November 29, 2008

7 Ways to Network for the Holidays

No matter who you are or where you work, networking is the key to a successful career and future! According to 60% of all jobs are found as a result of networking. It's never too early to start or too late. And the holidays should be no exception. Here are 7 ways to network during the busy holiday season with low cost and minimal effort.

  1. E cards. Send out free internet Holiday cards to your network. has a large variety of interesting and work appropriate cards to engage your network.
  2. Host a Holiday Open House. Either at work or at your home. Clients, friends, and colleagues can visit and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa or cider while building new relationships or catching up with old friends.
  3. Hit the Holiday Party Scene. Make the rounds to all the holiday events and bring a stack of business cards. Never miss an opportunity to make a lasting impression.
  4. Demand Attention! Drop by personalized and homemade holiday gifts to your network. Mix your favorite blend of coffees and package in a custom bag with label. Don't forget to include your contact information and business card. Schedule and afternoon or two to make the rounds and let the job offers pour in!
  5. Coffee Talk. Invite a colleague for coffee and let your job intentions be known.
  6. 12 Days of Christmas. Create a marketing event highlighting yourself using the 12 days of Christmas. Ask for 12 referrals or new contacts from your network for 12 days or create 12 signature marketing materials to distribute to your network.
  7. Say it with Snail Mail. Take part in the traditional method of distributing holiday cards using snail mail. Select marketing materials to make a lasting impression.

Send me your networking success stories and comments to!

Happy Hunting!!

November 25, 2008

For the Jobless, Web Sites Offer More Options

**Article courtesy of

Unemployment in the U.S. has hit a 14-year high as companies cut back. That has sent masses of laid-off workers flocking to the Web in search of opportunities -- and job sites have been stepping up to meet the challenge.

New job sites with names like have sprung up to take advantage of growing user interest amid the economic downturn. Established sites, such as, have also started rolling out new features to improve the relevance of job listings for candidates and make their résumés stand out, among other things. And some sites, such as, are providing career counseling and other new services.

Ryan SnookBusiness-networking site LinkedIn last month began offering online outplacement services to companies so that laid-off workers can more easily find their next gigs. It also has introduced technology that better matches its members with appropriate jobs. Using an algorithm, the site searches words within a job posting and then matches up members who list skills that fit the job. In January, the company plans to debut a feature that makes it easier for users to notify members in their online network that they're searching for a job.

Meanwhile,, a salary-review and employee-review Web site, this month retooled its home page so that jobs listed near the users' hometown and relevant job categories immediately pop up when an individual logs on. has created a $999 service for job seekers to get two 45-minute career-coaching sessions over the phone to help them land a new job.

But some consumers may be overwhelmed by the number of job-search sites and all their new features. Scores of career sites are competing for clicks, so users must master multiple search tools -- only to discover that sometimes there is redundancy in the listings. Career counselors advise job seekers to learn advanced search strategies on several sites so that only relevant results are displayed. They're also told to find niche sites that focus on an industry or region to further narrow their search.

Alice Ziroli, 46, began looking for new jobs online earlier this year when the pharmaceutical company she worked for shut down its local sales division. But when she trolled sites such as and, she says she found their offerings too vast.

"I didn't find them user-friendly," says Ms. Ziroli. She eventually found a job-search engine called, which has a simple Google-like home page and allowed her to narrowly specify her job-search criteria. Last month, Ms. Ziroli started a new $65,000-a-year job -- slightly more than what she made before -- as a sales representative for a hospice-and-health-care company just 18 miles from her Diamond Bar, Calif., home.

Adding New Features

A spokesman says that, in this environment, the more features that a site offers the better for a job candidate. Monster says it is rolling out improvements to its site early next year with features that will make it easier to upload résumés and apply for a job online. and other sites are adding features to improve the relevance of online job searches. Still, job-search sites are experiencing a dramatic spike in usage. The total number of minutes that Internet users spent on such Web sites jumped 13% in October from a year earlier, while the total number of job-site pages viewed rose 20% in the same period, according to comScore Inc., a market-research company based in Reston, Va. Overall, the number of unique visitors to job-search sites is up 12% in the past year, more than the 5% increase for the Internet as a whole.

"Engagement with these job sites is a lot higher now," says Andrew Lipsman, a comScore spokesman. "It's not just how many people are on these sites but how much time overall they're spending on them."

Job-oriented sites are capitalizing -- literally -- on the newfound interest. late last month got $6.5 million in new venture-capital funding, just four months after its June launch. LinkedIn also announced last month that it had received $22.7 million in new funding from strategic investors such as Goldman Sachs Inc. and McGraw-Hill Co.

