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Job Search Tool: The Job Seeker Newsletter

August 14th, 2020

Years ago I wrote about a very awesome tactic for networking and personal branding, with an emphasis on helping your network help you in your job search.

In most of my on-stage presentations I talk about it, and in a few of my Pluralsight courses I talk about it. This was not a flash-in-the-pan, whimsical suggestion. I think a regular newsletter for your network can be a super powerful tool.

JibberJobber Job Search Newsletter Typing Email

In the April 5th (2012) post I talk about the three things that go into your newsletter. This is seriously three SHORT paragraphs. Each paragraph has a very important purpose. At the end is a very specific call to action. This post, How to write a job search newsletter (1 of 2), is the nuts and bolts. Don’t let the simplicity trick you into thinking it isn’t a super powerful tool.

The next day, April 6th, I wrote How to write a job search newsletter (2 of 2). This is an important follow up where I talk about how to keep track of WHAT you have sent to WHO. I talk about how you would use JibberJobber to (a) figure out who you would email (and quickly get an email list for those you want to send the newsletter to) and (b) how to track, in JibberJobber, what you sent and who you sent it to.

Please consider including the job search newsletter in your job search strategy. It doesn’t take much time or effort, but could result in some great conversations, leads, and introductions.  The two links above are to short but important blog posts!

JibberJobber Job Search Newsletter at symbol

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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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The Time To Look For a Job Is NOW! (Even Through Quarantine)

May 13th, 2020

Sad.

A friend of mine posted that he is sad, and snappy. This line particularly stuck out from a long facebook post:

Maybe you weren’t at the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy. I know this person was living a great life. He isn’t wealthy but he really was living a great life. Rich with friends and doing what he loved. And then everything is taken away.

Combine that with news that we are at 24, I mean 27, I mean 30, I mean 33 MILLION people unemployed. And those are just those who have reported for unemployment insurance. I guarantee there are more. Not to mention people who had their own businesses who have shut down.

It feels like no one is hiring (here’s a link to a spreadsheet of who is freezing hiring). Except that companies are hiring (here are some jobs in Utah for product managers (my dream job) and UX/designers).

Whether you are part of the unemployed, the furloughed, or whatever, there is absolutely no reason to NOT do job search stuff right now.

In my Job Search Program I guide you on a six week journey of informational interviews, or, as I say, “networking on steroids.” Even with all of the economic question marks right now, with no one knowing what Fall or Winter will look like, there are things you could do for your job search. I’m not sure if you’ll land next week (people are getting hired right now) or in a couple of months, or early next year, but you need to get ready. You need to do things to put you in the running.

So what can you do when it feels like there is nothing going on, and no options? Here are nine ideas:

Personal Branding Activities To Do Right Now

JibberJobber Personal Brand Blue Orange

Fix up your LinkedIn Profile. This is your professional landing page and it shouldn’t suck. Here’s my Pluralsight course on that…

Write something to let people see your subject matter expertise, thought leadership, and/or professional passion. This could be as simple as ONE LinkedIn article (here’s my LinkedIn course for proactive strategies)… just think of it as a smart email. Or, you could write a guest blog post for someone with an established blog. Or, consider your own blog (post once a week, or once a month?), or start tweeting. But you gotta share your expertise somewhere, if you want your personal brand to grow.

Fix your email signature. This is what I call the “secret weapon of personal branding.” Secret because everyone could easily have one, but hardly anyone does it well. Strip out useless info (including inspirational quotes) and come up with clearly branded statements to help others know who/what you are.

Networking Activities To Do Right Now

JibberJobber Networking Chatting

Make your list and check it twice. Really, spend some time on this. If you are bored at home you have time to do this. Your list becomes your game plan. It can be the most important list you ever make. Do it in a spiral notebook, or a spreadsheet. Or, if you are serious about career management, keep track of your contacts in JibberJobber. We were designed to replace the job search spreadsheet!

Figure out your target companies. This is also a critical part of your game plan. You’ll want to figure out how you will network into those companies. Maybe you do research on LinkedIn and figure who does, or has, worked there. You can spend a lot of time planning and preparing… time that most of us have right now.

Call someone TODAY. And tomorrow. And pretty much every day. Do this strategically. Not just to chat, but to have an “informational interview.” This is, I think, the most effective job search tactic you can employ. I know it might feel weird, and you might feel uncomfortable. But do it anyway. It will be worth it when you land your dream job. Here’s a course you can get on Pluralsight (the free 10 day account will get you full access) on Informational Interviews. If you are serious about your next job, get on the Job Search Program.

Multiple Income Stream Activities To Do Right Now

JibberJobber Multiple Streams of Income Money

Brainstorm and list ways you could make extra money, even if it is only $100/month. I am super passionate about creating multiple income streams so that when your main stream goes away you still have income. Read this post to see how it worked out for me. There are plenty of lists online you can research to see what might work for you. I’m not saying to burn the ships and become an entrepreneur (although that might be right for you). But imagine making a few hundred, or a few thousand bucks a month that don’t go away when your job goes away.

Learn from others who have multiple revenue streams. I’m not talking about the tons of people on Youtube that are like 18 and telling you how to get rich like they did. Maybe you read books to learn (Multiple Streams of Income, Rich Dad Poor Dad, etc.). Maybe you talk to friends who are entrepreneurs. Maybe you talk to financial advisors. Maybe you talk to the 15 year old kid who is doing stuff (because they aren’t afraid to fail, like us older people are). How you create your other income stream(s), I have no idea. But you can get ideas and inspiration from others to create your own recipe for success.

