Best Mobile Apps for Job Search

April 13th, 2017

I recently saw a “best mobile apps for the job search” post, where eight or nine out of the ten were job board apps.  And I think a third of the list were apps that you had to pay for (up to $25/month).

I look at those lists hoping that somehow the author included JibberJobber… alas, this one didn’t.

As I kept going through the list, though, my thoughts shifted.

WHY in the world are these authors… supposed experts, or at least people who have done unbiased and thorough research (because that is what we expect the news to be, unbiased and thorough), say that if I’m a job seeker, I should use these ten apps?

Most of them are duplicating what the others do. I do NOT need eight apps that do the same thing (show me job openings).

Furthermore, why is 80% of this list promoting job boards?  According to the real experts… people who have spent decades in this field (including Dick Bolles, Nick Corcodilos, Dave Perry, and dozens of others), you shouldn’t spend all, most, or even much of your time on job boards… or applying to jobs!

Make no mistake, job boards (and the adjacent businesses) constitute a multi-billion dollar industry.  Their customer is HR (recruiters, companies). They serve their customer.  They do not serve job seekers.

You see, to them, job seekers are transitory. A job seeker comes, many times doesn’t create an account or upload a resume, and then goes away.  When the job seeker lands a job, they go away for years and years.  The job seeker (a) doesn’t stick around and (b) usually doesn’t pay.

But the mainstream media, the writers who are not researchers, put together a list of “oh use this app, and this one that does the same thing, and here are six more that do the exact same thing… and yippee, you only have to pay $4.95 for this one and $24.95 for that one, but it’s worth it, right?” A job seeker would only have to pay about $100 a month to have all of these duplicate apps clogging their phone, for a technique/method that is supposedly about 2% effective.

All the while, you can feel good about your job search, and avoid networking, or any of the really effective job search techniques.

I wish the writers of these articles, and the editors who are responsible for this dribble, would get serious about job search strategies, tactics, and tools.

What they write has an impact, especially on the new job seekers, who haven’t been in job search mode for many years (or, ever).

Alas, I am not holding my breath.  But I hope that you, my readers and JibberJobber users, are not buying into it.  This job of getting job takes a lot of work that you can’t avoid by downloading an app.  Or ten apps.



Most Common Job Titles JibberJobber Users Enter

April 12th, 2017

Yesterday I shared the twenty most common companies that JibberJobber users are tracking… in this post I share the top twenty jobs that our users are tracking. Let’s jump in:

  1. Project Manager. Doesn’t make sense that the projects managers, who are typically organized, trackers, and like systems, use JibberJobber?
  2. Business Analyst. Okay, this is kind of funny. In 2006, when I lost my job, I was looking for project manager of business analyst jobs.
  3. Product Manager. This is my dream job. You are CEO of a product… I didn’t learn about this role until I saw the title on Monster, in my job search.
  4. Administrative Assistant. This one is interesting, especially since it’s the fourth most common title our users enter. I wonder how many of my users are admins, and how many are just looking for a job to pay the bills while they look for something else.
  5. Program manager. Out of the top five, three are “manager” roles, although none of them necessarily have direct reports.
  6. Marketing Manager.  This is such an interesting role.
  7. Account Manager. Or, salesperson. (combine this with “account executive” and it’s actually the fourth most common role in JibberJobber)
  8. Senior Project Manager. I could have skipped this and just lumped it in with number one, but it’s interesting that in the top ten is this senior/advanced role.
  9. Customer Service Representative. This is only the second non-professional, or usually entry-level, non-manager job.
  10. Software Engineer. I was wondering when this one would show up… I honestly thought it would show up a little higher, especially considering all the tech companies from yesterday’s post.

Now, go back to the companies from yesterday’s post and see if you can figure out what kinds of openings they have, using the list above.  Here are the next most popular jobs tracked in JibberJobber:

11. Controller

12. President

13. Executive Assistant

14. Financial Analyst

15. Consultant

16. CEO

17. Operations Manager

18. Project Coordinator

19. CIO (I used to read CIO magazine :p)

20. Business Development Manager

What does that tell you about our job seekers, or job seekers in general?


