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The JibberJobber Job Journal #favoriteFriday

July 19th, 2019

jibberjobber-favorite-fridayA few years ago I wrote about a new feature that is, in my opinion, one of the most important features in JibberJobber. The Job Journal is a tool where you simply write down your career success stories.

Why is that so important?

Because it is all about what and how we brand ourselves. I’ve interviewed people who were not prepared with stories and examples, and people who were prepared. The contrast is huge.

I want you to think about your career wins, big and small, and figure out how those wins can become stories to demonstrate your capabilities.

Check out the entire post here: What is the Job Journal?

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Are Job Boards a Waste of Time? Hint: NO. #favoriteFriday

July 12th, 2019

jibberjobber-favorite-fridayAbout a year and a half ago I wrote a post about job boards… I’ve been a little back and a little forth on them over the years. In my experience they were largely a waste of time. HOWEVER, they are not to be thrown out completely.

What I talked about back in January of 2018 still applies… these are TOOLS. Work them,  but don’t let them own you.

Read the whole thing here: New Thoughts on Job Boards for 2018

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What is JibberJobber? Intro to Career Management and Job Search Video

July 10th, 2019

In this short 4+ minute video I explain what JibberJobber is. There are plenty of features, but the core features match up with the most important things you are doing in your job search. Not using all of JibberJobber? That is okay! Use the core features, and stay on top of your job search!

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The Job Search Program Better Than Sliced Bread

June 13th, 2019

jibberjobber-sliced-breadA bit of history on this “better than sliced bread” phrase.

There was once a time in history that was so horrible where people were so deprived, that they had to buy bread and then cut it into slices themselves.

I know. Traumatic.

According the Wikipedia, A guy named Otto, living in Iowa, invented the sliced bread machine in the early 1900’s. He built his first prototype in 1912 but it was not meant to be. A fire destroyed it. Humans had to wait, and labor unfairly with bread and knife, for sixteen more years before he “had a fully working machine ready.”

Of course, this new machine was a commercial success. Now we could spend less time slicing bread and more time [fill in the blank].

So yeah, pretty great stuff.

As an aside, and in case you ever go on Jeopardy!, did you know that in 1943 (during WWII) the U.S. Food Administrator Claude R. Wickard banned sliced bread “as a wartime conservation measure”? Boo and hiss. The ban started  on January 18, 1943 and, due to public outcry (which I’m guessing was pretty loud) only lived less than 50 days, ending on March 8, 1943 (even though the Food Distribution Administration was “prepeared to take stern measures.”

Long live sliced bread! Read the wikipedia article, you’ll get a good chuckle.

JibberJobber

In May of 2006 I launched JibberJobber. It was, at the time, what I thought was the greatest thing since sliced bread for job seekers. JibberJobber was something never before seen for job seekers. at that time in history, career coaches and the like told job seekers to follow up. To be organized with all of their networking and applications and interviews.

How?” asked the masses.

We don’t know!” replied the experts. “Create an excel spreadsheet! Or, here’s a one page form you can print off and fill out (by hand – gasp!) to stay organized!

I found myself in a job search from January, Friday the 13th, in 2006, and soon figured out that I was doing it wrong. Then I figured out the whole job search world was “broken.” Long story short, move over sliced bread, enter JibberJobber!

Cue the applause.

Here we are, 13 years later and many man hours of development invested into JibberJobber. Things are going well. There is still much work to do, but it’s good.

I say “every 18 months” I have a brilliant idea. I always share them on this blog or from stage when I speak. And now it’s time to share my most recent 18 month moment of brilliance.

Project HOPE

jibberjobber_project_hopeI know it’s not cool to share the internal code name of a project externally, but there you go. We refer to this as Project HOPE. This comes from my conversation with legendary Dick Bolles (author of the iconic job search bible What Color is Your Parachute?), when he summed up my message as one of HOPE.

I don’t know what this product will eventually be called.

Project HOPE will go into alpha testing on Monday with a handful of active premium JibberJobber users. These are people who are deep into their job search, and using JibberJobber heavily. They are serious about getting out of the job search. I will give them the core of Project HOPE to go through. I will be anxious to get their feedback (and oh boy, they’ll give it to me!).

I expect the first version of Project HOPE, probably beta, to be available for everyone in four to eight weeks. And it can’t come soon enough.