Try something. People ask me if they should major in entrepreneurship at school. My answer is NO. Why wait to get a degree on how to be an entrepreneur when you can try something right now? Whatever your skills are I bet you can find someone to pay for them. Walk dogs (seriously), paint numbers on curbs (seriously), clean window wells (seriously), or whatever. Dave Ramsey’s go to alternative revenue stream he always recommends is to deliver pizzas. This requires hustle but you can make good money doing that. The biggest issue is usually getting over your pride and other false constraints and just jumping in.

Do something. Don’t get overwhelmed with things out of your control… each of the nine ideas I listed above are in your control.

If you are wondering what this has to do with finding a job right now, or job search activities, every single one of these nine tasks can be a part of you getting your next job. I’ll never forget the phone call I got in 2006, out of the blue, essentially offering me a job. Why? Because I had started JibberJobber. I showed what I could do, I showed I had hustle, and creativity, and could get things done. And I had a job offer. Just starting my own revenue stream led to a job offer. Mind blowing.

You got this.

JibberJobber Like a Boss

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That Time I Networked With Randy

January 9th, 2020

JibberJobber Network Clubs

A hundred years ago, in 2006, I forced myself to get to a network meeting for job seekers.

When I say forced, I really didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to take the time, which I thought was not as productive as sitting on my laptop monitoring Monster job postings, and hoping to be one of the first to apply. I didn’t want to network with people who didn’t have a job because, frankly, I judged them to be broken, or unhireable, or whatever. Yes, I was that much of a jerk. I know some of you have the same thoughts, though.

But really… what good would networking with people who didn’t have a job be? How could those who needed, and couldn’t give, help me?

I was a short-sighted dork.

But on that fateful morning, after a couple of false starts and fake attempts, I walked through the doors and experienced something that would be life changing.

As we went around the room so everyone could introduce themselves, I listened in awe. You see, I was expecting broken people with bad careers and having made poor career choices. But I heard person after person share their 30 second pitch, and was shocked that the people in the room were accomplished professionals. They were well spoken, well dressed, and really cool people.

Why were they there, then? Every person had their own story (which they didn’t share in their 30 second pitch). I learned about company mergers and acquisitions, I learned that I wasn’t the only one who had a toxic boss, I learned about discrimination, and other things that go into downsizing. Of course, some people were there because of their own doing… but it was there that I looked around and realized:

I was not alone.

For about six weeks I had been alone. Very alone. And lonely.

But going to a network meeting with job seekers was exactly what I needed to start to heal. Instead of sitting on Monster waiting for a new posting to apply to, judging myself and wondering what was wrong with me, I could talk to, listen to, and learn from people who had great careers and were also unemployed.

It really was an epic moment for me.

And then there was Randy. Randy was at least ten years older than I was. He was, in my mind, an executive. When he did his 30 second pitch I thought “oh my, that is almost exactly my pitch!” Project management, product management, general manager. The difference was that I was coming out of a tiny company with little-to-no mentoring, and very small-scale experience. I guessed that Randy had 20 years of REAL general manager experience. He was the real deal.

Randy came, a few weeks later, to say he landed a job, and thanks for everything. He then pulled me aside and told me about how LinkedIn was so critical to his job search. I was hesitant… I was already looking at job boards all day and felt like I had too many accounts elsewhere… did I really need to get on LinkedIn, too?

Laughable, I know.

Randy made a huge impression on me. I saw in him what I could be in the next 10 or 20 years in my career. I saw a strong, self-confident professional who was at a not fun part of his career, but held his chin up and moved forward, optimistic that he would land well.

He gave me hope for the future. His example encouraged me to move forward. He helped me understand that job clubs were not full of broken people or losers.

Whether you go to job clubs to learn about job search techniques (mine were outdated), to network with others (job seekers make some of the best networkers), to get your name out there (stand in front of 30 or 60+ people and give a good 30 second pitch and you’ll start this process), or just to be around other humans… I don’t care why you go. Just go. Go so that it can be your lifeline.

You never know, maybe YOU will be someone else’s lifeline.

Here are some other posts I’ve written about job clubs over the years:

10 Reasons to Frequent Job Clubs

The Power of Job Clubs

The Power of Job Clubs and Job Ministries

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The Job Search Program Focuses on Networking

October 16th, 2019

When I talk about the Job Search Program to career professionals (resume writers and career and job search coaches) I say that it is designed to help the job seeker have “the right conversations with the right people.”

Networking is a funny, misunderstood beast. The joke is that it is, for job seekers, a four-letter word. Not many people like to do it. It feels fake, and many people can’t wait to land a job so they don’t have to network anymore.

In my job search I remember finally dragging myself to network meetings and making up goals like “I will get 10 business cards today,” or something just as lame. I wasn’t focusing on having right conversations and didn’t even understand who the right people could be. I was just going for a number because, sometimes, the job search really is a numbers game. So I thought.

Job Search is Not a Numbers Game

Enter the Job Search Program. This is a six week self-guided kind of coaching program where every single day I give you three tasks to do. And then you work on them. They are not fake tasks… they are intentionally designed to get you closer to having the right conversation with the right person. Every day builds on previous days. You start out kind of slow, setting up a good foundation, and then as you learn and practice and gain confidence and practice more, you find yourself having conversations with people in your target industries, then target companies, then target departments within your target industries, and next thing you know you are talking to decision-makers about opportunities just for you.

This program is unlike anything I’ve seen. It might seem very simple but the premise is that you are doing the right things and getting real traction, instead of hoping that in the numbers game model you are getting closer to the right number. I played that game and it sucked.

