Working with Recruiters (Part II)

November 30th, 2011

Yesterday I blogged about working with recruiters.

Here’s another post of interest: The recruitment database is far from dead….

Peter Cosgrove says that his firm, the largest recruitment agency in Ireland, took their 20 last placements and lists where they came from:

  • Only one applied through a job board
  • Two came from a cv database such as monster
  • 3 came from our own Cpl website
  • 2 were found on Linkedin
  • 12 were by referral or internally found by the recruiter on our database.

Read his short post for his thoughts.

My thoughts?


Network with recruiters, but NETWORK with people who can refer you!

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Working with Recruiters

November 29th, 2011

I saw a question on a LinkedIn Group about working with recruiters.

Job seekers continue to wonder how this relationship works, how to get value out of it, etc.

Here’s a post from Harriet Constable titled The Importance of Recruiters for Job-Seekers. I never had the benefits listed by Harriet, as the 30 or so recruiters I tried to network with were all busy trying to find inbox zero, or working with better candidates.  I was nothing more than another resume to them.

As job seekers we’re told we shouldn’t blast our resume out, so that employers could find it and take all the incentive away from a recruiter to promote us.  There is a conflict of interest there… they will promote us if they can get a commission from a placement, BUT if another recruiter submitted our resume, or if the hiring manager got our resume because of our networking efforts, the recruiter might feel slighted, and will not be able to get a commission if we are hired.  If they know our resume is all over the place, they lose incentive to ever work with, or promote, us.

If you ask me for advice on working with a recruiter, here it is: Pay $40 and get Nick Corcodilos‘ book: How to Work with Headhunters.

Nick is well-known in the industry for shooting straight from the hip and telling it like it is.

If you have ANY questions about how to work with recruiters, or you want to go to the next level, you MUST get his book.  It will be well-worth the $40…. OR, spend hours and hours asking unqualified people what they think… I’d say drop the $40 and get it from the expert.

(nope, I don’t get a penny out of Nick’s sales)

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The Job Seeker’s Hero’s Journey, starring YOU!

November 28th, 2011

Last night my wife was talking to me about the Hero’s Journey. I remember hearing about it in high school English class.  It is something of a formula that well-written stories (movies, etc.) follow…

As I was meditating this morning I thought about you, my favorite job seeker.  Yes indeed, I often think about who I was almost 6 years ago, and how I relate to YOU. I’m guessing you are probably quietly suffering in your job search, as I was.

Before I tell you where the connection is between the Hero’s Journey and YOU, in your job search, let me share the steps (from wikipedia):

  1. Call to adventure
  2. Supernatural aid
  3. Threshold guardians
  4. Beginning of transformation (enter helper and mentor)
  5. You have many challenges and temptations here… and then
  6. The ABYSS (death and rebirth) directly relates to REVELATION
  7. Tranformation
  8. Atonement
  9. Return (Gift of the Godess)…
  10. and then it all starts again… it is a cycle…

Many of you, in your job search, are going through this.  The Hero doesn’t realize she is, or will become, the hero.  They just know that thye have challenges and temptations, and it SUCKS.  It is LONELY.  It is DEPRESSING.

When they are going through the rebirth, and they get some kind of revelation, they don’t think “oh goody, now I’m going to become the hero.”

No. It is painful.  The vision of what will be isn’t necessarily clear.  But the Hero seems to fight for what they know to be right and true.

They keep fighting.

And that is what YOU must do.

For me, the time leading up to my unemployment was full of challenges and discouragement and loneliness.  The “Revelation” came when I conceptualized and caught the vision of JibberJobber.  It was indeed a reawakening, and gave me purpose in life.

There was fighting and working and believing and all that, but at that time I was holding onto a hope that inpired me to make it through one more day.  I didn’t know what it would become, but working through each day led me to where I am today.

I want you to insert yourself into the Hero’s Journey, even if you don’t feel heroic.  You might not be able to see what you are, who you are, what you can become, but if you can somehow believe that after THIS, the challenges and temptations, and working through the rebirth (which isn’t painless), you will emerge the victor, with those challenges behind you, enjoying the reward of winning…

I believe that you can make it through. Fight – like Harry Potter, or Thor, or Captain America, or Percy Jackson, or Marty McFly, or Luke Skywalker, or Frodo Baggins, or  Simba, or {insert your favorite hero here}…

Whether you believe it or not, you are in the heart of the Hero’s Journey!



Job Search Vocabulary: Managed Services

November 25th, 2011

I remember a point in my job search when something happened that made me feel I had been living under a rock for years.

