Awesome, Awesome LinkedIn Profile Formatting (Håkan Thyr, Austin, TX)

March 31st, 2014

I came across Håkan’s LinkedIn Profile and I LOVE something he is doing with the formatting.  What he is doing gets around something that bugs a lot of people…. they want real bullet-point formatting!

Alas, for the last many years, and even today, LinkedIn doesn’t allow hardly any formatting in the long description areas.  But check out what Hakan has done:


In #1… how did he get that bullet?  In #2, how did he make the lines below the bullet indent, the way that bullets are supposed to?

Very, very simple.  I blogged about it on my LinkedIn blog here. Scroll down on my profile and you’ll see a bunch of bullet icons you can copy, and then paste to your own Profile.

Okay, so we got that, right?  How do you make the line below indent to the correct place?

You simple put enough spaces in. Really.  You “hard code” spaces in.  With your space bar.

If I mouse over and select the space from the left of the page to where the line starts, I can see there are individual spaces there.  There are 5 spaces before a bullet point and 8 spaces before each line under a bullet.


It’s that simple… but the results really stand out, and are easier to read.

Cool, huh?

This entire profile also works because Håkan uses the underscore (_______) to make visual line separators throughout his profile, which makes it easier to read.

He’s put a lot of effort into his profile, from content to formatting, and it clearly shows.  Great job Håkan!  Click on the image below to see his entire profile:






Favorite Friday: Stop hiding and actually start your job search.

March 28th, 2014

Here’s another favorite I wrote in May of 2012.  I’m surprised it didn’t become a Favorite Friday before now: Stop hiding and actually start your job search.

Many years ago I worked as a clerk at the FBI.  I was bored beyond description.  There really wasn’t anything to do, as our department was overstaffed.  Some of my colleagues picked up projects from the analysts, but I was too low on the totem pole to do anything like that.

So I found myself organizing, and then re-organizing, and then re-organizing my file folder drawer.

You have to understand, as a clerk, I really didn’t have anything important in my file folder drawer.  The exercise was about as useful as sorting, and resorting, and resorting the garbage.  It didn’t help anyone or anything… it just burned time.

Do we, as job seekers, do this?  I know I did.  Here’s my ode to this wasteful, rut of a practice:

This post is for anyone in a job search, no matter how long you have been at it.

Looking back at my job search I found I did activities that were safe and comfortable, but of very little value to my job search.

I refer to this as HIDING from the job search.

Some people hide, in the name of being busy in a job search, by doing things that are seemingly good:

  • going to networking clubs/groups/meetings, but just to go, not to actually network.  And if they do “network,” they aren’t following up, they are just collecting business cards,
  • applying to jobs online, as if it were they most important thing to do in a job search,
  • researching companies, industries, trends, or current events (um, that’s called reading the newspaper… reading the newspaper doesn’t necessarily land you a job),
  • going to one-on-one networking meetings (coffee, lunch, breakfast, etc.) without a real purpose or strategy that is directly tied to getting a job,
  • ______________ (what are YOU doing that is not leading towards your job?)

I was HIDING from my job search with these fake, non-productive activities for three reasons:

  1. These activities are comfortable. We  gravitate towards comfortable, don’t we?  Heaven forbid I got outside of my comfort zone, even if it meant I was doing a something that could produce real results.
  2. I didn’t know any better. I *thought* I was a smart guy, and I could figure it out on my own.  I didn’t want to read books, articles, blogs, etc. about how to do a job search.  I was better than that advice written for “most people.”  I wasn’t “most people.”  I was unique (just like you think you are unique).
  3. Doing those activities are socially acceptable, and at the end of the day you can “feel good” about how hard you worked. When someone asked how it was going, you could tell them how many jobs you applied to, or how many network meetings you went to, or some other metric.  Metrics seem meaty, but those metrics were the wrong things to focus on.

I should have been more consistent at picking up the phone and calling people.  I should have realized (or learned) how to identify target companies, network into those companies, and do real informational interviews.

If I would have spent time on other (high value) activities my job search would have been completely different.

Do you want YOUR job search to be different?  Where are you spending your time?  On activities with potential for high return, or HIDING from the hard stuff?

