.

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Career Envy

June 19th, 2009

I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that I have career envy.

There’s this guy I know who had a spectacular career, made decent money (wasn’t rich), and now has a pension that would make a working person jealous.

In retirement he makes more than many people will ever make during their career (especially in this economy).

Actually, it’s not just one person who I’m jealous of, there are three people who come to mind immediately when I think about this.

Sometimes I wish I could just have a nice corporate (or even government) job, with a nice comfortable salary, terrific benefits, and know I’d be there for a few decades, to retire and be set forever.

Like those three I sometimes think about.  What would it be like to never worry about the next paycheck, or a health insurance issue….

The irony is I know some people who are in that situation – nice corporate (or government) job, with a nice comfortable salary, terrific benefits, and a hope they could be there for a few decades, to retire and be set forever.

Actually, that’s not necessarily true…. everyone I talk to in that situation is worried about where they’ll be in a few years.

And as we talk more, they share with me that they are envious of me.

Because I own my own gig.  I work from home.  I am free to do what I want (speak, consult, write books, make cool DVDs, etc.).  I won’t ever get laid off…

It turns out that we both have career envy, of one another.

Isn’t that ironic.

One of these days I’m going to figure out how to be happy with what I have.

How about you?



Twitter and your Job Search

June 18th, 2009

Susan Joyce of wrote two important posts that will help you incorporate Twitter into your job search strategy:

Top 50+ Employers Recruiting on Twitter

Top 50 College & University Career Centers Using Twitter

Susan does a terrific job adding more than “here’s another list” – on both posts she contemplates the companies and career centers NOT on the list, which she notes is just as interesting as who IS on the list!

How do you incorporate this information into a job search?

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Career Management meets Financial Management

June 17th, 2009

Meridith Levinson wrote  Where Personal Finance and Career Management Meet at – it’s a really good, thought-provoking read… go check it out!

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