Niche Job Sites

Some job-search sites cater to certain industries., for instance, is targeted at technology professionals. Its sister Web site,, is tailored for finance-industry workers -- an area that has been particularly hard hit. In September, launched an emergency toolkit that bundles tips and articles on how finance workers can network, customize their résumés and interview better in order to land
a new job.

Other sites try to stand out by providing more career-improvement data and features apart from just job listings. With numbers submitted by users, offers salary data for positions at numerous companies. So based on nine submissions, individuals searching for engineering-manager positions at Google Inc. would see that total compensation for such a job might add up to $241,000, including salary and bonuses.

And some sites are now emulating features found on social-networking sites: in February launched, where professionals can network and interact with one another. A spokesman says will add new features next year to highlight each member's skills, such as allowing writers to upload samples of their work.

One thing career sites haven't been able to perk up for job seekers is the total number of job listings. As of earlier this month, the number of job listings on was down 9% for the year so far, compared with the same period in 2007, says a spokeswoman, who declined to reveal underlying numbers. At, the number of open positions has stayed flat at about five million jobs over the past year, says Chief Executive Paul Forster.

'A Mixed Picture'
"It's very much a mixed picture" out there jobwise, says Mr. Forster. "There's a lot of weakness in certain areas, such as in the mortgage, retail, financial, construction and hospitality industries. But some areas like defense and health care are strong."

Marc Hirsch, who started looking for a new job six months ago, says many features on the job sites helped him. The Roanoke, Va., resident, who has a background as a chemist, used LinkedIn, and to get job alerts sent to him and liked how many of the listings came with salary information and estimates. "There was a lot of garbage that came back" through the online searches "but some quality opportunities too," says the 52-year-old.

Ultimately, though, the job sites proved to be just a starting point for him. Through one job listing he found on a career Web site earlier this year, Mr. Hirsch got his résumé sent to General Electric Co. While the company didn't have anything suitable at the time, GE kept his name on file.

When a position as an applications engineer came open, GE contacted him and he got the post, he says.

November 23, 2008

I'm Number Eight!!

Check it out. Bloggingforjobs is listed as Number 8 on the Career 100 Risesmart site. The site is a global ranking of top english language career blogs. (Yup, I said GLOBAL!)

I want to say thank you for your continued support and feedback. I created this blog almost a year and a half ago with the job seeker in mind. So enjoy and keep fighting the good fight!

Happy Hunting!


P.S. Check it out at

November 21, 2008

Maximum Unemployment Benefits By State

A look at the maximum weekly unemployment benefits available in each state.

Alabama — $235
Alaska — $320
Arizona — $240
Arkansas — $409
California — $450
Colorado — $455
Connecticut — $576
Delaware — $330
District of Columbia — $359
Florida — $275
Georgia — $320
Hawaii — $523
Idaho — $364
Illinois — $511
Indiana — $390
Iowa — $426
Kansas — $407
Kentucky — $415
Louisiana — $258
Maine — $496
Maryland — $380
Massachusetts — $900
Michigan — $362
Minnesota — $538
Mississippi — $210
Missouri — $320
Montana — $386
Nebraska — $298
Nevada — $362
New Hampshire — $427
New Jersey — $560
New Mexico — $455
New York — $405
North Carolina — $476
North Dakota — $385
Ohio — $493
Oklahoma — $392
Oregon — $463
Pennsylvania — $547
Puerto Rico — $133
Rhode Island — $641
South Carolina — $326
South Dakota — $285
Tennessee — $275
Texas — $378
Utah — $427
Vermont — $409
Virginia _$363
Virgin Islands — $454
Washington — $515
West Virginia — $408
Wisconsin — $355
Wyoming — $387

All figures are as of Jan. 1, 2008, and may have since changed.

Senate Extends Unemployment

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- The Senate approved a House bill to extend unemployment benefits by at least seven weeks on Thursday, sending the measure to President Bush on the same day the Labor Department reported continuing claims for jobless benefits hit a 26-year high.

The Senate bill extends benefits by seven weeks. It would extend them for 13 weeks in states with unemployment rates higher than 6%.

President Bush will sign the bill, his spokeswoman said Thursday.

"Because of the tight job market, the president believes it would be appropriate to further extend unemployment benefits and he would sign legislation that is now in front of Congress," said spokeswoman Dana Perino at the daily White House briefing. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he wants Bush to sign the bill "as soon as possible."

