Job Search Depression

May 31st, 2012

Check out this awesome read on Forbes: How I Leveraged LinkedIn to Create a 7-Figure Business In Three Years

Lewis Howes talks about his road for, if you will, rags to riches.  It’s a great story of going from unemployed and depressed to… well, successful.

It’s an inspirational story. Here’s one of my favorite lines:

The depression started to fade the moment I embraced the understanding that I would no longer be playing Pro football.  Instead of saying to myself, “This is a bummer, my life is over. I didn’t get my college degree and I have no back up plan.” I shifted my message to:…..

Read the rest on Forbes.  Pure awesomeness.  Congrats Lewis!

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How you are screened out with HR/Recruiting Software

May 30th, 2012

Good resume: check

30 Second pitch: check

Organized and on top of things: check

Online and offline networking: check

Doing informational interviews: check

You are all ready for your job search, to conquer the world, right?

What if you are doing everything right, and then you go to Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn (or your blog) to vent about how stupid a hiring manager was in an interview, or the ridiculous thing a recruiter or HR person said when you called them to check on your resume or application?

I’ve seen people post stuff online, assuming the company wouldn’t find out what they were saying.  It was shared just to their friends, they thought.  They needed a place to vent, they thought.

What they were really doing was ending any chances they had of getting that job.

You have to know that HR and recruiters can and do look online to learn more about you. Some use Google.  Some go straight to the social networks and do a search on your name. What will they find?

Check out this 2 minute video:

Social Media in Recruitment Infographic

Social Media in Recruitment by Ciphr

This video was put together by a firm that helps HR and recruiters screen you, in your own social network.  You can learn more about recruitment software with Computers in Personnel at the link.

You NEED to know about this.  In this “war on talent” or “war for talent,” where it seems like it’s you against the hiring company, you must understand the tools and processes they use.

If you understand the tools recruiters use, or Computers in Personnel offers, you will know how to better optimize your resume to get through their system.  You’ll know that any “breadcrumbs” you leave online – your status on any social network, or what you post on your Wall, or on someone else’s Wall, or comments you leave on blogs, can be audited, and have an impact on your job search.

Job seekers, you can’t be too relaxed about this.  It’s getting more sophisticated.  Are you up to the sophistication?



New FREE feature (was premium): Associate multiple contacts to one target company

May 29th, 2012

As you network into your Target Companies you should meet multiple people at each company.  I remember my first interview at the company that I had an internship at – there were four interviewers in the panel interview.

How do you keep track of all this?

In JibberJobber we just made a major change, which is to allow all users (even free/regular users) to track multiple Contacts per Company.

On your Target Company page you’ll see the section for Primary Contacts (1) and Other Contacts (2).  Notice I’m the Primary Contact and L.R. is another Contact.  To add new Contacts simply click “add new contact” (3) if the contact is not in JibberJobber yet.  If they are in JibberJobber, click “associate existing contact” (4) and you can choose from your list of Contacts already in the system.

This is a mega-helpful feature for those of you who are networking!



Learn How To Organize Your Job Search with the JibberJobber User Webinar

May 28th, 2012

Have you been on a yet?

Well, it’s time to do get on one.

Whether you’ve been a few times, or not at all, join us on Wednesday morning (8am PST, 9am MST, 10am CST, 11am EST).

I do this every other Wednesday.

If the timing is inconvenient, here’s a recording.

This is the NUMBER ONE thing I recommend people do to learn how to use JibberJobber.  Registration link here.

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Do What You Are Passionate About: Good Advice, or Bunk?

May 25th, 2012

This week I was talking to someone about jobs and careers and making money.  She said that she thinks you should really only pursue a career (or way to make money)  that you are passionate about.

Passionate about fish? Pursue a career that puts you in your passion.

Passionate about art? Pursue a career in art.

Passionate about helping kids? Pursue a career that has to do with kids.

Passionate about grass? Pursue a career in grass.

But wait… what if you are really talented at, and have a knack for, something else?

What if you are a master negotiator?

I have a friend who is a brilliant strategist, and a master negotiator.  He was born to negotiate.

But he is very, very passionate about Jiu Jitsu.  Seriously passionate. Obsessed.

So, should he continue his very successful career as a business executive, in strategy and negotiation and sales and marketing (which he is brilliant at), or should he pursue a career in Jiu Jitsu? (let’s assume he loves Jiu Jitsu way more than his day job, and his day job might be kind of boring (I don’t know, just presenting a scenario).

Here’s my take: pursuing your passion is great.  But, it might not make the most sense financially.  Many people have a successful career in something they are good at, even though they might not be passionate about, but they can pursue their passions outside of work.

What do you think?  Do you advise people to follow their passions when making career decisions, or is it more complex than that?



You Just Got Laid Off. When Do You Get Your Resume Together?

May 24th, 2012

My first week, after I lost my job, was a week of looking for my resume. After not finding it, I spent time trying to recreate it.

Looking back on it now I see that week as a colossal waste of time.

