Weekly Top 3 Job Search Tips plus a Bonus Post!

March 19, 2010

This week’s job search tips coming from the scores of blogs and articles I read have the usual 3 but I’ve added a bonus post you need to see to make your weekend!
Here they are:
First up is Jacob Share’s Poll on job seeker’s use of social media in their search with Which Social Media Network Are You Using MOST in Your Job Search?
While the sample size is not huge, the trend is interesting. Here’s an excerpt:

These results are nothing short of a wake-up call for many job seekers.
The poll results and what they mean

Here are the official results of the poll:

Which social media network are you using MOST in your job search?

* LinkedIn (53%, 71 Votes)
* Not using social media on my job search (16%, 22 Votes)
* Facebook (13%, 17 Votes)
* Twitter (12%, 16 Votes)
* Other (6%, 8 Votes)

Started: February 14, 2010 @ 10:00 am
Total Voters: 134

53% LinkedIn

No surprise here.

From May 2009 to October 2009, LinkedIn grew by 10 million users for a total over over 50 million, only half of whom are in the US. Massively popular and geared towards professionals, LinkedIn is terrific as a virtual resume and networking platform (and that’s just in its most basic form). There are even recruiters who work from home, spending all their time sourcing candidates just from LinkedIn.

True to this poll result, if you’re using any social network for job search, this is the one you should be using. For LinkedIn success, check out my LinkedIn archives or if you’d like something more structured, my friend Jason Alba penned a terrific book called I’m on Linked In, Now What???

16% Not using social media on my job search

Read more at: http://jobmob.co.il/blog/which-social-media-network-are-you-using-most-in-your-job-search-poll-results-and-analysis/#ixzz0ifYOcjEQ

Read here for the full article.

Next is Jason Alba’s post WRONG QUESTION: “Do you know a recruiter who specializes in….”

Here’s an excerpt:
Here’s one of my biggest job search pet peeves: asking for a recruiter who specializes in a particular industry or location.

Perhaps you’ve gotten emails like this:

* Do you know a recruiter who specializes in IT (or project management, or supply chain, etc.)?
* Do you know a recruiter in Seattle (or Houston, or D.C., or Podunk, USA)?

When I get this question I cringe. Not because the job seeker is doing the wrong thing (they are just trying to get a job), but because they are barking up the wrong tree. Here’s why I say that, based on my experience and observations. I’d love to know what your experience has been…

Recruiters don’t work for you and they don’t care about you.

Really. Maybe some of them do (okay, I know some of them who do care about you, as a human being), but their job is to match a company’s needs with a candidate who fits those needs. They work for the company, not you, and when it comes down to it, they get their multi-thousand dollar commission because they placed the right person, not because they spent the time to coach all of the wrong people.

Recruiters aren’t really good at networking.

In Never Eat Alone Keith Ferrazzi includes “headhunters” as that elite group called “power connectors.” The idea is they talk to people all the time, know everyone, know what opportunities are coming up, and can likely introduce you to the person you really need to talk to.

Wrong.

My experience with most recruiters is they (a) are so busy they don’t know which way is up and which way is down, and can’t take a second to spend any real time with you, (b) are very protective of their network because this is how they make a living (protective of your peers because they might eventually place them one day; protective of company contacts because that’s how they get those big-commission opportunities in the first place – not by charitably help you, rather by signing a contract with the company so they get a piece of the pie when you are hired).

Now, I say they aren’t good at networking, but in fact they are excellent at networking as it pertains to their job. Don’t expect them to put their networking mojo on to help you figure out who you should talk to – perhaps I should say “recruiters aren’t really good at networking for you.”

Here’s
the full article.

The 3rd post is from the WSJ’s Laid Off and Looking and gives a to-date summary of results of their bloggers in Laid Off and Looking Back.
In December 2008, we launched the Laid Off and Looking blog as a way for WSJ readers and job seekers to learn firsthand about how rising unemployment was affecting Americans.

We asked 29 laid off professionals with M.B.A. degrees to share what it was like for them to deal with suddenly becoming unemployed and having to search for a new job. Initially, we focused on those who had been let go from positions in finance and real estate. Then, as unemployment began to spread to other sectors, we recruited additional bloggers to weigh in on their own stories. Of our original eight bloggers, six have found permanent employment, while two have continued to take on long-term consulting assignments.

