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Interview Tips: Handling Objections

The best way to handle an objection is to anticipate and pre-handle it before it ever comes up. If that isn’t possible, then the best way to deal with an objection is to question it and then turn the objection into the very reason why your idea should be accepted.

3 Ways to Determine Your Long-Term Career Direction

Choosing a career is a much more complicated process than taking a simple career test. We have clients come to us often who want to find that ideal job, and have read a book or taken a career assessment only to still feel lost. It’s frustrating, understandably, because we all want to be successful and happy with our choice of career.

4 Tips to Improve Your Career - and Happiness

If you’re feeling despondent about your career, lack of growth probably tops the reason list for why. Before you decide to bail on your present job, construct a plan for going forward that improves your situation.

Why Your Resume Is Like a Burger

A resume is made up of many different layers, not unlike a burger. It needs to have a "bun," or strong foundation to start with that gets the point across of who you are and where you want to go.

Don't Let Fear Hold You Back

Many times we react to situations with feelings of fear, weakness, or negative energy. But really, fear prevents you from being open to new directions and solutions. How you can get over your fears?

Are You Job Hunting the Wrong Way?

Doing things the wrong way over and over won't get a better result. Consider these alternatives.

Raise the Bar

You may be reading this at work. Why is that? Shouldn’t you be working? Shouldn’t you be so engaged in what you’re doing that reading a blog post, or checking email, or your Facebook account is the last thing on your mind?

Why We Hate Updating Our Résumés and What to Do About It

Every few years (or whenever the need arises), we engage in a loathsome activity that is about as pleasurable as getting a root canal at the dentist. It’s called updating our résumé.

If It's Not on Your Resume, Did You Really Do It?

The professional world is smaller than you think — many job opportunities depend on whom you know. So by omitting a job or an internship that you held in college, you could miss out on potential connections with hiring managers.

7 Deadly Job-Search Sins and How to Avoid Them

Thousands of skilled marketing, PR, and advertising people are looking for new opportunities in an uncertain economy. Many will make common errors that can hurt their chances for finding a new job. Here are the 7 deadly sins you need to avoid.

5 Ways To Get Noticed By Your Boss

Regardless of who the big boss is, the person who has the greatest impact on how quickly you move along your career path is usually the person you report to directly.

4 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview

The hiring process is a two-way street. You will want to make sure that the job will be a good fit for you. Having some telling questions of your own will help you to make the right decision and make sure that the job will be everything you think it will be.

12 Tips to Become a Better Presenter (Part 4)

You have a clear purpose, you understand your audience, you have a robust and compelling structure, and you now even have a high-impact opening. Now you are in your stride, and it’s time for the fireworks.

3 Ways to Set Meaningful Career Goals

A goal, by definition, is the object of a person's ambition or effort. Goals are what keep us moving forward in life, and reaching them gives us great satisfaction. But when it comes to work, 80% of people are not passionate about what they do.

Tips for Responding to Your Strengths and Weaknesses

First, remember that your integrity is one of the most important qualities that the interviewer will be gauging. Therefore, only tell her or him things that are true and that people who know you would back up. Here are some suggestions that most hiring managers appreciate.

11 Tips for Negotiating Your First Salary

Negotiating your first salary presents a major challenge. You have not been trained in the art of negotiation, face strong competition, have a deep emotional connection to your work, and often feel some insecurity about your talents. The following discussion is designed to help you obtain the salary you deserve.

5 Small Workplace Changes That Will Make You More Productive

Walking into any creative agency, it's not likely that you'll see stale colors and environments with a boring corporate touch. Creatives simply cannot bear spaces devoid of a stimulating design. Here are five small changes you can apply to your office right now and enjoy a greater creative output.

4 Tips to Maximize Your First Impression

Making a good first impression in an interview is critical. In fact, the first 10 seconds may be it.

Making Better Career Decisions

Career Regret: When you realize the career you've spent so much time working on isn't a good fit. Here are three tips to make better decisions.

Your 6 Step Guide to Going Freelance

Would YOU like a job you can do from home, on your own schedule? Doesn’t that sound great? Just know — there’s no starting salary, no benefits, no support staff, and no free coffee. And no clients or leads.

Go Beyond SMART When Setting Goals

Setting SMART goals is a great way to stay focused and advance in your career. But sometimes we focus too much on a goal being SMART and we forget to ask ourselves if we even like the goal, are inspired by it, or if it’s the right one.

4 Tips When You're In A New Job With No Training

Being thrown into the deep end in a new job with unclear expectations or mentoring can be difficult and stressful. But there are specific steps you can implement to take the reins and get a handle on the situation.

4 Ways to Manage Workplace Negativity, Starting With You

Negative feelings on the job are inevitable, just like any other area of our lives. But when negative thoughts and attitudes linger, or you feel that your work environment is negative and influencing your day-to-day attitude on the job, it can become more of a problem than just the usual day-to-day challenges we can face at the office.

Careers and Clinical Drug Trials and Tribulations

Things had become a bit challenging where I worked, at EMA, and we had experienced some layoffs due to the ups and downs of the economy and how it impacted the advertising industry. One day, I got called into my boss’s office...

Career Advice: Care, But Not That Much

You are not your work. Your work can be a source of satisfaction and a channel for your talents and interests or it can be a means to fund a meaningful life or find a partner.

Four Tips for Networking Outside the Box

Creating human connections, developing and leveraging them, is key to creating potential opportunities to "cut the line" and get on the radar.

You Might Want to Leave That Out!

I cannot tell you how many times I have sat in portfolio reviews during the hiring process and heard someone say, "This person has some great ideas, but he or she can't recognize the good from the great." You might think that isn't too bad a comment, but it is deeper than many realize.

Using Social Media to Strengthen Your Personal Brand

We all understand the importance of having a professional brand. It allows us to communicate our value to others easily, the skills and experience that make us stand out from everyone else in our industry.

What's More Important: Salary or Job Security?

Which excites you more? A job with long-term security that you can really sink your teeth into, or a job with an impressive pay packet and a dash more risk?

10 Ways to Get Better at Your Job

Advertising, media, and marketing are about negotiating a constantly changing universe of ideas and technology. Here are ten fundamental attitudes and behaviors to help you to zig and zag your way to success.

Two Questions for Job Hunters

If you need or want to make a timely, successful career move, one of your contacts may know of a job opening that would be ideal for you. If you let your contacts know that you’d appreciate their help, most people will oblige.

Job Hunters: Brand or Be Branded

The job market today is like a dangerous wolf pit; only the strongest, fiercest, and most versatile make it through. The value of a well-earned degree is no longer what it once was; even a well-qualified individual has a hard time getting a well-paying job. The only way to get ahead of your competitors is by setting yourself apart. Sounds easy, right?

Networking: Best Job Hunting Method Ever...or Overrated Tool?

You’ve no doubt heard or read that networking is the best way to get a job. Many self-described job hunting experts preach that the best jobs are never advertised, and that networking is how to get one of them. The people who promote networking rarely explain exactly how exactly you’re supposed to proceed to actually land one of those dream jobs via networking. It’s just assumed that everyone knows.

Listening: A Simple Pattern with a Big Payoff

As he began to leave nearly an hour later, he asked one question I’d heard before: “What’s the most important communication rule I need to know for my business?” “Well,” I responded, “not the talking I’ve been doing here. Instead, ask a couple highly relevant questions and listen, listen, and listen. Then clarify the responses with another question or two, and listen, listen, and listen some more. At the end of an hour you’ll know a great deal of highly useful client information.” He nodded in very strong affirmation.

The Fight to Save a Life

In March of 2009, Chris and I went to Destin, FL so that she could take a break from her cancer treatments. She had completed her first rounds of chemotherapy, and desperately needed an escape from her everyday life.

4 Tips from Smart, Strategic, Effective Job Hunters

Today job hunters contend with more than a poor economy and lots of talented competitors. Most don’t know how to hunt for a job so their efforts are smart, strategic, and effective.

5 Factors to Ask a Hiring Manager and Yourself Before Accepting a Job Offer

You’ve landed a job interview. That’s great news! Surely you will want to prepare well for the interview. You will want to prepare your STAR stories, know which strengths to talk about, and the general questions the hiring manager will most likely ask. However, sometimes in the preparation process, we forget about things to ask the hiring manager and factors to ask ourselves before accepting the job.

Avoid Career Regret: Making Better Professional Decisions

“Never regret. If it's good, it's wonderful. If it's bad, it's experience.” - Victoria Holt In life, we all experience some form of regret. It can be hard to have Victoria Holt’s positive point of view and see regret as a learning opportunity — harder still when someone realizes that the career they spent so much time working towards isn’t a good fit.

Quick Marketing Tips for Job Hunters

Focus your efforts and energy on getting interviews with hiring authorities. If your main focus is on getting a job, you might do something that cripples your chances of getting interviews—like filling out an application online or sending a resume—which will be screened by HR, regardless of whom you sent it to.

Call It Two Cents of Advice

Has your better judgment ever yelled “cut!” like a director when composing email/text/social media post? If so, consider that a save from spewing the dreaded regrettable. It’s your good gut manners way of red-flagging what you wanted to say and letting you know what you should say. Call it an etiquette edit.

4 Personal Branding Habits of Highly Successful People

Why are some people successful while other talented people fall short? Desire and talent are always the main ingredients for achievement. However, highly successful people stand out not so much because of what they know or even who they know, but because of how they brand themselves.

4 Big Mistakes First-Time Job Hunters Make

It is the best job market for new grads we’ve seen since the Great Recession, but it will still be a competitive market with more qualified job seekers than entry-level jobs. The class of 2017 will bring 1.8 million new bachelor’s degree holders into the market. Many will come equipped with college debt — the typical grad carries $30,000 in college loans. It’s not surprising that a record number of young adults — as many as 1 in 3 — are living at home despite an improved job market according to a Pew Research Center study of Millennials ages 18–34.

Career Development At Any Level

Leaders, it is on you to take the reigns. It is on you to influence and inspire. Why lead followers when you can lead leaders who can help you influence those followers?

3 Tips to Stay Focused and Motivated When Working from Home

Working from home is becoming more standard practice for business professionals. 24% of business professionals worked from home in 2015 and that number is expected to grow. While working from home has a lot of benefits, it also comes with its own list of distractions. How can you stay focused and motivated?

How to Negotiate With Bullies

Behaving like a bully reduces negotiation skills because it blinds one from understanding the other person’s point of view. Victoria Pynchon, co-founder of She Negotiates Consulting and Training, puts it this way: “If you believe you have to force people to do what you want in order to get what you want, you won’t bother learning how to ‘sell’ them.”

3 Ways to Encourage Creative Thinking

We all know the expression “think outside the box” — be more innovative and creative at work. And when we’ve experienced this ourselves, I think we can all safely say we are more successful at work, and happier because we’re using our creative potential. But what happens when we can’t get there, and we get stuck inside the box, so to speak?

Why You Need to Think and Talk on Two Tracks: Part Two

In complex business conversations, metacomm can profoundly impact conversations and make them far more constructive and efficient—even timesaving. To a significant degree, metacomm functions to facilitate conversation and is highly useful for training participants in sequencing 101. In our studies and experience with metacomm, we have found a number of these forms especially useful.

Why You Need to Think and Talk on Two Tracks: Part One

One of the most difficult problems with collaborative conversation is staying on track. Smart people inevitably get waylaid by tangential ideas that are suggested by their meeting interactions. That’s precisely why many think that team meetings are such a waste.

No Turning Back

Chris and I were in shock. Her neurosurgeon at Duke University Hospital had just told us that she had bone cancer, and that Chris likely had less than five years left to live, since there was a ninety percent five-year mortality rate from the type of bone cancer that she had, which was osteosarcoma.

A Job Hunting Lesson From Trump vs. Hillary

This is about a critical difference between Trump’s campaign and Hillary’s that has nothing to do with voter registration, allegations of foreign attempts to interfere with the process or voter turnout on election day.

Eight Must-Do Steps to Land a New Job Now

To effectively seek work, think like a marketer and market yourself. Identify your unique selling proposition, carefully target your potential new employers, craft persuasive messages, and determine ways to get the attention and consideration you deserve. Finding a new job requires a Zen that’s comprised of patience, routine, sustained confidence, steady action, and considered risk-taking. But be realistic. Manage your nerves and marshal your resources.

How to Show Gratitude to Your Professional Connections

In today’s business world, we all want to get ahead and reach our career goals. It’s important to have a plan to know how to get there. But too many times, an important factor is left out: gratitude. Sometimes we focus so much on getting to the next level that we forget to take a moment to celebrate our accomplishments (being thankful for them), as well as thank those who have helped us along the way.

​Put Big Data to Use for Your Career Aspirations

The job market is becoming more competitive, and job seekers will find it increasingly difficult to land their desired jobs. If you want to get your dream job, you need to have a good understanding of the recruitment methods that are currently being used by companies and take the appropriate measures to make yourself more visible and attractive to potential employers.

3 Steps to Create Your Next Career Opportunity

Most professionals want to advance at work. Some do not (because they would prefer not to move into a management position where they are supervising others), but the majority of us want to advance in some way and, at least, continue to feel challenged by what we do.

8 Tips for Finding a Job in a Brand-New City

Relocation is undoubtedly exciting as a change of scenery usually is, but it can also be difficult. There are a million different reasons why people find themselves uprooted from one city and deposited in another. But there’s one common thing that everyone who has relocated shares: Starting over from scratch.

How to Get the Job that Will Rocket Your Career to the Top

How did this happen? You’re sitting there in a cubicle, watching the clock, waiting to get away from the misery. Everyone said you were going to be a star. Here you are, cranking out drivel. You’re not taking it lying down. You’ve got applications out to the best companies — the ones where you’ve dreamed of working since college. No luck yet, and frankly, you’re getting a little sick of them ignoring you. What’s up with that? You’re good. They should see that and at least acknowledge your existence.

Resume Myths That Will Keep You Floundering

MYTH: “Your resume is your primary marketing tool, and it needs to include detailed information about dates, duties, titles, companies, and industries where you have been employed in the past — plus the year you graduated from college, and what you majored in, and if you omit anything, it makes you seem suspicious."

Create the Best Image for Your Next Interview and Get Hired

Workplace dynamics aren't what they used to be. Turns out, crafting a stellar resume and nailing all the interview questions won't guarantee you get the job. A study conducted by Duke University researchers revealed a steep positive correlation between appearance and compensation.

Go from Great to the Ideal Job Candidate

It’s the one question every job hunter wants answered: How do I make myself stand out from all the other applicants? How can I outsmart everyone else?

Networking: Best Job Hunting Method Ever...or Overrated Tool?

You’ve no doubt heard or read that networking is the best way to get a job. Many self-described job hunting experts preach that the best jobs are never advertised, and that networking is how to get one of them. The people who promote networking rarely explain exactly how exactly you’re supposed to proceed to actually land one of those dream jobs via networking. It’s just assumed that everyone knows.

Tips for Networking at Large Events

Networking at large events is essential for making new connections, but it can seem overwhelming if you don’t know anyone in the room and it’s a very large event. It can also seem like an insurmountable challenge if you are more introverted than extroverted.

Staring Into the Abyss

In April of 2008, Chris and I went back to see her neurosurgeon for her one-year checkup. He asked her to get an MRI so that he could make sure that she was clear of spinal tumors. After Chris had the MRI scan, we went back to see her doctor about a week later to review the scan results. At that appointment, his news floored us.

5 Must-Do Tips For Creating Brand You

Success as a corporate executive, entrepreneur, or professional requires careful, calculated branding, both to enter the arena and to stay in the game. Top corporate executives, Hollywood icons, and high-profile athletes have long tapped into the branding model to create and build a personal brand. Now, savvy people in every field are using personal branding to be more successful.

10 Ways to Get Better at Your Job

Advertising, media, and marketing are about negotiating a constantly changing universe of ideas and technology. Here are ten fundamental attitudes and behaviors to help you to zig and zag your way to success.

4 Things to Ask Before Accepting a Job

Most times when we think of a job interview, we think of all the potential questions the hiring manager will ask us. The general questions, the personality-telling questions, and how to show our strengths during the interview process. But a lot of times business professionals forget to prepare questions to ask the hiring manager.

Lead Your Career By Leveraging Your Strengths

It would be wonderful to have a career that fits us, where we always use our strengths! Gallup affirms that if you are lucky enough to be able to do so, you will be six times as likely to feel engaged in your job. However, sometimes we don’t know what our real strengths are or how to properly use them in the workplace to our best advantage.

Six Cover Letter Mistakes To Avoid

If you think recruiters don't have the time to properly read your cover letter, you'd be surprised. In fact, a cover letter says a lot about a person — after screening the resumes of potential candidates, hiring managers usually turn to cover letters to see if a candidate will fit into the company’s culture.

If It's Not on Your Resume, Did You Really Do It?

Your résumé is the perfect test of your ability to gather, analyze, and translate information into an appealing package. By not including everything you’ve achieved or experienced, you’re telling the hiring manager that you don’t know your own value and how it relates to the business.

Tips for Responding to Your Strengths & Weaknesses

After you’ve responded to questions about your current and prior employment, you might be asked to name your strengths and weaknesses. First, remember that your integrity is one of the most important qualities that the interviewer will be gauging.

Networking Tips for Introverts

Some people are simply born for networking. They're able to connect with others in various contexts, keep the conversation going, and have the courage to talk to people they don't know. If you're an introvert and all of the above scares you, welcome aboard!

Four Things Agencies Look For In A Portfolio

Recently a recent college graduate lamented how agencies wouldn’t respond when she sent her portfolio for consideration. After learning that she had sent her work to some of the hottest agencies in our industry, I told her they had responded.

Direct Mail Copy That Gets Job Interviews

Tired of hoping to win the Resume Lottery in order to generate interviews? There’s a long-proven formula used by direct mail marketers that you can adapt for use in generating interviews. Known as AIDA, it lets you get interviews based on factors that you can win on, rather than those that are commonly used to screen you out.

Want to Improve Your Career? Know What You Don't Want

If you’re like most people, your career isn’t where you want it to be. The number one reason people leave a job is a lack of growth and opportunity. If you’re feeling despondent about your career, lack of growth probably tops the reason list for why. Before you decide to bail on your present job, construct a plan for going forward that improves your situation.

What Makes a Bestseller

Here’s what a champion does to close more sales and open more accounts. She or he has a strong sense of urgency and knows that it’s vital to motivate a prospective buyer to make a purchase TNT: Today, Not Tomorrow.

My ‘Probably Wrong’ Career Move

My brother-in-law just graduated from college. Smart kid, graduated with honors, headed into journalism, already has experience, clippings, etc. Juggling a couple job opportunities, trying to figure out what’s best for his first full-time gig. And it got me thinking about my own career, with all its ups and downs. Especially the early days, when I made a pretty important decision that I don’t necessarily regret — but was probably wrong, with the benefit of hindsight.

A Career Emergency Plan

Life is funny sometimes, in ways that you could never anticipate. Never in our wildest dreams could Chris and I have ever imagined that she would get a spinal tumor at the age of 37. We were not prepared for the upheaval and emotional challenges that it would bring, let alone the impact to our careers.

Why You Need a Personal Business Card and 6 Mistakes to Avoid

In the business world, you’re not a “bona fide” player unless you have a card. It’s especially important if you’re unemployed and actively going to networking events, job fairs, and interviews. Handing out your resume can be awkward at networking events. Your business card is your calling card. There’s nothing worse than meeting someone at a professional event and you have nothing to hand back but a ripped-up piece of paper or your old company card with your new contact information penciled in. Not exactly a great first impression.

Three Rookie Mistakes That Kill Careers

That moment may come in the first three months or the first anniversary of your first job. Maybe, if you’re thick-skinned, you don’t feel it until your second anniversary. It’s the moment you say to yourself, “This isn’t what I thought it would be.”

How to Stay Motivated To Reach Your Career Goals

Have your new year’s resolutions for your career lost their luster? If you started the year off with exciting plans and a timeline and did well for several months, but you’ve lost your enthusiasm, you’re not alone. As the months pass it’s easy to lose your enthusiasm for any goal, career or otherwise. Before you give up, read on to find your motivation. There are ways to get back in the saddle.

Tips & Pointers For The Three Kinds of Job Interviews You’re Most Likely To Have

When you meet with the hiring authority, she or he will be trying to gauge how you come across in three critical areas. Their most critical concern, whether verbalized or not, is: What can you do for me?

How to Reframe Your Interview

Few people actually enjoy interviews. But part of that is because of the way we perceive what's going down. An interviewer will sense the difference and that could help you get the job. So reframe these key elements for a much better experience.

Ready, Action, Shoot! 6 Tips for a Great Video Interview

More and more companies are using video services like Skype, Google Hangouts, and Join.Me to interview job candidates and for regular business meetings. Video conferences are a lot cheaper than face-to-face interviews and offer immediate insights. But doing well in video interviews takes some extra effort and understanding of the platform.

Three Ways to Determine Your Long-Term Career Direction

Choosing a career is a much more complicated process than taking a simple career test. We have clients come to us often who want to find that ideal job, and have read a book or taken a career assessment only to still feel lost. It’s frustrating, understandably, because we all want to be successful and happy with our choice of career.

Got Game? How to Become Your Most Hirable Self in Mobile Gaming

Mobile gaming is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, and requires a steady influx of new talent, ranging from illustrators, animators and programmers, to testers, marketing managers, and more. Using our own company as an example, we have over a thousand employees working across our eight global studios from all walks of life. In terms of hiring, we only care about one thing — do you have what it takes to be a game developer?

The Hidden Job Market: Fact or Myth?

You’ve no doubt heard that the best jobs are not advertised and are obtained by accessing the "hidden job market". Many resume writers, outplacement firms, career counselors, coaches, and networking groups all tout claims that a large percentage of the best jobs are in the so-called hidden job market, and that is where you should concentrate your job search efforts. Wait just a minute, though.

Don’t Let Fear Hold You Back

Fear. This could be the biggest thing holding you back in your career. Nine out of ten times this is an obstacle for clients, because it’s not just about not knowing career direction, but a fear of making a change and trying something new. We encourage our clients to make decisions with strength and positivity. Many times we react to situations with feelings of fear, weakness, or negative energy. But really, fear prevents you from being open to new directions and solutions. How you can get over your fears? Here is a three-step process to dealing with your fears.

5 Ways I Got Freelance Clients (And You Can, Too)

Freelance clients can be hard to find — whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in the business for 20 years. Sadly, there are no sure-fire ways to get freelance (unless you have a big family with lots of executives and/or entrepreneurs in it). I’ve always done freelance work on the side. It never interferes or competes with my regular work, and it’s a great way to make extra money and keep my writing skills fresh. (Because the “Hashtag Wars” Twitter contest on Comedy Central’s “@Midnight” is a different kind of writing.) So I’ve had to double up my efforts to get freelance, and it’s actually going pretty well. Here’s five tactics to try — along with the stories that inspired them.

4 Tips from Smart, Strategic, Effective Job Hunters

Today job hunters contend with more than a poor economy and lots of talented competitors. Most don’t know how to hunt for a job so their efforts are smart, strategic, and effective. Here are four tips adapted from my new book, Graduate to a Great Career, on how to get a great, not just okay, job that I learned from successful job hunters.

Interviewee or Interviewer: The Waiting is the Hardest Part

I’ve been on both sides of the hiring process — both as interviewee and interviewer. Although our company has a multi-step process that can take a month or so, it seems to work. (We have a great team.) But it’s tough to wait, from each side of the process...

I Read What You Wrote Last Summer: Your Online Footprint

When it comes to professionals seeking marketing, PR, and advertising careers, your resume is not your first impression — your social media footprint is. I mean, if you can’t market yourself, how could I possibly trust you to market my company?

If You Aspire to be a Great Leader, Cultivate These Qualities

Abraham Lincoln is still a symbol of the best of America, and in 2008 historian Doris Kearns Goodwin listed the ten qualities that made Lincoln such a great leader as well as the qualities we should look for in our present leaders.

Millennials at Work

MILLENNIALS ARE ME ME ME MANIACS. Millennials grew up in an atmosphere in which everyone got a trophy for every effort, and everything they did was received in a positive and supportive way. In particular, they took their parents’ focus to heart deciding it was all about “me me me,” therefore in a professional setting one might assume they think that everything they do is perfect and they only want praise.

3 Ways to Promote Yourself to Achieve Your Professional Goals

Whether you are looking for a new job or you are working towards a promotion, it’s important to know how to promote yourself. After all, you have to be able to show why you deserve the position over all the other candidates. Promoting or selling yourself is also important if you want to expand your professional network.

Manage Those Negative Nellies

Everyone wants to succeed in their career path. Henry Ford said, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” Unfortunately, not everyone moves forward together, and not everyone in our lives is positive about us moving forward in the career path we have chosen, whether they intend to be that way or not. Or they are simply negative about their own life course and in the process can inadvertently cause our own negative feelings to creep up.

Eleven Tips for Negotiating Your First Salary

Negotiating your first salary presents a major challenge. You have not been trained in the art of negotiation, face strong competition, have a deep emotional connection to your work, and often feel some insecurity about your talents. The following discussion is designed to help you obtain the salary you deserve.

How To Stay Positive During An Office Morale Slump

It can creep up on you slowly. The general grumblings around the office get louder and more frequent, coworkers start calling in sick more often, maybe your managers crack down hard without sympathy, and before you know it your entire workplace is suffering from a case of the occupational blues. Low morale is a serious issue that can hurt productivity, create a rapid decline in overall cooperation, and most importantly, deeply trouble the individuals spending a significant amount of their time working in a situation that is emotionally unhealthy.

The Biggest Mistake Job Seekers Make

If you are currently seeking employment and you have done the following, you may feel like you’re doing everything right: You’ve updated your resume and LinkedIn profile. You are regularly sending in applications online. You are attending networking events. You’re expanding your network through LinkedIn.

If It’s Not on Your Résumé, Did You Really Do It?

If someone tried to sell you a new smartphone but only told you how great the touchscreen and battery life were, would you buy it? Probably not. You would have more questions: How fast is the processor? How great is the camera? Are there any cool video features? If the salesperson only presented you with a few of the smartphone’s best features, he would be selling the product short, and he probably wouldn’t be selling you at all.

Why Selfies Could Tank Your Job Search

The recent buzz in the media regarding selfies and narcissism, and the fact that most employers will now Google their prospective employees, begs the question of whether the selfie can harm your job search. It’s a great question, and while it would be difficult to predict or study, as with anything related to your career, it’s better to err on the side of caution. Here’s why and what to do about it.

Three Things to Avoid to Be a Good Leader

To be a successful leader, it is important to help your employees grow. Because new hires are the future of your organization, it is critical to train them well and empower them to become successful in their role as well as within your organization. Not everyone understands intuitively how to lead. Here are some common errors that even the most well-intentioned leader can make and what you should avoid in your own leadership role.

Forget Your Name: What’s Your Persona?

In most companies (and hiring teams) there are one or two interviewers who are good with names. The rest are likely to compare you based on persona. In the final rounds of recruiting, when everyone is equally qualified, that is when hiring decisions boil down to discussions about persona. Your demeanor, your confidence.

Best Career Advice: Move! It’s Part Of Your Job

If you wear a smartwatch, you are quite familiar with the pesky nudge to “stand.” While that can be as annoying as a mother’s huck to stand up straight, it’s for the same good reason: you and your well-being. And a better well-being makes for a much happier person, on and off the job. Right? No matter how active you think you are after clocking out, it never hurts to squeeze a little more “me” time when planted at a desk for hours on end to help get the kinks out.

