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Job Search Strategies: Push vs Pull

April 16th, 2013

Have you heard of push marketing and pull marketing?

The concept is simple: are you PUSHING your stuff to prospects or are you so interesting (or appealing) that you are PULLING prospects to you?

Apple products are typically PULL.  People talk about them, everyone knows about them, they are relatively easy to find and buy.

Apple competitors spend lots of money on PUSH strategies.  They are saying “hey, look at me, over hear!  Get your eyes off that iPhone for a few minutes and see how COOL we will make you!”

In yesterday’s post I talked about four things to incorporate into your job search strategy, and the amount of time to spend on each one.

The one thing I didn’t talk about was how to switch your strategy from a resource-intense PUSH strategy and make it more of an attractive PULL strategy.

How do YOU think this happens?

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Four Simple Steps To Getting A Job (I Hate These Lists)

April 15th, 2013

I saw this on AOL Jobs: The Simple Truth About Finding A Job

The article says that leads come from four places:

  • Your Network,
  • Through directly contacting target employers,
  • Answering ads (aka, job postings), and
  • Through external recruiters and agencies.

I think that nicely sums it up.  What I don’t like about the graphic on that page is that it doesn’t show where you should spend your time.

In the Ask The Expert video with Nick Corcodilos, Nick talks about how to work with recruiters, and how to think about them as a job search tool or resource.  What he teaches you is totally different than what I did in my search (which was to rely on them for a lot of hope and results).

In my job search I spent more than 90% of my time in my job search on job boards but I was told only 14% of jobs where found through boards.  Nick said about 1.3% of jobs were found through Monster.  Do you see a problem here?  Even if I were to spend an equitable 25% (giving each of the four strategies listed above equal time and effort, I would have been spending way too much time in those areas).

Without thinking too much about it, I’m not sure what else to put on the list of things to do in your job search (at this high level), but I do know you can’t spend an equal amount of time on them.  Instead of 4 equal boxes, perhaps it should look more like this:

Note how SMALL the brown (job board) box is.

The green box is also small, although it is wide.  I didn’t know how else to represent the idea that for some people, working with recruiters (especially how Nick teaches you how to do it) can work, but you have to do it right/well.

The almost-thirty recruiters I had developed relationships with did nothing more than file me away. They weren’t working on openings that I could fill, so I was irrelevant to them.  But I didn’t understand that for months, and I spent way too much time chasing them.

So, there you go… the same four strategies, but the key is to know how much time and effort to spend on any of them!

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How To: Easily Manage Categories, Tags and Custom Fields

April 11th, 2013

In the release this week we added the “Custom Fields manager.”  Amazingly we have never had this… but it is there now.  The Categories and Tags managers have been in the system for a while but I don’t think I’ve properly introduced them.  So, let me introduce all three in this post.

The idea behind these three “managers” is to give you a place to clean up your Categories, Tags and Custom Fields.  You can delete them and you can edit them.

From the Contacts, Companies or Jobs drop downs you’ll see these three options:

When you click on any of those you’ll go to the “management” page.

I do this when I feel like I have too many Tags in my Tag dropdown.  I order them by the number of times the Tags is used, and then delete the Tags that have zero or one or two Contacts associated with it.

Same with Custom Fields… I have a ton because I set some up with good intentions but haven’t ever used them.

Thank goodness for these managers!  To access them, mouse over the Network, Companies or Jobs menu items and then click on whichever manager you want.

(note: there is still some work to do on the Custom Fields to polish it, but you can delete unused Custom Fields right now)

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Free JibberJobber Version Now More Powerful

April 10th, 2013
Please click the InShare button on the right to share this with your LinkedIn contacts and groups… thank you!

Last week I announced a massive change in the levels on JibberJobber.  We had to tidy up some code before we released it, and the release happened late last night.

You can read the details in last week’s post.  In short, this means the free verion of JibberJobber is way, way more powerful.

In fact, as of right now, there are only a few reasons to upgrade.

This change prompted job clubs and other organizations that help job seekers to re-evaluate JibberJobber, and recommend it more.

I hope this change helps YOU re-evaluate JibberJobber (and taking ownership of your own career management) more.

Please spread the news with your contacts, job coaches, outplacement companies, university career centers, and family and friends, whether they are in transition or not.

JibberJobber just became way more relevant to you.

So, why would anyone upgrade now?  It’s simple… choose one of the following four reasons.  If those don’t matter to you, use the free level forever :)

Reason 1: The Email2Log feature is awesome.  Imagine you send 20 emails a day.  This premium feature will probably save you one to two hours each day, as you track and organize your job search and networking.