I was poking around on job boards, looking for ANYTHING that would work for me, and I saw a job title I hadn’t heard of before: Product Manager.

Crazy, isn’t it?  I had a business degree, an MBA, and plenty of corporate experience (including sales and account management), and I hadn’t heard of that title.  It was a perfect title for me, but it was new to me.

Armed with knowledge about that title, I could now start applying to an entirely new set of jobs (new to me).  That new phrase made me more powerful!

In light of that, perhaps I should share some other phrases…. today’s is “managed services.”

According to Wikipedia, managed services is:

the practice of transferring day-to-day related management responsibility as a strategic method for improved effective and efficient operations inclusive of Production Support and lifecycle build/maintenance activities. The person or organization who owns or has direct oversight of the organization or system being managed is referred to as the offer-er, client, or customer. The person or organization that accepts and provides the managed service is regarded as the service provider.

As a job seeker, you need to know what this means.  It is outsourcing (transferring) management responsibilities to outside companies.   If you are interested in working at a company that does this, you should check out the suite of managed services from Syntax (which offers a variety of managed services).

You might also consider how you can provide managed services to companies you want to service (in other words, if you want to have your own business)… just define who your ideal client is, and what services you could provide. No single person will offer the suite of services a company like Syntax would offer, but you might partner with other service providers and then be able to offer a more comprehensive solution than what just you can provide.

How does “managed services” affect your job search?

  1. If this is a trending “industry” (if you will), start to target companies that provide managed services;
  2. If you work at a company that hires a managed services company, your job might be more about contract management and vendor negotiation or management than you thought;
  3. If you are interested in having a side-gig, or starting a business, perhaps this is a great business you can create.

There you go – what other words/phrases should I write about?

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Happy Thanksgiving Job Seekers!

November 24th, 2011

Eat turkey!


Be grateful!


HUH?  Grateful??

When I was unemployed, I thought it would be very difficult to be grateful, especially when everyone else who celebrated holidays like Thanksgiving had a steady paycheck…

From one ex-job seeker to a soon-to-be ex-job seeker… I guarantee you have something to be grateful for.  In fact, here’s an idea: get out a piece of paper and sit down for 5 minutes.  Brainstorm everything you can be grateful for.  It might include your family, where you live, your health, good friends, having good hair (which is a thing of the past for me), etc.

Do a brain dump, write it all down.  Try and spend 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes…. write it all down.

I know it’s hard to be grateful when you feel like your drowning, but recognizing what you can be grateful for can change your day/week/month/year.

Do it!

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My Newest Product Line for Career Centers (Career Center Software)

November 23rd, 2011

This isn’t really a new product line… but it is indeed awesome. I just haven’t announced it before, because I know my competition likes to see what I’m doing and try and do it on their own.

I wanted to get some clients before I announced it… I have some clients on this system now, and sometime next year I’ll fully announce it.  For now I’ll tell you this:

  1. It is for university career centers,
  2. It is NOT JibberJobber (although JibberJobber is integrated with it),
  3. It is my version of a “learning management system.”

I love referrals to career centers, and alumni offices.  If YOU have a connection at your career center, reach out to me.  I’m happy to give you information about this system, and even show you a very short demo of how it works. If you are comfortable with it, you can introduce me to your career center… cool?  I’d love that – thank you in advance!

NOTE: this is for the career center CLIENT, not for their office staff.

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Mark Hovind ( Economy Discussion

November 21st, 2011

We had a lot more people on the webinar last Tuesday than I expected.  It was fascinating. I know an hour and 15 minutes is a long time, but it will be worth it – block out a time on your schedule to watch this. You can watch the raw recording here (served by Vimeo):

Big thanks to Mark Hovind of for sharing his time/expertise!



Why I Don’t Support the “Put America Back To Work” Movement

November 18th, 2011

I don’t.  I don’t support it and I don’t believe in it.  Here’s why:

1. Today’s “job” is not the same as yesteryear’s “job.”

10 or 20 years ago, getting a job meant something bigger than what it means today.   It meant having a career. It meant job security.  It meant benefits, like good health insurance, pension, and more.

Getting that job meant you had ARRIVED, and you could take a breath, and relax.

Today, a job doesn’t come with good healthcare.  Companies that used to provide good healthcare have seen costs skyrocket, and so you have to pay more OR you get less coverage.  Hardly anyone offers pensions.  No company offers any job security.

Having a “job” today is more of a temporary status than it has been for a long time.  I can’t get behind a movement that seems to push towards getting something that is different than what you think you are getting.