How Losing Your Job Can Be the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You

Losing your job can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. In some cases, it actually could be the best thing that has ever happened to you! I had a client, years ago, call me, and she sounded great — much better than she ever had during our previous coaching sessions. Two minutes into the conversation she said, “I got fired last week and I’m so happy!” She had wanted to move on for a long time. So if you’ve recently lost your job, although we know in many ways it’s not ideal, here are a few ways to reflect on your situation and find the silver lining.

Up Your Career, One Step at a Time

You've graduated college, landed a decent job with room for advancement, and are satisfied with your pay. So now what? Unfortunately, you can't just coast along, even if you're not looking to get promoted right away. Nowadays, people need to continue investing in themselves in order to simply keep their current job.

Timing: When to Do What in a Job Search

​Timing may not be everything, but in job hunting, some times are better than others.

5 Small Workplace Changes That Will Make You More Productive

Paying close attention to recent research into various workplace issues that impact employee productivity is crucial if you want your office to help you be more creative. Walking into any creative agency, it's not likely that you'll see stale colours and environments with a boring corporate touch. Creatives simply cannot bear spaces devoid of a stimulating design.

The 12 Most Crucial Steps to Crafting a Killer Résumé

Sometimes applying for jobs feels like casting baited hooks into murky waters in the hopes of catching a big fish. Similarly, applicants push résumés out to job boards and recruiters, eager to hook a recruiter and land an interview. But with so many applications flowing into recruiters’ inboxes, how can job seekers make their résumés stand out in a sea of applicants? Here are 12 vital steps to creating a standout résumé:

The Do’s and Don’ts of Interviewing

Having made it over the transition hump from college graduate to gainfully employed PR and ad agency staffer, I have had my fair share of interviews. It’s fascinating to be “on the inside” and hear what agencies deal with as they search to fill more positions. Because of this, I’ve decided to provide a few do’s and don’ts of interviewing etiquette that might help you get in the door at a PR firm or ad agency.

Why Attending Office Parties Matters

There are several kinds of office events that let you socialize with other people in your workplace. Even if they may seem trivial or unnecessary, partaking in these social events may also yield positive effects.

Why Your Resume Is Like a Burger

Nothing gets your foot through a recruiter’s door like an intriguing CV. Here are some simple rules that you can follow to achieve a coherent and effective resume. A resume is made up of many different layers, not unlike a burger. It needs to have a "bun," or strong foundation to start with that gets the point across of who you are and where you want to go. This is the first thing the recruiter sees, and either encourages them to look further or put it in the "no" pile with the rest.

Avoid Career Regret: Making Better Professional Decisions

“Never regret. If it's good, it's wonderful. If it's bad, it's experience.” - Victoria Holt In life, we all experience some form of regret. It can be hard to have Victoria Holt’s positive point of view and see regret as a learning opportunity — harder still when someone realizes that the career they spent so much time working towards isn’t a good fit.

Drawing People To Your Strengths

When I teach people how to interview well, I am actually teaching people how to point out their defined strengths. Not sure what your defined strengths are? Join the club! I’ll help you identify those strengths, and explain how to let people know about them when you read…

Facing the Fear: Take Control of Your Career Transition

Thinking of making a career change immobilizes most people with fear. Whether you are aiming for a slight adjustment or a dramatic shift, altering your career path in any way can be overwhelming. And let’s face it — conducting a job search is not anyone’s idea of a good time. Often, job seekers choose to ignore the challenge instead of face it head-on. As a result, they end up years later in the same job they do not enjoy, wondering where the time went.

‘That’s Not How Coaching Works’

It was a classic case of misunderstanding. But since more than 50% of all messages are loaded with misunderstanding, it wasn’t especially unusual. Here’s how it happened. The other evening I was having dinner with a half-dozen colleagues, all of whom are retired university faculty and administrators. Some really smart guys. The conversation veered into questions about my consulting and coaching and one of them asked how I “advise my clients.” “That’s not how it works,” I responded.

Reality-Based Answers to Common Job Search Questions

Is it smarter to focus on landing a job or on getting interviews? Answer: Focus on getting interviews with someone that can hire you. If you focus mainly on getting a job, you might inadvertently do something that spoils your chances of getting interviews, e.g., sending a resume to HR.

4 Personal Branding Habits of Highly Successful People

Why are some people successful while other talented people fall short? Desire and talent are always the main ingredients for achievement. However, highly successful people stand out not so much because of what they know or even who they know, but because of how they brand themselves.

Which Job-Hunting Method is Best For You?

Resumes tell, marketing letters sell. Save your resume and send it after interest has been expressed in you. An effective marketing letter has the additional advantage of pre-selling you, thus making it more likely that your interview will be mainly about chemistry, and less of an interrogation.

Five Ways to Get Noticed by Your Boss

Regardless of who the big boss is, the person who has the greatest impact on how quickly you move along your career path is usually the person you report to directly. This is why it is important that he or she not only pays attention to your work but appreciates the effort and expertise that you bring to your position. In the modern workplace this can be more difficult than ever with the emergence of team collaboration and remote work agreements.

How to Get the Job that Will Rocket Your Career to the Top

How did this happen? You’re sitting there in a cubicle, watching the clock, waiting to get away from the misery. Everyone said you were going to be a star. Here you are, cranking out drivel. You’re not taking it lying down. You’ve got applications out to the best companies — the ones where you’ve dreamed of working since college. No luck yet, and frankly, you’re getting a little sick of them ignoring you. What’s up with that? You’re good. They should see that and at least acknowledge your existence.

To Get a New Job Faster, You Don't Have To Be Lucky

Job hunting methods haven't changed in 30+ years. Most people send out resumes to job postings they find online and to recruiting firms. They also fill out applications online, maybe call some recruiters, ask friends and professional contacts about any openings that they may know of, and that's about it. Some people attend job fairs and others join networking groups. As time passes by, pressures may rise, and low-level panic may even set in. This isn't good. What's going on?

Eight Must-Do Steps to Land a New Job Now

To effectively seek work, think like a marketer and market yourself. Identify your unique selling proposition, carefully target your potential new employers, craft persuasive messages, and determine ways to get the attention and consideration you deserve. Finding a new job requires a Zen that’s comprised of patience, routine, sustained confidence, steady action, and considered risk-taking. But be realistic. Manage your nerves and marshal your resources.

Why You Should Embrace Failure

About 10 years ago, I decided I didn’t want to work for “the man” anymore. I was tired of working at my little desk, drained from the daily hour-plus commute each way, and sick of getting paid less than what I knew I was worth. So, I decided to quit.

Failure is Not an Option

Failure. Let’s get this out of the way first. Failure happens when you stop believing and decide — yes, decide — you have failed. Failure is an end.

What's More Important: Salary or Job Security?

​Which excites you more? A job with long-term security that you can really sink your teeth into, or a job with an impressive pay packet and a dash more risk?

The ‘Brand’ Sandwich: How Do You Butter Your Bread?

A little mayo won’t hurt you. Granted, that statement may be true (in the absence of any allergic reaction), but it doesn’t prevent me from gasping a little bit at the sight of the pasty white condiment. Of course, you can rightly guess that I try to avoid it if possible, but there are times when the lunch caterer has laid out the spread and there’s no place to hide.

3 Steps to Create Your Next Career Opportunity

Most professionals want to advance at work. Some do not (because they would prefer not to move into a management position where they are supervising others), but the majority of us want to advance in some way and, at least, continue to feel challenged by what we do.

Why We Hate Updating Our Résumés and What to Do About It

Every few years (or whenever the need arises), we engage in a loathsome activity that is about as pleasurable as getting a root canal at the dentist. It’s called updating our résumé. So why is this process so painful?

How to 'Wow' Your Boss

Your boss can either help or hinder your career: wowing her/him will help your career. With an effective relationship, your boss can give you all kinds of support, insight, and linking to others in the organization.

4 Tips From Hiring Professionals on Maximizing Your First Impression

Making a good first impression in an interview is critical. In fact, the first 10 seconds may be it. In that short period of time, you’ve probably just finished shaking hands and greeting each other, yet the interviewer most likely has sized you up and even decided whether to hire you or not, according to research done by the University of Toledo. Imagine, all that preparation you did for the interview, and you could ruin everything in the first ten seconds!

7 Deadly Job-Search Sins and How to Avoid Them

Thousands of skilled marketing, PR, and advertising people are looking for new opportunities in an uncertain economy. Many will make common errors that can hurt their chances for finding a new job. Here are the 7 deadly sins you need to avoid.

Networking Tips for Introverts

Some people are simply born for networking. They're able to connect with others in various contexts, keep the conversation going, and have the courage to talk to people they don't know. If you're an introvert and all of the above scares you, welcome aboard! Introverts usually find it very hard to delve into the reality of networking, which in essence means creating and nurturing new relationships. Don’t worry though — here are some tips on networking tailored specifically to the needs of introverted characters.

8 Tips That Will Turn You Into a Conference Commando

Hate to go to industry conferences and trade shows? You’re not alone, but avoid attending conferences at your peril. Why? There’s no better place to network and market yourself than industry conferences and trade shows.

Have You Turned Interviewing Into a Career?

Do you feel like you're always being interviewed but you never get the job? Believe it or not, you should count yourself lucky. Only between four and six people get called in for an interview for every batch of 100 resumes. Obviously you're doing something right on your resume and something wrong in your interview if interviewing has become a career for you.

Best Piece of Career Advice: Care But Not That Much

The best career advice I ever got and will ever give comes from Herb Cohen, the famous negotiating guru, who taught me that in business you should “care … but not that much.” Herb believed that mastery of your ego and the confidence to walk away separated the truly successful from the worker drones.

New Year, New Job?

This tends to be the time of year where attrition is at its highest point in many industries. I suppose it’s New Year’s resolutions that have us setting goals for ourselves and wondering whether a career change should be among them. Before we make change for the sake of change, we must start by evaluating what matters to us.

​Put Big Data to Use for Your Career Aspirations

The job market is becoming more competitive, and job seekers will find it increasingly difficult to land their desired jobs. If you want to get your dream job, you need to have a good understanding of the recruitment methods that are currently being used by companies and take the appropriate measures to make yourself more visible and attractive to potential employers.

Three Ways to Take Control of Your Career in 2017

As we know from working with our career coaching clients and their enthusiasm when they identify their ideal career, it is possible to have a job you truly enjoy and are excited about. These three tips can help you take control of your career today, and begin to define the right fit for you!

My Best Piece of Career Advice: Listen

I remember a marketing intern asking me once, “What is one thing that I should be doing to learn as much as possible while I’m here?” My answer was simple, “Eavesdrop.” Of course, I was kidding – at least partially kidding.

To Lead or Not to Lead?

A very common misconception amongst the professional community, and especially where very talented people have the chance to “shine,” is that showing any type of leadership ability through resume or interview is a big “no-no.” Many equate the demonstration of leadership ability as something that should only be done if one seeks an executive role or a management position. The reality is that lack of leadership could be the one thing holding them back from that higher-paying senior position within the team atmosphere — or even barring them from an entry-level position within a company that requires self-starters in a fast-paced environment.

3 Strategies for Effective Assertive Communication in the Workplace

Communication in the workplace is very important; we all know this. It's the number one skill that employers want in their employees. Communication skills contribute to interpersonal skills and teamwork skills, which means relating well with others, whether it be clients or other workmates. Some communication skills come easily to us, like being assertive, speaking up at meetings, or writing effective emails.

Call It Two Cents of Advice

Has your better judgment ever yelled “cut!” like a director when composing email/text/social media post? If so, consider that a save from spewing the dreaded regrettable. It’s your good gut manners way of red-flagging what you wanted to say and letting you know what you should say. Call it an etiquette edit.

Keeping Your Career Path Clear

At times, being laid off from a job can be devastating. At others times, it can be the best thing that can happen to a person. For me, it took a couple of layoffs for reality to set in…forcing me to take my career into my own hands.

A View on Teamwork from the Soccer Sidelines

I have always found soccer to be boring. Sorry, soccer fans. I grew up a football fan. It’s structured. It’s fast-paced. There’s a clock I can count on. There’s a score whose number gets in the double digits. But as I have watched my two young daughters take up the game, I’ve learned to appreciate soccer and the lessons about teamwork that they have learned.

Manage Those Negative Nellies

Everyone wants to succeed in their career path. Henry Ford said, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” Unfortunately, not everyone moves forward together, and not everyone in our lives is positive about us moving forward in the career path we have chosen, whether they intend to be that way or not. Or they are simply negative about their own life course and in the process can inadvertently cause our own negative feelings to creep up.

Simple Strategies for Becoming a Stand-Out at the Office

Almost everyone in an office performs their duties satisfactorily, but only a few of them will be considered for advancement when the opportunity arises. Those few are employees who have succeeded in standing out in the office.

Don't Sell Your Time, Sell Your Value

This is a message for ad agencies, marketing firms, consultants, freelancers, and everyone who buys or sells a service. Hmmm. That means you and me. Almost always, a freelancer or consultant is asked what their "hourly rate" is.

4 Ways to Combat Workplace Negativity, Starting With You

Negative feelings on the job are inevitable, just like any other area of our lives. Maybe you don’t feel that you can accomplish the task at hand, you’re frustrated by a customer, you don’t feel that the right choice was made by your superior, or you just don’t enjoy the project you’re working on.

Start Your New Year’s Resolution to Find a Better Job Right Now

The end of the year approaches and you’re still in the job that isn’t doing your career any good. Don’t lament that no one hires this time of year. Instead, use the next few weeks to prepare for your career to be in high gear by early 2017. Here’s a checklist of things to do until it's time to sing “Auld Lang Syne.”

How to Show Gratitude to Your Professional Connections

In today’s business world, we all want to get ahead and reach our career goals. It’s important to have a plan to know how to get there. But too many times, an important factor is left out: gratitude. Sometimes we focus so much on getting to the next level that we forget to take a moment to celebrate our accomplishments (being thankful for them), as well as thank those who have helped us along the way.

Surrender…and Succeed.

Let go and renew. Just for the afternoon. Or maybe for the evening, too. But please, before we go any further, don’t confuse my suggestion to surrender as “giving up.”

Dare to Change, and the Big Opportunities Will Come

​Do you recognise the situation? Year after year, we go to the same restaurant because we feel so comfortable there and there aren't any culinary "surprises." For the same reason many people go back to the same holiday destination and the same hotel every year and, of course, always book "their" room, number 24. Or we remain stuck in the same job for half of our lives because we are afraid of doing something new or we doubt whether we are good enough.

The Art of Meetings: Strategies for Success in the Conference Room

Fresh bagels, hot coffee, and the obligatory apple danish — that’s how they rope you in. Of course, if you're planning the meeting, I'd suggest going heavier on the fruit medley. This shows you are more in tune with today's dietary concerns. This article has an agenda to give both meeting organizers and attendees some useful tips, so let's start with the biggest and most overlooked question.

The 12 Most Crucial Steps to Crafting a Killer Résumé

Sometimes applying for jobs feels like casting baited hooks into murky waters in the hopes of catching a big fish. Similarly, applicants push résumés out to job boards and recruiters, eager to hook a recruiter and land an interview. But with so many applications flowing into recruiters’ inboxes, how can job seekers make their résumés stand out in a sea of applicants? Here are 12 vital steps to creating a standout résumé:

The Two Extremes of New Hire Orientation

I’ve been around. (Not in a sleazy way, you dirty-minded moolyak.) I just meant that as an ad copywriter and marketing guy since 1995, I’ve had a lot of jobs. And one of the many things I learned along the way (besides scoping out the closest bathrooms and when to get in line for Free Lunch Fridays) is the importance of New Hire Orientation.

Marketing Through Resume: Achievements Over Duty

Aside from the new standards of quality that have been instituted into the new resume requirements for getting past Applicant Tracking Systems, we have to realize that, for most of our lives, we have been writing the resume wrong. Professional resume writers are often baffled at how some of the top professionals at Fortune 500 companies have included so few achievements within their resumes, but have listed many duties!

Six Cover Letter Mistakes You Should Avoid

If you think recruiters don't have the time to properly read your cover letter, you'd be surprised. In fact, a cover letter says a lot about a person — after screening the resumes of potential candidates, hiring managers usually turn to cover letters to see if a candidate will fit into the company’s culture and whether their competencies match with those the business is seeking. Here are six of the most common cover letter mistakes to avoid if you want to pass the initial screening and improve your chances of being considered for a position.

8 Tips for Finding a Job in a Brand-New City

Relocation is undoubtedly exciting as a change of scenery usually is, but it can also be difficult. There are a million different reasons why people find themselves uprooted from one city and deposited in another. But there’s one common thing that everyone who has relocated shares: Starting over from scratch.

A Two-Word Response To Pressure

How many times, when you have been under pressure, have you thought to yourself: “If I could just calm myself down, I know I would do better!” I might be out of line here, but I think two words will provide a solution to this problem. You’ll see what I mean when you read…

Fast Lane: One Millennial’s View on Hiring

It has been said by some that the Millennial workforce has a sense of entitlement, and that loyalty and commitment have been replaced by our search for purpose, but what it really comes down to is finding the right fit.

Listening: A Simple Pattern with a Big Payoff

As he began to leave nearly an hour later, he asked one question I’d heard before: “What’s the most important communication rule I need to know for my business?” “Well,” I responded, “not the talking I’ve been doing here. Instead, ask a couple highly relevant questions and listen, listen, and listen. Then clarify the responses with another question or two, and listen, listen, and listen some more. At the end of an hour you’ll know a great deal of highly useful client information.” He nodded in very strong affirmation.

The Top 4 Things To Do Right After You’re Laid Off

So this post is a doozy to write. But you can trust me on this subject — because it’s basically autobiographical. I was laid off (“NOT performance-related,” I was told). Luckily(?), I’d been through this before — several times, in fact.

Three Things to Avoid to Be a Good Leader

To be a successful leader, it is important to help your employees grow. Because new hires are the future of your organization, it is critical to train them well and empower them to become successful in their role as well as within your organization. Not everyone understands intuitively how to lead. Here are some common errors that even the most well-intentioned leader can make and what you should avoid in your own leadership role.

Three Ways to Set Meaningful Career Goals

A goal, by definition, is the object of a person's ambition or effort. Goals are what keep us moving forward in life, and reaching them gives us great satisfaction. But when it comes to work, 80% of people are not passionate about what they do.

Want to Improve Your Career? Know What You Don't Want

If you’re like most people, your career isn’t where you want it to be. The number one reason people leave a job is a lack of growth and opportunity. If you’re feeling despondent about your career, lack of growth probably tops the reason list for why. Before you decide to bail on your present job, construct a plan for going forward that improves your situation.

How to Find a Job You Love

Confucius said, “Choose a job you love; and you will never have to work a day in your life.” That is most everyone’s career dream, right? Do something you love. However, in today’s world, it isn’t always easy. There are many factors that can make it difficult to find a job that you love. Responsibilities and constraints like financial and family obligations, where you live, where you went to school, and your past work experience and skill set can affect your ability to do what you love.

Why You Should Embrace Failure

About 10 years ago, I decided I didn’t want to work for “the man” anymore. I was tired of working at my little desk, drained from the daily hour-plus commute each way, and sick of getting paid less than what I knew I was worth. So, I decided to quit.

To Lead or Not to Lead?

A very common misconception amongst the professional community, and especially where very talented people have the chance to “shine,” is that showing any type of leadership ability through resume or interview is a big “no-no.” Many equate the demonstration of leadership ability as something that should only be done if one seeks an executive role or a management position. The reality is that lack of leadership could be the one thing holding them back from that higher-paying senior position within the team atmosphere — or even barring them from an entry-level position within a company that requires self-starters in a fast-paced environment.

Three Ways to Set Meaningful Career Goals

A goal, by definition, is the object of a person's ambition or effort. Goals are what keep us moving forward in life, and reaching them gives us great satisfaction. But when it comes to work, 80% of people are not passionate about what they do.

The Art of Meetings: Strategies for Success in the Conference Room

Fresh bagels, hot coffee, and the obligatory apple danish — that’s how they rope you in. Of course, if you're planning the meeting, I'd suggest going heavier on the fruit medley. This shows you are more in tune with today's dietary concerns. This article has an agenda to give both meeting organizers and attendees some useful tips, so let's start with the biggest and most overlooked question.

Three Ways to Manage Up

Would you like to take on more responsibility in your place of employment? Many quickly say yes, but are unsure of how to do so. Some think they let their boss know they are available for more work in the right way, but then watch as another employee is given a management position. What went wrong?

Drawing People To Your Strengths

When I teach people how to interview well, I am actually teaching people how to point out their defined strengths. Not sure what your defined strengths are? Join the club! I’ll help you identify those strengths, and explain how to let people know about them when you read…

Applying to a Digital Marketing Firm? Forget the Certifications

The equivalent of a CPA test for digital marketers does not exist. We do have hundreds, if not thousands, of certifications — but all of them are fairly arbitrary. Google, for example, is an incredible company; but becoming a Google “specialist” takes only a few hours, meaning this certification can be earned in a single weekend. Nonetheless, creating a website logo doesn’t make you an expert in Google AdWords or SEO any more than a weekend spent at defensive driving school creates a NASCAR driver. So why rely on certifications to help you land a job?

New Job? No Training? What To Do

You have started your new job, are a week into it, and realize you are either in over your head or your company is offering little training and support — worst case, both. Being thrown into the deep end in a new job with unclear expectations or mentoring can be difficult and stressful. But there are specific steps you can implement to take the reins and get a handle on the situation.

10 Ways to Get Better at Your Job

Advertising, media, and marketing are about negotiating a constantly changing universe of ideas and technology. Here are ten fundamental attitudes and behaviors to help you to zig and zag your way to success.

3 Ways to Encourage Creative Thinking

We all know the expression “think outside the box” — be more innovative and creative at work. And when we’ve experienced this ourselves, I think we can all safely say we are more successful at work, and happier because we’re using our creative potential. But what happens when we can’t get there, and we get stuck inside the box, so to speak?

Forget Your Name: What’s Your Persona?

In most "tribes," there are one or two interviewers who are good with names. The rest are likely to compare you based on persona. Think about it; if you’ve been following any of the debates, you can see this on display front and center. The candidates all take jabs at each other’s positioning. As an experiment, forget the candidate’s name and just refer to them by the impression they left on you.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Interviewing

Having made it over the transition hump from college graduate to gainfully employed PR and ad agency staffer, I have had my fair share of interviews. It’s fascinating to be “on the inside” and hear what agencies deal with as they search to fill more positions. Because of this, I’ve decided to provide a few do’s and don’ts of interviewing etiquette that might help you get in the door at a PR firm or ad agency.

The Return to the Soft and Squishy

Colvin’s point is that trying to figure out what computers can’t do and getting an education to fill that need is wrongheaded. The driving question is: What do high achievers need to know that brilliant machines never will? Colvin argues that high-value skills, built on the humanities and social sciences, are the only sure way to beat the machines.

You Might Want to Leave That Out!

Quality trumps quantity. Remember that. Your portfolio is an honored place, a place where only your absolute best work resides. It is hallowed ground — the Valhalla for your creative, a place where your greatest ideas are gathered, waiting for that moment when you will call upon them to do battle for you, either in a job or client search.

To Lead or Not to Lead?

A very common misconception amongst the professional community, and especially where very talented people have the chance to “shine,” is that showing any type of leadership ability through resume or interview is a big “no-no.” Many equate the demonstration of leadership ability as something that should only be done if one seeks an executive role or a management position. The reality is that lack of leadership could be the one thing holding them back from that higher-paying senior position within the team atmosphere — or even barring them from an entry-level position within a company that requires self-starters in a fast-paced environment.

What Are You Willing To Sacrifice?

Robert was at a crossroads. After four years at the same company, he needed a change. But not just a job change — a career change. He had joined the company right after college, was making a great living in sales, came and went as he pleased, and his managers adored him. But he despised cold calling, and he had no passion for the products he was selling

Back to School, Back to Work, Back to Life

The lazy days of summer are behind us. Now is the time to get back to work, but what does that mean? For some, those words can signify a time of great challenge — entering a new stage in life. Starting college, grad school, entering the job force. For others it’s just more of the same; just another crunch season.

My Career Goal for Autumn

A lot of my work involves being part of a team. As a seasoned skeptic and long time solo contributor, my career goal for the fall is to be a better, more effective teammate. Here’s what it will take.

Eight Must-Do Steps to Land a New Job Now

To effectively seek work, think like a marketer and market yourself. Identify your unique selling proposition, carefully target your potential new employers, craft persuasive messages, and determine ways to get the attention and consideration you deserve. Finding a new job requires a Zen that’s comprised of patience, routine, sustained confidence, steady action, and considered risk-taking. But be realistic. Manage your nerves and marshal your resources.

Four Ways to Take Charge of Your Attitude

Being successful at work, just like anything else in life, is not just about what we do. Getting caught up in our to-do lists, it’s easy to forget that it’s also about how we approach actions: with the right perspective, the right attitude, the right energy level.

Start on the Wrong Path and Stay There

Is your career path a downward spiral? Why do most careers start and stay on the wrong path? It’s simple when you think about it.

It's Not What You Do But How You Do It That Gets the Job

Many that attempt to find a career in advertising know little of the complexities of getting into the best companies. A great portfolio of work is essential, but it isn’t enough to land the job. Here are a few skills to develop to make sure you are in the top tier of job candidates.

Networking: How to Be Dr. Jekyll and Not Hyde

Networking is the oxygen of the connected economy. It is the currency of consumer collaboration. Unless you are a monk, getting through life in the 21st century is a challenge at best if you have no network. Virtually every job today is gained through the network.

8 Tips That Will Turn You Into a Conference Commando

Hate to go to industry conferences and trade shows? You’re not alone, but avoid attending conferences at your peril. Why? There’s no better place to network and market yourself than industry conferences and trade shows.

What to Do When Your Coworker Is Promoted

You work on the same team. You have similar job descriptions and work ethic. Maybe you even helped train them and have seniority. You both applied for the promotion but you felt confident that you had more experience and would be the first choice. But when the new promotion is announced, it’s their name that’s read, not yours. You want to feel happy for them, but all you can think of is: “Why? Why them and not me? What went wrong?” Here are a few tips that can help you.

Talent Zoo Wants YOUR Video Ideas!

Want to contribute to our funny, new WHAT NOT TO DO video series? To pitch us or learn more about this reader-submitted concept, email angel@talentzoo.com.

No Yoda, But a Collage of Mentors: Part 4

You’ll normally rub shoulders with skills mentors, people willing to help and mentor, during your first week at a company. It’s important from the outset to find the more capable people. Relational mentors, in contrast, are more difficult to locate.

No Yoda, But a Collage of Mentors: Part 3

You will find career mentors both internally and externally, often in consulting or contracting positions. They are the folk you can trust for a sympathetic career ear and advice. They are not limited by the traditional, linear career thinking. The best have a big picture of careers, stay open-minded, and are able to help you consider a variety of perspectives.

No Yoda, But a Collage of Mentors: Part 2

Skills mentors are the mentors you need to do your day-to-day work. They’re usually the first you meet in the organization because they have the responsibility to get you situated. Inside your organization and readily available, they can provide the basic mentoring in those specific disciplines and proprietary skills that your organization needs and holds dear.

No Yoda, But a Collage of Mentors: Part 1

The need for mentorship is more profound than ever: success without mentors is nearly impossible. Compounding the issue is that choice assignments in this hypercompetitive world are in short supply. So it’s the mentored employee who will be presented with better opportunities, faster promotions, and top salaries.

