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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Top 3 Weekly Job Search Tips

January 21, 2010

First up is How to Build a Powerful Executive Network by Meg Giuseppi. This really is an excellent post. Her blog is focused on the senior level job searcher, but the advice applies to anyone. Here’s an excerpt:
You probably hear it all the time if you’re job-hunting. Networking is the best way to identify and position yourself for new job opportunities.

Reconnecting with your existing network and connecting with new people can help you tap into the “hidden job market” of unadvertised positions and new opportunities created around your unique promise of value.

It’s okay to circle back to your neglected network and re-build. You also need to cast a far-reaching net to connect with people at your target companies. Read the rest here.

Next is a short video featuring Jeff Taylor, founder of Monster.com on Boomers using social media. This video has some interesting facts: For example, 12,000 people are turning 50 years old every day and 8,000 are turning 60 every day. That’s a bit staggering, isn’t it? And most of those people have been using computers in their jobs for years, so they are very proficient online.

The drop off seems to be around 67 – 68 years old where going online is not as comfortable or familiar. One big difference, Jeff notes, is that this demographic knows how to write, and not just in 140 character bytes (OMG!) Pretty interesting.

Lastly is a short post by Jason Alba (again!) with his 5 Second Elevator Pitch.

I think it was Liz Ryan who called this a “bumper sticker” (great concept).
In LinkedIn they call it a Professional Headline.
Some call it a tag line.
It is the bite-sized value proposition… I might get bored listening to your poorly-crafted 30 second elevator pitch, but I can’t help but digest your 5 Second Elevator Pitch.

One of my favorites is from Carol Fletez, who is an IT professional in the D.C. area. Look at how fantastic her 5 second pitch is:

Helping Companies Migrate from Mainframes to the Future!

This might not mean anything to you but I used to work in a mainframe environment. Mainframes are cool and powerful, but many times you feel like you are in the bedrock era. Carol’s very simple phrase… Helping Companies Migrate from Mainframes to the Future! … is just clever! It brought a grin to my face, and immediately I assumed she has an expertise in legacy systems and new stuff, and marrying the two. Anyone who has been around mainframes will know what this means.

Guess what? She also has this sentence on her email signature – she is getting that branding in multiple places (as she should).

What is YOUR 5 Second pitch?

Which one of the three is your favorite?

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

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
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Weekly Roundup of Top 3 Search Tips

December 6, 2009

It’s time for the top 3 job search tips this week I’ve found from the scores of blogs and articles I read and pass along. Also, I will be looking for your votes on which is your favorite. Feel free to forward this link to your friends in transition.

1. This from Jason Alba, who is the founder of the job search tool JibberJobber.
I don’t care what the news might say about how things are getting better. And I don’t care if we’re on the upswing from this recession.

The bottom line is, this is really, really hard. We all know business owners who have gone out of business. We all know people who have lost their jobs. We all know people who have been in a job search for over a year. If there is a light at the end of the tunnel it sure seems really dim, or like a pinhole.

In a Yahoo Group I’m on someone said that this is the worst she’s seen since the Great Depression… I agree with that… but there are a few differences. Here was my response to her email. I hope this can give you hope – I didn’t plan on sharing on this blog when I wrote it, but it’s been on my mind all night/morning:

Individual greatness has and will come from this, however. For me, one of the greatest things I think I can see from this is that people start to consider their careers differently – it is no longer the company’s to manage, it is MINE. What can I do to have some kind of income security?

As people go through this paradigm shift we’ll see the evolution of the career – it has to happen – we’ve been forced into it (by virtue of lack of loyalty between employers and employees) – now the economy is forcing us to really, really address it.

Anyone want to trust their career to HR? Maybe a few years ago, but many people now are “getting it.” It’s a hard lesson, for sure, but I think we’ll see a more empowered workforce come out of this.

Chris Brogan recently wrote in his newsletter that there might not be a lot of jobs out there, but there is a TON of money – can we, as personal career managers, start to think about how to create income security (as opposed to job security) by earning some of that money?

If so, then we’ll see a terrific product when all the dust settles.

It might be a crappy economy, but that doesn’t mean we have to let that dictate what happens to US! Retool and conquer!

2. Next up is from Dan Schwabel’s Personal Branding blog. It is an interview with Alan Collins, author and former HR VP at Pepsi. Here’s an excerpt:

What tools do you recommend for a job seeker?

The number one tool I recommend for any job seeker is their personal network. Most recruiters will tell you that networking will deliver more job interviews to you than any other method. More than answering ads. More than hitting the online job boards. And more than putting your resume down Monster’s black hole and hoping that you’ll get some hits. The tough thing about networking is depending on your personality, it’s either a lot of fun or a lot of work.

For me, I’m not a natural networker, so it’s work for me. So, if you’re like me, you have to discipline yourself to do it. But if you’re in the job market, you must do it. Good networking takes effort, sincerity and time. Start taking people to lunch. Start attending cocktails, dinners, and networking events. Set goals for yourself. For example: “I want to have a good conversation and exchange business cards with at least 3 people during this event.” There’s an old saying that you should dig the well before you’re thirsty. Well, this applies to networking. LinkedIn is also a great tool for helping you do this too.
For more of the interview, click here.

3. Last but not least is an upbeat article from Career Coach and Examiner.com columnist Megan Pittsley10 Holiday Gift Ideas for Job Seekers.

Which is your favorite this week?

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 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 and his articles on Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/x-31324-SF-Career-Coach-Examiner
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Attitude is Everything

October 29, 2009

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At the “Jump Start Your Job Search” event Tuesday at St. Mary’s College, we had over 100 people looking for new ideas and tips to help them stand out and find jobs through networking. However, one topic that was addressed that can be an instant opportunity killer is the depression that comes with weeks or months of a fruitless job search. I know how demoralizing it can be – I’ve lived through it. And who wants to be around people who are depressed, never mind hire them?
There are several ways to combat this, which were discussed: Get out of the house, go have coffee with a freind, go volunteer, which I’ve written about in a previous post, help someone in need, who’s worse off than you (and there are plenty of people in that category), or start a success team or networking group. The point is to focus on something or someone other than yourself – it’s energizing and can lead to new opportunities, including the job you’re looking for.

Here’s a great article from Jason Alba, founder of JibberJobber regarding just this topic and how smelling blood can be deadly to your search. Keep a positive attitude and good luck!