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Organize Your Job Search: How to Log Networking Calls and Follow Up

January 22nd, 2021

I got this email question from a new user:

How do I log networking calls and follow up? Ideally, I want to have reminders set for follow up action items? I would like too jump start transitioning my paper notes as I am having multiple calls a day.

Thank you for this question! There is actually a lot to talk about here…

Organize Your Job Search With JibberJobber: Transition from Paper Job Organizing System

I want to start with this because it is critical. If you are starting to use JibberJobber (or any job search CRM or electronic job search tracking system) after you have already been using a paper-based system for days, weeks, or months, DO NOT TRY TO GET EVERYTHING YOU HAVE RECORDED INTO JIBBERJOBBER.

This could take a lot of time, and is generally a frustrating process. Of course, you have collected great information, so I’m not saying get rid of it, but I personally wouldn’t sit down and try to copy everything over to JibberJobber.

I would, however, start to move stuff over as it is relevant. Here’s how:

I would go through my old notes, looking for follow-up opportunities. Let’s say I contacted Joe and Sally two months ago and really should follow up with them. I would use the Email2Log feature, which I might argue will be your favorite feature moving forward, to (a) send them an email with my follow-up message, and (b) get them, and a new Log Entry, into JibberJobber.

This is easier than reading that last sentence. Simply put your special Email2Log address in the BCC field of the email you write to Joe or Sally, and we do all the work for you.

Here’s my big tip: In your follow-up email, include any information you want from your old notes, so that information becomes part of the Log Entry (meaning, you’ll transfer your old notes into JibberJobber). The more details you put in your email, the better. For example:

Sally, thanks again for the conversation we had a couple of months ago. I learned a lot, and have already reached out to Jim, John, and Tiffany, the three people you introduced me to. I’ve had great conversations with them and have found them to be valuable additions to my network.

When we talked you mentioned you were seeing some pretty significant changes to the industry. You mentioned how that might impact Competitor One and Competitor Two, and I’ve seen your predictions play out. That has become significant to me because it has opened up some new opportunities, which I’ve been investigating.

I’d love to have a follow-up conversation, and share what I’ve learned. Can we schedule a call early next week?

In this example you’ll see a lot of details that might have been in my notes from a couple of months ago… and now they’ll be in JibberJobber!

Just by sending an email this way, with Email2Log, you’ll be creating:

  1. A new contact record with first and last name
  2. The right email address under that contact record, important for future use of Email2Log
  3. A Log Entry with relevant information

Pretty soon you’ll find you have all of the important and relevant notes and contacts from your paper system into JibberJobber. As a bonus, you are getting one more touchpoint in with each person… something you should be doing anyway.

For more, check out this blog post I wrote a few years ago: JibberJobber Competition: JibberJobber vs. the Excel Spreadsheet.

How to Log Network Calls in Your Job Search

Okay, back to your first question. I wish we could log calls based on your actual call, tapping into your phone system, etc. But that is just too hairy. We are not a multi-billion dollar organization… so we don’t even have that on our roadmap.

However, the way to do this is as important and easy as what I described earlier: Use Email2Log after every call. Same as before, this ensures you get another touchpoint (follow-up is critical!!) and easily get the right information into JibberJobber.

And, same as before, make sure you write a detailed email including the main points of your conversation. Instead of, “Hey Jason, thanks for your time today! It was awesome!”, I recommend you write something like this:

Jason, thanks for your time today. I feel like we covered a lot of ideas, some of which I’m including in this email. I have more notes than this but wanted to include the highlights.

[put your notes here… maybe bullet points… something that will make sense to you in a year or so when you revisit them]

Also, I’ll make sure to follow-up on the introductions you’ll make to Jose and Pam. And, I already ordered the book you recommended (Shoe Dog, the Phil Knight memoir) and am excited to dig into it!

Thanks again, I’ll be in touch!

In a month or two, when I am set to follow up, I’ll be able to read this Log Entry and see what we talked about, who I was supposed to follow up with, and the book I need to talk about. Much better than “hey, thanks!”, right?

