Not in a Job Search? Start Using JibberJobber Now…

August 16th, 2017

Most people who read my blog and use JibberJobber are job seekers.

I say most… but there are a few who are not in a job search.

I have users who are “happily employed.” They are doing a great job, they are competent, they make good money, and like what they do.

Why would they use JibberJobber? Because they know how easy it is for things to change.

You know what’s amazing? The tens of thousands of people at Enron who one day had a great job, the next day they were locked out of their building and their entire retirement fund was dried up.

Can you imagine being forty and having to start preparing for retirement from the beginning?

Can you imagine being 64, months away from a great retirement, and then learning that NO, there is no money?  WHAT DO YOU DO??

Oh, but Enron is an example that is too dramatic, right? That just doesn’t happen to everyone, or many people, right?

I have a phrase I use in my presentations to job clubs: “getting Enroned.” It means you are doing your job, either well or extremely well, and all of the sudden, due to no fault of your own, you have no job (and none of the promises, like retirement). It goes away overnight.

Focus on this: through now fault of your own.

That could mean:

  • You loved your old boss, but you got a new one and you are like oil and water. There’s no way that you will both be employed for much longer.
  • You are part of the back office and the sales team just announced they lost their biggest contract, and sales will be down by millions.
  • The investors of the company you work for just pulled some funding off the table, and have demanded that the execs start trimming fat and cutting costs.
  • You were recreating on your own time and got poked in the eye with a branch, and now you have recurring medical conditions that have a serious impact on your performance. It was an accident, but you can’t do your job, so you are gone.
  • You love your job but one day go to the office and can’t get in. Turns out your boss was doing illegal stuff and not only is the company (including you) under investigation, the boss is IN JAIL.
  • You have done an excellent job and your company is getting acquired. The only problem is, the acquiring company already has someone who does your job, and they aren’t about to get let go. You are out.
  • Someone accuses you of something inappropriate and for some reason the investigation isn’t thorough, and before you know it you are on the street wondering what just happened.
  • The boss’s boss’s boss’s admin doesn’t like you… and you are done.

I’ve heard of all of these, and more.  In general, these are not “with cause” reasons to lose your job, but the result is the same: you are out of a job! 

It’s kind of like being in an accident… even if it wasn’t your fault, and even if the insurance money comes your way, or you can sue for damages, you still lost something. It’s just rotten all around.

Losing your job, for whatever reason, can be unsettling. Sometimes it’s unfair, many times it sucks, and of course, sometimes it is a blessing in disguise. But you are still left jobless.

This is why some people who use JibberJobber are happily employed. Because they know that something might happen, and they want to be as prepared as they can.

What does that mean? How do they use JibberJobber?

Perhaps they are adding contacts, new and old, to their system. It’s a lot more fun to start a job search (and network) when you have a list of names than to be freshly laid-off, staring at a blank piece of paper trying to come up with your network.

Perhaps they are logging conversations, or important information (like birthdays or contact info or who we met info). A name becomes a relationship once you start adding this additional information about your contacts.  This is real, meaty stuff you can use to take the relationship to the next level.

Perhaps they are tracking companies they might be interested in working at. They might have customers or vendors or partners they work with, and have a company record and relevant contacts listed… what an awesome bit of intelligence they’ll have when it’s time to start networking into companies!

Perhaps they are using it as a networking and follow-up tool, because networking is not just for job seekers! JibberJobber allows you to log and track conversations, emails, etc., and set up reminders to remind you to follow-up. Networking without follow-up is like eating without food!

Should you use JibberJobber? YEP! Start networking now… when you are in transition, you’ll be very grateful!

 

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The Job Search Plateau

August 15th, 2017

I’m doing Body for Life, again. Basically, it’s a program that combines eating (6 small meals a day, with high protein, low fat, and healthy carbs) with specific workouts. It is the best program that I’ve ever tried, and I hope to do it for a few more twelve-week cycles.

Yesterday, I was taking a personal inventory and I felt like I was plateauing. I was eating well (for five or six days, lol), and I have been working out diligently, and honoring the rest that my muscles need to rebuild. I’ve seen progress here and there, but yesterday I felt like I was doing the stuff, but not making the progress.

I’ve been here before, mentally.  Back in high school I remember getting to a point where, no matter what I did, I didn’t move up to the next level in the gym. I was plateauing then, and I didn’t know what to do about it. I just suffered through it for a few months without great mentoring, and it sucked.

When I plateau now I’m inclined to add a cheat meal. It (my diligence, the system, the process) isn’t making a difference, anyway, so why not have a burger or three.