What does the Email2Log feature do?  Simple: each time I send an email to someone (or multiple people), I BCC (blind carbon copy) the JibberJobber server and the email will (a) create a new Contact, if that email isn’t associated to an existing Contact, and (b) create a new Log Entry out of the email.

Reason 2: Import in bulk. If you want to import contacts from another system (any system that exports to a csv file, which is pretty much any system out there worth your time), you can import in bulk to JibberJobber.

Reason 3: Have as many Contact and Company records as you want.  The free level is still capped at 250 Contacts and 250 Companies… upgrade and you can have more.

A common question is “what happens if I am over the limit when I’m Premium, but then go to the Free level?”  Answer: We will not hide or remove your Contacts.  They are still there.  We do not hold your Contacts hostage!  Use them, edit the records, associate them to Companies, create Log Entries… they are 100% useful and functional!  So, during your Premium trial, add as many as you want (import thousands and thousands from Gmail, Outlook, etc.), and then later decide if you want to delete them… but get them in.

Reason 4: Get Action Items sent to your email or SMS.  Don’t want to forget things coming due?  Premium users get messages in their email or through text messaging on their phone.  Don’t regret missing a follow-up phone call just because you forgot to look and see what you had going on that day… get them pushed out to you!

I might be forgetting one or two features, but those are four compelling reasons to upgrade.

Like I said, if those don’t do it for you, use the Free level, with all the new bells and whistles that used to be Premium!

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Can You Risk?

April 9th, 2013

Early in my marriage a word took on a new meaning: Risk.

Risking, in a close relationship, means that you might do or say something, or share something, that could be disregarded.  It could be hurtful to open up and share.

Since I learned about “risking,” and get to practice it regularly, I’ve found it applies everywhere.

In a job search we are in a vulnerable position where we get to risk all the time.

We put ourselves out there a lot.  We open ourselves up to criticism.  We get to a point where we think people are talking about us, and probably say similar things to the negative self-talk we feed ourselves.

In reality, people talk about us far less than we think, but we still can feel very vulnerable.  When you feel like a loser (lost your job, can’t get a new one, lost in the resume black hole) it’s easy to think that everyone is talking bad about you.

What I’ve learned is that we must continue forward.  Many times this means we must continue to “risk.”

Share what your needs are.  Share what you would like.  Ask for favors.  Accept favors that people give you.

Sometimes things won’t work out. People will say no.  Mean or unstable people might tell you why.

But don’t let that get in your way. Risk, share, and get yourself in a better place.

The alternative is to be quite passive, and take what comes to you.

What I learned in my job search, and as a business owner, is that what I can go get is much better than what I passively wait for.

Risk!

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ATE: Nick Corcodilos of Ask The Headhunter Fame

April 8th, 2013

I had the pleasure of interviewing and chatting with Nick Corcodilos for last week’s Ask The Headhunter.  It was a blast.  I had questions for Nick but the audience had a lot, too.

Here’s the conversation, enjoy!

Note: Vimeo video.  To make this full-size, push play and then on the bottom right click the icon that looks like this:

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JibberJobber Testimonial from a Lawyer

April 5th, 2013

I love meeting JibberJobber users. Here’s a note that one use recently sent me:

I’m a business lawyer who graduated the year they froze most of the transactional / real estate law jobs. I’ll say two things:

(1) most of the networking advice I got from my career services office was HORRIBLE; and

(2) after taking the initiative to re-educate myself years later, I (literally) cried tears of joy when I found JibberJobber.

This is such a well thought out and incredible service. Thank you for being passionate and obsessed :) enough with the idea of streamlining your networking process and generous enough to share it with the rest of us.

I wish you the best in all that you do!

I sure love getting emails like this.

I am, and have been obsessed, about the networking process, and making it better (or, as this person mentions, streamlined).

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and feelings – it strokes our ego and is fuel for our obsession!

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Is Your Tooth A Little Crooked (and other first impressions)

April 4th, 2013

Yesterday someone deleted their JibberJobber account and said that JibberJobber was “really dated.”

I emailed the person back asking for more information, hoping that it wasn’t because of the layout and colors (less than a year ago we redid the layout), but I knew it is impossible to please everyone.

He said he only spend 15 minutes on JibberJobber, and found links to Monster and articles that were 5+ years old.