Leave a comment below…



How Long Does a Professional Resume Writer Take to Write a Resume?

March 27th, 2014
This post has been edited to strike through the text about a relationship with JC Resumes. After getting the first comment from a trusted user (and friend), and more investigation, we determined that we didn’t want to have the JibberJobber brand/name associated with their services or brand.

Julie Walraven of Design Resumes has a great post titled The Chief Cause Of Many Poor Hiring Decisions.  She starts off with CareerBuilder’s new stat about how long hiring managers spend reviewing resumes…as we know, it’s pathetically low.

But then Julie takes her post in an unexpected direction: how long SHE, as a professional resume writer (she is certified and has been doing this, afaik, for over two decades): she will easily spend six hours creating a resume.  Usually that is for an entry-level person.  It’s not unusual for her to spend ten or more hours designing a resume.

Julie is a resume expert, having investing more than 10,000 hours in her trade to claim expertise.  When I lost my job I spent a couple of weeks fumbling around trying to piece together my own resume.  I had no expertise, experience or training… just an attitude that if I could put myself through two degrees, I could certainly write a one or two page document!


I didn’t understand that a resume was not simply a list with work history, dates and some “cool” action verbs.  I thought I could easily put that document together… but what I didn’t realize was what a great resume really is.

A great, even an excellent resume, is a marketing document. Coincidentally, a sucky resume is also a marketing document – it just screams: don’t hire me!

A resume is not a standard business document for filing away in a three ring binder, simply to be forgotten.  Your resume has a very specific purpose.  What’s more, the “judge” of your resume is going to take your days, weeks, and for some of you, months of work and give it a cursory 30 or 120 seconds… it’s almost an atrocity!

But really, spending less than two minutes really is NOT an atrocity.

You see, it’s not about YOU.  It’s not about the amount of work you put in.  It’s not about how amazing you are, how clever you are, or how dumb the viewer is for not “getting” how brilliant you are.

This is all about THEM. Pursuing you will reflect on them and could have an impact on their career. Are they capable of hiring the RIGHT person?  Can they hire the BEST person?  Or will they hire a dud, or a lemon?  This could cost them their job!  Hiring the wrong person could sink the entire company!

If an expert, like Julie Walraven, spends six hours to develop the most basic of resumes, which she can only do because she has over ten thousand+ hours of writing resumes, what makes you think that you, or I, without this expertise, can “throw something together” in a few hours, and have it be good enough (much less great!)?

The mistakes I would make would undoubtedly cause my resume to be in the “under-ten-seconds-and-then-throw-away” pile.  Whether that is a typo or a grammar mistake, or not using the best word(s) to put us in the right light, it will cost me.

I know there are people out there, including one of my favorite recruiters (Steve Levy… read his blog!) who say that we must write our own resumes, and hiring a resume writer is as good as hiring a charlatan (those are my words, but that’s the message I hear from him).  I agree that we should do a lot of work to help get the resume done.  We should put our hearts into it.  We should spend time going through our past, listing our accomplishments, and doing the very hard work of self- and career-evaluation.

But I still think we should run it past a real resume writer who will polish our final marketing document so that it gets more time, and more respect, from the person evaluating whether they should bring you in for an interview or not. (professional resume writers are not merely polishers.  They are experts in creating perhaps the most important marketing document at this point in your career)

Convinced you need resume help? I suggest considering either of these two options:

First Option: look for someone who’s experience matches exactly what you need and who you are.  There are resume professionals like Liz Handlin (Ultimate Resumes) who are so focused on executives, especially finance executives, that you should NOT consider using someone who doesn’t do finance executive resumes before talking to someone like her.  There are resume experts that specialize in IT executives, CEOs, entry level (recent college graduates), and everywhere inbetween.  When you are looking for the right match, don’t disrespect these professionals and tell them how the process works.  See if they are a right fit, and then humbly work with them within their system.  Otherwise, you might hear a very kind “I’m not sure I’m the right person for you – let me recommend you to one of my colleagues.”  That really means “I wouldn’t choose to work with you for double the money – I can tell you are going to be a massive pain to work with.

