What You Need To Know: Talent Supply and Demand, Pluralsight IQ (Pluralsight Iris)

September 21st, 2017

I spent the last couple of days at the Pluralsight Live conference, which is the first time Pluralsight had a conference for customers. It was, of course, amazing. When you have a company that is as successful as Pluralsight, and as big as pluralsight, and puts so much attention to detail as they do, you get a phenomenal experience.

What’s Pluralsight, you ask?

It is a site that has over 5,000 technology courses to learn, and keep up with, technology.

Is it like Lynda? Yes, but Pluralsight has more, and deeper, tech courses.  Is it like Udemy, Coursera, etc.?  Not really… on those sites you buy individual courses, whereas on Pluralsight you buy a subscription (about $30/month) and you get access to the entire video library. It’s pretty awesome.  Also, the courses on Pluralsight have been vetted and are curated… they are very particular about the courses they allow in.

You probably know that I have created 31 Pluralsight courses. 31 is a lot. It took my four years to get those done.  I’m not actively creating Pluralsight courses right now.  As a Pluralsight author I’ve been able to give some of my users a 30 day pass… a perk of JibberJobber :)

So, here’s what you need to know: Pluralsight is changing the way companies educate their workforce. You could already figure that out by reading what I wrote above. This week, though, they launched something that I think will be revolutionary: Pluralsight IQ.

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It’s such a simple idea that I’m surprised that no one has been able to do this before. This is something that LinkedIn should have done years ago… but they didn’t.  Here’s what I think is the most amazing aspect of this:

Your company has needs… let’s say there is a new project and they need to put a team together. They need people with certain skills and experience… but they aren’t sure where to go to find those people.

They can do word-of-mouth, which is only as effective as the communication travels out (and gets back to the hiring managers).

They can ask managers for recommendations, but that might lead to some people getting placed for favoritism (or a small network) and not based on merit.

They can post internally, but they might miss the right internal applicants who are too busy, or having too much fun, with their own projects.

They can post externally, but they might find people who are very expensive to find, hire, and train, and who are not as good as some of the internal experts available to them.

There’s a NEED, and the search is on for the right talent, or SUPPLY.

Pluralsight IQ is a system to solve this problem.

The way it works is that employees use Pluralsight for learning, and assessments (think tests), and certification, etc. As you use the system (more than just watching courses), you build out your Pluralsight IQ. This is a way that an employer can identify your strengths, knowledge, skills, aptitude, etc. It’s a deep look into an existing workforce.

Imagine you have one hundred people in your company (we heard from a company executive who has 250,000 people… can you imagine how valuable this would be to a company that large? They have the talent, they just haven’t known how to tap into it the way Pluralsight IQ can!). The CEO says she wants to put together a team of five people to work on a new project. She has no idea who the right people are, but she knows what skills each team member should have.  With Pluralsight IQ, she’ll have the ability to look into her talent pool in a way that allows her to choose the right people for this small team.

The SUPPLY was already there, she just didn’t know what it was.

Can you see how amazing this is? Our companies have NEEDS, we have SUPPLY, and now, Pluralsight IQ is the bridge that helps bring these two together.  It’s really quite revolutionary, and Pluralsight is the first to crack this nut in a huge way.

I imagine non-employees will allow access to their IQs to companies to make hiring and team building decisions in the future. When that happens, talent management and talent acquisition will be changed forever.  If they play it right, this can be the next revolutionary change since LinkedIn.

That’s a big deal.

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The power of targeting and alignment

September 20th, 2017

When I started JibberJobber people would ask “who is this for?”  Or, “who is your target market/audience?”

I would say, enthusiastically, “EVERYONE!!”

Of course, all job seekers should use it. That’s a no-brainer. But if you are applying to colleges and you want to keep track of those applications and follow-up, JibberJobber would be great, right?  If a grandma, far removed from her career, wants to keep track of the birthdays of her grandkids and grand-nephews and grand-neices and inlaw, etc., she could simply set up JibberJobber to get birthday reminders.