I recently heard of a job seeker who did the same thing I did… spent the first week looking for his old resume, then recreating what he remembered to be the most amazing document.

Knowing what I know now, here’s how I would spend the first week (it’s a GIVEN that I’d use JibberJobber to organize all this stuff :p):

  1. Listing my Target Companies,
  2. Looking for people on LinkedIn that work at (or have worked at) those Target Companies.
  3. Making contact with those people, as well as others in my industry and town/city, and asking for informational interviews.

I would do this the very first day.  I might not get any informational interviews for a week or two or three, but I need to get that “pipeline” filled up.

I’d also learn everything I could about informational interviews.  I’m guessing 98% of job seekers do them wrong.

In my spare time, and only after I’ve reached out to contacts for informational interviews (which I should do every day), I would work on my LinkedIn Profile, and start the resume creation process (it would be worth the few hundred dollars to have a professional write my resume.  I learned that the wrong way).

I had to get my resume done so I could apply to job openings I found on job boards…. right?  That’s what I thought.  I went about it all wrong.

Please don’t waste the first week of your job search like I did.



Why does losing your job hurt so much?

May 23rd, 2012

Job loss is one of the most traumatic things we go through, supposedly.


Is it because we lose our entire income? That can be replaced. People replace their incomes in various ways (new job, side gig, start a business, etc.).

Is it because we lose our status in society? My “general manager” job title definitely gave me a sense of social security. I’ve since learned that using a title to define your self-worth, even your professional self-worth, is not healthy.

Is it because we find out how “mortal” we are, with regard to our career? I thought I was in the “inner circle,” and safe… little did I realize how powerful politicking was… and how someoneelse could impact my security.

Is it because we were once secure, and now we are thrown into complete unkown? We worked hard to get where we were, and now we have to start over, trying to prove ourselves against thousands of others….

Is it because… ____________________________?


And, looking at it from an emotionless perspective, are the reasons justified?  Should it really hurt that much?



Candidates Aren’t The Only Ones Who Exaggerate

May 17th, 2012

This is a guest post from Will Kerr, who lives in the UK. Enjoy the language and spelling. It’s cool to get his perspective from “across the pond” on something I hadn’t heard about before, but it makes a lot of sense.

It should go without saying that, in order to stand any sort of chance at landing a job
by responding to an ad, you’re going to have to pay close attention to the language
it uses, and write up your cover letter and CV to make sure they chime with the tone
used by your potential employers.

However, as well as using the ad’s wording to try and discern how to most effectively
sell yourself, you should analyse it to see how the job is being sold to you. After all,
a job ad is an advert, and just like any other advert, it’s wise not to take everything it
says at face value.

This is an important skill to develop as a job hunter, as it will help you preserve
your most precious resource: time. A successful job hunt is all about having a set of
focused targets. By being able to decode the jargon and euphemisms so prevalent in
job ads, you can save yourself the effort of applying for a role that just isn’t suited to

For example, you’ll see the phrase ‘self-starter’ used a lot and, whilst on the one hand
it implies that you’ll be working in an environment where you’re not going to micro-
managed and your talents for taking the initiative will be given space to flourish, it’s
worth your while being a little cynical about such a phrase. Ask yourself why being
a ‘self-starter’ is such a necessity. The likely answer is that you’ll need to improvise
solutions on your own because the company just doesn’t have the resources available
to give you all the support you might expect – a less enticing prospect.

Likewise, the working environment will almost invariably be described as ‘fast-
,’ which creates the image of a frenetic office trying to keep up with all the
business that’s being generated. If that’s the case, wonderful. But is it not just as
likely that employees are forced to work at a fast pace because of understaffing?

A ‘highly varied’ role sounds great. After all, nobody wants to do the exact same
thing day in day out. However, using this term ambiguously could well suggest
that there is no clear designation of responsibilities within the business, and that
said ‘variety’ will arise primarily from the fact that you’ll be picking up the pieces all
over the place rather than focusing on your own work.

As well as working out when an add is doing its best to make the company sound like
a more attractive place to work than it actually is, you also need to be aware that ads
will also occasionally do the opposite and attempt to put people off.

Often, to try and deter lesser candidates and thus speed up the process of filtering
the wheat from the chaff, firms will exaggerate the skills set a job actually requires.
This can result in some stipulations that are bizarre, or sometimes even impossible,
especially if the people responsible for recruiting don’t really understand the role.

Job ads for IT roles, for example, have been known to demand that candidates have at
least three years of experience working with a certain technology, despite the fact that
it’s only existed for two years! (Aside from anything else, this might indicate that the
business in question doesn’t have the keenest eye for detail…)

Therefore, when reading a job ad’s person specification, don’t be too perturbed if
there are one or two criteria that you can’t quite fulfil. If you offer 80% of what
they’re asking for, you should be in with a shot (though, as focus is key in a job
search, it is preferable to target jobs you know for certain you are 100% qualified for).

