5 Habits of Highly Effective Job Seekers in a Down Market

Even in a down market, job seekers and employees are not powerless or without recourse. In fact, you have more control over your career circumstances than you might think. Here are 5 specific strategies and tactics that consistently generate powerful results for job seekers, even when it seems that “no one’s hiring.”

1. Network, network, network. Continually increase your level of networking and keep expanding your contact database. Reach out to reestablish and nourish business and personal relationships. Offer to help others, even if they’re not in a position to help you (because what goes around comes around). There is no substitute for connecting with people one-on-one. Stay connected and don’t isolate yourself. Being out of work does not mean you have to be out of touch, so be sure to build and maintain your networking momentum.

2. Seek help.
Get career support from a professional. A qualified career coach can better prepare you to land your next position. If career coaching is unaffordable for you, take advantage of the support provided by government programs, nonprofit agencies, job search groups, college/alumni career centers, or faith-based missions for the unemployed and underemployed. If you’re thinking of changing industries, get some career testing. If you’re struggling emotionally, get help from a mental health service provider.

3. Read career books and attend career seminars. Take advantage of learning opportunities to improve your job search and career management skills. Keeping informed of business trends will help you gain greater knowledge of the industries and careers that are poised for future growth. Stay plugged into the market and your field to ensure that you’ll be current, and to maintain your intellectual capital. Apply what you learn, and generate stronger search results.

4. Leverage technology. Utilize Web sites and online services to connect with your industry and to build greater visibility. Create a career Web site, using tools like VisualCV (www.visualcv.com) and LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com). Reach out through social networking sites, such as Facebook (www.facebook.com), MySpace (www.myspace.com), and Twitter (www.twitter.com). Keep in touch with colleagues consistently via e-mail. In addition to leveraging career portals and job boards, learn how to use online tools like blogs, wikis, and virtual job fairs. Focus on optimizing your online identity.

5. Differentiate yourself. Position yourself as an expert by writing articles, giving presentations, or teaching a class. Get involved in professional organizations, and assume leadership roles there. Do something noteworthy in your community that will garner special recognition and build your positive reputation. Focus on what makes you special, and build your brand within your industry.

 Conducting a successful job search campaign takes energy, discipline, and career support. Despite the pressures you may face in today’s employment market, you must stay focused on your goals and search smart.

10 Tips for Optimizing Linkedin

1. Take the time to create a robust profile. Write a summary section that clearly outlines your personal brand and value-add and gets readers jazzed up about what you do. Build out the specialties section and make it keyword-rich and industry-relevant. Many profiles on LinkedIn are just a shell with a name and an abbreviated chronology. You would never submit a resume to a potential employer that only listed employment, so why would you use this tactic on-line when your information is available for millions of people to see?

2. Use the endorsements feature to request and offer endorsements.
People are more likely to contact you if you can prove that others have been satisfied with your work, product, or services. Adding endorsements can expedite the decision-making process.

3. Keep your profile up to date. People who use LinkedIn for a job search campaign often abandon the tool after they find new employment. By keeping your information up to date, you are more likely to keep your network strong and be able to reciprocate to others.

4. Educate your connections. If people join LinkedIn and don’t invite others, they won’t get as much out of the tool and will remain several degrees apart from the people they want to meet.

5. LinkedIn doesn’t replace traditional networking, it facilitates it. Always supplement your on-line efforts with face-to-face networking.

6. Use the questions and answers feature to start conversations, create community, and position yourself as a subject matter expert. By answering questions, you are simultaneously endorsing your candidacy and expertise.

7. Don’t add a connection that you would not feel comfortable introducing to someone already in your network. Having 500 connections doesn’t have much value if you can’t “share the love”.

8. Don’t use the “invitation to connect” templates. They lack authenticity and are inferior when compared to a personalized message from you.

9. Create a public profile. This is an easy way to start building an on-line presence for yourself, since LinkedIn ranks high in the search engines.

