Job Search Blog

Jul 25 2014

OpenCollegesThis interview first appeared on OpenColleges.

“Most students I talk to are seniors with five people in their LinkedIn network. This is a huge mistake.”

1. What is your number 1 tip for getting a job after finishing study?

Don’t wait until your final months to get serious about your career. I did that. I waited until my last week and made some pretty bad choices out of desperation. (Like following some girl I barely knew to Japan to teach, hating it and leaving after 9 months).

I don’t mean finding a practical major. I mean start having conversations with people outside of school, such as alumni, about life and the options that you have available. Consider volunteer opportunities that might get you connected with influential people. Start building a large LinkedIn network…do this early.

know it’s painful to face. And I know you care more about passing classes and having fun than facing life after university. The people who have the courage to deal with it sooner will be more successful later.

2. What’s the secret to successfully negotiating a starting salary?

Take what you can get. Honestly. Unless you have very rare and very valuable skills to offer an organisation, you don’t have much power in negotiation. You have to earn the right to ask for a higher salary through the acquisition of valuable skills and experience. Don’t look for shortcuts. Your employer will respect the fact that you don’t have an attitude of entitlement, because chances are your competition will.

3. How do you recommend dealing with interview nerves?

Breathe. Breathe deeply. And most importantly, practise. I practised for an hour a day for a month before my first interview as an MBA. I practised with my career coach, in front of a camera, and in front of the mirror. I wrote out my answers, and delivered them again and again. This was the only reason why I didn’t piss my pants when three interviewers grilled me in a dark, cavernous room.

Jul 22 2014

This infographic first appeared on Top Criminal Justice Degrees.

Getting a job can be tough, especially if you have your sights set on a top government bureau.  The process for getting hired at the FBI, CIA, or Secret Service can be daunting.  There are multiple steps, including assessment tests and physical fitness tests, and sometimes the process can take a long time.

This infographic will outline the steps for these three top government agencies, taking the mystery out of the process.  Good luck on your job hunt!

Jul 21 2014

Someone once told me that a corporation was a nasty thing to fall in love with….because it will NEVER love you back. The rules of loyalty in the work force are changing. No one can deny that.

However, knowing this doesn’t change the pain of getting laid off or let go. It hurts. It can wound.

Each of us reacts in one of two ways, either by getting pissed off and hating the company we used to love, or by blaming ourselves in what can be called a state of numbness.

These wounds deserve every bit of healing that we have. However, because our financial situation may depend on sweeping the pain aside and getting another job as quickly as possible, we might need a strategy of getting past this stage.

The Cure or the Healing

For those of you who can’t afford to wait a month to regroup, lick the wounds and find your emotional footing again, I offer these simple speed coping tips.

  1. Stop the story: stop replying the day you got the pink slip. Stop repeating the story that is pissing you off. Instead replace it with what you need to do right now?

Originally posted 2009-08-24 10:00:18. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Jul 14 2014

The Death of the Verb

You and I have both heard the typical line from career counselors, “use power verbs in your résumé .” Right? They’ve even given us lists and lists of verbs to begin sentences:

  • Managed team of 10 engineers in highly competitive RFP process
  • Resolved difficult customer service issue for high stakes sale
  • Safeguarded company position through advanced marketing strategy

The problem with all of these verbs is that online, verbs are not as powerful as  nouns.

Thanks to search engines, and by extension, résumé-crawling software that HR departments use to pre-filter candidates, using the right nouns can either get you a job or keep you in the unemployment line.

The New Rules of Résumé Language

I’m not suggesting that you pack in as many nouns related to your field as possible. Keep it real, and just change the focus from verbs to nouns.

Careful. If you take this too far, your online résumé might look like this:

Originally posted 2009-08-17 10:20:39. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Jul 07 2014

In 2006, when I still worked at Cisco, I started a little LinkedIn Group called “Cisco.”  Okay, not very creative or original. But I thought it was a good idea at the time to help Cisco folks leverage our mutual LinkedIn networks for career opportunities. HR didn’t like the idea though — which only made me want to do it more  ;-)

Today, my group has over 17,000 people, grows by 100 people every week, and houses discussions about job postings, business strategy, and even sales on Cisco gear.

