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.


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.”

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
JP Headshot1

Success Teams – The Way People are Getting Hired in the East Bay

March 13, 2010

Those in transition know how difficult it is right now trying to land the next job. It’s even harder trying to do it alone. Sitting in front of your computer, gazing at the same old job postings on scores of job boards is depressing. Worse, those positions you absolutely know you are the perfect fit for, that you’ve crafted the perfect cover letter, tuned your resume to match it, got on their site and spent 30 minutes applying, then… nothing! So what do you do? Repeat the process.

Here’s a better idea, and one that has been working among those who attend Job Connections on Saturday mornings at Danville’s Community Presbyterian Church: Success Teams.

Success teams are groups of 4-7 people who meet regularly each week at a Starbuck’s, library, someone’s home or any designated place. They are usually formed by industry group, age, level, geography or just about any other way people meet.

There are C-Level teams, sales & marketing teams, finance teams, IT teams, Danville (or any other town where members can conveniently meet) teams, or people of a certain age.
It doesn’t really matter what the name of the team is – what does matter is that the people who meet are the ones who get jobs.

Why? There are probably several reasons, but here are a few: The people who get up from their computers and go out and meet others have just raised the odds for themselves. 70% of the jobs offered today are to people who found out about them from someone else, not a job board (that’s the N word – Networking).
Meeting your colleagues on the success team regularly means you are sharing your networks, supporting each other’s searches, and holding each other accountable.

Just like having a work out buddy, you don’t want to let them down, so you show up and keep pushing, sparring and encouraging each other.
In Keith Ferrazzi’s latest book, Who’s Got Your Back, he talks about creating informal networks of people will not let you fail. This is exactly what a success team looks like…these people can become lifelong friends from this shared experience who will be watching your back.

Are you on a success team now? If so, is it one that is positive, supportive and energizing? If not, charge it up yourself. If that doesn’t work, go find another team, or better yet – start your own and handpick the members you want.
Either way, the results speak for themselves: they work.
For information on success teams and where to find them, go to http://jobconnections.org/ or better, attend a Saturday session at 9:00 AM at Community Presbyterian Church, 222 W. El Pintado, Danville, CA. 94526.

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

Good news for workers over 50: Demographics are in your favor

February 18, 2010

Despite the fact that the unemployment/underemployment rate is approaching 1 in 5 people, The US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections 2008- 2018 has some good news for the mature worker: demographics.

As reported in a previous article on Why older workers will get hired: 5 tips, there will be many more jobs for those over 55 who wish to continue working. Despite the softer reasons why older workers are an excellent resource (strong work ethic, experienced problem solvers, understand customers, etc.) there is another reason for optimism: the number of workers entering the work force during the period will be significantly less.

This is due to declining birth rates coupled with an increasing demand for workers, primarily information workers. 24% of the workforce by 2018 will be over 55, as compared to 18% in 2008
Here are some of the details from the report:

Total employment is projected to increase by 15.3 million, or 10.1 percent, during the 2008-18 period, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The projections show an aging and more racially and ethnically diverse labor force, and employment growth in service-providing industries. More than half of the new jobs will be in professional and related occupations and service occupations.

In addition, occupations where a post-secondary degree or award is usually required are expected to account for one-third of total job openings during the projection period. Job openings from replacement needs–those which occur when workers who retire or otherwise leave their occupations need to be replaced–are projected to be more than double the number of openings due to economic growth.

The projected growth for the 2008-18 period is larger than the increase of 10.4 million over the 1998-2008 period, or 7.4 percent. The relatively slow growth rate for the earlier 10-year period was affected by the recession which began in December 2007, and the projected growth rate is higher than would otherwise
be expected because the 2008 starting point is a recession year.

In addition to this, there are positive indicators that overall hiring is beginning to pick up, starting with factory jobs, as reported in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. There are anecdotal signs that small business is beginning to hire as well.

Even though it may not appear that the jobs are available for older workers, be patient – the jobs are on their way.

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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11 Random Thoughts – from Thom Singer

November 25, 2009

Here’s some quick food for thought on breaking out of an unproductive cycle – whether professional or personal. From Thom Singer’s blog Some Assembly Required.