I know this adds a step to each call but IT IS WORTH IT. As you network more, and have more activity in your job search, you will be forever grateful for taking this extra step, and adding detail, to your notes. And, that immediate follow up with that level of detail. But that’s not the only follow up with this person, right? Afterall, we are looking to build our professional network, and these calls shouldn’t be a one-and-done thing. That brings us to the next question…

How to Create Follow Ups in the Job Search

Well, now we are getting to the fun stuff. What I’ve talked about above is the basics of Email2Log. The advanced stuff isn’t hard, but it is very, very cool.

I’m not going to share everything you *could* do, but I’ll tell you how to do this one thing (create a follow up (aka Action Item, aka Reminder)) with your Email2Log. To learn more, watch this short video (Getting Started: Email2Log: Special/Reserved Lines (4.3))

Simple put this line anywhere in the email (I recommend below your signature, and change the font to white if you want it hidden (although if the recipient prints your email, it will likely show on a printout):

startdate:1 week

What you put after startdate: could be absolute (like, a specific date) or relative (like, +1 week, +3 months, etc.).

What happens when you do this? Well, this is just Email2Log with one enhancement… so:

  1. You will create a new contact (unless the contact is already in, in which case it will match the email, and not create a duplicate)
  2. You will create a new Log Entry (like the examples above)
  3. You will create an Action Item date on that Log Entry. This will show up on your JibberJobber calendar, and on the Reminders list.

Easy… super easy. Once you get used to adding that you’ll love it.

And that’s about it. I don’t want to write a novel here, and sorry for how long it already is. But that’s how you move forward from where you are at.

 

 

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Weekly Summary of To Dos and Already Completed

December 2nd, 2020

I got a question yesterday from Cecilia, asking:

“Is there a feature or method to create a weekly to-do. and ‘have done’ list?”

There are two ways to see something like that. Hands down, my favorite is on the homepage, right when you login. What you see on the screen are called “widgets,” which are like “tiles.” Note that these widgets can be repositioned by dragging them.

You should see a widget called Reminders, which will show you all of your action items you’ve set up, right on your homepage. I have this widget at the very top because I want to see what I have coming up this week more than anything else:

JibberJobber Reminders homepage

The other widget you want is the Log Entries widget. This shows all of the things you have done (or, logged). It’s a nice way to see how busy you were. More importantly, it’s an important widget to regularly review to see if you should follow up with anyone. Make a habit of looking at this maybe at the beginning and end of each week to see of there are follow-up opportunities that you didn’t explicitly make into action items.

JibberJobber Log Entries Widget Homepage

Another place that you might find interesting, because it’s not bound by the week, is the Reminder’s Dashboard. You can get there by clicking on the Reminders main menu link. This shows all open action items you have in the system… pretty convenient to look through, unless it is overwhelming. In which case I applaud you for making good use of the reminders system (aka, action items), but give you full permission to IGNORE this report. I don’t want you to be overwhelmed to the point of not doing what you need to do. Here’s the top of that page:

JibberJobber Reminders Dashboard

Hope that helps!

 

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How To: Hiding Reserved Lines When using Email2Log

July 30th, 2020

I’ve had a couple people ask me recently how to hide the “reserved lines” when they send an email to someone and use the amazing Email2Log feature in JibberJobber.

Email2WHUT?

When you use Email2Log, you send an email to someone and bcc the JibberJobber server. JibberJobber takes the email and will create a Log Entry for every recipient of the email. For example, when you email a recruiter a follow-up and use Email2Log, it will find that recruiter’s record and make a Log Entry out of your email.

If the recruiter isn’t in your database, we add the new contact and then create the Log Entry. You can imagine this saves tons of time.

A more advanced scenario: You want to create a Log Entry on the target company. We allow you to put a “reserved line” anywhwere in the email, such as this:

Company:eBay

When we get the email, we find that line and then make a Log Entry under your eBay company record. Don’t have one? We’ll create it, then add the Log Entry.

Problem?

The question I’ve fielded recently is: how do I keep the reserved lines from showing on the email? No one wants to send an email and have weird reserved lines showing up. So, here are some things you can do…

How?

