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Networking Tools to Manage Your Job Search

How would you like to easily manage your job search, especially after you lazed through the summer months, and suspended your job search activities?

It’s about time! The kids are heading back to school in a few days, and the lazy, and somewhat hazy days of summer have come and gone. Now you won’t have any excuses for not ramping up your job search. It’s time to get back to job search school, and the first subject I recommend you enroll in is, How to Network Effectively. To assist you, I am introducing two networking tools to manage your job search. They are Twoople and JibberJobber.

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Twoople was developed in my backyard – in my own City of Brampton – so I am pleased to be highlighting it here. I first heard about the tool in an article on TechCrunch and Fast Company. When you are mentioned in these two media, you know you ‘have arrived’!

A few months later I met the co-founders, Pat Arlia, Rino Spano & Cristina Arlia, at a networking event hosted by The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Toronto. A few weeks ago I reached out to Pat to find out how job seekers could use Twoople to network and engage with recruiters, and potential employers. Here are some of the main points from our discussion:

  • Twoople is an engagement messenger for people who don’t know each other. It is, therefore, a great networking tool for job seekers and recruiters.
  • A Twoople address is an alternative to a phone number or email address. My Twoople address, for example, is http://www.twoople.me/daisywright.
  • Unlike Skype and BBM that require registration, Twoople users don’t have to wait for someone to add them or accept an invitation. Registration is one click and you’re ready to chat.
  • Email addresses are never shared. That ensures a certain degree of privacy, especially if someone does not want people to know his or her email address.
  • The tool is universal, meaning it can be used from anywhere in the world, and since it’s a URL, no apps are required.

To begin networking on Twoople, a job seeker could offer their Twoople address as a way for a recruiter to quickly chat with them, should they prefer a chat instead of an email or phone. Increasingly, people prefer to chat but it’s not always possible between two people who aren’t yet acquainted. Twoople opens the door to potential connections.

Experiment with this free, easy-to-use tool and see how many network connections you can make. And by the way, businesses are using it to connect with other businesses, as well as with consumers.

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JibberJobber was developed by one of my colleagues, Jason Alba. It is a powerful tool that lets you manage your career, from job search to relationship management to target company management (and much more). According to Jason, it “allows you to do everything you need to do to manage a job search and optimize your network relationships – for the duration of your career!”

To organize your job search, and manage all of the information you are going to have to manage, sign up for a free account on JibberJobber.com. This is where you can put contact information, including phone numbers and email addresses, list your target companies and what jobs you have applied for. You can enter information such as which version of your resume you used to apply to what job; who it was sent to, and when do you need to follow-up. That is a lot of information to keep track of, especially as you network more and more, and apply to more job openings.

JibberJobber’s strength is helping you follow-up and not miss opportunities. This is done with the log entries and action items. For a nominal upgrade (as low as $5 a month), you can have additional features, including the ability to send emails to JibberJobber to create new contacts, log entries and action items.

Jason does weekly webinars to help users get started, and I highly recommend that you sign up at JibberJobber Webinars.

As you head back to Job Search School, take these tools with you and use them if you want to stay ahead of your competitors. Please use the Comment space below to share any other job search tool that you are aware of that could help another job seeker. Will you?

 

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others, Claim Your Greatness!

Orange Wish Identity to be AppleThis edition of the Monday Morning Rx is asking  you to stop comparing yourself to others. That is, on the assumption that it’s something you often do. Do you find yourself saying things like:

“She always seem to have it all together, what’s the matter with me?”

“He gets all the attention in meetings, why I can’t I?”

“Why did she get the promotion over me? We have the same qualifications.”

Have you ever said any of the above, or something that close? We all do, at some point or another. Even the image above is that of an orange wishing it were an apple. We should stop these comparisons. Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken”.

While reading a Fast Company blog post recently, “How I Learned to Stop Comparing Myself to Others and Love My Own Ideas” it brought back memories of the poem Desiderata. One particular line says, “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.” Isn’t that the truth? When we begin to compare ourselves to others, it makes us feel less about ourselves. Shouldn’t we be spending time valuing our uniqueness? Paraphrasing Meredith Fineman in the article, “In order to succeed, you have to be the best you.” 