Why You Should Embrace Failure

About 10 years ago, I decided I didn’t want to work for “the man” anymore. I was tired of working at my little desk, drained from the daily hour-plus commute each way, and sick of getting paid less than what I knew I was worth. So, I decided to quit.

Keeping Your Career Path Clear

At times, being laid off from a job can be devastating. At others times, it can be the best thing that can happen to a person. For me, it took a couple of layoffs for reality to set in…forcing me to take my career into my own hands.

Call It Two Cents of Advice

Has your better judgment ever yelled “cut!” like a director when composing email/text/social media post? If so, consider that a save from spewing the dreaded regrettable. It’s your good gut manners way of red-flagging what you wanted to say and letting you know what you should say. Call it an etiquette edit.

My Best Piece of Career Advice: Listen

I remember a marketing intern asking me once, “What is one thing that I should be doing to learn as much as possible while I’m here?” My answer was simple, “Eavesdrop.” Of course, I was kidding – at least partially kidding.

Three Rookie Mistakes That Kill Careers

That moment may come in the first three months or the first anniversary of your first job. Maybe, if you’re thick-skinned, you don’t feel it until your second anniversary. It’s the moment you say to yourself, “This isn’t what I thought it would be.”

The Ad Career You're Meant to Have: Avoid Pitfalls and Grow Skills

Bart Cleveland's video series continues with The Ad Career You're Meant to Have: Avoid Pitfalls and Grow Skills.

The Ad Career You're Meant to Have: Maximize Your Marketability

Bart Cleveland's video series continues with The Ad Career You're Meant to Have: Maximize Your Marketability.

The Ad Career You're Meant to Have: Establish a Career Goal About You

Bart Cleveland's video series continues with The Ad Career You're Meant to Have: Establish a Career Goal About You.

The Ad Career You're Meant to Have: Success Doesn't Happen By Chance

Bart Cleveland's video series continues with The Ad Career You're Meant to Have: Success Doesn't Happen by Chance.

The Ad Career You're Meant to Have

Bart Cleveland's video series kicks off with The Ad Career You're Meant to Have.

The Best Piece of Career Advice: The One Question I Would Ask

There was a time when youth and inexperience went hand in hand. Now youth appears to trump everything, in technical disciplines especially, but in creative ones, as well. In those arenas, age and experience are seen as liabilities.

The Best Piece of Career Advice: Look Ahead

The world has changed a lot since I first joined the workforce. Back in the 1990s when I graduated college, you could find a decent entry-level job that would pay you enough money that you could afford a liveable apartment (without any roommates!), and still manage to go out on the weekend. But times? They’ve changed. The truth is, it doesn’t matter what stage of your career you are in. Sometimes you have to make a move.

Best Career Advice: Move! It’s Part Of Your Job

If you wear a smartwatch, you are quite familiar with the pesky nudge to “stand.” While that can be as annoying as a mother’s huck to stand up straight, it’s for the same good reason: you and your well-being. And a better well-being makes for a much happier person, on and off the job. Right? No matter how active you think you are after clocking out, it never hurts to squeeze a little more “me” time when planted at a desk for hours on end to help get the kinks out.

Best Piece of Career Advice: Care But Not That Much

The best career advice I ever got and will ever give comes from Herb Cohen, the famous negotiating guru, who taught me that in business you should “care … but not that much.” Herb believed that mastery of your ego and the confidence to walk away separated the truly successful from the worker drones.

The Biggest Mistake Job Seekers Make

If you are currently seeking employment and you have done the following, you may feel like you’re doing everything right: You’ve updated your resume and LinkedIn profile. You are regularly sending in applications online. You are attending networking events. You’re expanding your network through LinkedIn.

Go from Great to the Ideal Job Candidate

It’s the one question every job hunter wants answered: How do I make myself stand out from all the other applicants? How can I outsmart everyone else?

Tips for Networking at Large Events

Networking at large events is essential for making new connections, but it can seem overwhelming if you don’t know anyone in the room and it’s a very large event. It can also seem like an insurmountable challenge if you are more introverted than extroverted.

Marketing Through Resume: Achievements Over Duty

Aside from the new standards of quality that have been instituted into the new resume requirements for getting past Applicant Tracking Systems, we have to realize that, for most of our lives, we have been writing the resume wrong. Professional resume writers are often baffled at how some of the top professionals at Fortune 500 companies have included so few achievements within their resumes, but have listed many duties!

How Young Professionals Break the Millennial Mold

Whether it fits or not, we all get grouped into a stereotype. When it happens, and you pay the consequence for someone else’s behavior, it’s pretty demoralizing. But you don’t have to be the scapegoat, particularly if you’re a Millennial.

Your Six-Step Guide to Going Freelance

Would YOU like a job you can do from home, in your jammies, on your own schedule? Doesn’t that sound great? Then consider becoming a freelancer! Just know — there’s no starting salary, no benefits, no support staff, and no free coffee. And no clients or leads.

From a Newsroom to the Digital Sea

The tides of our times are shifting from newsrooms to the digital sea. Anyone can cast off there, but it takes fortitude to keep afloat and be discovered by an “audience,” or rather, a community of your own. Keeping afloat on the digital sea – tough!

‘That’s Not How Coaching Works’

It was a classic case of misunderstanding. But since more than 50% of all messages are loaded with misunderstanding, it wasn’t especially unusual. Here’s how it happened. The other evening I was having dinner with a half-dozen colleagues, all of whom are retired university faculty and administrators. Some really smart guys. The conversation veered into questions about my consulting and coaching and one of them asked how I “advise my clients.” “That’s not how it works,” I responded.

Don’t Let Fear Hold You Back

Fear. This could be the biggest thing holding you back in your career. Nine out of ten times this is an obstacle for clients, because it’s not just about not knowing career direction, but a fear of making a change and trying something new. We encourage our clients to make decisions with strength and positivity. Many times we react to situations with feelings of fear, weakness, or negative energy. But really, fear prevents you from being open to new directions and solutions. How you can get over your fears? Here is a three-step process to dealing with your fears.

The ‘Brand’ Sandwich: How Do You Butter Your Bread?

A little mayo won’t hurt you. Granted, that statement may be true (in the absence of any allergic reaction), but it doesn’t prevent me from gasping a little bit at the sight of the pasty white condiment. Of course, you can rightly guess that I try to avoid it if possible, but there are times when the lunch caterer has laid out the spread and there’s no place to hide.

My ‘Probably Wrong’ Career Move

My brother-in-law just graduated from college. Smart kid, graduated with honors, headed into journalism, already has experience, clippings, etc. Juggling a couple job opportunities, trying to figure out what’s best for his first full-time gig. And it got me thinking about my own career, with all its ups and downs. Especially the early days, when I made a pretty important decision that I don’t necessarily regret — but was probably wrong, with the benefit of hindsight.

Work Don’t Mean a Thing If You Can’t Hum

“You are so…creative” was a phase I often heard when growing up. Never really sure if that was a good thing or just an act of kindness said to a square peg, I learned to say “thank you” as I secretly wondered “really?”

The Under-Under-Underdogs

Known as Gen X, those of us in our forties were supposed to be the troublemakers. The overlooked, under-valued generation. With a mark against us from the start, it’s no wonder one of our favorite super heroes was Underdog.

Career Experiences: The Dirty 30s

Graduating from a prestigious, small, liberal arts university, I thought I did everything right. I was involved in clubs and organizations. I had an internship every summer. I even received collegiate and national awards based on my achievements. I even had a job lined up before graduation.

On the Other Side of Everything

Growing up, I considered two careers: teacher (both my parents were teachers) and writer (I wrote my first “novel” at nine years old—90 handwritten pages). In my childhood imagination, success was making a lot of money and having summers off. Little did I know.

4 Big Mistakes First-Time Job Hunters Make

It is the best job market for new grads we’ve seen since the Great Recession, but it will still be a competitive market with more qualified job seekers than entry-level jobs. The class of 2016 will bring 1.8 million new bachelor’s degree holders into the market. Many will come equipped with college debt — the typical grad carries $30,000 in college loans. It’s not surprising that a record number of young adults — as many as 1 in 3 — are living at home despite an improved job market according to a Pew Research Center study of Millennials ages 18–34.

How to Have an Above-Average Career When You're Average

Countless athletes who were average on paper ended up in their sport’s hall of fame. Drafted in the late rounds, if drafted at all, many attended small colleges with even smaller sports programs. They defied the odds, overcame skeptics, and forged legacies. Tom Brady, the quarterback of the New England Patriots, is a relevant example. Drafted in a later round, Brady worked his way into a starting position and led his team to the record books. Today he is arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of pro football.

Lead Your Career By Leveraging Your Strengths

It would be wonderful to have a career that fits us, where we always use our strengths! Gallup affirms that if you are lucky enough to be able to do so, you will be six times as likely to feel engaged in your job. However, sometimes we don’t know what our real strengths are or how to properly use them in the workplace to our best advantage.

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Share your thoughts and opinions on:
-- Today’s working world (Sites: Career Oxygen and Hire & Higher)
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A View on Teamwork from the Soccer Sidelines

I have always found soccer to be boring. Sorry, soccer fans. I grew up a football fan. It’s structured. It’s fast-paced. There’s a clock I can count on. There’s a score whose number gets in the double digits. But as I have watched my two young daughters take up the game, I’ve learned to appreciate soccer and the lessons about teamwork that they have learned.

Go Beyond SMART When Setting Goals

Most professionals are familiar with the importance of setting SMART goals. They should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused, and Time-bound. Setting SMART goals is a great way to stay focused and advance in your career. But sometimes we focus too much on a goal being SMART and we forget to ask ourselves if we even like the goal, are inspired by it, or if it’s the right one.

Mediocre Career? Maybe It’s On Autopilot

The economy is going through some difficult times. Advertising is leading the way when it comes to dissatisfaction. I look at it like A Tale of Two Cities. It may be the worst of times, but it is also the best of times. Technology has given us a large palette to use to create. Don’t believe the naysayer. You can still have a great career. Knowing some facts can help you properly manage your journey and have the career you’re meant to have.

5 Must-Do Tips For Creating Brand You

Success as a corporate executive, entrepreneur, or professional requires careful, calculated branding, both to enter the arena and to stay in the game. Top corporate executives, Hollywood icons, and high-profile athletes have long tapped into the branding model to create and build a personal brand. Now, savvy people in every field are using personal branding to be more successful.

4 Tips from Smart, Strategic, Effective Job Hunters

Today job hunters contend with more than a poor economy and lots of talented competitors. Most don’t know how to hunt for a job so their efforts are smart, strategic, and effective. Here are four tips adapted from my new book, Graduate to a Great Career, on how to get a great, not just okay, job that I learned from successful job hunters.

Career Oxygen is Looking for Talented Editorial Writers!

Believe the interview advice you've been receiving is stale, outdated, unusable? Think your parents, your older siblings, hell!... even that cool friend who graduated just ahead of you, doesn't know what it's like in the jungle that is trying to nail a job? There's only one way to change a situation. Yell it to the rooftops. Start by emailing angel@talentzoo.com for a shot at contributing to CAREER OXYGEN.

Career Oxygen is Looking for Talented Editorial Writers!

Believe the interview advice you've been receiving is stale, outdated, unusable? Think your parents, your older siblings, hell!... even that cool friend who graduated just ahead of you, doesn't know what it's like in the jungle that is trying to nail a job? There's only one way to change a situation. Yell it to the rooftops. Start by emailing angel@talentzoo.com for a shot at contributing to CAREER OXYGEN.

The GPS of Career Success

A GPS doesn't hem or haw. You input where you need to go, it maps the route and delivers. If you miss a return, it doesn't yell or stress. She simply tells you to make a U turn when possible.

Why You Need a Personal Business Card and 6 Mistakes to Avoid

In the business world, you’re not a “bona fide” player unless you have a card. It’s especially important if you’re unemployed and actively going to networking events, job fairs, and interviews. Handing out your resume can be awkward at networking events. Your business card is your calling card. There’s nothing worse than meeting someone at a professional event and you have nothing to hand back but a ripped-up piece of paper or your old company card with your new contact information penciled in. Not exactly a great first impression.

5 Ways I Got Freelance Clients (And You Can, Too)

Freelance clients can be hard to find — whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in the business for 20 years. Sadly, there are no sure-fire ways to get freelance (unless you have a big family with lots of executives and/or entrepreneurs in it). I’ve always done freelance work on the side. It never interferes or competes with my regular work, and it’s a great way to make extra money and keep my writing skills fresh. (Because the “Hashtag Wars” Twitter contest on Comedy Central’s “@Midnight” is a different kind of writing.) So I’ve had to double up my efforts to get freelance, and it’s actually going pretty well. Here’s five tactics to try — along with the stories that inspired them.

How to Read a Conversation

In business, as in other vocations, what’s not said is often far, far more important than what is said. Indeed, sometimes people lose their jobs, opportunities, raises, or promotions because they fail to understand what’s not said. So, in many of my posts, when I write about “subtexts,” I’m referring to these covert meanings, hidden commitments, “undiscussables,”or what's not said.

Equal Pay Isn’t Just About Money

Last year during the Oscars, I saw two well-paid celebrity icons — Patricia Arquette and Meryl Streep — draw attention to an issue that’s very important to me: equal pay for women. Accepting the Oscar for best supporting actress, Arquette made equal pay for people everywhere a rallying cry, which Steep echoed with a standing ovation from the audience. I was cheering, too. And so was my husband.

The Portfolio Check-up

Give your portfolio an annual check-up. If you can’t get anyone’s attention in the communication arts industry, more than likely your portfolio is the culprit. A goal to refresh your portfolio every year will keep you competitive. Employers seldom look for potential. They want the sure thing.

Ready, Action, Shoot! 6 Tips for a Great Video Interview

More and more companies are using video services like Skype, Google Hangouts, and Join.Me to interview job candidates and for regular business meetings. Video conferences are a lot cheaper than face-to-face interviews and offer immediate insights. But doing well in video interviews takes some extra effort and understanding of the platform.

Three Ways to Determine Your Long-Term Career Direction

Choosing a career is a much more complicated process than taking a simple career test. We have clients come to us often who want to find that ideal job, and have read a book or taken a career assessment only to still feel lost. It’s frustrating, understandably, because we all want to be successful and happy with our choice of career.

How To Stay Positive During An Office Morale Slump

It can creep up on you slowly. The general grumblings around the office get louder and more frequent, coworkers start calling in sick more often, maybe your managers crack down hard without sympathy, and before you know it your entire workplace is suffering from a case of the occupational blues. Low morale is a serious issue that can hurt productivity, create a rapid decline in overall cooperation, and most importantly, deeply trouble the individuals spending a significant amount of their time working in a situation that is emotionally unhealthy.

How Losing Your Job Can Be the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You

Losing your job can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. In some cases, it actually could be the best thing that has ever happened to you! I had a client, years ago, call me, and she sounded great — much better than she ever had during our previous coaching sessions. Two minutes into the conversation she said, “I got fired last week and I’m so happy!” She had wanted to move on for a long time. So if you’ve recently lost your job, although we know in many ways it’s not ideal, here are a few ways to reflect on your situation and find the silver lining.

4 Tips From Hiring Professionals on Maximizing Your First Impression

Making a good first impression in an interview is critical. In fact, the first 10 seconds may be it. In that short period of time, you’ve probably just finished shaking hands and greeting each other, yet the interviewer most likely has sized you up and even decided whether to hire you or not, according to research done by the University of Toledo. Imagine, all that preparation you did for the interview, and you could ruin everything in the first ten seconds!

Eight Must-Do Steps to Land a New Job Now

To effectively seek work, think like a marketer and market yourself. Identify your unique selling proposition, carefully target your potential new employers, craft persuasive messages, and determine ways to get the attention and consideration you deserve. Finding a new job requires a Zen that’s comprised of patience, routine, sustained confidence, steady action, and considered risk-taking. But be realistic. Manage your nerves and marshal your resources.

4 Tricks to Get Your Resume into the Hiring Manager’s Hands

The first person to look at your resume is not likely to be a person, but a computer. That’s because to deal with the sheer onslaught of job applicants, most medium- and large-sized companies use an automated tracking system (ATS) to screen resumes and applications. The job of these resume robots is to decide which applications move forward for a further look by a hiring manager and which are discarded into the corporate database for rejected applications, fondly known as the “black hole.”

7 Deadly Job-Search Sins and How to Avoid Them

Thousands of skilled marketing, PR, and advertising people are looking for new opportunities in an uncertain economy. Many will make common errors that can hurt their chances for finding a new job. Here are the 7 deadly sins you need to avoid.

Create the Best Image for Your Next Interview and Get Hired

Workplace dynamics aren't what they used to be. Turns out, crafting a stellar resume and nailing all the interview questions won't guarantee you get the job. A study conducted by Duke University researchers revealed a steep positive correlation between appearance and compensation.

The Top 4 Things To Do Right After You’re Laid Off

So this post is a doozy to write. But you can trust me on this subject — because it’s basically autobiographical. I was laid off (“NOT performance-related,” I was told) in mid-January. Luckily(?), I’ve been through this before — several times, in fact.

Failure is Not an Option

Failure. Let’s get this out of the way first. Failure happens when you stop believing and decide — yes, decide — you have failed. Failure is an end.

How to Show Gratitude to Your Professional Connections

In today’s business world, we all want to get ahead and reach our career goals. It’s important to have a plan to know how to get there. But too many times, an important factor is left out: gratitude. Sometimes we focus so much on getting to the next level that we forget to take a moment to celebrate our accomplishments (being thankful for them), as well as thank those who have helped us along the way.

Marketing Through Resume: Achievements Over Duty

Aside from the new standards of quality that have been instituted into the new resume requirements for getting past Applicant Tracking Systems, we have to realize that, for most of our lives, we have been writing the resume wrong. Professional resume writers are often baffled at how some of the top professionals at Fortune 500 companies have included so few achievements within their resumes, but have listed many duties!

Do You Really Want That Career Advice?

Whether you're looking for new employment or trying to move up within your organization, there is all kinds of advice out there. ​Although taking career advice is fine, you will need to use your judgment and see whether that particular advice is best for you and your career goals.

The 12 Most Crucial Steps to Crafting a Killer Résumé

Sometimes applying for jobs feels like casting baited hooks into murky waters in the hopes of catching a big fish. Similarly, applicants push résumés out to job boards and recruiters, eager to hook a recruiter and land an interview. But with so many applications flowing into recruiters’ inboxes, how can job seekers make their résumés stand out in a sea of applicants? Here are 12 vital steps to creating a standout résumé:

Create a YouTube Channel for Your Job Search in 5 Steps

As we all know, YouTube can be a powerful tool for self-promotion — especially when in the midst of a job search. YouTube has over one billion distinct visitors every month. So if you can create a solid, professional YouTube channel for your job search, you can not only have an additional tool for prospective employers to understand your value and your brand, but you can also create a national and even global presence in your industry.

New Year, New Job?

This tends to be the time of year where attrition is at its highest point in many industries. I suppose it’s New Year’s resolutions that have us setting goals for ourselves and wondering whether a career change should be among them. Before we make change for the sake of change, we must start by evaluating what matters to us.

Smile! Tips for Your Social Media Profile Photo

Many clients approach me and ask for help in setting up LinkedIn and other social media profiles. Easy enough. However, when I tell them that they need to get a photo posted, they get uncomfortable.

How to Find Your Place in the World of Work

In November 2015, statistics showed that around 121.9 million people were employed on a full-time basis in the United States. That’s a lot of people working full-time. However, other studies show that over 50% of Americans are dissatisfied with their jobs. Too many people are not in the right fit in their careers. So how can you find your place in the world of work?

Dare to Change, and the Big Opportunities Will Come

​Do you recognise the situation? Year after year, we go to the same restaurant because we feel so comfortable there and there aren't any culinary "surprises." For the same reason many people go back to the same holiday destination and the same hotel every year and, of course, always book "their" room, number 24. Or we remain stuck in the same job for half of our lives because we are afraid of doing something new or we doubt whether we are good enough.

In Job Hunting, The Best Defense Is a Smart Offense

In job hunting, the hiring authority plays the role of prospective buyer, and job hunters play the role of seller. Therefore, a smart seller realizes that many, if not most, prospective buyers will likely have one or more objections to a proposal. No sale is likely until any and all objections are answered — to the prospect's satisfaction. Since the prospect has the power of the purse, a smart seller knows that, to the prospect, her or his objections must be taken seriously.

4 Lessons From My Rolodex

So we’re cleaning our home office, and tucked in the far corner is my dusty old Rolodex. And hoo boy, is this thing full of memories. Phone numbers of long-forgotten friends and study buddies. Contact info for landlords, landladies, and landpersons. And a few interesting lessons picked up from 20-something years of careering — and an obsolete, business-card-holding piece of round plastic.

Running Your Race

When you watch a professional presenter perform under pressure, it appears effortless. What you don’t see is what goes on before that performance, and the way the speaker uses those final few minutes before he or she begins to speak. I’ll tell you about my personal ritual, and how this might help you the next time you have to perform under pressure when you read…

Why It’s Easier to Get Interviews During The Holidays

You may not get a job offer during the holiday season, but you might well get the next best thing: an invitation to meet with hiring authorities. Remember: Do not include a resume with your letter. Wait until you are contacted and if they ask you to send it, then do so at that time.

Three Ways to Set Meaningful Career Goals

A goal, by definition, is the object of a person's ambition or effort. Goals are what keep us moving forward in life, and reaching them gives us great satisfaction. But when it comes to work, 80% of people are not passionate about what they do.

The Two Extremes of New Hire Orientation

I’ve been around. (Not in a sleazy way, you dirty-minded moolyak.) I just meant that as an ad copywriter and marketing guy since 1995, I’ve had a lot of jobs. And one of the many things I learned along the way (besides scoping out the closest bathrooms and when to get in line for Free Lunch Fridays) is the importance of New Hire Orientation.

The Art of Meetings: Strategies for Success in the Conference Room

Fresh bagels, hot coffee, and the obligatory apple danish — that’s how they rope you in. Of course, if you're planning the meeting, I'd suggest going heavier on the fruit medley. This shows you are more in tune with today's dietary concerns. This article has an agenda to give both meeting organizers and attendees some useful tips, so let's start with the biggest and most overlooked question.

How to Find a Job You Love

Confucius said, “Choose a job you love; and you will never have to work a day in your life.” That is most everyone’s career dream, right? Do something you love. However, in today’s world, it isn’t always easy. There are many factors that can make it difficult to find a job that you love. Responsibilities and constraints like financial and family obligations, where you live, where you went to school, and your past work experience and skill set can affect your ability to do what you love.

8 Tips for Finding a Job in a Brand-New City

Relocation is undoubtedly exciting as a change of scenery usually is, but it can also be difficult. There are a million different reasons why people find themselves uprooted from one city and deposited in another. But there’s one common thing that everyone who has relocated shares: Starting over from scratch.

Applying to a Digital Marketing Firm? Forget the Certifications

The equivalent of a CPA test for digital marketers does not exist. We do have hundreds, if not thousands, of certifications — but all of them are fairly arbitrary. Google, for example, is an incredible company; but becoming a Google “specialist” takes only a few hours, meaning this certification can be earned in a single weekend. Nonetheless, creating a website logo doesn’t make you an expert in Google AdWords or SEO any more than a weekend spent at defensive driving school creates a NASCAR driver. So why rely on certifications to help you land a job?

A Two-Word Response To Pressure

How many times, when you have been under pressure, have you thought to yourself: “If I could just calm myself down, I know I would do better!” I might be out of line here, but I think two words will provide a solution to this problem. You’ll see what I mean when you read…

Three Keys to Not Sucking on the Job (or, How to Win in Business)

​There is a good reason why we get results for our clients — we focus on the source of their real power and ability to perform. Most people in the corporate world are worried about things like business systems, analytics, work flow, or marketing. It’s all important stuff, but not as important as you might think. Take a deep breath. You may not like what I have to say

Fast Lane: One Millennial’s View on Hiring

It has been said by some that the Millennial workforce has a sense of entitlement, and that loyalty and commitment have been replaced by our search for purpose, but what it really comes down to is finding the right fit.

10 Ways to Get Better at Your Job

Advertising, media, and marketing are about negotiating a constantly changing universe of ideas and technology. Here are ten fundamental attitudes and behaviors to help you to zig and zag your way to success.

Interviewee or Interviewer: The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Within the past year, I’ve been on both sides of the hiring process in my current company — both as interviewee and interviewer. Although our company has a multi-step process that can take a month or so, it seems to work. (We have a great team.) But it’s tough to wait, from each side of the process...

Coping with a Takeover

If you work for a digital company, especially a start-up, there’s a reasonable probability you’ll be acquired, merged, or absorbed sometime along the journey. Most people initially freak out. But rather than immediately shooting out your resume or calling your shrink, consider these four coping steps.

Why Considering Work-Life Balance Will Land You Your Best Job Yet

There seems to be a lot of buzz about work-life balance these days. This is largely fueled by Generation Y (born post-1980), a generation that is starting to demand more flexible work opportunities. But the desire for more flexibility at work is not limited to those who grew up in an instant-gratification, technology-bred generation. Nine out of ten Americans feel as though they don’t have enough flexibility in their jobs to meet the needs of the people they put first: their families.

Drawing People To Your Strengths

When I teach people how to interview well, I am actually teaching people how to point out their defined strengths. Not sure what your defined strengths are? Join the club! I’ll help you identify those strengths, and explain how to let people know about them when you read…

Three Ways to Manage Up

Would you like to take on more responsibility in your place of employment? Many quickly say yes, but are unsure of how to do so. Some think they let their boss know they are available for more work in the right way, but then watch as another employee is given a management position. What went wrong?

The Job Hunter's Code

Job hunting is a solvable marketing problem. It isn’t a resume problem or a matter of finding the right recruiter — nor the need to know an insider at the company where you wish to apply, though knowing an insider might be helpful by telling you who the hiring authority is.

Forget Your Name: What’s Your Persona?

In most "tribes," there are one or two interviewers who are good with names. The rest are likely to compare you based on persona. Think about it; if you’ve been following any of the debates, you can see this on display front and center. The candidates all take jabs at each other’s positioning. As an experiment, forget the candidate’s name and just refer to them by the impression they left on you.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Interviewing

Having made it over the transition hump from college graduate to gainfully employed PR and ad agency staffer, I have had my fair share of interviews. It’s fascinating to be “on the inside” and hear what agencies deal with as they search to fill more positions. Because of this, I’ve decided to provide a few do’s and don’ts of interviewing etiquette that might help you get in the door at a PR firm or ad agency.

The Return to the Soft and Squishy

Colvin’s point is that trying to figure out what computers can’t do and getting an education to fill that need is wrongheaded. The driving question is: What do high achievers need to know that brilliant machines never will? Colvin argues that high-value skills, built on the humanities and social sciences, are the only sure way to beat the machines.

So You Want to Be a Creative Director

Success as a creative director has much less to do with your creative abilities than it does with your bedside manner. Manage people well, including your own ego, and you will be a star.

To Lead or Not to Lead?

A very common misconception amongst the professional community, and especially where very talented people have the chance to “shine,” is that showing any type of leadership ability through resume or interview is a big “no-no.” Many equate the demonstration of leadership ability as something that should only be done if one seeks an executive role or a management position. The reality is that lack of leadership could be the one thing holding them back from that higher-paying senior position within the team atmosphere — or even barring them from an entry-level position within a company that requires self-starters in a fast-paced environment.