Second Option: if you are looking for a low-cost just-get-me-to-the-next-level and clean up what I already have, consider JibberJobber’s new partnership with JC Resumes (we have negotiated discount bundle available to you to get you what you need).  I have been hesitant to do a partnership like this for YEARS.  But I have talked to the owners of this service and I always come back to “is this high quality?  I don’t want to recommend a resume mill that just pumps them out like typists.”  I have asked them about their writing and quality process, and I’m really quite impressed.  I personally should have spent the money to do this instead of wasting a week or two trying to write my own… get it done, have something you can be proud of, and if you find out it’s not good enough, then go back to the first option above.  But I doubt it will be money wasted. Here’s the page to get started.

We’re working on creating an list of specialized resume writers that you can reach out to on your own… stay tuned :)

The point is, make sure that you are putting enough time and resources into getting this marketing document put together the right way.



Managing Multiple Personal Brands

March 26th, 2014

I wrote a guest post for the Pluralsight blog titled How do you manage more than one personal brand?

I actually hear this question a lot when I’m on the road, speaking to audiences of people in transition.  What I’ve found is that people are okay with their day job (if they have one), but they have some really interesting passion that they also want others to know about.  Or, that they think will become a significant revenue stream down the road.

In the post I give you two scenarios, one where you have a main brand (like, your day job) and the other is mostly a strong passion…. the other scenario is where your other brand is at least as important as your main brand, especially when you aren’t at work.

Check out the post and leave a comment over there – If you do, I’ll answer your questions on the Pluralsight post.



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How To: Tracking a Recruiter and an Unknown Target Company (User Question)

March 25th, 2014

A user from Europe asks some questions (slightly reworded), which I will answer below:

At my level and with my expertise, I usually go through a headhunter to get hired. How does the system handle this?

He gets more specific below, but just to clarify, if you only work with recruiters, I would use JibberJobber to track the recruiter (as a Contact), the recruiter’s company (as a Company – and only if it is not a one-person-company), and each job (as a Job) I learn about from the recruiter.  More below…

How do I enter a job opportunity that is being proposed by a headhunter, and where I have both the headhunter contact as well as company contacts?

And here is where it gets really COOL, although I’m a little embarrassed to write this now, because we should have designed this in 8 years ago.  Soon, really soon (I’m told this week) we are going to do a release to JibberJobber where we add a few more features.  One of the features is the long-overdue ability to have multiple contacts and multiple companies associated to each job record.  This reflects the real-world scenario of pursuing a job with a recruiter, then getting introduced to three people at a panel interview… you will be able to associate that job with all four of those people.

It gets better… see my answer to the next question…

Sometimes the headhunter does not disclose the company name or company contact. How do I handle this in the system?

This is the same issue, with a different record.  We will also be able to associate multiple companies to the job.  So, associate the recruiter’s company, and then when you find out what the hiring company is, add it and associate it to the job.  You will even be able to prioritize the contacts and companies.

So, to let the cat out of the bag, we are doing this thing for contacts, companies and jobs, which means:

On a Company record: associate multiple Contacts and Jobs (you can already do this, but you’ll soon be able to reorder/reprioritize them)On a Contact record: associate multiple Companies (which allows you to create more of a work history, as well as track people with more than one current company) and multiple Jobs (if you are working with that person for more than one job).

On a Job record: associate multiple Contacts (like the recruiter, and people at the company that you meet) and multiple Companies (like the recruiter company and the name of the company with the opening).

This is a great enhancement, and should make your data make a lot more sense.

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Favorite Friday: Water Damage Is Expensive – Don’t Neglect Your “House”

March 21st, 2014

I loved this post. It was like the post I hated my lawnmower, which was about a stupid problem I had for a long time, until I figured out the fix was quick and free.

In our job search we might have problems that are really resolved quite easily, quickly, and at no cost.

The water damage post was more about long-term neglect of a little problem that could get out of control and have huge consequences.  I’m including the text here (with some edits and reformatting), but be sure to go to the original post to read the comments.  Then leave your own comment on this post, or the one from 2007 .