These contributors, along with numerous career experts and guest writers, helped to create a dynamic discussion on the challenges of job hunting after a layoff in a down economy. They explored issues ranging from ways to network effectively and deal with unresponsive recruiters to how to stay upbeat after a long-search and what it feels like to finally get re-hired. Our most popular post was by a blogger who deliberated whether her expensive M.B.A. was actually a hindrance to getting back into the work force. Another topic that sparked intense discussion was how age discrimination impacts the search.

The comments on many of the posts were a genuine reflection of unemployed life. In the early days of the economic collapse, many blog readers (outside of the finance industry) still felt like it couldn’t happen to them. As the blog continued amidst rising unemployment numbers, the commenters became more empathetic to the plight of fellow job hunters. Commenters began to use the blog to share their disappointments with what seemed like a never-ending own job hunt or asked for advice, but many more offered words of support when reading about the problems of our bloggers. Everyday problems were discussed including the role of a spouse during the search, how to manage time during the search, the merits of job boards and even detailed financial questions. And when one of our bloggers would land a job, there were always a few dozen congratulatory comments.

Today, 20 of our bloggers have found full-time jobs, while several others are working on long-term consulting assignments. Overall, it took these professionals a year on average to get back to working.

The opinions on this blog helped readers understand the difficulties of finding a job after getting laid off during a recession. To all of the readers and bloggers, thank you.

Now for the bonus post. This is from Polly Pearson’s Blog, which is a summary of Jacob Share’s, which – oh, never mind. Just check out these pictures and the original http://www.pollypearson.com/main/2010/03/humor-employee-engagement-gone-bad.htmlfor even more.

Humor: Employee Engagement Gone Bad

Saw these photos today via @DailyCareerTips’s link to this blog post on JobMob, and thought I’d share the laugh:

Posted with full respect to the value of McDonald’s employees — the details posted on the sign is the indication of engagement gone bad.

The photo below has nothing to do with Employee Engagement gone bad, but was certainly funny in a Dilbert sort of way. At EMC, we continue to pray to the cost leverage God, and are making our facilities more efficient at all times. On that note, I sent this photo to our CFO with a suggestion that he is perhaps, still a bit too easy on us:

This office must stink.

That’s it – enjoy your weekend!

By the way, you can see my columns on career coaching and transitions at SF Examiner.com.

JP McDermott is a financial services and insurance advisor in Walnut Creek, CA. specializing in career transitions. He is also a career and financial coach, a freelance writer on career coaching with SF Examiner.com, and has been volunteering his time and experience to various non-profit, service and civic organizations.
JP lives in Danville with his wife Candy.

Check out his LinkedIn profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/jpmcdermott
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Weekly Top 3 Job Search Tips

February 21, 2010

This week has brought more positive economic news and the good news is that activity for job seekers is picking up: more job postings, more interviews, and a few offers. Not on the scale that will be significantly reducing the unemployment rate, but at least these past few weeks are positive signs.

Here are 3 of my favorite postings this week. Feel free to comment and offer your own tips here. First up is Matt Durfee’s 5 Resume Tips in Less then 5 minutes from an Expert. Here’s an excerpt:

Despite the claims and critiques of what seems to be an endless supply of so-called resume-writing experts, there simply is no universal “right way” to write a resume. Unsurprisingly, it is not uncommon to get confused given the contradictory advice you can expect from multiple sources. So while I have some very clear thoughts on how to write an effective and professional resume, ultimately you will need to decide what works for you, your situation and, ultimately, your comfort level. Even then, expect to continuously modify, update and edit your resume as you incorporate new or different styles, content and concepts. With that in mind, I’m offering the following suggestions I highly recommend for anyone writing and distributing a resume.

Professional Objective & Profile: One of the things I always want to see in a resume is the Professional Objective & Profile section just below the name and contact information. I call this the “billboard within the billboard” as it summarizes key information about the applicant in the already abbreviated format of the resume itself. Read here for the full post.