Enjoy… and Happy Thanksgiving!

1. If nobody knows you exist, opportunities will not come your way.

2. When you do not partner with others, they will not bring you into projects.

3. People who always spin excuses are passed over for future deals.

4. Spend too much time thinking others are trying to take advantage of you, and you will miss out on many paths to success.

5. Forget to thank the ones who helped you succeed and you will kill your golden goose (those who helped you before will help you again if they feel appreciated).

6. Try to be like everyone else and you will become a commodity (commodities are always purchased from the lowest priced provider).

7. Compare yourself to peers and someone will always be doing better.

8. Live a life that is a lie and you are a fraud (frauds always exposed).

9. Claim you are too busy to invest in relationships and you will be alone.

10. Have no goals and you will have no way of knowing what is a victory.

11. Success takes time. 100% of those who quit never reach their goal.

Have A Great Day


JP Headshot1JP McDermott is a financial services and insurance advisor in Walnut Creek, CA. He is also a career and financial coach, has been volunteering his time and experience to various non-profit, service and civic organizations, most recently helping those in transition. His philosophy is to help others be more successful and to enjoy the benefits of meeting new people.

JP lives in Danville with his wife Candy.

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

Peter Drucker’s Wisdom Lives On

November 3, 2009

JP Headshot1

I think Peter Drucker is to leadership and managing what Warren Buffet is to investing. Here’s a terrific book review from Investor’s Daily (Thank you, Tom Loarie) that highlights some of his tips. Most important for the job seeker – skip over the ruts and keep moving!

Skip Ruts; Keep Moving

By Cord Cooper
Posted 10/30/2009 05:43 PM ET

To get to the top in business, learn from the best, says researcher Bruce Rosenstein, author of “Living in More Than One World: How Peter Drucker’s Wisdom Can Inspire and Transform Your Life.”

Among the lessons we can learn:
• Be a moving target. Drucker (1909-2005) never stopped learning. He became a top management thinker by amassing knowledge in a range of posts that spanned seven decades. Born in Vienna, he first worked as an apprentice in a German cotton-trading firm. He then honed his skills as a journalist. He earned a doctorate in international and public law from the University of Frankfurt and dived into business after studying top economists.

Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter taught him the keys of entrepreneurship and innovation.

They became the focus of Drucker’s life. He predicted the shift in firms to decentralization and coined the term “knowledge worker” — one who works with or processes information — years before the Internet technology era.

• Be portable. He launched what he called parallel careers, says Rosenstein. Drucker penned best-selling books, packed lecture halls and pioneered the field of executive coaching. Among his students: Jack Welch, Andy Grove and A.G. Lafley.

Drucker encouraged everyone to grow into new — or related — posts.

• Do the same. Consider new paths where you’re now employed, says Lawler Kang, author of “Passion at Work.”

When opportunities hit, “be upfront with your boss,” Kang said. Try this: “I love working for you, but for X, Y and Z reasons, my performance will be stronger if I take this chance elsewhere in the firm.”

Kang added: “The boss might think it’s better to keep you (in the firm) by giving you what you want than losing you to a rival.”

The boss might also say no — you’re needed where you are. One option: Ask for tasks that could help you transition to another firm. Get additional training via online courses or night and weekend classes.

Result: When a job comes up that aligns with your interests, you’ll be ready.

• Shift. Depending on your circumstance, you might try a second career. Leaders from George Washington to Winston Churchill to Ronald Reagan launched stunning second acts that changed the world.

How could a second career change your world?

• Scope it out. If entering a new industry, “consult with colleagues in the field about the type of training needed, the quickest way to get it, and possible leads,” Kang said.

Also, nurture relationships with others in your network.

“Don’t let key people fall off your radar,” Kang said.

• Use what you have. Determine which of your skills could be adapted to the new field, says strategy coach Stephen Pollan, author of “Second Acts.”

• Pass something on. As Drucker did, “think about what you’d like your legacy to be,” Rosenstein said. “Consider the legacy of people you’ve admired.”

What were their strengths? How did they leap the hurdles? What made them unique? Use that information to grow.