8 Steps to Maximizing Your Workday: Part 2

Burnout can happen over the course of a day, or even over a year. When you can feel stress closing in, don’t be afraid to stand up and take a walk. Clear your head and come back to your work refreshed. If you experience burnout over a long period, schedule your vacation days in advance so you can have a few days to decompress. When you let yourself refresh for work, your productivity increases dramatically and the quality of your output is better!

8 Steps to Maximizing Your Workday: Part 1

Do you ever have workdays when you come into the office, determined to knock out a list of tasks — then, before you know it, the end of the day has rolled around and not only have you barely touched your to-do list, it’s actually gotten longer. Often, the culprit is too much time spent checking emails, chatting with officemates, or just trying to get organized in the first place. Although every person’s organizational structure is different, a few basic steps will help you get your daily schedule into shape so you can achieve more tasks in less time.

Career Development At Any Level

Leaders, it is on you to take the reigns. It is on you to influence and inspire. Why lead followers when you can lead leaders who can help you influence those followers?

3 Strategies for Effective Assertive Communication in the Workplace

Communication in the workplace is very important; we all know this. According to Job Outlook 2005 (Bethlehem, PA: National Association of Colleges and Employers) it is the number one skill that employers want in their employees. Communication skills contribute to interpersonal skills and teamwork skills, which means relating well with others, whether it be clients or other workmates. Some communication skills come easily to us, like being assertive, speaking up at meetings, or writing effective emails.

Back to School, Back to Work, Back to Life

The lazy days of summer are behind us. Now is the time to get back to work, but what does that mean? For some, those words can signify a time of great challenge — entering a new stage in life. Starting college, grad school, entering the job force. For others it’s just more of the same; just another crunch season.

Holy F—k! What Are You Doing Today?

My objection to the planner junkies was not the calendar in their hands, it was what that document represented. Someone else set their agenda. Is what you are doing today putting you in control? Regardless of being a business owner or an employee, are you directing your future?

Marketing Yourself Through Breadcrumbs

Recently, I had a conversation with a young professional. I was working on his resume and realized that although he was only 25, he was very accomplished. He had a Master’s Degree and multiple certifications. He had leveraged massive growth and real estate acquisitions for his company while maintaining budgets of over a billion dollars.

Observe These 3 Things During Your Next Interview

Networking is the oxygen of the connected economy. It is the currency of consumer collaboration. Unless you are a monk, getting through life in the 21st century is a challenge at best if you have no network. Virtually every job today is gained through the network. If you are selling storage, soup, semiconductors, software, soap, or self, you require relationships and relationship building skills.

Marketing Through Resume: Achievements Over Duty

Aside from the new standards of quality that have been instituted into the new resume requirements for getting past Applicant Tracking Systems, we have to realize that, for most of our lives, we have been writing the resume wrong. Professional resume writers are often baffled at how some of the top professionals at Fortune 500 companies have included so few achievements within their resumes, but have listed many duties!

And The Band Played On (Or... Never Give Up!)

Have you ever been faced with such overwhelming odds that a voice inside you screamed out, “Quit! Stop! This isn’t going to work!” We all hear this voice, but one performer I recently saw ignored the voice, and gained my respect…

Why Your Resume Is Like a Burger

Nothing gets your foot through a recruiter’s door like an intriguing CV. Here are some simple rules that you can follow to achieve a coherent and effective resume. A resume is made up of many different layers, not unlike a burger. It needs to have a "bun," or strong foundation to start with that gets the point across of who you are and where you want to go. This is the first thing the recruiter sees, and either encourages them to look further or put it in the "no" pile with the rest.

How Far Do You Go for the Dream Career?

If you know the career you've always wanted is out there, but just can't seem to find it, when do you call it quits on the search? Considering the majority of the working class is having trouble just finding a good job to begin with, sometimes pursuing that dream job isn't worth the effort or risk.

The 'Fab 5' of Your Work Life

You are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with. -Jim Rohn

I've heard this quote on various occasions. Every time I come across it, I pause for a moment, as the message that lives there is simply so powerful. What and who we surround ourselves with can affect us — and we can begin to mirror the moods, problems, and passions of our surroundings.

The Biggest Mistake Job Seekers Make

If you are currently seeking employment and you have done the following, you may feel like you’re doing everything right: You’ve updated your resume and LinkedIn profile. You are regularly sending in applications online. You are attending networking events. You’re expanding your network through LinkedIn.

How to Present at an Interview — and Get the Job!

​In my experience, most interviewers hire the person they like the most, even at the expense of declining slightly more qualified or experienced candidates. People like people they feel connected with, and these five tips will ensure that you make that all-important connection.

Marketing Yourself Using Your Resume: Part 2

In physical hiring processes, a hiring manager is apt to start at the expertise section, scan through previous employers, read your full education level, and then check out the rest of the resume. Sometimes, they go directly to education, skipping experience altogether, and continue to your affiliations and technical proficiencies.

Marketing Yourself Using Your Resume: Part 1

As a professional in an ever-evolving world of technology, it is absolutely important to keep abreast of changes that occur within the standard operations of society and hiring processes. Not many realize that with the evolution of information systems, most hiring processes are initiated, if not fully executed, online. Therefore, hiring managers and executive decision makers are eliminating the number of resumes that they are scouring each week in order to streamline processes and maximize productivity in the job space while keeping staffing down to a minimum. Let’s take a deeper look into this science and discover how to get past all systems filters to at least be considered for the position that many are applying for.

Guts!: Job Hunting from the Inside Out

This is a revolutionary new way of thinking about and landing a new job. What is proposed is that, rather than conducting a job search from the perspective of a seller, you should approach the problem from the perspective of the buyer — i.e., the hiring authority.

Which Job-Hunting Method is Best For You?

Resumes tell, marketing letters sell. Save your resume and send it after interest has been expressed in you. An effective marketing letter has the additional advantage of pre-selling you, thus making it more likely that your interview will be mainly about chemistry, and less of an interrogation.

How User Experience Affects Your Career

Don’t you hate it when you run into a user experience problem? Like when a door has an ambiguous handle on it and unclear labeling. The absolute seemingly minor things can have consequences. If someone were in a rush, they might accidently swing it the wrong way and injure someone, or themselves.

4 Personal Branding Habits of Highly Successful People

Why are some people successful while other talented people fall short? Desire and talent are always the main ingredients for achievement. However, highly successful people stand out not so much because of what they know or even who they know, but because of how they brand themselves.

Up Your Career, One Step at a Time

You've graduated college, landed a decent job with room for advancement, and are satisfied with your pay. So now what? Unfortunately, you can't just coast along, even if you're not looking to get promoted right away. Nowadays, people need to continue investing in themselves in order to simply keep their current job.

Best of TZM: How to Stay Passionate About Your Position

Have you lost that lovin’ feeling for your job? How do you know if it is just a phase, whether it is your job or role, or instead maybe the industry that you are in? If you are not as jazzed about your work lately, one of the things you want to consider first is — how bad is it? Is it just a passing phase and hopefully something you can address, or do you need to change positions or your long-term career direction?

How to Avoid the #1 Career Mistake: Not Having a Mentor

We talk about mentors a lot- from softball coaches to swimming trainers to a high school teacher. When we are growing up, almost every adult could be considered a mentor for one reason or another. But many times when we enter the workforce, the general idea seems to be that our training is finished and we no longer need a mentor.

Go from Great to the Ideal Job Candidate

It’s the one question every job hunter wants answered: How do I make myself stand out from all the other applicants? How can I outsmart everyone else?

The Etiquette of the Creative Interview

Interviews for a creative position are usually much different than for any other type of job. Wearing a suit is not a good idea. Discussing your love of Swedish cinema with the creative director is not out of the realm of possibility. However, don't let the relaxed attitude fool you into thinking that anything goes because it's still a job interview.

Stand Out and Get Promoted

Almost everyone in an office performs their duties satisfactorily, but only a few of them will be considered for advancement when the opportunity arises. Those few are employees who have succeeded in standing out in the office.

Your Six-Step Guide to Going Freelance

Would YOU like a job you can do from home, in your jammies, on your own schedule? Doesn’t that sound great? Then consider becoming a freelancer! Just know — there’s no starting salary, no benefits, no support staff, and no free coffee. And no clients or leads.

Why Your Résumé Isn’t Working

Are you just a data point in the job search statistics? Whether you are one of the five million people who reportedly sent a résumé to Walmart in 2014, or one of the 250 people who applied for a typical corporate opening, why would you expect your résumé to get more than the six seconds the average recruiter spends on them?

4 Tips for an Award-Winning Job Interview

Never is personal branding more important than when you’re on the line in a job interview, particularly if it’s a job you really want. Yet most of us go into an interview feeling nervous and powerless. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! With that mindset, it’s hard to feel genuine and comfortable in your own skin, so you’re likely to bomb. What you need to do is take control.

Interviews: How to Change Your Perspective

Few people actually enjoy interviews. But part of that is because of the way we perceive what's going down. An interviewer will sense the difference and that could help you get the job. So reframe these key elements for a much better experience.

Job Hunters: Brand or Be Branded

The job market today is like a dangerous wolf pit; only the strongest, fiercest, and most versatile make it through. The value of a well-earned degree is no longer what it once was; even a well-qualified individual has a hard time getting a well-paying job. The only way to get ahead of your competitors is by setting yourself apart. Sounds easy, right?

Lead Your Career By Leveraging Your Strengths

It would be wonderful to have a career that fits us, where we always use our strengths! Gallup affirms that if you are lucky enough to be able to do so, you will be six times as likely to feel engaged in your job. However, sometimes we don’t know what our real strengths are or how to properly use them in the workplace to our best advantage.

Eleven Tips for Negotiating Your First Salary

Negotiating your first salary presents a major challenge. You have not been trained in the art of negotiation, face strong competition, have a deep emotional connection to your work, and often feel some insecurity about your talents. The following discussion is designed to help you obtain the salary you deserve.

Want to Work in Your Pajamas?

Does getting out of bed, making coffee, and showing up to your computer sound like the perfect commute? Telecommuting is becoming more common, with employers realizing its money-saving potential and the popularity of telecommuting with workers.

Résumé Length: The Devil Is in the Details

You've spent your career being the A-list go-to person in your department or company. Awards hang on your wall, and the company exec pops in to personally to commend you and offer a handshake every so often. You're in good standing with an admirable track record. Does your résumé reflect that?

Resume Myths That Will Keep You Floundering

MYTH: “Your resume is your primary marketing tool, and it needs to include detailed information about dates, duties, titles, companies, and industries where you have been employed in the past — plus the year you graduated from college, and what you majored in, and if you omit anything, it makes you seem suspicious."

Best of TZM: Be an Answer Finder, Not an Answer Haver

When beginning a new job or career, many of us feel pressure to have all of the answers. The thinking goes that the best people at the company always have the answers. The people at the bottom don’t, and the worst thing that can happen is to be caught without one.

Your Secret Job-Search Weapon

You can differentiate your candidacy in a powerful way by having and communicating a USP — i.e., Unique Selling Proposition. In the context of reality-based job-hunting methods, what the hiring authority wants most is the result she or he will get because of your education, experience, and capabilities.

I Read What You Wrote Last Summer: Your Online Footprint

When it comes to professionals seeking marketing, PR, and advertising careers, your resume is not your first impression — your social media footprint is. I mean, if you can’t market yourself, how could I possibly trust you to market my company?

Can Being a Workaholic Stunt Your Career?

While it is not uncommon to hear quite a bit about people that are considered slackers and how this can impair their careers, what about workaholics? There are people that some consider to be workaholics, but aren't. These people just have a good work ethic and want to save for retirement or another event.

Get Control of Your Meeting

Presenting yourself as a creative professional comes with a special kind of pressure. You are representing not only yourself, but yourself plus the work you’ve done. Not only is your appearance and performance examined, but things that you create with your hands, heart, and mind are judged as well.

How to Read an Interviewer's 'Cues'

In this age of email, IMing, tweeting, and Google Hangouts, face-to-face communication is becoming increasingly rare. One of the unintended consequences of that fact is that young job entrants have developed a kind of situational Asperger’s Syndrome, that variant of autism spectrum disorder characterized by poor language selection and a lack of ability to “read” the faces of others or respond to their visual cues.

Tips to Rock Your Video Interview

It has become more and more common that companies are conducting video interviews. With so much work done outside the office, it makes sense to avoid travelling conflicts and get right down to business. Whether you feel you’re good in interviews or not, there are a number of tactics that are best used in this situation.

Why Being on Time to Work Matters

Most of us have been there at one time or another. You start a new job and make sure that you’re on time for the first few weeks. Before you know it, whether by accident or plan, being at work at 8 a.m. turns into showing up at 8:03 a.m., 8:05 a.m., 8:10 a.m., and so on, and you are being reminded of what your hours truly are.

Land the Job In One Step: Create a Career Sheet

With steep competition for jobs (with at least three people for each opening, most likely more) and so many ways for your competitors to stand out in their job search, it’s even more important to find effective ways to stand out in the job market. Hokey tactics like printing your resume on colored paper, using strange fonts, or calling an employer too often are all frowned upon. But job seekers, feeling desperate, don’t know what else to do. Add to the mix the increase in the use of social media, and figuring out how to separate yourself from your competition can seem overwhelming.

Why We Hate Updating Our Résumés and What to Do About It

Every few years (or whenever the need arises), we engage in a loathsome activity that is about as pleasurable as getting a root canal at the dentist. It’s called updating our résumé. So why is this process so painful?

Manage Those Negative Nellies

Everyone wants to succeed in their career path. Henry Ford said, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” Unfortunately, not everyone moves forward together, and not everyone in our lives is positive about us moving forward in the career path we have chosen, whether they intend to be that way or not. Or they are simply negative about their own life course and in the process can inadvertently cause our own negative feelings to creep up.

Relocation: 8 Tips for Finding a Job in a New City

Relocation is undoubtedly exciting as a change of scenery usually is, but it can also be difficult. There are a million different reasons why people find themselves uprooted from one city and deposited in another. But there’s one common thing that everyone who has relocated shares: Starting over from scratch.

When Do I Take a Work Issue to HR?

It can be tricky sometimes to decide when to take an issue to human resources. After all, they walk the line between protecting you and protecting the company. It’s important to make sure that you are approaching human resources with an appropriate issue or you may be putting your job in jeopardy.

Master These 3 Confidence Cues to Rock Your Next Interview

Google the phrase “confidence is,” and you’ll get several cute results. Confidence is sexy, confidence is key, and — my personal favorite — confidence is the new black. Everyone has a clever way of communicating the value of confidence, but in an interview, there’s only one that matters: Confidence will make or break your chances of landing the job.

Stop Looking for Jobs, Start Looking for Skills

There is little doubt that today's job market has changed dramatically. Companies are constantly hiring and firing, and people no longer expect 'life-long' careers at a single organization, ending with a fat pension. Instead, we're living in a 'gig economy' where one to five-year stints is the norm. So how does one embrace this environment and plan their career in a market that's becoming ever more unpredictable?

How to Screw Up Your Interview

It is very easy to kill your chances of getting the job during an interview. If that is what you are hoping for, simply follow these simple rules.

5 Small Workplace Changes That Will Make You More Productive

Paying close attention to recent research into various workplace issues that impact employee productivity is crucial if you want your office to help you be more creative. Walking into any creative agency, it's not likely that you'll see stale colours and environments with a boring corporate touch. Creatives simply cannot bear spaces devoid of a stimulating design. Here are five small changes you can apply to your office right now and enjoy a greater creative output.

The GPS of Career Success

A GPS doesn't hem or haw. You input where you need to go, it maps the route and delivers. If you miss a return, it doesn't yell or stress. She simply tells you to make a U turn when possible.

Why Your Résumé Isn’t Working

Are you just a data point in the job search statistics? Are you one of the five million people who reportedly sent a résumé to Walmart, or one of the 250 people who applied for a typical corporate opening? Why would you expect your résumé to get more than the six seconds the average recruiter spends on them?

5 Insider Tips for Securing a Job in Content Marketing

As content marketing roles evolve, brands and agencies alike are starving for individuals who can write, edit, manage a blog, and secure publication placements. So how does a candidate prepare to land a job in this field?

Simple Strategies for Becoming a Stand-Out at the Office

Almost everyone in an office performs their duties satisfactorily, but only a few of them will be considered for advancement when the opportunity arises. Those few are employees who have succeeded in standing out in the office.

Be the Curator Behind Your Digital Presence

For many professionals out there, whether actively seeking employment or a career change, or for those who consider themselves passive candidates, a hacked-together profile is often the extent of their digital presence. In the best case scenario, a candidate might have a strategically composed profile complete with well-thought-out headlines, compelling job descriptions, and a nice profile shot.

The Unpaid Internship: Ticket to A Full-Time Job or A Dead End?

Our clients in career transition often ask us whether they should apply for internships as well as jobs, paid or unpaid, especially when they are just out of college or making a transition into a new career path. There are obvious pros and cons to working for free or having a short-term gig. And the argument can be made that internships are just a way for employers to just take advantage of free or low-cost contract labor.

Three Ways to Determine Your Long-Term Career Direction

Choosing a career is a much more complicated process than taking a simple career test. We have clients come to us often who want to find that ideal job, and have read a book or taken a career assessment only to still feel lost. It’s frustrating, understandably, because we all want to be successful and happy with our choice of career.

Networking Outside the Box: 4 Ways to Stand Out to Employers

The question on the mind of every job seeker I meet is consistently, "How do I stand out and get noticed in this job market?" For a lucky few, the traditional resume-cover letter combo can sometimes get the job done, making it to top of the application pile and wooing the attention of hiring managers. But for the majority, it's a struggle of understanding the strategy behind self-promotional marketing, making sure you have the best tools for the job, and of course, a little bit of luck.

Take the Sting Out of Short-Term Jobs On Your Résumé

No matter the justification, there are millions of different reasons and circumstances as to why people end up having “bits and pieces” of jobs on their résumé. But what ends up happening is that these brief stings end up being seen as potential liabilities or else scream “job hopper” to potential employers. You need to be smart about how you handle these and help solidify your background into something an employer can digest. Here are some approaches you might want to consider in order to take the sting out of short-term jobs.

Your Most Valuable Job Qualification

Most job hunters could gain access to more job opportunities by marketing themselves directly to the hiring authority, keeping in mind that what might well influence them sufficiently to want to meet you is something that is almost never mentioned in job postings.

You’re Fired! Losing a Job is Not the End of Your Career

“I’ve never been fired. I’m that good,” proclaimed the young art director to those of us sitting around the table in the bar. Our creative director’s shoulders slumped and he breathed heavily. I wanted to be somewhere else, anywhere else — this wasn’t going to be pretty. The rest of the creatives around the table were all of a sudden very interested in their drinks or ceiling tiles or something other than looking at what was about to happen.

Spring Cleaning: Unclutter Your Career

I have a love/hate relationship with spring cleaning. I positively dread the thought of the work involved, but admittedly get excited at the thought of a brand new start to something. Whilst in the midst of it, I inevitably have a mental collapse at the thought of tossing something seemingly precious, but in the end, revel in the cleanliness, sleekness, and “un-clutter” that abounds.

Don't Sell Your Time, Sell Your Value

This is a message for ad agencies, marketing firms, consultants, freelancers, and everyone who buys or sells a service. Hmmm. That means you and me. Almost always, a freelancer or consultant is asked what their "hourly rate" is.

Your Résumé, Through The Years

I’ve had 12 jobs in 21 years of writing for a living. (That’s not counting freelance during those “in between jobs” phases.) Clearly, if it’s one thing I’ve learned about, it’s job-hunting. And a good résumé has always been an essential part of the hunt.

Direct Mail Copy That Gets Job Interviews

Tired of hoping to win the Resume Lottery in order to generate interviews? There’s a long-proven formula used by direct mail marketers that you can adapt for use in generating interviews. Known as AIDA, it lets you get interviews based on factors that you can win on, rather than those that are commonly used to screen you out.

5 Keys to Managing a Career Transition

Mark Twain said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” While this quote is inspiring and easy to say, in reality it can be harder to actually implement, as we all know.

What To Do When a New Job Isn’t Working Out

If you find yourself in this kind of situation (it happens a lot more than most of us would like to think), the best tactic is to proactively reinforce your desire to meet/exceed the performance expectations and ask for help from the supervisors on formulating a plan on how to get there.

Six Cover Letter Mistakes You Should Avoid

If you think recruiters don't have the time to properly read your cover letter, you'd be surprised. In fact, a cover letter says a lot about a person — after screening the resumes of potential candidates, hiring managers usually turn to cover letters to see if a candidate will fit into the company’s culture and whether their competencies match with those the business is seeking. Here are six of the most common cover letter mistakes to avoid if you want to pass the initial screening and improve your chances of being considered for a position.

Create the Best Image for Your Next Interview and Get Hired

Workplace dynamics aren't what they used to be. Turns out, crafting a stellar resume and nailing all the interview questions won't guarantee you get the job. A study conducted by Duke University researchers revealed a steep positive correlation between appearance and compensation.

What to Do When You’re Qualified but Never BEST Qualified

You’ve heard the phrase, “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.” This is how it feels when you’re constantly almost the right candidate for the job. You’ve got the skills and experience, but you’re passed over for someone with just a little more of whatever the employer wanted.

Freelancing: If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get

If you do a lot of freelance creative work, you might wonder what set you on the freelance path in the first place. In the old jobs-a-plenty economy, the answer might have been creative freedom, or indecision about how you wanted to spend your future and who you wanted to spend it with — the old failure-to-commit problem. Or perhaps you were just using the freelance life as a way of getting your foot in the door when you were just out of school or in the midst of a career change.

How to Retrain and Change Your Career

It's safe to say that during the last few years, radical changes in the global economy inspired quite a few interesting trends in job markets. One of them is a growing interest in career transitions. Even when facing high unemployment rates, workers today are often willing to change the course of their careers. Retraining might become a part of the process, and knowing when and how to retrain is crucial for a smooth career transition. Here are four tips on how to retrain and successfully change your career track.

The 5 Most Important Factors for Choosing Your Work Environment

Being in the right work environment is as critical (if not more) to enjoying your work and being successful at your job than any other component to consider. It is so important, yet many people are not in a work environment that allows them to thrive and be fulfilled. Moreover, half of the clients I work with are actually in the right role or in a job that truly is a fit for them, but their work environment is not a fit. They’re miserable.

Have You Turned Interviewing Into a Career?

Do you feel like you're always being interviewed but you never get the job? Believe it or not, you should count yourself lucky. Only between four and six people get called in for an interview for every batch of 100 resumes. Obviously you're doing something right on your resume and something wrong in your interview if interviewing has become a career for you.

Your Six-Step Guide to Going Freelance

Would YOU like a job you can do from home, in your jammies, on your own schedule? Doesn’t that sound great? Then consider becoming a freelancer! Just know — there’s no starting salary, no benefits, no support staff, and no free coffee. And no clients or leads. But if you follow my exclusive, six-step program, you too can answer the “what do you do?” question by saying “I’m freelancing right now” (instead of “I got laid off” or “I’m between jobs”) — and really mean it.

Facing the Fear: Take Control of Your Career Transition

Thinking of making a career change immobilizes most people with fear. Whether you are aiming for a slight adjustment or a dramatic shift, altering your career path in any way can be overwhelming. And let’s face it — conducting a job search is not anyone’s idea of a good time. Often, job seekers choose to ignore the challenge instead of face it head-on. As a result, they end up years later in the same job they do not enjoy, wondering where the time went.

​Should You Pick a Niche?

When considering a new path in your creative career, you have to look at what makes sense in today's world. Changes in technology, along with other influences, have a big impact on the growth potential for some industries and career options. Remember that every industry has marketing, advertising, public relations, digital and social media opportunities, or even entire departments. Should you get specific about the niche you want to enter, instead of remaining either broad-scoped or agency side?

What's More Important: Salary or Job Security?

​Which excites you more? A job with long-term security that you can really sink your teeth into, or a job with an impressive pay packet and a dash more risk?

Do You Really Want That Career Advice?

Whether you're looking for new employment or trying to move up within your organization, there is all kinds of advice out there. ​Although taking career advice is fine, you will need to use your judgment and see whether that particular advice is best for you and your career goals.

The 12 Most Crucial Steps to Crafting a Killer Résumé

Sometimes applying for jobs feels like casting baited hooks into murky waters in the hopes of catching a big fish. Similarly, applicants push résumés out to job boards and recruiters, eager to hook a recruiter and land an interview. But with so many applications flowing into recruiters’ inboxes, how can job seekers make their résumés stand out in a sea of applicants? Here are 12 vital steps to creating a standout résumé:

Create a YouTube Channel for Your Job Search in 5 Steps

As we all know, YouTube can be a powerful tool for self-promotion — especially when in the midst of a job search. YouTube has over one billion distinct visitors every month. So if you can create a solid, professional YouTube channel for your job search, you can not only have an additional tool for prospective employers to understand your value and your brand, but you can also create a national and even global presence in your industry.

Making it Happen, This Year

The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to jump-start career-related resolutions, including the ones you didn’t get to last year or the year before. Perhaps your list seemed overwhelming or the goals you set were unrealistic.

Master the Sales Thing

Marketing involves a lot of sales. Sales is the most difficult job in most companies, especially the “eat what you kill” variety. But if you are cut out for it, you will most likely reap some serious rewards.

​Put Big Data to Use for Your Career Aspirations

The job market is becoming more competitive, and job seekers will find it increasingly difficult to land their desired jobs. If you want to get your dream job, you need to have a good understanding of the recruitment methods that are currently being used by companies and take the appropriate measures to make yourself more visible and attractive to potential employers.

Timing: When to Do What in a Job Search

​Timing may not be everything, but in job hunting, some times are better than others.

Best of TZM: Ask These Questions for a Successful Interview

More often than not, how you convey your value and abilities can determine whether you end up at the top of the consideration set of a job interview. If you are prepared, can tell compelling stories of your career, and chemically connect with the hiring managers, more than likely you have struck a resonant tone for a positive outcome.

Best of TZM: Keeping Your Cool with Unprofessional Colleagues

It’s all well and good to get on really well with your colleagues and superiors — in fact, it is very conducive to creating a pleasant work environment — but it is more important that they respect your abilities as a professional. After all, would you rather have a colleague who you could have a great time with but was unreliable, or one that was competent and could be trusted to get things done?

Best of TZM: Ask These Questions for a Successful Interview

More often than not, how you convey your value and abilities can determine whether you end up at the top of the consideration set of a job interview. If you are prepared, can tell compelling stories of your career, and chemically connect with the hiring managers, more than likely you have struck a resonant tone for a positive outcome.

Best of TZM: How To Circumvent Potential Screen-Out Issues

In today’s economy, job hunters often get screened out for reasons unrelated to their ability to handle the position they apply for. It can happen both before you get an interview and even after you get one — if you are fortunate to secure a meeting with the hiring authority.

Take the Sting Out of Short-Term Jobs On Your Résumé

No matter the justification, there are millions of different reasons and circumstances as to why people end up having “bits and pieces” of jobs on their résumé. But what ends up happening is that these brief stings end up being seen as potential liabilities or else scream “job hopper” to potential employers. You need to be smart about how you handle these and help solidify your background into something an employer can digest. Here are some approaches you might want to consider in order to take the sting out of short-term jobs.

Are You Getting Past the Job Interview?

Interview preparation is important, but it might be how you handle yourself after the interview that makes the biggest difference. That's right. There are a number of post-interview dos and don'ts that could mean the difference between landing a job and being overlooked. When it comes to interview success, here are just a few things to do — and not to do — after the interview.

