Rant: Rubbish Job Search Advice

October 31st, 2012

I debated on writing this post, but I think it’s best I share my thoughts because the current information out there can really damage people new to the job search.

On a recruitingblogs post there’s a 10 things you should know to get a job you want post.

The first tip is horrible. It says to write your own CV/resume, because $50 is a waste of money for that.

If you pay $50 you did not get a professional resume writer.  You got a typist.

If I would have hired a solid professional resume writer I most likely would have avoided a lot of problems in my job search. I probably would have had more interviews, and possibly a job.

Instead I DIY’d my resume.  Everyone said it looked awesome.  But it was the thing keeping me out of interviews.

The second tip is horrible. Create an elevator pitch on video?  I’m not going to watch it, unless it is really really bad.  My guess is that yours will be mostly or moderately bad.  The only good video bios I’ve seen are produced by Video Bio.  Most people don’t know where to start, or what to say, or have it look good.  Most people can’t even get a good 30 second pitch for any occasion.

The third tip is good. I was at a conference a couple of weeks ago and at the recruiter panel they all agreed that even though they don’t read the cover letter the first time they do want it, especially if your resume makes it to subsequent rounds.  That’s when the cover letter gets read.  The resume writers at the conference said to err on the safe side and send one anyway, even if it won’t be read (which is better than not sending it and them wondering where it is!).  And, I hear the new cover letter is the email or LinkedIn message that you send around the time you apply.

The fourth tip is good. Be on LinkedIn.  Goes without saying.

The fifth tip is…. kind of okay, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I know people do it.  I would rather you spend time networking into a company WITHOUT a resume, though.

The sixth tip is good. You should definitely keep up on what your target companies are doing.

The seventh tip can be good (but controversial . I know some people who see great success with their job seeker clients distributing their resume widely.  You’ll find a lot of opinions on this, but my friends share success stories regularly, and if this tactic can get you and interview and a job, give it a look.

The eight tip is fine. Don’t worry about getting on a lot of social tools, though.  Figure out where your prospects are and spend your time there.  If they aren’t on Twitter, Pinterest or Google+, don’t waste your time. But I bet they are on LinkedIn.

The ninth tip is excellent. I just blogged about this, and have many posts about creating your own website.  It’s easy and free/cheap.

The tenth tip is good. I wouldn’t fret too much about this as long as you are communicating your LinkedIn profile, or blog or something like that, but it’s always good to know what people will find if they google you.

Okay, rant over.  Some good stuff, but watch out for the first two.  You might hear those again, but beware of bad advice.

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Webinar: I Have a Resume – Now What???

October 30th, 2012

Hey folks, still plenty of room for the webinar in one week at 11am EST, 8am PST.  Sign up here:

I Have a Resume – Now What???

This builds on Kim’s webinar from October titled: No Dream Job Yet? It Could Be Your Resume.  I have to figure out how to convert GoToWebinar’s crummy recording to a normal file… then I’ll post it.

In this webinar with Karen Huller we’ll learn about sharing your resume, and your brand, where to spend your time, and strategies in the job search.

Sign up here, and share this post with your friends/contacts.

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JibberJobber isn’t just for Dummies

October 29th, 2012

Joshua Waldman wrote a book called Job Searching with Social Media for Dummies.

In his book he recommends JibberJobber (or any of our competitors).  Some of the competition isn’t around anymore… like becomed.  I guess becomed became.  Har har har… sorry, bad joke.

Anyway, here’s a post Joshua wrote: How to Use Becomed, JibberJobber, and CareerShift in Your Job Search

You know what?

JibberJobber is just fine for Dummies.

Idiots can use it too.