Next up is a post from Thom Singer’s great blog Some Assembly Required titled Getting Noticed.

You will probably recognize a theme here after you read this – giving back. Here’s an excerpt: There have been a lot of articles lately about how to get noticed by influencers, how to raise your value to those in your business community, and how to stand out from the crowd. Times have been tough and competition fierce, and people are looking for any edge to help them achieve more.

This is an important topic, and many mistakenly think the answer involves special skills, mysterious business plans, and a lot of luck.

The truth is, it is easy. Simple. I mean so simple it is nutty.

Help other people.

There, I said it. Help other people. But the key is you help them without expecting them to ever repay the favor. Just find out what is important in their life and be a resource that assists them in achieving their goals.

Think of your own life. If you are successful you probably have people who want to get on your calendar to “pick your brain”. Too many such calls and you feel you have no brain left. Thus you hide from all the calls from friends of friends who seek your counsel. But what about the person who refers you a new client? Will you meet with them? I bet you will. Read here for the rest.

Last but not least is Meg Giuseppi’s 5 Tactics to Land a Green Industry Executive Job from her Executive Career Brand blog.
This topic is very hot right now for those looking to change careers and looking for one with a strong future. Here’s an excerpt:

These days, the green industry is a tantalizing carrot dangling in front of people who are stagnating in jobs in anemic industries or finding diminishing opportunities while actively job-hunting within their niche.

Over this decade green jobs will open wide, as companies, organizations and all of us as individuals scramble to “go green”.
1. Identify need and opportunities.
Google relevant keywords to find resources, read relevant blogs, articles and white papers, and set up Google Alerts for relevant keywords. See my Brand-yourself.com post, Use Google Alerts to Amplify Your Executive Brand Visibility and Job Search.

2. Research companies to target and compile a list of 20-30 to work on penetrating.

Your research helps you with market intelligence and due diligence, and prepares you to intelligently communicate with decision makers at each company. See Job-Hunt’s list of 50+ Green Industry Employers.

* Go to each company’s website to find a wealth of information, such as Boards of Directors, C-suite company leadership, and news and press releases. These resources will arm you with market intelligence, help with due diligence, and position you as a well-informed candidate in interviews.
* Research and make a list of key decision makers at your companies of interest. You’ll then work on positioning yourself in front of them.
For more on this excellent job tip read here.

Which is your favorite tip?

By the way, you can see my columns on career coaching and transitions at SF Examiner.com.

JP McDermott is a financial services and insurance advisor in Walnut Creek, CA. specializing in career transitions. He is also a career and financial coach, a freelance writer on career coaching with SF Examiner.com, and has been volunteering his time and experience to various non-profit, service and civic organizations.
JP lives in Danville with his wife Candy.

Check out his LinkedIn profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/jpmcdermott
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Laid Off – The End or the Beginning?

February 8, 2010

If you saw the movie “Up in the Air” with George Clooney, there is a scene where actual non-actors describe what it was like being fired or laid off. I was very moved by the pain and sense of loss they experienced and it brought back very painful memories for me.

So now I spend a lot of time helping others in this situation, and I see many who are in the same position as those in the movie. There is another scene in the movie where he talks about the people who changed the world who were sitting in their seat just like them at some previous time (I’m not describing this very well if you didn’t see the movie, but stay with me.)

The point is that many of us get complacent in our jobs and stop trying to be the best we can and – well, it takes getting laid off or fired to take action and follow our dreams. Not everyone can find the courage to do that – especially when your income has just been cut off.
But for those who dare, the rewards can be unimaginable. Even if you fail – and you probably will – you’ll learn from it, get up and try again. Sooner or later you’ll succeed and wonder why you didn’t do this 20 years ago.

So here’s a very inspirational trailer I found on Seth Godin’s blog. It’s to an upcoming movie called Lemonade.

If you want some motivational incentive, just watch the trailer and then comment back to me.

By the way, you can see my columns on career coaching and transitions at SF Examiner.com.

JP McDermott is a financial services and insurance advisor in Walnut Creek, CA. specializing in career transitions. He is also a career and financial coach, a freelance writer on career coaching with SF Examiner.com, and has been volunteering his time and experience to various non-profit, service and civic organizations.
JP lives in Danville with his wife Candy.

