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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: July, 2009

POSTED: Tuesday, July 7, 2009, 3:25 AM

We've been doing a lot of talk about networking and super-charged job hunting techniques. But how do you find a job if you are a blue collar person -- not in the upper ranks? That's the question that reader Jean Haskell asked in an email. She makes her point in the context of  the work of Ford Myers, the local career coach and author of the recently-released "Get the Job You Want Even When No One's Looking." I interviewed him in the Philadelphia Inquirer and have been blogging about his work lately. Rather than paraphrase her point of view, I'll just copy and paste her email and hope that someone will have a suggestion. Meantime, I'll try to squeeze in some digging on my own to answer her question.

Here's Jean's email:

I enjoyed your article on Ford Myers, whom I know, and for
whom I have great respect and admiration for the work that
he does.

However, the information about how to find a job, while
excellent, is limited, and applies only to well-educated people
seeking relatively high paying white collar jobs.  

What about the people who are seeking lower paying blue
collar jobs?  Is there a career counselor who can give them
some assistance?  They certainly need it.


Jane Von Bergen @ 3:25 AM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Monday, July 6, 2009, 4:00 AM

There's one more tip I liked from my Philadelphia Inquirer interview last week with Ford Myers, a local career coach who wrote a book titled Get the Job You Want Even When No One's Hiring. I'll copy and paste it from my interview notes. This is material that didn't get into the paper for space reasons. What he's talking about here is a letter to be sent to a job that seems really perfect for you. You now are trying to distinguish yourself from hundreds of other candidates.

(By the way, please excuse any typeface weirdness.)

Ford: I call it the “Perfect Match Letter.”  Because what you’re doing is — let’s say you see a job posting on the Internet.  You know and I know that they’re going to get a thousand applicants.  And the typical cover letter says, “Dear Sir or Madam, I saw your ad.  It looks really interesting.  Here’s my resume.  Please call me.” 

Jane Von Bergen @ 4:00 AM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Friday, July 3, 2009, 4:35 AM

Well, the U.S. Labor Department dispatched its usual grim report yesterday about the economy shedding 467,000 jobs and the unemployment rate creeping up to 9.5 percent in June. That's why it's key for those of you who are unemployed to be strategic about your job search. On Monday, I interviewed local career coach Ford Myers in the Philadelphia Inquirer. He wrote a book titled Get the Job You Want When No One's Hiring. Myers talks alot about networking. What follows is one of his suggestions from parts of the interview that didn't make into the newspaper for space reasons.

Ford: Remember I said earlier that you don’t want to come across as a desperate job seeker, but instead you want to be a solution provider.  So, let’s pretend that you’re at a networking meeting, and let’s say it’s a really good one.  And things are really clicking and you feel a real connection and the person’s really engaged and listening to everything you say, and you see a connection. You can really sense that they have some issues or some needs or some problems back at their company that you are ideally positioned to contribute [to help them.] 


Jane Von Bergen @ 4:35 AM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Thursday, July 2, 2009, 10:55 AM

With the unemployment rate at 9.5 percent and the nation's payrolls shedding 467,000 jobs, according to today's report by the U.S. Labor Department, it's no wonder that panicked job seekers may decide to turn to a career coach. Whether that's a good idea depends on the coach, your wallet and whether you can conduct your job search on your own.

I've been writing about Ford Myers, the local career coach who wrote a book titled Get the Job You Want Even When No One's Hiring. Recently I received an email from Mitch Ehrlich, who hired Myers, but was not satisfied with his work. I'll print the email, provide Myers' response and add my own observation.

Dear Ms. Von Bergen:

Jane Von Bergen @ 10:55 AM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Wednesday, July 1, 2009, 11:35 AM

When it comes to looking for a job, there's a lot of unavoidable grunt work involved. One of the first and most important elements is to compile your contact list, if you haven't already, said Ford Myers, author of "Get the Job You Want Even When No One's Hiring." If your list is in scattered places like mine is, then it can be a ridiculous, albeit necessary grunt job.

I interviewed Ford in Monday's Philadelphia Inquirer. Click here to read it. I'm now adding more of the interview -- focusing on contacts. Contacts are key because networking is key and obviously, you can't network without contacts.  (Please excuse any typeface weirdness.) 

Jane:  You mentioned in your book making a tremendously long list of contacts. Should you include the people you network with in this list?

Ford: Well, sure. You’re going to add that person and everyone they referred you to into your database. Now, your database includes the person’s name, email, and phone number. We don’t really need so much the street address anymore. But certainly email, name, and phone number.
    Now, the database for your contact list needs to be consolidated, needs to be organized. For example, if you’re like most people you have some of your contacts in your address book next to your phone, some of it’s in Outlook, some of it’s in your Palm Pilot, some of it’s in old manila folders, some of it is stacks of business cards. 
Jane: Exactly. That's me.
Ford:  Now’s the time to slow down and get it all organized. Even if you have to hire someone for $5 or $10 and hour — it’s worth it. You’ve got to get that thing organized.  
     Your list of contacts is your single most valuable asset in your career. There’s nothing more valuable. Not your education, not your wardrobe, not your brains. It’s your contact list. That is your single most valuable asset. 
Jane:  Now should you have—you know how your contact lists have categories? 
Ford:  Some people insist on putting into categories. But—to me, honestly—I don’t think that’s necessary. I almost don’t want people to categorize. I’ll tell you why. When people start categorizing their list, what they do is they start prioritizing. And they say, “Well, this person knows about my business and this person’s really well-connected, so I’m going to focus on them and call them first.” But I don’t believe in that. I believe that everybody—whether it’s your mechanic or your hairdresser or your real estate agent or the chairman of a gigantic corporation—has people to introduce you to. I don’t want people to pre-judge the people on their list. You can’t assume who people know and who they don’t know. 
Jane Von Bergen @ 11:35 AM  Permalink | 0
About this blog

Jobbing covers the workplace – employment, unemployment, management, unions, legal issues, labor economics, benefits, work-life balance, workforce development, trends and profiles.

Jane M. Von Bergen writes about workplace issues for the Inquirer.

Married to a photographer she met at her college newspaper, Von Bergen has been a reporter since fourth grade, covering education, government, retailing, courts, marketing and business. “I love the specific detail that tells the story,” she says.

Reach Jane M. at

Jane M. Von Bergen Inquirer Staff Writer