Favorite Friday: Blogging for Job Seekers

December 30th, 2011

WOW.  Wow. The year is gone.  Amazing.  Here’s to 2012, which might be the year the world ends (I’m not in that camp :p).

August 2nd, 2007 I wrote a post titled How Job Seekers *Should* Blog.  It shows how passionate I was about blogging over four years ago.  After this post I saw much of the traffic go to Twitter, Facebook and other places, but I have recently seen some shifts back to blogs, with very good reason.

Check out the post – there’s some good meat in there!

How Job Seekers *Should* Blog is part of a 3 part series… you can see the other two parts in the intro of that post.



Reader Question: 30/60/90 Day Action Plan & When to Follow Up

December 29th, 2011

I got an email from Lana Hayes, a “Proposal Manager” in Maryland.  It’s a great question and she said I could share my response with you :)  She writes:

The week before the holidays I met with a Regional Manager and Project Manager for an interview.  It seemed to have gone well.

Before I went to the interview I was unaware about a 30/60/90 action plan to take until I went to a job seminar.  Over the past week I have been working on said action plan.  Now my question is, should I forward it to the gentlemen?  I have already sent both a thank you email.  If so, how would you word the email about why are you submitting it late?

Have you heard of the 30/60/90 day action plan?  I have heard of it, as a job search strategy. I think it’s a good idea, not necessarily critical in every interview, but it could be a great differentiating tool.  Lana blogs about it here.

Lana’s question… she already interviewed… when does she send the action plan to them?  Should she do it via email?

I would recommend she NOT email them the action plan.

What she could do is send a followup communication (email, letter, card, fax, etc.) with the normal stuff (thank you, etc.) and let the interviewer(s) know she developed the 30/60/90 day action plan.  She might have to educate them a little on what that means (see my post on Connecting The Dots here)… she might even include a snippet of it, but I would not include the entire thing.

Instead, I’d say something like “I would love to share my plan with you in the next round of interviews.”

Quick note: I’m on a list of PR professionals and they complain that when they share an awesome plan, sometimes they don’t get the job but the company uses their plan anyway.  There is always the danger of this.  Are you okay with that?

I am… my thoughts: showing a plan is one thing (and yes, quite valuable)… the value YOU bring to the table is that you can EXECUTE on the plan.

What do you think?  When should Lana show them the plan?  Am I right or wrong?  What would you do?



Please, Please, Please Help Me!

December 28th, 2011

Have you ever got a request to help someone? I get, and see, these types of requests regularly.  Here’s one I saw on a LinkedIn Group 7 days ago:

Recently downsized, I am experienced in many areas any leads would be appreciated.

This was the ENTIRE message… there was nothing before that and nothing after that. So…

What do you think… can you help this person?

Are you ready and willing to share some leads?

Many of you are open to it, some of you are anxious to help, but first, let me help the person asking this question.

The problem with the question is that no one knows what kinds of leads this person would be most interested in.

Do you want to sell insurance?  There are plenty of people on Monster that would love to have you start selling insurance.

On the Group where he asked the question, there were two responses that looked like MLM.  I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, but are you interested in a business ownership, commission and sales role?  (based on the person’s LinkedIn Profile, I’d guess he is not too interested in that)

Would you like to work in construction, or at Taco Bell?  Want to work as a security guard at night?

There’s nothing wrong with any of these, but the question does not help me understand what this person is looking for.

Let me use imagination and re-write what this message could have been.  I’m going to use MYSELF (from six years ago) in the example below… Pass this post along to anyone who has asked you for help… many, many people need to have more clarity in their message.

I was recently downsized from my company where I was the general manager. We provided custom software and networking services for companies in a few different industries.

(these two lines gives you an idea of what I used to do, what my skills and experience have been, and perhaps what my passion has been)

I have a lot of experience with various things including leadership and strategy (which is what I did as a general manager), customer acquisition and account management, and software design and development.

(This line helps the reader/listener understand even more what my specialties are… it is definitely a missing link in the original message)

I would appreciate any leads in the Salt Lake City area.

