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How To Organize Your Job Search (3): Job Postings

September 10th, 2010

Finally, in this three-part series about how to organize your job search, we talk about the actual job posting.

The first part was about organizing your network contacts.

The second part was about organizing your target companies.

Organizing the jobs you are interested in is important, of course… but I’m guessing that if you are doing a smart job search you’ll have a lot more contacts and target companies than jobs you apply to.

The wrong way to job search is what I did: spend 10 hours a day on Monster.com and apply, apply, apply all day long.

I added hardly any new people to my network list, and wasn’t adding many new companies (one company for almost every new job applied to).

Job postings should come from network contacts, and asking people, rather than from browsing the job boards (for various reasons).

The third main link on the menu is to help you track job postings:

jibberjobber_job_postings_organize_job_search

What do you keep track of with each posting?

  • When you applied?
  • What version of which resume you sent to who?
  • When do you need to follow-up NEXT?
  • Where are you at in the process?
  • Who you have been talking to about the job (aka, how are you networking in)?
  • ANY notes about any of the above, including conversations and emails you had that are relevant.
  • What is the job posting (which won’t be on job boards forever).
  • Key contact info like phone numbers, emails, addresses, etc.

Perhaps there is more… JibberJobber gives you the ability to track more information, which a programmer might call “metadata,” with the flexible interface (namely, log entries that you can put whatever you want in).

It’s critical, CRITICAL, to keep track of this stuff…

Now, think about the postings for the last few days on how to organize your job search… is this something a spreadsheet or post-it notes can do?

Perhaps for the first few days, or weeks, but as the job search goes on and on you need something much more robust.

Something with a search function that gives you the results you need.

Something with reports, and relationships mapped out…

Something just like JibberJobber.

What are you waiting for … start to use the system NOW, before you need it, and when the time comes you’ll be glad to have all of your key, critical information at your fingertips!

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How To Organize Your Job Search (2): Target Companies

September 9th, 2010

Yesterday I talked about organizing and managing information around your network contacts.

Today we talk about “target companies,” which of course is the second main position on the menu within JibberJobber:

jibberjobber_target_companies_organize_job_search

I didn’t think about “target companies” at all when I started my job search.  I collected names of companies as I applied, and heard about them, but I didn’t know how to strategically incorporate them into my job search.

Know I realize I needed to do two critical things with target companies (but this was not, perhaps, the most important thing about target companies, which I’ll talk about below):

  1. Keep track of any important and relevant news with the target companies. I want to know CURRENT events… stuff that is happening now with the company.  Wouldn’t it be important to know some of this stuff if you were talking about the company, or interviewing with the company?  Perhaps this makes you out to be a quasi-stalker, but it is better to know than to get caught off-guard, especially if it’s something that everyone in the industry should know.
  2. Network into the company. When you have a target company, and you meet someone who works there, you start to “network into the company.”  Perhaps you ask them who you should talk to and get an introduction to the next “right person” who might lead you deeper into the company, or closer to your key contact.

Those two things are really important, of course, but I think there is something even more important than that.

I think it is critical to be able to recite 2 or 3 or 4 target company names when you are talking to someone who can help you in your job search.

How do you know if they can, or want to, help you?

Simple – they ask this question:

How’s your job search going?”

Your response should NOT be “fine.”  That is not a good response. Your response should be:

“It’s going okay… I’m trying to get an introduction into a few companies – do you know anyone who works at [Target Company A], [Target Company B], or [Target Company C]?

I don’t care if you change A, B and C to J, K, F or X, Y, Z, as often as you like.  But the key is to be able to give that person MORE, and REAL, information so they can start to really think about how they can help you.

Target companies is key!  Track them, organize them, network into them and be able to recite a few of them at the right time.  If you are actively networking, you’ll have multiple “right times” throughout the day.

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How To Organize Your Job Search (1): Contacts

September 8th, 2010

In JibberJobber we intentionally put the order of the menu items like this:

jibberjobber_menu_organize_job_search

Notice how Network (contacts) is before job postings?  Indeed, even Companies (target companies) is before job postings.

