Best Job Search Advice Blog That You Haven’t Heard Of

September 30th, 2013

One of my favorite blogs for job seekers is the Career Hub blog.  This is a blog with various contributors and the content is always fun, refreshing and current.  I have met many of the contributors at conferences and have talked with them on the phone or had email conversations.

Go check them out.  But don’t spend hours there – you still have a job search to do!

The Career Hub Blog

 

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Your Chicken List: CALL THEM!

September 27th, 2013

A powerful post I wrote in 2007: Get Out Your Chicken List and Make a Call!

This was a new concept to me (not to sales professionals).  Here is the content of the post:

I was at a presentation last week where the presenter (a CEO in transition) talked about his chicken list. I may have heard the term before but didn’t remember when. A chicken list is the list of names that you are scared to call – for whatever reason. Its funny to hear such a high-level executive talk about his own chicken list but it was a good reminder for me. Why? Because someone at his level may have been on my chicken list, and to hear that he has his own chicken list (aka, insecurities) helps me bring things into perspective.

Why do people end up on the chicken list? Perhaps…

  • They are veterans in the industry or community, and everyone knows them and talks about how incredible they are
  • You have tried to contact them a number of times but they have never responded
  • Everyone else is so hot to contact them that you don’t want to be just another person trying to get in their schedule
  • They are the hiring manager, or the hiring manager’s boss
  • They have a ‘gatekeeper’ that seems nice but never lets you get past

I’m sure there are many more reasons. And I’m sure you can think of at least one person on your chicken list! Its easier to find other things to do (like apply to one more job on Monster.com)… but here’s my challenge to you: Call someone from your chicken list today.

If you aren’t going to do this once a day, at least do it once a week. One thing that helped me go through my chicken list was to remember that most everyone on it was one day away from being terminated… that would quickly eliminate them from the list and make them much more human!

I know you have a chicken list. Make a phone call today.

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Most Gorgeous Online Profile I Remember Seeing… Ever (Joe Delghingaro)

September 26th, 2013

joe_delghingaro_headshotOkay, this is AWESOME.  Recently I got in touch with Joe Delghingaro, who is currently in transition. Joe is a professional accountant/business analyst.  He is “highly mobile,” according to his profile… you can probably see that with his current location (Tennessee) and the area code of his phone (303 – Colorado).

Joe sent me a few emails and he is clearly very analytical, has great suggestions, and a great sense of humor. Then, I went to his website (which, of course, is his name: JoeDelghingaro.com) and was blown away.

Go check it out, let me know what you like.  Here are things I like:

  1. Joe is smart enough to get his own domain.  Please tell me you got yours…?
  2. It is CLEAN.  It is really just one page.  The menu on the left is easy to figure out, and there isn’t really anything here except high-value content.
  3. I love the picture of Joe and his wife (I assume that is his wife… he told me he is married).
  4. Before I scroll down I see his title… while this isn’t a tagline (a tagline would help here), it’s clear what he’s looking for, or what he specializes in.
  5. I like the top narrative in the gray box. I think it can be worded stronger, but it’s really good.  I also like the map of the US and says he is willing to relocate.
  6. I like how he makes it EASY to communicate with him… scroll down to the personal information area and you’ll find it quite easy to reach out. (I would put this up higher, to the right of his picture)
  7. I love his experience section, and how fleshed out it is.

I love… the rest.  I love it all.

Clean, informational, easy to reach him.  This is AWESOME.  Great job Joe!

Click here to check out his site:

joe_delghingaro_website_clip

 

 

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New Features released last month

September 25th, 2013

I meant to blog about all these new features on this blog but I did it on the Jason Alba blog, then forgot to do it here.  I did mention some new features but here’s the big list from an August 16 post.  Part of the reason I posted this there was to share what a software release looks like… the reason I’m posting it here is to that JibberJobber users can know what is new :)

Last night (Aug 15) we did a release on JibberJobber with a lot of things.  I share some on the JibberJobber blog but usually not all of them (some are UI tweaks that no one really cares about, but they are good changes to make).  I’m going to try to document all of last night’s upgrades here.