10. Take advantage of resources that can help you optimize your Linked In profile.

http://www.linkedintelligence.com/ (Linked Intelligence Blog)

http://blog.linkedin.com/ (LinkedIn Blog)

http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2007/01/linkedin_profil.html (profile makeover)

http://www.happyabout.info/linkedinhelp.php (I’m on LinkedIn…Now What???, Jason Alba)

http://www.happyabout.info/onlinenetworking.php (Happy About Online Networking, Liz Ryan)

http://www.linkedin.com/static?key=promo_newyear_2008&trk=300_8Tips_A (8 Tips from LinkedIn)

Social Media Unlimited -Unlocking the Power of Social Media

 Are you growing your business with social media?  Social media, as a marketing strategy, will help inform your customers about your products or services via a simple blog comment, a Facebook wall writing or a LinkedIn update.   

Start building and enhancing your marketing plan with Social Media Unlimited, a one-day workshop designed to unlock the power of social media for explosive business growth. Intended for the serious business owner, entrepreneur and sales, marketing and public relations professional, this informative one-day seminar is limited to only ten people, ensuring personalized, one-to-one instruction from our expert team of social media strategists.  These strategists have helped many small business owners and corporations develop effective social media strategies, resulting in significant market penetration and profits.  By attending Social Media Unlimited, you will get a blueprint to enhance your business goals and objectives:

  • Social Media Strategy – You will obtain the building blocks for creating a powerful social media strategy tailored for your business.
  • LinkedIn Profile – Working with our talented strategists, we will help you create your LinkedIn profile, calculated to expand your contacts and grow your business. 
  •  Tactics for Explosive Revenue Growth – After a day with our team of strategists, we are confident that you will learn powerful, yet simple tactics that will grow your business and unleash new streams of revenue.   

This is not your traditional learning experience.  This opportunity is limited to ten people to ensure that you receive the one-on-one instruction and interaction from the power of a small, tight-knit group.  Join us for a live, special Social Media Unlimited preview on March 30 at 1:00 pm EDT with on-demand viewing thereafter.     Register Now

For a limited time, Social Media Unlimited: Unlocking the Power of Social Media for Explosive Business Growth will offer a special early bird price of $750.00, a savings of $200, through April 8.  The workshop will take place on Thursday, April 29, 2010 from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM at the Sigma Conference & Event Center, 1717 Babcock Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA  15209.

Register Now


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Oh What A Night – SPEED NETWORKING in Pittsburgh

Take 40 people, entrepreneurs, job seekers, business leaders.  Add in a wonderful setting at the Sigmas Conference and Event Center with superb food splendid wine and finally include a unique SPEED NETWORKING format…..and what do you get?  

You get Oh What A Night!   A night where contacts were made, business was generated, and job search leads and ideas were exchanged.  

On Thursday, February 25 a new community was born, an unqualified success was created,and you were a part of it…..  SPEED NETWORKING Pittsburgh!   And guess what we are going to do it again on March 25 when SPEED NETWORKING Pittsburgh returns to the Sigmas Conference and Event Center, from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM.  

  See What Happend  On February 25th

 Register Now

SPEED NETWORKING – Pittsburgh   
March 25, 2010   
5:00 PM – 8:00 PM   
Sigmas Conference & Event Center   
1717 Babcock Blvd.  
Pittsburgh, PA




Coming To Pittsburgh: Speed Networking, Thursday, February 25

Speed networking programs are showing up all around the world and now it’s coming to Pittsburgh. These events tend to be a fun, exciting and effective way to make a lot of initial connections in a very different environment from the standard business networking meetings.

On Thursday, February 25, my company the Marben Bland Group will be sponsoring Pittsburgh’s first open speed networking event from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM at the Sigmas Conference & Event Center 1717 Babcock Blvd. Pittsburgh, PA.   While other speed networking programs have been conducted, sponsored by specific groups with closed membership requirement.  This is Pittsburgh’s first truly open event without membership restrictions. 