Recently, however, requests to join became overwhelming, and I “hired” a co-manager to facilitate the group.

What is a LinkedIn Group?

Simply, within the vast network of separated professionals on LinkedIn, groups allow people to connect on a single theme. Groups are a great way to network with NEW people without introductions or cold calling. Why? Because you have something in common.

Groups can be anything from alumni associations, professional associations, common interests, even companies and subsets within companies. Hell, you can even create your own group in about 2 minutes.

Why groups are a great job search tool

By joining and participating in a group, you (the job seeker) have a powerful way of adding value to and growing your online reputation. As a group facilitator, I can tell you who are the leaders of the discussion, and who are the valued contributors to the group. When you participate, people notice.

Furthermore, by being members of the same group as your target company, your odds of getting a favorable response to your job inquiry are much higher.

Group Guidelines for the Job Seeker

  1. Join a group that takes you where you want to go, not one that keeps you where you are.
  2. Join a group that you WILL participate in. Don’t be a fly on the wall.
  3. Participation in a group means posting and responding to discussion. Make sure you are putting your best foot forward, be positive, show your motivation.
  4. Tell your truth but don’t shout! If you are unemployed, then don’t be ashamed and try to keep it a secret, but don’t flaunt it either. Just be cool and make sure that you are always honest about where you are and what you are looking for.
  5. Identify other leaders in the group and determine whether they could be valuable connections or information sources; if so, then by all means reach out to them.

Originally posted 2009-08-10 10:14:34. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Jun 30 2014

Inevitably, in every audience I speak to, there are people who find some reason NOT to follow my advice on using social media for their job search.

Sometimes these people really want jobs but are overwhelmed. Sometimes they simply don’t want to get a job and change their situation.

As long as you are willing to adopt NEW ways of doing things, NEW things will happen.

To help you identify where your resistance may be coming from, I’ve identified the top 3 reasons people don’t use social media in their job search. If you can name your resistance, it will have less power over you.

I’m Too Old or I’m Too Young

This is a sensitive one and I want to get it out of the way first. I know Age-ism is real. My uncle had to lie about his age for years to keep his job in the dry goods industry.

This manifests in concerns such as, “I am not comfortable putting my picture on my profile where they can see my silver hair” or “I look so young and inexperienced, they’ll never choose me.”

Another way this manifests is in this excuse, “I’m too old to use social media” and the humorous “Twitter is not for old people.”

Fact: The fastest growing Facebook demographic is people 55 and older.

Fact: Many of the best selling Twitter books are written my people in their 50s.

Social media is NOT about your age. It’s about your willingness to try new things and your openness to getting different results.

If age were ever a real issue, our 80-year-old citizens would never go to the movies, drive in SUVs or use pushbutton phones. Clearly this is not the case.

I Don’t Like Spending So Much Time in Front of Computers

The danger of wasting time on the internet has been around since the internet was invented. The advent of social media doesn’t change anything.

Before, people simply limited their time online, say for an hour.

The point of your social media efforts is to get a job.

So do as much as you need to accomplish that goal.

Write your plan and follow it, then there is no danger of spending more time than you are comfortable with spending on a computer.

Remember the main point of all of this is to take your online relationships and bring them off line.

I’m Overwhelmed and Don’t Know Where to Start

If you had a club sandwich in front of you, with 10 layers of BLT goodness, would you try to wrap your mouth around the whole thing?

Of course not.

Similarly, with anything new, begin somewhere and in small bits. I teach a 5-step process, and each of those steps is broken down into even smaller bits.

No one expects you to be an expert on this stuff overnight.

Remember, you need to do only as much as you need to in order to get the job done.

I play drums. My drum teacher Paul Mason used to say, “There is nothing you can’t do, as long as you break it up into small and manageable parts.”

