Going to use a job board this weekend? Read this first…

January 31st, 2014

I wish someone would have told me this (and then explained it):

job_board_eight_hours

I know you can get a job using a job board.  It happens all the time.  But there are other, and perhaps better, ways to find your next gig.

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Critical Job Search & Social Media Thoughts from a Recruiter (Steve Levy)

January 30th, 2014

Since before I started JibberJobber there was this blogger/recruiter out there named Steve Levy.  I became friends with Steve online, then we roomed together at a conference, and we’ve had phone calls thoughout the years.

I recently asked him for some input on a project I’m working on and he replied back with a link to a blog post that really answered all my questions. It had been a while since I had read Steve’s stuff and I found myself looking through a bunch of his blog posts.  I LOVED this one since it really summed up a lot of high-value tips for job seekers with regard to social media:

Random Social Media Thoughts for #Jobseekers

He really sums it up. If you are new to this stuff, read it and use most of it as your roadmap.  If this is “old hat,” read it and compare what he says with what you are doing.

I don’t want to spoil anything but his last line is absolutely critical to understand:

Job search – like recruiting – is a contact sport. For all the press given social media, in recruiting we like to say that the two most important social media tools are the telephone and the handshake.

Awesome stuff.

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You can stop talking about yourself and your stuff… never!

January 29th, 2014

Check out this post from Chris Brogan: You Can’t Talk About Yourself Enough, Apparently.

Chris Brogan has had a big name in the blogging and social space for a while.  He was a very popular speaker and travelled the country (world?). I’ve met him in person and he has even let me guest blog on his blog.

Things have changed quite a bit in the landscape and I’ve heard less of and about Chris than a few years ago, but I’m not plugged in as much.  But he still has a great following and is quite influential.

This blog post doesn’t surprise me one bit.  In the post (which you must read – it is short) he talks about the Owner Magazine, which he runs.  When he surveyed his subscribers… the people who supposedly are reading all of his stuff, too many said “huh? What is Owner Magazine?”  As if they hadn’t ever heard it mentioned before.

Chris says:

“I swear, to ME, it feels like it’s all I talk about. I tweet almost 30 tweets a day almost every day pointing people to Owner. My About page starts by saying I’m publisher of Owner magazine. Ditto my social media profiles. My LinkedIn profile leads with it. I link to it all the damned time. And yet, people keep saying, “Oh! I didn’t know you were producing a business magazine.”

He goes on to say that he is thinking we do need to talk about OURSELVES more often, contrasting what he has thought and said before.

I completely agree.  People ask me how you get more blog readers, more people in a LinkedIn Group you started, more people talking about you to their peers, more ________.  The thing is, you can’t say something once and assume that people get it, or care, or will remember later.

A big part of branding, whether it is personal or corporate branding, is repetition of the right messages.

Can you believe that even though I talk about JibberJobber, the job search organizer, all the time, I still have people who think they are on JibberJobber when they are only a member of my LinkedIn Group (JibberJobber: Career Management)?  I have had people say “Yeah, I’m on JibberJobber!”  But they are only on the forum.

Same thing with my blog… this blog.  People read this blog and when I ask them if they are on JibberJobber they say YES!  They don’t realize that there is something much bigger, the JibberJobber App.

I have people who have read any of my three books, watched thousands of hours of my training videos, met me in person and heard me speak at conferences… and they don’t know what JibberJobber is, or why JibberJobber is so critical to them.

It’s not like I haven’t mentioned it before.  The only reason I bring this example up to you is that I guarantee the same thing is happening to you.

You THINK people know you are a product manager, but they really don’t get it.

You THINK people know you need their help with networking and introductions, but they don’t even think about you, even when an opportunity comes their way that you would be perfect for.

Whatever you THINK people know or think of or about you, let me tell you, you are probably wrong.

Until you hear them talking to someone else about you the right way, they don’t get it.

And that simply means we need to continue to share our message and talk about ourselves (the right way).  Don’t believe me?  Go read Chris’s post again.