That’s my little Shoulder Devil talking. I know what’s really happening.  Somewhere, somehow, what I’m doing is good, and there is something happening in my body, even though I can’t see it. But I’ve done Body for Life a few times and when I push through what feels like a plateau, I get to a point where I see results again, and then other people see results (!!). In other words, even though it didn’t seem like anything was happening, something big was happening. I just needed to stay disciplined, keep with the system, and keep doing the RIGHT things. No matter how much gabbing that dumb Shoulder Devil does.

As I was contemplating all of this yesterday it made me think about how this applies to the job search.  I know that I mostly felt like I wasn’t making progress in the job search… I was on a plateau. No matter what I did, no matter how many things I did “right,” I just wasn’t making progress.

Unfortunately, I was doing more things wrong than right, I just didn’t realize it.

But here’s what I know, because I’ve seen it many times over the last eleven years with my JibberJobber users: Doing more of the right things, and less of the wrong things, consistently, over time, gets you closer to landing the job.

Even if you feel like you are plateauing, and many job seekers do, keep doing the right things, day after day, consistently. Get advice from people in-the-know who can help make sure you aren’t doing the wrong things.  Keep doing the right things, and you’ll work through the plateaus.  I know I will.

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The Best Part About Problem Solving Is…

August 11th, 2017

Solving the problem!

Well, sometimes it’s better to realize when to walk away from a problem, but solving a problem is pretty awesome.

Yesterday I talked about problem solving in this post: What’s Your Biggest System/Process Gap (Problem)? I talked about a little problem that we’ve had… something gnawing at my mind for a while… it was simple, and not a big deal, but it was a problem.

Just today, I found out it has been fixed.  Now, when you do a search on the top-right search box, the dropdown of suggestions will look right (instead of hidden behind the menu.  Yeah!

jj_menu_layering_fixed

No big deal, right? Well, here’s the deal: If you have something gnawing at you it could be slowing you down. It’s on your mind, and it’s a distraction. If it’s a simple thing, FIX IT!

Years ago I worked for Don Aslett, who owned a big cleaning company. He also wrote dozens of books and traveled the world speaking. He talked a lot about decluttering. I remember him talking the attic, or shed, or whatever that space is that you throw stuff that you don’t look at for years.  He said that you have to declutter that because, even though you don’t see it, and hardly go there, it’s still there. That clutter is mentally cluttering your mind.

What a concept!

Things that we think are just out of our view, and “away” from our daily routine, still cluttering our mind? Even if it is in “the right place” (for now)?

Once you declutter the attic, it’s not on your mind anymore!

Same thing with those little nagging, annoying things that we’ll get to “later.” I’m not saying to drop everything (especially the harder parts of your job search) just to get these things off your list. But it might make a lot of sense to make a plan… whether it’s getting up thirty minutes early or spending a certain amount of time each day on these and JUST GET THEM DONE, little by little.

Chipping away at these annoying things can free up your mind and make you feel less guilty and more productive.

Yesterday was about a problem solving process… today is about getting things, even the small things, knocked off your list!

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What’s Your Biggest System/Process Gap (Problem)?

August 10th, 2017

In JibberJobber we have problems. That’s why I have a team of professionals who I pay. We all work together to identify problems (sometimes our users help us a lot – thank you problem finders :)), figure out what the root issues are, and then work to make the problems go away.

Sometimes what we do is responsive. For example, recently we learned that there is a tiny glitch with *some* email2log emails. UGH. We are responding to that like it’s a five alarm fire because it’s the most important feature we have.  Also, a user let us know that what he’s seeing on Reminders and on the Action Item Widget and on the mobile app all seem to be a little different… again, a five alarm fire.  Get out the hoses, and get this fixed, NOW!

There are other responsive things we work on… a career coach (thanks Thea!) reported that there is an issue on the general search… when you do a search we show a dropdown of possible hits. The problem is that the dropdown is partially hidden by the menu. Oops.  This isn’t five alarm fire, functionality-wise, because it doesn’t have to do with bad data, or messing up data. But, first-impression-wise it does not look good at all. “If they can’t do that, or if they didn’t notice that, what else are they messing up? MY DATA??”  Functionally, it’s a no-alarm fire. But with regard to branding (reputation management, building confidence in the user), it really could be a no-big-deal thing or it could be a “they don’t pay attention to details, I don’t trust them, and wont’ recommend them” thing.

Other problems we work on are proactive. There are a bunch of new features to work on that we have listed out, with priorities. Things like creating a… well, I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up, so I’m not going to list them here… but we have years of work to do to make JibberJobber more awesome.

One of the biggest problems we have… the next BIG problem to solve, is what is called “onboarding.” That is, someone signs up for JibberJobber, how do we  help them get enamored (and even hooked on) the system?  Some people dive right in, and get it, but too many people (one is too many) login and then scratch their head and say “I just don’t get it. I’m going back to my Excel spreadsheet.”