(that is where I was living when I got laid off, and where I have a house payment, etc.  NOTE: after a few months of no success, I opened up my search to anywhere in the U.S.  It’s important to let us know if you are open to moving… or if you want to stay in one area!).

I am especially interested in a company that is growing fast and needs strategy and leadership as they grow.  I’d love to work at a company that provides software services for other companies. .. I would be open to a large company that has an established IT shop.

(This last line needs work, but the idea is to give me an idea of what kinds of companies I want an introduction to.)

For example, I’d like to work at Zions bank in their IT department, or for ______ company, or for ______ company.  I’m open to other similar opportunities, also.

(Now, close it with a question / aka, call to action:)

Do you know anyone I should talk to?  They can be at those companies, similar companies, or just in the IT field.  If you know someone you can introduce me to, will you send me an email so we can start the introduction?  My email is _______.

Contrast the message above to this message (in bold).  Very different…. when you ask for help, if you aren’t specific, you risk no one being able to help you.  Imagine going to an architect and saying “please design a house for me.  I don’t have any specifications… just a house.” They’ll need more to go on, right?

Your friends and family need more to go on, also.



Favorite Friday: Worst Job Search Advice Ever!

December 23rd, 2011

Last week in Minneapolis I was reminded of how descending speakers can be at job clubs.  I remembered an experience back in 2006 when I went to hear a speaker who was horrific!  I took 2 pages of notes and shared some of his crap on my blog.

After that happened, the people at the job club decided I was not allowed to come… because I slammed their degrading speaker.  They said “if Jason Alba comes back, you are to physically escort him out.”  LOL

Irony of ironies: a few years later, they enthusiastically welcomed me to speak there :p  They had apparently forgotten my miss-step.

Here’s the fun post… enjoy! This should make you laugh, maybe tear up, and shake your head, all that the same time :)

Oct 10, 2006: I’ve Never Heard Worse! (aka, Worst Job Search Advice)

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JibberJobber Training

December 20th, 2011

I have two JibberJobber trainings left this year … one tomorrow morning at 9 am MOUNTAIN TIME ZONE, and one next Wednesday at 9am MOUNTAIN TIME ZONE.

If you haven’t jumped on one yet, get on one!

If you have, but it’s been a while, come for a refresher.

Please let your contacts know about this training… thank you :)


JibberJobber is a tool that helps you organize your job search.

Many use JibberJobber when they are NOT employed, to keep up with their networking.

Many small businesses use it as their CRM tool.

Learn more on the webinar :)

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Minneapolis: Mission Accomplished!

December 19th, 2011

I did it!  Last week I finished an exhausting week of 13 keynote presentations in a four day period.  It was hard, but so rewarding and exciting.

Some of my rewards:

  • James, who said: “Jason, if Minneapolis had a rock star, it would be you!  I’ve heard your name, or about JibberJobber, every week for the last three months!”  That is so awesome – huge THANK YOU to all the people who continue to spread the career management message (from 2.5 yrs ago when I spoke there 9 times in three days).
  • An attendee at my “101 Alternatives to a Real Job” presentation who said: “I have been wrestling with a few decisions recently, and after listening to your presentation I now know what I need to do.  Thank you!”  As a speaker, that is one of the most rewarding comments I can get – to know that what I did in some way touched and impacted you.
  • Arriving early at one of my presentations and chatting with another early attendee for more than 30 minutes… it was a quiet, peaceful time and we had a very enjoyable conversation.  This lady has gone through some amazing hardships, including serious family issues, serious medical issues, and job loss, any of which would debilitate any normal human being.  She strengthened me as we talked, and I’m appreciative for her openness and time.
  • Getting my first real meal on Friday morning.  No kidding.  I was running so hard from Monday through Thursday night that I had not treated myself to a real meal.  I was blessed by a bowl of cereal here, a tortilla wrap there (thanks Anne Pryor!), but it wasn’t until Friday morning when I sat down in a restaurant and had a full meal.  Bonus: the friend I was with is a mentor/hero, and I was greatly inspired by the time with him.
  • My Groupies!!  How can I not thanks and appreciate my “groupies?”  These are people who followed me around from presentation to presentation and said “we’re stalking you!”  I said, nah, you aren’t stalking me… you are just my groupies!  Having people go from meeting to meeting helps me strengthen and believe in my message.
  • Presenting to the Minneapolis chapter of the National Speaking Association – this is a unique group of people… NSA changed my life a few years ago, thanks to Marc Wolfsfeld who invited me.  It was cool to do a presentation, and give back, to my peers from another state!  I’m always inspired when I meet other speakers and learn about how they inspire others.