But that makes up the minority of our users. Those who organize their job search, or their professional networking, with JibberJobber are:

  • Across the globe. We have signups from around the country.  The last user webinar had people from Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and others.
  • Very smart. We have PhDs, people with Masters degrees, very technical degrees, scientists, etc.
  • Normal. You don’t have to be stereotypically smart to use JibberJobber.  We have entry-level users as well as people in pretty much every career path.
  • Accomplished. Whether they spent decades growing big companies, or have had big titles or have ran their own companies for a long time.
  • Proactive. I remember a recruiter saying she would totally look at JibberJobber users if she was trying to hire a CRM specialist.  JibberJobber users are learning how to use CRM (put THAT on your resume!).

Those are just a few things that can describe a JibberJobber user.

Remember, you don’t have to be a dummy to use it.  Join us on Wednesday’s webinar to learn what it is, how to use it, and why you should use it!

What you’ll learn is this is a tool to empower you to own your career.  No matter how dumb or not-dumb you are.

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Do You Have A Professional Website Yet?

October 26th, 2012

A while back I had a monthly series and award for personal branding.  I would find and recognize people who were doing a good job with personal branding.  You can find that series here.  There’s some really good stuff there.

Every once in a while I find something similar and want to share it, and that’s what I’ll do today.  I came across Craig DeLano’s website and thought: this is great!  Everyone can do this!

Granted, there are a few tweaks that can make it sharper, but what I love about this is that it’s “good enough,” and it is doable!  Check out his site here:

I like:

  • The domain. YOU should have your own domain name!  Do you?
  • His picture. It is front and center, and it’s warm and inviting.  He seems like a nice/cool guy.
  • Link to blog. From the top of his site there is a link to the blog. Blogs are amazing tools for personal branding.

I don’t want to overwhelm you with techno-talk and stuff you must do, but look at Craig’s site… this is something you can do, right?



Unexpected Benefits of Unemployment???

October 25th, 2012

On my JibberJobber LinkedIn Group I saw a Discussion from Marcia LaReau titled The (unexpected) Benefits of Unemployment.  She is pointing to her blog post with the same title. I love this topic because while being unemployed can have a lot of negative consequences, there are a lot of benefits.

Yes, you read that right.

For me, the unexpected benefit of unemployment was that I was “forced” into a new career direction, and that turned out to be pretty good 😉

For my brother, it was a time to spend on his physical health, which he had neglected while working crazy hours.

For some people, it’s a time to downsize their spending and debt (which might seem hard at first but from what I hear, it’s a great life-changing move!)

For others, it’s a time to make life-changing career moves, like going from high-stress (big money) to something they enjoy more. Even earning less they can be okay if they are more fullfilled in life by where they spend their time.

Others take the time to regroup, restrategize, and many times come out with stronger career management skills (career management is the new “job security”).

What are the unexpected benefits of unemployment that you have seen, whether from your own transition or that of someone you’ve known?

(Here’s my secondary message: if you are down in the dumps, take some time right now… 30 minutes… and brainstorm what the unexpected benefits are to you right now.  If you can’t think of anything, identify some that you want to pursue, and go after them!)



Personal Branding: Are you Obnoxious or Pleasant?

October 24th, 2012

In the last month I’ve received many messages from people.  Most of them are very pleasant, kind, thankful, excited, etc.

A small handful of them are impatient, obnoxious, blaming, mad, finger-pointing, entitled, etc.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: I am ALWAYS judging you, wondering if you would make a great fit for my company, or for an introduction to one of my contacts.

I’ll let you in on another little secret: Everyone else is always judging you, too.

You are being judged.  Stereotyped, if you will.

If you are obnoxious (or any of those bad correlations), the people judging you (interviewing you, meeting you at a network event, seeing your writings online, etc.) will not want to do anything with you.  They’ll be hard-pressed to help you.

You haven’t sold them on YOU yet.

However, if you are pleasant (or any of those nice correlations), people will want to be around you.  They will be open to introducing you, referring you, helping you, etc.

I know the job search sucks.  I know, from personal experience, that toxic attitudes can seep in by surprise, and can sour your effectiveness.  Read how I learned the hard way: I Smell Blood

Please, develop the skill of being less obnoxious and more pleasant.  It will be a skill that will help you the rest of your life.