Pretty awesome, huh?

Yes, it is pretty awesome. However, in this message of “everyone” people start to hear “everyone except me, specifically, because I’m unique.”

My product was aligned towards these three groups of people (job seekers, college hopefuls, and grandmas) but my messaging started to say “we don’t focus enough on a particular problem to the point of being expert at that problem.”

And people look for the expert solution.

Last week a good friend asked me to review her resume. Ironic, because I had just written this post: “Will you review my resume?” How to Review someone’s resume

One of my questions to her was “what job is this for? What will you use this to apply to?” Her resume was general, covering what she thought was her accomplishments and skills, and it could be used to apply to a variety of jobs (kind of).  At least, it wasn’t targeting one particular job. It wasn’t “limiting” her to a job.

In short, my response was that this was a great start at creating what we call her “master resume.” A master resume has EVERYTHING on it, and can easily be pages and pages long.  You never send someone a master resume, but you use it to create a targeted resume.

Why?

Because the master resume doesn’t have the right marketing message, and we all know that a resume is a marketing document.

The master resume says “I’ve done a lot of amazing things, and I’m probably great at most things,” while the targeted resume says “I’m the right person for THIS job, and here’s proof.” You use language and substantiation that is aligned with THAT role.

I can’t overstate this enough.

Years ago, when I was in my job search (Jan 2006) I used a resume that was NOT aligned with the jobs I was applying to.  Guess how well that went?

If you want to me like me, one of the biggest job search failures, use a general purpose or “good enough for anything” resume.

If you want to land a job, make sure your resume is 100% aligned with the role you are applying to. I know it’s extra work, but it’s work that is imperative.

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JibberJobber How-to: How to add a Glassdoor URL for a Job or Company

September 19th, 2017

I got this question last week from Robert:

Add Glassdoor URL field to company page. I regularly check the Company’s About page and Glassdoor information when researching companies. It would be nice to have all this information available via a simple click of a hyperlink.

Guess what? You can already do this, on your own. And if you want to add other links, instead of or in addition to Glassdoor, you can!  Here’s how you do it (you can do this on the “edit” page, at the very bottom, but I’m showing how to do it on the Detail Page):

First, click the Add button towards the top right, and choose

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Then you’ll see this on your Detail Page… this is where you can choose an existing Custom Field or add a new one:

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I clicked the dropdown and I see the field I have already created (oops, you see the one I created to test for this blog post :p), and “other”… click “other” to create a new Custom Field:

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Next, on your screen you’ll see this dialog box, to create a new Custom Field. This is the name or title of a field, not the value. In other words, you would put “Glassdoor URL” here, not the actual URL:

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Once you hit OK, you’ll go back to the Custom Field, and you’ll see your new field there, and now you can add the URL (in the second box):

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When you save this, we can tell it’s a URL, so we make it a one-click hyperlink!

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You can do this on Companies, Contacts, and Jobs, and you can add any URL you want!

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JibberJobber Video Library: How Recruiters Hire (Robert Merrill Interview)

September 18th, 2017

Last week I shared Kristi Broom’s interview… she is a hiring manager.  This week I want to introduce you to Robert Merrill, a tech recruiter.  This is another video interview you’ll get, along with JibberJobber Premium for a year, for only $60!

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How do recruiters hire? What systems do they use? Do they care about your resume, or LinkedIn Profile? What about salary negotiation, follow-up, etc. This is what you’ll get in this video, and other interviews in the JibberJobber Video Library.

The purpose of these types of interviews is to get inside the minds and though processes of people who are doing the hiring… whether they are hiring managers or recruiters or business owners.

You can upgrade here and get immediate access to this interview, the rest in the series, and all of the JibberJobber premium features… for just $60!

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New JibberJobber Widget: Your Calendar!

September 14th, 2017

We recently announced the first (and second) versions of our first Chrome Browser Widget, which we call the JibberJobber Job Search Widget (info here, download from here). Now we get to announce our next browser widget, the JibberJobber Calendar Widget. This allows you to click on your browser toolbar and access your JibberJobber Calendar from anywhere.