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185 Powerful Resume Verbs

January 28th, 2014

Building on last week’s post about alternatives to using the word “very,” here is a link to 185 Powerful Verbs That Will Make Your Resume Awesome.

Communication is a big part of being CEO of Me, Inc.  These two resources can help you be a better, more powerful, more concise communicator.  And on that note, of being more concise, this is where I’ll end my blog post :)

 

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Can the Video Resume Replace the Written Resume? #hype

January 27th, 2014

I recently saw a thread referring to an article where a career “expert” said that the written resume is outdated, and we all need video resumes.  I know if I heard that in my job search I would have panicked a bit.  I didn’t want to spend the time, money or effort on doing something I wasn’t comfortable with (scripting, acting, video editing, etc.).

I’m here to tell you, you don’t have to worry about this off-base advice.  I don’t think you are going to go into a panel interview and NOT expect to have extra copies of your resume to hand out, do you?

Furthermore, people say the LinkedIn profile is replacing a tradtional resume.  If I had ten people to interview the last thing I would want to do is print off ten LinkedIn profiles, with over 50% of the printout being incomplete or irrelevant.

So what about the video resume?

The guy who made it famous was Aleksey Vayner. He made a six+ minute video that became the example of how NOT do to it.  He is reportedly not alive anymore.  You can watch his video resume here.  Apparently he sent this to a firm and it “went viral,” and not for good reasons.

On Youtube I found a lot of examples of video resumes.  Some seem to be fake, parodies, or advertising for companies.  Others are actually pretty good.  Again, don’t stess out with the idea that you need to have one to compete.  I think they can be great, but if done poorly, I think they can make you the joke around the office (or worse, in your industry).

Here are two video interviews I like:

Graeme Anthony.  It starts off kind of slow, and I’m not sure what he is going to communicate in 1 minute… BUT there are no visual distractions, and at the end of the minute he gives you links on the video to drill down on to learn more.  This is really quite cool.

Mark Leruste did a GREAT job.  If I watched his two minute video and thought I had to put something like this together, I would give up.  This guy wins.  It is awesome.

If you don’t want to, or can’t, do a video interview, then don’t worry about it.  If you are going to do it, then you better do it well. :)

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Resume vs. the ATS (or software that you have to get through before you are considered)

January 24th, 2014

I’ve seen a lot of conversation asking how to create a resume that will pass through the Applicant Tracking System software (ATS) that some companies use.

Before I go on, I should share that I don’t think that a lot of companies use automated resume scanning.  The companies I worked at, where I was in a hiring capacity, did not (and I’m sure at least one of them does not today).  Smaller companies that hire infrequently probably don’t have an ATS.  Hiring was something we did when we needed to, and we made it up as we went along, much like many startups would.  It’s not the multi-level sophistication that you would expect at a big company that hires a lot, like IBM, Microsoft, etc.

In other words, the advice in the link below will apply sometimes, with some target companies, but the strategy to get through an ATS is not an all-inclusive strategy for anyone who owns a resume.

AND, remember that you are supposed to try to network into a company as often as you can, as opposed to apply online for all the openings you can find.

With that in mind, check out this Lifehacker link addressing the issue.  They have a good graphic showing what an ATS is (as it relates to resume scanning), and some good points on how to optimize your resume to make it through the cuts.

How Can I Make Sure My Resume Gets Past Resume Robots and into a Human’s Hand?

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A superb, brilliant and sagacious list of ways to communicate better

January 23rd, 2014

I saw this on Facebook, I’m sure.  It is a list of 45 ways to avoid using the word ‘very’, and it is a MUST-READ.

Why is this a must-read?  Not everyone here is a writer… but everyone here is a communicator!

This list is all about taking normal conversation and enhancing it.  The goal is not to confuse people with fancy words (like sagacious, which I would actually have to look up).  The goal is to have more impactful communication.  Say or write your message differently to have more impact!  Can you imagine being a job seeker in an interview, or a salesperson in front of a prospect, and being the most memorable because you were the most impactful?