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Most Common Companies JibberJobber Users Enter

April 11th, 2017

Ever wonder what other job seekers are looking for? Yesterday I got a list of the most common companies that JibberJobber users have entered into the Companies section.  That is, these are the companies that our job seekers are trying to land jobs at.  The Top 10 of all time are not surprising… actually, they are kind of surprising:

  1. IBM. This one surprised me the most… the news seems to have been hijacked by the huge new-fangled companies that are changing how we drive (or, how we don’t drive, with self-driving cars), how people surf the web, etc.  I don’t recall the last time I’ve read an article about IBM… but this is the most common company in JibberJobber.
  2. Microsoft. Not terribly surprising, but still impressive considering (a) it’s an older tech company and (b) they supposedly don’t have all the perks that the Silicon Valley tech companies offer.
  3. Accenture. Hm… how many accountants are using JibberJobber?  (of course, Accenture doesn’t hire just accountants :p)
  4. Google. Not surprised this is in the top five, even though working at Google today isn’t the same as working there fifteen years ago.
  5. Oracle. B2B giant, not a consumer play.
  6. Deloitte. Okay, if Accenture is number three, it makes sense for Deloitte to hit the top ten.
  7. Bank of America. This was surprising, especially considering the unrest/scandels in banking for so many years. Or, maybe we have a lot of users who live in, or want to move to, Charlotte? (delightful city, by the way. I spoke there a few years back and there is a charm that’s hard to describe… high tech + movers and shakers + southern)
  8. Wells Fargo. I wonder if this was before or after the big debacle.
  9. Dell. Ah yes, I remember them. In fact, when I graduated from undergrad, my plan was to drive to Austin and get a job there. That was minutes before the big tech bubble bust… glad I didn’t make that trip.
  10. Amazon. They have changed the world, in many ways… ecommerce, the cloud, etc. I love Seattle, if only there was more (or any) sunlight :p

Here are the next ten most common companies our users have entered (in order)

11. Hewlett-Packard

12. Cisco Systems

13. TekSystems (for contract jobs)

14. KPMG

15. Apple

16. PwC

17. EMC

18. Ernst & Young

19. Morgan Stanley

20. American Express

At first, it seems like the who’s who of companies… but when you think about what this data shows, I think it’s interesting to note the absense of some of the “top companies to work at.”  I find it interesting that some of these behemoth companies haven’t been the darlings of media (old or new), but people are still clamoring to work there. I’m also kind of surprised that so many people are working to get jobs at Apple and Google, which is like the unicorn of job search.




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Ten Dick Bolles Facts

April 6th, 2017

dick_bolles_job-hunters-bibleDick Bolles passed away a week ago. These are ten things I found to be interesting about Dick Bolles:

Dick Bolles was really, really tall.

I am about six foot tall and he seemed to tower over me. Maybe he was my height, but he seemed to be a giant of a man. However, he was so kind and gentle that I didn’t feel like he was physically imposing.

Dick Bolles was an ordained Episcopal minister… until he quit.

I knew the first part, but only recently read about the last part. Apparently there’s a rule that you can’t get married to a fourth wife, after three divorces… Dick didn’t take this well and tried to fight it, then just renounced his ordination to marry the lovely Marci (who was at lunch with us).

Dick Bolles, for many years, did all of his own writing and editing.

He told me one of his agreements with the publisher was that they would not touch his finished product at all…. that means no other editor would change anything. In our intervew (see yesterday’s post) he said that that had changed towards the end, but for many years it was 100% Dick Bolles.

Dick Bolles was super smart.

He was mensa-level smart. He was an Harvard alumnus where he studied physics, and an MIT alumnus where he studied chemical engineering. He was literally a member of mensa. When I had lunch with him he was in his mid-eighties, and he was one of the sharpest people I had ever talked to. He was fast, and could talk about a breadth and depth of topics, without skipping a beat.

Dick Bolles’ brother was murdered in 1976.

He was an investigative reporter and was investigating a very rough crowd: the mafia in Arizona. Shocking? Very sad, and I can imagine that it was devistating for Dick to go through. The legacy of his brother, Don Bolles, lives on amongst reporters. He was uncovering a nasty part of society, and paid with his life.

Dick Bolles stumbled onto helping others in job search… it’s not what he set out to do.

The title of his book came from a conversation he had with someone who said they were going to quit their job, and his response was “what color is your parachute?” Meaning, if you are going to do something so risky, what’s your plan? Have you even thought about the consequences of quitting?

Dick Bolles invited career experts to his home for multi-day retreats.