I have already identified a few touch-ups I’ll send to the team, but I’ll also wait to hear what your feedback is.  For now, here’s the awesomeness that this brings you:

Convenient view of what’s going on

The Calendar Widget travels with you. Yes, Google Calendar does too, and there’s no way we can replace that… but as long as you have Chrome open, you can look at your Calendar at any time… just click the icon for the widget (this icon will likely be replaced):

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Login, and then choose your view

I have logged in (otherwise the Log Out button will be a different color, and prompt me to login). The default view is Monthly, which is my preference (on Google Maps my preference is weekly… weird, huh?).

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Under Option you can choose to show or hide things… such as birthdays, closed Action Items, etc.  Poke around those preferences, but I just left them as default.

Note the green Add Event button… we’ll get to that in a minute.

See what’s going on

In my monthly view I am showing holidays (Sept 4th), birthdays (on Sept 5th, I blotted out the name), recurring Action Items (Sept 4th), and regular Action Items (Aug 30). I can also show Log Entries (that would be a lot of stuff!)

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Add new things (Log Entries, Action Items)

If I click the Add Event, or a plus icon next to a date, I can add a new Log Entry or Action Item.

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The green Add Event opens the entire add dialog, whereas the plus icon by a date opens up a small form that you can expand by clicking “edit” (just like in Google Calendar).

Is this useful? When I was first presented the idea I thought “meh… kind of cool… not sure if we should spend out time on it.” But then I started playing around with it and honestly, this is a very convenient tool.

If you have ANY suggestions or enhancement requests, please send them my way (Jason@JibberJobber.com). I already have my list of six items… and can’t wait to hear from you.

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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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JibberJobber Video Library: How Hiring Managers Hire (Kristi Broom Interview)

September 11th, 2017

You know you get JibberJobber Premium for a year, plus the entire JibberJobber video Library, for only $60. But what do you get in the Video Library? I’ll share a series of posts that go deeper on that for the next few weeks… this week we start with Kristi Broom’s interview.

This is a premium video. If you have upgraded, simply login to JibberJobber, go to Tools, JibberJobber Videos, and search “broom” (or kristi, etc.). Or just click on the image below.

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Kristi Broom is an astute professional… the kind you tend to like right away, and then are super impressed the more you get to know her. She’s very sharp, creative, thoughtful, and without a doubt, kind and caring. Just the kind of person you would want to work with.  Kristi spent almost an hour and a half with me talking about her hiring process. The insight she shared was remarkable.

The purpose of these types of interviews is to get inside the minds and though processes of people who are doing the hiring.

Interviews with hiring managers and HR are invaluable, and should be a part of your job search research.  I imagine that for many people, just Kristi’s interview alone will be worth the $60!

You can upgrade here and get immediate access to this interview, the rest in the series, and all of the JibberJobber premium features… for just $60!

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Ask the Coach #4: How do you do a confidential job search?

September 8th, 2017

This is the fourth question we’ve put in front of a bunch of job search coaches and resume writers… to see the others in this series, click on any Ask The Coaches.  This question comes from… someone confidential :) K asks:

How do you keep your current employer from finding out about your current job search?


atc_3_headshot_craig_toadtman_125Craig B Toedtman, Job Search Consultant, Career Adviser, Coach, Executive Search Consultant

Our typical client is seeking an opportunity on a confidential basis. It is our firm belief that while the initial process can be kept confidential, ultimately, you will have to assume that your employer could find out.

There is major preparation that can be done prior to risking public exposure.

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At this point, you are ready to move forward by making direct contacts to individuals identified in your initial research. Posting your résumé and responding to posted opportunities can also commence. This is the time when another person is now aware that you are seeking an opportunity outside of your current employer. You can explain to contacts that you are conducting this on a confidential basis; however, there is now risk involved. You cannot assume total confidentiality once you have brought another person into the process.

Utilizing outside professionals could extend the risk of public exposure; however, there are still no guarantees.