It’s really that important.  Check out this brilliant list from Amanda Patterson in South Africa :)

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Elon Musk and Lying in Interviews

January 22nd, 2014

I LOVE what Elon Musk is sharing in the short video on this page: Here’s How Elon Musk Can Tell If Job Applicants Are Lying About Their Experience (it is about minute 1:05, but watch the first minute)

If you interview people, understanding how Elon dives into the interview will help you interview a thousand times better than asking those dumb questions everyone expects you to ask.

If you are a job seeker, and preparing for interviews, if you can figure out how to talk to the depth and breadth of problems you have solved, you should rise above your competition.

Brilliant. Watch it here.

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Sometimes the camera LIES!

January 21st, 2014

I have a minor (very minor) insecurity about my hair.  A few months ago my daughter had a friend over who said “why do you shave two circles on the back of your head?”

That, my young friend, would be how I bald :)

About two months ago I went to our local grocery store in the evening.  I made the mistake of looking up into the monitor that shows what the security camera picks up, and saw myself… with a huge, shiny, 10 square inch patch of skin.  This was on the top-back of my head, and it was big!  According to the monitor, there was no hair on this huge area of my head!

I shared this with my 16 year old daughter and she kindly said “Dad, it’s not that bad.  No one can see a bald spot back there.”

Yes, of course, she is kind.  But she’s also my trusted fashion adviser, and she was being honest.  I didn’t dig anymore because, well, I really don’t need to know if it’s that shiny up there.  But I’ve been thinking about this for a while and the phrase “the camera doesn’t lie” came to mind recently.  In this case I’m going to choose to believe that the camera is lying, and my daughter is being truthful.

How does this relate to you, in a job search?

Sometimes we go to the expert to get feedback on our 30 second elevator pitches, responses to interview questions and especially our resume.  That certain someone who really knows what we should do or say or communicate… and they give us erroneous feedback.  Just like the camera at my grocery store, which had too much amplified light on that one part of my head, was giving me the wrong feedback, sometimes your friend who just might work in HR might be giving you horrible feedback.

In the eight years since I’ve been passionate about this stuff I’ve heard a lot of conflicting opinions.  They are usually not shared as opinions, but as facts.  You get some person who did an interview a few years back and they think they are an expert in interviewing. You get someone who does benefits in HR (nothing to do with hiring) and they speak their version of the truth with only their job title as their authority.

These people might be focusing (or fixated) on the wrong thing, and their advice could be detrimentally flawed.

Folks, I’ve even heard this from career coaches, resume writers, and LinkedIn trainers.  Not every coach, trainer, writer or consultant is going to know the right and best answer for every scenario and situation.  You might have exceptions, and they might have assumptions.  Make sure you communicate honestly and wholly what you know, and ask questions about their solutions.

At the end of the day, you are the one that needs a job (aka, an income).  Take the best information from the right sources, discount the junk (like I have to do with that cursed camera at the store!), and move forward.

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Laura Labovich: The How-To Guide for Meeting Your Career-Focused New Year’s Resolutions, KASH and using JibberJobber

January 20th, 2014

laura_labovich_headshot_2I met Laura Labovich at various career conferences over the years.  She is really outstanding.  She is a giver, passionate, knowledgeable, and the type of person who makes you feel good about yourself.

She recently wrote a great article on LinkedIn’s blog titled The How-To Guide for Meeting Your Career-Focused New Year’s Resolutions.  I hadn’t heard of the KASH acronym before, but it stands for knowledge, attitude, skills, and habits.  In the blog post she talks about how to continuously improve each of them.

Of course, I loved the last part where she says (and then expands on):

To improve your Habits, resolve to get organized (thereby killing two resolutions with one stone!)

She talks about tracking various job search activities… and of course JibberJobber is the tool to do that.

Go read her blog post, and then resolve to improve your KASH, and get organized with JibberJobber (thereby killing two resolutions :p)!

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