Our lesson would start off with his demonstrating what he wanted me to do, usually some crazy display of rhythm and limb-independence. I would groan. I’d say, “That’s too hard.”

So we broke down each limb, each part, then begin to combine them one by one. Slowly I got two limbs working together, then three. Finally, by the end of the week, I could play for him what I had thought was impossible.

In this way my confidence as a drummer was developed.

Take a part of social media, like your LinkedIn profile, and spend a day mastering it. Then move on to Groups, spend a day, master it. And so forth.

The biggest resistance is resistance itself. Don’t accept any excuses.

If you want a job, the choice is clear. Use social media.

Comments? Please share them below.

Originally posted 2009-09-16 12:07:10. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Jun 23 2014

If you are big into personal effectiveness then you are familiar with Steven Covey’s 2nd Habit: Begin With the End in Mind. Actually, this principle extends far beyond the realm of self-help and into all aspects of our lives.

A Sculpture is first conceived of in the mind of the artists, and then emerges from the stone. A symphony is first heard in the mind of the composer, and then written to the score.

Likewise, in your effective job search, your end result must be clearly defined because the tools you’ll use to get there won’t know what you want!

Let me put it another way, to use social media without being clear about what you want, would be like a sculptor relying on his chisel to produce the art.

Most social media guru’s teach how to get more clients or customers. To simply rely on their advice means you may not get that Job Interview as quickly as you’d hoped.

You mean you don’t need more customers!

So what makes the job search any different?

Originally posted 2009-08-03 09:46:52. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Jun 21 2014

LinkedIn Job Search AppThis article first appeared on LinkedIn Blog.

Did you know that applicants who apply to job opportunities on the first day they’re posted are 10% more likely to land the job? That means that if you are an active job seeker, your job search can’t stop just because you’ve stepped away from your desk.

Launching today, the new LinkedIn Job Search app for iPhone  provides a one-stop shop for your job seeking needs. Whether you are actively on the hunt for a new gig or just keeping an eye out, the new app comes packed with the core LinkedIn features you’ve come to rely on to help manage your job search, including:

A streamlined end-to-end experience

Landing your dream job can feel like a full-time job. So we wanted to make it easier to find, research, and apply for your next opportunity by maximizing your “in between” moments. The next time you’re in a line for coffee or stuck waiting for a delayed flight, why not jump start your job search from your phone.

Customizable search

Job searching is not a one-size-fits all process and we want to make sure you have the tools to find just the right fit. To take a more tailored approach, you can use Advanced Search to filter jobs by fields such as title, location, company, industry, or seniority level.

Jun 19 2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 9.59.12 AMMy recent Kindle book “How Not to Suck at LinkedIn: 30 Easy Cures to LinkedIn’s Most Common Mistakes” is free until June 22, 2014.

Download it now and if you like it, please leave me a short review on Amazon.

It’s packed with 30 practical tips and tricks for beginner, intermediate and advanced LinkedIn users. No matter where you are in your job search, or familiarity with LinkedIn, I’m sure you’ll pick up some useful information here.


Here’s what one reader already said, “In the past 3 hours, I have 11 new connections, 3 personal messages, and 2 requests from recruiters for phone informational interviews. In just 3 hours.” 


Jun 18 2014

NACE 2014 Wrap up

Last week I attended the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) annual conference in San Antonio Texas. Here are some highlights from my trip.

By way of introduction, this is the organization that supports college career centers and the employers that recruit from them. So there are two main interests. First are career professionals looking for advice to help coach their students and build better programs. Second are the college career staff who want to attract employers, and employers who want deeper connections with schools.

So there’s a lot going on!

I was there with my new business partner Terry, who runs College Transition Publishing. Terry distributes my workbook to colleges who want to buy larger quantities at a discount. He was kind enough to give me 1/2 of his table so I could chat with my readers and clients.

Joshua at NACE 2014

Joshua at NACE 2014