These were small, intimate groups of career professionals, getting almost one-on-one attention from Dick. I wish I would have done one of those… I’ve only heard about them from some of my colleagues. To have someone of his status invite career experts to his home for so long, I thought, was really cool.

Dick Bolles personally updated his book every single year,

for almost 50 years straight.  The dedication to this one book had been a life passion for him.  He passionately studied current events, reading papers, listening to experts and job seekers, and then would incorporate the latest and greatest in strategies, tactics, and tools into the next version of his book.  Almost 50 years… that’s really quite remarkable for someone who could have just outsourced it many decades ago.

Dick Bolles was an international speaker,

and obviously highly sought after.  Again, he could have just rested, and enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle, but he got on plane after plane, even for very long flights.  He was a man who clearly believed in his mission of helping people.

Dick Bolles loved his wife and family.

I only met Marci, and know nothing of his previous wives. But the way he treated her, listened to her, looked at her… it was love and respect.  At our lunch I learned about why and how they met, and how she literally saved his life… hearing him tell the story was like reading a romance novel (I assume… I’ve actually never read a romance novel).  His love was tangible. And so was hers. It was refreshing to witness their interactions.

BONUS: Dick Bolles was a Navy veteran.

Of course.  Service and action.

Dick Bolles: a great man who fulfilled a great mission, and really impacted the world.


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Dick Bolles Videos

April 5th, 2017

Yesterday I wrote about Dick Bolles, and said it’s “the end of a legacy.” Perhaps I should have written “the end of a legend.” Or, the next chapter of a legend.

From the comments on yesterday’s post, and throughout the internet, it’s clear that this man was the father of the modern job search, and that he impacted many, many people. Great tributes have been written about him.

I found a 32 minute video when he was at Google, doing a presentation titled “How to decide what you’ll be doing five years from now.”  Check it out here.

Years ago, when I was doing the Ask the Expert interviews, Dick graciously agreed to be a guest on my show.  You can watch it below… but if you do, you’ll notice the first 20 minutes I was flying solo.

That was not planned.

Here’s what happened: I had been in touch with Dick, the consummate professional, about being on my show. He readily agreed, and I didn’t want to hound him with reminders. I was very sensitive about giving him enough information without him feeling like I was harassing him.  I was sure that he would come, be on time, etc. After all, he had probably done this a gazillion times.

So I started the webinar and had a great audience. Questions were coming in for him, and you could feel the excitement build.  But Dick wasn’t there yet.

I emailed him, I even called him… but nothing.  No response.

I remembered that he was in his mid-t0-late eighties, and I worried that perhaps he had…. passed away.  This was about four years ago… I think he was 86 or 87.  Was my show going to be the way that everyone knew he had passed away?

I hoped not. I wanted to interview him, and learn from him!

For twenty minutes I ad-libbed, I sweated, I worried, and I wondered.  That was a LONG twenty minutes.

Then, thank goodness, Dick joined the call.  He was apologetic, and I was relieved!  He was ALIVE!

He said he was late because he stayed up all night working, on deadline, on the next version of his book, which was due the morning of our call.   He fell asleep at his desk (that made for an interesting visual), and just barely woke up.

Did I say I was relieved?  Not for me, nor for the interview, but that Dick Bolles was okay!

Here’s the interview… I was amazed that he brought new-to-me information and ideas.

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The End of a Legacy: Dick Bolles

April 4th, 2017

dick_bolles_headshotDick Bolles, author of What Color is Your Parachute, passed away on Friday, March 31, 2017. He had just celebrated his 90th birthday.

I saw Dick Bolles present at a few conferences, but didn’t talk to him. He was always talking to someone else, and I wanted more than a handshake and a smile.

My time came when I was speaking in his hometown, Danville, California. He and his wife, Marci, came and were in the audience.  I always have butterflies when I’m in front of an audience, but this was like an extra dose of butterflies.  THE GURU of job search… perhaps the father of modern day job search, was in the audience. He has flown around the world giving presentations, and in the decades since he penned the first edition of What Color is My Parachute, he’s seen, and done, it all.

I got a great introduction from Susan Joyce, owner of, and had my first real, great, conversation with him, on the phone.  It was actually short, but it was real.  By the time we were in Danville our relationship progressed to the point where going out to lunch was only natural.