I wondered what he was talking about, and where he saw a link recommending Monster.  As you know, I’m not a big fan of job boards in a job search strategy.  On the Ask the Expert call this week Nick Corcodilos shared that Monster accounted for about 1.3% of jobs found, but companies spent more than $1B on it.  And I’m sure job seekers spend way more than 1.3% of their time on Monster.  I only promote Monster as a place to do “competitive intelligence research,” not as a place to waste time getting sucked into the resume black hole.

Where did he find a link promoting Monster??

Finally, we figured it out.  In the user-curated Library.  This is where JibberJobber users share links, books and articles that they have found useful in their job search.  Monster was at the top of the “job board” category, which is at the top of the Links page.

And that was it.  This person, who has a decent title at a huge company, judged JibberJobber and said it is dated, because there is a link to Monster.

Again, we can’t please everyone.  Earlier that day I was on the weekly user webinar and I got a lot of very positive feedback about JibberJobber, the job search organizer.

Look folks, I’m not in the business of providing links to you to Monster and Craigs List.  I figure you are an adult and you can find all the links you want.  We put the library in for job seekers to share gems they find online.  When I was in my job search I think 90% of the advice articles where garbage.  But if I found a gem (here’s one that is in the library: How to Write a Strong Value Proposition (by Jill Konrath)), I wanted to save it for me and share it with others.

If you judge JibberJobber by what others put in there… I can’t really help you.

This morning I’ve spent time cleaning out the library.  That means deleting useless junk, and adding descriptions to good stuff.

Here’s why I am sharing this with you.  You will have people JUDGE you based on completely trivial, non-important, irrelevant things.

Like what?

When I was a hiring manager I judged on (I’m not saying it was right to do this, but I think it is human nature.  If you think less of me, sorry.  But I guarantee others are judging you on the same, or similar):

Hair style. The girl who had the biggest hair I’ve seen in an interview… her hair was such a distraction (and the thing I remembered most) that, well, she didn’t get the job.  But she did make it into this blog post!

Short skirts. I don’t know if this girl thought a short skirt would be a benefit to her interview but the entire time my mind kept thinking one thing: SHE WON’T FIT INTO THIS COMPANY CULTURE.  It was a conservative company, and her skirt was too short when she was standing (much less when she was sitting).  Do I remember her interview responses?  No, and that obviously didn’t matter.  She didn’t make the short-list.

The suit. I remember interviewing a dozen university students for three internship positions.  ONE person wore a suit.  The rest didn’t take the time to dress up enough.  What should have been normal (dressing up) really stood out and made a favorable impression.

There are other things like choice of words, chewing gum and stuff I’m sure they didn’t think about when they were preparing for the interview.

But they got JUDGED on those things.

Here’s the truth: I was looking for someone who would make me look awesome.  Someone who would do a great job, fit into the company culture, be fun to work with and have around, and not be an embarrassment (in other words, someone we didn’t have to keep in a back room, away from the front desk where visitors might see him/her).

As an interviewer, I’m the JUDGE.  And a JUDGE makes JUDGEMENTS.  The judgement could be on your answer and how clever or experienced you are, but it usually can’t get there until the other things (big hair, gum smacking, choice of language, clothes) are non-issues.

I’m kind of sad that one person decided not to use JibberJobber because the Library (a very, very minor part of JibberJobber – I don’t even show that on the user webinar!) had a link to Monster.

But he was the judge.

Be careful, my friends, to not let something in your appearance or brand or first impression be “the monster” that keeps you from going to the next step in the process.

(Monster is now deleted from my Library :))

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Communication: What I want you to learn from yesterday’s post

April 3rd, 2013

Yesterday I announced that we simplified JibberJobber.

Yes, it is ironic that the blog post to announce it was one of the more complex posts I’ve written.

But something I want you, as a job seeker, to get out of yesterday’s message is SIMPLIFICATION.

You might have heard me use the word “concise,” when talking about your communication, written or verbal.

To me, concise means short and to the point.

In yesteday’s post I explained that we are simplifying some things in JibberJobber.  My hope is that it’s easier to understand things.

Are your messages too complex?

Let me give you an example of a too-complex message.  Yesterday I wrote an email to someone asking them if we could get on a phone call. My original message looked something like this:

Can we get on a phone call?  And if not, you can jump on my user webinar anytime: www.JibberJobber.com/webinar.

Do you see a problem?

I gave the person an OUT.

I distracted them from my original message/question.

That second sentence can be short and to the point, but it can be distracting.  It wiped out the first sentence.

When I talk about simplifying I’m not saying you have to have LESS (although you will have less).  I’m saying to not distract your message by throwing stuff in that shouldn’t be there.

