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LinkedIn for Job Seekers DVD, Third Edition!

May 10th, 2012

Making the LinkedIn for Job Seekers DVD is really easy!

Okay, actually it’s NOT easy at all.

There is a lot involved in getting a DVD that you can put into your DVD player and watch.

After many, many hours of planning, preparation, recording, editing and technical stuff, I finally burned an “image” of the DVD from my video team.  I’m testing in a few more devices, and then will send it to the “replication” company, which will burn and shrink wrap about 1,000 copies.

I hope to start shipping this DVD by mid-June.  Here’s what’s on the DVD:

  1. Introduction to LinkedIn for Job Seekers
  2. Home Page
  3. Profile: Above the Fold (Part I)
  4. Profile: Above the Fold (Part II)
  5. Profile: Summary
  6. Profile: Below the Fold
  7. Profile: Applications
  8. Profile: Add a Video
  9. Skills
  10. Companies
  11. Groups
  12. Group Admins: Owning a Group
  13. Jobs
  14. Advanced People Search
  15. Communicating with Others
  16. Inviting People to Connect
  17. Getting Recommendations
  18. Giving Recommendations
  19. Answers: Asking Questions
  20. Answers: Answering Questions
  21. Manage Your Settings
  22. Browse Connections
  23. BONUS: Now, 10 Things to Do
  24. BONUS: 20 Questions
  25. BONUS: Export Contacts
  26. BONUS: Cleaning the Export
  27. BONUS: Importing into JibberJobber

There are 5 completely new tracks here.  Skills, Group Administration (why own a Group), and inviting people to connect are new topics.  I broke Recommendations into two parts. Profile: Above the Fold is now two parts.

Everything has been recorded with the latest interface on LinkedIn, with two or three exceptions.  The clips are all shorter than the last edition, too.  More getting straight to the point, and less frou-frou from me :)

Want it?  Order the LinkedIn for Job Seekers DVD here.

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How To Organize Your Job Search

May 10th, 2012

I did a search on Google for how to organize your job search, and JibberJobber came up on the second page.  I thought that was pretty lame, so I figured I’d write a simple post on how to organize your job search.

Why would you want to organize your job search?  I sometimes think organizing your job search is like balancing your checkbook… boring, mundane, unnecessary.

Well, it can be those things.  But I found in my job search that I had to keep organized, or I would quickly forget too much, especially who I was supposed to follow-up with.  Here are some reasons WHY you should organize your job search:

  • To help you feel more in control. It’s easy to feel out of control in your job search (after all, you lost your income, your title, your status, perhaps your dignity, and maybe more).  This is something you can be in control of. Don’t take this lightly – feeling out of control will not help you at all.  Feeling in control will help ensure your attitude is in the right place.
  • To help keep track of new contacts you meet. Networking is a big part of anyone’s job search, and if you are doing it right you are meeting dozens of people each week.  Dozens times weeks = lots and lots of contacts.  From personal experience, I can atest that it’s super easy to forget people… names, importance, titles, etc.  It’s even easy to forget who that most important person is that can help you network into your target company.  No big deal if your job search is ONE DAY.  For the rest of us, though, it’s critical to keep track of key people in our job search.
  • To help keep track of Target Companies. I prospect target companies.  I meet multiple people that help me network into the company, and I do different things with different people.  For example, I might send a resume to one, have a phone call with another, have lunch with another, and have a panel interview with four others.  How in the world do you keep track of all that in your head?  You don’t.  My sophisticated job search spreadsheet imploded around the time I had five applications I was working on at eBay.  It was just too much information for a spreadsheet.
  • To help keep track of jobs you apply to. This is obvious, right?  The devil is in the details.  Keeping track of jobs you apply to means tracking which version of what resume you sent to who, and when you need to follow-up.  It means logging when you had an interview, who was there, what you need to follow-up on later (questions you might have to research), and whether or not you sent a thank you letter.  It means tracking the relationships of people you interviewed with, whether you got the job or not, because those relationships might lead to something much better.
  • To help track what job search marketing tools (resumes, cover letters, 30 second pitches) you use where, and for what. It gets really confusing trying to remember what job you applied for, what was in the job specs, when you should follow-up, etc. This gets really complicated.

That, my friends, is just the tip of the iceberg.  There are other things to keep track of.  But you must keep track of those things.

How do you do it? Here are some options:

Job search spreadsheet: I tried this.  It worked for about two weeks, then it started to get too convoluted and confusing, and I missed appointments and call-backs.  FAIL.  Oh yeah, here’s another failure with a spreadsheet – some people spend too much time tweaking and retweaking their spreadsheet, all in the name of doing a job search. They are usually just hiding from the phone, or networking, and “optimizing” the spreadsheet as an excuse.

