Open Letter To Hiring Managers

June 23rd, 2017

Hi… candidate here.

Thanks for the opportunity to apply to a job at your company. And thanks for the invitation to interview with you. And thanks for the second invitation to interview with your team.  It was really quite fun… much more fun than applying to more jobs and not hearing back at all.  It was fun to talk about my skills, projects, background, experience, and be back in my comfort zone. It was fun to talk to professionals who have jobs and salaries and benefits and feel comfortable with their professional life.  It was fun to talk shop and feel like I could stay up with the conversation, even contribute.

I do have something I’d like to share with you, though. Some of the questions you asked were clearly based on some unfounded assumptions about me. I addressed those questions but I could tell from your body language that you already had created your own answer for me, and no matter what my answer was, you had already made judgement about me that I wasn’t going to be able to get around.

The whole process started to feel fake.  Why did you even bring me in? Why let me get this far?

The icing on the cake was the generic, soulless, impersonal “we’ve decided to go with someone else. We’ll keep your resume in our file…” rejection letter.

All the smiles, the warmth, the personal touch, and then BAM! Did I become the enemy?  Why go from personal and happy-to-see-me to “Ciao Prisoner two-four-six-oh-one!”?

I thought that perhaps we could have had a friendly, professional relationship. No, not BFFs. I’m not going to harass you, ask you to lunch too often, or even email you much. But if we met up at a networking meeting, I would come say hi and see how things are going. If I heard of something that would benefit you, I would want to share it with you. But that last goodbye showed me that really, I was just a number to you. None of the smiley stuff meant anything. You stopped caring about me, even though I was good enough to make it through a few interviews, once you picked one person (who will probably not be on your team in two years).

Oh well. I guess that’s the game. Pretend we are great buddies during this interview process, but if it doesn’t work out, then there’s an uncomfortable silent agreement between you and I that no, I’m not allowed to communicate with you. I certainly can’t ask you for feedback, which you won’t give.  I have to figure out that I, as a professional, just have to suck it up, pretend it never happened, and put on my best smile for the next interview. Fake, yes, but that’s the game. These are the rules you set up. And it sucks to be on this side.

I hope that when (not if) you are on this side you can see how stupid the rules are, and next time you are hiring, you can be humane and treat your “candidates” with dignity, even if you don’t choose to hire them.

I’m back to the search… signing off,

The Unchosen Candidate

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JibberJobber Lowest Price Announcement

June 22nd, 2017

A few weeks ago, while hiking somewhere in Europe, I had a realization: It was time to consolidate our offerings and lower the total price.

Today we have finished the work to make that easy for you to do just that. You can simply click the Upgrade or Pricing links from the bottom of any page, when you are logged into JibberJobber, and you’ll be on your way to having a year of all the JibberJobber features and the entire video library (which will grow over the next year+).

jibberjobber_60

I want to write paragraphs and paragraphs of why this is great for you, and why we came to this decision, and the history of our pricing changes, but really, all you need to know is that you are getting JibberJobber + the Video Library for a killer deal… about 75% off of the list price (which was $9.95/month for each of those)… now it’s only $60 for everything for a year.

One $60 upgrade gets you JibberJobber premium for a year and access to the entire video library (including LinkedIn for Job Seekers) for a year!

Please share this with your job search friends. This price will make it a lot easier for many more people to get in control of their careers and get closer to their dream job. More importantly, they’ll be prepared for the changes they’ll experience during the duration of their careers.

We’re here to empower YOU.  Take advantage of this new pricing and get everything we have to offer!

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Google Jobs: Is The Job Search Going to Change AGAIN?

June 21st, 2017

I started my last job search in January of 2006. That was eleven years ago. I heard “boy, the job search sure has changed over the last few years!”

I didn’t know what changes those were… I just knew that you looked for a job online, probably applied online, and somehow hopefully landed a great job. I say somehow and hopefully because, frankly, I didn’t land anything :)

A few weeks ago I was talking to someone and he said “Man! The job search sure has changed in the last couple of years!”

“Really?” I thought. I didn’t think it had changed much, but it really has. Too much of the job search process is automated… not well, I might add, but it’s automated.  The personal touch has been removed in too many cases, and getting past the algorithms has become a big part of the job search strategy.

Let’s take a macro look at the way things have happened:

A gazillion years ago**: who you know, who knows you, and what they know about you.

A hundred years ago: classified ads in the newspapers

Seventeen years ago: Monster.com

Ten years ago: LinkedIn.com

Five years ago: Indeed.com

Today: who knows (too messy)

Tomorrow: Google Jobs.