Here’s part of an email I got from Noah, who is in week one:

I am really enjoying the process so far! The messaging and advice is very clear and the overarching theme of self-empowerment through provided prompts/benchmarks seems well crafted. I especially appreciate the built-in daily accountability, which is critical for anyone who is serious about putting in the effort to achieve the goal they want.

Ready to stop doing stuff that isn’t getting you anywhere? Check out the Job Search Program here. The normal price is $497 but right now we have an introductory price of $197.

JibberJobber Job Search Program

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Who Do I Contact In A Job Search?

March 29th, 2019

JibberJobber Contact ListMy friend Mark asked this question:

In laying out my job search strategy, I’m trying to devise lists of people I need to reach out to for coffee and informational interviews. So far, I’ve built a list of former prospects and clients from my last sales job. Would you have any other suggested sources you counsel job seekers to pursue?

This is a great question. Reminds me of when I sat down to put together my list of contacts I was going to reach out to. Imagine me sitting at a table, pen in hand, blank paper before me. I went to write someone’s name, then paused and thought, “no, I shouldn’t contact that person, because…”

  • Because that was an old customer, and it seemed like I shouldn’t reach out to them (perhaps unethical to do that?)
  • Because that was an old partner, who I had a great relationship with, but that company (kind of a competitor) shouldn’t know about my termination because of competitive intelligence reasons (yes, I really thought that)
  • Because that person would be great to work with, but I was a little embarrassed to reach out to them.
  • Because, because, because…

About twenty minutes later, I had gone through dozens of people’s names in my mind, and disqualified them before I wrote any name down! Twenty minutes and still a blank sheet of paper!

I disqualified all kinds of wonderful people for reasons I was really just making up.

I JUST MADE UP EXCUSES TO NOT WRITE THEM DOWN!

Here’s what I have learned since then: DO NOT disqualify anyone at this stage.

Your job is to simply write down people who you could, who you might, reach out to. This is not a legal contract. This is not a firm commitment. This is simply a list of people you might contact.

WRITE EVERYONE. Even people you don’t like. Just write names.

Now, back to Mark’s question… where do I get names from?  Start with categories. Mark said he already wrote down former prospects and clients.

What about people that you worked with at your last company? Especially those who aren’t at that company anymore?

What about anyone you’ve ever worked with? Go back one, two, three, ten companies, and list names that you can remember… colleagues you worked with. Bosses, peers, people who reported to you, etc.

What about your competitors? What companies did you compete against? List people who worked there in your role, or adjacent to your role.

Go to at least one association or professional meetup and find a plethora of your local peers there. List them.

What about your neighbors? Seriously. I know you haven’t had these types of conversations with them before, but list them. Don’t make assumptions and excuses, just put their names down.

What about people you go to church with?

What about parents of kids that your kids are friends with, or go to school with?

Have you gone through your LinkedIn (and Facebook, etc.) networks and listed people? Some will be useless as far as this job search goes, but be careful to not prejudge their value.

The key people you want to communicate with are those who are in your “space.” That is, people who are in your geographical location, or your profession, or your industry.

But there are plenty of people OUTSIDE of your space who know people INSIDE your space.

Are you going to job clubs?

Here’s what I love about networking with people at job clubs: they are networking more with your prospects than anyone else around you. They should help you get the right introductions.

So, start at the top level, with categories of people… then write down EVERYONE.

And that is how you start to make a great list.

How do you continue? As you talk to people you should ask “who else should I talk to, that you know?” Always ask for names and introductions. And your list, and networking efforts, will grow.

So will your need to use JibberJobber :)

 

 

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“Struggling with trying to network with professionals”

March 13th, 2018

We got an email from user “L” last week with two issues… I want to address one today. He says:

“I am struggling with trying to network with professionals.”

Not a whole lot of information in the email… what kind of struggling? They aren’t responding to your calls or emails? Or, you don’t know how to approach them in the first place? Or, you actually get to have meetings with them but then nothing happens from there?

When I started my job search 12 years ago I learned that networking was the way to go and applying online was a waste of time. So, I tried to figure out how to network. The problem was that, as an introvert and a technologist, I’d much rather sit at home and “do my job search” efficiently than take hours and hours out of my day and routine to go to a network event, or meet someone at a restaurant. The “hours and hours” came from drive time, getting ready time, and arriving early and/or staying late.

Did I mention introvert? The whole process could be exhausting, with a healthy dose of concern about whether this would be a fruitful meeting or if people would just think I was an idiot (second guessing myself has been one of my top skills).

Sitting in front of a computer was much easier, much more comfortable, and seemed a lot more productive.

But everyone knew, and said, that you had to network. What if it just wasn’t working?

Maybe, I figured, it wasn’t that networking wasn’t working, but that I wasn’t understanding it and doing it right.

The turning point in my networking journey came when I read Never Eat Alone. I can’t recommend that book enough. This was THE book that changed my mindset on networking. It wasn’t something to do so I could benefit, rather it was something to do so everyone could benefit. I went into networking opportunities with a completely different attitude and goals. It had now become fun and exciting. Instead of getting to network events late and skipping out early, I was anxious to be one of the first ones there and one of the last to leave.

What because of this?

I remember one conversation where I pretty much had a job offer in the bag, and at a networking event told this guy about it and said he should interview, because he was definitely a better candidate than I was. He got the job, and I got immense satisfaction knowing that I had a small part in that.

Seriously, it was thrilling to give that away to him.