Check out his LinkedIn profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/jpmcdermott
JP Headshot1


Keith Ferrazzi’s Advice for the 50 plus Job Seeker: Develop Your Lifelines

January 14, 2010

With all the current buzz about networking to find jobs instead of the traditional methods, it seemed appropriate to talk with an expert on networking to get a bit more insight on the subject.

I was inspired by a recent post from his blog last week, so Tuesday I spoke with Keith Ferrazzi, NY Times bestselling author of “Never Eat Alone and Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time” and “Who’s Got Your Back – The Breakthrough Program to Build Deep, Trusting Relationships That Create Success–and Won’t Let You Fail”.

Keith is a world renowned keynote speaker and expert in networking and relationship development. In this interview, Keith spoke of the importance for older job seekers (or any job seekers, for that matter) to find their small group of “lifelines” – those special people who are committed to your success and who have “got your back”.

What prompted you to write the book Never Eat Alone?

I was frustrated by the way people were defining networking – some of the basic, core truths were deeply misunderstood – especially by people who were calling themselves networkers. Networking is really about developing deep, meaningful relationships and based on generosity first, not how many contacts you have in your Outlook. So that’s why I wrote Never Eat Alone 7 years ago – and it keeps selling…

What advice would you give to the 50+ job seeker?

As you consider the next lily pad you’re hopping to, more than ever you need to know who your lifelines are. In my book, ‘Who’s Got Your Back’, I note that 50% of the people who were asked ‘Who’s got your back’ couldn’t answer the question. 60% of those who couldn’t answer the question were married! They didn’t even consider that their significant others could be their lifelines – and that’s a problem.

To be successful, you can’t do it alone. You need 2-3 people for your lifelines – to spar with, to hold your hand, to prop you up, to be there for you, to support you, to network with.

And how do you find these lifelines?

The long, slow dinner is one way. Interview the few friends that you think might be there for you – that they’re compatible, have the right personality for you, and vice versa – use this opportunity to test them out – it’s like creating your ‘kitchen cabinet’, your unofficial advisers. Napoleon Hill, author of the classic 1937 book “Think and Grow Rich”, used the term “Master Minds” as that group of people who are your personal advisers and are committed to your success. I like to think the message in my books is the modern day equivalent to Napoleon Hill’s timeless wisdom that we cannot do it alone.

What advice do you have for the 20 something job seeker?

It’s the same! I just gave a talk to a Stanford MBA group and the message was the same you need to establish your lifelines.

What are you most passionate about?

I’ll answer that with this story: I recently spoke at an event and the organizer was worried that the group of very technical people would find the message too soft & fuzzy. Instead, they came away saying that my message about meaningful relationships was deeply impactful. That’s what I’m passionate about – that my message is not just helping people be better professionals, but to be better moms and dad’s and sisters and friends – that they can be better people.

By the way, you can see my columns on career coaching and transitions at SF Examiner.com.

JP McDermott is a financial services and insurance advisor in Walnut Creek, CA. specializing in career transitions. He is also a career and financial coach, a freelance writer on career coaching with SF Examiner.com, and has been volunteering his time and experience to various non-profit, service and civic organizations.
JP lives in Danville with his wife Candy.

Check out his LinkedIn profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/jpmcdermott
JP Headshot1


Weekly Top 3 Job Search Tips

January 11, 2010

Here are my top 3 articles on job search tips I’ve found since the New Year began. These are compiled from the many articles and blogs I read on the economy, jobs and the best strategies for finding them.
1. First up is from Polly Pearson, who reached out to me after I mentioned the excellent e-book 100 Job Search Tips from FORTUNE 500 Recruiters.
Turns out Polly, who is VP Employment Brand and Strategy Engagement at EMC and was the co-creator of the e-book, has a terrific blog. Here’s an excerpt:

Ask yourself how you are staying up to date on your profession. If it involves learning from people in your department or company, going to an annual conference, or being a member of a professional organization, that is not enough. Get Better At What You Do.

