Archive for the ‘tools’ category

Help Wanted

December 27th, 2010

Do you feel like you are having trouble keeping a clear chart of your job search – where you applied and when.  If you’ve followed up or not?  Do you try to keep track of thing in an Excel spreadsheet or maybe in file folders in your email?  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a tool that you could use that would help you in your search – where you could make notes, plan events, meetings?

A local software developer has created an online Job Tracking and Organizing tool for job seekers – is in its early Beta stage.  The developer is looking for folks who would provide feedback on their experience using the tool to help him understand how this tool would best benefit job seekers.

It is very straight forward to use, and you may use it immediately – for current job prospects and new leads you may find.

If you are interested, all you need to do is follow these 5 short steps:

1)    Go to

2)    Watch the short video about how JobKatch works. This step is really important – the video is key to understanding how JobKatch works, and it will get you up and running faster.

3)    Sign up for an account – FREE!

4)    Add the Bookmark-let to your toolbar on your browser of choice.

5)    Start adding job leads.

You may add contacts AFTER you have started adding job leads.

You may add contacts from your email address books, and from your LinkedIn account.

Please note: There is a known bug with the bulk loading LinkedIn contacts – the contacts do load, but the screen is not updated.  This is currently being addressed.  In the meanwhile, you may still add individual LinkedIn contacts to your JobKatch job leads, however, you will need to open a separate tab or browser window to get back to and the job lead window.

Please use the contact form on the Contact Us page ( to ask questions, report any issues or make suggestions for improvement on workflow for this tool.  There is a “contact” link on the bottom of each page that will link you to the form.

Thank you for your help in advance.  Hopefully, you will find JobKatch a valuable tool in organizing your search.


Shameless Plug – Find a Job in 140 Characters or Less

October 10th, 2010

After more than a year out of work Amy M. of St. Louis, MO is back 2 work thanks 2 #Twitter.  Alison S. of Green Bay, WI is back 2 work 2. (138 characters)

Find out their stories & how #Twitter can help #jobseekers thru #jobhuntchat & #hirefriday, as well as other #Twitter job search tools. (135 characters)

Join @joannawolfe @ ProNet Raleigh’s monthly meeting @UOPX in #Raleigh 10/12 9-11am to learn more about #Twitter RSVP (138 characters)

Find out how 2 set up a #Twitter account, get 2 know useful #Twitter Tools, & ways #jobseekers are using Twitter 2 find their next job. (135 characters)

If U can decipher the sentences above, U may B able 2 land UR next job in 140 characters or less! (if not, we’ll help you figure it out) (136 characters)

And for those of you who don’t tweet…

I’ll be talking about the how Twitter can be a powerful tool for your job search at the next ProNet Raleigh.  You don’t have to have a smart phone to use Twitter.  All you need is a computer and a few minutes a day.

What: ProNet Raleigh

When: Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Where: University of Phoenix offices

5511 Capital Center Drive
Raleigh, NC, 27606-3380
Phone: 919.854.2121

Take Jones Franklin Road exit from the Beltline (440), just north/west of 1-40 interchange.

Who: ProNet Raleigh is sponsored by EDSI ( who helps mid-level professionals attain jobs, training, and more.



Don’t Say That, Say This

October 4th, 2010

You get to your interview, shake hands, take a seat and the person across from you smiles and says “So tell me a little about yourself…”

Despite the fact that you think this is a friendly question, and the interviewer is looking to break the ice by learning a bit about your prize winning roses or poodle, it isn’t.

This is the serpent tempting you with the apple.  Just say no.

Bob Gates and Al Rankin, two retired executives run — in my opinion — one of the best Job Seeker groups in the Triangle.  They do a great job, and one of their favorite topics is a document called “How to answer the 64 Toughest Interview Questions“.

On the list of questions, “Tell me about yourself” in number one.

While the question seems innocent enough, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security that your interviewer wants to know your life’s history.  It’s great that you might have golf in common, or belong to the same service organization.  However, the true goal of this question is to find out how you fit the job.

The best way to handle this question is to be prepared.  Do your homework — about the organization, the people you are meeting with as part of the interview process, the people who you might meet with in the interview process.  Be informed — know who the president is, when the organization was founded, look up their latest press releases.  Know the job description and requirements before you enter the room — and practice how your knowledge, skills and background meet the company’s need.

Do some investigation and figure out what problems this position needs to solve, how it fits in the overall structure of the company, and how that relates to what you’ve done before, or what skills you have are transferrible to meet the need.

Now take a deep breath — shoulders back, sit up straight, and tell me about yourself.

What was the toughest interview question you ever came across?


Note on “How to Answer the 64 Toughest Interview Questions”:

I’ve tried to research the origin of this document — there are several copies of it floating around on the Internet.  But to the best of my ability, I have yet to find who the originators or authors of this document are, and who might own the copyright.  Suffice to say, it appears to be a document in the public domain.