The three ideas below are not JibberJobber-specific. They are just ways you can hide text in an email:
  1. Change the font size to super small… whatever the smallest would be. Doesn’t hide it but draws much less attention.
  2. Change the font color to white. This will hide it except from some printers, and in the case where the recipient selects the text (in which case it would show as white, where the background (when you select) is blue.
  3. Put it below the signature, or at the bottom of the thread. I think in an email people rarely read below the signature, and hardly go to the bottom of the thread.
BONUS: There is another way… you could actually NOT include the reserved lines (and don’t use Email2Log) when you send the email. Then, after you send it, forward the email to your Email2Log address with the reserved lines. That way we take the email, and create the records and Log Entries you are hoping to see in JibberJobber, and the recipient never sees it.

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How To Get JibberJobber Premium For Free

July 31st, 2019

jibberjobber-logoWhen you first sign in to JibberJobber you get a full seven day trial. The number 1 thing to do is to set up and play with Email2Log. It is the BEST JibberJobber feature because it allows you to populate your CRM tracking tool simply by sending emails.

After the seven day trial, you should want to continue using the premium features, as well as have more than 25 Contacts and 25 Companies. The easiest way to get free upgrades is by watching any Jason Alba course on Pluralsight. If you don’t have a Pluralsight subscription, get a 30 day pass (in JibberJobber mouse over Videos, click Pluralsight Videos, and get your 30 day code).

Watch any Jason Alba course and then go back to that Pluralsight Videos page in JibberJobber to get to the Tracker where you can self-report and earn additional JibberJobber premium days. Even if you watch the same course multiple times, report back and add more JibberJobber days. Here are six of my Pluralsight courses I recommend for job seekers. Note that you have access to all of Pluralsight during that 30 day period and there are excellent courses on almost everything related to a technical career, including project management, business analysis, and plenty of coding, design, and database courses.

As an example, let’s say you watch one of those courses every day for six days. You would go into the Tracker in JibberJobber and self-report… you’d earn 3 days * 6 courses = 18 free days of JibberJobber premium. Just for learning. Sounds good, right? If you wanted to watch each of them again, you could earn another 18 days. I currently have 32 courses in Pluralsight, so there’s plenty to watch in your 30 day trial.

If you run out, you can easily upgrade for $60 for the year.

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How To: Speech to Text on JibberJobber Mobile Apps

July 24th, 2019

Here’s a scenario that Emmett asked me about:

You have a meeting with someone, then get in your truck (he’s in Texas… I’m assuming he’s in a truck :p). Instead of opening the JibberJobber app and typing notes into the Log Entry, he wanted to do speech to text. But how?

Whenever you tap in a box, and get the keyboard, look for the microphone icon. On an android it might be on the right… on an iPhone it’s on the bottom:

iphone-voice-to-text

Simply tap the mic icon and then talk… and you’ll populate your fields.

Pretty slick, eh?

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JibberJobber: The Case To Import Or Not

March 19th, 2019

jibberjobber_import_menuRecently I’ve had a few people ask me how to delete a batch import (you can do it from here). That is, they imported a batch of contacts from LinkedIn or Gmail Contacts, and then found they had a bunch of garbage in JibberJobber, and wanted to delete all of the contacts from that import all and start over.

This happened to me after we did the Gmail Contacts sync, which is really cool in concept, but it dumped hundreds of garbage records into my database. Sadly, I don’t do the Gmail sync anymore… I just don’t want all of that crap in my system.

Why does this happen? 

With Gmail, I have a bunch of email addresses in my address book (aka Google Contacts) that are just garbage. Someone I am not in contact anymore, or addresses that are system generated but there is no human behind them. I have more than one “support@_______.com” address in my Contacts!

What’s more, and this is exemplified better with LinkedIn, just because I waived at someone doesn’t mean I want them in JibberJobber. If I accept you as a first degree contact in LinkedIn, does that mean we will ever have a conversation? Not necessarily. Of the thousands and thousands of contacts in my LinkedIn first degree network, there are thousands and thousands that don’t need to be in JibberJobber, ever.

Why do we have an import/sync function, then?