The premise of Project HOPE is to address three big problems that every job seeker I have talked to are facing:

  1. Loneliness. It was during my job search, in 2006, that I was acutely lonely. I had people around me, for sure. But I felt like I was the only person in this pathetic situation of being unemployed. People didn’t know what I was going through, how life shattering it was, and how to help me. I didn’t know, either, so I couldn’t help them help me. It was an extremely lonely journey to go through.
  2. Depression. Let’s cut straight to the chase.. instead of talking about the emotional roller coaster in the job search, I want to focus on depression in the job search. I was depressed. I didn’t know it, but that depression had an impact on what I did, and the results I saw. My depression drove my job search, and depression is a horrible driver. No matter how happy job seekers look when you “network” with them, I bet there’s a hint (or a flood) of depression behind that smile.
  3. The Right Things. My first thought in the morning was “Oh boy. Let’s do the same 10 things today that I’ve done the last month… things that aren’t getting me anywhere. Am I doing the right things?” The right things are tricky. I remember going to a 2 day job search training, learning some exceptional tactics, and then a week or two later getting fed the “and here is a list of job postings you should apply to”… from the same people who taught this class! This is after they said “don’t waste your time on job boards.”  Confusing a little? What SHOULD we be doing as job seekers?

My program addresses those three things. I want to help you feel less lonely. I want to attack depression, and inspire hope. And I want to help you understand what the right things are.

How? 

I combine a few ideas and principles that I’ve come across over the last 13+ years talking with hundreds of career experts, and thousands of job seekers. From the bottom of Florida to the top of Washington state, from job ministries and MBA programs to living rooms and the phone, I’m distilling what I would advise you to do in the job search.

I’m combining this with my friend’s (phenomenal business success coach Mark LeBlanc) success principles that he teaches small businesses, who have remarkably similar/identical needs that job seekers have.

And really, I think this is the greatest things since sliced bread.

I think it can be the greatest thing, for job seekers, since JibberJobber. And combined with JibberJobber… wow!

Project Hope is a 6 week audio program. Each morning you listen to my voice (after bete feedback I plan on redoing it, and having me be on screen) and I walk you through your day. I train you in best practice job search tactics, starting at what you should do today, and then building every day for six weeks. It starts out pretty simple, baby-stepping you into the program, but soon you are doing the right things.

This program will not consume your day. In fact, for the first couple of weeks I expect it will take 30 to 60 minutes each day, which means you’ll have plenty of time to do your own stuff. It also means that if you are working a full-time job, you will be able to do this program.

As time goes on, as you learn more skills, as you learn Mark’s principles, the tasks get a little harder. But they also should produce more results to get you closer to the right job.

We are in the process of enhancing the audio recordings with a user experience in JibberJobber that will allow you to navigate through each day, see what your tasks are for the day, and provide accountability.

I wish I had this program in my job search to train me on best practices, help me know what to do each day, give me another voice in my head to listen to, and to provide accountability.

Is Project HOPE a coaching program?

No. Well, maybe kind of.

It is not customized coaching. You and me, we don’t talk. You listen to the recordings. I don’t give you specialized, unique-to-you next-steps and action items. We don’t break in the middle to prep you for your interview tomorrow.

It is a recorded program where I coach you on what to do and think today, and tomorrow, and the next day, until you land a job.

As I mentioned, it will not consume your day. You can make it as big or small as you want. It is designed to be something you can do every day without feeling like it is overwhelming.

So yeah, it’s kind of coaching. As I’ve written and recorded the program I’ve felt like I was your coach, your friend, your mentor, your cheerleader.  Does that mean it’s a coaching program? Not a full on program like my coaching friends have. If you need a coach, get a coach. If you are a coach, this might complement what you offer.

How much will this cost?

jibberjobber-moneyThis will not be in the JibberJobber premium package, which is only $60 a year. That’s as low as we can go for now on the JibberJobber side.

Right now the pricing is $397, however I’ll have an introductory price of $197 (I’m not sure how long I’ll have this price).  I realize that some of you are already paying for JibberJobber, and a resume, and a coach… I am not here to break your bank. I’m also not a government funded or charity program. I have bills to pay (I hate to even have to say that but I am continually asked why JibberJobber is not free (“Don’t you know job seekers have no money!!??”) .

When you are done with six weeks, you will have continued access to the program. You can start over, or start over at week 2 or 3 or whatever, or just listen to the Wednesday of week 6, as long as you want. You’ll also have new tools in your toolbox and enough training to allow you to do your own program after the 6 weeks is over. This program is about empowering you, not tying you to a 6 week program.

What about coaches and resume writers?

If you are a career expert (resume writer, coach, etc.), I want to empower you with this product for your clients. Email me (Jason at JibberJobber.com) to learn more about the affiliate program.

