Nancy Babyak, PMO and IT Consultant, on Job Search Technology

I regularly get the opportunity to meet amazingly cool people online through forums, Yahoo Groups, or JibberJobber.  I came across Nancy Babyak about a year ago and have been very impressed with her analytical talents as well as her kindness, insight, creativity, etc.  She is one of the great people you could ever meet online, and I’m uber-excited to get to meet her next month in Seattle!  Without further ado, here’s Nancy’s take on job search tools she uses right now (no mention of JibberJobber, but she is an active user, fan and JibberJobber evangelist):

As a PMO Manager and IT consultant, I consider myself to be in a constant state of job search.  Either for my own career, or to keep up with job posting trends.  I find that it is much easier to hire a .Net consultant with extensive Oracle back end experience when you know how agencies are posting jobs.

I am always looking to improve my Job Board workflow of e-mail alerts, recruiter repositories, and salary databasi (some of them really do seem to be written in Latin!).  Here are several of the sites that I use and some of the challenges I have come across.

Test Search

When I conduct a search for my next position, I find it challenging to pick the right keywords – “Program Management Office,” SDLC, Governance, and Change Management.  All can give very broad results ranging from high-rise construction to technical customer service.  For the job search statistics below I used the simple acronym PMO in each tool for a US national search to try and find as few results as possible… which isn’t always easy.  Here is the technology I use to look for job postings:


82 matches, mostly Program Manager listings, all relevant jobs on the first 2 pages were also in the Indeed listing as being on Monster or Dice.


7,209 matches, 48th match on the list had PMO in the title, and had been posted the day before.  I had already found the posting 12 days earlier through TheLadders.

6,473 matches, 300 deep and all had the phrase in the title with more than half on the first 3 pages being personally relevant without having to re-search.  Very few analyst listing in the mix, but lots of project managers that serve as part of a PMO – a fine line that entering a more exact search could have weeded out.

None.  Only 690 in the tool so far.

44 matches, 3 exclusive to the site and the rest from popular search engines.  All relevant and none posted on other sites.

Aside from the actual results, here are my thoughts about each of these job search tools:

The Ladders

Limited workflow tracking allows you to monitor where you are in the hiring process and set reminders to follow up with recruiters.  Personally, I am not a fan of the small note text box provided and found it easier to store communications outside the system. (note from Jason: JibberJobber! JibberJobber! JibberJobber!)

Recruiter profiles are available – high level overview of company, open posts, recent job openings, and the ability to send your resume directly.

I found the resume feature is misleading… while it may have some scrape technology to assist in job suggestions it is also the only interface for recruiter contact so a full, pretty word version matters more.  I posted a ‘scannable’ version first and confused several recruiters that I contacted.

There is a Recruiter search – but only 6 sector designations so pretty broad brush.  I limited my sights on ‘Pacific’ region, ‘technology’ sector, ‘technology’ function – gave 917 results but there is a chance to view the matching jobs directly… which yielded 857 jobs.  Great if you want to know what kinds of jobs a recruiter handles.

TechCareers (part of the family)

I find this a great resource to compliment the posts found on for research more than my own career search.

Provides for a very extensive profile with the free membership, but the business rules around what is required or included have not left me with warm and fuzzy feelings:

  • desired salary range is one of the required fields
  • No access to profile metrics
  • No recruiter interaction

Provides for an extensive list of optional Q&A that you can add to even the basic profile.  Some of the questions include:

  • “Tell me how you would handle multiple projects in the job.”
  • “Why have you held so many jobs in recent times?”
  • “Tell me one of your pet peeves?”
  • “Everyone has a favorite class in college. What was yours?”

One of the new kids on the block, this is truly a Search Engine’s search engine for Job seeking. No posting of resumes, no networking, no charge.  The interface is Google-like with very clean options.  It is the first alert of the day that I check and the first place that I go with a new keyword I want to test.  All the traditional sites (Monster, HotJobs, CareerBuilder…) are there, but so are many, many, many corporate and niche boards as well.

Are you unsure of the keywords that you are using? Swing by the ‘Job Trends’ feature to see what percentage of the “50 million jobs a year” used those words.  Using the single entry of “PMO” with no location, the following graph is displayed:

Hyperlinks lead to a search result page for that combination of keywords with a great sidebar of options to refine further – salary estimate, title, company, location, job type, or employer / recruiter.

I have used the resume blast feature several times.  I like the ability to send a cover letter with the resume as either inline or as an attachment to recruiters.  Messages use your personal e-mail address so there is no need to go back to the site to track responses.  For a US national search earlier this year, 391 messages sent, no e-mails returned, 38 asked that I go to their website and enter my info myself, 2 asked for phone screens that day, and 1 resulted in an in person interview for a Director’s position.

If you prefer to create your own blast, you can access Dun & Bradstreet’s database.  After that, formulate your query, find out the count of the results, and download the results once free.  With additional queries, company count and cost are shown before you have to purchase.

Not only can a job seeker search the job listing, but you can conceal your personal identity on resumes.  Within the networking module, you can reach out to these future ‘partners’ through the RiteSite message center or traditional e-mail.  Many people have all of their prior companies concealed and as someone who is not industry specific I have not found a way to work this feature into my workflow.

The text of John Lucht “Rite of Passage” book, with evolving content, is available in the RiteSite University module and makes for a good starting place if you are diving into the world of job searching again.

New age technology meets the job search. Determine your favorite companies, view the profiles of hiring managers and recruiters, or surf job listings.  See something you like?  Use the chat client to interact with the poster in real time or leave them a message. VMWare has a huge presence, but not many others… I like the interface and try to remember to stop by often since there is no e-mail alert option.

THE place to be seen if you are open to $100k opportunities… or so they say.  Seekers cannot search.  Post your profile and wait to be contacted by one of the members of the Association of Executive Search Consultants.

One time lifetime membership fee with the option to purchase yearly upgrades to search recruiter list and participate in moderated forums.

I have been contacted more from recruiters looking for architects or infrastructure people and hoping that I know someone that would be interested than direct postings that I would be interested in.

The career toolkit has some interesting articles and links to reference books on a variety of career transition and search topics.


I think of this as my father’s job board.  Expanded features include F2F meetings – CEO breakfasts, Roundtables, and others available in most major US cities.  Listings heavy on CxO and VP positions, but some engineering listings are starting to appear.  Membership also includes a bi-weekly newsletter, printed on paper, and delivered to your house. I let my membership lapse so I can’t provide a gauge as to result relevance, but I found that RiteSite and TheLadders covered the landscape enough that I let this one go.

Nancy Babyak, PMP shares her passion for technology and process through her netweaving adventures across the web exploring how we all take turns being buyer, seller, helper and helped.  As an independent executive consultant Nancy helps business leaders and IT executives grow through evolutionary process improvement and long term strategy alignment by constructing innovative Program Management Office (PMO) structures.  Nancy helps explain the tools of the PMO through her PMO Training Wheels Blog and carries those principles through to the home through her Work Life Balance Blog.

What do you use, love, and opine (opine: one of my favorite words from legal counsel :p)