It is a mistake to compare yourself to others. Why? Because you really don’t know what’s happening in the other person’s life. All that portrayal of having it all together could be a farce.  The Fast Company article suggests that, “…when we compare ourselves to others, whether it be a marriage, a career, or a specific achievement, we are only comparing ourselves to our perception of this person.” That’s right. We are making comparisons against things we don’t know or don’t have enough information about.

During the coming week, instead of comparing yourself to others, reflect on these words from Desiderata: “Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.”

Here’s my personal message to you today: Opportunities are lost on those who spend time comparing themselves to others. Quit doing so, embrace your uniqueness, and get ready to play it big and win!

 

Own Your Name. Build Your Personal Brand. Up Your Job Search Game

Do you own your name? “Of course, I do”, you say! Last week I hosted a free teleconference for job seekers and professionals to gauge their career plans for 2012, and see if I could help them achieve their goals. I offered some options on how they could up their job search game in the new year, and differentiate themselves from their competitors. A few days later, I had coffee with someone who had missed the call, but who wanted to bring me up-to-date on her next career move. She told me about her plans for the year and about her new website. While discussing the website, I suggested that she claimed her name on the web by registering it as a domain. Her eyes opened widely as in “What do you mean?”

These days whether you are a job seeker or an entrepreneur, one of the first steps to building your personal brand is to claim your name – register your name as a website. I learned this early. You see, actor Jude Law’s former nanny has my name, and I wasn’t aware of it until I heard of the scandal surrounding their alleged affair. Soon after that, I claimed and registered www.daisywright.com and www.daisywright.ca, as domain names through Hostmonster (Affiliate Link). I have since given up the .CA domain.

Why is it important to own your name? The hiring process has changed for job seekers, and personal branding has become very important.  Recruiters and employers don’t rely solely on traditional methods to learn about or evaluate potential employees. They are swamped with résumés, phone calls and emails. It is, therefore, your responsibility to change the way you market your stories and your skills to employers, and raise your visibility because your résumé and cover letter are no longer enough. The same is true for entrepreneurs.

To begin your brand-building process, your first step is to register your name as a domain, if it’s still available.  Use it as a one-stop haven for your social media tools like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube (if you’re venturing into videos). When employers and recruiters begin searching for you, or when you need to connect with someone of influence, it’s easy to send them a link to your own website which houses your other profiles.

In a recent Fast Company article, the writer tells a story of how a 16-year old high school student emailed her out of the blue, and asked to join her as a guest on her TV show. He did not send a résumé, but instead included links to his website, Twitter account, Facebook page, and three relevant YouTube clips. This is a 16-year old! He has already learned how to use the web to his advantage–building a strong and positive personal brand before he even reaches his adult years. Twelve months into his brand-building exercise, he is already a well-known regular tech TV expert and blogger–and he’s not even out of high school yet.

What about you? Are you ready to step forward and do something as daring as ‘Mr. 16-year old’? Do you own your name on the web? Are your profiles up-to-date and housed in one place? Have you scoured your Facebook profile to make sure that everything is professional? Do you have blog? If not, are you contributing your expertise to industry blogs? If a recruiter or employer begins searching for someone with your stories and skills, will you stand out from the herd, or will you stay hidden in the crowd?

CEOs, HR Executives and recruiters encourage job seekers to use social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and blogs to improve their chances of getting a job. One CEO stated in a Boston Globe article that, “We often find hires because of their activity in social media and, especially, the blogosphere.”

A recruiter said, “We like to see candidates who have filled in their LinkedIn profile completely. Upload your resume, and if you are a blogger (and it is relevant to your career), post the link to your blog. With respect toTwitter, she said,”We use Twitter directory tools to find candidates whose bios match our hiring needs.”

The field is too competitive these days for you to continue doing what you have always done and expecting different results. You’ve got to be willing to go the extra mile in bringing visibility to your story. It’s time to up your game, begin building your personal brand and let the job vacancies find you.

Sources:

Five Steps to a Better Brand

Social Media Advice for Job Seekers