Yes, We All Hate Homework, But….

Giant Pencil (photo courtesy www.otherlandtoys.co.uk)but sometimes we just have to do it!

Note: of all the things that JibberJobber can help you with, this is probably THE MOST applicable, no matter what you do. If you are in a job search, or a business owner (coach, resume writer, small business, etc.), happily or unhappily employed, retired or whatever, this feature is applicable to YOU.

I’ve never been one to care for homework. When I went through a two-day job search course last year I wasn’t very excited about doing the nightly homework that would help prepare me for an interview. I just “thought about it” that night and then scratched down my stuff the next morning before the class started, and came up with some okay stuff.

We were tasked with preparing one “Me in 30 Seconds” and two “Power Statements.” When I looked at the seven others in the class I could tell that most had done what I did – got a single sheet of paper, wrote, scratched, wrote some more, and ended up with a lot of chicken scratch and a couple of valuable sentences. I knew that these papers would not last beyond the weekend.

So when I was designing JibberJobber I thought it would be cool to give users an area where they could enter as many of these types of statements as possible, and wordsmith them whenever it was appropriate. You know how network relationships are long term? So are these statements! You’ll always be asked “so, what do you do?” or “where do you work?” or something like that. You should always have some appropriate responses ready that are better than “well…. uh…. um… well….” – here’s a breakdown of what you’ll find in the Interview Prep area:

Me in 30 Seconds – also known as “elevator pitch” or “UVP (unique value proposition)” you need to have at least one of these. On the AskLizRyan Yahoo Group there was a significant discussion a couple of months ago about NOT having one, rather, having a “bumper sticker.” I don’t care what you call it but I do know this – figuring out a statement that is on-brand, the right length, intriguing and appropriate is not easy. Go into JibberJobber and put in as many as you want.

Power Statements – I was on a call last week with a user who said “these are to motivate me, right?” I laughed out loud (sorry) as I never thought of that before and it really struck me as funny! No, these are not self-affirmation, motivational things to get you out of bed or keep a smile on your face. Rather, these our powerful statements that can be used in a resume, an interview, an elevator pitch, etc. that really pack a punch (see also How To: Power Statements). Here’s an okay example off the top of my head:

I am ambitious. For example, when I was laid off during a massive restructure last year I started a new business that would provide others with career management tools. As a result, I created a new stream of income for my family and learned a lot about marketing and social media – more than I ever knew as a consultant!

Questions and Answers – This is the place where you can put questions such as “why did you leave your last job?” or “tell me about your two greatest weaknesses?” or “where do you see yourself in five years?” I hate these questions because I’m not quite sure what to say, or what the interviewer is looking for – spending a little time to craft answers that are concise and appropriate you can look like a superstar in the interview!

Premium Bonus – for those that have upgraded to premium there is a really cool additional feature. You can categorize each of your interview prep answers and then later get a report based on the category. Here’s why this is cool:

Last year I had back-to-back interviews. One was for a small high-tech startup where I would work as a project manager. The other was for a big hospital chain where I would do project management/business analysis work. There were similarities in roles but the companies where so different! I wanted to craft different responses and statements for each interview but it was really, really hard to do this on paper.

In JibberJobber, as a premium user, I could have categorized some responses as High-Tech Startup and other responses as Hospital Chain, and then printed off all responses for either category. I would then have one cheat-sheet to study for one interview, and another custom cheat-sheet for the other interview! (brilliant :))

For me, the hardest thing to do is come up with lasting, on-brand responses. I strongly recommend Brag! by Peggy Klaus and Career Distinction by William Arruda and Kirsten Dixson. Of course, some of you will need coaching to really do a whiz-bang job. Don’t hesitate to look up one of my partners (you can see a partial list here, the ones that are certified brand strategists) to get expert coaching.

I’d love to see your 30 second pitch or a power statement – leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail. But definitely log into JibberJobber and click on Interview Prep to work on them there, also!


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6 thoughts on “Yes, We All Hate Homework, But….”

  1. Jason-

    Love the pitch area on JJ! I’ve created a few pitches over time and invited some remarkable friends to tweak them. Here’s the one I’m using lately:

    Do you want to bring your “brand to life?”
    Need to tell your story in a clear, authentic and remarkable way?
    Wish you could bring your organization’s brand story to life and make it jump off the screen and into your customers’ heart?

    If you think your corporate video has to look boring, stiff and staged like all the other industrial videos you’ve seen…think again!

    My name is Thomas Clifford. I am a passionate and seasoned documentary filmmaker who captures corporate stories on video through your best storytellers — your employees “heroes.”

    My award-winning videos are energetic, engaging, compelling, meaningful and authentic. Think: short “PBS films on caffeine!”

    Enjoy increased exposure, brand recognition and watch what happens when you ignite conversations and connections.

    I’m ready to help you bring your brand to life!

  2. What I always tell my clients is: “I’ve been in the IT industry for the past 15+ years in just about every position imaginable. Tech, Project Manager, Sales, Branch Manager, you name it. That means that I understand what you’re looking for in a technical employee because I’ve *been* that employee and I have *hired* that employee. Feel free to hire from any other recruiter that can say that.”

    For what it’s worth, I think your additions here are great and would work really well in concert with InterviewTrue, who I reviewed recently:

    http://www.fracat.com/blog/2007/06/13/site-review-interview-true/

    I smell another partnership!

    Dan

  3. Hi Jason

    I’m very good at combining ideas and (new) IT tools together in order to create an even better idea or better workable practice.
    Example?

    I’m using this new feature of the JibberJobber to fill in all the answer for the Take 12 out of “Brag! How to toot your own Horn without Blowing it”.
    And the categories come in very handy too! Now every time I think of a ‘brag-bite’ or bragologue (and I’m in front of my pc most of the whole working day) I can type it in immediately 😉

    So thanks for both (the feature and recommending the book)

    Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

  4. Karin, you are right on. This is one of those “hidden features” of JibberJobber. I recently got permission from Peggy’s company to reprint the Take 12 and will have that incorporated into JibberJobber soon! Cool, huh?

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