Google Contacts sync.  I’m not talking about this yet because I don’t think it is working 100% the right way… but it’s there in beta mode if anyone wants to try it.  I have done it a number of times and it won’t break anything or mess up your data, but I’m not getting the results I think I should get.  This has been a HUGE project, but it isn’t over yet.

Recurring Action Items.  Another HUGE project.  Documented, with pictures, here.

Interesting menu change: Network –> Contacts.  After years of having the first menu item read “Network” we changed it to “Contacts”.   Both make sense to me but the more we thought about it, Contacts makes way more sense.  Some people were confused at what they would get under Network… but Contacts is more intuitive.  Crazy little change.

Another menu change: adding LOGS to the menu.  I’ve said that JibberJobber is a tool to manage contacts, companies and jobs, and the interactions between them.  You can now see this reflected on the menu with the fourth menu item: Logs (which shows the interaction between any of those three things).

Log Entries and Action Items on the Quickview Stats box: this makes a ton of sense… not only are we looking at the number of contacts, etc. you have in JibberJobber, how about your activities for the last week?  We show you how many Log Entries you enter in the last 7 days, as well as how many Action Items you’ve closed in the last 7 days (we’ll make that a ratio in the future, to show you how many were due, and how many you closed).

Cleaned up notice box.   If another user sends you contact information, or requests to be your coach, or anything like that, you get a notice in a white box in the Action Items panel on the homepage.  We cleaned this up… it is easier to read now.  And, the action links are more intuitive (I don’t remember what the old words were but they were not as intuitive as they are now).  Seems like it isn’t a big deal but it really is.  This takes away friction from the user experience… and we need to take away as much friction as possible.

Finally cleaned up the Add Contact issue that no one reported. But it bugged me a lot.  A few years ago we introduced the ability to track prefix, suffix and middle name… but there was a glitch where the middle name always showed up, even if you clicked the link to hide it.  This made the form see a little more clunky… the box is now gone and the link works fine now.  Whew.  Isn’t it amazing how little things can bug you so much?

Fixed and enhanced the Quick Add on Contacts.  First, we fixed the Twitter quick add (1).  Using APIs from other companies is a double edged sword.  On the one hand it allows us to do great things.  On the other hand, some companies change their APIs in a way that breaks everything.  We’ve experienced this with other APIs (like Google)… but we finally fixed the Twitter quick add.

We also, at the last minute, added the Quick Add from Facebook (2).  I tried this last night where I went to a Facebook contact, copied the URL, and then pasted into the box (after you click on the Quick Add link).  It worked charmingly!!  Try it (go to the Add Contact page, this is towards the top-right of the page):

Cobranded users get an alternate username and password.  If you get a JibberJobber account through another company (outplacement company, university, etc.), with a single click to create your account, you probably don’t know what your username/password is.  That model makes you go into that system and then get to JibberJobber. By popular demand we allow you to create your own JibberJobber username and password.  This means that you don’t have to go through that system anymore, and if you ever lose access to that other system you can always come back to JibberJobber through your alternate login.  This is critical because the data and work is YOURS, and you should always have access to it. Simply click on Account and you’ll see the option to create another username/password.  This is what it looks like after you have created it (note, the password tab is where you will change your new password, if you ever want to change it):

 Interview Prep without limits on text.  For some reason we capped the answers in Interview Prep to 250 characters.  I have no idea why, maybe to keep it under 30 seconds… or something like that.  Anyway, this limit is gone.  Just try and keep your responses concise :)

Ability to add documents from the Detail Page.  When you click on Associate Documents from a Detail Page you will see a new button to Add a new Document.  Before you had to go to the Doc Manager and add the document, which was a round-about way to do it… now it is a lot easier to easily add a document at the right time.

