Taking Digital Footsteps

roadsign-banner2Just as the competent sailor must select their destination in order to have a successful voyage, so must the productive and efficient job seeker know what is a right work opportunity to identify, proceed toward…and secure!  While this seems like an incredible over-simplification, mere ‘common sense,’ it is knowledge that eludes most unemployed people.  You see, when you’re employed you tend to assume that your employer will help you to navigate those ‘next steps’ in your career.


Thursday, August 30th… A LinkedIn PRIMER: Task #2 and 3: Conducting an organized and efficient “campaign” using LI functionality


bob-maher-4587-editAh, but when you’ve lost your job, your fellow employees, and your employer… WHOA… the rules seem to have changed!

While a sailor’s journey could be defined by its destination, his success is determined by the course he selects, and, most significantly, having an appropriate ship to make the passage as smooth as possible.

In Steps #1 and #2 of our 12-step process we learn to assess (know the features of our ship) and set our objective (select our destination and course) so that we can develop a GREAT Resume, one that allows our future employer to help navigate our journey, thus we embrace the OTHER job market!

Many people are confused about their career direction. That’s okay. You can leave your overly-broad branding on LinkedIn until you figure out what you want to be when you grow up — at least for this job search!

Read LinkedIn profiles to spot job titles, job descriptions and specific responsibilities that sound like a fit for you. Now, brand yourself for the jobs you really want — not every job you’re qualified for:

  • Freelance Travel Writer and Editor
  • Sales Manager for Pharma/Neutraceuticals
  • Office Manager/Bookkeeper Seeking Overbooked CEO to Support
  • Startup Marketing Manager with Press Contacts

Your LinkedIn branding is important because it tells the world how you see yourself.

Everyone else will see you the same way the minute you stand in your power and tell us “Here I am!”

Just what IS a right work opportunity for YOU?

Make WAVES In Your Networking

Compass-seaLInitial research and the pulling together of your INITIAL contact list are in place to create focus to your efforts… What are the trends in the market that are attractive to you, and which target organizations are most needy of your value proposition?  Your evolving contact list will take you through the A-B-C’s of networking and the development of your distribution channels…


This Week’s Session, Thursday, August 16th… Implementing Your PMP, How to stay focused and organized with your networking efforts.


roadsign-banner2A. Start with people you already know or have reason to “should know,” as they are the most likely to be receptive to your initial efforts.

B. As you develop your network, identify key bridge contacts that can give you specific information or introduce you to key decision-makers and hiring authorities.

C. Critical to your success is building relationships with people who can influence your hiring. This ‘must see’ list of influential contacts and hiring authorities is the epicenter of your job search campaign!

Develop your networking prowess with your “A” List contacts, people you already know, have cause to know, or have known in the past… connect or reconnect with this less-threatening ‘audience.’

Then, exercise and practice your newfound skills within the job search support, local networking groups…beginning to reach toward a bigger “B” list, those people that you are referred to that can bridge your efforts to the people who can influence your hire. Begin to fold-in professional associations and trade groups as a way to strengthen and accelerate the development of your “B” list.

“See” list contacts WILL happen!

BABY STEPS Revisited

Be your own best coach… pay homage to the demon in the room, TECHNOLOGY, specifically social media… and your own communication preferences. Even the most passive communicators must learn to engage and interact… but with whom?
Use your FREE LinkedIn account to organize your contact list and to function like a road map of who to network to next.

Once identified, get on the phone and meet your newest “A” list contact.

You’ll never know when a ‘hidden gem’ of a “B” or “See” list contact will materialize in the process. When you’re networking, ask for a reference, not a job. Whether you’re doing catch-up drinks or grabbing lunch to reconnect, your main goal is to get an ally, not a tally of job listings.

Recruiting a helping hand to your search is your aim. So don’t ask your college buddy if he knows of any jobs for people like you. How would he know? And don’t ask your boss from two jobs ago if she has the names of any people who are currently looking to hire somebody like you. It puts her on the spot.

No, instead, ask for information, advice, or a reference. (A.I.R.)

Mention that you’re going to be moving on, or you’re already looking, or that you’re actively “out there looking.” Let them know the type of positions that are a good CareerFIT for you, and what you’re hoping to achieve in your next opportunity. And, if appropriate, ask them if — when it gets to the actual interviewing process — it would be OK to use them as a reference.

By letting them know that you hold them in high enough esteem to potentially use them as a reference, you’re actually paying them a compliment. By not putting them on the spot about specific job openings, you eliminate making them consider you as a Yes-NO-Maybe “applicant,” thus reducing the awkwardness inherent in the networking conversation.

You’re also making it easier for them to say “yes”, or convey useful information… or simply to feel good about themselves for being a good friend and helping you out with this little favor. All of which means that you have a new buddy in your search — one who’s going to be thinking about keeping an eye out for new opportunities and an ear open for fresh possibilities for their reference-able friend: you.

Now, this doesn’t work for just any old person you meet on the street. There’s probably a pretty good match between people you’d take to lunch and those you could ask to be a reference. So my advice would be to stick to asking those you know well enough.

Being realistic, the widely offered and deeply wrong advice from past decades of job search tricks and tips… that you should try to extract favors, concessions, names, jobs, and career assistance from people you’ve only met over the phone is not only useless, it can be counterproductive to your aims by antagonizing your broader network.

Reserve actual “information networking” for its more productive uses. By making your networking about positive interactive conversation and compliments, you’ll find it pays dividends.