Sticky notes: Um, seriously?  I tried this system for organizing other things for a few years… it resulted in a ton of random sticky notes all over my desk, in books, in binders, etc.  No way to do a quick search, scan or any other reporting function.  Imagine this – a recruiter calls you and says “are you still interested in the job you applied to here, four months ago?”  Yeah, find the sticky note on that one!

Your PC, documents, etc.: I’ve had too many hard drive crashes to trust one PC.  No way.

Online Google Docs or something like that: Nope. If it’s not a database, it’s not what I need.  I want something that can make those logical connections (5 people at one target company; three jobs I applied to at that company; etc.)

Any of JibberJobber’s competitors: Go for it.  There are about 12 me-too sites.  Make that about 9, since a few have already gone out of business.  I have no idea what the other companies are doing with their technology, or what their users think.  But I do know this: after going to conferences with career coaches for the last 5 years, in general, no one has heard of any of the competition.  Not that that means they aren’t awesome, but if they aren’t getting their name out, and getting customers and users, they might not be the best place to trust your data for the long-term.

JibberJobber.com: Disclaimer: I’m totally biased. I know where we’ve come from, six years ago, where we are at, and where we are headed.  We are beyond dedicated to helping you not only organize and manage your job search, but have a personal relationship manager for the rest of your career, even if you are inbetween job searches.

How do you organize your job search?  Jump on the next JibberJobber user webinar to learn how.  It’s live, so come with questions, and get a sense for yourself if this is the company you want to trust your information with.

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How To Keep Track of Unemployment Benefits Reporting Information

May 9th, 2012

When I lost my job I didn’t want to file for unemployment benefits.  I thought I would have a job before my unemployment insurance (aka, the weekly check I got from the state) would kick in.  Plus, it was only a few hundred bucks per week, if I remember right.

But I did.  I took the time to apply. As days of unemployment turned into weeks, and then months, I was glad for that few hundred dollars here and there.  It wasn’t close to replacing my previous income, but it saved my family.

In Utah, I had to report every week that I was in a real job search.  Among other things, I had to say that I had made contact with two new (new-to-me) companies every week.  In other words, in order for the state to give me money each week, I had to show that I wasn’t just sitting around watching TV.

Personally, I felt only making contact with two new companies a week was a very weak requirement, but I wasn’t about to argue with the State.

My job search spreadsheet was the tool I relied on, in case I got audited.  I never got audited, and of the hundreds of job seekers I met, none of them told about being audited.  I’m not sure how common auditing is now, but it wasn’t common when I was filing.

There’s a better way, now, to track what you are doing in a job search, if you are filing for unemployment insurance.

When you use JibberJobber to organize and track your job search, your activities show up in an “unemployment report.”

Simply click on Report, then the first menu option is called the Unemployment Report (make sure you choose the time frame from the drop down).

This report shows you what companies you are contacting, and what kind of contact you are making (submitting a resume, going to an interview, etc.).  I’m guessing it contains the information any auditor would want to see.

This is a free report (used to be Premium).  All you have to do is use JibberJobber to track your activities in your job search :)

More information:

The Texas Workforce Commission wants you to keep a “work search log,” which you can find online. They say: “TWC requires that you actively search for work to be eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits. TWC may request your work search log anytime during your benefit year to verify your work search activities. If TWC cannot verify your work search activities, you could be held ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits for the requested week.

Here’s an article from the lawmakers in Tennessee, who want job seekers collecting UI benefits to be more accountable.  You get the typical rhetoric from heavies like Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, who says: “Anecdotally, we’re pretty confident there’s a lot of folks who aren’t doing that. They’re just sitting at home collecting their benefits.”  Right after that you read they are apparently sending UI money to people who are in jail, because they haven’t “redefine[d] “misconduct” that disqualifies workers from benefits and ban people who are incarcerated from collecting unemployment while behind bars.”  Oops.  The point is, though, there might be more stringent reporting requirements.

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Free Webinar by Kim Bilawchuk, Career Coach (Wednesday)

May 7th, 2012

Wednesday at 8pm EST (which is 5pm PST), Kim Bilawchuk is doing a webinar titled How to Find Your Dream Career When You’re Stuck in a Job You Hate.

I wish I would have had access to this webinar when I was in the last year of my job, before I got laid off. I was miserable. I had lost a couple of key employees. My old boss was secretly politicking for his job back (which he did successfully).