  • Career Services Professional: could be contracted to present initial information to potential opportunities by providing your background without your name and contact information. Once your name is revealed to the potential employer, confidentiality could be broken, and you should assume that your employer could find out.
  • Recruiters: many recruiters submit candidates without identifying the name or contact information. However, you can’t be totally positive, and your name could be floating in the job market without your being aware. There is risk that your confidential search has gone public.

Ideally, if you have reached the point that confidentiality could be breached, depending upon your relationship with your superior, it might be wise to make her/him aware that you are in fact seeking new opportunities. There could be great concern when doing so; however, there are times when this is the best professional way to move your career forward. In some cases, the supervisor may even help with your search!


atc_3_headshot_perry_newman_125Perry Newman, Certified Social Media Strategist, Certified Personnel Consultant, Resume Writer, and LinkedIn Transformation Specialist

How to keep your current employer from finding out about your current job search is a great question.

There are several telltale signs, and some self-destructive actions, that hint at people undertaking a job search while still employed.  Here are my Top 10.

  1. Be positive on the job. Disgruntled and unmotivated employees are generally looked upon as ones who are, or should be, looking for a new position.
  2. Don’t share your job search with people while you are on the job, and not with people who you do not have a confidential relationship with.” Loose lips sink ships.”
  3. Avoid all job search activities at work i.e. making-receiving phone calls, doing computer job searches, sending-receiving emails, text messages and faxes on or from company equipment.
  4. Let recruiters know not to call you at work and especially not to leave a VM on your work phone..
  5. Try to schedule interviews (or have them scheduled for you) in advance so, if needed, you can ask for time off in advance. Make people know your preference is to take interviews before or after hours.
  6. Try not to be bullied into taking sudden and /or excessive unexplained time off in the middle of the workday. If it means missing an interview this may be a better option.
  7. If you do need to take time off for an interview, do not make up a lie to cover yourself. Worst is a doctor’s appointment. If it is checkable, do not use it, you will be caught in a lie. Just say a personal situation came up that needs immediate attention and it is personal.
  8. Don’t keep you current resume on your office computer.
  9. If or when you update your LinkedIn profile turn off the active status and share changes.
  10. When in doubt use common sense  to make a decision and think like an employer and not an employee.

atc_3_headshot_lorraine_rise_125Lorraine RiseCareer Coach, Resume Writer and Columnist for Workforce50.com

This is a very common question among job seekers. If you are using LinkedIn in your search (which I would highly recommend), you can privately signal to recruiters that you are open to new opportunities. You can do this by clicking on the Jobs tab on the top menu. Then, scroll halfway down the page and click on Update Career Interests. Fill out the brief list of questions and hit the “On” button. This will notify only those with a LinkedIn Recruiter account that you are open to new opportunities. Nothing is published on your public profile. As an added benefit, LinkedIn says that turning this feature on will increase your profile’s search rankings.

One more tip is to go into your LinkedIn privacy settings and adjust them so that only you can see your list of connections. For example, if you and your boss are connected on LinkedIn, you may not want your boss to see that you have been connecting with recruiters or people who work at your company’s competitors. Good luck!


atc_headshot_lucie_yeomans_125Lucie Yeomans, 6X Certified Career Services Professional and Job Search Strategist

There is no 100%, fool-proof way of keeping your employer from catching on that you are in a job search. However, there are 5 very important tips you need to follow to lessen the chances of your employer finding out.

  1. Do NOT post your resume on a public job board. Many HR departments and decision makers use these public job boards to find candidates to fill vacancies. Don’t be one of those job seekers who gets caught searching for a job this way. If you see a job you want to apply for, go directly to the company website instead.
  2. Do turn off your LinkedIn “Sharing profile edits” in your privacy settings. If you are updating your LinkedIn profile to appeal to recruiters, make sure you turn off this setting to avoid waving “I’m searching for a new job” flags in front of your employer. LinkedIn is an excellent tool to use when you are secretly job hunting, but you need to be cautious and strategic about how you use it.
  3. Use your own personal computer, phone, and time to search for a job. Some IT departments are watching what you do.
  4. Do NOT tell your colleagues, customers, vendors, etc. you are searching for a new job, unless they are someone you trust with your life. Face it, you are trusting them with your life with that information. Subtle, yet over-zealous ladder climbers have done far less to get ahead.
  5. If you do have an interview during regular business hours, do NOT come to work dressed differently than you typically do. Bring a change of clothes.