Frankly, because “everyone” wanted it. Other CRM systems have it, and people don’t like the idea of entering Contacts one-by-one. It really is convenient to click a few buttons and have all of your contacts from one system in JibberJobber. I think, also, that people like coming in to JibberJobber with hundreds or thousands of contacts that they’ve imported, rather than none. The feeling is that you have a network vs. you have no one to talk to.

What is the answer?

I rarely import or sync. I want to control how contacts get into my system. Hands down, my favorite way to get data into JibberJobber is with Email2Log. Why? Because if I email you, there’s a good chance I want to actually have some kind of relationship with you. I can control who and what gets into my system easier than I can with an import, which is likely to import junk contacts.

If I were to start fresh today, using JibberJobber for a job search, I’d skip the import and just put people in manually or with Email2Log. Honestly, that’s what I’d do.

Is there no other way? 

Well, yes, there is actually. If you really want to dump your LinkedIn Contacts or Google Contacts into JibberJobber, I’d suggest you do this:

  1. Export your Contacts (from either system, or Outlook, or wherever you have them) to a csv file (csv opens in Excel, or imports to Google Sheets)
  2. Look at every single record and delete the record (row) of each Contact that you don’t care about, don’t want in JibberJobber, don’t recognize, etc.
  3. While you are there, it wouldn’t hurt to remove any columns that you don’t care to have in JibberJobber.

What we used to say in the 1900’s was “garbage in, garbage out.” Clean up your list before you import records… and you’ll have a much nicer database.

Anything else?

If you do import garbage, you can do what some people want to do and delete the entire import. This is great, unless you have added more information on a Contacts, or created Log Entries and Reminders.

Or, you can do what I do… just delete the bad records one at a time when you come across them. This is a more passive approach, and you have to be okay to see bad records every once in a while… this is fine for me.

And, now you know :) 

 

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JibberJobber Contacts Detail Page: Copy Email Address

March 15th, 2019

For a while the little icon next to an email address wasn’t working right. We swapped it out with a new process… instead of right clicking the old icon, now you just click on the copy icon and it will copy the email address (and name) to your clipboard.

Super simple, but just a bug fix for something that hasn’t been working for too long.

Step 1: Click the icon next to the email address here:

jibberjobber-copy-email-address

Step 2: In the To box of your email client, right click, paste, and you should see this:

jibberjobber-paste-email-address

Easy peasy. Sorry it took so long to fix this little bug :)

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How To Start A Job Search

March 12th, 2019

7 steps to start a job searchI started my first real job search in 2006. Even way, way back then, going to the “want ads” from newspapers was an outdated strategy. Now, no one talks about using newspapers. But there is still plenty of confusion on how to start a job search. Below are the steps I suggest to anyone who is ready to start their job search

7 Steps to Start a Job Search

1. Stop, calm down, take a moment.

One of the worst things you can do is react to panic and fear. I know unemployment can be one of the scariest and most emotional situations of your life. Let me encourage you to really take a pause, calm down, get in the proper state of mind for what could be a complex but doable process. But please, go into this with the right mindset.

2. List job titles you want to pursue

It is critical that you know what your target is, and specific job titles is part of your target. In my 2006 job search I listed two roles I wanted, and in the course of my job search I added a third (more exciting) title. Your list can change with time, so don’t worry about committing to any particular title, but you should have a list of titles to pursue. Eventually, this list should be whittled down to something manageable (instead of including every job title that you are qualified for).

3. List companies you want to work for

You must have a list of target companies where you want to work. This will help you in various ways, including focusing your networking efforts and search on the right companies. Also, when people ask how they can help you in your job search, you could say that you are looking for introductions to specific target companies (I suggest you name three or four specific companies).

4. Make a list of network contacts

This is one of the harder lists to make because we tend to second-guess whether people should actually be on the list or not. You think of someone, then before you write them down talk yourself out of listing them for one reason or another. Let me encourage you to skip the second-guessing, and just list EVERYONE that you can think of on your network contacts list. You might not communicate with all of them, but as your job search goes on and on, it might make sense to reach out to people who you had earlier passed over.