Cleaned up the Video Library.  Our UI designer had us put these big image icon things in two columns.  That was great, but it really restricted how long a title of a clip could be, and it quickly became a problem.  So we changed it so that only one video would show on each “row,” which gave us as much room as we needed for clip titles.

Another popular request is to only show OPEN jobs on the Jobs List Panel.  In the past you were able to order by open jobs, or do a search (status:open), but those were kind of temporary and required a lot of hard work (okay, well, maybe about 10 or 15 characters). Now, the default view is to show only the open jobs, but you can change that, as you can see in this new drop down.

You can change the Primary Contact from the Detail page.  Before you had to go to the Company Edit page, then scroll to the bottom and then choose a new primary. Now you simply double click on the gray box over Primary Contact and then choose from any Contacts you’ve associated.  You can see by (1) the Primary is Jason, by (2) you can see Barbara is a second (or other) contact, and in the drop down I can easily change from Jason to Barbara.  Note, this is how most of the Detail Page can be edited, but this was one of the few things we didn’t do when we introduced the double-click edit feature.

 You can now associate an existing Contact when you add a Job.  We need to do more work on this (allow you to add a new Contact and associate more than one Contact per Job), but this is an important start.

 

From the Events box it is easier to add a new “event” date.  Before, it said “n/a” and it wasn’t clear how to get a date in the box… now you simply click the “Add” link and it will bring up a Log Entry box with the Event already chosen from the drop down box.  This is 1000 times more intuitive than before.

 The List Panel search now works with quotes.  If you search for Jason Alba you would get results, but if you searched for “Jason Alba” you wouldn’t… now “Jason Alba” is basically the same search as Jason Alba (which is Jason OR Alba).  We need to do the same thing on the general search but it didn’t make it into last night’s release.

When you get an Action Item via email (which is a premium feature), you can customize the email you get.  Before you would get the title of the Log Entry and the whatever you put into the Comments for the Log Entry… now your email is either that OR you can override it and put whatever you want to best remind you of what you need to do.

We now have the duplicate checker on non-advanced imports.  If you unchecked the Advanced checkbox when importing Contacts (a premium feature), it would do a “quick import” and simply import and then tell you how many records it imported.  But, it wouldn’t check for duplicates.  Now we are checking for dups so you can have a cleaner database.  For the record, I always do the Advanced Import :)  I like to see my data and how it is mapped before I pull the trigger.

Speaking of the import, if you choose a non-CSV file we’ll now tell you.  Before it just kicked back an error, even though you are supposed to only upload a CSV file, but now it will say something about that (some people try to upload an xls file).

The autosave (3) was a great enhancement we introduced a few months ago.  The problem we found is this: if someone called me and I started taking notes in the Comments box (2), I typically didn’t put a title in before I started to write in the comment area.  JibberJobber didn’t like that.  So, we simply made a title for you, until you make your own: Untitled (1).  Simple, I know, but now the autosave will kick in even if you ignore the title field, which is one of two required fields on that form.

There were dozens of minor word changes throughout the system to make things more intuitive, and other minor changes I’m not documenting here.  I’m sure we have a long ways to go but this was a great and significant upgrade.  Thanks to my team for their hard work and diligence and to the users who gave us suggestions for improvements!

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Dan Schawbel’s List of 10 Pieces of Advice As He Turns 30! (ATE next week!)

September 24th, 2013

promote_yourself_bookOn Facebook Dan Schawbel shared 10 things he wants to share as he leaves his 20’s. I really like them.

Dan will be our Ask the Expert guest next week.  Join us on Tuesday morning at 9am MST, 11am EST.  Here’s the registration link.

  1. Invest in yourself or no one will want to invest you.
  2. Be curious about your full potential.
  3. Maintain contact with the people that matter.
  4. Give value to others selflessly.
  5. Ignore your critics and embrace your supporters.
  6. Fail because it is part of the learning process.
  7. Focus on your passion because life is too short to ignore it.
  8. Your time is your greatest asset so use it effectively.
  9. Life is too unpredictable to be overconfident.
  10. Don’t leave your career to chance, Promote Yourself!