Six Cover Letter Mistakes You Should Avoid

If you think recruiters don't have the time to properly read your cover letter, you'd be surprised. In fact, a cover letter says a lot about a person — after screening the resumes of potential candidates, hiring managers usually turn to cover letters to see if a candidate will fit into the company’s culture and whether their competencies match with those the business is seeking. Here are six of the most common cover letter mistakes to avoid if you want to pass the initial screening and improve your chances of being considered for a position.

4 Personal Branding Habits of Highly Successful People

Why are some people successful while other talented people fall short? Desire and talent are always the main ingredients for achievement. However, highly successful people stand out not so much because of what they know or even who they know, but because of how they brand themselves.

Why Selfies Could Tank Your Job Search

The recent buzz in the media regarding selfies and narcissism, and the fact that most employers will now Google their prospective employees, begs the question of whether the selfie can harm your job search. It’s a great question, and while it would be difficult to predict or study, as with anything related to your career, it’s better to err on the side of caution. Here’s why and what to do about it.

See the Future and Build Your Career

Building a successful career in marketing, media, or advertising is an exercise in making smart choices by anticipating constant change. Technology, business processes, and economic conditions will be in continuous evolution or flux for the next fifty years. As the year winds down and many of us re-evaluate where we are and where we’re heading, accept this premise and prepare yourself to move ahead. Ask yourself three critical questions.

Job Seekers: Applicant Tracking Systems Are Not Your Enemy

It’s not a secret…most job seekers are mystified by applicant tracking systems and the role they play in the recruiting and hiring process. As the co-creator of an applicant tracking system, I have a few decades of experience in this area and want to shed light on what an applicant tracking system is and why it can be a viable tool for job seekers to help get the job they want.

You’re Fired! Losing a Job is Not the End of Your Career

“I’ve never been fired. I’m that good,” proclaimed the young art director to those of us sitting around the table in the bar. Our creative director’s shoulders slumped and he breathed heavily. I wanted to be somewhere else, anywhere else — this wasn’t going to be pretty. The rest of the creatives around the table were all of a sudden very interested in their drinks or ceiling tiles or something other than looking at what was about to happen.

The Young Professional's Holiday Wish List

With the holidays quickly approaching, many young professionals want nothing more than a job they love. The holidays often pass by with family and friends and the things that are truly important in life, and then it hits — the holidays are over and you’re back to being an intern or being that graduate looking to break into your industry. In other words, it’s okay to have a wish list this holiday season, and it’s okay that this wish list be centered around your career.

The Etiquette of the Creative Interview

Interviews for a creative position are usually much different than for any other type of job. Wearing a suit is not a good idea. Discussing your love of Swedish cinema with the creative director is not out of the realm of possibility. However, don't let the relaxed attitude fool you into thinking that anything goes because it's still a job interview. You're still being evaluated even if it feels more like a cocktail party.

Are You Selling Out for the Benefits?

Sometimes people don't love their jobs, but stay anyway. A paycheck is one of the essentials for most people, after all. Another essential many receive from employment is benefits, especially those tied to health care.

Smile! Tips for Your Social Media Profile Photo

Many clients approach me and ask for help in setting up LinkedIn and other social media profiles. Easy enough. However, when I tell them that they need to get a photo posted, they get uncomfortable.

How to Prevent HR 'Red Flags' from Derailing Your Job Search

My advice is that you will have a substantially higher likelihood of getting an interview if you make your first contact by sending a marketing letter directly to the hiring authority. Essentially, the idea is to make an offer to be of service to her or him by telling them that you can help them reach their business financial goals faster with the capabilities you can bring to the table as the result of your education and experience, and that you would be glad to come by one day soon for a brief visit to tell them more about your qualifications.

Oh No They Didn't: Questions They Can't Ask You In An Interview

Employers must be very sensible and sensitive in regards to what questions recruiters can and cannot be asking in a job interview. Particularly, questions in regards to a candidate’s personal life or religious choices should not be asked at all. A recruiter’s aim in a job interview is to get as much information out of the candidate as possible, but also not to make them feel uncomfortable, because at the end of the day, they would want them to wish to work for the company! Here are some guidelines in regards to what questions you shouldn’t be asked in a job interview as a candidate.

The GPS of Career Success

A GPS doesn't hem or haw. You input where you need to go, it maps the route and delivers. If you miss a return, it doesn't yell or stress. She simply tells you to make a U turn when possible.

If It’s Not on Your Résumé, Did You Really Do It?

If someone tried to sell you a new smartphone but only told you how great the touchscreen and battery life were, would you buy it? Probably not. You would have more questions: How fast is the processor? How great is the camera? Are there any cool video features? If the salesperson only presented you with a few of the smartphone’s best features, he would be selling the product short, and he probably wouldn’t be selling you at all.

Brand Yourself as High Potential

Keeping your nose to the grindstone is a great place to start, but a solid "brand" strategy is even better. You need to set a projected path and make the most of every interaction. Whatever you are doing, make a commitment to do it well — no matter what the task. It is your behavior that will identify you as something extraordinary.

When You Should Take an Issue to HR

It can be tricky sometimes to decide when to take an issue to human resources. After all, they walk the line between protecting you and protecting the company. It’s important to make sure that you are approaching human resources with an appropriate issue or you may be putting your job in jeopardy.

SEO for the Job Hunt

Social media is a fun place to be. We gather with friends, argue with others, and share our lives with the world around us. It can also be a boom or a bust when it comes to seeking employment. Statistically over half of employers will look online for additional information on prospective employees. For obvious reasons, this can be either a problem or an advantage. There are two main areas here that need to be addressed. The first is making sure your profiles don't work to your disadvantage. The second is to make sure you're putting your very best foot forward. So how is this done?

Land the Job In One Step: Create a Career Sheet

With steep competition for jobs (with at least three people for each opening, most likely more) and so many ways for your competitors to stand out in their job search, it’s even more important to find effective ways to stand out in the job market. Hokey tactics like printing your resume on colored paper, using strange fonts, or calling an employer too often are all frowned upon. But job seekers, feeling desperate, don’t know what else to do. Add to the mix the increase in the use of social media, and figuring out how to separate yourself from your competition can seem overwhelming.

Speak Now or Forever Play Catch-Up

To progress in a communications career, you'll most likely need to lead meetings, do new business pitches, and participate in client interaction. What these situations require is confidence and continual education. Enrolling in a public speaking club or other organization that offers consistent practice in front of a live audience is one of the best ways to succeed.

How to Fix an 'Old' Personal Brand

Creating a personal brand is much like creating a 3D resume. Everything on the paper has to come to life through social media, guest blogging on websites, business cards, and even email addresses. However you want to create your personal brand is up to you — be creative and start building up your accomplishments on and off the web. In the end, creating a personal brand can be a lot of fun. However what many professionals don’t realize is that you’re not always creating a personal brand from scratch.

Resume Myths That Will Keep You Floundering

MYTH: “Your resume is your primary marketing tool, and it needs to include detailed information about dates, duties, titles, companies, and industries where you have been employed in the past — plus the year you graduated from college, and what you majored in, and if you omit anything, it makes you seem suspicious."

Connectiquette: The Etiquette of Connections

Connectiquette is not a typo or a new state in the U.S. It refers to a process of thoughtful deliberation. In the spirit of being responsible, here are several recommendations on how to handle networking and connecting with people you feel can have an influence on your job search or career development.

9 Powerful Reasons Why Your Moral Character Matters (At Work and Beyond)

It’s not always easy to admit a mistake, persevere during tough times, or follow through on every promise made. It’s not always comfortable to convey the hard truth or stand up for your beliefs. In the short term, it may not be beneficial to do right by your customers, to put people before profits, or to distance yourself from a questionable relationship. BUT, in the long run, doing the right thing is the clear path to both success and happiness.

This is Why Companies are Hiring

If you're looking for a job, you are always looking for a way to get an edge on the competition - especially in an economy where there are more applicants than job openings. One of the keys is to understand why companies are hiring and how you can fit in with their reasons.

On a Roll in Your Home Office: How to Make it Happen

Telecommuting is at an all-time peak in terms of popularity. According to The New York Times, there are 3.2 million Americans who work a legitimate job from home. There are many benefits to telecommuting, such as convenient kitchen access, lack of noise, and the ability to lounge around in sweatpants instead of traditional work attire.

Finding the Office Culture 'Sweet Spot'

This past weekend, my husband and I were invited over to a friend’s house for dinner, and afterwards, we played “Catchphrase.” If you haven’t played it before, it’s sort of like the verbal companion to the game of Pictionary…one partner describes something (versus drawing it) and the other person has to guess, all while racing to beat the clock.

Up Your Career, One Step at a Time

You've graduated college, landed a decent job with room for advancement, and are satisfied with your pay. So now what? Unfortunately, you can't just coast along, even if you're not looking to get promoted right away. Nowadays, people need to continue investing in themselves in order to simply keep their current job.

Why Your Resume Is Like a Burger

Nothing gets your foot through a recruiter’s door like an intriguing CV. Here are some simple rules that you can follow to achieve a coherent and effective resume. A resume is made up of many different layers, not unlike a burger. It needs to have a "bun," or strong foundation to start with that gets the point across of who you are and where you want to go. This is the first thing the recruiter sees, and either encourages them to look further or put it in the "no" pile with the rest.

Tips for Getting Your First Web or Digital Job

There is a lot of different advice available on getting your first job in the web or digital arena. Even though there are lots of jobs available, it’s crucial to know how to look for them and which steps to take. The essential steps begin with building the fundamental tools that will get employers and possible clients interested and get your work noticed.

4 Tips for an Award-Winning Job Interview

Never is personal branding more important than when you’re on the line in a job interview, particularly if it’s a job you really want. Yet most of us go into an interview feeling nervous and powerless. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! With that mindset, it’s hard to feel genuine and comfortable in your own skin, so you’re likely to bomb. What you need to do is take control.

You Might Want to Leave That Out!

Quality trumps quantity. Remember that. Your portfolio is an honored place, a place where only your absolute best work resides. It is hallowed ground — the Valhalla for your creative, a place where your greatest ideas are gathered, waiting for that moment when you will call upon them to do battle for you, either in a job or client search.

How Costly is the Gap in Your Resume?

Whether you've been laid off, fired, or quit, if you don't have a job ready and waiting for you, you're going to have a gap in employment on your resume. And unfortunately, the bigger that gap gets, the harder it's going to be to finally land a job. Currently, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the U.S. unemployment rate sits at 6.2 percent as of July 2014.

4 Ways to Invest in Your Career Now

The best time to look for a job is while you already have one. Even if you're happy with your current position, you should be thinking about the future and positioning yourself for the day that you decide it's time to move on. Investing in your career inoculates you against layoffs, closings, changes of management, or simple burnout. Work for a better future while you're working today.

Face the Fear and Take Control of Your Career Transition

Are you immobilized by the fear of making a change in your career? Whether you are aiming for a slight adjustment or a dramatic shift, altering your career path in any way can be overwhelming. Often, job seekers choose to ignore the challenge instead of facing it head-on. As a result, they end up years later in the same job they don’t enjoy, wondering where the time went. As a certified career coach, I keep track of the surveys published every few years with depressing numbers about employee satisfaction. One of the most recent is from Right Management: 16% are somewhat satisfied, 44% are unsatisfied.

What Are You Willing To Sacrifice?

Robert was at a crossroads. After four years at the same company, he needed a change. But not just a job change — a career change. He had joined the company right after college, was making a great living in sales, came and went as he pleased, and his managers adored him. But he despised cold calling, and he had no passion for the products he was selling

Pros and Cons of Various Job Hunting Methods

Resumes tell, marketing letters sell. Save your resume and send it after interest has been expressed in you. An effective marketing letter has the additional advantage of pre-selling you, thus making it more likely that your interview will be mainly about chemistry, and less of an interrogation.

Be Career Smart and Money Wise

If you aren't satisfied with your current career, leaving your position before you have another job lined up could spell trouble for your future career-seeking endeavors. Sticking it out until something better comes along is the best way to manage your income and your work life.

A Labor Day Celebration of Work Ethic

Best of TZM: Originally titling this piece "What I Look for in a Candidate," the author wrote "I’ve always said I’d much rather hire someone who worked her way through city college... than someone handed an Ivy league education..."

Observe These 3 Things During Your Next Interview

Networking is the oxygen of the connected economy. It is the currency of consumer collaboration. Unless you are a monk, getting through life in the 21st century is a challenge at best if you have no network. Virtually every job today is gained through the network. If you are selling storage, soup, semiconductors, software, soap, or self, you require relationships and relationship building skills.

Networking: Be Dr. Jekyll, Not Hyde

Networking is the oxygen of the connected economy. It is the currency of consumer collaboration. Unless you are a monk, getting through life in the 21st century is a challenge at best if you have no network. Virtually every job today is gained through the network. If you are selling storage, soup, semiconductors, software, soap, or self, you require relationships and relationship building skills.

How To Make You The Competition

If you need or want a new job and you want to differentiate yourself and stand OUT from the competition in an intelligent way, this article is meant for you. Even if all you want to do is make a lateral move. Most job hunters assume it will all come down to who has the most experience, the best accomplishments, education from the most prestigious college, etc. Those are often the deciding factors in who gets interviews, but not necessarily so.

Stand Out and Get Promoted

Almost everyone in an office performs their duties satisfactorily, but only a few of them will be considered for advancement when the opportunity arises. Those few are employees who have succeeded in standing out in the office.

How Far Do You Go for the Dream Career?

If you know the career you've always wanted is out there, but just can't seem to find it, when do you call it quits on the search? Considering the majority of the working class is having trouble just finding a good job to begin with, sometimes pursuing that dream job isn't worth the effort or risk.

5 Job-Search Mistakes to Stop Making

Job searches can be frustrating for many of us. You feel like your resume is going into the black hole in the HR department. You do not hear back right away after your interview. Or you do not know how long your job search is going to take, much less which strategy will prove to be the winner.

The 'Fab 5' of Your Work Life

You are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with. -Jim Rohn

I've heard this quote on various occasions. Every time I come across it, I pause for a moment, as the message that lives there is simply so powerful. What and who we surround ourselves with can affect us — and we can begin to mirror the moods, problems, and passions of our surroundings.

Don't Sell Your Time, Sell Your Value

This is a message for ad agencies, marketing firms, consultants, freelancers, and everyone who buys or sells a service. Hmmm. That means you and me. Almost always, a freelancer or consultant is asked what their "hourly rate" is.

4 Personal Branding Habits of Highly Successful People

Why are some people successful while other talented people fall short? Desire and talent are always the main ingredients for achievement. However, highly successful people stand out not so much because of what they know or even who they know, but because of how they brand themselves.

Why Clothing Can Make or Break the Interview

According to a Forbes article, statistics show that first impressions are made within the initial 30 seconds of a job interview. And yes, appearance and wardrobe choices play a big part in the hiring decision. You've worked so hard to get that interview; make sure you play it to your advantage by dressing the part. Business professional is the way to go for most any type of interview.

What to Do When You’re Qualified but Never BEST Qualified

You’ve heard the phrase, “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.” This is how it feels when you’re constantly almost the right candidate for the job. You’ve got the skills and experience, but you’re passed over for someone with just a little more of whatever the employer wanted.

How to Stay Passionate About Your Position

Have you lost that lovin’ feeling for your job? How do you know if it is just a phase, whether it is your job or role, or instead maybe the industry that you are in? If you are not as jazzed about your work lately, one of the things you want to consider first is — how bad is it? Is it just a passing phase and hopefully something you can address, or do you need to change positions or your long-term career direction?

To Find More Jobs, Be a Friendly Sleuth

It's a numbers game. You need to be vigilant about tapping into every job resource you can to put the odds in your favor. Sure, many jobs are posted online — but not all of them. There is also a large invisible market that you need to understand and tap into to significantly increase your chances of landing the job you want.

Direct Mail Copy That Gets Job Interviews

Tired of hoping to win the Resume Lottery in order to generate interviews? There’s a long-proven formula used by direct mail marketers that you can adapt for use in generating interviews. Known as AIDA, it lets you get interviews based on factors that you can win on, rather than those that are commonly used to screen you out.

Are You Just Spinning Your Wheels?

There are plenty of slackers out there. There are people who work hard and earn all they've got. Then there are workaholics. But what about you? Are you spinning your wheels? Will it all work out? Or will your hard work backfire?

Careers vs. Babies

While some moms have the option of staying home or going back to work, many do not. Moms may be single, they may have a partner or husband who isn't working, or they may simply need the additional income that working provides. It's not always a matter of which is more important, it's a matter of what needs to happen in order to survive.

How to Reframe Your Interview

Few people actually enjoy interviews. But part of that is because of the way we perceive what's going down. An interviewer will sense the difference and that could help you get the job. So reframe these key elements for a much better experience.

Video Interviews Taking Flight

The Internet has increased efficiency and improved communication for many businesses. One way that is happening is through videoconferencing for job interviews. This is not just a global phenomenon when you are hiring someone from across the country; it is also being done for local and statewide job applications.

Résumé Length: The Devil Is in the Details

How do you winnow your background into a tidy and clear illustration about your value to prospective employers?

Keeping Your Cool with Unprofessional Colleagues

It’s all well and good to get on really well with your colleagues and superiors — in fact, it is very conducive to creating a pleasant work environment — but it is more important that they respect your abilities as a professional. After all, would you rather have a colleague who you could have a great time with but was unreliable, or one that was competent and could be trusted to get things done?

How to Ace Phone Interviews and Get Hired

In a job market that taxes every hiring manager in terms of the volume of candidates and resumes they are seeing each day, you need to deal with the reality that a major hurdle in the process comes on the phone. Handling that moment without preparation, focus, and planning can end your chances for new employment in a split second.

Celebrate Our Country's Independence... and Your Own Dependence!

It's time to celebrate our independence, something our culture reveres and holds dear. But is total independence a personal goal as well? Or are we that much stronger when we depend on others, especially at work?

Are Benefits Keeping You From Your Dream Job?

According to a survey done by Monster.com, health insurance was the most important benefit offered to employees. It was ranked highest by 32% over vacation time at 26%. The deciding factor in which job was accepted often came down to the benefits, and health coverage in particular.

10 Tips and Pointers for Job Hunters

Contrary to what you may have heard, networking is not the fastest way to get a new job according to new research from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, which found that “those who use their network connections actually find jobs at a slower rate than the average job seeker. The most effective way is to directly contact potential employers.”

How to Know What You Are Worth

I recently gave a talk to a group of design students on negotiating their first salaries. Worth and how to determine it was very much on their minds. Three were in the process of bargaining.

Dealing With Pregnancy in the Work Place

Having a baby is one of the most remarkable experiences of your life. That being said, it doesn't come without a price. Pregnancy and babies are expensive, and having the right health insurance in place matters, especially in the workplace.

10 Reasons to Connect with Someone You Don’t Know

As Porter Gale launches her new tome Your Network is Your Net Worth, I am reminded of another aspect of networking that has both risk and opportunity. How do you handle requests to connect from people you do not know or know little? I have written previously about the Etiquette of Connecting and those rules still apply for most if not all situations. That said, conventional wisdom would have it that you simply do not connect for the precise reason that you do not know the person.

Career Momentum Through Social Networking

The average attention span in the year 2000 was 12 seconds. In 2013, it was down to eight seconds. That means: A. Bull riding really is the perfect entertainment, and B. If you want someone to notice you on a social network, be brilliant and brief.

How to Reach Career Resonance: Purpose, Passion, and Persistence

Career resonance in my view is a state of existence where you are happy, healthy, balanced, busy, and emboldened. Your life is self-fulfilling because all aspects are generally working together to make you high performing and personally and professionally satisfied with your career and life. In my coaching practice, I see this phenomena from time to time. To me, this is the ultimate state of being and where the rubber meets the road. It is not to say that it is nirvana, but with purpose, passion, and persistence, you can thrive in a manner that feeds your performance and success.

Are You Social Enough Online?

Almost 1.5 billion people use Facebook. Twitter, Google+, and Instagram aren't far behind. As those in the world of marketing know, social media isn't just for connecting with family and friends; it's essential for branding, word of mouth, and networking. This, of course, makes social media very important in the job world, too.

10 Resume Tips for Busy Job Seekers

Check out this quick and dirty, on-the-go list of resume tips from Tom Kellum. Here's just the first one: Assume that whoever reads your resume will do so with a skeptical, possibly cynical frame of mind and will rarely give you the benefit of the doubt.

Optimizing Professional Profiles and Why You Can’t Put It Off Any Longer

For many students and professionals looking for jobs, optimizing a professional profile on top networking sites has been that dreaded thing that you know you have to do, but you also know you can push back (over and over again). Unfortunately for you, I’m here to tell you that optimizing your account can’t be put on the back burner any longer.

Freelancing: If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get

If you do a lot of freelance creative work, you might wonder what set you on the freelance path in the first place. In the old jobs-a-plenty economy, the answer might have been creative freedom, or indecision about how you wanted to spend your future and who you wanted to spend it with — the old failure-to-commit problem. Or perhaps you were just using the freelance life as a way of getting your foot in the door when you were just out of school or in the midst of a career change.

Do Health Benefits Trump Creative Challenge?

When choosing a job, is the benefits package one of your deciding factors? Are you slowly ebbing away from that dream designer or marketing job in favor of low co-pays? For many people, working for a company that offers a superior health benefits plan is a top priority, especially for families.

Make an Impression at Career Fairs

It can feel like the same old thing — you and hundreds, if not thousands, of other job seekers are trying to make a good first impression. Career fairs can be a critical piece to your job search because of the access they provide you, in person, to employers who are hiring — a goldmine. But how can you stand out in the sea of faces from the hundreds of others in your field vying for the same job?

Raising the Bar on Earning More Money

After putting in hours upon hours, day after day at your job, the truest gesture of appreciation comes in the form of a raise. Sure, a "thank you" here and there or a Saturday barbecue hosted by your boss is nice, but most employees agree that nothing says "I value your hard work" more than a good 'ole fashioned raise.

Ask These Questions for a Successful Interview

More often than not, how you convey your value and abilities can determine whether you end up at the top of the consideration set of a job interview. If you are prepared, can tell compelling stories of your career, and chemically connect with the hiring managers, more than likely you have struck a resonant tone for a positive outcome.

Find and Maintain Workplace Happiness

The “careers” your parents and grandparents had are things of the past — these days, we have experiences. The desire for stability in a career has been buried by the desire to love what you do, all day, every day. You will spend more waking hours a week at work than home — sad, but true — so if you desire a happy life, a happy job is pretty critical.

How to Design the Perfect Home Office

Working from home is a great job perk, but if you don't have the right in-home office setting, it could spell trouble for your productivity. Luckily, there are a number of ways you can easily turn just about any room in your house into a quiet, private office suite. When you're ready to work 9 to 5 from the comfort of your own abode, here are just a few tips to make your house work-friendly.

Want to Work in Your Pajamas?

Does getting out of bed, making coffee, and showing up to your computer sound like the perfect commute? Telecommuting is becoming more common, with employers realizing its money-saving potential and the popularity of telecommuting with workers.

New Job? No Training? What To Do

You have started your new job, are a week into it, and realize you are either in over your head or your company is offering little training and support — worst case, both. Being thrown into the deep end in a new job with unclear expectations or mentoring can be difficult and stressful. But there are specific steps you can implement to take the reins and get a handle on the situation.

Spring Cleaning: Unclutter Your Career

I have a love/hate relationship with spring cleaning. I positively dread the thought of the work involved, but admittedly get excited at the thought of a brand new start to something. Whilst in the midst of it, I inevitably have a mental collapse at the thought of tossing something seemingly precious, but in the end, revel in the cleanliness, sleekness, and “un-clutter” that abounds.

10 Tips and Pointers for Job Hunters

Contrary to what you may have heard, networking is not the fastest way to get a new job according to new research from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, which found that “those who use their network connections actually find jobs at a slower rate than the average job seeker. The most effective way is to directly contact potential employers.”

What To Do When a New Job Isn’t Working Out

Recently, a contact emailed me to ask for some help on a troubling situation. After a substantial period of unemployment, she had finally landed a job at a company she had really wanted to work at for some time. The trouble is, things didn’t exactly work out the way she had hoped.

Best of TZM: Get More Interviews in 2014

If you’ve been puzzled about why the resumes you’ve sent haven’t generated more interviews, this tip, known and used by direct response marketers, may be just what you need. It’s well known that HR only gives most resumes a very quick look before moving on to the next one, yet even if your resume gets to the hiring authority, you probably won’t get a response.

Facing the Fear: Take Control of Your Career Transition

Thinking of making a career change immobilizes most people with fear. Whether you are aiming for a slight adjustment or a dramatic shift, altering your career path in any way can be overwhelming. And let’s face it — conducting a job search is not anyone’s idea of a good time. Often, job seekers choose to ignore the challenge instead of face it head-on. As a result, they end up years later in the same job they do not enjoy, wondering where the time went.

Should You Use A Video Resume?

In today's job market, a video resume can be a great way to help you stand out from the competition, whether you are looking for your first job, looking for another job, or quite simply switching careers altogether. However, if your video resume isn't done well, it can actually hurt your chances at the getting the job.

On-Site Freelance: One Part Skill, Two Parts Hustle

Regardless of how you got the gig or what the company told you their reasons for needing a freelancer were, there is often a backstory that was conveniently not mentioned. Are you covering the workload of someone twice your senior? Did they just fire someone? Are they defending a key account? Is the agency using freelancers on a revolving door basis to keep health-care costs down? As a pure freelancer, as long as they pay you on time, the reasons don’t matter much.

Does the Dress Make the Office Woman?

It can be incredibly challenging for a woman to know what she should or shouldn't wear in the office. Some women dress a little too provocatively, possibly making their male coworkers uncomfortable or, even worse, making their coworkers or bosses view them as “unprofessional.”

Do Babies and Careers Mix?

While expecting a baby can be an exciting time as you prepare to welcome a new little one into your home, it can also be a stressful time in regards to your career. You may be worried about how this transition into motherhood will affect your career and what can you can expect. With that in mind, what should be your top priorities moving forward?

How to Beat the Salary Survey Trap

Beth had been at the company for two years and began the conversation with her manager to negotiate a salary increase. She deferred to HR and was told that her salary was higher than market rate based on the surveys they use. She then asked her manager to ask HR if they could share their info, because her surveys said otherwise. “I heard back today that they are not able to share their sources. They said that they matched my current role to surveyed job descriptions, then they added a premium for our location.”

How Important Are Workplace Reviews to Your Career?

Your performance review can have a major impact on your career — either positive or negative. A good review can improve your job security and may even score you a promotion, while a bad review may mean you'll have to wait an entire year to make another case for a raise. How can you prepare for your next review to make sure it's a good one?

Nail the Interview

It's no secret that people are looking for work these days, perhaps more now than any other time in the recent past. Even those with a job may be looking to change careers for additional income and/or better chances to move up within a company. Finding a job can seem to be a hit or miss prospect, unless you're in the know on how to ace an interview.

Why You Should Always Practice Your Job Interview

“Practice makes perfect” is an expression frequently thrown at youth sports participants, but it is also applicable for adults preparing for a job interview. Although it may be impossible to predict exactly what the interviewer is going to ask, there are still ways to develop sample answers. This makes it easier to have insightful responses prepared that will please the interviewers while enhancing the overall appeal of the candidate.

Is One of Your Skills Negotiating a Raise?

Negotiating is a part of life. My husband and I recently purchased a car and really had to work the dealership down on what we were willing to pay. My husband's not much of a negotiator and probably would have bought the car for sticker price had I not been there.