That said, I have decided that it might be of value to go through the questions one by one and talk about possible answers and pitfall that await us in that all important interview.  Over the coming weeks and months, you will find questions from this document discussed here on the job blog.  I invite you to chime in with your experiences and lessons learned from the interview process.


3 E-Newsletters Worth Reading

September 20th, 2010

Your inbox is stuffed with junk mail.

You set up an RSS feed to your Google reader, but still haven’t gotten around to reading them.

You’re on information overload.  How can you possibly make any more time to read a newsletter?

First off, unsubscribe to anything you don’t read in a week.

Second, delete any job match postings or alerts you haven’t responded to in a week.  Those emails are now obituaries.

Finally, commit to reading 1 article from a newsletter a day.   Just one?  Yes, make it a digestible bite.

And here’s three e-newsletters worth reading:

The Ladders – frequency: nearly daily during the work week

I don’t put a lot of stock in paying for job leads from The Ladders.  Early on in my job search I had a paid subscription to their service.  But after several months of the same thing, I packed it up and changed my focus to using Indeed.  If you want to know my main complaint, most of the opportunities that the Ladders presented to me told me to go to the corporate website and apply.  In addition, the same job would be listed multiple times, but as being in differing locations.

That said, why bother with the Ladders at all?  Well, it turns out their articles on job search strategies are pretty good.  You can sign up for a “free” account with them and get a subscription to their newsletter.  Sure, their trying to sell their service, but you don’t have to buy what their selling.

Harold Meder’s newsletter – frequency: about every two weeks

There’s a lot to be said for simplicity, and that’s what you get with Harold Meder’s RTP, North Carolina  Career Development Resources website. It’s simple, mostly text, easy to read, easy to digest.  And the gem of the site is the opportunity to sign up for Harold’s newsletters.  Harold publishes the Triangle Area Career Development Newsletter.  It is a listing of events of professional interest, including: Biotech/Health/Pharma Computing, Engineering, Job Fairs, Management, Networking, Quality, Self Improvement, Software Development, System Administration, and Technical Writing.  The newsletter comes out about every two weeks, and there is always at least one event that should make your calendar.

CED Newsletter – frequency: at least once a week

The Center for Entrepreneurial Development (a.k.a. CED) is based in RTP.  Their newsletter is a wealth of information up and coming companies in North Carolina – many locally here in the triangle.  There’s more value here than meets the eye.  The reason?  The CED not only provides information on the programs they sponsor, but the events sponsored by CED sponsors.  Confused, don’t be.  Just know established companies who sponsor CED activities — many of whom are leading triangle and national companies — have their activities and programs highlighted in CED newsletters at least twice monthly.  These are excellent opportunities to learn more about companies you may be targeting in your job search, network with people who are employed, and gain a general understanding of different verticals.

So clean out your inbox, then go and subscribe.  You’ll have a wealth of information at your fingertips.  You can always unsubscribe.

Do you have an electronic newsletter subscribe to and read regularly?  Leave us a comment and let us know what works for you.


Strange things are afoot at the Circle K… er, blog

August 17th, 2010

Well, perhaps not that strange…  I’m actively trying to make the website more useful, so there are a few changes here and there…

You may have noticed the changes in layout – the links for Job Boards and Aggregators is now an entire page found via the tabs up there at the top of the page.  I’ve expanded out the boards that I had previously listed based on a presentation I recently gave at Hope Community Church’s Job Seeker’s group.

I’ve started a page with resources for Entrepreneurs and Self-Employed folks.  It seems there are a lot of people who are thinking about going this route – whether it is starting their own business, contracting while searching for that right opportunity, or doing consulting as a bridge until the right job comes along.  Regardless, the resources listed may help you if you are trying to pull together a marketing plan, weigh your options on whether to be an S-Corp or an LLC, or understand what forms need to be filed with the IRS.  There is a lot of information and free resources out there, so this list will be expanding regularly.

You may have heard from a little birdie that has started to tweet on Twitter.  The truth is people have been asking me to mention their events, job openings, classes they are teaching, job groups out there and there just was too much to blog about — and most of it wasn’t new or exclusive to me.  So the easiest way for me to get the word out and for you to find it Twitter.  So sign up, sign on, and follow @jwjobblog – all the tweets the triangle has to offer in one place.

If you have any suggestions as to resources, job boards, or events I may have missed, things you’d like to see tweeted, or professional organizations you’d like to see listed, please email me at jw at jwjobblog dot com.  Or leave a comment below.

So on to what is new with you?  Anything strange going on with your job search?  What other roads are you traveling to expand your options for employment?  Leave us a comment.