     ** time frames are approximations

What is this “Google Jobs,” you ask?  Read this article from Joel Cheezman: Ready or Not, Google for Jobs Launches Today

So what does Google Jobs have that anyone else has?  Nothing, as far as job board stuff goes.  But everything, as far as internet eyeballs go. In Joel’s article he says:

“One company left off the play-nice list is the world’s most popular job search destination, Indeed. Once touting itself as “Google for jobs,” Indeed now gets to deal with Google being the Google for jobs.”

Do they have every feature that they should? No. But they are patient, and have resources to do it right.  The most important thing they have it google.com… the homepage of the internet.

Sure, people will still go to Indeed and LinkedIn. But eventually, people will get good enough google results on jobs that they won’t feel a need to anymore.

Know why I don’t go to dictionary.com? Because I use google for that.

Know why I rarely go to weather.com? Because I can google the weather.

Those sites are still around, but I don’t use them as much.  And I predict that Google Jobs, if Google doesn’t kill or ignore it over the years, is the most powerful tool that has a chance at dethroning LinkedIn and/or Indeed.

I’m not saying that I want that, or that will be good for anyone, I’m just saying that Google is mega-powerful, and if they really stay on top of this, this might be the next humongous shift in how jobs are found.

The big question is, if they get big enough, and powerful enough, what changes will they introduce to a very broken and very ineffective job search and hiring system?

 

 

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Navigating the Job Search is Like Driving in Spain

June 20th, 2017

Imagine this: you are in a rental car in Spain. It’s stick shift, of course, which you haven’t driven in over twenty years. You set out to drive at least an hour. So you get in your rental car ready to hit the road… they said that most of the street signs are similar enough to what you are used to that it shouldn’t be a big deal.  Then, you come across a set of street signs like this (photo courtesy campervantrips):

spain_streetsigns

No big deal really… right?  Except, you are supposed to turn soon, according to your GPS (which seems to be off by 100 meters).  Wait, did I say meters? Yeah, that’s foreign to me… So I’m in a foreign country, driving a different kind of car (stick), using a measuring system that I’m not used to (how long until 250 meters??), the GPS is off enough to make a difference, and the next exit I want is M-30. Wait, is that an exit, or a road?  And what the heck is E-5, and why is the next one E-901 instead of E-6?  A-4, A-42, A-5… ?????

AAAAAAAAAAAARGH!

This was me a week ago. I rented a car in Spain and, with three teens in tow, drove to various beaches around Barcelona. Most of the time it was fine, but every once in a while it got really confusing! Is this exit for M-30, E-901, A-3, A-4, A-42, A-5… and why can’t it just be ONE thing?  Like, in my state back home, there’s one exit number… like exit 291. That is, I think, two hundred ninety one miles from the south border of the state.  Guess what the next exit is? 292!  Or maybe 293, if it is two miles up.  I don’t remember exactly, but they are in numerical order, and they make sense.

They make sense to me because I’ve lived in this region for the last twenty something years.

After the fourth day of driving in Spain, I start to “get it.” I didn’t totally get it, but I started to get it a little. I got it enough to feel like I was on my way to being more confident with those signs.

Want to know what the trick was?

IGNORE THE NOISE.

The signs in Spain are too noisy. There is too much superfluous writing on the signs, and to read it all would mean to slow down and probably be a danger to cars behind you.  Reading every single thing is too much, it takes too much time, and it’s not (always) important.

Knowing what you can and should ignore is a terrific skill, both when driving in a foreign country with weird-to-you signs and when navigating a job search, which for many of us, is foreign territory.

Because it’s all new, we tend to be hyper-sensitive to stimuli… articles that say this, videos that say that, and too much contradiction. Worse, there’s plenty of bad advice that really gets people mixed up (like, “if you aren’t on google, you don’t exist.” Or worse, “you must use Twitter in your job search.”)  Both of those can be good, but not if you aren’t doing any fundamentals. If you aren’t figuring out how to do the basics, then the advice to get on Twitter and do your job search there is harmful noise.

In your job search, figure out what is noise, and ignore the noise.

This is a SKILL that you can learn and improve. At first it will be pretty confusing but as you find your groove you’ll figure out what you can ignore, and what you need to focus on.

To your career success!

 

 

 

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The Da Vinci Resume (Live, from Roma)

June 13th, 2017

Well, I was in Rome until yesterday… now I’m in Barcelona to finish out my European holiday!  Last week we went to the Da Vinci Museum, which was really quite awesome.  One of the first things to see was this huge poster thing talking about Da Vinci’s resume. I have seen this before, I probably blogged about it, but I want to revisit it.

roma_5_resume_1

Da Vinci was a genius… for sure.  Even the genius, though, had to hustle. He had to eat, and he had bills to pay.  Even after he did amazing things, and his reputation was growing, he still had to hustle.

