Catching Up with Jason Alba

I recently had an opportunity to talk with Jason Alba!

Jason is the CEO and creator of, a web-based system to organize and manage a job search (and the networking you do between job searches). He is a certified Personal Branding Strategist and popular blogger and speaker about career management and social tools for professionals. Jason wrote I’m on LinkedIn – Now What???, one of the first books on using LinkedIn. He also wrote I’m on Facebook – Now What??? and is finishing two more books (Eight Lunches, for entrepreneurs, and a book on social etiquette). Jason maintains several blogs, including, and contributes to the AOL Jobs blog. In his spare time, he created the LinkedIn for Job Seekers DVD. Jason has an IT and business background and earned a Computer Information Systems degree and an MBA.

Jason’s own job loss in 2006 prompted him to start JibberJobber and begin his new life as an entrepreneur. Before getting into the interview, here’s a short informational video on JibberJobber:

TJQ: How does JibberJobber make networking easier?

JA: One of my users said that JibberJobber was his “virtual assistant,” allowing him to focus on more important things than spend too much time trying to keep all of this data organized.

The reality is, for many people, networking is hard for various reasons. But a tool like JibberJobber really helps take care of some of the drudgery. For example, before I had JibberJobber I knew I was supposed to “network,” but following up with everyone seemed impossible simply because I couldn’t remember who I had followed up with and who I hadn’t followed up with. JibberJobber makes this one task significantly easier.

TJQ: Is JibberJobber only for job seekers?

JA: Not at all – I designed JibberJobber to be a long-term career management tool. What this means is that anyone who is interested in organizing and managing their personal or professional relationships should use JibberJobber, regardless of their employment status (employed, unemployed, etc.).

It is primarily marketed to job seekers, but many professionals have seen value in using it even when they aren’t in a job search. Freelancers, contractors and business owners (like me) use it as a CRM (customer relationship manager)… There are a lot of similarities between customer relationship management and personal relationship management.

TJQ: At what point in a career should a person start using a tool like JibberJobber to organize their contacts?

JA: I would like to see people in college start using JibberJobber. Think about all of the professional relationships you start to make in college. And, most of the students you hang out with have parents in decision-making or influencing roles, right? Why not start to grow your database from that point?

Aside from that, though, it is never too late to get started – I have users who start in their mid-sixties because they know how important relationships are in a career, and they have huge networks that they need help with.

TJQ: For job seekers and for those who wants to effectively manage their careers, what would you say is the one best way to position themselves as an authority in their fields?

JA: That is a great question. I’m not sure there is one best way. I favor a lot of what you can do online, especially with blogs. Some of my favorite professionals with strong personal brands have created a blog to showcase their professional breadth and depth. Others might consider writing a book on their area of expertise (this is a lot easier than what many people think). Others might do a lot of offline, face-to-face networking. I’d say it depends on your personality and your skill set (I’ve met plenty of people who don’t like to write at all, so the first two suggestions are out).

TJQ: You’ve got a third book in the works, Eight Lunches. What can you tell me about your upcoming book, and what was the inspiration behind it?

JA: Eight Lunches is a series of dialogs between two entrepreneurs who are discussing business success principles. The dialogs happen over the course of two months, where these two entrepreneurs meet at a sandwich shop for lunch each Friday afternoon. One is more experienced and the other struggling, so it makes for an interesting discussion.

There were two inspirations for this book. The first, and more altruistic reason, is to share my experiences and learnings of being in business for myself for the last four years. It tells my story in a way that helps others who are thinking about being entrepreneurs. I think many of today’s job seekers will be tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and this book will help them get through some of the issues they’ll face.

The second inspiration, and I share this to help your readers understand the power of being an author, is to help me get more speaking engagements in a different field. I’ve spoken a lot about my core business and LinkedIn and social marketing but I’ve always been interested in speaking about entrepreneurial topics. Even though I’m an entrepreneur, I’m not necessarily “qualified” in the mind of people looking for speakers on this topic. However, as a published author of an entrepreneur book, that will change overnight. Interesting, isn’t it?

TJQ: When is Eight Lunches going to be available?

JA: Hopefully this fall. I am going through the second of three editing phases and then will send it to my copy editor, and have to get art and layout done…. this is my summer project 🙂

One other cool thing that Jason has going on is some JibberJobber specials related to the 4th anniversary of his awesome service! All you have to do is tell him that Melissa from The Job Quest sent ya when you order either Bundle 1 or Bundle 2.

To read more on Jason and his thoughts, go to his blogs on JibberJobber and He can also be found on Twitter.

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