Of course, we can’t help everyone. There are certain people that will love JibberJobber, and the structure and organization, and there are others who are just going to do better with notepad and pencil. That’s fine. But there are plenty of people, I think, that we could lend a helping hand to, and baby-step walk them towards becoming real users.

So that’s our big gap right now, and that’s what we’re actively working on.  Along with a bunch of other things, of course.

Now, it’s your turn… let’s turn this concept over to you, as a job seeker.

What’s your gap?

Can you:

  1. Identify the problem? (“I am not getting any responses to my networking emails”)
  2. Define the root issues? (“I’m sending to the wrong people, or my messages are too generic, or my messages are too jargony, etc.”)
  3. Fix the problem, at the root level? (Change the text of your emails, and make sure you are customizing each message, and that you are sending the messages to the right people, not just blasting them out to anyone).

Seems simple, right? It is, conceptually.

We are talking about simple problem solving.  Realize that if you skip any of these three steps, you aren’t doing yourself a favor. You really have to do each of these… skip #1 and you might spend too much time on #2 and #3 for something that either doesn’t exist, or isn’t a significant problem. Skip #2 and you might just fix symptoms, but not the root. Skip #3 and you are just an idea person, a worrier, a hoarder of stress, without ever cleaning anything up.

Take some time, today and this weekend, and figure out what your job search and networking problems are, and then work through this simple framework to address them.

It’s how we move forward.

And remember, it doesn’t all have to get fixed this week… you have plenty of time, but just make sure you are making progress.

 

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How Many People Know You Are In A Job Search?

August 9th, 2017

This morning I was thinking about the job seeker (me, and you, and pretty much everyone, even if they don’t know it). The one I met at a networking event who was in transition, but no one knew it. He was happy, and rico suave, and talked about all kinds of things, except the job search. We had no idea that he was even on the market… he seemed to be headed very fast and strong in a certain direction.

It’s great to be optimistic, and working towards something, and have hope.  It’s great to not be the Debbie Downer at an event, or amongst your network. And no one wants to be The Project.

However, this person I have in mind, the one who doesn’t let anyone know he needs help, is in stark contrast to the other person who lets everyone know. His email list, his neighbors, his family, people at his church, or this club or that club… everyone knows that he’s looking for a certain type or level of job, and maybe can even name some of his target companies.

I recently learned of two close friends who were out of work for almost a year… two or three years ago. I didn’t know at the time, but I found out much later. Being out of work, for many, is an embarrassing secret.  But it shouldn’t be.  It’s more common than you think. It doesn’t mean that you are a horrible worker, and it’s not a black mark on your career. It’s now just a fact of life.

So, how many people know you are in a job search? I challenge you to add a few more people to that list, today, tomorrow, and every day until you finally land.

People want to help you out of a bind, but they can’t if they don’t know you are in a bind.

TELL PEOPLE. TODAY.

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How To: See All Of Your Log Entries… (or, Did Email2Log Work?)

August 8th, 2017

A user recently asked where he can see all of the Log Entries he’s created, after having played around with Email2Log.

There are various places where you can see the Log Entries… you can go to the Contact, Company, or Job record that you associated that Log Entry with and scroll down… the Log Entries will be at the bottom of the record.

Or, you can use either (or both) of these… I’ll use either one depending on what I’m doing:

The Log Entries Widget (also, the Action Items / Reminder Widget)

On the home page, when you first login, you have a bunch of widgets.  Did you know you can change these to be what you want them to be?  Simply click the Manage Widgets link (top arrow), and you’ll have a page that allows you to (a) turn on and off various widgets, and (b) reposition the widgets (just click and drag their box higher or lower).

You can see that I currently have mine set up to see Log Entries at the top, then Action Items (and I turned off all of the other widgets).

JJ-blog-LogEntries_homepage_widget

This way, you can see your Log Entries (and Action Items / Reminders) for the current week every time you go to the home page.

If I’m testing Email2Log, I’ll send an email and then come to the home page and refresh it until I see that record show up.

The Log Entries and Action Item Report 

This is a super-robust report that let’s you see what you have been doing (and what you have coming up).

Why is it super-robust?  Because you have a bunch of options to make the report what you want it to be.

To get there, click on Logs from the main menu (or, under Reports, click on the Log Entries and Action Items Report in the dropdown).

jj-blog-LogEntries_mainMenu

Then, you’ll see this report… it can show you every Log Entry you’ve ever put in. That can be overwhelming, don’t you think?