When do we stop hustling?  If Leonardo had to keep hustling, shouldn’t we?

roma_5_resume_2

In the first line he doesn’t say “To whom it may concern,” or “Hiring Manager,” or anything generic. It is appropriately addressed to the person who should read it. Please make sure you are addressing a human, not a concept!

In the next paragraph he says “I don’t want to take away from anyone but man, I’m awesome!!”  Do you communicate with confidence, or are you quote-humble-unquote? Nothing wrong with being humble, it’s a virtue… but we must get to a point where we communicate with confidence when we need to… and when we are in a job search, selling ourselves and our skills, we need to!

In the bulleted list of “I can do this” and “I can do that,” you’ll notice that Leonardo doesn’t say “here’s how I do it,” or talk with technical jargon. He is bringing out specific issues and problems!  He understands the relevant, specific things that his most Illustrious Lord is grappling with, and addresses those things saying “I have figured out how to solve this problem.

He talks about solving many problems… as an employer I have problems… can you speak my language, and address thing things that are keeping me up at night? Of course, I want to know details, but that can wait for another conversation.

 

roma_5_resume_3

He goes on to talk about more specific problems, and then says “I can do these other things, too.” Be careful that you don’t talk about all of your skills as that can get distracting. But he goes there. The thing I love about the bottom is that he says “want to see any of my solutions? I’ll make it easy for you… name the time and place and I’ll show you how I’ll solve your problems.”

A genius, but he knows that his audience is crazy busy. Why not accommodate?

Of course, your resume will not look like this.  But your cover letter might have some of these elements, and you can incorporate some of these ideas into your networking conversations and interviews, right?

Heck, if Leonardo could do it, I’m sure you could, too!

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Your Next Economic Crash (aka, Recession)

June 12th, 2017

Did you see the interview with Jim Rodgers about the pending recession? Bigger than anything any of us have ever experienced?

I saw it last week and meant to blog about it… but was trying to figure out how to do it without being a “star is falling” guy.

It’s worth the few minutes to watch… click this image and you’ll go to the website with the video:

jimrogers_worstCrashPrediction

So, that’s pretty gloomy. But wait, there’s good news!  Kendall Baker wrote a piece on this showing he did some research, and he found that Jim Rogers is always predicting a huge crash… even saying it’s 100% inevitable that it is right around the corner. Check out Kendall’s article here… you can scroll through it quickly to see evidence of Rogers’ consistent claims. Kendall’s conclusion is “even a broken clock is right twice a day.”

The video, by the way, was posted this month. Kendall’s article was posted a little over a year ago.

So what if Jim is right? What if we see the worst recession in our lifetime? What will that mean?  More importantly, how can we prepare?

Let me share something I learned in January of 2006: no matter how the economy does, you can experience your own personal recession at anytime, for many reasons that are out of your control.

I speak from experience. When my boss(es) said “we’re going to let you go,” the economy was great. But my personal economy was about to take a serious turn for the worse. The stress was almost enough to break me.

I have seen this same thing play out thousands of times since then. I have met users from all over the world… some are from countries where there is no economic positive outlook and no jobs (Greece and Spain), others are from places rich with opportunities (Silicon Valley)… but no matter what’s going on with the economy, something happened… maybe between them and the boss, or a customer, or the company owner was crazy… something outside of my user’s control, and viola… jobless. Months away from being homeless.  Despair without end.

If you haven’t been there I hope you never go there.

If you have been there you know how dark it is.

Whether Jim Rogers is right or Kendall is right, what I know is that YOU MUST PREPARE.  Prepare for a fallen economy, or for a closed company (Enron), or for a crazy boss, or for the time when you are asked to do something that goes against who you are as a person (lie, cheat, or steal).  If I haven’t gone through it, I’ve seen it. And it’s no fun.

But, you can prepare. I see people do it all the time. People who are serious about maintaining a living. These are people who prioritize networking, relationships, branding, and career management. These are people who use JibberJobber, who read books to get better, who self-educate.

It’s a lot more fun to be prepared for a huge change, and to handle it well because you are empowered, than to take only what you can get and continually feel like you are daily become less and less of a person with a reason.

Prepare, now!

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Announcing an Upcoming Pricing Change

June 5th, 2017

Since 2006 we’ve been trying to figure out how to provide value to you…. the job seeker. Well, the person who cares about their career… whether you are in a job search now, or soon will be. Or, the person who is fine but knows that nothing is secure, and wants to get prepared.

We’ve added features, we’ve lowered prices, we’ve added video tutorials, we’ve offered bundles, we invested in the mobile app, and right now I have a team of developers who are all working on very awesome features that should be rolled out in the next few months.

