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Awesome Business Cards! Justin Pelletier in San Antonio

August 16th, 2012

I got a delightful email this week from someone who saw me talk about a year ago in San Antonio.  Justin Pelletier is an account executive going through a transition.  He shared his new business cards, based on some things I shared with him in the presentation.  What do you think?  I’ll tell you what I love about this below the image.

I LOVE the color choices.  Things just pop out… in addition:

  1. Lots of white space.  People say they like to write on business cards but sometimes there is too much writing and they can’t. I agree with that.  I also like how he chose to NOT put every characteristic about him on the card, which I think just adds noise.
  2. COOL titles!  They are different… and include: Future Employee, Sometimes Wears a Bowtie, Sales and Marketing Strategist, and Has a Better Business Card Than Me.  3 plays on HUMOR, and one that supports his professional brand.  I LOVE IT!
  3. On the back, he PROMPTS you to take notes so you have the meeting in context. I love this… it shows what kind of relationship he wants, and what kind of networker he might be (he’s setting the bar high, as I would expect him to FOLLOW UP with me).
  4. Check out the options at #4… “Let’s:”… and then there is only one option: Get together again!  Isn’t that cool?

Great job Justin, I love it!  These will be very memorable business cards, and people will talk about them!

For more, check out Justin Pelletier’s LinkedIn Profile.

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12 Tasks That KILL Your Job Search Before Noon

August 15th, 2012

Excellent article on Business Insider titled 12 Tasks That Killer Employees Always Finish Before Noon

I love this article. It includes suggestions such as:

#1 make a to-do list the day before,

#4 exercise (to improve energy and mood levels)

#7 arrive on time (imagine the stress saved!)

#10 avoid morning meetings

… read the entire article here. Here are my 12 tasks that KILL your job search before noon – are you doing any of these?

  1. Check Facebook. Time waster that will suck you in to irrelevant places.
  2. Get caught up in LinkedIn News articles. Interesting, but won’t necessarily help you network into your target companies.  Time suck.
  3. Browse through irrelevant tweets. I used to do this, to see what was going on in the world. Waste of time.
  4. Look at blog posts from family, friends, etc. Fun.  Time suck. Sorry. You are not on salary to read your family and friend posts.
  5. Read the local news website. Time suck.  Not relevant to your job search usually.  You can justify it as staying in touch with current events, but you are spending valuable time doing that and not calling people you need to call.
  6. Sleep in late. Whatever “late” means to you.  I have found sleeping in late disrupts my day and before I know it, it’s afternoon and I am BEHIND on what I hoped to accomplish that day.
  7. Skip exercise (same as the original post). What job seeker doesn’t need an improvement in energy and mood??  Seriously, do it.  Daily.
  8. Pass on your routine (same as the original post). Most people who start a job search are floored by how unstructured their day and life is.  I give you permission to create your own routine and structure… and then stick to it.  Some of you need structure to the minute, others just  need daily goals.  Either way, create a routine and honor the routine.
  9. Not journal. I’m becoming convinced that journaling is the gateway to peace, your soul, and sanity.  Therapists regularly recommend journaling to cope with issues.  Leaders have journaled.  Some do it for their kids and grandkids, others just because.  Having blogged for 6 years I can attest that journaling (which I’ve realized is blogging, for me) has perhaps saved my life. I’m going to do more personal journaling, as I’ve finally seen the value in this, and wish I would have done it many years ago.
  10. Avoid making the phone call you’ve been putting off. I get it, you are chicken.  But get over it and pick up the phone.  Every day. Just once a day. Get that off your list.
  11. Applying to jobs online. You complain about the resume black hole, yet you keep hucking your resume into it.  It’s time to listen to everyone and spend more time networking than applying.
  12. Unusual housework, honeydo list items, handyman projects. These need to get done, but treat your job search like a full-time job and schedule time for the other stuff, just like you did before.  I’m not saying to let things go… but schedule your priorities.

Hey, I’ve been there.  I wasted time.  Hours, days.  I still do, sometimes.  I’m not pointing fingers, but if you have an opportunity to change your situation, I want to help, and I hope this list is helpful.

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How Frustrating is Job Search Rejection? No Really, Tell Me How You REALLY Feel! (Taylor Grey Meyer)

August 14th, 2012

I read a fun post from my job search friend, Wendy Terwelp, about Taylor Grey Meyer.  Have you heard of Taylor?

Apparently Taylor submitted 30 resumes to her target company, the San Diego Padres, and got all the normal rejections.  In Wendy’s blog post, titled Ticked off? Step away from the keyboard!, she suggests what Taylor could have done differently (like, network in, and not submit blind resumes).

I don’t want to talk about what Taylor could have been better in her job search. I want to talk about the frustrations with how employers treat “candidates.”

In Taylor’s post she said:

One point I want to reiterate is the email was not in response to rejection. Rejection is a part of life. It’s also expected in this job market.”