Before I sent the message I took out the second sentence so it simply read:

Can we get on a phone call?

Now you don’t have an OUT.  You respond with yes or no, but you don’t think “maybe I’ll just get on a webinar… ”

Here’s a similar example:

Can we get on a phone call?  Or you can just look at my LinkedIn Profile and tell me what you think.

WHAT???  Talk about giving an OUT!

I see this type of message TOO OFTEN.

Folks, read through your emails you send and look for those OUTs.  There’s an awesome little key on your keyboard that takes care of OUTs:

Delete the distractions.  Stay on topic, and keep the messages to a minimum (that means, don’t try and say ten things in an email where you really need to say just one thing).

Go back and read yesterday’s post. Hopefully you’ll see that’s exactly what we are doing.  And you should, too.

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Massive JibberJobber Announcement

April 2nd, 2013

On Friday I told my JibberJobber LinkedIn Group that I was going to make a massive announcement on the blog today.

We were going to do a release (that means, change the software on the server) last night and I was going to be ecstatic to to share what we did.

Alas, we didn’t make the release last night but should in the next week or two.  I wasn’t excited about postponing this release but we had a good reason to wait.

I’ll make the announcement anyway, though.  Instead of “here’s what changed last night” I’ll tell you what to expect in the next week or two:

These weren't free before, but they will be soon!

First, we are moving most of the Premium features to the free (Regular) level.

I think this is going to be a significant boost to JibberJobber and to you (a rising tide raises all ships, right?).

For almost seven years we have had a bunch of bells-and-whistles that were Premium features.  We have identified just a handful of things to keep Premium and we are moving the rest to the free side.  The handful of features that will remain PREMIUM include:

  • Limit of 250 Contacts and 250 Companies on the Regular level* (see footnote below),
  • Email2Log to create Log Entries and Contacts,
  • Importing in bulk (from Outlook, Gmail, etc.),
  • Action Item reminders to email and text/sms

Features that will soon be on the free Regular level include:

  • All of the reports,
  • Exporting your data,
  • Merging records from the List Panels,
  • All of the icons under List Panel, including: merging, exporting, the two reports, managing Tags, etc. (very useful features!),
  • Ability to add multiple email addresses and phone numbers on a record,
  • Categories in the Interview Prep area,
  • Features on the Action Item panel on the homepage, including RSS, the Calendar, etc.

There are others that moved from Premium to Free but they are less important.

There are two reasons for this change (here’s a peak into our business and strategy):

  1. It is now a lot easier to understand the value proposition of the upgrade. I think before it felt like nickle-and-diming… too many little features here and there, and it was just too complex.  Plus, the features we kept as Premium are the features most people upgrade for (not many people said they upgraded because of the features that we are moving to the free side).
  2. If you can’t upgrade, you will still get significant value out of using JibberJobber. I tell my team that I want more (a) signups, (b) users, and (c) upgrades.  If we make the free level of JibberJobber more useful to you then you are more likely to become a hardcore USER.  I want more of my signups to become users, and I this should have a significant impact on that.  (and, more users will turn into more upgrades – use it, love it, get hooked on it, and you’ll be more okay with paying for it)

If you upgraded for a feature that is now free, simply downgrade by clicking on Account and then clicking the button to stop your subscription.

Second, we are introducing the Duplicate Finder.

This is something I’ve wanted for years.  I have almost 6,000 Contacts in my system and I thought “how cool would it be if we could push a button, see a list of duplicates, and then easily merge dups?”

I’ll tell you: it is VERY cool!

We’ve worked hard to make this easy to use and not overburden the server as it sifts through tons of records.  It’s taken lots of development, tweaking, testing, and more to get it ready.  I hope you enjoy it and get good use out of it!

I’ll explain more when this feature is available. And yes, it will be in the free level.

More exciting changes are in the works as my programming team is moving forward quickly!

* Footnote: If you go from Premium to Regular, and you are over the 250 Contacts limit, what happens?

Let’s say you import 3,000 Contacts into JibberJobber during your 14 day Premium trial.  That is clearly over the 250 limit on the Regular level.

When your account switches to Regular you will still have those 3,000 Contacts in your system.  You can search for them, edit them, associate them to Companies, create Log Entries and Action Items, etc.  YOU DO NOT LOSE THEM.

We don’t hold your Contacts hostage.  (yes, I giggle inside when I write that line :p)

The only thing that will happen is that you won’t be able to add anymore, because you are over the limit.

At that point you can either upgrade or you can delete all the junk Contacts and get below the 250 limit.

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