Action: Connect with thought leaders in the space you want to know more about or master. Don’t leave anything “hot” for the “young kids,” or the people with seniority. Learn about it. Thanks to Google, Bing, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Amazon, and good old fashioned volunteering via personal outreach, anything you want to know about is just a click, or request, away. 99% of information and connection with the thought leaders in the space you wish to master is free.

Ask yourself (and reply honestly!) if you are leveraging the resources at your disposal today. Get Better At Using What Is Available to You.

There are LinkedIn professional groups on just about every topic. In these groups, people are having real-time discussions and solving real-time problems. By listening to, and eventually joining, the conversation you’ll pick something up. This will make you more valuable at your current job — and people you work with will start to notice. As chief salesperson and chief marketing officer, how are you making sales calls, building relationships, and looking for potential space to advertise? Now is not the time to be meek or shy. You need to be proud of the product you are selling.

Are you recruiting recruiters? This was called to my attention just this week by JP McDermott over on Examiner.com. Don’t forget to market yourself (and this means many contact attempts) to the people with the jobs! Understand they are busy, but also make sure they know your elevator pitch and how you can help them. Check out Polly’s full article here.

2. Next up is Polly’s EMC colleague and Personal Branding expert and best selling author, Dan Schwabel. His blog Personal Branding has a very good post on job boards and their new role in your social job search. Here’s an excerpt:

If you’re a job seeker, or you were in the past, then you know what a job board is. It’s a database of “open” positions at companies looking to hire specific talent and they are searchable by multiple filters, such as geography and company name. They make money per job listing and have other advertising options, such as banners. In November, The Conference Board reported that job postings were down by 83,000 in October. Other figures I’ve seen over the past few years have shown the decline in job postings, not just because of the economic turmoil, but due to the high costs associated with each posting.

I’ve spoken a lot about the demise of job searching and the rise of “people searching” in the past. The idea behind this concept is that we get jobs through people (you get interviewed by a person, not a fax machine) and hiring managers and recruiters are freely accessible on online social networks. It all comes back to a relationship driven system, instead of a job board driven database. That is not to say that you should ignore job boards altogether. Read Dan’s full post here.

3. Lastly, Jason Alba, founder of job search website JibberJobber, discusses how Twitter can be used networking. I’m still on the fence about Twitter – there’s no doubt it’s incredibly popular, but I’ve wondered about it’s effectiveness as a job search tool. I’m slowly coming around – Jason asks the same question and uses Keith Ferrazzi’s recent trip to Guatemala to make a point. The story is pretty amazing, too. Read it here.

By the way, you can see my columns on career coaching and transitions at SF Examiner.com.

JP McDermott is a financial services and insurance advisor in Walnut Creek, CA. specializing in career transitions. He is also a career and financial coach, a freelance writer on career coaching with SF Examiner.com, and has been volunteering his time and experience to various non-profit, service and civic organizations.
JP lives in Danville with his wife Candy.

Check out his LinkedIn profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/jpmcdermott
JP Headshot1


When You Fall in the Mud Puddle, Check Your Pockets for Fish

January 6, 2010

I’ve been talking about Keith Ferrazzi’s book Never Eat Alone ever since I read it last year because it is the best book on relationship marketing and on the value of your personal network. I’ve mentioned him several times, but the following post from his blog is very relevant and captures his philosophy as it applies to those in transition. I am copying it here in its entirety:

Here are four pieces of advice to those who are in transition in their jobs or careers. My wish is that 2010 is full of wonderful transitions – and that more of them are voluntary!

1. You may have heard people say, “If you can think up the question, you can think up the answer.” Your mind and your character are up to any challenge. So focus on answering this question: “How do I make this change the best thing that has ever happened to me?”

2. Reach out to the real relationships in your life. What better time to figure out who they truly are? No one is better positioned to help you consider what’s next – and how to get it. Also have someone really close help you brainstorm around your greatest strengths and weaknesses; these can provide clues and spark ideas.

3. In addition to the career quest, which will inevitably take twists and turns, commit yourself to some personal pursuits that you have been meaning to take on for a long time but never had the time – for example, run a marathon, become an expert in social media, restructure your personal finances, find the charity to which you want to meaningfully commit, help a friend in need, etc. These will become part of your answer to the question in (1) above, and as important, they’ll provide a positive experience and purposefulness every day.

