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JibberJobber to Organize a Job Search AND to Help Entrepreneurs Launch a Business!

November 7th, 2014

Here is a great question from A.A.:

I am a job seeker and I am developing a business. My business is very different from the job I am doing. I want to use jibberjobber to track both but I am not sure if it is possible to separate them within one profile. Can you advise?

The short answer is, yes, definitely use one JibberJobber account to track both of these endeavors.

Technically, I would use tags to help you keep the two separated.  So, when you add a new contact, tag them as job_search or business.  Or, you can tag them as both job_search and business.

I’ve found, over the years, that many of my personal and professional relationships are not constrained to just one bucket.  For example, this last week I reached out to two long-term friends to ask for professional, business-related introductions.

Also, I did not tag either of these friends as friends, personal, business, referral, or anything like that. Perhaps I should, but for now I simply have just created a Log Entry for each of the requests, and their responses.

When their contacts reach out to me, I simply use the Referred By field to keep track of who introduced me to who… that has proved to be invaluable over the years.

In addition to that scenario, I track personal things in JibberJobber, such as who I call when I need an appliance fixed, or when my garage door breaks.  I don’t like having to track those types of people, but I do like having one place to store names and numbers, and even track when they service my stuff, and how much I pay them.

JibberJobber has become my central information hub… it started out as a job search tool, and for me very quickly evolved to a small business CRM and a personal business tracker.

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10 Job Search Tricks, When Time Magazine Recommended JibberJobber

November 6th, 2014

Remember a couple of weeks ago when there was a Time Magazine article recommending JibberJobber?  I shared this with my team and one of my programmers wrote back and said “hey, we do two of the other ten things, too!”

My team is very proud of the breadth and depth of what they have developed!

Let me share a bit more of what we do.

The article says:

2. Use JibberJobber to Keep Track of Information You Collect During Your Job Search.  

This is a great observation, even though it’s something I don’t talk about enough.  But here’s how it works.  If you find information about a target company, contact, job opportunity, etc., and it might come in handy later, while you network or interview, you should collect the information.  Store it in JibberJobber, obviously.

Here are the other two from the list of ten:

8. Use Insightly to Manage and Organize Business Cards You Collect.

This function is usually referred to as “customer relationship management” (or, CRM).  This is what I normally talk about… and how most people describe JibberJobber: as a CRM!   So, I don’t want to talk anything away from Insightly, but I will suggest that JibberJobber is a great CRM designed especially for job seekers.  The job search process, networking into target companies, etc. is what we are all about.  Our free version is highly functional and quite awesome.  For a small optional fee you could have everything we have to offer.  (quick note on Insightly: their free version has 2,500 records, which is NOT the same as 2,500 contacts and/or companies.  Every note, email, etc. (stuff we would call Log Entries) counts as a record… which will add up).  I’m sure they have an awesome system, but my point is, we now hit two of the ten points of the Time article.

9. Use Contactually to Create an Automatic Follow-up System

Ah, the brilliance of a follow-up system!  I remember the phone call when I was talking to a user and he said “JibberJobber is my follow-up system!”  Ever since then I’ve thought about that… he didn’t refer to it as his organizational system, or tracking system, or CRM… but a follow-up system.  BRILLIANT.

I had been talking about the power of follow-up in my presentations, but never referred to JibberJobber as a follow-up system.  But I do now.  Keith Ferrazzi said “if you want to be more successful than 95% of your competition, all you need to do is follow-up.”  I didn’t match that concept with JibberJobber until my user said it was his follow-up system.  That is why we have introduced some of the features we have recently: to help you follow-up.  Time recommends Contactually, which is actually another CRM… it has some special tools to help you reconnect with people, or prompt you to reconnect with people.  JibberJobber will move into that realm, but the reason why my dev team said we do this is because of our “Recurring Action Items,” which is basically scheduling an Action Item to recur multiple times (like, “email Jason once a quarter.”)  We’ll have more functionality like what Contactually does down the road.  (you’ll find that all CRM systems leap-frog each other with features… one day you are ahead, the next day you are behind… )

As a job seeker, you won’t want to get THREE CRM tools.  Pick one.  More importantly, USE IT!  Picking “the best” CRM, but not using it is really a waste of time and energy.

Get it?  USE JibberJobber!  Don’t just sign up, but actually use it.  Your entire career could depend on it.

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Break Down Expert Job Search Advice (say NO to the ATS!)

November 5th, 2014

louise_kursmark_headshotLet’s dig into the post from yesterday, and dissect some of Louise Kursmark’s advice.  It’s a short article, but there’s simple stuff that every job seeker needs to be doing. Lines from her post are in bold, my comments are not bold, and indented.

>> I think that obsession(with gaming the ATS systems) is a distraction from the real work of job search.

Again, you are hiding from the job search.  There is no silver bullet.  ATS is one tiny aspect of the job search, don’t become obsessed with gaming it.

>> Even if your resume is a perfect match for the job posting, you have a very small chance of being chosen for an interview. 

Why? Because statistically, jobs posted online are not real jobs that are begging real people to apply. Some (probably those from big companies) have already been filled with internal candidates, but are posted just to satisfy regulations or policy.  Others are, unfortunately, and without integrity, fake jobs that are luring people in just to collect names and numbers.  Sometimes they are just feeling out the market, and seeing what’s out there.  But for the real ones… have you heard how many people apply to openings?  It’s way to many, really.  And those that are getting through are not necessarily the right candidates.  Many right candidates are getting weeded out through errors in the logic of the automated system.  They don’t call it the “resume black hole” for nothing.