That was a manifestation of my change in attitude. I wasn’t in it for ME, I was in it for WE. I helped and I gave. I went from “What can I get” to “what can I give you,” which was great. But the next transition was huge. It was: “Hey, I heard you mention this… you need to talk to so-and-so. I’ll send you an introduction today.”

Here’s what that looks like:

  1. I started at: What can I get? I’m in this for me… and this is why a lot of networking feels sleezy.
  2. Then, I transitioned to: What can I give you? This is a question you’ll hear from networkers, and it shows they are helpful, and ready to invest some capital into the networking bank… maybe hoping to draw on it later. Nothing wrong with being here.
  3. But then, something magical happened when I didn’t ask that question, and didn’t wait for them to know what they wanted (heck, I didn’t know what I… why expect everyone else to know?): “I heard you say this… you need to talk to my friend, I’ll do the introduction today.” This goes into really listening and caring, and then opening up your network (risking, to a degree, your own reputation) and proactively making an introduction.

#3 is why I was so excited to go to network meetings. I couldn’t wait to connect people, and really, really help them. This went way beyond the superficial smile and handshake and “we should do lunch” (the lunch that never happens). This was meaningful, and it was fun.

Along the way my relationships with individuals grew and strengthened, my reach expanded, and I was fulfilled. It was AWESOME.

In summary, to a very vague question I give you two suggestions: First, get Never Eat Alone. I hope you absorb it the way I did. Second, transition from a “what can I get” goal/attitude to a “I’m going to give something to you today… not sure what, but I’m listening for where I can add value, and will give it” attitude. This gamifies networking, makes it fun, and puts you in a much different position.

Have a more specific networking question? I’m all ears. Leave a comment or email me.

 

 

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Ask the Coach #5: How to Network in a New Area?

September 15th, 2017

This is part of a continuing series called Ask the Coaches, where YOU pose a question that I send to dozens of career experts, and they give their awesome responses. IF YOU ARE A CAREER EXPERT and want to be on the list, email me (contact link at bottom of any page).

This week’s question comes from Kathy:

I am struggling with networking. If you are in a new area, what is the best approach to making new contacts?

Great question… for many, they aren’t new in an area, but once they are in job search it sure can feel new.  The responses are below…


atc_3_headshot_gavan_ambrosini_125Gavan Ambrosini, Executive Coach, Career Consultant

It’s not easy breaking into a new area with few contacts and resources to lean on. Three things I recommend to get you started:

  1. Join a job seeking group–they pop up in different forms but the best and easiest way to find one is to check in with your local One-Stop Career Center (www.servicelocator.org) and they should be able to point you in the right direction to one.  Other entities to check out are local churches, veterans associations and experience Experience Unlimited and MeetUp.com to name a few. You will meet other professionals, and get on their radar for opportunities that might not be a fit for them but perfect for you. It also helps to know you are not alone–and to be a support to others on this journey.
  2. Join and/or attend association or industry events to increase your visibility and to get to know what is happening in your new town.  You don’t need to say you are “unemployed”, but that you are “working on some projects” (sure it may be yourself) and that you are looking at (not for) new opportunities in the area.  The idea is that you are always in charge of your job search and that everything is a possibility (not a need, want, desire).
  3. Volunteer somewhere.  It doesn’t have to be in your industry, but it will help to get you involved in the community and away from the computer and outside of your head.  Serving others less fortunate than you is the best way to get you into a positive mindset and with an attitude of gratitude. If you can find somewhere that can utilize your unique skills sets, even better!
Just don’t get yourself so busy, that you don’t have time to look for a job!  If it starts to feel like too much–ease up and pick and choose what events will give you the best return on your time.  It’s ok to take a break and go back to what you started or try something completely different–just as long as you are getting yourself out there meeting people. Remember, the goal is to expand your network and to make important connections along the way.
Good Luck!

atc_headshot_sonia_cerezo_125Sonia Cerezo, Certified Professional Career Coach

Dear Kathy,

I am not sure if you are looking for a new job in your new city or you simply want to meet others but either way, the process is the same.

First, start by reaching out to newcomer’s groups in your area.

Second, via meetup.com, join groups you are interested in.

Third, become a member of the professional associations in your industry.

Fourth, going to church on Sunday, not only helps the spririt but it is a great way to meet others.

Fifth, volunteer either at your church or pick a nonprofit you feel strongly about.

But remember true networking is about meeting one person at a time, so be intentional about getting to know others.

I hope these suggestions help.

Wishing you the very best in your new career!


atc_headshot_jenna_hartwell_125Jenna Hartwell, Director of Veterinary Career Services & Professional Development

Excellent timing for this question – networking has been on my mind a lot this week!

Before sharing some ideas, I think it’s extremely important to first mention what networking is NOT.

Networking is not about the number of people in your contact list.

Networking is not being fake.

Networking is not about being an extrovert.

Networking is about trust.

It is about creating a community of people around you who want to invest in your success (and believe that, if given the opportunity, you would do the same for them). From those trusting relationships we build our network and from building that network we develop a positive reputation which, in turn, fosters more trust. It’s a cycle. See:

atc_5_jenna_hartwell_graphic

Keeping all of this in mind, here are some practical ideas:

  1. Start with the people in your life who already know and trust you. You never know whose uncle’s cousin’s sister in law lives in your city or is knowledgeable about your field.
  2. Join affinity groups through meetup.org or your local chamber of commerce. These don’t have to be in your career area – they could also be for a hobby or interest! Several of my friends have built new networks through the World Adult Kickball Association.
  3. Find alumni from your college/university through LinkedIn or your school’s alumni association (call the office – they would love to help you!)
  4. If you’re someone who isn’t at your best in in-person situations; use the phone! In an age where so many of us are bound to email, a call can be refreshing and a nice middle ground for people who prefer to network from home.
  5. Engage your “nag” – find that overly honest person in your life who pushes you to do the things you don’t want to. There is nothing a nag wants to hear more than “I need your help.” Schedule a weekly call with them about who you met since your last conversation.
  6. Find the local chapter of your professional association. When I first moved back to North Carolina, the people at the NC Association of Colleges and Employers quickly became my second family!
  7. Focus on your successes no matter how small. A case of the ‘shoulds’ coupled with negative self talk lead to spending the evening on the couch (not networking).
  8. Take a class at your local university.
  9. I love the forums on city-data.com. Every city has their own unique culture and learning from the locals is a great way to find places to network.
  10. Volunteer. Idealist.org, volunteermatch.org, or even your local non-profit association can help you find places to help yourself while you’re helping someone else.

atc_headshot_adele_leah_125Adele Leah, Career Wingwoman whose mission is to help careers fly and put people on the path to career happiness and success

Leverage the power of LinkedIn, whether it is a new area in terms of location or in terms of industry sector you are looking to move into.

LinkedIn is like attending a big networking event with more than 400 million users, it’s the largest professional social network. With the various functions, it’s a great tool to find companies, people, and jobs in any location and industry. You can reach out and connect, start conversations, network and build up new contacts. There are also various groups you can join which is another great way to join new communities and expand your network.

The important thing is that you have your profile up to date and really showcasing who you are, what you do and the value you bring. People want to see clearly and quickly what you are about and why they should connect and network with you. Not having an updated and complete profile is like turning up at a networking event in your pajamas and mumbling. Not many people would want to engage and talk with you! Your summary is key this is your introduction, think about what you would say to someone if you met them in person about who you are and what you do. This is what you want to put there

Around 99% of people fail to optimize their profile and aren’t using LinkedIn to their advantage so be in the 1% and have a profile that really stands out and then your ability to connect and network gets a whole lot easier.

Also, it’s important when you reach out you send an introduction with the connect message giving a bit of detail about why you want to connect.

Part of the work I do as a career strategist, coach and mentor is to help people to stand out and shine with their LinkedIn profile as well as understanding how to use it to its full potential to develop their personal brand, grow their network and increase their career opportunities. LinkedIn is for your career life, not just a new job.


atc_headshot_wendy_terwelpWendy Terwelp, Executive Career Coach, Speaker, Author: Rock Your Network® for Job Seekers

As the author of Rock Your Network® for Job Seekers, I recommend the following steps for Kathy and others who are newly relocated:

  1. Determine your goal for networking. This impacts the type of groups you will explore and join. If your networking goal is for job search, you’ll want to explore area job search groups. Additionally, I recommend joining a local chapter of your professional association. For example, PRSA if you’re in PR; ATD, if you’re in training and development; ASQ if you’re in quality management, and so on. Check out LinkedIn’s “groups” tab to see if there are relevant groups for your networking goals in your area.
  2. Update your LinkedIn profile with a current professional photo, summary, and experience. This way, when you’re exploring connections and groups, people can easily associate your name with a face.
  3. Create a sound bite you can modify and use when meeting new people. Instead of, “I’m between jobs right now.” When asked, “So, Kathy, what do you do?” you’ll have a polished sound bite you can share that’s positive and focused. (Chapter 5 in my book has a formula you can repurpose.)
  4. Check out the local Chamber of Commerce. Typically, they’ll have Business After 5 or other networking events you can attend. One of my clients who’d recently relocated had no local network. She volunteered for her Chamber of Commerce and updated their website. She had a master’s degree in information technology. The chamber wrote a press release about it, highlighting her expertise. She was introduced to several business leaders in the area and was hired by one of them to run their IT department.
  5. Volunteer for a cause you believe in. If you have a tight budget and are unemployed, one thing you do have is time. Volunteering demonstrates your leadership skills, you’ll meet people interested in the same cause as you, and often business leaders are involved in those efforts. This gives you a chance to talk about something you enjoy and are passionate about, which makes networking easy and natural.

Finally, don’t forget your new neighbors, friends and family who may have connections in your area, local sports events, farmers markets, and more. When you have your polished sound bite, it’s much easier to start a conversation with those you meet.

These tips will help you get started. I recommend making a networking plan to make regular progress toward your goals and positive connections with your local market. You got this!


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

Kathy, this is a great question and one I’m often asked to respond to. Ask anyone in career services (and in sales as well) and we will all agree the single most important component of success is making and staying in contact with people you know and those you want to know, both in and outside your current or desired field or profession. This is why I am a proponent of reaching out to make a minimum of three contacts a day. Imagine this – 3×30 = 90 people you reach out to every month and 3×365 = 1095 people you now have in your network in the course of one year. This is what serious and successful networkers do!

This said, networking in a new city is more challenging and requires additional effort to yield tangible results. In addition to standard Networking 101 techniques, you will need to consider more unconventional and perhaps less comfortable than you prefer measures. At the outset, you’ll also need to make a modest financial investment in yourself, if you have not already done so. The first investment is to create a catchy business card to hand out to the people you’ll meet to remember you and know how to contact you. I use and recommend Vistasprint, a low cost high quality option. The second investment is, I recommend a low cost or free website and/or blog (check out Wix.com and WordPress). Here you can showcase your resume and bona fides, and have a URL on your business card along with your fully optimized LinkedIn profile page URL so people can check you out, follow you, connect with you, and refer you to others.

Now, here are networking suggestions in a new city and they work in your hometown as well.