Keeping Financially Afloat After a Layoff

Major companies said goodbye to workers via layoffs during 2013. Corporations like Boeing, Cisco Systems, and many others sent people home en masse. Even smaller companies had to hand out the pink slips to their workers even though they didn't garner as much attention as the big names.

How to Fix an 'Old' Personal Brand

Creating a personal brand is much like creating a 3D resume. Everything on the paper has to come to life through social media, guest blogging on websites, business cards, and even email addresses. However you want to create your personal brand is up to you — be creative and start building up your accomplishments on and off the web. In the end, creating a personal brand can be a lot of fun. However what many professionals don’t realize is that you’re not always creating a personal brand from scratch.

How To Circumvent Potential Screen-Out Issues

In today’s economy, job hunters often get screened out for reasons unrelated to their ability to handle the position they apply for. It can happen both before you get an interview and even after you get one — if you are fortunate to secure a meeting with the hiring authority.

How to Survive the Deep End at Your New Job

We all want to make a good impression at our new jobs, especially in that first few weeks. We are excited, enthusiastic, and ready to take on any challenge. So what happens if you realize early on that things are not as they seemed in the interview, specifically with the training or mentoring you thought you would receive? What if there is no honeymoon period and you have been thrown into the deep end with no flotation device?

Essential Interview Advice

Don’t chew gum. Don’t bring your own coffee. Be on time. Those are easy. Here’s the hard stuff. Don’t talk too much. Maintain your attention. Be relaxed. What’s the difference? It’s simple: we really don’t need to be told to be on time, sans coffee and gum.

The Absolute Best Job Search Tips for Today's Competitive Market

No matter how brilliant you are, no matter how talented and qualified, the current job market is such that every job you apply for carries stiff competition. To land a job and make it a good one, you will need to work many angles to get those odds in your favor.

How to Evaluate Multiple Job Offers

If you are one of the fortunate few to begin benefitting from the slow-going jobs recovery, you are in an enviable position. Furthermore, if the offers number more than one, you truly are in an exceptional position and can count your lucky stars for your luck, diligence, experience, and brilliance. In a recent Thomas Friedman, New York Times editorial, he takes time and words to illuminate what it takes to get a job at Google. Casting aside the importance of GPA and test scores, Mr. Friedman’s piece cites leadership, humility, collaboration, adaptability, and a love of learning or relearning as critical metrics to assess success.

How to Find Your Real Dream Job

We hear it all the time: “find your passion” or “do what you love and the money will follow.” It sounds so easy, right? But if it was, we would all be passionate about our work. And we know from statistics year after year that many of us do not feel that way, or even remotely close — only 19% are satisfied according to Forbes.com.

Career Lessons from Bridgegate: Don’t be a Savior or a Martyr

Time and again we are witness to crises of major proportion that often are unbelievable and defy a thinking person's logic. Bridgegate is one such example. How on heaven's green earth would anybody with an ounce of intelligence think that they could get away with creating a traffic jam on a major artery between New York and New Jersey and not get caught?

Get More Interviews in 2014

If you’ve been puzzled about why the resumes you’ve sent haven’t generated more interviews, this tip, known and used by direct response marketers, may be just what you need. It’s well known that HR only gives most resumes a very quick look before moving on to the next one, yet even if your resume gets to the hiring authority, you probably won’t get a response.

Best of TZM: How to Set Goals You Can Achieve

Most of you might be familiar with the goal setting process SMART. Goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. There are also many other interpretations for SMART. However, so many personal or project goals are still not met.

New Job #FAIL: What To Do When a New Job Isn’t Working Out

Recently, a contact emailed me to ask for some help on a troubling situation. After a substantial period of unemployment, she had finally landed a job at a company she had really wanted to work at for some time. The trouble is, things didn’t exactly work out the way she had hoped.

Best of TZM: Want to Work in Communications? Read This.

So you want to work in “communications." Maybe you are in college and starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel called graduation. Or maybe you’ve been out in the workforce for a few years and wish you were actually using your mass communications/journalism degree. I understand that. After all, there is a reason you spent four years studying something, right? I work in HR, so I get to use my psych degree every day.

Networking: How to Be Dr. Jekyll and Not Hyde

Networking is the oxygen of the connected economy. It is the currency of consumer collaboration. Unless you are a monk, getting through life in the 21st century is a challenge at best if you have no network. Virtually every job today is gained through the network. If you are selling storage, soup, semiconductors, software, soap, or self, you require relationships and relationship building skills.

The Gift of Career Advice

Happy Holidays! What better way to kick off a season of gifting and goodwill than to share one of the most critical workplace gifts: knowledge. Here are some great pieces of career advice that have been passed on to me from some of my colleagues at MEC.

A More Effective Appeal Than Experience or Accomplishments

Many job hunters believe that the most experienced applicants are who gets invitations to interview. Others believe that their accomplishments are the key to getting interviews. Sometimes either or both are right, but in my experience of helping people of all ages and backgrounds, those who consistently get interviews for the best positions base their appeal on something different than either of the above.

Can You Be Overqualified?

Today's job market is tough — for those without a degree, for college graduates that hold a Bachelor's degree, and for those that hold a Master's degree or higher. Schooling aside, the job market can even be tough for experienced, well-qualified candidates. Degrees and work experience just aren't what they used to be, and it's getting tougher and tougher to find a job.

How to Optimize Professional Profiles Online and Why You Can’t Put It Off Any Longer

For many students and professionals looking for jobs, optimizing a professional profile on top networking sites has been that dreaded thing that you know you have to do, but you also know you can push back (over and over again). Unfortunately for you, I’m here to tell you that optimizing your account can’t be put on the back burner any longer.

Relocation: 8 Tips for Finding a Job in a New City

Relocation is undoubtedly exciting as a change of scenery usually is, but it can also be difficult. There are a million different reasons why people find themselves uprooted from one city and deposited in another. But there’s one common thing that everyone who has relocated shares: Starting over from scratch.

New Job? No Training? What To Do

You have started your new job, are a week into it, and realize you are either in over your head or your company is offering little training and support — worst case, both. Being thrown into the deep end in a new job with unclear expectations or mentoring can be difficult and stressful. But there are specific steps you can implement to take the reins and get a handle on the situation.

Covering Your Tracks When Looking for Another Job

Almost all employment experts agree that it is advantageous to search for a new job while still currently employed. It offers a variety of advantages as an applicant that those who are currently unemployed are not privy to. You are able to be more selective in the job search process, you have more leverage in the salary and benefit negotiations, and you are able to relax more during stressful interviews with potential new employers.

A Reality-Based Interview-Getting Strategy

At most companies, it only takes a quick glance at your resume to find a reason to screen yours out. Current job title/industry different than theirs, unemployment, self-employment, job hopping, short tenures etc.

A Little Kindness Goes a Long Way

I’m always interested in and impressed by the things my kids learn at school, whether in books or on the playground. Recently, though, my nine-year-old daughter came home with a lesson that transcends generations.

Never Lie About Your Past

When you’re negotiating, sometimes it feels like it would be so easy to tell a little lie to advance your position, or to avoid an uncomfortable confrontation.

How to Electrify Your Resume

Even while channels proliferate to communicate your passions, position, and career preferences, the resume remains firm as your calling card and one of the essential documents that helps you define who you are, what you do, and the value you bring to the table. I know; there is much talk today about the importance of the resume or the declining value of it. The fact remains that the resume is still used by the majority of talent hunters in today’s hotly competitive job market.

How to Shy Away From Office Politics

If you've ever worked in an office, you know that office politics are a way of life. They exist everywhere and can be tricky to avoid, but there are things you can do to stay out of the drama and keep your work life exactly what it is — work.

Reality in Job Hunting

The #1 problem in job hunting is how to get interviews with someone that can hire you. To solve it, most people think you need to win the Resume Lottery, so they put a lot of effort into having what they hope will be a winning resume. Unfortunately, the result is nearly always a trip to Resume Jail. The hiring process has changed, and understanding how it’s different is the first reality we need to know about.

Why a Website Matters For Your Job Hunt

Before the Internet, our biggest concern when applying for a job, other than getting the job, was what paper stock to use for our resume or CV. You can't use standard white, it needs to stand out...but of course, like everything else, it’s what's on the paper that counts.

Be the Curator Behind Your Digital Presence

For many professionals out there, whether actively seeking employment or a career change, or for those who consider themselves passive candidates, a hacked-together profile is often the extent of their digital presence. In the best case scenario, a candidate might have a strategically composed profile complete with well-thought-out headlines, compelling job descriptions, and a nice profile shot.

Best of TZM: Career Planning 101: The Road Map to Success

New graduates or those looking to make a switch in position or profession can truly benefit from career planning. While it may seem easy to make a decision, choose a path, and stick to it, career planning is not stagnant. It is a constantly changing process that requires thoughtfulness and time.

Is Your Boss Playing Favorites?

Not surprisingly, concerns about favoritism in the workplace are most often voiced by those who find that they are not among the chosen few the boss favors. However, even if you're on the receiving end of such favoritism, you might want to take a more objective look at the damage such behavior can cause, particularly to the morale of your fellow workers. Not to mention the resentment coworkers might have toward you because of the preferential treatment you are getting.

Best of TZM: Autopsying the Botched Interview

Many people say that they would rather have a root canal than go through the painful examination of an interview. But if you really want to get over the jitters, you'll need to do an autopsy on your last interview to discover how you can improve your skills for next time.

Why Attending Office Parties Matters

There are several kinds of office events that let you socialize with other people in your workplace. Even if they may seem trivial or unnecessary, partaking in these social events may also yield positive effects.

SEO for the Job Hunt

Social media is a fun place to be. We gather with friends, argue with others, and share our lives with the world around us. It can also be a boom or a bust when it comes to seeking employment. Statistically over half of employers will look online for additional information on prospective employees. For obvious reasons, this can be either a problem or an advantage.

How To Get Your First Account Job

Getting your first account job is a matter of contacts, presentation skill, and a lucky break. Agencies recruit account coordinators and assistant account executives from the ranks of connected or persistent college grads, client progeny, and random candidates who impress us with their wit, moxie, or individuality.

Tips from 25 Years as a Job-Hunting Consultant

Executive job hunting should be approached as a marketing problem. It’s not a resume problem or a networking problem. Nor is it simply a matter of finding a recruiter or search firm that isn’t all talk, no action.

Killer Resume, Killer Job Search

It's great if you know what you're worth and that you deserve a fantastic job. But does your resume reflect that, or do you simply come across as arrogant or having an inflated ego? Whether you’re looking to change location, change your niche, or move up the career ladder, you need a resume that brings all your best points to the fore while downplaying any gaps or weaknesses. It’s not as hard as it sounds.

Best of TZM: How to Achieve a Guilt-Free, Stress-Free Interview

You have worn a furrow deep into the carpet as a result of pacing back and forth in your office pondering how to prep for the upcoming job interview. You struggle mightily understanding the company’s balance sheet and profit and loss statement. Your brain is filled with facts and figures on the company’s business strategy as you try to memorize the biographies of the company’s C suite.

Are Social Media Skills a Necessity in Today’s Job Market?

To succeed in today’s highly competitive job market, job seekers must take advantage of every tool and strategy at their disposal. They not only need to acquire marketable skills to make them more valuable employees, but they also must master social media skills to help them land — and keep — a job.

Strategic Dithering

“Hold your fire,” “bumble,” “muddle along,” and “don’t be in a hurry to make that decision,” are choice terminology. Or as in Maureen Dowd’s commentary, dither: “Amateur hour started when Obama dithered on Syria and failed to explain the stakes there.” Any number of commentators have fired off missiles about Obama’s dithering on Syria and all the trouble it gets us into.

Eight Questions to Answer Before Accepting an Internship

Once again, internships are prominent in the news. Just last week we learned from an article in the Atlantic that barely one-third of the U.S. Senate pays their interns. The White House also was recently chided about not paying interns. Even the foundation of the COO of Facebook has finally and reluctantly relented and has announced that the foundation will begin paying interns.

Ways to Stand Out in the Office

Almost everyone in an office performs their duties satisfactorily, but only a few of them will be considered for advancement when the opportunity arises. Those few are employees who have succeeded in standing out in the office.

Back to School...for Everyone

School supplies. Check. Backpacks. Check. Lunchbags. Almost check. It’s back to school time for the kids, and I’m lucky; I have two that couldn’t be more excited to find out what learnings are in store for them this year.

Best of TZM: Innovate Your Work Life

We’ve all heard of the concept of “disruption.” Commonly linked with innovation, it tells us that to make progress, you must first adopt a new vantage point and challenge the status quo. Disruptive innovation strategies are routinely applied to the inner dynamics of organizations and the transformation of products — and they can be applied to your job and career.

Be an Answer Finder, Not an Answer Haver

When beginning a new job or career, many of us feel pressure to have all of the answers. The thinking goes that the best people at the company always have the answers. The people at the bottom don’t. And the worst thing that can happen is to be caught without one.

Top 30 Ways You Wasted Your Summer

In honor of those of us who practice sloth (one of the Top 7 Deadly Sins, if you ask me), let’s take a hysterically funny look at why you (OK, not always “you” but sometimes “me”) are lazier than a hack writer doing a list instead of a real article.

Best of TZM Forget the Search; Invent Your Next Job

For better or worse, we are living in unusual times that are fast becoming the usual. You are often your only backup plan. So take control of your own destiny and make one.

Prepping for a Career in SEO

All companies want to appear first on Google and in other searches, which means the demand for search engine optimization specialists is ever growing. Those looking to move into this niche can do so by focusing on a few key strategies.

When Do I Take a Work Issue to HR?

It can be tricky sometimes to decide when to take an issue to human resources. After all, they walk the line between protecting you and protecting the company. It’s important to make sure that you are approaching human resources with an appropriate issue or you may be putting your job in jeopardy.

Finding the Job of Your Life: Plan to Succeed

Even in a challenged economy, landing your dream job will be easier if you are a “career seeker” rather than a “job seeker.” Being a career seeker doesn’t just mean looking for the job you want. It involves developing an ultimate career goal and planning your approach to it.

A Lesser-Known Job Search Advantage

In today’s job search market, everyone is looking for an advantage, that little edge that can put you one step ahead of the competition. One possible advantage, of course, is using a professional resume writer. Another common strategy involves working with a coach. An often-overlooked source, but one that more job seekers are beginning to tap into, is the golden information you can find in a corporate directory.

What Can We Learn from Female Leaders?

Most leadership positions in many large and mid-sized companies are still held by men. But a few women in chief executive positions, such as Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo or Cynthia Carroll, former CEO of of Anglo American, rank among the world's most powerful businesswomen and have proven that they are steering their companies successfully through unusually challenging times.

Five Ways to Get Noticed by Your Boss

Regardless of who the big boss is, the person who has the greatest impact on how quickly you move along your career path is usually the person you report to directly. This is why it is important that he or she not only pays attention to your work but appreciates the effort and expertise that you bring to your position. In the modern workplace this can be more difficult than ever with the emergence of team collaboration and remote work agreements.

On the Path to Finding Happiness: Part 6

With MEC’s “Inspire Happiness” course coming to a close, I want to take a moment to reflect on my journey. While my days remain extremely busy as I balance both my career and personal obligations, I have graduated not only with a new set of tools and techniques to apply to my everyday life, but also a new outlook of the meaning of happiness. When I started this course, I thought happiness was something that was directly correlated to an event, something that we couldn’t control.

What is More Important: Salary or Job Security?

Which excites you more? A job with long-term security that you can really sink your teeth into, or a job with an impressive pay packet and a dash more risk? The economic climate and stories of mass layoffs and lower wages means that job security and salary are becoming regular water-cooler topics.

Staying Out of the Interview ‘Hot Seat’

While I sat suffering through the most recent heat wave plaguing New York City, and the hot, oppressive, uncomfortable feeling of 7th Avenue, I heard someone mutter, “Could it be any hotter?” The statement actually got me thinking of the interview process, because interviews can be pretty uncomfortable sometimes. They tend to put a candidate in the “hot seat,” where he/she might be “grilled” with a myriad of inquiries we hope determine whether the prospect is an ideal fit for the respective role.

Finding the Right Fit: Brainstorm Possible Career Ideas Online

If you are unsure of your career direction, identifying the right fit can be a tough process. There are so many things to consider in order to define your ideal career path. There are no websites out there with comprehensive lists of all the career paths or jobs available in the world. As a result, it can be overwhelming for career seekers who are unhappy in their current position and want to have a fulfilling job but do not know where to start.

Get Control of that Meeting

Presenting yourself as a creative professional comes with a special kind of pressure. You are representing not only yourself, but yourself plus the work you’ve done. Not only is your appearance and performance examined, but things that you create with your hands, heart, and mind are judged as well.

What to Do if Your Job Sucks

You are into the 11th month of your new job. There is no psychological lift from your work. The boss is a serious micromanager. You are not having much fun. You are at your wits’ end and see no relief ahead. What should you do?

On the Path to Finding Happiness: Part 5

For today’s post, I wanted to offer you a different perspective on the subject of happiness. Executive coach and happiness expert Helen Mumford Sole, who has been leading our MEC “Inspiring Happiness” course, has explored the many facets of happiness from positive psychology, medical research, quantum physics, and Eastern mysticism to the extensive world of the self-help movement. Helen shares with us why it is so important to “inspire happiness” in our employees, as well as the correlation between optimism and happiness.

How to Analyze a Potential Employer’s Company Website

When it comes time to find a job, most of us are looking everywhere, in every type of industry, doing every type of work we could possibly be maybe qualified to do. The job hunt typically means getting that exciting email from a company and then immediately going to that company’s website. There are lots of different things running through your head, but the bottom line is this: Do I really want to work for this company?

The Unpaid Internship: Ticket to A Full-Time Job or A Dead End?

Our clients in career transition often ask us whether they should apply for internships as well as jobs, paid or unpaid, especially when they are just out of college or making a transition into a new career path. There are obvious pros and cons to working for free or having a short-term gig. And the argument can be made that internships are just a way for employers to just take advantage of free or low-cost contract labor.

Can My Former Employer Impact My Job Chances?

There are many factors that can affect your chances of landing a job, and one of them is references from your previous employers. When your interviewer is evaluating your suitability for a job, he or she may decide to contact your former employers to find out more about you. If you are wondering if your former bosses can hurt your chances of getting a job, the truth is, they can.

You’re Fired! Losing a Job is Not the End of Your Career

“I’ve never been fired. I’m that good,” proclaimed the young art director to those of us sitting around the table in the bar. Our creative director’s shoulders slumped and he breathed heavily. I wanted to be somewhere else, anywhere else — this wasn’t going to be pretty. The rest of the creatives around the table were all of a sudden very interested in their drinks or ceiling tiles or something other than looking at what was about to happen.

Is Hiring A Résumé Writer Really Cheating In A Job Search?

From time to time, someone posts an article online about how they think that hiring a résumé writer is cheating. I mean, if an employer is reading your career document, shouldn’t you have written it…in order to help them see how well you communicate? …And if you didn’t write your résumé, doesn’t that seem a little fishy?

Back To Basics: Notes for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

"There are no secrets to success," said Colin Powell, "It is the result of preparation, hard work," and, of course "learning from failure." Today, 25% of new businesses fail within their first year, and 50% fail within the first five years, according to research from the University of Tennessee. High failure rates are often the result of poor planning, inconsistency, and failure to adapt to an evolving digital landscape. The tips below can help you avoid some of these common pitfalls, but the rest is up to you.

On the Path to Finding Happiness: Part 4

It’s been about two weeks of keeping my gratitude journal, and already I recognize how much more aware I am of my happiness levels on a day-to-day basis. By taking the time to write at least one thing down each night, and focusing in on my accomplishments, I feel more empowered and optimistic both in my personal and professional life. For anyone who took my advice, I hope you are finding this approach useful in exercising your gratitude muscle.

Best of TZM: Career Planning 101: The Road Map to Success

New graduates or those looking to make a switch in position or profession can truly benefit from career planning. While it may seem easy to make a decision, choose a path, and stick to it, career planning is not stagnant. It is a constantly changing process that requires thoughtfulness and time. Job trends, your experience as well as your wants and needs, and the education required to be successful change so frequently that any career planning should be done on at least an annual basis. Career planning can help guide you toward success, whether it is a new job in your industry, a new career, or a promotion.

Lessons from a Summer Internship

We have a new group of fantastic interns that have joined MEC this summer; they are bright, eager, and ambitious. To see them brings back fond memories of my own internship the summer before my senior year of college, at a small advertising agency in New York City.

Seven Acts of Random Courtesy After You Land

As I reflect on my years and experience as a career coach and a mentor I once again am reminded that there is an obligation to return the favor for the kindness and generosity of the network in securing a new gig. This critical fact hit me like a brick the other day as I reached out to a couple of mentees on their successful landing following their arduous job campaigns.

Stay Sane While Looking for a Job

In my work as a career coach, I often talk to job seekers who have been searching for months and getting no results. They've sent out hundreds of résumés, contacted everyone they know, and attended career events without any luck. To get some relief from the debilitating self-doubt and confusion, you might take a step back to reconsider your strategy.

The Internship Games: 13 Tips for the Class of 2013

Internships: The Hunger Games for promising advertising hopefuls. A handful of chosen ones, competing for the ultimate prize: a job offer. The winners advance on survival instincts, ingenuity and strategic alliances. But the interns aren’t the only ones with something on the line. For many agencies, like Carmichael Lynch, who is re-launching its program in 2013, internships are the pipeline for fresh, young talent.

For the Lonely Workers

A very special message for the lonely workers, the freelancers, the sole proprietors who wish they had some coworkers, staff, or helpers...somebody...anybody.... For you, this passage from Shakespeare's Henry V. The short story is this: The sick, tired English army are outnumbered 5 to 1. (THAT'S YOU.)

They’ll Ask. Don’t Tell.

If you are asked what you were paid in the past, and most interviewers do ask, here are some things to say. Turn it around with a question: “What are your expectations for this position? I’d like to get a feeling for what you’re looking for.”

A Two-Way Street: Post-Graduation Interviewing Guidelines

Sorry, new grads: if you’re embarking on the wonderful world of job hunting, the studying isn’t necessarily over. But if it’s any consolation, even those well entrenched in the business world have things to learn when it comes to some of the basics, like interviewing. Many college seniors inquire as to how best to interview when they graduate. I’ll argue the responsibility lies with not only with the new grad, but also with the interviewer in order for the process to work most effectively.

On the Path to Finding Happiness: Part 3

The third session of MEC’s Happiness course was titled “The Reptilian Brain, Gratitude, and Love.” I arrived ready to talk about gratitude and love, since they are both obvious topics directly correlated to happiness. But I wondered to myself, what did the reptilian brain have to do with our journey?

Can Being a Workaholic Stunt Your Career?

While it is not uncommon to hear quite a bit about people that are considered slackers and how this can impair their careers, what about workaholics? There are people that some consider to be workaholics, but aren't. These people just have a good work ethic and want to save for retirement or another event.

Should You Ever Lie on a Job Interview?

Unless you’re hooked up to a lie detector or the interview is taking place in an interrogation room, chances are that a little white lie is likely to slip through the job interview cracks. But when your past position as mailroom supervisor is made to seem like you were CEO of the company, lying in an interview creates more trouble than the fib is worth.

Are You Who You Want to Be On an Interview?

You've found the perfect job opportunity and the company wants to see you for an interview. Here’s your chance to make a strong first impression and show them who you really are — your personal brand. Who are you? Your personal brand is who you want to be during an interview and on the job.

How to Know What You Are Worth

I recently gave a talk to a group of design students on negotiating their first salaries. Worth and how to determine it was very much on their minds. Three were in the process of bargaining.

On the Path to Finding Happiness: Part 2

My second week participating in MEC’s Happiness Program started off great, or so I thought. I arrived on Monday morning with a smile on my face, excited to hear what Helen would be teaching us this week. I was completely engaged, rarely checking my Blackberry during the two-hour session. After class, I found myself settling in at my desk, ready for the positive week ahead. Only 30 minutes passed before I received upsetting news that threatened to turn my positivity upside down.

What to Do When You Don’t Like Your Supervisor

No matter where you rank in the business world, from intern to Senior Vice President, you will be working with others. Whether you’re just starting a business or have been working for a while, you could come across a situation where communication between you and a manager falls short of expectations.

Five Job Search Mistakes You May be Making

Job searches can be frustrating for many of us. You feel like your resume is going into the black hole in the HR department. You do not hear back right away after your interview. Or you do not know how long your job search is going to take, much less which strategy will prove to be the winner.

The Crystal Ball: What You Need To Know About the Future of Jobs

Some people affected by the Great Recession will likely be retired in a few years. But for the rest of us, we’ll need to slog on for 20–30–40 more years until we (hopefully) reach that nirvana called retirement. It seems logical that we can continue at least in the same career vein until that blessed day when we can tell the boss to take the job and shove it.

Believe in Yourself (Especially When No One Else Does)

Your t-shirt/bumper sticker version of this column is this: A DEFINITE GOAL X BELIEF X PERSISTENCE = SUCCESS If you stop reading here, commit this to memory and repeat it over and over and do exactly what it says, without fail, you're all set.

On the Path to Finding Happiness: Part 1

The first time I saw Life Coach Helen Mumford Sole speak about the topic of workplace happiness was following one of the happiest times of my life; she gave a motivational talk at my company’s all-staff meeting last June, which happened to be my first day back to work after my honeymoon. My husband and I had just spent two weeks in Africa and I was still basking in the glow of newlywed bliss.

Ten Reasons to Connect with Someone You Don’t Know

As Porter Gale launches her new tome Your Network is Your Net Worth, I am reminded of another aspect of networking that has both risk and opportunity. How do you handle requests to connect from people you do not know or know little? I have written previously about the Etiquette of Connecting and those rules still apply for most if not all situations. That said, conventional wisdom would have it that you simply do not connect for the precise reason that you do not know the person.

How to Prepare for a Job Interview as an SEO Writer

If you find out you have an interview, one of the first things you usually do is Google “how to prepare for [insert interview here] interview.” You want to hear from the professionals, you want to see actual questions that you might get asked so that you can be completely prepared, and you want to do some research to make sure that you know all of the basics. After all, you know you’re qualified for the job, but there is always more to learn.

Pitch Yourself to an Employer Like an Entrepreneur

Job seekers should treat themselves as a valuable commodity or brand and pitch themselves as such. Often they have invested large sums of money in their education or professional training in order to hone interpersonal and professional skills that help them stand out from other qualified candidates.

How to Fix an 'Old' Personal Brand

Creating a personal brand is much like creating a 3D resume. Everything on the paper has to come to life through social media, guest blogging on websites, business cards, and even email addresses. However you want to create your personal brand is up to you — be creative and start building up your accomplishments on and off the web. In the end, creating a personal brand can be a lot of fun. However what many professionals don’t realize is that you’re not always creating a personal brand from scratch.

The Ins and Outs of Salary Negotiation

Salary negotiations make headlines on a regular basis for those big names in sports, television, and movies. Most of us could just about choke hearing movers and shakers whine about getting mere thousands — per game, per race, or per episode, just to name a few. Heck, we would love to make that in a year, right? Actors and athletes alike have gone on strike over the issue of salary negotiations (shortened hockey season sound familiar?) but that's not an option for most of us.

Top 5 Ways to Leverage LinkedIn

There are many ways you can leverage LinkedIn and your profile in order to define your career direction. Here are five ways to make LinkedIn work for you.

Who Will You Be This Time? Reflecting on Career Change

Very few us of are one-dimensional. Most of us have a spectrum of skills and interests that can be ordered, emphasized, and monetized in different ways at different times. So far, I’ve had seven careers ranging from educator to government worker to journalist, consultant, publicist, Internet entrepreneur, and ad man. Who knows what will be next?