I work in my basement. Periodically there has been a weird leak from the ceiling in my office closet – and I couldn’t figure out what the problem was. The pipe in question is the main water pipe that delivers water to my entire house (sounding expensive yet?). After about a year of trying to figure it the problem, it finally hit me. The cold water pipe is in the same run between joists as the dryer exhaust. When we turn the dryer on that area gets hot, and water condenses on the pipe. Lots of water – and it drips quite a bit.

Whew! We don’t have to have a plumber come fix anything! I just need to put some insulation on the pipe and it should be good!

I could have continued to ignore this, but water is so damaging. It can create the perfect environment for mold, it can make things rot, it can mess up a foundation… water problems can be really dangerous and expensive to ignore. They should not be neglected.

Last year when I got laid off I neglected a number of things. Below is a short, incomplete list of things that I regret neglecting. I still stand by my March 8th (2007) post Chicken List Is Out – Now Put Away The Honey-Do List! where I talk about not hiding behind home improvement projects while you ignore things you need to do in your job search. That post was about non-essential projects – this post is about things that, if neglected, will have profound consequences.

  1. Do not neglect your family. My wife and I are a team. I often take that for granted. About a month into unemployment someone asked her “How’s Jason doing?” Her reply was “I don’t know – we don’t talk much anymore.” You see, I was trying to be strong and positive for her and the kids. And she was trying to be strong a supportive for me. And during all of this time of being strong, we were neglecting our relationship. Remedy: I should have had a weekly date night with my wife, and at least one date with each kid. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it can simply be a trip to the park for some quality “how ya doin’?” talk. But it needs to be regular, not rushed, and one-on-one.
  2. Do not neglect your physical health. I remember my “office” in the early days of my job search: it was the reclining chair in my bedroom. I would sit there for about 10 hours each day as I looked for postings to apply to, tweaked my resume, wrote custom cover letters, did company research, etc. 10 hours of sitting is not uncommon but when I had a job I’d go on 3-mile walks during lunch. Now I was basically rolling from bed-to-chair and back again at night. I didn’t even go up and down the basement stairs. I skipped meals (somehow the money could stretch if I didn’t eat, right?). I neglected my health and even now I am paying the price for a non-active lifestyle for so long. Remedy: I should have started each day with a 20 minute walk, and done crunches and push-ups and all those free things you can do without a gym membership. I should have eaten breakfast each day (oatmeal is cheap and very healthy), and watched what I ate during the day.
  3. Do not neglect your mental health. This is such an emotional time. My severance was running out quickly and the prospects didn’t seem good. I did not get the mental and emotional nurturing that I needed. This nurturing would have better prepared me for the interviews that I had. It would have helped me maintain a big-picture perspective. Remedy: I should have picked one book or learning project that I could dig into to “sharpen my saw,” but kept it in check with my job search schedule. I really should have sought out friends that I could learn from, or share ideas with. That is one of the reasons networking is so powerful in a job search. But for 2 months I did not network at all. Not good.
  4. Do not neglect “outside” things. The water leaks. The bills. The other obligations that you must take care of.  I’m not saying you have permission to do all the around-the-house projects you’ve been wanting to do, but if there is something that is critical then address it before it becomes a very expensive and complex problem.Remedy: I should have taken time with my wife to create a list of the urgent things that I/we needed to address. I can’t remember what those might have been last year, but being on the same page would prevent problems and reduce stress in our relationship.

It’s been 15 months since I was laid off. I don’t think I’ve ever blogged about neglecting my wife (see #1). It was a personal experience for me, and I’m ashamed of it. But it happened. Hopefully reading this list will help you make sure your priorities are in order better than mine were.

Finally, this advice/warning applies whether you are in a job search or not. What are you neglecting? How are you going to remedy that?

Leave a comment below…

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How to Double Your Job Leads Using LinkedIn

March 20th, 2014

lisa_rangel_headshot2Lisa Rangel is a career coach who I’ve met, had conversations with, exchanged emails, and trained in my webinars. I trust her. One week from today she is hosting this free webinar titled How to Double, And Even Triple Your Job Leads Using LinkedIn. You have nothing to lose, and hopefully will pick up some great ideas. Here’s her list of things she says you can learn:

  • Why the profile you currently have is costing you thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars, and what you need to do to fix it.
  • 4 little known and often misunderstood ways to find leads and opportunity using LinkedIn.
  • 9 proven techniques for making your LinkedIn profile attract the exact type of job you want.
  • 7 actions you must take if you want to be found by your target audience/hiring manager.
  • How to create your own custom target list of the exact people you want to hire you.
  • The one feature of LinkedIn everyone should use to manage their career, but hardly anyone knows about.