4. Once you figure out what you want, create a long list of people you need to meet to get there. It’s so much easier for your friends to help you by making introductions if you have your “wish list” mapped out on paper. But don’t rush it: No one can ever help you until you know what you want.

Readers: Care to share transition stories? Nothing like a good success story when you’re looking.

By the way, you can see my columns on career coaching and transitions at SF Examiner.com.

JP McDermott is a financial services and insurance advisor in Walnut Creek, CA. specializing in career transitions. He is also a career and financial coach, a freelance writer on career coaching with SF Examiner.com, and has been volunteering his time and experience to various non-profit, service and civic organizations.
JP lives in Danville with his wife Candy.

Check out his LinkedIn profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/jpmcdermott
JP Headshot1


Weekly Top 3 Job Search Tips

December 28, 2009

As we approach the New Year and New Decade, joblessness does not celebrate the holidays. So here are the top 3 job search tips (or what I think are the best of the blogs/articles I’ve come across this week.)
I hope you had a terrific Christmas and all my best for prosperous, healthy 2010.

1. First up, a short post from the WSJ’s Laid Off and Looking blog, Using the Holidays to Network.

While contacting recruiters during the week between Christmas and New Years may seem like a wasted effort, there are plenty of other ways you can build up connections for the job search. Attending holiday parties or speaking with family and friends about your search can help build your network during this time, writes WSJ’s Sarah E. Needleman. It’s also a great time to reconnect with contacts with a quick holiday card.

Here, Ms. Needleman shares advice on job hunting over the holidays.

With the holidays here, you may be inclined to put your job-search efforts on hold while you celebrate. But career advisers say laid-off professionals should keep at it—as “bah hum bug” as that may seem—because the season offers some unique opportunities to boost your odds of success.

Besides, “your bills aren’t taking a break,” says Jeffrey Garber, founder and chief executive officer of 360Jobinterview.com Inc., a virtual career-coaching company made up of more than 300 human-resources executives. “Make this week work for you.”

Start by accepting invitations to holiday parties or get-togethers, says Randy Block, a career-transition coach and consultant in Boyes Hot Springs, Calif. If friends you don’t often see invite you to a gathering at their home, try to attend. You’ll be exposed to people you haven’t met before—and you never know where a job lead might come from.

But don’t hand out your résumé or bring up your job search while engaging with party-goers, asserts Mr. Block. “That’s a turn-off,” he explains. “It’s not about you.” Instead, he recommends asking people about their careers and employers. “The idea is to build relationships,” he says.

2. Dan Schwabel is one of the top writers and bloggers on Personal Branding and he works for EMC corporation on their social media efforts. He and a colleague are offering a free e-book on 100 Job Search Tips from Fortune 500 Recruiters compiled by EMC recruiters around the globe. Check out his post and download the book. Did I mention it’s free?

3. Meg Giuseppi seems to be a regular here and this week is no exception. Her excellent post for executives, Top 10 Executive Job Search Trends for 2010 is a must-read. Here’s an excerpt:
If you’re dipping your toes into a job search for the first time in more than a year or so, you’re probably overwhelmed by all you need to do today to land your next gig.

Things have changed . . . a lot.

While certain “old” job search tactics, such as networking, still yield great results, many new ones are evolving that should be added to your job search toolkit.

Embrace these new strategies — personal branding, building online presence, leveraging LinkedIn and Twitter, and many others — or get left behind others who are embracing them.
I’ve compiled a list of the 10 (actually 11) most important strategies to learn and leverage, in my latest post over at Executive Career Brand, 2010 Top 10 Executive Personal Branding and Job Search Trends.

Read here for the rest of this post.

By the way, you can see my columns on career coaching and transitions at SF Examiner.com.

JP McDermott is a financial services and insurance advisor in Walnut Creek, CA. specializing in career transitions. He is also a career and financial coach, a freelance writer on career coaching with SF Examiner.com, and has been volunteering his time and experience to various non-profit, service and civic organizations.
JP lives in Danville with his wife Candy.

Check out his LinkedIn profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/jpmcdermott
JP Headshot1