It’s been years since I’ve been in Minneapolis.  Even so, I met many people who came to my presentations years ago, and I was welcomed with open arms.  Minneapolis is cold in the winter, but the hearts of the people I met with over those four days warmed me to the bone….

Thanks to everyone who touched my life last week, and made it possible.  Definitely a week I’ll remember for a long time!  And a big thanks to the sponsors who helped pay for parts of my trip :)



Favorite Friday: Blue Collar Job Search Information

December 16th, 2011

Every once in a while I get an email saying “does JibberJobber help a blue collar job seeker?”

My thoughts are:

  1. Does a blue collar job seeker get value out of networking?  YES
  2. Does/should a blue collar job seeker have Target Companies they should track? YES
  3. Does a blue collar job seeker apply to jobs, and should he/she track the status of those jobs? YES

Well then, YES, a blue collar job seeker would get value out of JibberJobber!

I have a friend who was in transition, and very blue collar.  I sat down with him a few times to give him advice in his job search and realized that most of what I tell anyone else (whether you are an attorney, doctor, MBA, PhD, Project Manager, CEO, board member, freelancer, temp worker, etc… these are all titles of people who use JibberJobber, and have gotten my advice) applies to the blue collar job seeker!

I wrote a series of blog posts for the blue collar job seeker.  You can see a summary here, as well as the list of posts in the series here:

This was a fun series to write, since I recognized many elements of my stuff that are so principle-based that they have broad application.

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JibberJobber (FIND a Job) meets JibberJobber (CREATE a Job/Company)

December 13th, 2011

For years I have talked to tens of thousands of people about career management.

I honestly am not that bought into you finding your next job.  I’d like you to, and if you do, I celebrate with you.  But I’m not convinced it will be for the best, or be your last job, or that you won’t be unhappily unemployed again.

Nonetheless, I continue to design JibberJobber so that it can be a great tool to help you FIND your next job.  You can track:

  • the Contacts you meet, that you will network with to get into your Target Companies,
  • the Target Companies you want to get into, and how you are networking in,
  • the Jobs you apply to, and where you are at in the application process.

And much more (how you respond in interview or networking settings, your expenses, etc.).

Like me, some of you will choose a different career path.  Some of you will go out on your own and start your own business! Some will do it because you are sick and tired of the non-security that a “job” provides.

But some will do it for a bigger reason.  As Pam Slim calls it, some of you will have found, or recognize, or accept, your deeper root.  Read this post to understand what I’m talking about: The deeper root.  Pam is an expert at helping people “escape from cubicle nation,” and she ends the thought with this statement:

The power, strength and creativity that comes from (knowing your deeper root) will blow your mind.

I agree.  I found my deeper root.  And guess what? I use JibberJobber in my business to help me with:

  • the Contacts I meet and want to meet.  I network a lot, and that has been critical to the success of my business,
  • the Target Companies I want to network into – whether I am trying to sell them something or just establish a relationship and help them become referral sources,
  • the particular sales I’m working on, and where I’m at in the process.

I have a friend who has owned a successful business for about twenty years. He says “every day I wake up and I’m unemployed. I need to go and find some more work.”

This mentallity is what has kept him in business.  It’s different, sometimes scary, but sometimes exciting.

What’s best for you, a job or your own company?  I can’t answer that.  But I encourage you to search for your deeper root.