  1. Step out of your comfort zone. For many this means being less timid and much more sociable. Go to a sports bar for Saturday College football and Sunday and Monday night pro football (or whatever sport you enjoy or is in season) and start a conversation with the people around you rather than sitting like a wallflower and waiting to be approached by others. You can also go to a movie, a concert or the theater, a museum or a lecture by your lonesome and strike up a conversation with the people you meet on line and at the event. You never know what will happen—or whom you will meet—when you step outside of your comfort zone.
  2. Take up or continue a hobby. Find those things you want to do but your pocketbook or inner voice often says Nah. For example, join a business district or local gym or health club. Take a Yoga, Spin or kickboxing class. Join a flag football or softball league. Try a new restaurant or bar in the business district. Whatever you do, steel your nerves and walk into a room or place full of new people.
  3. Go on Dates. For those who are single, going on dates is a great way to meet new people—even if you don’t hit it off romantically, you could strike up a friendship. If you’re male, ask a woman out and don’t stop asking if you’re rejected. Women, you too can ask a man out. So get out of your comfort zone, take a flyer, and accept an offer or ask out a nice guy or gal, even if he or she is not someone you’d ideally choose. Be up front and say “I’m new to this city and I’d like to get to know you and your friends.” If you’re seeing, someone expand your horizons and get creative: Branch out from your neighborhood and go places where there are crowds. When on line at a movie, ballgame, or anywhere you go strike up a conversation with the people around you and let you partner know why are so friendly to strangers.
  4. Volunteer: So many causes you can support need your help where you can spend time doing something you’re passionate about. Try to keep it close to your field of work if possible. Political clubs are also a good place to volunteer and network and meet influential people in a new city.
  5. Seek out fellow alumni and former co-workers. Search fellow college and even HS alumni on LinkedIn. Then reach out and connect with them, tell them what your connection is and you want to speak with them. If they listed a phone number, take the initiative and give them a call. The same for fellow coworkers who may be in your new city or have contacts on LinkedIn who live where you are now living.
  6. Take chances and say YES: If you get invited to places or events, where there are a lot of people that are not in your wheelhouse or comfort zone say YES. This may be an invite to go bowling, dancing or skiing, to go to a lecture or attend a C&W, Rock or Classical music concert to name a few. In other words, make it your policy to socially say YES rather than to always say No or giving an excuse.
  7. Sign up and attend classes: Continuing education in your field or something related (or even in something that interests you) is a great place and way to meet likeminded people who you can easily start a conversation with. They are also likely to have a network of people you can tap into.
  8. Join Toastmasters: This has a double benefit. Aside from meeting career minded people who are out to advance their career, you will have an opportunity to improve your public speaking ability and hone your business persona.
  9. Check out Meetup in your new locale. This allows you to meet people in different walks of life who share common interests with you. Take a chance and get involved, after a while, you will meet some great and helpful people.
  10. Join your local area LinkedIn group and professional associations. The members of these groups are people you could and should be reaching out to, and most sponsor networking events you can and should attend.
  11. Faith Based Networking. For some this is a first and natural step in networking in a new city. For those who are unaffiliated, lapsed religiously, agnostic or atheists this can be uncomfortable. However most houses of worship and faith based organizations have tremendous resources they are willing to share with newcomers in a city and they can be exceedingly helpful in picking you up when you feel alone, down, lost, home sick or hopeless.

atc_3_headshot_elvabankinsbaxter_125Elva Bankins Baxter, Certified Master Coach

Kathy, one of the best approaches to making new connections is to join a group or volunteer to work where you have common interests and are passionate about a cause.  If you have interests in some type of sport, exercise, are a music lover or an avid reader of books or bird watcher, there are likely to be groups of people in your area with the same interest (s) that you have.  Many of these groups meet on a regular basis in your area.

You are in luck if you are on Facebook.  There is an “Events” tab that appears under the “more” tab on your home page.  Check this out because by clicking on this tab, you will find a list of events that are happening in your area that may be of interest to you.  I found Fall Festival train rides to watch the Fall Foliage in October, a few jazz events, a tour of vintage homes, a few plays at local theatres and book clubs…all in my local area.   And, the best part is that it lists my Facebook friends who are planning to attend.

Once you attend one of these events or contact the leader of the group, the networking becomes easier.

Not on Facebook, try your local newspaper.  There are always listings of what’s happening in your new area.  If possible, bring a neighbor or co-worker with you.

If you are in a career transition, perhaps there is a local Five O’clock Club meeting that you can attend. Simply “Google” the name and view their website and attend a meeting. The key is to attend these events and making those connections.  Don’t forget to connect with everyone you meet on LinkedIn and your number of connections will increase greatly!

All the best and happy networking!


atc_3_headshot_rich_grant_125Rich Grant, Online career course instructor for Peak-Careers

Unless you have family or friends in a new area when relocating, networking can be a challenge. If you don’t know anybody in your new community, the best approach to making new contacts is by searching on LinkedIn for that location. You might be surprised to find that you have a connection who knows someone in the new area. I was surprised when I searched on LinkedIn for “Cheyenne.” I’ve lived in New England all my life, and I chose the most obscure location for illustration purposes. I don’t know anybody who lives in, or has ever lived in, Wyoming. However, on LinkedIn, I found that a former co-worker of mine knows an executive director of a prominent non-profit organization. If I were moving to Cheyenne, I’d call John and ask him to introduce me to this individual. I would then call the person in Cheyenne to introduce myself, and that John suggested I contact him since I’m planning to move to Cheyenne. Being a friend of a friend, I have no doubt he would be helpful and make my transition much smoother. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, “Don’t search for jobs; search for people.”


atc_3_headshot_ron_auerbach_125Ron Auerbach, Job search author, expert, and educator

I was in this exact situation when I moved from the East Coast to the West Coast. So I know what it’s like to have to make contacts in the new location. Now one thing I had done is this. Once I knew where I planned on moving, I took an extended vacation to visit and stay in the new location for a while. And while there, I had worked with some local temp agencies to gain some employment. This helped put me in contact with companies in the new area. And gave me an opportunity to meet some people there. So I was able to gain some local work experience ahead of my move.

