How To Network On Twitter (Part 1)

I stumbled across a GREAT tool the other day! Its called Summarizr and at first glance I immediately saw the benefits for jobseekers.

Imagine this. Say that you have an interest in higher education and as such, you wanted to attend EduCause. However, in your case, the spirit was willing but the wallet was weak. (Hey, I can dig it.) No worries, you can get a lot of the benefits from the conference without actually being there by using the Summarizr tool. How? Let me count the ways by demonstrating how I could followup on EduCause, a conference focused on trends in Education.

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1. Connect with people who are tweeting the most about the conference.

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2. Take note of the people who are mentioned the most in relation to the conference. Connect with them as well.

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3. Get insight into the deeper conversations about the conference. If you see that people are passionate about a certain aspect of the conference, what an opportune time to get noticed by the people involved. I suggest that you passionately agree or disagree, either way this is a sure-fire way to get on their radar.

4. Research the hashtags associated with the conference to find out about conferences and related topics that you may be ignorant of

5. Research the URLs that were retweeted the most to see what the hottest topics are in relation to the conference. Comment on these URLs to attract other Twitter users you may want to network with.

Gotta love Twitter!

Jim

How To Apply For a Job That Has Impossible Requirements

It is sometimes a comedy of errors to observe the (sometimes) disconnect from reality between recruiters, job seekers and well-meaning hiring managers. Case in point, Google released a new programming language called “Go” in November 2009. Here is some hype sharing how cool it is.
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Why do I bring this up? I was curious about its popularity and looked it up on the Tiobe index. At this writing, it was ranking at #20. (Already? Wow!) Good for Google, but maybe a conundrum for jobseekers. Why? I believe that eventually I will see job ads where companies will require 5+ years of experience in this programming language. Yes, I know that the language is barely a year old. Think I am way off in my thinking? I’m not.

When I used to work for Siemens (way back when), I remember reading an article in VOIP Magazine about how a certain HR manager of a certain cable broadband provider contacted a certain expert for assistance in finding experienced IP communications people. It seems that this certain company had made a decision to deploy Voice over IP next year to round out a consumer package. What this certain HR manager wanted specifically, was a Director Of VoIP Operations. Since Director Of VoIP was a brand spanking-new position, involving a new technology, and a new service model for the company, whomever landed that gig would need an excellent understanding of emerging technologies and a crystal clear view of the impact that this service would have on this cable broadband provider’s business model. The writer of the article was not wholly optimistic of the HR manager’s success. Why? Long story short, there were not many people around that fit the job description the HR manager described. And this got me thinking.

“Self,” I said to myself, “How would you go about applying for a job with Bigfoot requirements?”

“Bigfoot requirements?”

“Yes,” I continue to say to… ummm… myself.

“Bigfoot requirements are job descriptions (or part of a job description) that some recruiters and hiring managers believe are legitimate, but jobseekers in the know accept them as general myth.”

Bigfoot requirements are not uncommon in HR, as they usually occur whenever new technologies become popular. Case in point, when the JAVA programming language was released in 1995 (or was it 1996?), it was not uncommon to see job postings for Java developers with 5 years (or more) experience. This was laughable on one level and frustrating in every other sense for both recruiters and hiring managers alike. How was a recruiter going to find the perfect candidate when (overall) they did not exist as the technology itself was barely a few months old?I ran into this when I was recruiting Executive and Technical personnel for startup companies in the 90′s. So what happenned back then? Well, some businesses changed their mind on how they chose to proceed on certain projects, delayed their initiatives (until the dotcom bubble burst), or dropped them alltogether. If I could go back in time, I would rattle off a list of what they could do (or I could have done) to find Bigfoot candidates skilled in Java or any other hot new emerging technology. Alas, I can not go back in time; but perhaps you dear reader can benefit from these finite pearls of wisdom.

When you are applying for a job where when years of experience is required in a technology that is only a few months old, do one (or all) of the following:

1. Look for the best of the best in last year’s technology. Ask yourself this, “What technology out there is like (fill-in-the-blank) technology?” If (fill-in-the-blank) technology does the same thing as (last year’s technology), but faster, perhaps I can share with the Recruiter that I am really good with (last year’s technology) and potentially could take it to the next level?

2. Explain to the Recruiter that experts in (fill-in-the-blank) technology are in short supply and that it would be infinitely easier, more productive and cost effective to train someone like you in (fill-in-the-blank) technology especially since you are so good in (last year’s technology).

3. Create a program in (fill-in-the-blank) technology and post it online. Get people to give you feedback. Approach the Recruiter with “I do not have 5 years in a tech that was just created. However, I am very good at (last year’s technology) and have used the principles of (last-year’s technology) to build this prototype based on (fill-in-the-blank technology). My project seems to have garnered a lot of positive feedback in the developer community. Here are a few quotes…

Good luck with your search!

Jim

What else can you do?

One thing that can be especially aggravating in a job search is not finding more of the same work that you’ve always done since your career began. After hitting your head against the wall for so long, you become frustrated and potentially depressed. (Hey, it happens.) May I make a suggestion? Work in a different field where companies are actively hiring.Sure, okay, that sounds simple enough but a) “What if I don’t have the budget to go back to school?” or b) “I don’t have the desire to start over in a new field?”

I can dig it. I have a suggestion for you. Look for ways to use your existing skills in different ways. Let me share a way for you to do that by hopping over to CareerBuilder.

1. I go to their “Find Jobs” section and instead of looking for Recruiter jobs (I have 10+ years in that field) I search on some of my job duties. For example, as a Recruiter I would manage relationships between candidates and hiring managers throughout the interview process. So… I search on “manage relationships” and “interview.”

2. What returns are jobs in HR (go figure), but also jobs in Sales, Business Development and Professional Services. Hmm… I can easily see how my skills could work well in these arenas. Perhaps if you do a search on your past job duties instead of your job title, you will find jobs that correlate to your skills as well. (Smile)

Although I chose CareerBuilder for this demo, you can do the same thing with any job board.

Happy Hunting!

Jim

Google Suggests Hot Job Markets?

Are you familiar with Google Suggest? Chances are that you are well-acquainted with it, even if you did not know it was called that. Here is a quote from a blog explaining what it is and what it does.

“The utility offers search suggestions below the text input based on completing what the user has typed so far with a list of suggestions based on popular searches by other users. For instance, typing “the dog” would return a list of the most popular searches beginning with “the dog”, not necessarily ranked by order of results.” – The Coffee Desk

So, after reading this, I wondered what were some of the more popular job markets based on Google Suggest. Check out some of the results I found:

Interesting….

Jim

How To Find Hidden Jobs (Video)

Did you know that traditional job searches leave you at a disadvantage? Why? Simply put, there are a lot of unadvertised jobs that you are overlooking everyday. If you do not know about these hidden jobs. its because you have been looking in the wrong places. Its time to do something different! In this video on job search strategy, Jim Stroud gives tips on how to prospect the hidden job market. Tune in now and PLEASE share with other jobseekers in your network. (Be sure to download the notes for even more information not covered in the video.)