Whatever path you choose to take, I invite you to use JibberJobber as the tool to help you with your relationship management – it applies to either path.

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13 Job Search Presentations in 4 Days… ready, set, GO!

December 12th, 2011

Today I get on a plane to Minneapolis.  And then an epic moment in my business – this is the first time I’m scheduled to speak 13 times in 4 days.  I have very, very fond memories of Minneapolis from my speaking tour there in 2008 (where I spoke 9 times in 3 days).  This one is going to seal the deal for me.  Although, I would like to see what this town looks like outside of the winter months :p

Here’s my schedule. I will have goodies and freebies in abundance – so COME!

Monday, December 12

Fly in late in the evening.

Tuesday, December 13

(1) 7:30 – 9am Easter Lutheran Church (on the hill) in Eagan;

Topic: Career Management 2.0

(2) 10 – 11:30am Minnesota Manufacturing Networking; St Michaels Church in Bloomington (9201 Normandale Blvd, Bloomington, MN)

Topic: JibberJobber! This is the ONLY presentation on JibberJobber this week!!

(3) 1:30 – 3:30pm Minnesota Career Coaches Association ; Private event for members of the association

Topic: Career Management 2.0 for Coaches

(4) 6:30 – 8:30 pm: Basilica of St. Mary (88 17th Street North, Minneapolis, MN)

Topic: Happy Holiday Handshaking – this is a new presentation I’m copresenting with Catherine Byers Breet of Arbez – jazzed about this presentation! RSVP HERE

Wednesday, December 14

(5) 8:00 – 9:30 Starbucks Networking Group (Private – MEMBERS ONLY)

Topic: Career Management 2.0

(6) 10:00 – 12 noon: St. Andrews Career Management 2.0 ; St Andrew Lutheran Church, 13600 Technology Drive, Eden Prairie

Topic: Career Management 2.0

(7) 1:00 – 3:30 pm: SamsNet Good Samaritan Church; 5730 Grove Street, Edina, MN

Topic: “Happy Holiday Handshaking” RSVP HERE

4:00 – 7:00pm: Not speaking… just networking! I’ll mingle until about 5pMingle Bells sponsored by Arbez and Thrivent Financial

(8) 6:00 – 8:30 pm Minneapolis Job Support Workshop; Christ Presbyterian Church (6901 Normandale Road), Edina, MN

Topic: “Getting More out of LinkedIn”

Thursday, December 15

(9) 10:30am – 12 noon: Face2Face Job Search Networking Group, Bet Shalom Synagogue, 13613 Orchard Road, Minnetonka, MN 55305

Topic: Getting More out of LinkedIn (emphasis on searching and finding people)

(10) 2:30 – 3:30pm: Private engagement at outplacement firm

Topic: 101 Alternatives to a Real Job (based on my next book)

(11) 7:00 – 9:00pm: Soar4Jobs Transition Support Group, 3495 North Victoria Street, Shoreview, MN 55126

Topic: Career Management 2.0 (with some 101 Alternatives)

Friday, December 16

(12) 8:30 – 10:30am National Speakers Association – Minnesota Chapter, Ridgedale Library, 12601 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka, Minnesota

Topic: Social Networking to Grow Your Speaking Business

(13) 11:00 – 2:00pm 7 Degrees Creativ, Ridgedale Library, 12601 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka, Minnesota (SAME LOCATION AS MORNING)

Topic: Career Management 2.0 + 101 Alternatives to a Real Job

Evening: FLY HOME! :) :)

There are many, many people who made this possible… too many to name… you know who you are, I am indebted to you… so call me on the favor. Thank you!!



Favorite Friday: Delete all of your JibberJobber Contacts

December 9th, 2011

After I do the user webinar (about twice a month) I have people who say “I uploaded 3k contacts, but now I know I want to do it differently… how do I delete what I have put in?”

Here’s how… it’s fairly easy, and deleting the 3k will take just a few minutes once you get this down:

From August 13, 2009: How to Delete All of Your (JibberJobber) Contacts


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