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Your Career: “This is what it looks like!”

October 23rd, 2012

A while back my wife and I were at a three day conference that covered a lot of things (relationships, body language, goals, etc.).

At one point the speaker was talking about an ideal marriage (relationship).  Someone from the audience asked “what does it look like?”  She hadn’t ever seen this ideal relationship.

My wife leaned over and whispered “this is what it looks like.”

Ideal has… bumps and warts, as they say.

I think about people who had great careers.  We think about, talk about, read about their great careers.  But rarely do we delve into the difficulties of their careers.

I tend to mentally whine that careers nowadays can be too hard.  The transitions we experience every few years… how unfair, compared to the security they had in days long gone!

How much easier it would be to have a career back then, right?

As I’ve thought about this, I’m sure the person we think had an easier career had their problems.  Whether it was horrid/dangerous work conditions, unchecked discrimination, bad bosses, ignorance, unfair pay, etc, I’m sure there was always something that was troubling.

Of course today we have a bad economy, Enron-like ethics, layoffs and transitions with a frequency that those of yesteryear couldn’t fathom… and it’s harder, right?

What does your career look like? This is what it looks like.

This, with unemployment… even being unemployed for a long time!  This, is what your career looks like.  This is part of your story.

I don’t know, but I think that has to be okay.  I think the biggest part of your story, whether you can be proud of handling it well or not, enjoying life and being more than a job title, is your attitude.  During the good and the bad, how is your attitude?

Just like those we tend to immortalize, and perhaps wish we could have what they had, we have to weather it.

Will we complain and whine, or will we weather it with integrity and dignity?

I’m not saying you have to love it, especially the very hard parts.

But weather it well, my friends, because you are creating the story of your career.  You are creating what “it” looks like.

At the end of our career, it will have been us who defines whether we were successful or not.  It won’t be the economy, or our transitions, it will be how we deal with it.

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How To: Advanced Contacts Import and Create Custom Fields In Bulk (!!)

October 19th, 2012

Following up on yesterday’s important post on how to import Contacts from other systems, today I want to dig deeper into the Advanced Contact Import page.  I think this is everything you need to know about this page.  It’s really quite simple… reading through this should take longer than actually doing this step of the import.

In this example, I’m using a CSV file I created. Here are my steps, from start to finish.  Let’s say I went to lunch with John and Jane, and I have their business cards… when I get back to my office I would:

Step 1: open Excel, add the information:

Note the fields.  The first, second and third are easy.  I made up four “custom fields,” or user defined fields, that are not in JibberJobber, but I want to track this information.  I ALWAYS RECOMMEND ADDING CUSTOM INFORMATION (AKA, CUSTOM FIELDS) IN THIS CSV BEFORE YOU IMPORT TO JIBBERJOBBER.  It’s easier to do add this information here than it is one-at-a-time after the records are created.

Step 2: Save it as a csv file:

You have to click SAVE AS, and then in the file type drop down, choose the csv option.  This is critical! (the final name will be jj_import_oct2012.csv)

Step 3: Import into JibberJobber.  I get to this page by mousing over the Network menu option, then clicking on Import/Export.

  1. Choose file… this browses my C: drive…
  2. I leave this as CSV file, but there are other options.
  3. I always have a header, so I click this checkbox.
  4. I like the Advanced Import because I can make sure the fields are mapped correctly.  This morning I imported 12,000 records and it went quick and smooth (there were only 4 fields per record… if you have more, it might take a while to load the next page).

Step 4: See what is NOT being imported, and make sure fields are mapped correctly.