Another thing one can do when they have relocated is join local groups. For example, there may be a local networking group for job seekers in your particular field or just in general. This is a nice way to interact with people in the local community who may be able to throw you some leads. And/or introduce you to others who may be able to help out.

You can also use a local religious house of worship. So becoming part of a local congregation will also help put you in contact with locals in that area. And allow you to let them know you’re seeking employment. They might know somebody who can help. Or take your resume and pass it along where they happen to work.

One more way to network is visiting the local unemployment office. Depending upon the area, there may be more than one. That’s the case where I live. Other places just have a single office. Either way, it gives you a chance to interact with some local job seekers. And you can meet with a local counselor there to look over your resume, do a mock interview, and help you with companies in the area.

It’s also pretty common for unemployment offices to host local events. So they may have one or more employers coming into the office to meet with potential new hires. Picking up a calendar of events will let you know what’s upcoming. And there may be postings of upcoming job events posted in the office.

Visiting a local park or other public place is another networking opportunity.. For example, you may be sitting on a park bench next to somebody and strike up a conversation. That gives you the chance to let them know you’re new to the area and are looking for employment.

The same goes for visiting local coffeehouse or juice bar. It’s very common to meet new people in warm and comfortable settings like this. So it’s easy enough to converse with others who might be able to help. Or may take your resume and pass it along to where they work or somebody they know. FYI, it’s pretty common for recruiters and hiring managers to meet with people in this kind of place. And work on going through applications and resumes. I’ve seen this many times at various coffeehouses in my area. And have struck up conversations with those people.

The bottom line here is this. Look to places where there are lots of people around with whom you can strike up conversations. And where it’s more relaxed so people are more willing to open up and meet new people. Also take advantage of the local unemployment office and library for upcoming job-related events. And hit the local employment agencies for some work, even if it’s temporary. Lastly, make sure you are always armed with your resume! So keep a stack with you to hand out at a moments notice.


atc_headshot_victoria_crispo_125Victoria Crispo, College and Professional Outreach Manager at Idealist Careers

I find that the very word “networking” tends to bring out nerves and apprehension among most job seekers. My first suggestion is to throw the word “networking” out and look at it as relationship-building, and then approach it as you would any new relationship. Also, since you’re in a new area, it’s a great opportunity to do double-duty: you’ll likely want to check out the “hot spots” in your new locale, get a feel for the local culture and vibe, and discover activities that fuel your interests…and you can meet people who can become new companions and also serve as professional connections.

You may want to join a local club, take a fitness class, or sign up for a “sip and paint” event! The main thing is that you select activities that you are interested in and that allow for conversation– and make it a point to say hello and introduce yourself to people! When the pressure to network for a job (or to advance your career) is off, you’ll be able to relax, enjoy yourself, and present the “real you”! These conversations will naturally turn towards what your new friends do for a living, and since you’ve already built a rapport, it will feel less like “networking”.


atc_3_headshot_craig_toadtman_125Craig Toadtman, Job Search Consultant, Career Adviser, Coach, Executive Search Consultant

Establishing relationships in a new area can often be very challenging. Your “pirate” behavior must be in full force to find the treasured contacts. Put bluntly, find all the doors, wherever they may be. Your sources for networking are many, so, here are a few options:

  • LinkedIn – Be sure to check your profile to make certain your profile and settings (particularly security and privacy) are up-to-date and crisp. Then begin the process of expanding your network.

I suggest entering the city of your new location in the “search” field of LinkedIn. Scroll through the resulting names of potential contacts and identify people with similar interests, people from potential employers, and people with shared connections. Pay attention to shared connections. If you are looking for a new position, click “Jobs” to search for openings in your new city. Click “Work” then “Groups” and review appropriate groups to review for possible connections.

  • Local Professional Associations and Groups – Google searches can reveal a lot of information about professionals in your area. The local library is also a great resource.
  • Churches, Temples, Mosques, etc. – Many places of worship provide opportunities for like professionals to meet informally.
  • Volunteer – You would be amazed how quickly you could grow your network by volunteering at the local library, hospital, or other public organizations needing help.

As you expand your network, perhaps the biggest challenge will be to remember names, so be sure to have note-taking tools with you!


atc_3_cheryl_lynch_simpson_125Cheryl Lynch Simpson, Career, Job Search & LinkedIn Coach & Master Resume Writer

Hi Kathy, thank you for sharing your question. Assuming you want to land a job in the area you are new to, here are some suggestions that will help boost your networking.

Offline Networking

  • Search Google and local newspaper events calendars for job clubs in your new area. These face-to-face groups specialize in local networking and will help you to quickly build regional connections. Such groups are generally sponsored by area churches or funded by not-for-profits and/or United Way.
  • If you cannot find these groups through an online search, check for an Information & Referral Service in your area. This service is generally funded by United Way and exists to help you find not-for-profit resources. A quick call should prove beneficial.
  • Attend local events sponsored by professional associations relevant to your career field. You can usually attend several before you are required to join a local chapter.
  • Consider joining local chapters of professional, civic, and social organizations to help you meet a variety of folks in multiple industries.
  • Sign up for a library card, go to the local library’s web page, and find a listing of their database/electronic resources. One invaluable resource for job seekers that is free to use is ReferenceUSA, a database of companies in the US and Canada. By conducting one or more searches via ReferenceUSA, you can identify local companies you may wish to target. Note that ReferenceUSA is only available via your library’s subscription and that you may be required to pay a modest fee for printing or downloading data.