Sign up here for this fast paced, packed webinar.

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Self-Control leads to Self-Confidence

March 19th, 2014

A phrase that has been floating around my house for the last few months is so profound:

Self-control leads to self-confidence.

I’m not sure where my wife picked it up, but we’ve used it a fair amount.

Who doesn’t struggle with self-confidence issues?

Let me rephrase that:

What job seeker could use more self-confidence?

Here’s a simple formula: have more self-control.  Perhaps you will:

Bite your tongue more.

Be kinder.

Do your three high value activities each day (even if you have to make them easier to do, or, lessen the scope of them).

Pick up the phone and call someone from your chicken list.

Finally clean up that little paper pile on your desk.

Go on a walk and take care of your body.

Put down the junk food and eat a green smoothie.

Spend less time on distracting or time-wasting websites.

Spend more, and better quality time with those you love.

Clean up one part of your LinkedIn Profile.

What is it you have been neglecting?  I know, as a job seeker, we tend to neglect everything that won’t lead to a job offer.  But that is so unhealthy on so many levels.

When I wrote Water Damage Is Expensive – Don’t Neglect Your House, I was writing about the results of neglecting things like family and your health.

I didn’t realize at the time that NOT neglecting… that is, having the self-control and discipline to take care of things, would lead to self-confidence.

Again, we all need more self-confidence.  I challenge you to practice self-control for a while and see if you have more self-confidence.

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Guerrilla Job Search DVD NOW FREE.

March 18th, 2014

I just got off the phone with David Perry, author of the must-have best seller Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters.  David is one of the most passionate job search advocates that I know.  I love talking with him.  We even did an Ask The Expert together (click here to find it).

He told me the DVD he made, that he used to sell for $50, is now available for a free download.  I haven’t done it yet but I have no problem recommending anything from David.  Just go to, fill in the small form on the right, and he said you will get a link to download the content.  He said it is big (they had to put it on a DVD), but knowing his stuff, and his passion, I would say it is worth it.

Go on over and do that.  As far as I know, there are no strings attached.  This is pretty cool – thanks David!


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Searching for Great Job Search Advice: How to Find It

March 17th, 2014

I regularly look for old blog posts to send people to, in response to their questions.  Sometimes it is job search related, sometimes it is about depression in the job search, sometimes it about how to send a job search newsletter… sometimes it is about how to import LinkedIn contacts into JibberJobber.

When I go to Google to do a search I find that JibberJobber blog posts are not as high up because of the 1%ers of the internet (MSN, AOL, etc….. the article archives that have a lot of content, but their content is “questionable” :p).

The search tool on the blog kind of stinks… so here’s how I easily find the content I’m looking for.  You can use this to find posts/articles from JibberJobber, or any other place you trust (just replace JibberJobber for another source):

Easiest Method: 

In a search box, simply add “JibberJobber” to any of your searches.

job search advice -> JibberJobber job search advice

job search newsletter -> JibberJobber job search newsletter

job search depression -> JibberJobber job search depression

import from linkedin -> JibberJobber import from linkedin

personal relationship manager -> JibberJobber personal relationship manager

And so forth… this isn’t rocket science, but if you leave off JibberJobber (or the name of your trusted content source) you will get a plethora of generic junk articles.

Next Easiest Method:

This is also very easy… you just have to remember to do it (and do it right).  Simply do a “site search,” which I blogged about here: Do you use Site:_____ in Google searches? I DO!

Guess how I found that post?  I did a site search, like this:



Check out the post for a very easy tutorial on how to do it… but really, a site search is as simple as putting site:(websitename) (search criteria) in the search box.

So, any of the examples above could be refined, like this example:



There you go – two simple ways to get more relevant results back in your searches – enjoy!


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