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Career Inspiration at Career Hub

December 14th, 2009

I was looking for something about Obama creating jobs and thought someone at Career Hub would have written about it.

Career Hub is perhaps the most fantastic career resource available to you.

I think I’m a pretty good job search and career blogger, but if a job seeker told me they wanted to know the number 1 blog for job search help today, it is, hands down, Career Hub.  Typically, as I remember, Cheezhead is cited as a #1 or #2 blog, but they are more for HR and careerists, and Joel hasn’t written since he got acquired by Jobing in September, and Penelope Trunk is another favorite of the “top job search blogs” lists, but I think that’s more for her rankings and popularity than for her career advice.

If you want solid career advice, Career Hub is unparalleled.  One reason is because the writers are full-on career coaches, resume writers, outplacement specialists, counselors, etc.  These are people who are certified, current, and in the trenches with their clients.  These are people who are passionate about job search issues, to the point where they come and pontificate for no compensation (on their “free time”) to share their ideas with job seekers.

This is not to say other career advice blogs are not good.  Many of them are – Barbara Safani, Dave Perry, Julie Walraven… there are plenty of amazing people giving lots of information.  But Career Hub is my #1 recommendation.  One reason why is because there are over a dozen of writers there… and all of them have their hearts in the career space.

Here are five awesome examples of what is typically there:

  1. 5 Steps To Dealing With A Toxic Relationship With Your Employer – not just job search advice, but overall career advice, like this.  Sital Ruparelia is a heavy blogger on Career Hub.
  2. Job Seekers: Come Monday, It’ll Be Alright Billie Sucher is one of my favorite people in the career space – she exudes love and helpfulness.
  3. Enduring Truths for Careers and Job Search Susan Guarneri is an absolute gem, and has a passion for personal branding that is hard to match.
  4. Unemployment Numbers Not Being TrackedNorine Dagliano always writes SOLID stuff.
  5. A Career Lesson From Leonardo Da Vinci – Another post by Sital, but I had to put it in here because I’m becoming a Leonardo fan (since I’m starting a hobby/project: a screenplay for a movie about Leonardo in a way that hasn’t ever been done before :)).

Louise Fletcher is the person behind this fantastic resource.  If you decide to not come back here again,  I understand… but I just had to say it like it is!  Go check out Career Hub!

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Personal Relationship Management – The Special

December 11th, 2009

Today is the last day of the special.  If you want to take advantage, login to JibberJobber and upgrade for one year.

Even if you are a premium user you can do this – we’ll just add one more premium year to your account AND you get the four premium videos.  Here are five reasons to do this special:

  1. Premium JibberJobber for one year: This is the highest level – you have all the sweet features and no limits on the number of contacts, companies, etc.  Not in a job search? No problem – this is your career management tool – the one that becomes a personal relationship manager for the rest of your career/life.
  2. Social Marketing Strategies for Job Seekers: This is a 50 minute video that helps you wrap your brain around how to use social tools in a job search.  It is the conceptual glue to understanding WHY you would use these online tools and get value out of them.
  3. Tips from a Recruiter: This 72 minute video is from Craig Goldberg, who has years of experience in recruiting.  He’s seen it all and knows what job seekers are doing right and wrong, and what they can do to impress a decision maker (or, recruiter).
  4. Blogging for Job Seekers: This 79 minute video breaks down the blogosphere for a job seeker.  I show you how to find bloggers who should be in your network, how to get on their radar, and how to use your own blog (if you have one) to grow your network and nurture relationships.  You don’t have to have a blog in order to take advantage of these strategies.
  5. Twitter for Job Seekers. Yesterday we had a great discussion on using Twitter in a job search.  My position is that it is powerful, but you better know what you are doing or you’ll waste time and feel like you are wasting time.  Ready to tap into the power of Twitter?  This 84 minute video is just what you need.

It’s super easy to get all of these things right now – just login to your JibberJobber account and upgrade for one year.  (after today, each item is priced individually – the upgrade is $99 and each video is $50)

Oh yeah, this isn’t a secret – please let everyone you know about it.

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Twitter in the Job Search?

December 10th, 2009

I recently read an article (in a newsletter, sorry, no link) about how to use Twitter in a job search. In short, the suggestions were:

  1. Get on Twitter,
  2. Tweet and get your brand out there, and
  3. follow key job people, including coaches, recruiters, etc.