I love how Dan did this list.  What would YOU add?

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Awesome, Empowering Thought from Leah Harris

September 23rd, 2013

leah_harris_headshotI saw this article on my local news website a while back.  It tells a little about a keynote speaker, Leah Harris, at a conference of professionals that was sponsored by the Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health.

The article is short and interesting.  But this one paragraph JUMPED out at me:

After years of considering her life in terms of her diagnoses of borderline personality disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and suicide attempts, Harris said she realized there was tremendous power in redefining herself as someone who had dreams and ambitions.

I absolutely loved this.  She has titles that easily categorize and group and define her: borderline, OCD, suicidal (or, having been suicidal).  But her empowerment came when “she realized there was tremendous power in redefining herself as someone who had dreams and ambitions.

I love, love, love this!

In 2008 I wrote a blog post titled I Lost More Than My Job 2 Years Ago, where I talk about losing my identity, which I had encapsulated in my little professional job title, printed on my business card.

Losing a job title makes you a nobody, kind of.  At least, if you’ve been using a title to define yourself for many years, like Leah talks about, losing that title, or switching it to “unemployed,” can be very debilitating.

I tell people that I eventually lost hope, but one day I got my hope back.  It was when I came up with the idea for JibberJobber.  It was when I found dreams and ambitions!

When you lose sight of who you are because you listen to titles and stereotypes that try and define who you are (that’s profound, reread that), step back and REDEFINE YOURSELF as someone who has DREAMS and AMBITIONS!

This is so empowering!  Please share this with someone who needs to hear it!

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New Feature: Edit data in the List Panel view

September 20th, 2013

This is one of two requests on the List Panel that people have been asking for for years.  It wasn’t easy to do and it kept getting bumped on our list of priorities… but it’s now done!  This is really, really cool!

Basically, this gives you the ability to edit your data from the List Panel, which means you can do a filtered search (show me all the hiring managers in Cincinnati) and use that list to make calls from.  If you want to edit any of those records you can do it the old way (open the record, then edit from there, OR go to the edit view), or now, you can simply double click the box of the thing you want to edit (like First Name) and edit it from right there… !

Here’s how it works. Let’s say I do a search and find this record in the List Panel:

jibberjobber_edit_list_panel_cells_0

I know the phone number is wrong, so I simple double click anywhere in the gray area and it opens up a box so I can edit just that cell:

jibberjobber_edit_list_panel_cells_2

I simply save it and it’s not updated.

jibberjobber_edit_list_panel_cells_3

This is really, really cool.  It makes it much easier and quicker to update your data!

You know you can do the same thing from the Detail Page, right?  Just mouse over the value/field and if you see a gray background appear, double click to edit!

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New Feature: Show associations on the Detail Pages

September 19th, 2013

So, this is kind of embarrassing to write because I should have been writing this like seven years ago.  But here we are.  There is a feature we released Monday night that is awesome.  It is simple: we are showing you the relationships between a Log Entry (and/or Action Item) and anything you associate it to.

For example, in the images below you can see two Log Entries.  They have a title (bold), the comments/body (below the title), and in the blu box it shows the associations:

jibberjobber_log_entries_associations_new

Let’s say you go to a panel interview.  You create a Log Entry and associate it to the four people that were on the panel, the one company, and the job you interviewed for.  Just for fun, let’s also associate it to the recruiter who you are working with and his firm.  That is:

5 People

2 Companies

1 Job

After you create the Action Item and associate it to those eight records, you’ll see those eight records in the blue area under your Log Entry, on any of those page.  In other words, if you go to Company Detail Page you’ll see it from there.  If you go to the recruiter’s Detail Page, you’ll see the Log Entry and the other associations.

I know, I know, it’s about time.

That is the feature.  The benefit to you is that you can easily see how a conversation, communication, event, etc. impacted other people, companies, jobs.

Just wait to see what we have NEXT!