But there’s always more we can do to add value to you. I want to provide a suite of tools to the job seeker that no other company comes close to… that is tools, education, opportunities, etc.  And I want to do it in such a way that it’s a no-brainer… I want this to be THE TOOL for your job search AND career management now, and until you retire! I want JibberJobber to be your place to go to organize your job search, improve your network relationships, and learn about career management.  I want you to be more empowered and in control than I was when I lost my job in 2006.

We will continue to invest. While I’ve been on “holiday” in Europe (holiday means a long vacation, which is a foreign concept to people in the U.S.) I’ve been thinking a lot about the direction to move. Do we invest in A, or B, or C? What will be best for YOU? What will be best for the longevity of JibberJobber?

In the last almost-three weeks that I’ve had to ponder this, I’ve come to a realization: It’s time to change the prices.  In fact, I have a developer that has spent the last almost-two months simplifying the upgrade page and process, making it easier to upgrade, and removing some confusion.

Last week I had some quiet time and I was really contemplating this and I felt that it was time to further simplify the pricing.  In the past we’ve had three levels (Free, Silver, Premium), and you could choose from monthly, three months, six months, 12 months, 24 months, and lifetime.  That was too many choices (3*6=18) and when we simplified it (removed silver level, to have only 12 remaining choices) our upgrades increased.  We also changed our one year upgrade from $99, which represented a $20 savings, to $60, which represented a 50% savings.  We saw another big increase in upgrades.

It’s time to do it again. Not too long ago I announced that I was going to beef up the video library, and make it a netflix-style payment plan. That is, you could get ALL of my career management videos for $10/month, or you could get them for discounts if you (a) got them for a year, or (b) bundled it with JibberJobber Premium (another $60/year).

The total package of everything I had to offer was $120: $60 for JibberJobber for a year + $60 for the JibberJobber Video Library for a year.

$120 a month.

The inspiration I got last week was to go back to the $60/year price, and include both the JibberJobber app as well as the video library.

My team is working on this right now… so it will be automated. If you want to upgrade now and get both, just do a one year JibberJobber upgrade ($60) and we’ll add the video library access on the backend.

This will simplify your choices and the interface, and it will be a lot lighter on your pocketbook.

Why are we doing this? Because of volume. We have enough signups each month that it makes sense. If we get enough conversions at this discounted rate, we’ll keep doing it. As long as it makes sense, we all help one another get the discounts.  If it doesn’t work out then we’ll go back to regular pricing ($60 + $60), but I think this is going to work.

So there you go… I wrote this while sitting in a hotel lobby near Paris, waiting to leave for the airport. I hope it makes sense. If you are willing to support our mission of helping job seekers land a role, and anyone who cares about their career have better career management, get a one year upgrade. Tell your friends. Advocate for us at job clubs, networking groups, online, even to family…!

What is our commitment to you?

My team will continue to work on projects to make your JibberJobber, job search, career management, and networking experiences better, richer, more effective. I feel like we have SO MUCH work to do. I feel like we are moving SLOW. But I have a team of people who care about you, and they care about JibberJobber. And they’ll continue to work with them to make JibberJobber what it should be.

My commitment is that, when I get back to my home office (later this month, I still have to spend time in Rome and Barcelona on my “holiday”), I will sit down and crank out the videos. I will build an awesome video library for you, focusing on job search, networking, social tools (especially LinkedIn), and even go into entrepreneurship and things to do to make you a better employee… this video library is going to be awesome!  The video library alone will be worth more than the $60 a year, but I feel like adding the JibberJobber networking tool to it will really empower you.

So there you go… a preannouncement because it hasn’t been programmed in yet, but it will be soon. Email me (Jason@JibberJobber.com) or Liz (Lizbeth@JibberJobber.com) if you are ready to get this awesome deal.  (If you have upgraded in the last year, we’ll include the video library… just email us your username and we’ll expedite it for you).

NOTE: Of course, we will still have the very powerful and functional free level.

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job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

JibberJobber is a powerful tool that lets you manage your career, from job search to relationship management to target company management (and much more). Free for life with an optional upgrade.

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Branding and Stereotypes

June 1st, 2017

Wow, it’s been almost a month since I’ve blogged anything here! I’ve been in Europe for the last two weeks (and blogging about it at JasonAlba.com/blog).  I spoke in Belgium at a huge IT conference, speaking about personal branding.  While there, I saw this online:

9gag_stereotypes

By now I’ve been to two of those countries (UK and France), and soon will be in Italy.  I don’t know if those are really true… we’ve had some excellent food in England!

But the point is, stereotypes! Stereotypes don’t have to be true to ring true, or to be powerful or persuasive.

You have to figure out what stereotypes you are stuck with, or should fight, and then create a strategy to fight them!

 

what where
job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

JibberJobber is a powerful tool that lets you manage your career, from job search to relationship management to target company management (and much more). Free for life with an optional upgrade.

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