At the end of the day, when businesses recruit – as with every other aspect of
their operation – what they’re looking for is value. They want the most talent and
experience they can get their hands on for the salary they have to offer. If they say the
role requires at least three years of experience in the industry, they are far more likely
to receive applications from people with five to ten years experience. This doesn’t
necessarily mean that if only have one and a half years experience that you’ll find the
job impossible.

This also needs to born in mind if you are a highly experienced, highly skilled
professional on the look out for job opportunities. A recruiter may be overstating the
skills set required to reel you in and this could result in your taking a role where you
don’t get to make full use of your abilities.

Will Kerr writes extensively on the varied world of job hunting, from the latest
guerrilla tactics, to the ins and outs of old fashioned networking. You can read more of his work on

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Happy Birthday JibberJobber! 6 Years Old!

May 15th, 2012

Today we celebrate our six year birthday/anniversary.

The last six years have been a roller-coaster ride… it has been extremely fast, with highs and lows (although none of the lows were like the lows in my job search).

When I realized the idea for this online job search organizer I got a second chance at a career.  I was depressed, my job search was going nowhere, I was losing hope, and didn’t see any end in sight.

Then, this idea came, I pursued it, and we launched on May 15, 2006.  It was going to be a side project while I pursued my hunt for my dream job.

The hunt failed, though.  Here’s a list of some things we’ve done in the last six years:

  • Continued to focus on the product for the user for the last 6+ years.  We’ve always had a long list of things to do and improve, and we’ve never let up on it.  I’m asked if we continue to work on JibberJobber (do we keep it current?) and the answers is YES, absolutely!  I see no end in sight!
  • I’ve authored two books that have been published. I have a third that is ready for the editor, but I’m hammering out the next one and am really excited about it. I just wish I would have done it 18 months ago.
  • I’ve spoken across the U.S., from Silicon Valley to Baltimore, from Orlando to Seattle, from small gatherings in Albuquerque to large gatherings in Boston. I’ve spoken at universities for orientation and associations about career management.  I’ve spoken on webinars, teleseminars, radio shows, and even been filmed for the news.
  • I’ve written almost every business day on this blog, and a regularly written on my LinkedIn blog and my Jason Alba blog.
  • I’ve created the third edition of the LinkedIn for Job Seekers DVD, which has been a huge project, and an awesome training resource for people who want to learn how to use LinkedIn in a job search, as well as for their own business.
  • I’ve developed strong relationships with outplacement firms, university career centers and coaches and resume writers who use and recommend JibberJobber and my training materials regularly.

And much, much more.

It’s been an awesome ride. I feel blessed to be able to do what I do. Thank YOU for helping me, for supporting this mission, and for telling friends and family and job club colleagues about JibberJobber.

Here’s to another awesome six years!



#1 Most Effective Way To Get A Job? Cold Calling?

May 14th, 2012

I kind of disregard the stats about how people find jobs.  I think the survey is too old, and too general.  It all boils down to networking anyway, no matter how you look at the stats.  I tend to say anywhere from 60 – 95% of jobs are found through networking … with a number of variables (like, the type of job, industry, etc.).

I think informational interviews are the bomb.  THE BOMB.  Most people bomb them, though, because they don’t know what they are doing.

I also think Micheal Webb developed one of the best systems to find a job I’ve ever heard of.  It’s simple… very simple.  But it is too scary for most people, because it involves picking up the phone and talking to … people! AAAAAH, people!!! Scary!

It’s much more comfortable to just hide from your job search doing things like applying online, and “networking” online, etc.  But folks, if you want to end the unemployment, get good at picking up the phone.

David, one of my favorite JibberJobber users, sent me an  article on titled Cold Call Your Way to a New Job.  It is short, and brilliant.

The length of the article doesn’t matter.  Getting a book on cold calling won’t necesarily help you, if you aren’t willing to actually pick up the phone and call.  You have to do this.

Here’s a bonus: if you can do it, and get good at it, and comfortable with it, you will be a better professional.  Cold calling, and communication skills, will only help you in your career.  Getting through fear and making the call… getting “no’s” and having successes, will make you stronger, and better.

In Marie Larsen’s article she has four points (with my thoughts):

  1. Reasearch who to call. I use LinkedIn and Google to do this research, and usually find contact information readily available.
  2. Make a script. YES.  Don’t read it word-for-word… practice it until it is second nature.  Keep things short.  Know your objective of the call, and don’t let the conversation stray away from that objective. Sometimes the objective is to simply schedule another call, with more time or more focus.
  3. Know your etiquette. You are not BFFs on the first call.  Respect their time,  respect yourself as a professional.
  4. Release your fear of the unknown. They aren’t going to reach through the phone and punch your teeth out.  It’s okay to talk to people who are too busy to take your call, or brush you off.  Move on, and make the next call.  You’ll get successes, as long as you keep calling.  (If you don’t, have someone critique your approach)

Read the entire article here.  And then pick up the phone and call someone!


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