Some of the books that I've featured in The Job Stalker have been “marketing” books and not about the job search per se. The present book is sort of in an in-between zone. Patrick Schwerdtfeger's Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed: Leverage Resources, Establish Online Credibility and Crush Your Competition is also sort of in a “grey area”, as it keeps veering away from advice to (what I would recognize as) the “self-employed” (which I would argue would have a lot of commonalities with the job seeker) and into material more to the point to the concerns of small business owners. This is no doubt due to this book being a re-working of a previous book (from only a couple of years ago) which was showing small business owners how to effectively get on the web … and it appears that much of this was not significantly re-worked from that.
However, with this one (non-trivial) caveat, I found Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed quite useful on a number of levels, and felt that it would be something that would be of interest to readers of this blog. First of all, I found a dozen or so pieces of information, advice, and context here that I'd not encountered previously and that stood out compared to a whole lot of other books I've read. Secondly, I was impressed with the structure of the book, it has seven sections which pretty much walk the reader through the logical steps of creating web marketing (and this could be from dog walking services to pizza places … he doesn't address the job search here, but much of the dynamics of building up these sorts of business are transferable to getting oneself known within a particular niche), with eighty 2-3 page chapters which go into details on the particular elements involved. What stands out in these is that he also provides an “action item” check list for each, so as you familiarize yourself with a specific service, practice, or discipline, you have a “do this, then do this, then do that” plan to follow. Needless to say, I did not, in the course of going through this for review, go into these steps, but they were impressively thought out.
Here's a sampling of the sort of “coaching” that Schwerdtfeger does throughout the book:
When starting a new project, expect chaos at first. Expect disaster. Expect frustration. But also take comfort knowing that three hours later, when you've finally figured it out, you'll have one more layer of online activity – one more layer of credibility – in place. Initiate one new project each week. Maybe you can do it on Friday afternoon when you're not as busy as the rest of the week. One by one, you can endure the frustration and tackle another strategy, each one adding another layer to the mix.
As always, there's more details in my review so do go check that out.
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On a more “job search” topic … has anyone ever had a useful experience with a job fair? I was off at one this morning, which had only six companies exhibiting, four of which were looking for 100% commission sales reps, and the other two looking to sell you continuing education! In the past 27 months that I've been looking for work, I've probably gone to a couple of dozen job fairs of various sorts, and have only once had anything close to a meaningful exchange about a position that I had any hope of being hired for. Has anybody who's not in sales ever gotten even an interview from one of these cattle calls? I'd love to hear the details.
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