5. Create and refine your job search marketing material

I could make an entire list of your job search marketing material, the most obvious of which is your resume. In addition to your resume (and at least one general cover letter), you need to have some basic statements down. These include your Me In 30 Seconds (aka Elevator Pitch) statements (you could have various statements for different audiences) as well as a response to “tell me about yourself?”. Expect to use these statements regularly and refine them almost every time you use them.

6. Figure out your job search organization system

No doubt I recommend JibberJobber (I’m the creator of JibberJobber) instead of job search spreadsheet. Whatever you use, know that this organizational system is a central part of your successful job search. I quickly outgrew my spreadsheet in about two weeks, as do many job seekers, because as a job search goes on you add more contacts, companies, and jobs, and you want to log interactions between any of those records. Again, I could write a great deal on this, but suffice it to say you’ll need some system to stay organized.

7. Reach out to contacts with purposeful requests

This is one of the hardest parts of the job search for many people because this is where we start to communicate with people. We generally like to help people, not ask for help from people. But we need to work through those feelings and ask our contacts for help. Please, do not ask them to “review your resume.” Imagine you get ONE request from each friend. Do you want to use your one request for a review of your typing? NO. Purposeful requests include meeting (in person or on the phone) or asking for introductions to people who have your target titles or work at your target companies. Each purposeful request changes based on who you are making the request of, but please don’t waste your first (and maybe your only) request with something trivial.

These are my seven steps to start your job search. Did you notice that I didn’t include networking with recruiters? Perhaps you should network with recruiters, but in my experience, it is generally a waste of time. Focus on the steps above, iterating and going through each of them as you get closer and closer to your dream job.

My goal would eventually be to have as many informational interviews as I could get, which is a very powerful job search strategy. Each of the steps above can lead up to a great informational interview strategy.

 

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JibberJobber How To: Clean Up Your Tags

February 6th, 2019

Tags are… awesome! Tags help us group and slice and dice out data.

I have tags for types of people (recruiters, friends, family, professional contacts, etc.), types of industries (software, Fortune 500, etc.), types of jobs (related to product management, related to executive function, etc.), and on and on.

The only problem is that sometimes I get a little too excited about tags, and I make up new tags that pretty much go unused. And then, instead of having a dozen useful tags, I have 80 tags… 70 of which I don’t use.  And this, my friend, is clutter. This does not spark joy.

Well, I got some good news. Cleaning up your tags is easy peasy. You can do this for Contact tags, Company tags, and Job tags… it’s all the same process.

First, from the main menu, go to the Contacts, Companies, or Jobs dropdown… depends on which tags you want to clean up. From that dropdown, click the “See more –>” option.

JibberJobber_menu_dropdown

On that next page you’ll see a tile for Contact Tags (or Company Tags or Job Tags).  Click that.

JibberJobber_tags_tile

Now you are on the tag management page (remember, this is just for tags under Contacts or Companies or Jobs – we don’t mix these up).  From here you can do three main things:

  1. Delete tags (deleting a tag will not delete the record it is associated with (see the x icon?))
  2. Rename tags (spell something wrong? Fix it here. (see the edit/pencil icon?))
  3. Merge tags (have a prod manager and prod mgr and product manager tags? Merge them into one tag here. (see the checkboxes on the left?)

JibberJobber_Tags_management

This page is pretty self-explanatory… you can do record-by-record deleting… or you can click the checkboxes on the left and do bulk deleting.

Now, I’m not going to tell you what to do, or how to do it, but I will say that in my experience keeping tags that are unused (like the 5 above) are nothing but a waste. They were a good idea at one time, but I obviously didn’t use them… my recommendation is to keep it clean, and remove tags that are unused.

Have fun cleaning up :)

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New Orientation Guide for New JibberJobber Users

December 11th, 2018

One of the things I learned at my last company was the power and importance of helping new users get up and running. In industry this is called “on-boarding” (which sounds a lot better than off-boarding, right?).

I recently created a short, easy-to-use guide that will help you on-board yourself quickly with the most important features in JibberJobber:

Guide: Getting Started on JibberJobber

I hope this is helpful for you. Even if you’ve used JibberJobber for a while, it might be a good sync to know what I think is important as far as using the basics of JibberJobber.

Enjoy!

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