Notice in the blue box it shows (a) what it is displaying, and (b) a link to change what it is displaying.

jj-blog-LogEntries_mainMenu_LogEntryActionItemReport

I encourage you to play around with those configurations… you can show, for example, only open Action Items (Reminders), or only Log Entries (not Action Items from a certain date range, etc.  There are a number of options.

jj_blog_LE_AI_report_configuration

Wait… it gets better! Once you have figured out what you want to see (from the blue box), you can change how you want to see it!  You can (A) order your data, for example, alphabetically with the up and down icons by each column, and (B) you can filter your results AGAIN with the search box.  This is the power of the List Panel in JibberJobber.

jibberjobber_le_ai_report_list-panel-functionality

And, of course, it gets even better.  Because this is a List Panel, you can do what we call “multi-actions.” That is, you can select multiple records (see the checkboxes on the left?) and do something to all of the selected records at one time. Let’s say you want to close a bunch of Reminders all at once… simply check their checkboxes, then click the clock icon at the bottom.  This will close them.  Fun :)

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So there you go… two very robust ways to see your Log Entries… and more!

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Want Feedback From Employers? Go Jump Off A Cliff, Says SHRM

August 7th, 2017

I saw this article posted by a friend on Facebook, who I won’t name because I don’t want said friend to catch any heat from SHRM because of my response to this article. It’s titled Rejecting Candidates: What should an employer tell a candidate who is not selected for the position?

The bottom line is that the author, and really SHRM (because it’s published on a SHRM site), endorse the idea of not giving real (or any) feedback to candidates who aren’t hired.

Reading the article, there are several points that I agree with (like, the communication an employer has with a candidate can impact that candidate as far as future applications, or being a customer (TRUE!), and there are a few points that are really disappointing (like, giving feedback just opens you up for litigation and arguing and career counseling, so it’s better to not give any feedback (I’m sure that’s all true, but where’s the heart, man??).

The point of my post this morning is to share what HR professionals are being taught/fed, and how they think about job seekers and the process. It’s important to understand how they think, so that you can adjust your communication and expectations accordingly.  So, go read this short article… hopefully it helps you as you move forward towards your next gig.  And heaven forbid the people who perpetuate this advice get caught up in all the negative downside of it when they are in a job search.

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Ask The Coach #2: Consulting or Multiple Positions at Same Company on a Resume (how to)

August 4th, 2017

This question was something I came up against right when Diana emailed it to me… here’s the question, and the responses from coaches is below:

I have a question about listing consulting positions on a resume.  My last 3 jobs were 1099 consulting positions.  I was thinking after watching the Extreme Resume Makeover – could having them currently listed as separate positions be causing me to lose out on jobs that I am MORE than qualified for?  Looks like I job hop? If so, should I list like:

Consulting Work:
ABC Global Services………..
LodgicSource………..
LPL Financial………….
 

Or should I list next to the job title:

(Consultant)

Note from Jason: This question can be expanded to talk about one company where you had multiple roles… should you break those roles into separate resume (or LinkedIn) entries, or group them?

atc_2_cheryl_lynch_simpsonCheryl Lynch Simpson, Career, Job Search & LinkedIn Coach & Master Resume Writer, writes:

If your 1099 consulting roles lasted less than 2-3 years, it will be advantageous to combine them into one listing on both your resume and LinkedIn profile to combat the job hopper perception. My suggestion would be to give your consulting business a name, claim (Type of) Consultant as your title, and describe your achievements with each consulting role in bullets. For example:

atc_2_cheryl_1

As you can see in this example, the emphasis is on your achievements with each company rather than the companies themselves. Take this exact same approach on LI, as recruiters do not like to read multiple job listings with short tenure.

Many professionals face the opposite problem, wherein they have worked for the same company for many years and question whether they should combine all their roles or list them separately.

  • If your titles were incidental and you basically held the same position for a very long time punctuated by expanding responsibilities such that you essentially did the same thing for years and years, then it may be difficult to disentangle one position from another. In this case, conflating your titles may be more realistic. However, it will be important to clearly indicated your rise in the company by including all your titles in one listing and stressing the gradual elevation of your authority over time, as well as the continuing nature of key initiatives that continued across your different roles.
  • If you held roles in different departments for the same company, then it will make more sense for you to list each position separately so you can stress the cross-functionality of your experience. Recruiters and hiring executives tend to value candidates with this kind of breadth.
  • Because recruiters don’t like long LI profiles with many different job listings, it is nearly always advantageous to combine roles with the same company into a single experience entry. Make sure you clarify the dates and titles of each role, however, so recruiters can see your promotion history and the appropriate key words will be included.

atc_headshot_denise_taylorDenise Taylor, Career Coach, Chief Inspiration Officer, the 50 Plus Coach, responds:

Your resume is a marketing document, you don’t need to include everything that you have done, but focus on what’s relevant for the job you are targeting. If some of the consultancy assignments were real ‘stand-out’ ones you could show them separately. They could stand out as they were longer, or there was a strong impact/result.