 

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New Thoughts on Job Boards for 2018

January 4th, 2018

jibberjobber-thoughtsJob boards. Should you use them? Do you use them but feel guilty?

If you pay attention to career experts, they say to not waste time on job boards. But as a job seeker, this is where it feels most comfortable.  There’s a disparity somewhere… and a conflict.

I’ve been “down” on job boards sometimes, but I also recognize the value of job boards.  Here’s the real issue:

If you spend all (or most) of your time applying to jobs on job boards, you are generally wasting your time.  Or, you are investing your time in tactics that are less likely to get you closer to landing a job (that’s the more tactful way of putting it).

Why?

Any job seeker who has applied for a job knows about the great frustration of applying online. Specifically, uploading your resume, and then having to copy and paste info from the resume into a long form. This can easily take 45+ minutes per application.  If you do a few of these a day you spend more than half your day applying to jobs. This is mind-numbing, and for anyone who has been involved in process improvement, it’s frustrating.

What’s worse, the stats on job boards are not in your favor. Nick Corcodilos says that less than 3% of jobs are filled by people who apply online. So spending your time on job boards is like fishing in a hole that has little-to-no fish. Maybe that’s because so many postings aren’t real? Maybe it’s because the hiring decisions are generally made before a posting ever goes online? Maybe it’s because hiring managers like employee referrals more than random applications?

That’s the conventional wisdom: don’t use job boards (as a major part of your job search).  But again, we’re left at the conundrum!

My recent experience shows that job boards indeed have value.

As a job seeker I can get a thumb on what’s going on and who’s hiring from postings. Job boards make it easier to do “competitive intelligence” and learn about the landscape… who is hiring, what are they hiring for?

Here’s a tip that not many people talk about: the effectiveness of any job search tactics depends on many factors, including your level (executive or entry level), your location (small town or big city), your industry, etc.

Let me suggest some effective ways to use job boards:

  1. Use job boards to find leads on roles for companies you might not have heard of, or openings at companies you are interested in. This is lead generation and information gathering. This is your way to keep up on what the market looks like, what’s available, movement at companies, and even company changes/strategies.
  2. Use email alerts to avoid spending too much time searching on job boards. For my level and experience I’ve found LinkedIn to be the best, most accurate source of real postings. You might find other boards to be better. Set up email alerts so you are just checking your email daily instead of spending time in the black hole of job boards.
  3. When you find roles, study them. In my first big job search I was looking for project manager and business analyst roles, and had never heard of product manager roles (which is what I really wanted, I just didn’t know they existed). Job boards are a great place to find trending roles and things that you might not have heard about before.
  4. As you prepare for interviews (or your targeted resume, or cover letters, or even networking), print out ten postings of the title you are interested in and study them. You should find consistent words and phrases and you might fish out something unique here or there.  All of this will help you make a better communication plan. You should pick up on jargon, and trends within your role. This is one of the best ways I can think of to quickly come up to speed on things you need to know, and be able to talk, about.

And really, it’s okay to apply to jobs online. In my experience, even when networking into companies you’ll hear “apply online, and then call this person.” Applying online gets you in the system.

My advice, though, is to not spend hours everyday applying online. Apply for jobs that you are really interested in, and then network to learn about some of the “maybe” jobs.

The biggest problem with job boards is when they consume your job search time. Make sure you use job boards in a balanced way (implement other tactics, like networking!!), and use them in the right ways (as opposed to just finding openings and applying online!).

That’s my take for job boards in 2018.

 

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I Believe in Cover Letters

January 2nd, 2018

Over the years I’ve heard, and written, about cover letters. The big question is should you really spend time on them?

YES, absolutely, is my answer.

When I’ve been a hiring manager I’ve read every cover letter I got. First, I skimmed it. If the resume showed the person was competent and could do the job, then I’d go back to the cover letter to see if I could pull out more information.

Should you really take the time to write a cover letter? You have nothing to lose (it’s never bad to write one), and only good to gain (if you do it well).

With that in mind, let me point you to my friend Barb Poole’s LinkedIn article titled 7 Cover Letter Myths You Should Consider. Read each of them… not just to get sold on cover letters, but to learn how to write better cover letters!

barb_poole_cover_letters

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Announcing the Daily Activity Report

December 18th, 2017

This is a powerful report to help you see what you have done (and give you reminders for what you need to do). This is a powerful report!

jibberjobber-daily-activity-report

You can find it under Reports, then Daily Activity Report.

Check out this two minute video to see why this will be one of your favorite reports:

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“Will you review my resume?” How to Review someone’s resume

September 13th, 2017

Raise your hand if you love it when someone asks you to review their resume.  Me neither.