How Does Speed Networking Work

Speed networking programs generally involve people meeting each other one at a time for a short interval and then moving on to the next person in line. They are fairly structured in the way people queue up to meet. For example, one variation is to have two concentric circles of people. The individuals sit across from one another and after the set time period–generally one or two minutes–the outside circle of people gets up and moves in one direction around the circle until everyone has met.  The event on Thursday will work like this. 

Benefits of Speed Networking
– Make more business contacts in one night than most make in a month
– Perfect your “30 Second” pitch
– Face-to-face networking
– Fun and fast paced
– Great for entrepreneurs

Wouldn’t it be nice to leave a networking event knowing that you have made real connections that can help you?  If you agree join us on Thursday, February 25 for a wonderful evening of food, wine, networking, and fun!  For only $25.00 per person.

Register Now http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e2pu1sor4b17e866

Finding a new LeBron with social media

Well it was bound to happen; my classic 1995 Chevy Cavalier better known as   LeBron (get the hint) has apparently gone its final mile.  The end came on the parkway in Pittsburgh last night where it rolled to a stop in the middle of Friday rush hour traffic. 

Luckily thanks to the superb state patrol and the wonders of AAA, LeBron and I got pushed and towed to safety.    I got the news early today at the repair shop 15 years of faithful service and over three hundred thousand miles LeBron is beyond repair, he will be taken to the salvage yard next week.

As many of you know after I lost my job as part of a “reduction in force” at PPG, I stated my own business as a Job Coach and a Social Media Strategist.  I am proud of the work I have been able to do helping over 1,500 people including women and men at a homeless shelter to find work.   I have also gained a growing reputation of in the use of social media strategies to help businesses reach and connect with customers.

While the work have been rewarding the profits have been modest.  I have maintained a lid on my expenses by greatly reducing my “life style” with LeBron and his zero car note being a big part of the solution. 

Now that LeBron is gone I face the quandary of limited cash flow, no credit the banks are not lending to small idea capital laden business like mine paired with the absolute need to have a car so I can reach a client base that is beyond public transportation. 

As a job coach and social media strategist I have championed the use of Web 2.O and social media to uncover opportunities, create markets, and to unlock the potential in people and the situations they find themselves in.

So I am going to practice what I am preaching and test the power of social media.  As unleash the hounds on this problem:  I need your help, in either finding a car that I can afford I have less than 3K to spend or helping me generate 3-10K of business in the next 30 days.   Naturally I would prefer the business generation part!   So I am linking this post with my simple request to my entire social medial world to see what we can create if you are up to the challenge drop me a line.  I will report back to everyone on our collective progress. 

Attend Pittsburgh’s 1st Speed Networking Event!

Thursday, February 25, 2010  5:00 PM – 8:00 PM   Sigmas Conference & Event Center

Register Now http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e2pu1sor4b17e866

Attend Pittsburgh’s 1st Open Speed Networking Event!

Attend Pittsburgh’s 1st Open Speed Networking Event!

Thursday, February 25, 2010  5:00 PM – 8:00 PM  

Sigmas Conference & Event Center

1717 Babcock Blvd. Pittsburgh, PA

Launch yourself into a new circle of people waiting to talk to you!

 Have you ever attended a networking event and did not meet the people you wanted to meet?

Are you looking for a new job and would like to meet potential employers?

As an entrepreneur are you seeking to grow and expand your business?

Then find the people who can help you answer these questions at Pittsburgh’s First Speed Networking Event! 

With the unique SPEED NETWORKING format, you will meet more people, make more contacts, and generate more business and job search ideas in one short evening, than you ever thought was possible at a networking event! 

 How Does Speed Networking Works
From 5:00 PM-8:00 PM a series of fast paced SPEED NETWORKING sessions will be conducted.  During each session you will be able to network face-to-face with a manageable group of people timed and designed so that you can meet everyone in the group. There will also be unstructured networking time

Register Now at http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e2pu1sor4b17e866