Can Good Etiquette Trump Good Experience?

Here's the challenge: Job seekers need to come up with creative and innovative ways to stand out from the competition, while at the same time adhering the tried and true "rules" of self-promotion and personal branding in today's job market. And with the wealth of technology and networking resources at our fingertips, we've set a modern standard of generating immediate results that doesn't necessarily translate well to the job search environment.

Fall in Love With Your Work

Have you ever really looked at your beautiful hands and fingers? Or really studied that elegant keyboard we Mac users have? Have you really, really ogled the stark beauty of Helvetica, the perfection of each character lovingly crafted by Max Miedinger and Eduard Hoffmann? Do you ever marvel at the learned dexterity of your mouse/stylus/trackpad skills?

Spring Cleaning: Unclutter Your Career

I have a love/hate relationship with spring cleaning. I positively dread the thought of the work involved, but admittedly get excited at the thought of a brand new start to something. Whilst in the midst of it, I inevitably have a mental collapse at the thought of tossing something seemingly precious, but in the end, revel in the cleanliness, sleekness, and “un-clutter” that abounds.

How to Ace Phone Interviews and Get Hired

In a job market that taxes every hiring manager in terms of the volume of candidates they are seeing on paper or via email each day, you need to deal with the reality that a major hurdle in the process comes on the phone. Handling that moment without preparation, focus, and planning can end your chances for new employment in a split second.

Am I Saving All I Can from Uncle Sam?

As a creative freelancer, you just want to do your work and get paid. That's why you turned to freelancing in the first place, right? The problem is, a lot of freelancers have never had to deal with self-employment tax before — and if you don't educate yourself on the rules, along with the various tax credits you're now entitled to, you might end up giving Uncle Sam more than his fair share.

5 Ways to Become a Green Freelancer

With Earth Day coming up on April 22, it's a great time to think about how eco-friendly your freelance business is. Sure, as a freelancer you're probably saving a lot of gas from not having to drive to work every day...but are you causing even more waste with the way you do business?

'Community Manager': The Job du Jour

Community managers are in great demand, though the job description changes from brand to brand and agency-to-agency. Ideally a great community manager is a flexible, curious, literate people person with a minor case of OCD.

Learning to Negotiate: 5 Key Skills

On one of those blue-sky days when everything is going your way, Karen, who had just graduated in industrial design, landed an internship with a small firm with great work and a wonderful studio overlooking the bay and the mountains beyond.

Count to One - Or, Resume Length

Tap Into the Hidden Job Market to Find and Define Your Dream Job

Most people have heard of the hidden job market, and unfortunately I still find that not enough of those people have actually taken the advice about tapping into it for their job search. If you are one of those, it is time to jump on board. If you have not heard the term, the hidden job market is the word used to describe the unadvertised jobs that companies do not openly post or publicly advertise.

Résumé Terms That Make Hiring Managers Barf

So you’ve rehashed your résumé, over and over, and at this point, your eyes are glazing. The necessary evil of tweaking this career document takes its toll on job seekers, but sometimes the part that they spent hours agonizing over is actually the one that doesn’t require as much attention.

Why Every Candidate Can Guest Blog to Improve Online Visibility

Online visibility is incredibly important in every industry for both a company as well as a personal brand. Google is quickly beginning to focus more and more on the quality content found on the web, and guest posting is a great way to help you show Google some of the quality content that you or your company can create.

How to Burnish Your Personal Brand Using Social Media

Never look a gift horse in the mouth. There has been no time in history where it has been easier or more efficient to sculpt your personal brand to highlight your passion, spotlight your skills, and expose, to the world, your accomplishments. The proliferation of platforms has made it possible to deftly create or surface a specific identity that conveys who you are, your particular interests, and your ultimate objective in life.

Spark the Flame Within for Employment Success!

Haven’t found the career of your dreams yet? Stressed, unmotivated, and lacking the fire to continue the frustrating process of job hunting? Everyone has experienced a transition point in their lives where they’ve lost the drive and need a little assistance. If you’re ready for the fuel to light the fire within, you may be at the turning point. You’re closer than you know.

How to Be a Humble Leader

If you want to be a CEO, COO, or hold any leadership position, you’ll have to manage others effectively. Part of being an effective leader is remaining humble. While you may be able to request major adjustments within the company as whole or your customer call center department, you won’t be successful unless you have the respect of those who are executing the projects you’ve planned.

Eleven Tips for Negotiating Your First Salary

Negotiating your first salary presents a major challenge. You have not been trained in the art of negotiation, face strong competition, have a deep emotional connection to your work, and often feel some insecurity about your talents. The following discussion is designed to help you obtain the salary you deserve.

New Job #FAIL: What To Do When a New Job Isn’t Working Out

Recently, a contact emailed me to ask for some help on a troubling situation. After a substantial period of unemployment, she had finally landed a job at a company she had really wanted to work at for some time. The trouble is, things didn’t exactly work out the way she had hoped.

Expand Your Job Search with Place-Based Research

Clients come to me all the time wanting to find a job that is stable, in an industry that is foolproof, sometimes to the detriment I think of really looking for something they truly enjoy. And we all know the story about stability now; it doesn’t truly exist. The job market has changed dramatically. Now this is not to say “throw caution to the wind and dive into an area that is doomed.” Simply consider other factors as well, like job satisfaction, when you are choosing your next move or looking for that new job.

How to Optimize Your Resume so You're Found Online

Most of us don’t hold our breath, but we still upload that resume to every single job board and every single website or place we can in the hopes that just maybe something will catch. The truth is, in 2013 something actually might catch, and there are things you can do to help make it happen. It’s all about optimization.

You Did What on Your Job Interview?

In times when the job market is still less than something to jump up and down about, it only takes one gaffe on a job interview to send the job along to someone else. So, whether you have interviewed dozens and dozens of times over the years or find yourself this year going out on your very first interview, by all means avoid some of the following miscues if you want to increase your chances of landing that gig.

How to Read an Interviewer's 'Cues'

In this age of email, IMing, tweeting, and Google Hangouts, face-to-face communication is becoming increasingly rare. One of the unintended consequences of that fact is that young job entrants have developed a kind of situational Asperger’s Syndrome, that variant of autism spectrum disorder characterized by poor language selection and a lack of ability to “read” the faces of others or respond to their visual cues.

The 'Fab 5' of Your Work Life

You are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with. -Jim Rohn

I've heard this quote on various occasions. Every time I come across it, I pause for a moment, as the message that lives there is simply so powerful. What and who we surround ourselves with can affect us — and we can begin to mirror the moods, problems, and passions of our surroundings.

What Not to Say in an Interview

There are lots of things you should say in an interview. You should talk about your previous work experience and how it applies to the prospective job at hand. You should talk about how your background makes you eminently qualified for not only the job at hand and your “fit” with the company that may hire you. You should definitely talk up your skills and how they will allow you to solve whatever problems are thrown your way.

Should You Clean Up Your Digital Footprint?

A war is being raged online right now where there aren’t any clear winners. But there are a lot of losers. Or least losers…as employers see them. This war is centered right smack dab in the middle of the content that we post online, either in the form of posts, status updates, comments, tags, likes, or any other way that provides a clear trail of where you’ve been, what you’ve been up to, and what kinds of activities in which you are engaged. And even what your friends are like.

Carson Becomes a Professional

After graduation in graphic design, the placement office set up three job interviews for Carson: a position in a PR firm’s in-house design group; an art director position with a local ad agency; and a design/illustrator position at a small design boutique. Carson met with the ad agency and the PR office, but it was the boutique agency that caught his imagination.

Do You Have a Team Worthy of the Super Bowl?

Football has always been my favorite sport, and this year is no exception: my lifelong team, the San Francisco 49ers, is headed to the New Orleans in its quest for six Super Bowl titles (Go Niners!). But I digress. The one thing that continues to bother me about the sport, however, is the media’s relentless focus on the Quarterback. In most cases he’s the one receiving the credit or the blame for the outcome of the game.

2013's Must-Have Job Skills

With the dramatic changes in the economy in the past few years, it can be hard for job seekers and employees alike to know where they need to focus their time and attention in order to land that next job or keep the one they have. Societal changes and economic changes both influence what these top skills are, but time and time again we are reminded that soft skills almost always beat out the hard skills.

It's 2013; Do You Know Who You Are?

Landing an interview, let alone a job, has never been tougher as we enter 2013. Job seekers still outnumber jobs available by four to one; not very good odds. And one of the biggest obstacles job hunters face is how to present and describe themselves in simple yet compelling language.

Interview Followups (Be Fast, Not Furious)

Should You Take the Job at the Franchise Level?

Becoming a franchise owner can be an incredibly successful move if you make the right decisions and are working for the right company, but as with anything, things can easily go wrong.

Is Your Online Reputation Giving You the Business?

Whether you already have the job you desire or find yourself searching for a new one, your online reputation can say a lot about you. In fact, it can also influence whether or not you get the job in the first place. You may be thinking that what you say or project on social network, online forums, and other Internet venues means little, but you may soon discover that it cost you that job you wanted.

Dealing with Brain Freeze

As freelance writers, artists, and designers, you live more by the speed and agility of your brain than ordinary people. It is your ability to reach into the deepest recesses of your cerebrum to dig out an original solution or a creative breakthrough that sparks your life and puts money into your pocket.

Need a Career Makeover? Five Tips for Reinventing Yourself in the New Year

Has your job lost its luster? Are you tired of feeling dragged down by your work and, have you wanted to make a change but haven’t done anything about it? If so, it is time for a career makeover. The New Year is a great time to evaluate your career direction and whether you are truly fulfilled at work. Everyone deserves to have a job that makes them want to jump out of bed in the morning. It takes time and commitment to make this happen, but it is possible.

Aim to (Really) Be Job Happy in 2013

There are many definitions of happiness; what triggers a smile for one person may be annoying for another. What’s seen as a deal-breaker for some may be a non-factor for others. Even once a definition has been solidified, there may be just as many paths to go about achieving that happiness.

Best of TZM: The Ten Commandments of a Job Search

The employment market in the second decade of the 21st Century is literally topsy turvy. All of the rules that we have all come to love and respect over the years no longer apply. It is a new day, a new world, and all bets are off. Unless you have a job, don’t assume you garner the respect of employers, headhunters, and hiring managers. The only surefire way of landing is to be networked, known, accomplished, and have a track record that is virtually visible to all.

Best of TZM: Don't Be a Contact Abuser

Every day, each of us gets tons of email messages. Aside from those annoying lottery announcements, messages about transferring money for “long-lost” rich relatives who died in plane crashes, and lurid emails hawking male enhancement products, we also get involuntarily signed up left and right for newsletters or group emails that we didn’t subscribe to because some enterprising someone somewhere got our email address and wanted to build their list.

Job Hunting Is An All-the-Time Affair

Don’t think of this advice as “the grass will always be greener someplace else” but rather as “the best defense is a strong offense.” You can do your best work and your company can still go belly-up in the blink of an eye, and just because you are looking for something new doesn’t mean that you have to act like you’ve got one foot out the door at the company at which you’re now gainfully employed.

Your Performance Review is in Your Hands

The holidays are right around the corner. And right around that corner is the annual performance appraisal process that for many of us starts in January. I know, I know, you love performance appraisals, right? I bet you love writing a self-evaluation even more! It’s one of those things you tackle at 8 a.m. on a Monday morning because you are just that excited.

Unveiled: Your Most Precious Career Asset...Ever

Most of us would argue about what exactly tops the list as to what constitutes THE top career asset in a job-search arsenal. Some might say it’s your résumé, which is a very valid argument. Others might insist that it’s having a robust network of contacts. Another camp might think it lies in your accomplishments and what you’ve contributed to the company.

Professional Advice for Generation Y

Members of the nonprofit and business sectors gathered at the University of Southern California’s Career Center to share insight on a panel focused on succeeding in the marketing communications field on October 11, 2012. The panel, part of the Career Center’s Internship Week, offered an opportunity for Generation Y students to discover the traits needed to thrive in the 21st century professional world where small businesses and bigger responsibilities are becoming the status quo.

Brand Yourself as High Potential

Keeping your nose to the grindstone is a great place to start, but a solid "brand" strategy is even better. You need to set a projected path and make the most of every interaction. Whatever you are doing, make a commitment to do it well — no matter what the task. It is your behavior that will identify you as something extraordinary.

The 5 Most Important Factors for Choosing Your Work Environment

Being in the right work environment is as critical (if not more) to enjoying your work and being successful at your job than any other component to consider. It is so important, yet many people are not in a work environment that allows them to thrive and be fulfilled. Moreover, half of the clients I work with are actually in the right role or in a job that truly is a fit for them, but their work environment is not a fit. They’re miserable.

It's Time to Assess Your Skills

The jobs are out there. I know people, particularly young people, who are well-skilled in the basics and have had no problem finding well-paying work. I know other young people, all of them talented in something, who cannot find anything more than part-time work or are scraping by on minimum-wage jobs. The difference between the two groups is basic skills.

Why English Majors Should Create a Blogging Resume

Knowing that these professions are out there and available will help new graduates know where to research and what types of resumes to create. Because online marketing is such a new industry, businesses are often wiling to hire someone young, and having a resume set to go will certainly help your chances.

The Six Key Competencies for Career Success

Dissect America’s corporate strategies and needs throughout the past 12 years, sort through the business-related research and anecdotal material, engage executives and entry-level employees, study the best journals and books, engage the top consulting firms and storied business school faculty, and you’ll find a phenomenal consensus on the needed competencies for career success.

I'm Thankful for My Job. Wait. What?

We could consider this a stereotypical “Give Thanks” article written in reflection of the Thanksgiving holiday, but this year, at least for me, it’s a bit different. This year, the neighbors in my part of the Tri-State area are rebounding and rebuilding in the wake of superstorm Sandy and a subsequent Nor’easter. Many people have lost power, homes, and even loved ones. And while many have been devastated, still more have turned caring hands and minds to help clean up, feed, clothe, furnish, and/or house those who have so little.

Networking Outside the Box: 4 Ways to Stand Out to Employers

The question on the mind of every job seeker I meet is consistently, "How do I stand out and get noticed in this job market?" For a lucky few, the traditional resume-cover letter combo can sometimes get the job done, making it to top of the application pile and wooing the attention of hiring managers. But for the majority, it's a struggle of understanding the strategy behind self-promotional marketing, making sure you have the best tools for the job, and of course, a little bit of luck.

Coping With Career Regret

We’ve all experienced some form of career regret, whether it’s in a career change or just a professional decision we wish we hadn’t made. How do we avoid, as best as we can, making those poor career choices the second time around?

Terms of 'Undearment'

In this age of personal branding and virtual knowledge, we all struggle with how to best describe our value, and the talents and abilities we bring to the party. And as we know instinctively, no amount of hyperbole or word inflation will mask our true character to people we know and who know us. Honesty, authenticity, and simplicity are the rules of the day when it comes to describing ourselves, our values and, most important, our value.

Join a Company's Social Community; Give Your Job Search a Boost

Many, many years ago, when I worked in the tourism industry, I started a new job search and applied at AAA…you know, the map/emergency services organization that your parents belonged to? In that interview, I got through all of the questions and was sailing along swimmingly…that is, until I got asked to produce my own AAA card. “Um,” I said, fumbling around, “I don’t seem to have one.” Game over.

Network! Network! Network!

In my first column back, I wrote about the necessity of developing a personal brand that represented who you are and that would help you differentiate yourself from people with similar backgrounds. One of the readers of the column took issue and said that even if you could develop a strong personal brand statement, if you were an older worker your chances of getting hired would be slim because your networks would have thinned out.

Warning: Beware these Office 'Friends'

So you’ve moved into a new role. You’ve got your cubicle organized, you have some work to do, have the boss figured out (OK, not really, because who ever has the boss figured out?) and you’ve started making some tentative acquaintances. Before you get in too deep with your new teammates, take a second to make sure you aren’t making friends with the wrong kind of people.

Like a Fish Out of Water: Coping With a Bad Culture Fit

This is hard to watch because I’ve been through this before myself. A friend of mine is now four months into what she thought was her dream job. The timing couldn’t have been any better: at her previous employer, she had taken her position as far as it could go and she simply wasn’t challenged any more. So she was starting to pop on her radar to look for other jobs.

Informational Interviews: The Most Underutilized Tool for Job Searching

You've probably heard of it, but how often have you actually used it? The informational interview is a critical piece to your job search, but too few people actually know its purpose or protocol. Informational interviews unfortunately are very underutilized. College graduates are better about using them because their career centers encourage it.

How to Be the Perfect Hire: Your Personal Brand DNA

It continues to be difficult to get hired, and partly that’s because of something that I heard called the “purple squirrel” phenomenon. What this refers to is the almost absurd detail to which potential employers go in describing the “perfect” hire. Such people don’t exist, and so the perfect becomes the enemy of the very good, and very good people wind up continuing to look for work.

Making the Case for Job Fairs

Whether you subscribe to the idea that the job market is starting to thaw or not, you can’t argue with the idea that the job market is someplace we all want to keep an eye on always, keeping our options open at all times. One means of learning about the best that the market in our area offers could be the local job fair.

Taking Care of Business

There are a ton of websites out there that promise to give you the best career advice. Many of them have great advice from seasoned experts, but I can save you a lot of time right here and right now: Get it done.

Tips for Career Success from Today's TV Shows

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 12.5 million Americans are unemployed. It’s an alarming rise since just a few years ago, but what may really surprise you is that meanwhile there has also been a steady increase in the amount of TV Americans watch every day. According to Nielsen’s Audience Report it’s estimated that each household in the U.S. tunes into an average of 8.5 hours per day! Is this a coincidence…or an opportunity?

Career Planning 101: The Road Map to Success

New graduates or those looking to make a switch in position or profession can truly benefit from career planning. While it may seem easy to make a decision, choose a path, and stick to it, career planning is not stagnant. It is a constantly changing process that requires thoughtfulness and time.

How to Avoid Being a 'Yes Man'

When it comes to the ad biz, no matter the vertical space in which you work, finding the right balance between giving the client what they want and what they truly need is always a challenge. In other words, trying to avoid being just a “yes man” is often a difficult task for an Account Executive to overcome.

Does Voicemail Have to Be a Pain? Use Yours Effectively

Have you ever tried to call someone, desperate for an urgently needed answer, only to get their voicemail message announcing that they’re away from their desk or on another line? How ‘bout when you can’t even leave a message because their mailbox is full? How do you feel when you get a computerized voice giving you instructions to leave a message at the sound of the tone?

How to Achieve a Guilt-Free, Stress-Free Interview

You have worn a furrow deep into the carpet as a result of pacing back and forth in your office pondering how to prep for the upcoming job interview. You struggle mightily understanding the company’s balance sheet and profit and loss statement. Your brain is filled with facts and figures on the company’s business strategy as you try to memorize the biographies of the company’s C suite.

Empower Your Employees Through Effective Feedback

“I can handle feedback. Why couldn’t he just tell me?” This is often what I hear from employees who yearn for a straight talk and desperately seek feedback so as to know whether and how well they really perform. However, many leaders don’t go to great lengths when it comes to giving proper and open feedback. Major reasons include the fear of hurting the counterpart or just the lack of time.

How to Access the Hidden Job Market

It’s a term bandied about on numerous websites that gets every job seeker’s blood racing: “Hidden job market.” Yeah, right. “If that’s where most of the jobs are, then how do I get in on the action?”

Don't Just Sit There, Leverage LinkedIn

“You’re not taking your career seriously if you’re not on LinkedIn.” A friend who is an executive at a PR firm told me this several years ago — point blank — and I agree with her. Are you currently on LinkedIn? Do you have a complete LinkedIn profile?

Best of TZM: Why Preparing For A Job Search Is Like Going Through Airport Security

The other day I was at Portland International Airport, headed to Orange County, CA for a speaking engagement, and in one of those crystalline moments, a striking similarity suddenly dawned on me. Standing in the security line, it was an interesting array of people who were preparing to head off on separate journeys. Some people were dialed in to what was needed to prepare for the trip, and for others, it was painfully obvious this was not something they were familiar nor comfortable with.

Make the Most of Your Job Search With Twitter

If you’re a recent college graduate or someone who is looking for a new job, you’re probably going over every inch of your resume to ensure it’s ready for applications and interviews. Beyond the necessary informational updates, your professional resume can benefit from any and all additional resources. Many businesses, from large to small, are beginning to accept online applications only. How can you make yourself stand out from the crowd when they don’t see who you are? Make the most of your Twitter account.

Why Haven't I Heard Back From HR?

I hear it time and time again, from candidates, clients, and friends out in the trenches of the job-seeking world: "Why haven't I heard anything back from HR yet?" In an age of modern technology and social media, we have this compulsion, this rooted unrealistic expectation that the information we seek be made available to us immediately. And often it is. But when it comes to HR and hiring, it’s a whole different ballgame.

Be A Successful Candidate for Hire

Getting from “successful student” to “being hired” seems like it should be a simple enough journey, but for more and more newbies to the job market it has become an arduous and humbling task. Too many of today’s rookie job seekers make stupid mistakes that derail their chances at a new job. These errors can easily be avoided.

Get That Promotion

All the recent talk about the Olympics has me thinking about the hard work and dedication necessary to get to the top level of your field. I can’t help but be astonished by the years of training and effort that go into reaching Olympics-level achievement. To reach the Olympics alone is an amazing accomplishment; to take it to the next level and medal even more so.

How Not to Hate Being Interviewed

Like many people, I've had serious questions about job interviews. My reasons may be a bit more complicated than yours. (For example, they can be an excruciatingly poor selection tool if implemented unwisely). However, I know that your reasons for hating interviews are every bit as valid.

Sell Your Brand to Potential Employers: Part 3

The third step to branding is selling yourself and your brand to potential employers; a critical step, but one that job seekers often fumble. They write elevator pitches that are blasé, a list of their accomplishments instead of something memorable that someone will recall easily. When I give presentations to networking groups and they go around the room asking everyone to give their elevator speech, only about 13% of the attendees have a correct pitch that makes you want to learn more about them.

How to Be a Better Interviewer

Not everyone is a good interviewer. It’s not a skill that one is born with — it’s something you learn and then need to work on developing. Like any other job aspect, it requires training and experience. I recently came to the conclusion that while I like to meet people and hear about their goals and aspirations, if I don’t have a specific agenda in mind — the things that are critical to particular clients — it feels a bit empty. In order for me to be most effective, and best utilize my time along with the candidate’s, I need to be looking for something.

Dealing with the Boss from Hell

Is your boss turning your 9–5 day into a living hell? If you have a particularly difficult manager, it can quickly turn the workplace into a stressful environment. While it may be difficult to maintain your professionalism, it’s essential that you don’t do anything hasty and compromise your situation. Until a better opportunity arises or the manager sees the error of his or her ways, you’ll need to find ways to weather the storm and handle your boss.

Practice Your Corporate Values

It’s the very end of an NFL game and the tension is thick. The home team is down by three points and they have the ball for one final drive, but the clock is ticking away. In fact, they’re now inside two minutes to go and they’ve got to summon some magic. Do you think they’ve spent any time preparing for these types of situations in practice? You can bet your bottom dollar they have!

Overcoming Negative First Impressions of New Coworkers

Have you ever been at the office when a “new” person arrives, and you find yourself making an immediate snap judgment about this person? It could be their hair. It could be their body language. It could be how they speak. It could be what they say. But something about them gives you cause to make certain assumptions.

Brand to Land Your Dream Job: Part 2

One of the most important parts of the process of branding yourself is being able to communicate your value and your brand easily, effectively, and with confidence. Without this important step, you won't get very far in your job search. Understanding your unique value proposition and being able to powerfully convey that message is something you need to be able to do consistently and continuously in your search.

Finding the Job of Your Life: Plan to Succeed

Even in a challenged economy, landing your dream job will be easier if you are a “career seeker” rather than a “job seeker.” Being a career seeker doesn’t just mean looking for the job you want. It involves developing an ultimate career goal and planning your approach to it.

Want to Work in Communications? Read This.

So you want to work in “communications." Maybe you are in college and starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel called graduation. Or maybe you’ve been out in the workforce for a few years and wish you were actually using your mass communications/journalism degree. I understand that. After all, there is a reason you spent four years studying something, right?

5 Ugly Truths About Time Management

I receive quite a few questions each month concerning time management. It's a sticky workplace problem to solve, primarily because it requires being honest with yourself to get a grip on the issue. We all go through periods that seem "out of control" and crazy. However, there are strategies that could have prevented the lion's share of that stress.

Don't Be a Boring Communicator

The way we communicate may be a reflection of how we observe others. You’ve been there before: You’re participating in a meeting or face-to-face conversation and daydreaming because the individual who is speaking…is boring. When it’s your turn to contribute to the conversation, you do exactly the same things you didn’t like.

Why We Hate Updating Our Résumés

Every few years (or whenever the need arises), we engage in a loathsome activity that is about as pleasurable as getting a root canal at the dentist. It’s called updating our résumé.So why is this process so painful?

Develop and Market Your Brand to Land Your Dream Job

Regardless of the economic climate, it’s vitally important for job seekers to understand their unique value proposition and be able to develop that into a branding statement. Your branding statement can then be easily translated into your elevator pitch, your cover letter, LinkedIn profile, and any number of marketing avenues. But first you need to know what you bring to the table.

Best of TZM: Bad Networking: Don’t Be A Contact Abuser

Every day, each of us gets tons of email messages. Aside from those annoying lottery announcements, messages about transferring money for “long-lost” rich relatives who died in plane crashes, and lurid emails hawking male enhancement products, we also get involuntarily signed up left and right for newsletters or group emails that we didn’t subscribe to because some enterprising someone somewhere got our email address and wanted to build their list.

Tips for Switching Up Your Career

If your heartstrings are resonant with the folks mentioned in this New York Times article Lost in Recession, Toll on Underemployed and Underpaid, you know doubt understand the challenges inherent in job search. Landing your next gig in your own field is tough enough, but changing careers or fields is not for the faint of heart or mind.

Revisiting Resolutions: The Accountability Factor

Seems like just yesterday we were raising our glasses, counting down to one, and toasting the arrival of 2012. Along with the New Year came another timeless tradition: the resolution. Now it’s June and 2012 is almost at mid-mark. How are your workplace resolutions coming? Typically, less than 50% of people making a resolution are actually successful in keeping it, states Professor John Norcross of University of Scranton (CNN.com).

Make Being on Time for Work a Given

Most of us have been there at one time or another. You start a new job and make sure that you’re on time for the first few weeks. Before you know it, whether by accident or plan, being at work at 8 a.m. turns into showing up at 8:03 a.m., 8:05 a.m., 8:10 a.m., and so on, and you are being reminded of what your hours truly are.

Advice for the Job-Worn: Redux

Dear H. R.: I’m currently employed, but recently began a search for a new job. However, before I got my current position, I was out of work for over six months. My resume needs to be updated, but I also noticed that on some prospective employer’s online job applications, they want an explanation for any missing work history. How do I fill in the blanks?

Innovate Your Work Life

We’ve all heard of the concept of “disruption.” Commonly linked with innovation, it tells us that to make progress, you must first adopt a new vantage point and challenge the status quo. Disruptive innovation strategies are routinely applied to the inner dynamics of organizations and the transformation of products — and they can be applied to your job and career.

How to Start a Sustainable Business: Part 2

Failure does not mean defeat. Even if you fail with your first venture you have proven that you are willing to take some risk and you gained a lot of experience for your work and life.