atc_3_headshot_jeri_hird_dutcher_125Jeri Hird DutcherCertified professional and international resume writer

A confidential job search is difficult because of competing priorities: An effective job search depends on networking, and a confidential job search depends on secrecy.

The most important strategy is to conduct a targeted job search that focuses on a small number of specific companies you have chosen because they are a good fit for you professionally, geographically, financially, and culturally. This immediately cuts the public exposure of your search.

Further, here are some things you can do to protect the confidentiality of your search:

  1. Forget about posting your resume to job boards. That is the quickest way to tell the world of your search. Instead, choose carefully those you tell about your job search. If you must share this information, ask the person you tell to keep your search confidential.
  2. Make small, incremental changes to your LinkedIn profile in the months ahead of your search.
  3. Know whom you’re networking with. Is the hiring manager at the company you’re targeting best friends with your boss? It’s possible. Use LinkedIn to find out.
  4. Create a confidential resume and confidential cover letter to protect your identity.
  5. Ask people you contact at your prospective new company, such as those with whom you interview, to honor your confidentiality.
  6. Do not use any company resources, including phones and computers, in your search. Conduct your search activities on personal time, even if it means taking a vacation day. If this creates difficulties in scheduling interviews, assure your prospective employer that you respect your current employer and do not wish to have your job search infringe on work time and resources. This displays integrity and should be honored by any employer worth considering.

atc_headshot_heather_maietta_125Dr. Heather N. Maietta, Master Career Coach

Because K is asking this question, I’m assuming she wants to keep her search completely confidential from start to finish. Here are 10 points to consider:
  1. Be a model employee: The world is small. Same-industry job searches are even smaller. When the time comes to turn in your resignation, you want to leave your current employer with as much dignity and integrity as possible. And you never know when you’ll need to call on somebody for support or when you’ll run into someone at a networking event.
  2. Be mindful of who you tell you’re on the market: You need to network it’s the pillar of any job search. Use your best judgement and air on the side of caution when you let your colleagues know you’re searching. This also might require you to accept the fact that there will be certain people you’re unable to reach out to for support because of their affiliation with your current company or simply because you can’t trust them to keep your search confidential.
  3. Tell potential employers and recruiters you are conducting a confidential search: Most professionals will appreciate and honor your request.
  4. Don’t job search at work: Everything that’s done on your work computer is property of your employer, and likely accessible by your current employer. On the flipside, potential employers recognize when you were searching for a new job on company time. This is probably not the first impression you want to make.
  5. Avoid applying to blind positions or posting your resume on job boards: You run the risk of applying for a position within your own company if you actively apply to blind positing. Same goes for posting your resume on job boards. If you’re resume is visible to all, it is visible to your current employer.
  6. Skip the job fairs: It may not be your direct supervisor, but there is a chance someone in your company is actively recruiting at the fair, especially if you’re searching within current industry.
  7. Watch what you discuss on social media: This tip is pretty self-explanatory although needed to be included. Assume nothing you post on social media will stay private.
  8. If you’re not an avid networker, increase outreach gradually: There is a chance signs of uncharacteristic activity will raise flags, drawing attention to your search.
  9. Make sure your family knows you’re searching confidentially: I can’t tell you how many times a family member has accidentally divulged information I’d rather have preferred to keep confidential. It is likely your family will be aiding your search, so be clear with them upfront that as they’re reaching out to their contacts on your behalf, they’re communicating your search is confidential.
  10. Put together a thoughtful reference page: if potential employer does call references, you will need these people to vouch for you at the same time being discreet when they find out you’re in an active search.