>> … it’s easy to spend a lot of fruitless time trying to rise to the top of a very large pool.

Lots and lots of people are playing this losing game.  Why throw your hat into a system that is proven to be so ineffective and discouraging, and really, one that doesn’t really work?  Especially when there are more effective ways to land a job.

>> My advice: Have a keyword-rich, simply formatted resume that stands a reasonable chance of making it through the ATS.

And here is the simple truth about what you need for a resume.  Keyword rich and simple format.  That’s it.  Do that, then MOVE ON to the next part of your job search strategy!

>> Then, spend less time applying to posted openings and more time getting referrals into the companies you’re interested in.

Get out of the resume black hole and go compete in a different space… the competition is much easier, and nicer, because too many people are afraid to network, or are doing it entirely wrong.  Be the person who learns to love it (you don’t have to be an extrovert to love networking), and do it RIGHT!  Also, to Louise’s points, do this purposefully and strategically, not haphazardly.

>> Use your network to find a connection, ask for an introduction, and start a dialogue.

This, my friends, is networking.  This is more effective than going to network meetings, being nervous or shy, and then going home thinking “I networked!”  You may have, but what Louise is suggesting is to do it right, and go deeper, and be relationship-focused.

>> Rather than applying for a job, have a conversation about the company’s needs and how someone with your background might be able to help.

Again, this is networking.  And this hints to informational interviews as well!

>> Become a real person rather than a piece of paper or collection of keywords.

You do this by focusing on conversations, relationships and real networking, rather than throwing your resume into the black hole…

>> Even if you don’t (get interviews), you’ve built another strand in your web of connections that will ultimately lead you to your next job.

Building these strands, or let’s go further and say this fabric, is what I call career management. It is having strong relationships over time, not just during this hard transition, and it is helping people understand who you are (and how they can help you)… it is long-term.  It is the new “job security,” and it’s all in your control.  It’s why I say you need to use JibberJobber, forever! (yes, a little fanatical there, but I get to do that on my own blog :))

>> And isn’t it more satisfying to have a colleague-to-colleague business discussion than to be judged (and rejected) based on a mysterious set of keyword qualifications?

You know who has control over the keywords?  NOT YOU!  You have control over, which means influence on, your relationships and communication, but not on the arbitrary keywords that someone chose. And you don’t have control over who else applies, or how their resumes compare to yours in the ATS black box logic.  Work on what you can control… !

I love Louise’s no-nonsense advice… thanks again for letting me share it!

 

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What Is an ATS? Should You Care? #jobsearch #resume

November 4th, 2014

For a few years the new buzz word in training for resume writers is how to write a resume to get through the ATS system.

ATS is “applicant tracking system,” which is kind of like JibberJobber for the recruiter.  They aren’t tracking a relationship with YOU as much as they are tracking specific job openings, who applies, and who gets to have an interview with a human.

I guess that is tracking you, kind of. But only as far as that specific opportunity goes.  There is no relationship nurturing going on… it’s all about filling open jobs, and weeding out the high percentage of people who shouldn’t have applied in the first place.

You can imagine how resume writers want to write a resume that will get through the ATS, and eventually get to the live person.  I haven’t completely wrapped my brain around the technology, but I’ve understood that most jobs people are hired for are with companies that are smaller, and might not even know what ATS means.  I’ve focused my advice more on networking into a job than on monkeying around with your resume to get it better (which I call “hiding from your job search,” since you can do that for days and weeks and not really get any closer to getting an interview).

But I keep my ears open to what the experts are saying, and am always looking for any information I can share with you.  When I saw this article on LinkedIn from Louise Kursmark, I knew it would have important information.  I think this is a super-important perspective because she is a well-known resume writer who has trained hundreds, maybe thousands, of resume writers. Louise gave me permission to repost her article here (original post)… I hope this helps you with your job search strategy today!

ATS: I Couldn’t Care Less

louise_kursmark_headshotATS – Applicant Tracking Systems – cause a lot of twitter and chatter among job seekers and resume writers. I might even call it an obsession about finding the keywords, mimicking the job posting, and designing the document to get through the automated screener.

Personally, I think that obsession is a distraction from the real work of job search.

Even if your resume is a perfect match for the job posting, you have a very small chance of being chosen for an interview. That’s because your resume is one of dozens or even hundreds competing for just a handful of top slots. It’s likely at least a few other candidates will have qualifications that are slightly stronger or a background that’s just a bit closer to the ideal specified by the recruiter or employer.

So it’s easy to spend a lot of fruitless time trying to rise to the top of a very large pool. And when you don’t, you feel frustrated, discouraged, maybe even depressed and angry.

My advice: Have a keyword-rich, simply formatted resume that stands a reasonable chance of making it through the ATS. Then, spend less time applying to posted openings and more time getting referrals into the companies you’re interested in.

Use your network to find a connection, ask for an introduction, and start a dialogue. Rather than applying for a job, have a conversation about the company’s needs and how someone with your background might be able to help. Become a real person rather than a piece of paper or collection of keywords.

Chances are very good that you’ll be able to parlay many of those conversations into actual interviews for real jobs. Even if you don’t, you’ve built another strand in your web of connections that will ultimately lead you to your next job.

And isn’t it more satisfying to have a colleague-to-colleague business discussion than to be judged (and rejected) based on a mysterious set of keyword qualifications?

Thank you, Louise, for a real perspective and great advice!  There really is no way around doing some of the hard work in the job search!

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