It’s not my thing. I don’t have the brain to go into the detail on something like that… maybe it’s just that I don’t want to be your eleventh grade English teacher… maybe it’s because resumes are boring… maybe it’s just because I’m not nice.

Or, perhaps I assume that what you are really saying is “take my resume and you’ll be so impressed, you’ll feel obligated to send it to a bunch of people at your work, or in your network…!”

Okay, all of those excuses are my problem. The truth is, if you are a close friend I’ll definitely check out your resume. However, I also send you to some other resources who are much, much, much more qualified than I am to review your resume.

Having said that, if you ever feel like you should, could, or want to review someone’s resume, here’s my primer on what to look for.  I’m no expert, so take it for what it’s worth.

Proofread: You are looking for typos and grammar. I look for consistency in periods at the end of the bullets. I hate it when you have a bulleted list and some lines have a period while others don’t. Aside from that you are looking for any typo (too easy to do, hard for the job seeker to find), or grammar that just doesn’t make sense. Also, look for a strong action verbs at the beginning of each bullet, and consistency on each bullet with these verbs.

Messaging: What is the primary, main message the resume conveys?  Is that aligned with the role they are applying to? This is critical. If someone wants to list their entire history, but only 30% of it is relevant to what they are looking for, their resume will not be effective. A resume is not a brag sheet… it’s a marketing document. Make sure the marketing message is the right message for the audience and purpose.

Substance: The resume should be meaty. The reader should walk away thinking “wow, this person is qualified! They have done some great things in their career!” The easiest way to do that is by quantifying achievements… that is, are there percentages (“increase production by 400%”) or hard numbers (“decreased expenses by $200,000”)? I’m not saying that has to be on every line, but every time a resume shows a quantification it strengthens the message that you really get results.  The hiring managers wants someone who will get results (as opposed to someone who might just bring drama, be a warm body, etc.).

Story holes: After you read through the resume do you feel like something is missing? Specifically, if your friend is trying to paint a picture of their expertise, or show what they have done in the past (something that is valuable to the job they are applying to), is there a complete, compelling story? I’ve seen resumes that start to build up to a narrative and then end it at a point where I think “did you do anything? Or did you fail? I don’t get it…”  (see note below on cover letter)

Distractions: On the other end of the spectrum from story holes is having stuff that should not be there. Is there information about roles that is better suited for a different job? In other words, perhaps your friend worked as a gear head at one company, but they are applying as an analyst at another company. They need to bring out skills that an analyst has or needs… don’t talk about the screwdrivers they were so good at. Instead, talk about how they analyzed screwdriver brands, quality, etc. to pick the best screwdriver for the job.  Think: transferable skills. Again, this isn’t about listing all the stuff they have done (brag sheet), rather it is about showing they have the skills and experience to do the job they are applying to. If something does not support their main message, or show they are qualified for the job they are applying to, take it off.

Those are the main things that I look for on a resume. It doesn’t take terribly long to do this… it’s pretty clear where a resume is missing the mark. As long as you think of a resume as a marketing piece that is trying to compel the reader to think about you differently, and not just a list of cool stuff you’ve done, you should get closer to a great resume.

Finally, let me talk about the cover letter.

I recently had a call with a recruiter who said “send me your resume, and an email with either a few paragraphs or bullet points to specifically talk about the main things my client wants.”  This is also known as a cover letter. I believe a cover letter is a “must!” A cover letter is a great complement to the resume, and can fill in some gaps that a resume just isn’t formatted to address. Like, “I’m perfect for this job because,” “I want this job because,” “Here is a little more information about your particular needs, and how I fill those needs.”

Maybe the person getting your resume should already understand that you are the best person, the right fit… but remember, they have a bunch of resumes that all kind of look the same. Writing a few paragraphs to show you are the right fit, add more information that just don’t belong on a resume, and even express enthusiasm is well worth your time.

Now you have the cheat sheet to review someone’s resume… I hope this can help you help them. If you are a resume writer who does this for a living, feel free to add your two cents in the comments!

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Comparing JibberJobber to Salesforce to Microsoft Dynamics, etc.

August 28th, 2017

Last week I got an email from someone who is evaluating JibberJobber with a list of issues that is unsettling. One of them was this:

5) No comparison of your product with Microsoft’s CRM products

Yes, I have not done a comparison of JibberJobber with Microsoft’s products.  So I’ll do that now.  I might as well do a comparison of other CRMs, while I’m at it.

I’m not going to do fancy graphs or anything, and my comparison will be non-tradition, so brace yourself.