To better understand what happened, you can read this post. Be warned that Taylor’s response to the Padres includes strong language, which I wouldn’t want my kids reading.  Here’s a summary of the story:

Taylor applied a lot of times to various positions, even entry-level minimum-wage jobs.

Taylor got rejected every time (I’m guessing some where “resume black hole” non-responses).

Taylor gets a letter from the Padres, inviting her to some kind of job fair (they said it wasn’t a job fair)… the catch is she would have to pay $495 to get the opportunity to be there.

My first reaction for the Padres: FOUL!  FOUL!  How disrespectful of you to PREY on job seekers that way!

Taylor had enough.  She wrote a brilliant letter back to them, including a paragraph talking about her qualifications, starting this way:

Let’s talk about why I wasn’t a good fit with your organization. Was it my extensive education that made me less of a fit,…

I loved that whole paragraph. It was what every job seeker wants to say. I wanted to say it many times.

What do you mean I’m not the right fit? Is it my MBA? Was it my last role, or job title, or experience??

How very frustrating. Sometimes I felt the job search was like a Victorian dance, with rules of etiquette that I never quite understood.

It was my bad for not understanding how the job search went, what my relationship with recruiters was, what my roles were, how to most effectively spend my time, what networking and follow-up really meant, how my attitude affected the outcome, etc.

I’ll take responsibility for not being as prepared as I should have been, not studying the way things were done, and playing the game.

All I knew was the frustration of doing what I was doing.

And I totally see where Taylor was coming from with that letter.

What about you?  How frustrated are you?  And, what reactions are justified by frustrated job seekers?

I’m in Taylor’s camp on this one… and think the letter will do more good for her career than harm.  But that’s for another post :)

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Forbes: The Best Websites For Your Career? Pls Nominate JibberJobber :)

August 13th, 2012

I don’t do this often but I’d love to ask you to nominate JibberJobber (and my other stuff) to the Forbes “best websites for your career” thingy.  I don’t think it’s a contest, but what I’ve found is that if you don’t pitch and promote and ask and nominate, you get left off the list.

In other words, whether JibberJobber is the best personal relationship manager, career relationship manager, job search organizer or not, if you don’t let Forbes know about it, they won’t list it.

So please, leave a comment on their post, email their contact, and just let them know that we’re that awesome :)

Here’s the post to leave a comment on: Call For Nominations: The Best Websites For Your Career

At the bottom of that post it says you can also email Forbes to let them know about my stuff: careerwebsites@forbes.com

Also, you can tweet it to @JacquelynVSmith

What should you recommend and nominate and promote?

JibberJobber.  JibberJobber launched more than six years ago. I know I’m biased in saying it, but I’ll say it: it is the best tool to organize and manage a job search.

Some people think this blog is JibberJobber… but no, JibberJobber is an application you use to enter information, get information, etc.  It’s really quite awesome.

The JibberJobber blog. You are reading the JibberJobber blog right now.  I’ve been writing here for over six years.  Some posts are amazing (see my Favorite Friday posts).  Some are okay.  Most are helpful to job seekers, even if I recommend hard or scary stuff.

My LinkedIn blog. I wrote a book on LinkedIn, and have a DVD on how to get more value out of LinkedIn, and I’ve been writing tips, tricks and thoughts about using LinkedIn for years.  The blog is free and powerful.

Please nominate any or all three of those resources… THANK YOU :)

Oh yeah… don’t stop at Forbes… please take these three resources with you to your network meetings and let others know about them.  Thank you!!

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What is a Career Contact Management System?

August 10th, 2012

JibberJobber has been called a number of things, including a relationship manager, a career relationship manager, a job search organizer, etc.

Let’s break down a new one: Career Contact Management System

System: Since I’m from I.T., system means something with a database, which implies relationships (what is the relationship between the person you just met and your target company).  It also means there are systems or processes to follow.

Contact Management: the concept of contact management has been around a long time, and is very popular, even commonplace, among certain professions (like sales professionals).  I’ve heard it argued that you can’t MANAGE your CONTACTS.  Nor can you manage your relationships.  Indeed, a system like JibberJobber is not trying to manage human beings and relationships.  Instead, the purpose of a contact management system is to give you the right data and reference points and meta-data (ie, stuff you might find on LinkedIn, or a Google search), about your contact/prospect.

Career: While the concept of relationship management has been around a long time, I think it’s safe to say applying the concept and tools to an individual’s career is fairly new.  A couple of decades ago you might have networked within your own company, but with job security and retirement benefits and company loyalty the way they were, you didn’t count on changing jobs with any frequency.  In contrast, today we are happy if we are at one company for up to five years.  I’ve seen interest increase over the years, but I’m still met by apathy by people who think they are not going to need to manage their careers. Evenutally, even the apathetic figure out that long-term unemployment sucks, and they start to manage their careers differently than just sitting around hoping HR or their company will take care of them.

Are you ready for a career contact management system?  You should be :)

P.S.  This is not Facebook.  This is not LinkedIn.  This is not your Outlook address book.  To be longterm, it really should be a cloud-based solution that will be around for a long time.