There is a reason for that.  Today we’ll talk about the network contacts.

Supposedly, 60+ percent of you will find your next gig because of your network.

And Harvey Mackay says we should “dig our well before we’re thirsty.”

Networking is not only critical to this job search but to every job search we’ll be in until we retire.

In addition, networking is important in-between job searches.  When we are employed we might tap into our network to

  • get introductions to people in or out of our company, to
  • help us navigate a promotion, to
  • help us get information that is otherwise off-limits to people, to
  • keep us as safe as possible in a layoff period (when everyone else in the company is getting laid off),
  • etc.

Your network might be the most important thing you have in your career.

Maybe your degree helps you get in the door and your knowledge (and ability to perform) keeps you there and your networking skills gets you closest to the thing we used to call “job security.”

It is critical to:

  • Know who is in your network, and keep track of new contacts.  A customer relationship management (CRM) database is very, very helpful in managing this information.
  • Know what you talk about with whom, and when.  A personal relationship manager (PRM) is a tool you use to log when you talk about what with who.  Not every single conversation, but the ones that are important and that you might want to refer back to later.
  • Know when to follow-up with who.  Keith Ferrazzi says that if you follow-up you’ll be better than 95% of your “competition.”  A good CRM helps you know when “action items” are coming up.

JibberJobber does all of this, as a CRM or a PRM… it is critical to keep track of your network contacts and where you are at with each of them.

What if you don’t?  No, the world will not stop spinning… but when it’s time to really work with (or use) your network, you don’t want to have to pull out a piece of paper and try and list 30 people you know.

It’s much better to START NOW.

If you are on JibberJobber, spend a few minutes and add 5 new contacts to your database.

If you aren’t on JibberJobber, get a free account and put 5 contacts into your new database.

It will be worth your time.  Especially when your next transition (layoff, etc.) happens and you can login and see dozens or hundreds or thousands of contacts, instead of just 3 people.

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JobMob Guest Blogging Contest – 5 Slots Left!

September 7th, 2010

I normally don’t like to post twice in one day but I have to make an exception today so you have enough time to act on this.  There are 5 more slots open… will you fill one of them?

Jacob Share hosts a blogging contest and has some great prizes.  This year JibberJobber is the main sponsor…

I think the most important part is this, from Jacob’s post:

Remember: you don’t need to be a writer or a blogger!

You do need to have a job search story to tell – good, sad or funny – or advice to share, ideas to try…

Here’s the link to the JobMob guest blogging contest details.  I’d love to see more of my JibberJobber users/readers write something (Kimba Green has already submitted an entry).

To see what’s already been published, and who’s winning, click here.

Go to this page to submit your guest post!

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Networking is an Investment

September 7th, 2010

Rita Carey, career consulting and leadership coach, left a great comment on my post about networking (does it work?) post on Friday.

Her entire comment is worth reading but I wanted to share her very last thought:

“Networking, done well, is an investment.”

Think about it – if you have $100 and you invest it in something relatively safe you might be able to get, say $120 out later.

Is later tomorrow?

NO! (usually not)

You might have to wait for a year before you can get the increase.

Usually investments take time to mature.

If networking is an investment, when do you think you can get the value out of it?

Perhaps not until next year.

Start now.

Invest now.

Network now.

You need to start before you need to pull your $120 out.

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The irony of Labor Day is…

September 6th, 2010

… that most people take the day off.

They don’t labor, they party… barbecue, etc.

Enjoy the holiday!

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AOL Change – Job Site of the Week

September 3rd, 2010

I’m changing my role as a writer for AOL and will start to write a “job site of the week” article/post.  I already have a handful of sites I want to write about… do you have any recommendations?

I’ll share the articles with you, here on this blog.

If you have any suggestions of sites that help you in your job search or career management, leave them in the comments or email me, tweet me, etc.

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Humanities ≠ Jobs… what?

September 2nd, 2010

When I was choosing my major I figured I should major in something that would help me land a job.