"Extending unemployment insurance will help many struggling to afford the rising costs of living," Reid said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

The House approved the measure on Oct. 3. The current U.S. jobless rate is 6.5%.
U.S. workers are facing a gloomy job market. Earlier Thursday, the Labor Department reported that first-time jobless claims rose to a 16-year high of 542,000 in the latest week. The number of people receiving benefits rose to 4.01 million in the week ending Nov. 8, the highest level in 26 years.

**For more visit

November 20, 2008

Twitter: Business Tool or Time Drain

5 Tips to Layoff Proof Your Job

from written by DebtKid

Are you vital to your employer?

If your answer is, "absolutely!" then congratulations, your job is probably safe. If you hesitated, it may be time to look at how to layoff-proof your position. With companies laying off workers across a broad spectrum of industries, if you're not vital you just might be expendable. Make yourself absolutely vital to the success of your company… or, at least their survival during these difficult economic times.

1. Be a Da Vinci
Leonardo wasn't just a great painter. He could sculpt, sketch, and if you're a ninja turtle fan, clean up with swords as well. The point is that knowing how to just do your job isn't enough. To truly layoff-proof yourself you need to know how to do other positions within your company. Take the initiative and start learning the daily tasks you would handle if you had other job titles.

2. Take on a new project
If you have to create a new project to take on one, do it. If a new project needs volunteers, volunteer. Heck, volunteer to lead the search for volunteers. If there is anything new happening at your company, you want to make sure you are an important part of it. This may mean taking on responsibilities beyond your normal routine or job description.

3. Generate revenue
Often when a company is looking at cutting jobs, the absolute last cuts happen to the sales department. Why? Because without them, the company wouldn't bring in any money!
If you're a secretary, find a salesperson to help out. Can you help manage or optimize their leads? If you can't be generating revenue directly, become absolutely essential to someone who is!

4. Embrace change
Instead of complaining of the "good ole days", embrace any change that your workplace is going through. Not only will it be good for your mental health, you'll be seen as a good team player as well. Note: This does not mean be a suck-up. This just means roll with the punches. Change happens. You might as well go with it.

5. Share your 100% commitment
Have a serious conversation with your boss (or higher up if possible) about your commitment to your company. Don't do this in an email or over the phone. Even if it's just stopping their office for a few minutes one afternoon, have this conversation in person. When it comes to making cuts, they will remember the personal conversation that you initiated. It may not sound like much, but little details like this can make all the difference.

November 18, 2008

Check out my quote. . .

Follow the link to check out my quote in an article titled, "The Right and Wrong Way to Job Hop" featured on the site

Happy Hunting!


Gambling with Speed Networking

Early this morning I attended a Speed Networking event. The one hour event was held at a Oklahoma City Metro Chamber of Commerce. Roughly 30 networkers attended. Each networker was assigned to a table and had 5 minutes to speak to their table about themselves and the companies and businesses they represent. I made 6 new connections in an hour and with a little bit of luck one of those connections will help me directly or indirectly in my business or professional endeavors.

One of the great things about this particular event is that it is held monthly, but like any type of event, the likelihood of a great connection is a game of chance. Networking is a lot like a deck of cards with face cards being promising connections and number cards be less than desirable connections. You might come across 5 consecutive number cards before you find a face card and so on. The point is that, you never know when your luck will turn and when a connection even one that on the surface appears to be a number card can be wild and turn into something special. That something special might be a possible job lead or an introduction to someone of interest.

One of the reasons as a recruiter I look forward to the holiday season is that there is no lack of networking events during this time of year. I can honestly say that between now and Christmas, I could realistically fill each day with a networking event whether it's lunch with an old friend, a Chamber Breakfast, or holiday celebration for a professional organization I am a member of. The key is to get the most mileage out of the events you attend. Don't overbook yourself. Take a step back and look at "the marketing potential" each event allows yourself with those that can assist you in your goal of finding a career or the job you seek.

By keeping your goal in mind and a handy stack of marketing materials in your car and briefcase, your job search is sure to prosper during these current economic times and historically slow holiday job season.

Happy Hunting!


November 17, 2008

Creative Networking Ideas

Have you been victim to recent layoffs or corporate cutbacks? Looking for creative ways to make an impression while in the job hunt? See below for ideas that can make a difference and are light on the budget.

  • That Personal Touch. Send an handwritten note to each and every networking connection you meet. Follow up with each connection within a week either by email or phone. Keep a list of your contacts, notes, and when you plan to follow up.