How Would You Use 30 Seconds on CNN to Promote Yourself? Check this out…

October 16, 2009

Ken Castle is an outstanding PR professional who just happens to be out of work. Rather than sit back and send resumes out to the black holes on the internet or wait for the calls to come in, Ken took action in a different way that resulted in a 4 minute spot on CNN earlier this week.

Ken found a need where he lives that required organizing his neighbors to combat increasing crime while the police force is facing downsizing and reduced services. Ken took charge, created a coalition of neighbors and started making things happen in the San Carlos Community where he lives.

Through his new network, he met someone in his ProMatch group who turned out to be a neighbor and got the local media interested in what the group was doing.

Ultimately, CNN picked up the story and asked Ken to be on their segment “30 Second Pitch“.

You be the judge of how effective his message was. I spoke with Ken yesterday and he has received tons of emails, but is still looking to see if any of them will turn into his dream job of representing a consumer products company that sells web cams for deterring neighborhood crime.

I’m confident something good will result because he took action.

What kinds of opportunities are you using to get noticed by hiring managers?
As Featured On EzineArticles


October 7, 2009

JP Headshot1St. Mary’s College Graduate School of Business Alumni is sponsoring this workshop next Tuesday evening at the Soda Center at the St. Mary’s Campus.
For more information, click here.

Another Way to Use LinkedIn to Land a Job

October 6, 2009

JP Headshot1I attended a crowded networking event last week sponsored by St. Mary’s Graduate School of Business Alumni on how to use Facebook and LinkedIn. The evening featured representatives from each company on how to use these networks for branding and job search. The tips were excellent. Over 1/3 of the MBA alums in the audience were in transition, so the focus was on using these tools to find careers and jobs.
Rather than replay those tips, I came across the following terrific blog post by Meg Giuseppi that captures all of the tips we learned on LinkedIn and then some. Facebook users should get the word out to their friends of what they are looking for and where, being as specific as possible. FB has over 300M users, while LI has nearly 40M…not that all 300M are looking for you, but increasing your reach is very helpful if you know what you want. Here are some of the tops ones for using LinkedIn:

♦ Your LinkedIn profile

Step one is to set up your home base. If you already have a profile, it may need revamping. Make your profile resonate with your target audience, and be brand-evident and searchable for recruiters and hiring decision makers sourcing candidates like you.

Download my free e-book to learn how to bring it all together, Executive Branding and Your LinkedIn Profile: How to Transform Your Executive Brand, Resume, and Career Biography Into a Winning LinkedIn Profile.

Remember to revisit your profile and re-focus your professional headline and other relevant information whenever your target changes.

♦ LinkedIn’s “Jobs” tab:

You’ll find the tab in the top menu on the home page, along with People, Answers, and Companies.

A quick search I just did for “VP of Sales” yielded some 75 results across all industries, located within 50 miles of my own rather remote location. “Advanced Job Search” will help you narrow results for many criteria.

What you’ll find on the Jobs pages:

* Results include the company (with link to their LinkedIn profile), location, date posted, and who posted the listing (with link to their LinkedIn profile).
* In the right sidebar of the Jobs home page, you’ll notice a list of “Companies in my network” whose profiles you can explore.
* Results include exclusive job listings found only on LinkedIn.
* LinkedIn also provides their own list of Job Search Tips.

♦ LinkedIn’s “Company” tab:

One of LinkedIn’s most powerful features, the companies tab provides a wealth of valuable information to gather research on companies of interest and find hiring decision makers and people in their circles.

What you’ll find when you search companies:

* Company descriptions
* Total number of employees, with the number in your LinkedIn network
* Employees with links to their profiles
* Former employees with links to their profiles
* New Hires with links to their profiles
* Recent Promotions and Changes with links to their profiles
* Popular Profiles (most visitors) with links to their profiles
* The right sidebar includes information sourced in partnership with BusinessWeek:

– related companies
– career path for company employees before and after
– key statistics (company size, revenue, locations, company website, common job titles, media employee age, number of males vs. females)
– their job openings posted on LinkedIn
– recent company news culled from various sources
– stock information.

Take a look at Liz Lynch’s excellent post at the Personal Branding Blog, The Hidden Goldmine Within the LinkedIn Companies Tab.

Enjoy! and pass it along.