Online Networking Suggestions:

  • On LinkedIn, make sure you search for and join as many local, regional, or state groups as you can. Since LinkedIn now allows you to join up to 100 groups, this should be easy to do. This will help you cultivate local connections. Look for geographically relevant groups via the search bar in the upper left.
  • You can also search for people on LinkedIn to connect with in your local area using the same process. Additionally, you can search for potential connections in the local companies you identified via ReferenceUSA.
  • Don’t assume that the offline or online networks you already possess are useless just because you’ve moved to a new area. Take the time to alert everyone you know of your move and request suggestions of people to contact in your new area or people who may know someone in your new area.

Once upon a time, job seekers used to complain that they couldn’t network because they didn’t know anyone in their new area. LinkedIn has completely eliminated this concern — you can leverage it to build a local or regional network from scratch within weeks if you stay focused.

  • Conducting the LinkedIn searches mentioned above, make it a goal to identify and invite 25+ people each week to connect with you.
  • Join as many industry-specific LinkedIn groups as you can — the more the better. LinkedIn only allows you to request to join 10 at a time, so you will need to keep checking your status in order to progress toward your goal of joining 100 groups.

Make it a point to get to know your new connections face-to-face and/or via LinkedIn. DO NOT make networking requests unless and until you do so. Networking is not a drive-by activity — it requires an investment of time, interest, and energy to get to know people first so they want to help you.


Another great roundup!  Email me (Jason@JibberJobber.com) if you have questions you’d like me to put in front of my list of career experts! See previous questions/answers here.

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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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Fascinating Read from The Tipping Point on Relationship Strength

June 29th, 2017

I’m finally muscling my way through The Tipping Point. It’s an excellent concept but I’ve had a problem getting past the first forty or so pages. Last night, though, I started reading something totally relevant to us on page 53… this is where the “80% of jobs come from networking” quote comes from. Note that the “80%” has been convoluted over the last few decades, but the concept of networking in a job search is important.  What I read, and what I share below, is “the rest of the story,” and it’s fascinating.

There is a very good example of the way Connectors function in the work of the sociologist Mark Granovetter. In his classic 1974 study Getting a Job, Granovetter looked at several hundred professional and technical workers from the Boston suburb of Newton, interviewing them in some detail on their employment history. He found that 56 percent of those he talked to found their job through personal connection. Another 18.8 percent used formal means – advertisements, headhunters – and roughly 20 percent applied directly.

This much is not surprising; the best way to get in the door is through a personal contact. But, curiously, Granovetter found that of those personal connections, the majority were “weak ties.”  Of those who used a contact to find a job, only 16.7 percent saw that contact “often” – as they would if the contact were a good friend – and 55.6 percent saw their contact “rarely.” People weren’t getting their jobs through their friends. They were getting them through their acquaintances.

WOW! 

I thought I was just going to read a little bit of the history of the “80%” (or, from the book, more like 60%) “of jobs are found through networking.” Now I have a name, and the real stats, and the date of the study. But what blew my mind was the idea that the jobs were found from acquaintences.

In JibberJobber we have a ranking system where you can say you have a one star (or two star, up to five star) relationship with your network contact. My thought has always been that you want to nurture and strengthen relationships. Doesn’t that make sense? Meet someone, they start as a one star relationship (that is, the strength of your relationship), and then you get to know them better and they become a two star, then a three, etc.

But what Malcom Gladwell writes is that Granovetter discovered that new jobs were found not (as often) from the strong relationships, but from the weak relationships!

WHY?

Let’s go on… on page 54:

Why is this? Granovetter argues that it is because when it comes to finding out about new jobs – or, for that matter, new information, or new ideas – “weak ties” are always more important than strong ties. Your friends, after all, occupy the same world that you do. They might work with you, or live near you, and go to the same churches, schools, or parties. How much, then, would they know that you wouldn’t know?

You acquaintances, on the other hand, by definition occupy a very different world than you. They are much more likely to know something that you don’t. To capture this apparent paradox, Granovetter coined a marvelous phrase: the strength of the weak ties.

Acquaintances, in short, represent a source of social power, and the more acquaintances you have the more powerful you are.

Is your mind blown?

Did you realize that the “weak ties” in your network are actually a source of great power?

Will you look at your “weak ties” differently now?

Gladwell talks about two people who have an enormous amount of weak ties, and the power that they have enjoyed.  They are, of course, “connectors.” Being a connector, Gladwell argues, is part of their DNA… it’s who they are. It’s how they think. In Never Eat Alone, Keith Ferrazzi talks about “power connectors,” who are such because of their role in society: lawyers, real estate agents, etc. They meet people all the time because of what they do.

I’m excited! I’m encouraged to find more “weak ties!” Before, I had the notion that I have a responsibility to take a “weak tie” relationship and make it a “strong tie” relationship… but Gladwell (and Granovetter) have given me permission to see this differently.

Don’t be concerned that the weak tie relationship gives you more work, but realize that getting more weak tie relationships give you more (networking) power!  The more you have, the more “worlds” you have access to.

Mind blown. Now, go out and network differently than you have before!

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