  • Your Monthly e-zine. Part of your marketing toolkit should include a monthly email or other electronic update sent to those within your network. Things to include in your email can be information about upcoming webinars or other events you frequent along with professional updates regarding yourself. Make a note to personally contact those within your network as often as you feel necessary.

  • Take Control . Host your own personal networking event in your own living room. Invite friends in your network to your home for a Martini Networking Night with your job search in mind. Ask each guest to bring someone from their own personal network. Provide light snacks, wine, martinis, or other beverages and an opportunity for those attending to network in a casual and relaxing setting that is light on the budget and sure to impress. Top it off with a drawing for a door prize like a gift basket from Bath and Bodyworks or a bottle of wine and you have everyone's business cards and contact information easy as pie.

November 11, 2008

Who's Who In Recruiting

Who's Who in Recruiting? Learn the job search lingo. See below.


A Headhunter is an independent recruiter whose client is a company that’s searching for candidates for a certain job. Some Headhunters specialize in searches for high-level executives, while others specialize in specific professions or industries.
A Headhunter working for a “contingency fee” only gets paid by the client company when the search is completed and the candidate is hired by the company. There may be many Headhunters involved in the search for a candidate to fill that position, but only the Headhunter who finds the candidate that’s hired will be paid. A Headhunter working on “retainer” is usually the only Headhunter involved in the search and gets part of their payment from the client company at the beginning of the search. Contingency or retained fees may range from 25–50% of the hired candidate’s first annual salary. A Headhunter may recruit at job fairs but usually relies on other methods. It’s important to remember that the Headhunter is working for the company—not for the candidate.


A Recruiter works for the company that’s hiring, usually in the Human Resources office. He or she is responsible for identifying and recruiting candidates for certain positions within that company and receives a regular salary—though they may receive bonuses for filling positions, that’s not their only compensation. Recruiters often work at career/job fairs. Many Headhunters call themselves Recruiters, so it’s important to ask who they work for and how they’re compensated.

Career Counselor

A Career Counselor helps their Client to assess their professional abilities, identify their career goals, and explore their career options. Counseling usually requires face-to-face interaction, and the work is directed internally at the Client. Counseling often involves several sessions, with the cost ranging from $50–$150 per hour. The Counselor may encourage and support the Client during his job search, but the Counselor doesn’t aid in the actual search.

Career Coach

A Career Coach helps their Client attain their career goals. Like a mentor, the Coach motivates and challenges the Client, urging them to action. Coaching focuses on the Client’s external goals and may require more time than counseling. The Coach helps the Client create an action plan to achieve their goals. Sometimes coaching doesn’t require personal interaction between the Coach and the Client and can be done by telephone or e-mail. While a Coach may ask their Client to sign a contract, they’re usually paid hourly, and may charge from $100 to $200 per hour.
The Coach may teach résumé writing and interview techniques, as well as other job search skills, but the Coach doesn’t usually aid in the actual search.

Why Use Twitter?

Ever heard of Twitter? Twitter is a online microblogging community where members post in 140 characters or less. Over the next several weeks, you'll see posts based on my recent experiences with twitter. Check out the slideshow below.

Cheers! Jessica

Why Use Twitter
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: software social)

November 5, 2008

LinkedIn Experiement: 2 week update

So it's been roughly two weeks since I began my LinkedIn Experiment. Not really scientific but the point is to prove the power of LinkedIn. I had 317 contacts at the time when this journey first began. My contact now has now grown to 735 at last count, yes 735. My network is now over 9 millon linking me to recruiters, professionals, job seekers, and everyone in between. All for FREE!!

To recap, first I joined a group called Toplinked and used their new contact list to send invites to over 100 people. About 4-5 days later, someone in my network sent me a message recommending I join another open network group called All Invites Accepted. This group sends out a monthly member list using a csv file and this is where my network really took off. In just one day, my contacts grew by over 150. The awesome thing about this group is that they send a new member list monthly allowing for you to continue to grow your network by 150-200 contacts each month. Amazing!

A couple things:
  • My blog traffic to this site (Bloggingforjobs) increased as a result of LinkedIn. I'm noticing on average 5-7 more visitors a day who link to my site as a result of LinkedIn.
  • Direct messages and requests to be linked have increased to 1-2 per day. Either someone has read my blog, met someone at the place of business where I work, or is interested in reaching out.
  • My profile views have increased to 25 per day increasing the probability of someone reaching out to me. And I've noticed that my profile views are not limited to one geographic area. Just yesterday, I had someone from Italy view my profile.

As you can see I'm not only increasing my online visibility but developing my personal brand as well. And once again, it was completely free except for about 20 minutes of my time each day to down the member lists and answer any invitation requests or messages. I highly recommend this method for anyone who is looking at increasing their online presence or those in the job hunt.