For the rest, I’d group them into one position – choosing different ones to refer to depending on the target job. This will stop you appearing as a job hopper and show the breadth of your knowledge. Your evidence against this job can include how you are quick to get up to speed/ understand a new culture/influence as an outsider.

atc_headshot_ron_auerbachRon Auerbach, Job search author, expert, and educator, writes:

In one way, this question is similar to a job seeker who’s been working through an employment agency and has been sent out on various assignments. Because you worked for several companies, do you list those assignments separately? Or do you combine them into one? The fact is there is no rule. So it all comes down to a matter of opinion and judgment. And part of this decision is to look at the overall background and goal of the job seeker. And the structuring of the resume itself.

But with consulting work, I would generally combine them into one listing on your resume. It cleans things up and still allows you to highlight the companies and/or kind of consulting you did. And in the case of gaps between the consulting jobs, having them all combined into one lets you show continuous employment. So on your application, you’d separate them out. But on your resume, you’d show continuous employment during the entire time.

Let’s suppose we combine them into a single job listing on the resume. The question now become whether to include the names of the companies for whom you consulted. Or leave the names out and just have the industries to which those companies belong. And yes, you could even include both if you wanted. For example, here’s how it would look if you listed just the company names:

atc_2_ron_1

The advantage of going this route is that you can highlight specific company names that would impress the reader. And fyi, you don’t have to list all the companies for whom you did consulting, You can pick and choose which ones to list.

Now let’s assume you chose to list the consulting work by industry rather than company name. Here is how that would look:

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This approach is very helpful if you feel the company names won’t be recognizable to the readers. Or if the companies you consulted for aren’t the size that would impress employers or recruiters. It’s also useful where you want to stress the industries where you consulted. FYI, if your consulting was limited to a particular industry, you could replace my “Multiple or Several” with the industry. And then list the various companies within that industry where you consulted.

If you were to list them separately, or use the combined method, are you still at risk of being seen as a job-hopper? The answer is still yes. So if that’s a big issue to you, one way to handle it would be to leave those bullets out. And just list yourself as a consultant. So just the one line with no info below it. And in a different spot on your resume, that’s where you can list the info that goes along with the consulting work.And yes, you could also remove that “Multiple or Several” in my examples to just have your Consultant title and dates. Here, you’re playing into the assumption by readers that maybe you only consulted for a single client rather than a bunch.

Now if you want to work for a consulting firm rather than for yourself, then job-hopping isn’t an issue at all. In the world of consulting, it’s normal to work for one this time and somebody else next time. So job-hopping is the norm in this field. And happens with those who work for consulting companies and those who are independent contractors working for themselves. So job-hopping is the norm, totally accepted, and not an issue at all. But if you are seeking work in something else, then job-hopping might be an issue in that world.

FYI, the ways I mentioned about how to list consulting and temp work also applies to those of you who may have had differing roles with the same company. Yes, you could decide to list them separately. And include some duties and accomplishments with each one. Or you could combine them into a single listing. And use bullet points to include the KEY accomplishments and duties from all your roles. You can also include a statement that you were promoted from X to Y. Here’s an example to illustrate:

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If things get messy or you don’t have enough space to get all the info you want across to readers, then you could split things into more than one listing. And decide which one(s) to list separately and which ones(s) to combine. So yes, you can mix and match with part combined and part listed independently. The bottom line is you have a lot of flexibility to structure thing in the way that works best for you.

atc_headshot_lucie_yeomansLucie Yeomans, 6X Certified Career Services Professional and Job Search Strategist, writes:

This is a complicated question with a variety of answers. Do you want to continue to work as a consultant or are you looking for full-time employment working for a company? Here are a few ideas for either situation.

1099 Transitioning to Full-time Employment

Yes, you do want to avoid looking like a job hopper to the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) or the first reader who gives your resume a 6- to 8-second initial glance. For those of my 1099 clients who wish to work for a company, we have had the most success when we list their 1099/consulting positions under their own company name. Give a brief explanation of the type of work you provide (be sure to include industry keywords in your description), followed by a more resume-style description of each of your 1099 jobs.

Example:

atc_2_yeomans_1

Continue as Consultant, looking for new 1099 jobs

For those of my clients who wish to continue as a consultant and look for new 1099 gigs, we use a completely different approach. As you know, networking is key in finding your next 1099 job, but the document you leave behind or email ahead of time needs to reflect your brand. Your resume in this case should be more of a marketing document with testimonials, services, lists of jobs/clients (if not confidential) and your unique value/brand. You also want to the layout to be visually appealing, as well as easy to scan for important information.