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How to get value out of job boards and posted jobs (and JibberJobber email alerts)

September 18th, 2013

Yesterday I blogged about the new Email Alerts feature in JibberJobber, powered by ZipRecruiter.

You probably know I’m not a huge fan of job boards.  This stems from my personal experience of not understanding the value of job boards, and spending way too much time with the wrong tactics, wasting job days away on job boards.  After all, as Nick Corcodilos said, Monster was only responsible for filling 1.3% of jobs filled.  I know I’ve said that before, but it is such a profound statistic!

So, what do you do with job boards, jobs you find posted, and the new JibberJobber Email Alerts?

Gather Intelligence

Each job posting is a piece of the puzzle.  It might be that elusive center piece that looks like 200 other pieces, or it might be the telling corner piece that helps you make real progress on the puzzle.

From a job posting you might be able to see trends happening in a company or industry.  Can you tell if a company is expanding into a new region or product line?  Can you see if an industry is starting to hire more sales or operations people?  A job seeker has a unique opportunity to better understand the landscape of their industry/profession, and job boards can provide a lot of great intelligence.  If this is a new concept to you, study this Wikipedia post about Competitive Intelligence.

Plan your entrance into a company

Sometimes job postings have a name and contact information.  This is awesome information.  At the very least I would put that information into JibberJobber… now you have a job title and a contact name.  You might have a company name (not always).  Sometimes I’ve seen postings that won’t say the company name, but the email address of the person you are supposed to contact gives it all away.

Do you send your resume and your begging, I mean, cover letter/email, to that person?  Perhaps.  What I would do is take this information (aka, intelligence) and do some research.  What can you find out about the company or the person?  The first place I would go is LinkedIn.  Who else works at the company, what are their titles, who do you know that can introduce you to someone at the company, etc.

Essentially, you are looking for ways to network into the company.  While you might have a name and number/email, that might not be the best way to network in.  If 100 (or 1,000) other people are contacting her, you will become just another number, and probably a headache since she doesn’t know how to effectively manage the onslaught of communication she is getting.

In LinkedIn I would hope to find a hiring manager (or, any manager), and a strong contact who can introduce me.  I’d rather have a 15 – 20 minute informational interview with any manager to learn what I can and perhaps get another introduction than become just another number.  Doesn’t that make sense?

Prepare for the application and interview

Job postings, even though they all seem to be written by someone who doesn’t have good written communication skills, have some interesting information that you might learn from.  Look for words and phrases that are new to you.  When I was in my job search I had been out of job search mode for so long that there were phrases and titles that I really didn’t know about.  You should open ten to twenty openings with the same title, but from different companies or industries, and see what you can learn.  Put together a list of words and phrases that you might want to use on a resume or cover letter, and in a networking or interview situation.  STUDY THESE WORDS, and know what they mean.  You can’t use insider words (aka, jargon) wrong, or it will out you as a rookie!  Study them, learn about them, ask others about them, and then use them.

The purpose of this preparation/research is not to help you see trends or find network contacts, like the two above, but it helps you talk more intelligently to people as you network closer to opportunities.  This is a great time for you to come up to speed on things within your role.  Even though you might be expert at it, and surely more expert than the HR person who wrote the job description, you can get an idea of how your role is being talked about by others.  This is important information.

Finally, my word of caution: GET AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER!

As I share above, you can get a lot of good out of posted jobs, and job boards.  But, please don’t spend hours each day doing this. I know it’s more interesting and fun to do this than to pick up the phone and call someone on your chicken list.  It’s easier to spend 3 hours doing this important research than it is to go to that networking club downtown.  But please, please do just enough of this and then turn the computer off and go meet and talk to people.

The idea of getting a job by doing research (or heaven forbid applying to jobs) on job boards is kind of like saying you are going to get rich by clipping coupons.  It’s not going to happen.  To get rich, you have to make more money than you are spending.  To get a job you have to communicate with human beings.

What am I missing?  What other value can you get from jobs posted online?