After my presentation he and Marci waited while I shook hands and said goodbye to individuals from the audience, and then we piled into his Buick (an Enclave, I think). I was wondering what this legend who had sold more than 10 million books drove… just a Buick. We drove about 15 minutes away to one of his favorite Asian restaurants, where we spent at least an hour in awesome, awesome conversation.  From that conversation I’ll never forget when he said:

“Jason, your message, and my message, are the same.”

I was immediately intrigued.  First, that he listened to my hour and a half presentation and paid enough attention to get “my message.”  Second, because he could concisely say what “my message” was (I would have been hard-pressed, at the time, to tell you what my message was). And third, because he, The Legend, said that it was the same as his message.  Awesome…!

“And what would you say our message is?”

“Our message,” he replied, “is a message of HOPE.  We show people that they have options, and when they have options, they have hope.  When they think they have run out of options, they are hopeless.”

I processed this and realized that he had, in one word, explained why I got on the road. Why I got up in front of audiences, even though it was uncomfortable. Why I would face the skeptics and the hecklers, and put my ideas in front of brilliant unemployed professionals so they could analyze and evaluate and question them.

Dick Bolles put my calling, passion, and purpose into perspective.

When he said “HOPE” I immediately got it. You see, I was a hopeless job seeker. I was at the end of my rope, with no hope.  It was a dark, depressing place to be.

Life without hope does not end well.  Dick said that we, in our own ways, gave hope.  We inspired hope.  We showed people options, and gave them a reason to keep trying, to keep doing, and to move closer to a job, where they didn’t need to worry about hope vs. despair.

You can believe that since that lunch, I’ve thought about hope every single day. I have taken his message, our message, to heart, and have understood the gravity of what we do.

What an honor to have Dick Bolles, the legend, the man who has touched millions of lives, even put in near himself in our quest to change the world, one job search at a time.

Thank you Dick Bolles, for the live you have lived and the legacy you have left.  There are many, many thousands of career professionals who have been influenced by you, your words, your mission, your example, and they are influencing others… sharing the message of HOPE.



Job Security vs. Income Security

April 3rd, 2017

What do you think about job security?

If you have a job right now, you passionately want to believe in it… that it will last. At least for you.

If you are unemployed right now, you are likely soured on the whole concept, realizing it’s a farce.

Back in 2008 (maybe earlier) I had an epiphany: having a JOB (or as some people have called it, Just Over Broke) is not bad.  But relying on that one job to be around forever, and to meet your financial needs (not wants), can be really risky.

When I lost my job, on Friday the 13th in 2006, I had invested too much of my personal and professional life into that one job. I invested myself into that role, company, team, and outcome. And when the job was taken away from me, I was left with nothing.

I counted on job security, when I should have been working on a personal income security strategy.

What is that?

It is a strategy that helps me (and my family) have the income I need (and want), with a plan for the future.

What does that look like?

If you take a purely professional, non-entrepreneurial position, it looks like a great, solid career that doesn’t happen by accident. You have gotten the right education and continuing education (training, certificates, etc.). You know, and are known by, company and industry executives and movers and shakers (including those that work for the competitor). You carefully craft a branding strategy and work to share your brand appropriately. You have taken on extra responsibility at your company, and are known as someone who gets the job done, someone who others want on their team, etc.  You are pleasant and very competent, and other people wonder how your team, project, or company could ever survive without you. From the outside, it looks like you have been lucky, a lot, in your career.

If you take a non-traditional position, you are a great worker, and you have side gigs. You might have rentals, or sell cupcakes on weekends. You might manufacture something in your garage, or consult. Your job is a one aspect of your income, but you are excited about, and empowered by, other revenue streams that you have created. If you lose your job, you have other things to fall back on, and you wonder “should I look for another job, or should I just hit this other stuff really hard?”

Those two ideas address the money-making side of things.  The other side is what do you do with your money (how do you spend it), and your debt.

  • When you get a bonus, how do you spend (or, invest) it?
  • How is your retirement account?
  • How much credit card debt do you owe?
  • When will your house be paid off?
  • When will you pay off your student loan?
  • When will you be debt-free?

Income security has to do with how you earn money, how you spend money, and as important, how you think about money (ie, is it “evil”?).

I’ve been talking about income security for a long time. I invite you to seriously think about what you can and should do to increase your personal income security. I am… because I want financial peace of mind, for now and for many years to come.

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