Sonia Cerezo, Certified Professional Career Coach, says:

Dear Consultant,

List all your experience under your consulting title and/or business. I suggest using this format.

atc_2_sonia_1

Be sure each of your bullet points has quantifiable information. You are in finance, so it is important to provideatc_headshot_sonia_cerezo
specifics on how your consulting benefits future clients or an employer. This provides you the stability of ongoing
employment and it accurately portrays your experience.

Also, be consistent across all marketing platforms, LinkedIn profile, online portfolio, and/or website, etc.

However, if you had multiple roles with one company it is important to show progression and identify each one
separately. It is important to put the dates with each position but the entire time you worked with the company
under the company name. Here is an example.

atc_2_sonia_2

I hope this answered your question.

Wishing you much success in your career!

atc_headshot_rich_grantRich Grant, Online career course instructor for Peak-Careers, writes:

Yes, it’s a good idea to consolidate consulting roles on your resume. Besides helping to minimize the appearance of being a job hopper, it simplifies your resume and makes it easier to read. The other way to clarify it is by making a note within the line listings of the consulting projects, for example “six-month contract.” Then, a prospective employer won’t think you had a series of short-lived jobs.

There are a few ways to group together consulting roles, including creating a separate section on your resume for “consulting experience,” listing consulting projects under one agency name, if that’s the case, or creating your own business name. It’s also a good idea to group jobs together if your company gets bought out and your old company name no longer exists. Rather than list it as two different employers on your resume, list the new company name on the first line, with the full date range you worked for both employers. Show the different positions you held, listed under the main company header, and for the jobs you had at the old company, put the old company name in parentheses after the job title. This will be particularly helpful if your old company got bought out after you were only there for six months!

atc_headshot_gavan_ambrosiniGavan Ambrosini, Career Consultant and Executive Coach, writes:

Employers will want to get an immediate blueprint of your value–and in situations like this, it is not uncommon to highlight your skills and expertise first, followed by your consultant title and brief naming of your client list. We call this a functional resume.  It focuses more on your skill sets, trainings, and certifications and not so much on your work history.
I suggest the following format:
  1. Start with your name and contact info,
  2. Professional summary: (2-3 lines qualifying you as a viable candidate)
  3. Highlights of Skills and Accomplishments/Trainings/Certs etc comprised of a targeted and bulleted list.  You may even want to break it up into mini sections with 4-6 in each.  If you can show quantifiable results in your  section this will also grab an employers attention (scope of project, ROI, etc) For tons of examples of functional resumes, google “functional resume” with your industry and look at images tab to get ideas on how you can present your work.
  4. Following this section list your Work History. You can even use your “last name” and “consulting” as your company name and then list the client name, city, and duration of each consultant gig on a separate line. No need to list out responsibilities for each role here as that can be highlighted in your selected skills & accomplishment section that precedes this.  The idea is to communicate your strengths as a targeted and complete package to the employer’s needs, not as a hodge-podge of different short time gigs with various roles & duties.
As for being viewed as a job hopper–It is all how you present it.  Some may very well see it that way–however, if you are good at what you do, you can communicate how much you gave & gained working on these special projects.  Being hired as a consultant carries a lot more weight than as just a contractor so wear that difference proudly! You were a hired gun for a specific job because of your expertise in a particular area and that is something of value to note.

Part B: List roles separately or as 1 grouping?  If you have only worked at 1 company for the past 20+ years and you want to highlight how you have moved up the company ladder–use the company name as a header and then follow with 1 title of each role you had, followed by the years in that role and a brief description of what you did beneath it.  2-3 brief action verb sentences to give context of your role followed by a couple of bullet points to highlight your achievements.  If you have more than 2 companies to list and the experience from company 3 and 4 is just as valuable as your last role–then just list your most current role at said company–and you can make mention of how you moved up in your cover letter or briefly mention your promotions in your summary section or job description.  The bottom line is this: Every word should be of value to the employer–not be used as an opportunity to justify or showcase your own self-worth. If responsibilities of your first job with the company don’t serve your future employer in any way–then don’t put it on there. Everything is prime real estate on a resume–so choose your words carefully and make them count!

atc_headshot_craig_toadtmanCraig Toadtman, Job Search Consultant, Career Adviser, Coach, Executive Search Consultant, says:

Résumé format is important, but content is critical. That said, you raise an excellent question that also applies to an individual holding several positions at one company. I suggest that you combine the consulting projects under one heading, such as [Your Name] Consulting, and indenting the individual projects with descriptions. For example:

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Descriptions should be concise and loaded with key words that are clearly demonstrating your skills and experience which appeal to automated recruiter software looking for YOU!