I absolutely, fundamentally disagree.

Not to sound like a pessimist, but the people who usually listen to me are (a) busy, (b) not necessarily early adopters to technology, and (c) busy.  Because of (b) I have to be careful when I recommend any technology.

I’m not opposed to technology, but telling a job seeker to do the three steps above, I think, will give them a false sense of “I’m doing the right thing in my job search!”  I bet I can come up with 20 (non-twitter) activities that are more important than those three steps. I would not put this as a top priority.

But I do tell job seekers to include Twitter as part of their job search strategy.  In a nutshell, I suggest:

  • Use Twitter to find people who you can/should network with.  Best place to do this?  Twellow.comYou don’t have to have a Twitter account to do this.
  • Once you find a key contact, see if they have any lists, or are listed in any lists… if so, look for other key contacts to contact.  You don’t have to have a Twitter account to do this.
  • IF you want to contact people, consider doing it through Twitter.  Now you need to get an account, but you can do this in a way that gets you in front of key people who you are targeting (instead of throwing twitter-mud on the wall).  Be onbrand and realize the purpose of this is to get a discussion with that person, not to do a general branding tweet.

Addressing point 2 above, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to use Twitter as a branding tool – in fact, it has been quite a tool for me.  But I have resources allocated to branding and marketing, and this fits into that.  Job seekers, like I said, could have at least 20 other activities that are more productive.

Addressing point 3 above, I don’t think there is as much value in following recruiters and those posting jobs on Twitter… no offense to @tweetmyjobs and such services, but if you are spending a considerable amount of time looking at job postings anywhere, there is something wrong with your job search.

Active job seekers should be as wary of posted jobs as recruiters are of active job seekers.

(if you didn’t get that last line, read it again – it might be one of the most important sentences I’ve written on this blog, ever)

I would suggest you follow job search coaches, resume writers, etc…. because they will throw out tips and advice… but if you find yourself reading and reading and reading most of the day, I’d tell you to stop your Twitter activity and go do some of the hard stuff in the job search.

Thoughts?

I created Twitter for Job Seekers, a 1 hour 24 minute video on how to use Twitter, Twellow, etc. as a job seeker.  It is priced at $50.  You can get this video, plus Blogging for Job Seekers, Tips from a Recruiter and Social Marketing Strategies for Job Seekers for $99 through Friday.  Oh yeah, you also get 12 months of premium access to JibberJobber.  This is a heck-of-a-deal. Normally all of these would come to $300.  To get all four videos, and 12 months of premium JibberJobber, simply login to JibberJobber.com, click on the upgrade link at the bottom of your screen, and then choose a one year upgrade. We’ll give you access to all four videos right after that.

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The Lazy Careerist

December 9th, 2009

I think back to my time before being self-employed, and ponder on what I did for my career.

On the one hand, I did all the right stuff to build the content of my resume (titles, schooling, etc.).

On the other hand, I did the bare minimum.

I assumed.  And I was lazy.

I think I was normal.

I’m not saying that normal means people who don’t do what they *should* … rather, I’m saying I see a lot of people who don’t do what they ought to do.

Bare minimum vs. doing all the right things.

The problem was I spent my time working for my employer, assuming the employer would take care of me.

We all know how that works out.

Can I implore you to take yourself out of lazy, or assuming, mode, with regard to your career?

I guess it’s okay to be lazy and assuming with regarding to career management, as long as you got a job, but when that job ends (for a variety of reasons), you will regret it, and it can set you back months (and months and months).

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Your Input: Making JibberJobber Better

December 8th, 2009

We are still collecting information on what YOU want to see in JibberJobber. Here’s a quick survey to help us know what you want to see in JibberJobber. The results so far are… interesting (not entirely what I expected). Very helpful, indeed.

Please take a few minutes and share what we can do to make JibberJobber more useful to you – and if you want include a name and email since it is anonymous right now and we can’t even send a thank you email :)

Thank you!