2. Jobs aren’t here in abundance.

I know, I know, they are there.  You just have to find them.  You have to network in and find the hidden job market.  I BELIEVE THAT.  I have a good friend who got an amazing job at an organization that was on a hiring freeze…. his brand and network helped him land an amazing job.

There are a few factors that have an impact on the number of jobs.  The economy has been in the toilet long enough that employers are timid about bringing on new costs…. many seem to be holding their breath, waiting for better days (and less risk).

Also, the flat world has been too tempting for big companies to send billions of dollars of salaries overseas.  Whether you think that is right or wrong, it is reality… and those jobs won’t be back for a while (or, forever).

In the webinar we did with Mark Hovind this week (should be posted soon), we learned that things aren’t going to get “back to normal” for about four or five more years (back to normal -> about 7% unemployment).  That’s a LONG TIME.

3. Back to work is based on flawed metrics.

This is perhaps my biggest hangup. I don’t believe in many statistics, and the analysis thereof, especially from the government.

The success numbers behind “Back to work” go up when someone goes from not employed to employed.  Even if it is a temporary or part-time job.  The criteria is that they are getting a paycheck.  It might end after the season… or it might be 10 hours a week.  Regardless, the success measurement (which is GOT JOB=+1) is misleading.

The other hangup I have is that even if the job is a full-time, permanent, maybe even salaried job, the income might not be what you need to make.  If you lose a $70k job, and then find a $35k job, is that a success?  It might feel better to not be unemployed, but when you get that first paycheck and then realize you have to get a second or third job to make ends meet, it doesn’t feel like a success anymore.

I’m all about getting people back on their feet.  But I’m not convinced that “getting back to work,” or “getting a job,” is the right answer for everyone.

There are other options… other career strategies.  Like this concept.

Those are my three main thoughts… what do you think?



Need To Know: What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

November 16th, 2011

As a job seeker you need to understand the “competitive landscape.”  That is, how does the finding and hiring process work?

If you include recruiters into your job search landscape, you should know that they use a system called an Applicant Tracking System.

This is a version of a customer relationship management system (think: salesforce, ACT!, Goldmine, Highrise) that a recruiter uses to keep track of the applicant (YOU).

If they are interested in you, there will be notes on you, when you talked, what you talked about, keywords they can search for later (job titles, associations, etc.).

Most ATS’s, I think, also have some kind of resume searching function, where they can load your resume and then later do a search on keywords.  For example, if a recruiter has 2,000 people in her ATS, and wants to find someone who is a senior project manager, she can do a search on that phrase on all the resumes she has.

Something people talk about is to ensure your resume is ATS-ready… you can google that, but don’t let it stress you out (I think it’s more important to spend the time doing real, effective networking, if you can’t figure the ATS-ready thing out).

So there you go, now you know.  Your name and information is probably in a database somewhere.

The End.

If you want more, you must know that I designed JibberJobber for the job seeker because I didn’t like the idea that they had sophisticated software to track this stuff, and we only had a Number 2 Pencil with a yellow legal pad.  Or, a spreadsheet that kept whining “tweak me!  It will just take a minute (or a few hours), and you won’t have to network during that time!”

I wanted a real tool, like an ATS, or a CRM, that we could use to track who we were meeting, who we needed to follow-up with, how we were networking into companies, what recruiters we were working with, what jobs we had applied to, which version of what resume we used to apply to a job, etc.

That is what JibberJobber is.  And it levels the playing field… now WE have something as powerful as THEY do.

Game on!

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Tuesday Webinars! Pass This Along!

November 14th, 2011

Tomorrow (Tuesday, November 15, 2012) I am doing two awesome webinars.

At 4pm EST (Tuesday, Nov 15) I am doing an updated LinkedIn for Executives: Beyond the Basics, for Experts Connection.  The cost is $60.  I’m amazed at all the crappy LinkedIn advice floating around… rest assured, I won’t go into anything superfluous.  I’ve always recognized that my audience is busy, or feels overwhelmed, and needs to know what to DO to get the most value, and then move on.   Click here to sign up.

At 7pm EST (Tuesday, Nov 15) I am hosting Mark Hovind for our second “tell me about the economy” NO COST webinar.  The first one blew me away.  I almost-guarantee (I hardly ever guarantee anything) that you will learn a ton.  Is the economy going up?  Is it going down?  Disregard the crap you get from the media and check out Mark’s analysis, taken from current economic numbers and compared with the trends from the last 60ish years. Click here to register. (here’s the last one I did with Mark, in July of 2009)

Sign up for at least one of these!

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