  1. The checkboxes on the left show if a record is going to be imported or not.  You can see the first checkbox is NOT checked (and the color of the row is that yellowish color).  This means the system thinks this would be a duplicate, and we are NOT going to import it.  If you want to force the import simply click the checkbox.
  2. Next, notice that each field is properly mapped.  The top bold line is what your header is in your CSV file, the drop down is what we think it should be mapped to.  Make sure all of these are mapped.  If there is a column that isn’t mapped, it will have a yellowish background and something else in the dropdown (see next step).

Step 5: Create Custom Fields in bulk!!

Now we get to the FUN part!  What about those weird four fields that don’t correspond to anything?  Here’s how it works… following the numbers from above:

  1. You can see we didn’t recognize “Email Address” so the drop down says “Choose One” and is not white.  Simply click the drop down and find “Email” to map it to the right field.
  2. Wedding Anniversary is actually a custom field I already had in the system… so it recognized that and allowed me to choose it.
  3. Contract Start Date was NOT in my custom fields, so in the drop down I chose CUSTOM FIELD, and then a new drop down showed up where I could choose an existing custom field, or create a new one.  I chose OTHER, so I could create a new Custom Field… and then this popup came up where I could enter the new Custom Field.  This is AWESOME, since before you would have had to take a bunch of steps to create a Custom Field. Now it’s this easy to do it in bulk.

Step 6: One more click to finalize the import!

When it looks good, simply scroll to the bottom, on the left, and click “Import Contacts.”

That’s it!

Remember, instructions on exporting and importing from other systems (specifically LinkedIn) are on yesterday’s post.

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How To: Import Contacts From LinkedIn

October 18th, 2012

UPDATED 12/13/2018 7/9/2020

One of the frequently asked questions I get is:

How do I import contacts from LinkedIn?

Note that these steps are pretty much the same for any system that exports to a .csv file (outlook, gmail, etc.). If you already have a CSV file just skip to Step THREE).

Since November of 2018 LinkedIn made a change in the name of privacy that almost makes this USELESS. Read this TechCrunch article… there are a lot of mad comments there. Oh well, bottom line, it’s their sandbox and we are just guests.

You can still get value out of downloading “your” data, as they say. See #5 in Step 2… but don’t hate on me. I’m just the messenger.


Step ONE: Export LinkedIn Contacts to a CSV file

1.  Login to LinkedIn, click My Network from the top menu:


2.  On the left, click the number of your contacts, which takes you to your contact list.

JibberJobber LinkedIn Export Click Contacts

3.  On the right, click this link: Manage synced and imported contacts:

JibberJobber Export LinkedIn Connections Hidden Link

4. On the right, click on the export contacts link:

JibberJobber LinkedIn Export Good Link

5. In the next dialog, click on Imported Contacts and Connections, and then click the Request archive button. You’ll might need to enter your password again (annoying, but good security).

JibberJobber Export LinkedIn Contacts Companies

6. WAIT. When I clicked the button it said it would take about 10 minutes. It took about 30 minutes… but here’s the email I got. Once you click the link in your email you’ll need to click the “Download archive” button on the page they take you to. I got a .zip folder downloaded to my computer.

JibberJobber LinkedIn Export Confirmation Email

NOTE: You can also click You can also click on “Me” from the man menu, then Settings and Privacy, then scroll down to “Get a copy of your data”.

That’s it – it is really that easy to export your contacts from LinkedIn! All of the “Contacts” have (as of right now) email addresses. Not much use, though, since that is only 56 out of over 12,000 records for me. Again, though, still could be useful. Continue on.