November 3, 2008

GREAT READ-Brand Yourself to Fight the Bad Economy

Check out the great article below courtesy of Business Week!

Cheers! Jessica


Brand Yourself to Fight the Bad Economy

By Marshall Goldsmith

My friend Dan Schawbel is a leading voice in the area of personal branding, focusing on helping individuals gain self-confidence, discover their passion, and develop a brand by using social media tools.

I invited Dan to discuss how personal branding can be used to fight the economic downturn and protect people from future layoffs. In his new book, Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success, he provides a detailed four-step strategy for success. Edited excerpts of our conversation follow:

Marshall Goldsmith: Dan, what exactly is personal branding, and why is it so important in today's challenging workplace?

Dan Schawbel: Personal branding is how we market ourselves to others. Each and every one of us has a brand because we are constantly being judged based on first impressions. Also, we are forced to sell our ideas and unique abilities to all stakeholders inside a company or as an entrepreneur.

Ten years ago, in a Web 1.0 world, your brand was hidden unless you were an executive at a leading company or a Hollywood celebrity. Now, with the evolution of the Internet into a Web 2.0 environment, every single person has a voice that can build or destroy their reputation and that of their company in an instant. Another major difference is that you needed a lot of mainstream press years ago to make a name for yourself. Today you can start a blog and join social networks for free.

Everyone from hiring managers to admissions officers and even talent agencies is scrubbing the Internet, either in search of their next hire or as a background check. According to, 22% of managers screen their staff using social networks like Facebook, and Kaplan says that 10% of admissions officers verify potential students using social networks. There is a massive opportunity for you to position yourself as an extraordinary brand and be recruited based on your passion.

What led you to get involved with personal branding?

I graduated from Bentley College in 2006, after accumulating eight internships and seven leadership positions. During my interviews, hiring managers had noticed my "personal branding toolkit," which contained a custom portfolio, résumé, cover letter, and Web site. This made me stand out. After several interviews, I landed the marketing job I wanted at EMC Corp (EMC).

One year later, I started experimenting with social media outside of work. I launched my own blog, after reading Tom Peters' famous "Brand Called You" article. I soon realized that my passion was in fact personal branding, as I love marketing, mentoring, and all things social media. What started as a blog became awards, an online TV show, and my own magazine. I was profiled in Fast Company, and the article was read by EMC PR and sent to a vice-president, who then hired me to be the first social media specialist. Long story short, I was hired without even applying for the job.

What is your four-step process for building a powerful brand?

•Discover: In order to really understand who you are and carve out a career path moving forward, investing in self-discovery is critical. In fact, if you don't spend time learning about yourself, your values, personal mission, and unique attributes, you will be at a disadvantage when marketing your brand to others. Start by removing yourself from distractions and ask yourself, "Who am I?" and, "If I could do anything, what would it be?"

•Create: Your personal branding toolkit may consist of a blog, Web site, business card, résumé, reference document, cover letter, portfolio, or even a LinkedIn profile. Each piece has to be consistent with the next and reflect the brand you discovered in Step 1.

•Communicate: Now it's time to use everything you've created to let people know you exist. By attending professional networking events, writing articles for Web sites, and putting on your "personal PR hat," pitch bloggers and traditional journalists to start gaining attention and recognition for the brand you created in Step 2.

•Maintain: As you grow, mature, and accelerate in your career, everything you've created has to be updated and accurately represent the current "brand you." Also, you need to monitor your brand online to ensure all conversations about you are positive and factual. You can do this by using a combination of tools, including a Google Alert for your name.

Can you explain how social media tools can protect workers?

You need to build your brand equity outside of your current job because there is no such thing as job security anymore. To do this, you should become a blogger, reserve your name on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and take ownership of your Google (GOOG) results by constantly monitoring what shows up for your name over time. Each of these social media tools rank high in Google, therefore they can give you the necessary visibility you need to seize opportunities.

Thank you! I love to give my readers new techniques to adapt and succeed, especially in today's turbulent business environment. How can we reach you?

I can be reached at or

Readers, I would love comments from you. Please send your advice for developing a personal brand.

Goldsmith's new book, What Got You Here Won't Get You There, was recently listed as America's best-selling business book in The Wall Street Journal. He can be reached at, and he provides his articles and videos online at

November 1, 2008

How to use LinkedIn and Kick As*

Check out this great slide show LinkedIn.

Happy Hunting!


View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: linkedin kawasaki)