I was pretty short-sighted and didn’t quite understand what that meant but I figured there were some majors that either didn’t get jobs or that got very low-paying jobs.

I ultimately chose to get a degree in business with an emphasis in Computer Information Systems.  The only other alternative I seriously considered was an emphasis in accounting, but I had ZERO intention of going that route.

Armed with my BA in CIS I was ready to meet the professional world.  Of course, I had an education complex so I eventually got my MBA also, and was sure I was on the path to serious job security!!

I would look at other majors, namely humanities, and think “good luck, but seriously, didn’t you realize you were putting yourself at a disadvantage?”

Yes, short-sighted, I know.  I realize different, now, but back then that’s what I thought.

Okay, that’s a long intro for such a short point… I recently came across an awesome, amazing blog for humanities majors. This is written by Scott Sprenger, the Associate Dean at BYU, and is called Humanities+ (or, Humanities Plus).  Here’s the description on what the PLUS means:

Humanities+
To provide ideas and resources for bridging the traditional humanities major to the professional work world.

Which is different if you put the PLUS before Humanities, like this:

+Humanities
To provide students in business, social science, engineering, pre-law, etc., with reasons and strategies for enriching vocational training with skills provided by the Humanities.

Summing it up:

Whether it’s H+ or +H, the Humanities should play an important role in everybody’s education.

I LOVE that… very clever, very thoughtful. Beyond that, though, I’ve skimmed through a number of Scott’s posts and they are very high-value for a Humanities type.

Go check it out – and Scott, excellent job!

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What Do Recruiters Talk About At Conferences?

September 1st, 2010

I think it’s intriguing to learn about what recruiters talk, and learn, about.  Understanding what they are paying money for and what they are trying to incorporate into their business can help you understand how to better position yourself, whether you are in an active or passive job search.

Here’s parts of an agenda (full agenda here) from a recruiter conference… do you see a consistent theme?  Browse through these and then I’ll make a conclusion at the end of the post:

Kristin Graham, VP Global Recruiting & Engagement, Expedia is going to talk about the new candidate… how the talent pool has changed since the recession.  This sounds really, really interesting.  She’ll talk about how to maintain credibility with different generations (including the high-tech high-touch candidates).

Stephen A. Lowisz, President and Chief Executive Officer of Qualigence will talk about a role the recruiter plays in helping the hiring manager realize what they want vs. what they can get. Interesting role I never really thought about.

Eric Winegardner, Vice President, Client Adoption, Monster.com and Marie Artim, Assistant VP of Recruiting, Enterprise Rent-A-Car will talk about the power of social media.

Shally Steckerl, EVP Arbita and Founder of JobMachine will talk about “key social media sourcing initiatives for 2010 and beyond.”

Rusty Rueff, Glassdoor.com Board Director will talk about the employment brand: Your employment brand is transparent! Yes, Really!” I hope he helps these people understand that when they treat candidates with disrespect that has a negative impact on the company.

Simon Conroy, CEO, Madgex will do a presentation called “Social Media Dreams and Digitally-enabled Fantasies.”

Traci Scovel, Sr. Program Manager, Genentech and Kasey Sixt, VP of Branding, CKR Interactive will give a presentation on getting started with social media by committing 15 minutes a day.

Gautam Godhwani, CEO and Co-Founder Simply Hired will talk about how to “prepare for the future of job search.” I bet he’ll talk a lot about Twitter and Facebook (it’s in the description).

Social Media is over 1/2 of the agenda!

This is what recruiters are scrambling to learn!

Where are you in your personal social media strategy?  Are you “there?”  Do you have a plan?  Will these recruiters FIND YOU?

When they find you, will they be impressed and think that perhaps you are the exact person they were looking for?

Or… is it all just crickets? (that is, you aren’t there, you don’t exist)

Whether you are in a serious job search now, planning for one in the next couple of years, wanting to get promotions at your work or have your own business, I think it is time to SERIOUSLY figure out what your social marketing strategy means.

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