Moving up and out of a job is acceptable and more frequent than ever. At the end of the day, if you’re thoughtful about how you execute your search, you’ll be more successful in moving from your current role to a new and hopefully more satisfying position!


atc_3_headshot_ron_auerbach_125Ron Auerbach, Author of Think Like an Interviewer: Your Job Hunting Guide to Success

A lot of people are fearful of their employers finding out about their job search. One major fear is that once an employer discovers you’re looking to get out, they’ll cut you loose ahead of time. Another fear is once your employer finds out you’re looking for other employment, they may treat you worse. Something that could lead to your making errors on the job. And this will hurt your chances of a positive recommendation. So the fear among many job seekers like “K” is very real. What can you do to shade your job search from your employer? Here are some steps you can take.

  • Do not discuss your looking to leave or seeking additional employment
    Keep everything to yourself to prevent the accidental or intentional leaking of your looking for work. Even if you have very close friends in the office who you know you can trust, the problem is they may be caught off-guard. Or be swamped or preoccupied with something else and let it slip. A risk you do not want to chance! So live by the adage, Loose lips sink ships!
  • Be very careful with postings on social media
    More and more employers are using social media to keep tabs on employees. So you want to make sure that anything you’re posting or responding to on social media sites will not even remotely hint of your looking for work. Remember, even if you forgot and deleted the post(s), it still exists out there. And for all you know, it was already seen. So you must be extremely careful with your social media activities. This includes your online profile(s). You do not want your profile to show that you’re looking for work. Remember, many will just look at your headline and make judgments and/or decisions based upon this. So make sure your headline does not say or even hint of your being involved in a job search. The same applies to the rest of your profile. You must be consistent here in hiding your seeking employment in both sections.
  • Don’t use work for your job search
    A big mistake is conducting your job search from your work phone, computer, and/or email. The last thing you want is any record of your seeking work elsewhere from within the company. So do all your job hunting from outside the company! This includes not using your company’s Internet connection. So do not connect your personal smartphone, tablet, and/or laptop to your company’s Internet or WiFi connection. Your goal is to avoid any records of your job search on the company’s end.
  • No interviews from the office
    You don’t want anybody overhearing or walking in during a phone interview or inquiry. So this relates to what I had said above, hide your job hunting activities from prying eyes and ears! And do not give out your work phone or email to prospective employers and recruiters. They should only have your personal email address and phone number(s).
  • Behave normally
    A big tip-off to somebody’s looking for work is their being dressed out of the ordinary and/or behaving differently. So you want to make sure you’re looking and acting the same as you normally would at work. This way, nobody will suspect anything is odd or strange. Also make sure you’re not carrying or bringing anything that sticks out as out of the ordinary. You want to make sure you’re behaving completely normal to avoid raising suspicions.
  • Schedule interviews outside work hours
    Do your best to schedule any interviews outside your hours of work. So if you can do it when you’re done, great! The same with having them before you need to arrive at your job or on your day(s) off. These will avoid your needing to take time off from work to meet with employers. And let you just continue on as though everything is perfectly normal. I’ve done interviews during my lunch. So that’s another possible time for you to schedule an interview without raising any eyebrows in the office.When you’re looking for work, it’s also a good idea to save your personal days, sick days, and vacation time for interviews. So ahead of your need to look for work, begin saving up as many of these days as you can. This way, if you’re not able to schedule interviews in your off-time, you’ll be able to use up these days for interviews during working hours. And do your best to have as many employer interviews during the day. This way, you may be able to minimize how much time off from work you’ll need.
  • Don’t update job search materials at work
    You do not want to be working on or updating your resume anyplace in the office. Or putting together job search materials that will be used during interviews. Just do all these things away from the office when nobody there will be able to notice. So don’t use your personal office, if you have one. And not using the lunchroom, break room, or conference room. Your entire job search activities should be made from locations away from the company where nobody from there will catch you.
  • Avoid using employees of the company as employment references
    You don’t want to risk somebody at the office being contacted by a prospective employer or recruiter. And having somebody else possibly overhearing the conversation. You also want to prevent your reference(s) from accidentally letting it slip they did a reference check for you. What about using one or more former employee as references? Some job seekers will do this to prevent their employer from discovering their using current employees as references. But don’t forget that even former employees can still be in contact with others in the company. So it is possible a former employee you’re using as a reference let it slip to somebody currently working there. Now you just got caught looking for employment somewhere else! So my professional advice is not to use anybody with your current employer as a reference. This way, you’re keeping everything under wraps. And prospective employers and recruiters will understand.