How does JibberJobber compare to Microsoft Dynamics?  The same way an elephant compares to a giraffe.  They are completely different beasts.

Let me pause on my comparison real quick and just state what JibberJobber is/does.

JibberJobber is a website (with a widget and mobile apps) to help (mostly) job seekers organize and manage their job search. Some people who are not job seekers use JibberJobber to organize and manage personal and professional relationships, and help them network for when they might be in transition. Or, they use it to help them manage their freelance gigs, prospects, etc.  Some companies use JibberJobber, but that’s not the standard, nor is it or has it ever been our audience. We need to get this job search audience taken care of before we get crazy and compete with the probably thousands of CRM offerings out there.

No other CRM that you have heard of does that. CRMs came about to help salespeople manage the sales cycle, including prospects and customers.

JibberJobber was designed for job seekers, based on CRM concepts (relationship management, etc.). But no CRM company sees any money in the job seeker to care about them. They care about charging lots of money to companies and hope their users (salespeople) actually use, and get hooked on, their systems.

Back to the comparison… money:

Microsoft Dynamics (365 Enterprise)… I don’t know for sure. But a google search shows this (click this image to go to the search results page):

jjblog_microsoft_dynamics_pricing

Cool.  $40 to $190 a month… or I guess Plan 1 is $115/user/month.

JibberJobber pricing is $60 a year (here’s the math: that is like paying $5/month, but we just charge it all upfront). It also includes the video library.

So, let’s say that Microsoft will be $480 on the low end, to maybe $1,380 per year.

Okay, I lied. I am going to include a chart that I spent exactly 3 minutes to make (2.5 to get Excel to open, and 30 seconds to make this comparison). In column 1 you have the annual cost of JibberJobber ($60). In column 2 and 3 you have different levels of Microsoft Dynamics:

jj_blog_ms_dynamics_cost

Comparison of features:  Look, we already talked about this. The question should start with “who is this for?” JibberJobber is for the individual job seeker.  Their purpose is to get a job.  Microsoft and other CRM packages is for salespeople, or business owners, or sales organizations. Their purpose is to increase sales… close more deals, upsell.  Elephants and giraffes.  Doing a comparison based on features is simply unfair.

Since you asked for it, here’s a customer review (the “most negative review”)… can you guess which software suite this was for?

jjblog_msdyn_customer_review

If you guessed Microsoft Dynamics, you are RIGHT!  But hey, I’m not daft.  Plenty of JibberJobber users have said similar things… “overly complicated,” and “hard to navigate around,” and other things like that.  Others have jumped in, learned it, figured out what they need, and get value out of it.

I know we have plenty of design issues, which we are addressing one by one. I’m not going to hide from that, or ignore it. It’s true. But we are working on it.

Should you use Salesforce, or Dynamics, or any other CRM?

Use the tool you want to. I hope that if you are a job seeker, you use, love, and recommend JibberJobber.  If you choose another system, great! I hope that whatever you choose helps you in your job search and career management.

If you need more comparison ideas, just go google “compare _____ to _____ in Google,” and you’ll get nice pretty graphs and information that might delight you. In the end, your job search success will not be positively impacted by spending weeks comparing all of these things.  It’s time to network, pick up the phone, reach out to people, message them, etc.

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JibberJobber Job Search Widget (Chrome)

July 26th, 2017

Do you use Chrome to surf the internet? Check out our new JibberJobber Job Search Widget (version 1), which helps you grab information from the sites you visit and enter that information into JibberJobber (as a new Job, Contact, or Company record)!

jibberjobber_job_search_widget

Simply click the “ADD TO CHROME” blue button, and you’ll have your widget on the top of your browser, like this:

jibberjobber_job_search_widget_installed

Then, just go to any page and click the icon (NOTE: It will want you to login to the widget, even if you are logged in on the website. Not sure why… added security?) For example, I went to my LinkedIn page and clicked it and this is what I see:

jibberjobber_job_search_widget_contact

Notice the name and URL were pulled in… I can easily type anything else I want in the form on the right… and then scroll down to find the Save button.  If I want to copy and paste from the page, I have to select the text from the page and copy first, then click the widget icon to open this form. I’m not sure if that’s a widget limitation or not, but if we can, we’ll make that easier in the next version.

Here’s a job I grabbed from Indeed… I’m getting used to selecting and copying the description, and then hitting the widget icon, so I can paste the description into the right place:

jibberjobber_job_search_widget_job

Like I said, this is the first version… think Beta… we are already putting together a list of enhancements for the next version. If you have any suggestions to make this better for you, please let us know (here’s the Contact page).

 

 

 

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