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David Perry Says You Need to Read and Understand This

August 9th, 2012

I saw this on Facebook and thought I’d share it.

If Dave Perry says you need to read it, and it came from John Sumser, I’m behind it all the way.

Think about it – it could have a profound impact on your career, and careers in the future.  Click here to read it on John’s blog: The New Architecture of Work.

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How to Edit Contacts (and other records) In JibberJobber

August 8th, 2012
This post was written to help you edit a Contact record in JibberJobber. The steps are the same to edit Companies, Jobs, etc.

Once you get a record into JibberJobber you’ll want to do a few things:

  1. Associate the record with other records. For example, if you meet three people at one target company, you’ll want to add the three people to your personal relationship manager (aka, JibberJobber), and you’ll want to associate them to the target company.
  2. Make notes and record log entries.  If you called someone and had a good conversation, keep track of what you talked about.  You’ll love having those notes accessible to you a few months later, when you reconnect!  We do this with Log Entries.
  3. Edit and update your contact’s information.  Perhaps you find out about an alternative email address, or you finally get the contact’s phone number.  You’ll want to edit that data on the Contact record in JibberJobber.

In this post I’m going to focus on #3.

My favorite way to edit a record is below, but first, the easiest, most obvious ways to get to the edit screen, once you have created the record:

1. From the List Panel you can edit from the edit icon on the right:

2. From the Detail Page, you see see the same icon on the bottom right:

3. My favorite way: from the Detail Page, MOUSE OVER any of the fields… if they turn dark gray, you can  DOUBLE CLICK on the field.  Here’s what the gray looks like, if I mouse over a field you can edit (see #1):

When I double click on the gray box, it  opens an edit box to edit just that field like this:

In this situation, I see the box to put an email address in, as well as the drop down to let me designate what kind of email address it is.  When you double click on a gray box it might be different, depending on what data you are trying to edit (birthday, referred by, etc.).

Fill in the little form, click SAVE, and you’ve updated the record :)  Easy!

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You Bug Recruiters. Read This To Learn Why/How.

August 7th, 2012

I asked a question on RecruitingBlogs:

What bugs you about candidates?

I got excellent responses, including (you have to read their comments, in their own words):

  • Your (mis)use of LinkedIn,
  • How and when you contact recruiters (including follow-up),
  • Telling recruiters how to do their job,
  • Having a bad resume or cover letter,
  • Not being prepared for interviews,
  • Talking too much,
  • Addressing a (email, cover letter, etc.) to the wrong person,
  • Overstating how great you are,
  • And, praying for too long (seriously, read it – page two, by Sandra, #4. Sandra is awesome… )

I hesitated sharing this list lest you think you’ve read it before.  But you really should read their comments, because they see this stuff all day long.

How bad is this?  Check out Andrew’s parting words:

When economists say that our unemployment rate is at 8%….my general thought is, it is amazing it is that low cause based on some of the idiots I come in contact with…it should be much higher.

I’m sure none of my JibberJobber users, or readers, make these mistakes… right?  Of course not.

Read the comments anyway, just to make sure you aren’t violating anything :)

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JibberJobber User Training on Wednesday Morning – Join Us!

August 6th, 2012

Hey, it’s time to jump on a user training on Wednesday morning.

There are a bunch of changes we’ve incorporated into JibberJobber.  If you haven’t been on a webinar for a while, come.  If you have questions, come.

I love answering questions on these webinars. I get asked about security, backups, imports, when is LinkedIn going to acquire JibberJobber, and a host of how-to’s.  It’s a fun time.

If you come 10 minutes early, and I’m there, I open it up to ANY questions… ANYTHING.  If it’s about JibberJobber, I wait until the webinar starts… but for that 10 minutes you can ask me about anything.  Come and ask… :)

If you are a career coach, career counselor, or resume writer, please come (and ask me what deals I have for you and your clients).

You can sign up for Wednesday’s webinar here.

You can see the list of JibberJobber webinars scheduled for the year here.

You can see the latest recording of the JibberJobber webinar here.

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Rita Carey on the Job Board Fast, Informational Interviews

August 3rd, 2012

Rita Carey is a career coach I’ve blogged about before. You may remember her name.

She left a comment on my post about continuing the job board fast… I think it’s pretty profound:

I have been proposing this to clients for years.

Measure the return on investment when deciding your weekly activities.

Get out and do information meetings (high ROI).

This week, I had two calls from clients saying that they were being considered for highly competitive positions because of referrals – one from the parent of his daughter (he got that job) and one from a client’s acquaintance (not close friend) who knew of her availability and mentioned her to the manager. She has an interview.

Neither position was advertised because the need came up quickly.

Easier to just meet with referrals than to open the gates to the public.

No one has time; most have a sense of urgency.

Make it easy for people to do business with you.

Referrals do that.

This is a profound comment with lots of wisdom… I know some people think I’m a nut for proposing you don’t apply to jobs online, and I know it’s uncomfortable, but I’m telling you, some hard things may be very, very effective!

If you don’t believe me, study Rita’s comment, above!

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