atc_3_headshot_gavan_ambrosini_125Gavan Ambrosini, Executive Coach, Career Consultant

Great question!  And one that has a lot of folks worried as they scan the horizon for new opportunities.  If you are searching on LinkedIn–there is a way to let recruiters know you are looking but without alerting your employer. You can go to your settings and turn on a button just for recruiters to let them know you are open to new opportunities.

It’s hard to be an actor when you are looking elsewhere and try to keep your game face on at work–but in the end, you are probably doing your employer a favor by leaving.  Try not to call in sick to make an interview–but do use your PTO to schedule needed “appointments” and if possible schedule them later in the afternoon or early morning so as to not disrupt your day at work. When you can, take the entire day off!  That way you can fully focus on the new opportunity and not have to worry about giving an Academy Award-winning performance when you go to work.

One last thing, it is not always a bad thing if an employer finds out you are looking.  If they want to keep you, they may entice you to stay with a promotion, more pay or other goodies.  Everything becomes a negotiation if they happen to approach you with the news they know you are wanting to make a move.  If they don’t outright ask you if you are looking, they might “check in” to see how things are going and to see if you need additional support in any way.  Thank them for asking that question, and then think long and hard of what it might take to keep you there. Then would be the time to ask for whatever you want to keep you there.  It might be no–but at least they will be clear of what is motivating you to leave.  If they let on they know you are looking but don’t offer anything to keep you around–take it as a sign that it is time to go anyway.  Either way, maintain a positive attitude throughout your search, and always keep up your professionalism. You never know when you will cross paths again, and you always want to leave on a high note.  After all–no hard feelings–it’s just business, right?


atc_headshot_frank_pomata_125Frank Pomata, Labor Tech/Suffolk County Dept. of Labor

In today’s over-connected world where everyone’s business is so out there for the world to see, including our employers conducting a confidential search can be challenging.    That being said, one can still discreetly conduct a job search without overtly alerting one’s employer.

  • Avoid a drop off in enthusiasm, participation and productivity as these can be tell-tale signs to an experienced supervisor that someone is losing enthusiasm and may be job searching;
  • Do NOT tell anyone at your employer, even friends, you are looking UNLESS you need a peer reference AND know they can be trusted 100% not to disclose to anyone else.
  • Adjust your settings on Linkedin to allow recruiters/employers to contact you.
  • Constantly be passively looking by regularly keeping your resume/Linkedin profile up to date.  This way any sudden changes or updates are not viewed as suspicious should your employer be surveilling your social media (and don’t think they don’t).
  • Emphasize the confidential nature of your search to prospective employers and/or recruiters.  Even saying or writing this is no guarantee as I know all too well from a friends’ personal experience.
  • Be careful, even away from work, who you tell about your search or where you discuss it.   You never know who might be in earshot or who knows who.

Hopefully, the above tips are helpful to those of you seeking to change employment without tipping your hand to your current employer.


atc_headshot_virginia_francoVirginia Franco, Certified Resume Writer, Interview Consultant

Try and Flex 

If your job does not require a set hourly schedule, experiment with flexing. Try coming in an hour or two earlier and leaving an hour or two earlier, or conversely coming in an hour later and staying later.

Another option is to try and schedule interviews during and around the lunch time hour.

Avoid Excuses

The most direct and professional way, and the one that eliminates the need to come up with an excuse for missing work, is to inquire if an interview may be conducted before or after work hours.