A network is not something you establish overnight. It requires work and time, but the rewards are incalculable. If you are in a job search mode and do not have a good network already in place, there are several ways you can begin to build one. In the ‘challenging waters of career transition,’ your network development should be happening in waves…

The WAVES of PMP Implementation

The concept, here, is to keep a pulse of activity going consistently and regularly into the job market. When you let up, if you take time away from the marketplace, they will tend to forget you…the job market has no memory. It’s up to you to achieve top-of-mind awareness.

Get the Most From Your ‘first wave’ of Networking… Your purpose in this ‘first wave’ of networking is to gain information, advice, and most importantly names of other individuals you can call. The lifeline of networking is to always get more names. Be sure to ask each person if they have a minute to talk to you, and when finished talking thank them for their time.

Make networking calls in a block of time. Each call is more comfortable than the one before. Do not call people and ask them if they have any openings at their company… This is almost always totally non-productive. THE PRINCIPLES BEHIND A SUCCESSFUL JOB SEARCH ARE ALWAYS THE SAME: the search process itself is time consuming work, and the more productive time you spend on your job search the more interviews and job offers you will generate.

So the question at this point is “Where do you find out about job openings and on which avenues of job search should you spend the most time?”

THE BEST (And Worst) OF BOTH WORLDS

Technology has done a terrific job of consolidating posted job leads. Web crawling software can reach out and consolidate classified ads, recruitment posts and company posted job opportunities. We know these consolidated sites as Internet Job Banks… and some of them contain a huge amount of postings.

Unfortunately, their very size makes it challenging to stay current and eliminate redundancy. Also unfortunate is the fact that these very same job banks have consolidated your competition and rejection from Corporate America.
Solution? Use the Job Banks to generate your most attractive leads, then network your way into those targeted organizations.

JOB SEARCH IMPLEMENTATION…

Initiating an effective work-seeking campaign during ANY economic condition presents a terrific opportunity to embrace the concepts of Personal Marketing in The OTHER Job Market… with the focus on job search issues and the creation of a personalized knowledge base and an effective network for the rest of your career.

In the ‘first wave’ you will increase the REACH of your efforts and begin to reestablish old relationships, develop new ones, and identify opportunities. Each opportunity is its own ‘tipping point,’ where you initiate your ‘second, more focused, wave’ which is directed at targeted organizations.

This is one of those measurable, predictable ratios… the more regular you are with your ‘first wave’ contacts and follow-through, the more likely targeted organization contacts will begin to generate INTERVIEWS.

Branding Yourself For The Digital Recruitment World

bob-maher-4587-editThe Careerpilot’s high TECH-HIGH TOUCH philosophy comes into play with the explosive growth of business professionals using social networks to build relationships, meet new contacts, and market themselves.  While the Internet provides many choices, diving into the virtual meet-and-greet can represent a real challenge.

Which one is worthy of your start-up investment: learning curve time and actual ROI of your efforts…  Where to begin? The Careerpilot encourages a choice that reasonably assures one’s confidentiality, has a multitude of useful applications, and can serve as your focal point of networking decisions.


NEXT Session: Thursday, August 9th…A LinkedIn PRIMER:  Task#1, having a Profile that is in sync with your PMP


chalk1A terrific launching site for such an effort is LinkedIn. Developed specifically for business, the site doesn’t run the risk of blurring your professional life with your private one; and with more than 25 million users, it serves virtually every industry and profession.

Joining a network like LinkedIn is simple, but turning it into a powerful networking tool takes a bit of savvy. Here’s how to set up a profile, build a network, and put it all to work — without HIGH TECH, social-networking anxiety.

TASK #1… Having a Compelling Profile

Before you connect to others, you must first set up a profile page on LinkedIn. While your page will detail your work history, don’t assume you can copy and paste your resume and be done with it. Your profile page should reflect your professional interests, passions, and ambitions at this point in your career.  It becomes the core of this high tech, written collateral.

As you proceed, keep your goal in mind…

Do you want to have that fully optimized, SEO-centric magnet that attracts interested parties TO you?  -OR-

Do you want that terrific, user-friendly home page and profile that is easy for a reader to navigate?  -OR-

Do you want your profile and homepage to be appealing to both?

A checklist of things to include:

  1. A picture. It’s been said that, “People do business with people.”
  2. A specific and high impact “headline” with keywords relevant to your industry… your headline follows you around through several of the interactive applications.
  3. Preferred contact method and data… At the bottom of your profile, you can let people know how you want to be contacted — through LinkedIn, by e-mail, or over the phone.
  4. Desired information, networking “targets… What you want to be contacted about… At the bottom of your profile, you can select interests like reference requests, consulting offers, or career opportunities. Be sure to update your profile to stay in sync with your career.

…and don’t overlook the “power” of recommendations… start thinking of who you might want to encourage to endorse you and your services.  Job seekers: your references are a great start!

The LinkedIn site will walk you through filling in the blanks, but you’ll want to think ahead about two areas:

Positioning Yourself

Just like on a GREAT RESUME, directly underneath your name will be a short headline of four or five words. More than anything else in your profile, these words are how people find and define you.

Are you seeking to connect mainly with others in your field and industry? Then a simple, title-oriented headline like “Senior Product Development Director at The XYX Corporation” is best. Are you seeking to branch out into other areas? “Leader of High-Performing Engineering Projects” alerts others quickly to the value you would bring to an organization. Regardless of how you phrase your headline, make sure to use keywords that will help others find you.