atc_headshot_gina_bartosiewiczGina Bartosiewicz, Professional Resume Writing Consultant, says:

When putting together your resume as a consultant, you want it clean, easy to read, and relevant! Remember, you are creating your personal brand here, and you want to keep it organized while marketing and highlighting your skills and accomplishments. Since your perspective clients or employers are looking for someone in particular, you want to be sure that you are including details about your projects, along with quantifiable achievements for each project so that they know that you have what it takes. Your goal here is to grab the reader’s attention, and you certainly want to avoid bouncing around with dates. The best part about a consultant resume, is that they are easy to tailor for a specific position or client, and you can leave out anything that doesn’t relate directly to the position.  I realize that the act of creating a new resume for each job you apply for can be tiresome, but in the end, if it lands you that project or job, isn’t it worth it?

For a Consultant resume, my focus is typically more on the functional side – showcasing and highlighting skills and achievements. I typically present consulting work by grouping all projects together. Many consider themselves a Consultant, so they list themselves as a Freelance Consulting Firm, or just Consultant and then I combine all projects under that umbrella.  Grouping all consulting work into a single time block will better control the readers perception of any gaps or longevity, because even when you aren’t working on a project, you are still a consultant, and may be in between projects.

An example would be:

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In a company where you have held several positions, I generally find this to be a different scenario, however.  Because roles vary from position to position, sometimes you really do need to create a separate section for each job title.  In some cases, however, when there isn’t much change or diversity within the roles, you can group the position titles together.  In general, it is always a good idea to have a second or third pair of eyes on your resume.  Does it flow well?  Does it grab the readers attention? Are you getting your point across and showcasing and highlighting your accomplishments in each role? Are you repeating yourself in order to fill space? Remember to strive for clean, easy to read and relevant!

atc_headshot_perry_newmanPerry Newman, Certified Social Media Strategist, Certified Personnel Consultant, Resume Writer, and LinkedIn Transformation Specialist, writes:

Since you are a 1099, theoretically, you own your own business and, I advise you to list it as such. If you worked through a third-party source, you can say partnering with ABC Consulting. This method is not deceptive since 1099 employees work for themselves and your pay stubs and 1099n tax forms will verify this.

Example:

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In the body for each assignment you can break down whom you reported to, the nature of the project with
applicable metrics including on time and on-budget delivery.

In the case of listing multiple roles in the same and or a merged /acquired company, there are two ways to go on a
resume depending on how relevant the prior information is and whether you want to emphasize it or minimize it.

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You can also group these positions if you have been in a company a long time and/or moved from lower level to
executive level roles. The key is always to highlight jobs that are relevant to the jobs you are applying for.

As for LinkedIn, for the 1099, I advise listing it as a position under your business name and breaking down the
assignments in the body.

For long-term employees, I advise listing each role separately on LinkedIn for maximum key work optimization.

 

atc_headshot_john_sattlerJohn Sattler, Certified Personnel Consultant and Certified Professional Resume Writer, writes:

A resume is about communicating your value as professional for the purpose of generating an interview for a job you desire. Keeping this in mind, what is the best way to communicate this scenario to serve our purpose?

I would not combine different positions held with the same company. This is a completely different scenario than someone doing contracting gigs. This shows a pattern of progression, that the candidate is promotable, able to learn and adapt, able to handle additional responsibilities, and able to take on increased complexity and sophistication of work.

would combine positions under 1099 activity. Many professionals do consulting work when they’re between full time (W-2) jobs. It’s a way to stay sharp, engaged, and visible. Let’s assume this person is an experienced Marketing Analyst: here is how I would present it on the resume:

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atc_headshot_alexia_scottAlexia Scott, CPRW, says:

You were actually self-employed during that time, so there was only one employer (you). That’s why you received 1099’s–you were an independent contractor. This is the logical way to present that time period, and this treatment sidesteps the obstacle of listing multiple consulting clients.

Recently, I helped a lean performance improvement expert who did consulting work for C-level executives. I combined his consulting work, showing it as one “employer,” with the heading “Independent Consultant.” A bulleted list briefly  described his most notable consulting achievements.

 

atc_elvabankinsbaxter_headshotElva Bankins Baxter, Certified Master Coach, writes:

When your last three jobs were all 1099 consulting positions and you are in a current job search seeking another position, I would suggest combining your consulting (1099) positions into one descriptive position and use beginning and ending dates for the entire three years. This avoids someone reading your resume to think you had three short stints or are a job-hopper.

I’d suggest the following sample  format:

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When you have worked for a company and have held multiple positions with in the same company, List the company and your beginning and ending years.  Then list each position held and your achievements (no more than three) per position held.  For each position, the years should be listed.  This format should be used for recent and one previous position (within the past 10 years) positions only.