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JibberJobber Special Extended Through This Week

December 7th, 2009

I’m extending the JibberJobber unbirthday special through this Friday.  In summary, here’s what you get for $99:

  1. One year Premium access to JibberJobber: JibberJobber is job search software.  It’s also a personal relationship manager.  Use JibberJobber to really own your career. Value: $99
  2. Social Marketing Strategies for Job Seekers streaming video: personal branding and networking online… it is real, it is essential for professionals.  This is a broad introduction and overview, and a preparation for the rest of the videos. Value: $50
  3. Job Search Tips from a Recruiter streaming video: Want to know what a recruiter thinks about you and your resume?  Want to know what a recruiter would advice you to do in your job search?  This video would have helped me avoid costly mistakes in my job search. Value: $50
  4. Blogging for Job Seekers streaming video: blogs are excellent tools to share your brand and find relevant network contacts.  This 1 hour 20 minute video helps you, as a non-blogging professional, understand how blogs fit in.  It is NOT a “how-to-blog” video – rather, it’s a “how do I use blogs in my job search” training.  Value: $50
  5. Twitter for Job Seekers streaming video: No way I’m going to tell you to get a Twitter account – but I will encourage you to tap into the network that is already there.  This training helps you wrap your brain around Twitter and how it fits into your toolset, even if you never get a Twitter account.  Value: $50

So, you upgrade for one year at $99 and you get $300 worth of product – that is a 66% savings… what are you waiting for?  Login to your JibberJobber account and upgrade for one year!

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Job Search Software

December 4th, 2009

December.

What a great month to get laid off.

Not only are there thousands of private industry people who are losing their jobs this month, but there are plenty of government jobs lost.  From police officers to janitors, nothing says “happy holidays” like a pink slip.

Let me suggestion five things you might call “job search software.”  Understand that I’m quite biased, having been active in this industry for almost four years… so to me, not all job search software is the same.

Here are five areas to consider:

  1. Organize your job searchJibberJobber was arguably the first real job search organizer on the market.  I started the company shortly after I got laid off and it has since provided value to thousands of users as they track where they apply, where they are at with each application, who their network contacts are and where the relationship is.  Many continue to use JibberJobber after they land a job because it is a long-term career management tool, not a find-me-a-job bandaid.
  2. Find job postings.  Job boards: one of the most misunderstood areas.  Think you’ll find current, relevant and open job postings on job boards?  GOOD LUCK.  Job boards have a purpose but if you misunderstand them, like I did, you’ll waste weeks and weeks and weeks, like I did.  Know their purpose, but don’t expect them to help you find the hidden job market.  Peter Weddle says (and I agree) that you should get job alerts from six boards: two large boards (think Monster and CareerBuilder), two niche/industry boards (think Dice or NursingJobs.com), and two local boards (think craigslist and whatever-your-county or city has (houstonjobs, for example).  If you understand that job boards care about you as much as recruiters do, you’ll be further ahead of where I was when I started my search.
  3. Network with people. Real networking, not superficial stuff.  There is no networking silver bullet, and it can be “not easy,” but networking is career management 101 – you need to do it in your job search and when you are in-between job searches. I think LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook provide good-to-excellent networking opportunities.
  4. Brand yourself. I don’t care if you think branding is only for cattle or products (you are neither, right?).  Personal branding is real, and it is important.  If you need to call it something else, that’s fine… I’m not big on semantics.  But if I google you, I should come up with something that might impress me.  It’s easy to get branded well… some things to consider are buying your own domain name, getting a blog (wordpress.com, typepad.com, etc.), etc.  Also, think about your LinkedIn Profile as well as a VisualCV account, or something like that.  Oh yeah, emurse.com is one I always recommend.
  5. _________________.

Oops, that’s only four… well, I’ll let you tell me what #5 is.  Go for it in the comments :)

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The Worst Time Since The Great Depression?

December 3rd, 2009

I don’t care what the news might say about how things are getting better.  And I don’t care if we’re on the upswing from this recession.

The bottom line is, this is really, really hard. We all know business owners who have gone out of business.  We all know people who have lost their jobs.  We all know people who have been in a job search for over a year.  If there is a light at the end of the tunnel it sure seems really dim, or like a pinhole.

In a Yahoo Group I’m on someone said that this is the worst she’s seen since the Great Depression… I agree with that… but there are a few differences. Here was my response to her email.  I hope this can give you hope – I didn’t plan on sharing on this blog when I wrote it, but it’s been on my mind all night/morning:

Individual greatness has and will come from this, however.  For me, one of the greatest things I think I can see from this is that people start to consider their careers differently – it is no longer the company’s to manage, it is MINE.  What can I do to have some kind of income security?