OPTIONAL Step TWO: Clean and prepare the file (this is all in Excel, not in LinkedIn or JibberJobber)

  1. Open the csv file in Excel. [NOTE: It looks like Mac users on Safari have one extra step.  It looks like the download is appending a “.txt” at the end of the file… this makes it NOT open up the right way…. all you have to do is delete the .txt from the filename, and it should import fine.  (added 10/21/2014)]
  2. I delete all of the columns with blank data.  The last time I checked there are FIFTY FIVE(!) columns that had a header but no data… delete all of these empty columns. 2020 note: this is different now, LinkedIn finally cleaned this up and there are only six columns on Connections and 16 or so on Contacts. But there are still useless columns.
  3. I go through the first and last names and clean them up.  I take out things like middle initial, acronyms, email addresses (from the name fields), etc.  I simply want a first and last name.  This is the most time-consuming part of the process.
  4. Sometimes I add a few other fields, including:
    • Tags (LinkedIn allows you to tag contacts, but they don’t export them)
    • Notes (they have a Notes column, but no data in it)
    • Source (I always put LI_Import as the source, for every single record, to know where that record came from)
    • Ranking (the values would be numeric, from 1 – 5)
    • … and anything else you want to import into JibberJobber
  5. OKAY… this is going to suck, but it’s in the name of their privacy policy from 2018. IF you want the email addresses then you’ll need to go through one-by-one and put them in. You could do that from your own email client… if you have corresponded with them. Or you would have to go into LinkedIn, find each person’s profile, then click on the “Contact Info” link … find their email address and then copy it into the spreadsheet. Guess who is NOT going to do that for his 12,791 contacts? THIS GUY.

Now you have a clean file so no “garbage in, garbage out”!

Step THREE: Import into JibberJobber

Note: Importing into JibberJobber is a premium feature.  You can upgrade here.

1. As a premium user, mouse over Contacts and click on Import/Export.  (if you only have Export, you don’t have a Premium account)


2. The default option you see on the Import page is to import contacts.  Click Choose File and browse to (and select/”save” or “open”)your CSV file.


3. The drop down says CSV file – leave that alone.  The two checkboxes (Has Header and Advanced Import) should be checked – leave them checked.  The Advanced Import allows you to see your data before you import it, and ensure you are mapping the fields correctly.  Really, you don’t need to do anything on this step… :)


4. Look at the rows and columns.  Anything that is WHITE will import.  If a row is colored yellow(ish), we think it is a duplicate, and we won’t import it.  (you can override this by clicking the checkbox to the left of that record, and we’ll import it).  If a column is colored, it is NOT MAPPED and we won’t import it.  You can click the drop down on that column and choose a field to import it into (aka, map it to the right field).

In this image you can see that we think the first record is already in the system, so we are not going to import it.  It is yellow(ish).  Hard to see, but on the left the checkbox is also unchecked.

All of the columns are mapped, which we can tell because they are not colored yellow(ish).


5. Scroll down to the bottom and click the import button.  After the import you will get a confirmation message right under the main menu with the number of records imported.



Once you get this down it can be very quick (Step TWO takes the longest – but it is optional)

Right now we try to not import duplicates. In the future we plan on merging duplicate records (in case there are title changes, etc.).

Feedback?  Questions?  If you need technical help, use the Contact form and we’ll get back to as soon as we can.




There is Nothing Special about YOU

October 17th, 2012

That’s right.  Nothing.

Before you get upset, please read this post by Greg Savage: There is nothing special about France…

It is brilliant.  Of course, there are plenty of special things about France, and Greg says so at the beginning.

And there are plenty of special things about YOU, and I hope I don’t have tell you that.

But when it comes down to it, there are certain strategies and tactics that are principle-based, and universal, and you can’t get away from them.

My comment to Greg’s post:

I LOVE this.  Makes me think about me as a job seeker, 6 years ago, I thought I was “special” and didn’t have to network… because my resume would carry me above and beyond the others I was competing against.  And about any client I ever had with “special” needs who really had the exact same needs as everyone else, but really just wanted to voice their position for 10 minutes so they could be assured I could accommodate their “special” needs.

I love the end where you say “Asking for the business is hard everywhere…”   Networking is always hard, not just for introverts. This concept can be applied to so many skills/tasks.

Are you thinking you are so special that you can get away from the basics?

If you think you are that special, we should probably talk.

Read his post here.  It’s brilliant.

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