Take Personal Business Time

If your request for a before- or after-hours interview gets denied, consider taking a full or half personal or vacation day. While too many of these may eat into actual future vacation plans, no excuse is needed and your paycheck won’t take a hit. Just remember more than one day’s notice will be appreciated by those in your current workplace.
Less is Best

The most nerve-wracking part for most employed job seekers is communicating a workday absence. In these cases, aim for vague – as the fewer details you provide the less cover up required. If asked, explain that you have an appointment and if your job allows try and work from home. If pressed – only you can decide if it will help or harm to be up front about your job search.

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Thanks K, for the question, and thanks to all the career experts for their insight!

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Mechanics and Soft Skills

September 7th, 2017

Yesterday I was at my mechanic’s shop to have him check a car my daughter was going to buy. We were on the shop floor waiting while him and his employee checked out the car, and I commented:

“Kevin, your shop is really clean!”

It’s not something I noticed before, but it was in stark contrast to the dirty engines, oily rags, and even oily uniforms they were wearing. The floor was clean, the surfaces of work areas were clean, the tool benches were clean… I was really impressed!

He replied, “It’s soft skills!  You wouldn’t believe how much having a clean shop makes a difference for customers!”

I thought that was interesting… I didn’t think about having a clean shop as “soft skills,” but it was outside of what I paid him for (fixing my car). Honestly, my number one objective with a mechanic is to get a car fixed at a reasonable price. I usually don’t go into the shop and the cleanliness usually doesn’t impact me. But when I was there, seeing the attention to detail he put into that non-critical part of his business, I could see what he meant.

He also said, “You’d be surprised at how little effort it takes to keep it clean like this.”  Meaning, systems in place, such as clean up after each job, wipe down spills immediately, etc.

I recently talked about bedside manner from a dentist and a tire guy (How Is Your Bedside Manner (as a job seeker)?), so apparently I’m on a soft skills kick. I’m convinced that we, as job seekers, need to take this very important concept into consideration and improve who we are, so we can see improved results in our job search!

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Networking not worth it? What, then?

August 30th, 2017

I saw a link to this on Facebook: Good News for Young Strivers: Networking Is Overrated. I think it was written by Tim Enthoven… while reading the first part of this I thought it was an attempt at sensational writing to buck convention, but then towards the end he got into something that is too often overlooked…

And, to his defense, someone in the comments points out that the title has the word “overrated,” not useless, or bad, or something else that is final. It’s just not all it’s cracked up to be.

I didn’t like how Tim gave examples of ultra-rich, ultra-successful people, for example, getting on Oprah (after all, who needs to network when you can just get on Oprah and then get rich?). Do you know how hard it was to get on Oprah?

By the end of his article, though, I got it. And I agree with it (mostly).  His main message is that we have to have substance, quality, product, excellence… something more than a brand and a business card and a handshake.  Without having (or being) something to talk about, what’s the use of networking?  Schmooze all you want, but if you are lame, or have no value to bring to the table, why put yourself in front of others?

I agree.  And all of the JibberJobber users that I’ve communicated with are expert in something… they might not be The Expert, but they have expertise.  Of course, they can refine their skill, but they have something worth talking about.  As do you, I’m sure.

Tim says to get better, be better, be worth knowing and talking about.  And the rest will come to you.

That may be the case.  But let me remind you of ABC.  Salespeople know what ABC is.  Business owners know what ABC is.  Marketers should know what ABC is.  It is Always Be Selling. Never turn it off.   I know, it’s annoying, and tiring, and you sound like a broken record player, but if you want to sell (get results), then you need to sell (the action). What are you selling? Yourself.

I agree that your product or service (YOU) should sell itself…. but what I’ve learned the hard way is no matter how good your product or service is, you need great marketing and sales. You need to package it (you) well. You need to present it (yourself) in a compelling way. You need to put it (you) in front of the right people.

Guess where you do that? By networking.  With humans.  Sometimes this is at networking events. Sometimes it is one-on-one, or with email… but really, you can’t just sit there all awesome and not let anyone know.

So yeah, like Tim says, be awesome(r).

And go network. Today.

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