As people go through this paradigm shift we’ll see the evolution of the career – it has to happen – we’ve been forced into it (by virtue of lack of loyalty between employers and employees) – now the economy is forcing us to really, really address it.

Anyone want to trust their career to HR?  Maybe a few years ago, but many people now are “getting it.”  It’s a hard lesson, for sure, but I think we’ll see a more empowered workforce come out of this.

Chris Brogan recently wrote in his newsletter that there might not be a lot of jobs out there, but there is a TON of money – can we, as personal career managers, start to think about how to create income security (as opposed to job security) by earning some of that money?

If so, then we’ll see a terrific product when all the dust settles.

It might be a crappy economy, but that doesn’t mean we have to let that dictate what happens to US!  Retool and conquer!

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What Do You Do With Your Network?

December 2nd, 2009

Yesterday I wrote 10% of a blog post (Where To Find Network Contacts) and asked YOU to fill in the rest.  I did the easy part and I got some excellent responses from Shane Smith (who I met in the Twin Cities – and outstanding marketing professional), Peter Osborne (who I only know online but am thoroughly enjoying his executive blog), Juli Monroe (who teaches people how to network), Ken Won (who has a cool blog sharing job search success stories), Debra Feldman (who helps professionals and executives in their job search and career management) and Scott Percival (who blogs about project management stuff).

You can read the the post and excellent comments at yesterday’s Where to Find Network Contacts post.

In Scott’s comment he says:

Lastly, a network needs to be nurtured. Learn more about those in your network then just what their career aspiration are. Find a way to stay in front of your network, Send them a note, leave a message, Let them know you are thinking of them periodically.

Can I just say, this is what JibberJobber is ALL ABOUT! JibberJobber is personal relationship management… it is about nurturing your network.

– As a JibberJobber user I get birthday reminders EMAILED to me – if I have your birthday in the system then I can act on that.  That is a nurturing activity.

– When I put your record into JibberJobber, which is something no one else can read but me, I can then make notes about you – including “what [your] career aspirations are.”  As I “learn more about” you, I keep notes on that, so if we end up on the phone in 3 or 30 years I can refer back to who YOU are and what I know about you.  This is a nurturing activity.

– I can set up Action Items to “stay in front of” you … something like “call Don next quarter and as him how his new job is going,” or “email Pat and congratulate her on her daughter graduating from school,” or something like that.  I want to stay in front of you, and I have to … HAVE TO have a system to help me.  Salespeople use Customer Relationship Management – I use Personal Relationship Management, which is JibberJobber.  Staying in front of you is a nurturing activity.

– When I “send [you] a note, leave a message,” and “let [you] know I am thinking of you, I record that as a Log Entry… this helps me remember the communciations I have had with you – do I communicate frequently, or has it been a year?  Have I had significant communication, or is it superficial?  Keeping track of these nurturing activities is critical!

Look folks, I don’t blog about this stuff, career management, networking, etc. for my health, or because I’m a nice guy. I’m passionate about not ever being in the horrible place I was when I got let go – it sucked.  And I’ve learned that we can do certain things to keep us out of that place… but it takes work.

Is JibberJobber hard to use?  For some it is – others have logged into it hundreds of times (daily) because they know they have to nurture relationships, and they have to keep track of intelligence (communications in and out) in order to really, truly, manage their careers and nurture relationships.

Get your free-for-life account.  Consider upgrading (I have people who have logged in over 500 times without upgrading – the free account is quite powerful), and tell your friends, family and peers about it. Get on the webinars (we do it every other week – the next one is in 14 minutes) to learn how to use it.

Gone are the days of a company taking care of us through retirement – now it’s time for us to manage our own careers.  Use JibberJobber to take care of a significant amount of that career management!

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Where to Find Network Contacts

December 1st, 2009

I’ve been thinking about how and where to find network contacts.

The idea is this: imagine you are a professional who recently entered a job search after working for years in your last job.  Maybe you have had a few changes in employer, or divisions that you worked in.  Nonetheless, you haven’t done any traditional “networking.”

Now you are told you will likely network into your next job.  And you don’t know what that means.

I remember sitting at a small table with a blank sheet of paper with an old retired guy asking me to list “who I knew” – this would be my network list.

My mind was as blank as the paper.

So, the question I pose to you – WHERE do you find network contacts?

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