 

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Get Email Alerts of Open Jobs for Research, Applying, and More

September 17th, 2013
We added new features to JibberJobber last night.  I’ll blog about the more important ones here (yes, so my competition can copy them :p).  Wednesday morning I’ll do a short 30 minute webinar to introduce these features, and then hang around for any questions.  Sign up here for this short webinar.

Getting an email of open jobs each day.  Hm… how do you feel about that?

We just gave JibberJobber users the ability to create “Email Alerts” that would do this.  Powered by and partnering with Zip Recruiter, you can say what you are looking for, where you are looking, and then just open your email each day to see what’s there.

A problem I had in my job search was that I spent too much time going to job boards. I didn’t trust email alerts like this, and had to go to the source to see if there was something new that hadn’t been emailed out yet.   Much too late, I learned that I shouldn’t have spent time hoping and dreaming about those posted jobs, and applying online for hours each day.  I think it is in this video where Nick Corcodilos says that 1.3% of jobs were filled by Monster.  1.3%.  That is ridiculously low.

Why, then, are we introducing job alerts, which gives you links to posted jobs?

Because there really is value in job boards.

What if you could implement a strategy with tactics that helped you get much better than a 1.3% success rate?  What if 30% of job seekers on JibberJobber got jobs because of information found on job boards?

I think job boards can become a more strategic part of your search.  Now we are cutting out some of the work and delivering INTELLIGENCE right to your inbox.  Today I’ll show you how to get email alerts from Zip Recruiter. In tomorrow’s post I’ll share some ideas on what to do with the information you get delivered to your inbox.

Step 1. Create an email alert (or multiple email alerts). At the top of every page you’ll see this green bar. Fill in the blanks and click Create.

zip_recruiter_create_email_alert

Note: If you are on a Company Detail Page, or a Job Detail Page, it will be filled in for you (assuming you have put in your city, state and zip code), like this:

zip_recruiter_create_email_alert_2

(In this example I would edit the job and take out III and Job, so it is just Operations Analyst)

Step 2.  Well… that’s it, really.  There is no Step 2!  You’ve just created an email alert for that job.

You can create as many email alerts as you want.

In your email inbox you’ll get emails that look like this:

zip_recruiter_create_email_alert_email

When you open one of these emails you’ll see posted job openings, like this:

zip_recruiter_create_email_alert_email_2

You can click an opening and see more details.  These jobs come from various sources.  You can see the first one in the email above comes from Franchising for Executives, the next was posted on ZipRecruiter and the third was posted on Beyond.com.  Like Indeed and SimplyHired, ZipRecruiter pulls from different boards.

Again, in tomorrow’s post I’ll talk about what to with the job posting.

Finally, how do you maintain your email alerts?  That is, what if you want to change them or delete them?  It’s quite easy.

In the email above you’ll notice the Edit link, where the dotted line arrow is pointing.  Simply click on that from any email and you can go to ZipRecruiter and edit your saved search. At this point, I recommend editing an alert that way.

Alternatively, in JibberJobber, click on the button that says See saved alerts:

zip_recruiter_create_email_alert_edit_delete

This takes you to a List Panel view where you can see what alerts you have and… only delete them.  We don’t have the ability to edit your alerts from this page… but you can simply delete an alert and then at the top of the page add a new one.  It’s really a two-step edit, which is kind of lame, but it only takes a few seconds and about as many clicks.  As soon as ZipRecruiter allows us to edit an alert from this page we’ll work on that.

zip_recruiter_create_email_alert_edit_delete_2

We also can’t do a quick-view to see what is open in ZipRecruiter, so we put an Indeed icon there.  You can click that and run that job search quickly.

Are email alerts new in this world?  No, not really.  But we integrated this into JibberJobber so you can easily and quickly set up alerts that make sense, based on jobs and companies you are already tracking.  It’s just a few clicks to get something set up and it’s very easy to delete them.

Tomorrow I’ll share how to get the most value out of using job boards, email alerts, job postings, etc.  For now, go set up some email alerts in JibberJobber!

 

 

 

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