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For the second page positions and more than 10 years ago…group them and list the overall achievements:

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atc_headshot_heather_maiettaHeather Maietta, Career Coach, Facilitator, Trainer, Author, Speaker, says:

The short answer I have is ‘it depends’. Considerations include:

  1. 1) how long the consulting gigs lasted
  2. 2) how prestigious the company
  3. 3) depth of other experience

If the consulting gigs lasted less than six months or were insignificant in depth and scope, I might advise grouping them under a heading ‘Consulting Work’. If the each gig lasted for a significant length of time and/or were instrumental in depth and scope, I might advise to list separately with the position title ‘consultant’. I would advise similarly if the consulting work was performed at a reputable company, globally and/or within your industry. This would draw attention to the fact you were a consultant for a significant player, thus showcasing prestige.

Since a resume is a document to grab attention and keep the reader interested in engaging with you further, length should always be a consideration. If your consulting work is in addition to years of relevant work experience, grouping may save space and present your experience in a more concise, visually appealing way. If you are newer to the workforce or to the field, showcasing your experience more in depth will give the reader a better sense of the experience you have gained that isn’t highlighted anywhere else on your document.

Regardless of how you format your document, you can include a one sentence header or bullet under your professional summary that captures your consulting experience and positions you as a thought leader in your industry. Something like “Global Financial Services consultant at Fortune 100 Companies: ABC Global, LogicSource, LPL Financial” or something similar.

Wasn’t that a great roundup from our coaches? There arelots of great answers… hopefully this helps you figure out how to create this part of your resume!

 

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What NOT To Ask In An Interview (as a Job Seeker)

August 3rd, 2017

Years ago, in 2006, I had an interview. At the end I asked questions about working at the company. Could you tell me about the health insurance? What about vacation? What about non-vacation time off?

I wanted to get a feel for the company culture, how they treated and respected their employees, etc.  After all, as a job seeker, I’m checking the company out as much as the company is checking me out, right?

Yes, right. Sure. Uh huh.  Except here’s the problem: my questions made me look like I was high maintenance, not a team player, and maybe I didn’t really want the job.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t know what you are getting into, but I do want you to focus on the task at hand (being on display, answer the questions correctly, etc.).

Does that sound one-sided?

In many cases, it is.  If you are an unemployed job seeker, your sense of urgency to replace your paycheck is much, much higher than an employers sense of urgency to hire the right person (trust me, they don’t want drama).

susan_joyce_headshotSusan Joyce wrote a great post on Job-Hunt.org, giving 45 examples of questions to NOT ask in your job interview, and why you shouldn’t. Check it out here: 45 Questions You Should NOT Ask in a Job Interview

So here’s the problem… you really want to know the answers to some of these questions.  You should know the answers, really, before you get into an employment relationship.

My message is simply this: get the answers from the right people at the right time.  That might mean you get answers from people you network with instead of asking the interviewer.  It might mean you look it up on Glassdoor, or LinkedIn. You need to realize that the questions you ask are part of your interview… it’s part of how they judge you. You can ask questions about vacations and bonuses, but what does that say about you?

Be careful, and figure out when and where to get the answers you need.

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New JibberJobber Landing Page: Something New, Fresh, and Simple

August 2nd, 2017

Last year when I was working with Udie, my UX guy in San Francisco, I learned that on a page, every field that you have to enter something presents a choice… and one of our goals is to reduce the choices.

No, this isn’t a political statement… it’s simply a design technique to help clean up websites that are too confusing.

When we started working together he said, “Jason, one thing I’m going to do is take away a lot of stuff from JibberJobber.”  Ugh, I thought… I don’t want to be like that company that takes away features that people use and love!

He wasn’t talking about taking away (and retiring) features… he was talking about cleaning up each page so it isn’t confusing, rather it’s closer to a single-purpose.

Don’t worry, we’re not going to take away the power of JibberJobber… but we are on a mission to clean things and make each page more intuitive. And, where we can, make the site look more updated.

And that’s why we have worked on updating the landing page (and static, logged-out pages) of JibberJobber.  There’s one change we made that, years ago, I would not have done… but every single thing we have on this page is where it is for a reason.  I hope that these changes continue to move us closer to the target. I won’t pretend that we are done, or “this is it,” but I think this is a really good move in the right direction.

The most important thing to realize is that if you are going to login (and you already have an account), you need to click the login link at the top-right.  The form that’s on the front page is to create new accounts, not to login to your existing account.

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Well, that’s it. This update doesn’t impact the functionality of JibberJobber, but I hope it has an impact on new signups!

Thanks for your support, we’ll be releasing some other new features soon!

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