But I felt stuck. My salary made me feel stuck. My benefits, even though they were pretty weak, made me feel stuck. What I had worked for for years, the personal (time) investment in my company and products and projects, made me feel stuck.

In reality, I wasn’t stuck. I learned that when I got laid off.

If you feel stuck, I have to tell you, your bosses probably don’t feel stuck with you. When they are done with you… well… you get the point.

Jump on Kim’s webinar. It’s free. She’s awesome. I know it will be worth your time.

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Brilliant Conversation: Tone It Down! Required Reading….

May 4th, 2012

Check out this brilliant (and short) article on Inc.com: What a 9-Year-Old Can Teach You About Selling

JibberJobber’s 2012 theme is that the job search is 99% communication.

In the last 18 months, as I’ve spoken to thousands of job seekers and coaches, I’ve been down on the 30 second elevator pitch.  Too many people do it so poorly, they can hardly stand to make it to the end, and their audience turns off.

Why?

It’s all in the Inc article.  The best part is the bottom section: Daddy, What Do You Do?

Read that, internalize it, and change how you communicate :)

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What’s Wrong with “Here’s My Resume. Help?”

May 3rd, 2012

I get a lot of people asking me for help in their job search and oh by the way here’s my resume.

The problem is, I don’t like to read resumes.  I think they are long and too detailed for my mind.  My mind shuts down, so I can’t get the message and know how to help you.

If you were to NOT send me your resume, but help me know how I could help you, that would be better.  Much better.

I recently wrote an email to a buddy who sent me his resume.  I know a bit about him, professionally, but I still thought this advice would be helpful. If you’ve sent your resume to friends/family for them to “check out,” please take this to heart:

Can you identify 3 – 4 ideal companies/roles? If you can, in short paragraphs, paint that picture for me, with those 3 or 4 ideal companies, I can get a much better idea of how to help you, who to introduce you to, etc.

Instead of saying: “here, read this long, detailed document with jargon and buzzwords,” you could say “I would work best in a company like ______ doing ___________.  The title might be ___ or ____.  My typical day might consist of _____ or _____ or ______.”

Do that a few times, help me understand you better, and then let me digest that.

What do you think?

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Stop hiding and actually start your job search.

May 2nd, 2012

This post is for anyone in a job search, no matter how long you have been at it.

Looking back at my job search I found I did activities that were safe and comfortable, but of very little value to my job search.

I refer to this as HIDING from the job search.

Some people hide, in the name of being busy in a job search, by doing things that are seemingly good:

  • going to networking clubs/groups/meetings (but just to go, not to actually network.  And if they “network,” they aren’t following up – they are just collecting business cards),
  • applying to jobs online, as if it were they most important thing to do in a job search,
  • researching (companies, industries, trends, current events (um, that’s called reading the newspaper… reading the newspaper doesn’t necessarily land you a job),
  • going to one-on-one networking meetings (coffee, lunch, breakfast, etc.), but without a real purpose or strategy that is directly tied to getting a job,
  • ______________ (what are YOU doing that is not leading towards your job?)

I was HIDING from my job search with these activities for three reasons:

  1. These activities are comfortable. And I gravitated towards comfortable.  Heaven forbid I got outside of my comfort zone, even if it meant I was doing a something that could produce a high value.
  2. I didn’t know any better. I *thought* I was a smart guy, and I could figure it out on my own.  I didn’t want to read books, articles, blogs, etc. about how to do a job search.  I was better than that advice written for “most people.”  I wasn’t “most people.”  I was unique (just like you think you are unique).
  3. Doing those activities are socially acceptible, and at the end of the day you can “feel good” about how hard you worked. When someone asked how it was going, you could tell them how many jobs you applied to, or how many network meetings you went to, or some other metric.  Metrics seem meaty, but they were the wrong things to focus on.

I should have been more consistent at picking up the phone and calling people.  I should have realized (or learned) how to identify target companies, network in, and do real informational interviews.

If I would have spent time on other activities my job search would have been completely different.

Do you want YOUR job search to be different?  Where are you spending your time?  On activities with potential for high return, or HIDING from the hard stuff?

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HP’s Business Blog: 7 Deadly Sins of Job Searching (and getting back on track)

May 1st, 2012

I didn’t know HP had a business blog, but I found out about it last week.  Don Goodman, a resume writer based out of North Carolina (he has clients around the world), was interviewed by them about the job search.  The post is titled: 7 Deadly Sins of Job Searching: Why You Still Don’t Have a Job, and How to Get Back on Track

I would write about the points, but the article is pretty long, so I invite you to go check it out.  And thanks to Don for mentioning my LinkedIn for Job Seekers DVD :)

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