How to Start a Sustainable Business: Part 1

After establishing my first company and closing it down after one year, I did not give up, but built two new companies based on some crucial lessons I’d like to share so as to empower fresh entrepreneurs for making their venture a real success.

Why Preparing For A Job Search Is Like Going Through Airport Security

The other day I was at Portland International Airport, headed to Orange County, CA for a speaking engagement, and in one of those crystalline moments, a striking similarity suddenly dawned on me. Standing in the security line, it was an interesting array of people who were preparing to head off on separate journeys. Some people were dialed in to what was needed to prepare for the trip, and for others, it was painfully obvious this was not something they were familiar nor comfortable with.

Your First Three Steps to Becoming An Entrepreneur

When the job hunt is dim, it may be wise to consider your other options. While the thought of starting your own business may be intimidating, now is the time to consider it thanks to a plethora of online tools for you to take advantage of.

I Hate My Job. Now What?

Have you ever caught yourself thinking this? I have. It’s frustrating. There’s an unwritten rule that at 21 years old, you should know what you’re going to do with your life. Since most don’t have a clue what that is, we pick something. It might be something we studied in school or that a friend or family member suggests, but we usually pick it because it’s right in front of us.

Tell HR What they Really Want to Hear

Based on a recent study by Under30CEO.com, the average Gen Y professional will change careers up to four times before they hit 30. Professionals of all experience levels and industries are taking a hard look at their skills, experience, and knowledge and looking to new avenues to which those assets can be applied.

Don't be a YAHOO!

Ignominious is how one might describe the latest Yahoo mishap, one of a long line of failures and foibles the company has endured over the last few years. The experience is rife with teaching moments for managements of traditional companies and soon-to-launch startups. Fact is, there are lessons for everyone if we just take the time to think and learn.

The al-Qaeda Social Media Model

Consumers have always been brand stakeholders. People have always liked, shared, interacted with, and promoted brands they find useful or identify with. In the olden days, brand advocacy was done face-to-face or over the phone at a small, disconnected scale. Brand marketers had the illusion of control. They believed that they set the brand agenda and directed the brand evolution. Social media changed all that.

Five Steps to Finding a Job Through Social Media

On Sept. 13, 2011, Veronica Brown, a vice president at Washington, D.C.-based Gibraltar Associates, received the following Tweet from a follower she had never met: "Veronica, I was wondering if it would be possible to arrange an informational interview at GA. Would love to learn more about firm."

The Good, The Bad, and The Really, Really Ugly

Many business offices are full of chatter during the work day, but what happens when some of that talk turns to the office romance? In those cases, nothing good usually comes of it.

Be Smart at Your New Job

Congratulations! You are starting a new job. You’ve got a new outfit, a new attitude, and a new paycheck. Be sure you start smart and savvy by being conscious of your surroundings and by managing your expectations. It’s not easy being the new guy.

Reaching for the Perfect Job: Part 2

So, you’ve decided to leave your job and reach for your dream career. Here are some tips to use before you begin your search.

Reaching for the Perfect Job: Part 1

Are you fed up with being bored and undervalued at work? Are your wishes or expectations unheard and unheeded by your boss? Or have you finally identified your true calling and now seek a new place that will provide you with the right environment in which to do the work you love?

Ten Things I Learned About Leadership Early in My Career

My first job out of art school was as a “design illustrator” with the Boeing Company design group. At least I was getting paid to design, but almost immediately began looking for a position that would offer more opportunity to grow.

Smile! Tips for Your Social Media Profile Photo

Many clients approach me and ask for help in setting up LinkedIn and other social media profiles. Easy enough. However, when I tell them that they need to get a photo posted, they get uncomfortable.

Tips for a Successful Video Interview

It has become more and more common that companies are conducting video interviews. With so much work done outside the office, it makes sense to avoid travelling conflicts and get right down to business. Whether you feel you’re good in interviews or not, there are a number of tactics that are best used in this situation.

The Ten Commandments of a Job Search

The employment market in the second decade of the 21st Century is literally topsy turvy. All of the rules that we have all come to love and respect over the years no longer apply. It is a new day, a new world, and all bets are off. Unless you have a job, don’t assume you garner the respect of employers, headhunters, and hiring managers. The only surefire way of landing is to be networked, known, accomplished, and have a track record that is virtually visible to all.

Experts Aren't Necessarily the Best Mentors

Be very, very careful who you target for your mentors. Especially if you’re in the early years of your career, there’s a tendency to go for the real expert; those people with a depth of experience. But that can be a serious mistake.

Email Overload!

A large part of this "digital age" is, of course, communicating via email. Everyone has experienced the phenomenon where no matter how trivial or mundane an author's thought is, it finds its way into an email. And somehow these gems of wisdom end up in my inbox, where they beg for attention. Not literally, mind you.

Your First Day at Your First Job

We’ve all been there at one time or another. Yes, the dreaded first day at a new job. Like the first day at a new school or going into a new grade, the first day with a new employer can be everything from what seems like the longest day of your life to the most anxious day. If you are lucky, it falls somewhere in between.

'Community Manager': The Job du Jour

Community managers are tasked with creating and maintaining a branded social experience that respects and engages customers and prospects. They must present the brand in a positive light plus encourage interaction, conversation, and sharing in ways that ultimately satisfy the members of the community and lead to growth in followers, engagement, and brand preference.

Empowering Your Expertise

Finding the Office Culture 'Sweet Spot'

This past weekend, my husband and I were invited over to a friend’s house for dinner, and afterwards, we played “Catchphrase.” If you haven’t played it before, it’s sort of like the verbal companion to the game of Pictionary…one partner describes something (versus drawing it) and the other person has to guess, all while racing to beat the clock.

Using Facebook as a Resume

The revelation that companies are asking potential employees for Facebook passwords got me thinking about how Facebook has rapidly evolved as both diary and biography. Given the addition of Timeline to Facebook’s configuration, people on the hunt would do well to make Facebook work for them instead of the converse. While there are other solid platforms like LinkedIn that are a source of rich C.V.-type information, Facebook is fast becoming a treasure trove of great data about the 850 million people who use it.

Personal Branding and Your Career: Get Digital

When it comes to personal branding in the digital age, Ellen DeGeneres comes to mind. Recently on her talk show she showed extremely embarrassing photos from several audience members Facebook pages. The chosen few were extremely good-natured, and received cameras in exchange for their nationally televised embarrassment. But this idea goes much further than their 15 minutes.

Have Social Media Experience? Consider These Jobs.

There are few things more popular right now than social media. On the job scene and in the business world, this is where jobs are being made. Luckily, many people can qualify for an entry-level social media position simply based upon personal experience.

Bad Networking: Don’t Be A Contact Abuser

Every day, each of us gets tons of email messages. Aside from those annoying lottery announcements, messages about transferring money for “long-lost” rich relatives who died in plane crashes, and lurid emails hawking male enhancement products, we also get involuntarily signed up left and right for newsletters or group emails that we didn’t subscribe to because some enterprising someone somewhere got our email address and wanted to build their list.

How to 'Wow' Your Boss

Your boss can either help or hinder your career: wowing her/him will help your career. With an effective relationship, your boss can give you all kinds of support, insight, and linking to others in the organization.

How to Manage When Your Employee Screws Up

The toughest thing for a manager to do is to criticize or correct a team member. It’s a charged task, which, while necessary, too often pushes a manager’s buttons. The key to successfully negotiating this meeting and getting a decent outcome is to leave your baggage and your ego at the door.

Use Networking to Get Working

Networking is an important avenue to landing a new job, hands down. And the plethora of tips, tactics, and tricks to network are limitless on the Web. Just Google the term “networking” and you are likely to be inundated with information on how to do it and profit from it.

How to Promote Your New Business with Limited Cash

As many people sit unemployed, some have turned to lifelong dreams of opening up their own small businesses. For many, now is as good a time as ever to follow this dream.

Hacked Lessons: How to Get a Human Response

Recently I was a hacked victim, which proved many bizarre and blatant facts. For starters, the most prominent person in the United States, President Barack Obama, not only had my email address but was courteous enough to respond to spam, and ditto for my State Senator, a short-lived “wow” that ended the second I realized both were impersonal form letters.

The Etiquette of the Creative Interview

Interviews for a creative position are usually much different than for any other type of job. Wearing a suit is not a good idea. Discussing your love of Swedish cinema with the creative director is not out of the realm of possibility. However, don't let the relaxed attitude fool you into thinking that anything goes because it's still a job interview. You're still being evaluated even if it feels more like a cocktail party.

Take the Sting Out of Short-Term Jobs On Your Résumé

No matter the justification, there are millions of different reasons and circumstances as to why people end up having “bits and pieces” of jobs on their résumé. But what ends up happening is that these brief stings end up being seen as potential liabilities or else scream “job hopper” to potential employers. You need to be smart about how you handle these and help solidify your background into something an employer can digest. Here are some approaches you might want to consider in order to take the sting out of short-term jobs.

Reference Rules of the Road

So you passed muster in 15 interviews over two weeks. You lost about eight pounds, sweated bullets, and are in the final throes of that seemingly elusive job offer. Now comes the hard part. What references can you provide that will help seal the deal and pave the way towards the job offer that has had you in the waiting room for what appears to be a lifetime?

Don't Carry Your Own Axe

Here it is, almost the end of January 2012, and I'm sure that job seekers are already full of all the New Year’s advice from recruiters, job board advisors, and consultants. "Reinvent yourself." "Jump-start your job search." Better yet, pay a resume expert to rewrite your resume for the sixth time, because the one you're using is deficient in some way

Being Too Social Can Impact Your Job Search

Most of us have a presence on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ (to name but a few), and oftentimes we’re not thinking before our fingers hit the keyboard or touch pads.

Look Sharp, Feel Sharp, Be Sharp

These new male groomers represent the gentleman — he doesn’t want a touchy-feely spa experience, but wants to relax while getting his hair cut, a shave, or a massage. The new-style barber shops sprouting up around town allow clients some alleviation from their grueling work day — not to mention a single malt or a beer to take the edge off while they await their turn.

Why Should I Hire You?

When asked this question, most job seekers bobble it and sometimes even fumble the ball. And yes, that goes for executives, too. And guess what? Responding by saying, “Wow...hmmm...that is a really good question,” is NOT what the other party wants to hear.

10 Tips to Get Through Your Holiday Hangover

Best of TZM 2011: It's Nobody's Business But Your Own

Listen to Your Inner Voice on the Job Hunt

Want to Make a Lot of Money? Don't Major in Business.

This is not a blog that business majors and their parents will want to read. In fact, the Penelope Trunks of the world were probably already pissed by the first paragraph. Tough!

Finding Zen in Technology

It can be liberating to think of these challenges that I've heard from clients in a new way. It opens up possibilities because you're not limited by what you already know. So, can we take this idea and apply it to all the areas where we struggle? It would be a nice experiment. If all it changes is how you feel, then how is that not a success?

Evil in the Workplace: What To Do When Your Boss Misbehaves

The majority of us try to walk the straight and narrow, but what happens when the boss takes a spin on the “dark side” and everyone knows it? Aside from impacting company morale, there are a lot of legal implications if (and when) they get caught…and it’s usually only a matter of time, anyway.

Managing the Right Way: Tips for New Managers

For those who manage other employees, the role can be one that is sometimes fraught with fears of being perceived as too micromanaging, not tough enough, or lacking in leadership capabilities. As a manager, do any of those descriptions seem close to you?

Advice for the Job Worn

Dear H. R.: I apply to many online job postings and I just received another email rejection from a potential employer. I'm furious! I matched up to the job description line by line, wrote a dynamite cover letter, and answered all their posted questions thoughtfully. Yet I get the impression that the company didn't even take the time to read my documents.

Networking at the Outlet

If there’s one word overused in our vernacular, it’s “network,” a job expression that is particularly annoying when there’s nothing to be connected to! Yet everybody’s trying to do this new-fangled buzzword. As a result, a different form of competition now challenges the job seeker: “How do you stand out in this magical network?”

Sticks and Stones CAN Break Your Career Bones

We all love Facebook and the many other social networks out there, but based on information I learned from a recent career industry conference, it is important to know how these outlets are actually transforming and re-shaping how employers perceive prospective employees. Think you don’t need to worry about it? Think again.

The 3 Ws: Critical Skills for New Managers

Most first-time managers are charged with getting specific tasks accomplished. As a result, they need to focus their energies on how to convert their actions and attitudes from “individual player” to “effective coach and supervisor.” The secret for success is to focus on the critical 3 Ws.

Education as an Option for the Laid Off

With the national unemployment rate still sitting at around 9.1%, it isn’t strange to hear that many laid-off Americans are going back to college to sharpen their skills and even learn about completely new areas of interest, looking to use that education to locate a job down the road.

The Surprising Secret of Success is Failure

At 77, I’ve long since quit stewing and being embarrassed over the fact that I was expelled from college for both social and academic reasons when I was a freshman. Unlike Bob Sternberg, who blew it in the fourth grade, I blew it my first year of college. Fact of the matter, aside from the woman I married and our three daughters, is that freshman failure was one of the best things that ever happened to me.

What Tina Fey Taught Me About Time Management

When Tina Fey was first promoted to head writer at SNL, she was stressed over all the sketches she had to edit and felt there was no way she could have the show ready in time. So she asked Lorne Michaels, the executive producer, “What happens if it’s not ready? And Lorne replied, “The show doesn’t go on because it’s ready. The show goes on because it’s 11:30.”

The Last Word on Jobs

Steve Jobs was a mentor for people in all jobs. With tremendous passion, this revolutionary set the bar on how to work and how to live. In 2005 Mr. Jobs told Stanford graduates: "Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do."

Creativity Was Jobs One: Core Beliefs About Creativity

I was just beginning to write this when I got the news that Steve Jobs, the visionary of Apple Computer died. After reading a couple of obituary articles about his past and passing, I realized that many of his core beliefs about design and creativity were very similar to mine. Unfortunately, even though we share the same initials (SJ) and sported graying beards and thinning hair, I'm nowhere near as successful as Jobs was.

Rejected: How to Turn a 'Turn-Down' Into a Positive

Throughout our careers, we have a whole lot more interviews than we do actual job offers…it’s just a fact of life. But when you do get that rejection note from the employer after interviewing with them, instead of hitting the “delete” button to trash the email in sudden fit of anger, stop.

Can You Hear Me Now? How to Handle 'Radio Silence'

There is nothing more frustrating in a job search than a lack of response by hiring managers or recruiters. Following all of your fine preparation, you end up with radio silence that is both deafening and frustrating.

A Turtle Tale: When Helping Might Be Hindering

Imagine seeing a giant turtle that is crawling up from a river and is approaching the side of a road. You’re hiking past it and it turns up its head towards you. What do you do?

Money Talks: A Guide to Getting Paid

A client not paying a bill for contracted creative work is literally robbery. They've stolen your brains, ideas, and skills, and really, it should be a punishable crime! I think all these steps are worth it. CYA!

It's the Age of the Expert

Knowing your subject and having the ability to express what you want to say clearly is the key to authority. Of course, it never hurts to have a sense of style. The goal is to be the go-to expert in your field, whether it’s brand loyalty, social media, or web graphics.

For Love or Money...When There's No Money

Every year the meaning of Labor Day grows a little fuzzier. Has this past holiday that commemorated the social and economic achievements of the American worker lost its true meaning? While it was a day off for some, it was a haunting reminder of no job at all for many others.

Job Search Secrets from the Frontlines

As an entrepreneur and principal of our public relations practice at Snackbox, I see resumes from a wide variety of job seekers throughout the country on a regular basis. Sadly, many of these resumes look nearly identical and do nothing in order to grab the reader’s interest.

Take That Vacation or Take That Job? How Do You Choose?

What happens when you have a vacation that you’ve paid for (including airline tickets and other expenses), and right before you are packing your bags, a miracle happens and a job offer comes along? Tough call.

You May Be a Flake If...

While I’m sure you’re extremely funny and smell delightful, how can you be sure you’re not that flake everyone snickers about when you leave the room? It’s actually a tricky question, because the flakier you are, the more oblivious you are about your flakiness.

Cover Your Bases and Home Runs: The Job Pitch Letter

Cover letters and resumes play critical roles in career management and job searches. You can argue that one trumps the other, but the fact is that they work together as a team. The cover letter plays a starring role because it can get the recruiter, HR folks, and the hiring manager warmed up for the main pitch of the resume.

It's Nobody's Business But Your Own

Now that the U.S. economy has officially tanked — again — and the job market is expected to get worse, I was nonetheless excited to run across a couple of how-to articles on finding a job when one is middle-aged and out of work. Someone had the key!

What to Do if You Lose Your Job, Revisited

If you are gainfully employed but worried, or if you have recently been let go, brace yourself both psychologically and financially. After that, work to understand what is happening to jobs in this country and to the economy. If you understand, it will be easier to develop the new mindset required to survive and, dare I say, prosper in the new job market.

Vacation Time: You've Earned It

“Give me a break!” the saying goes, and everybody needs one…especially freelancers, the self-employed, and independent contractors. However, officially clocking in isn’t the only way to validate vacation time. Getting up and doing a job for yourself counts as much as the next employed nine-to-fiver. Yet without the benefits of a company, vacation time is harder to finance and justify.

The Great Generational Divide

In today’s unpredictable work environment, employees are joining the workforce sooner and staying longer, resulting in more generations in the workplace than at any other point in history. Having multiple generations in the modern workplace creates a clash of work styles, attitudes, and ways of getting work done.

Are You a Dinosaur? 7 Signs That Say You Are

As the founding managing director of an executive search firm, I know that when dealing with resumes, we’re as close to experts as they come. We receive and review hundreds of resumes every week. After a while, it’s hard not to spot certain “tricks of the trade” that many candidates use to cover up their age, or even worse — what they forget to conceal.

Forget the Search; Invent Your Next Job

For better or worse, we are living in unusual times that are fast becoming the usual. You are often your only backup plan. So take control of your own destiny and make one.

How to Deal with the Coworker From Hell

“You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family,” goes the old saying. But what about your officemates? You can’t choose them either, but the unfortunate wrinkle is that people have to put up with a lot more issues with people they don’t know as well as their family members, yet they don’t have the liberty of saying exactly how they feel about issues in such a professional environment.

How Do You Plead? Qualified, Your Honor!

In a court of law, one is considered innocent until proven guilty; but in the trials (forgive the pun) and tribulations of unemployment, it is very important to recognize that one is presumed unqualified until proven otherwise beyond a reasonable doubt.

How Not to Be Invisible After 40

According to Harry Potter, Invisibility Cloaks are made from the pelts of Demiguise, which are magical herbivores living in the Far East. If you happen to be short on Demiguise, however, and need to be invisible, there’s another option. Simply go out into the world as a middle-aged person, and you can be invisible all the time, no cloak necessary.

Casual Fridays and Sloppy Mondays

Where are Stacey London and Clinton Kelly to clarify that the going-to-Walmart/ready-to-go-viral style is not what to wear to the office? Good or bad, it only takes 30 seconds to make an impression. Has anyone noticed that some of the working crowd is a mish-mash of styles crying out for uniforms and surprise makeovers?

Bad Boss, Bad Boss: Watcha Gonna Do When They Come For You?

I’ve heard horror stories about bad bosses from many colleagues and I’ve experienced firsthand working with both the good and bad. This isn’t advice on how to work with a “bosszilla” but how to avoid one in the first place. Based on my mistakes, here’s what I would advise.

Overcoming the Middle-Management Squeeze

Now, because of a fewer development options, “on pause” programs, and less communication from the top, middle managers are holding what seems to be weight of their agencies on their shoulders and are being “squeezed” from all around.

BossZilla: Five Tips for Surviving the World's Worst Boss

The cold, hard reality is: you are stuck. Perhaps there aren’t any potential job leads on the horizon…or maybe you don’t have the financial resources or comfort zone to leave your current job. But there is that one thing that makes you dread heading into the office day after day to earn that paycheck: BossZilla is waiting for you.

Connectiquette: The Etiquette of Connections

Connectiquette is not a typo or a new state in the U.S. It refers to a process of thoughtful deliberation. In the spirit of being responsible, here are several recommendations on how to handle networking and connecting with people you feel can have an influence on your job search or career development.

Finding Perfection

Every company, no matter what the size, product, or profits, wants their employees to be the best. Of course, this means different things to different corporate entities and executives, but when you’re looking (and paying) for the best and the brightest, you want them to be able to check off every box.

Picking Out the Cashews

I know it’s not polite — some may even think it’s gross — but I have to own up to this nasty little habit or you won’t get the point of this column. When presented with a bowl of mixed nuts I will sit there and pick out the cashews. After that I go after the hazelnuts. And then, well, is there any chocolate in the house?

Are Your Introductions Worse Than George Costanza's?

Whether you’re making out with someone whose name you can’t remember or you missed connecting with someone you’ve been trying to meet for a year, the root of the problem is the same: poor introductions.

The Job-Hunting Triple Crown

There has not been a Triple Crown winner for more than 30 years, and there is a reason. To win a Triple Crown, one must have a special diversity of talents and skill sets: simultaneously being able to dominate a short race while having the endurance for its lengthiest counterpart. Incidentally, that same horse must also be able to find the compromised balance somewhere in between.

Think Positive When Rejection Makes You See Red

A determined young job seeker sent out hundreds of letters of application, only to have hundreds of rejections boomerang back. Eventually he learned he was only one dismal letter shy of taking hold of the record-breaking title for “most job rejection letters ever received.”

The Secret of Affirmations

Affirmations are actually a pretty powerful tool to have in your leadership tool bag, especially when you consider that our attitude influences our relationships. Relationships are key to moving our employees and teams and to creating powerful peer networks.

Brand You: Being Consistent In Your Personal Brand

Like most people, you’ve probably have an online profile on several social media sites. So now you’re online and not only that, but you’ve taken the time to make sure each profile is complete. But before your pat yourself on the back for doing such a good job, take a step back. Ask yourself: Is the online “me” the same me in all of these channels?

You Are What You Achieve: Four Tips to a Better Resume

The resume in 2011 is a far different beast than it ever was. It is as personal as a fingerprint and should truly express your character, personality, and what you have done in your career. Because it is likely the first piece of evidence of who and what you are, make certain that it tells the best story the first time around. You are what you write.

Competition from Within

We’ve all heard the stories about employees leaving in the middle of the night with a stack of client files tucked under their arms. In some cases, these defections have crippled and even shuttered agencies that weren’t able to recover from the loss…and the betrayal.

The Age-Old Question

I’ve been in denial, and drowning because of it. No, I didn’t fall off a barge into an Egyptian river. I failed to acknowledge my age’s impact on my current job search. I’m north of fifty and south of sixty, the age where, when I was younger, professionals had been respected and sought after for their wisdom and experience.

Get Googled, Get Hired: Pump Up Your Personal Brand

There’s no debating it: your online reputation will impact your success. Hiring managers and executive recruiters use Google to make decisions about you. In fact, a study commissioned by Microsoft indicates that 79% of U.S. hiring managers and recruiters reviewed online information about job applicants and 70% of them rejected candidates based on what they found.

Eight Universal Qualities of Great Employees

Obviously the right qualities for different jobs vary tremendously, but here are eight qualities that should be regarded as universal. One key: it will help your hiring process immensely if you list the qualities you are looking for in a new employee and stick to them when hiring.

Turning Temp/Contract Work Into a Permanent Job

Great news! You’ve landed either temporary or contract work, which suddenly has taken so much stress off of you from looking for a job. Here are five tips on how to transform temp/contract work into the possibility of being retained as a full-time, regular employee.

Interview After Interview and Still No Job: What To Do Next

Everyone has been through it—we go through interview after interview, think we do a good job, but weeks later, no job offer. What gives? Here are a few tips to get you back on your feet and succeed at your next job interview.

The Ultimate Interview Checklist

When you're interviewing it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of the potential job and lose focus on the very basics that will help ensure you do your best to get the job. Here is your list of the tried and true – check it twice and beat the competition.

The Most Unpleasant Thing To Do

You already have a to-do list in your head with only one item: the most unpleasant thing to do. And instead of reading email in the morning, or making the rule not to read email in the morning, you should start your day with the most unpleasant thing in your day.

Zap Your CV: Eight Tactics to Reboot Your Resume

You are what you write. If you are in the market for a new job, a stellar resume demands that you take the time to succinctly but creatively portray your abilities in quick but compelling fashion. So, grab your keyboard and get to work.

Career Matchmaking: Connecting the Dot-Coms

Looking for a date or a soul mate? There are plenty of websites that claim to provide you with the perfect match based on your answers to in-depth profile questions. TV commercials show couples who found happiness via a mouse and keyboard. Should you hope for as much in your job search?

The Price of Presenteeism

Most of us have faced the dilemma that morning when we wake up with an annoying scratchy throat and fevered brow: Ugh! Do I go to work or not? This common problem is made worse by the current climate of less people doing more work.

It's Story Time: Telling Tales Can Get You the Job

Most job interviewees walk into the door ready to talk about their past experience and mention one irrelevant weakness. It’s rare, however, for an interviewee to have three or four good stories to narrate his or her successes. Good stories can make the difference between getting hired and getting a rejection note.

Ask the Experts: Charlie Sheen, Interview Guru?

No matter how refined your interview-speak is, chances are you’ve found yourself in the middle of a hyperbolic or otherwise nonsensical speech once or twice in your lifetime. We asked the experts how to avoid Sheen’s tendency toward rants, and what wisdom could be gleaned from the actor’s interview stylings. Their thoughts might surprise you.

In Search of a Great Employee

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I just can’t seem to find anyone who wants to work 70 hours a week for 40 hours’ worth of pay and be on call when I need them on weekends! People tell me my expectations are too high; I think theirs are too low.

Autopsying the Botched Interview

Many people say that they would rather have a root canal than go through the painful examination of an interview. But if you really want to get over the jitters, you'll need to do an autopsy on your last interview to discover how you can improve your skills for next time.

Stay Sane While Looking for a Job

In my work as a career coach, I often talk to job seekers who have been searching for months and getting no results. They've sent out hundreds of résumés, contacted everyone they know, and attended career events without any luck.

5 Steps to Amp Up Your Midlife Job Search

After a rewarding career, I found myself unemployed and asking, "So, what do you want to be when you grow up?” Here are five effective steps anyone can take to accelerate their midlife career transition.

7 Tips For Cyber-Stalking a Potential Employer

What is the litmus test to ascertain if an employer is fit to have you grace its presence? You have the best research tool at your fingertips: your search engine. Here are a few critical elements to researching a potential employer online:

Salary Expectations: How Low Do You Go?

If you already have a job—and you love it—a pay cut of 10 or 20 percent is tolerable, particularly if it coincides with reduced hours. But what if you’re applying to jobs and the salary is 10 to 20 percent—or more—lower than your previous job? How low do you go?

Dear Applicant, It's Time to Up Your Game

If you’re one of the tens of thousands of who have lost your job in the last two years, there is one piece of advice I would like to offer: Get in the game. Here are a few reminders on how to market to a potential employer.

Is Loyalty in the Workplace Dead?

I keep hearing a word that pops up regularly that is completely alarming when I ask job seekers to describe themselves: "loyal." Semantics mean everything, and this word requires us to dig a little deeper to uncover a huge problem in its use.

Questions You Absolutely Must Ask Your Interviewer

During my lengthy job search, I’ve discovered two important things. One: I may have a lot of the answers; but two: I don’t have all the questions. Going into an interview with a dynamite resume and portfolio is just part of being fully prepared.

Job Etiquette: Are You a Nutcracker or a Sugarplum?

Appropriate job etiquette can be vague and without a script, calling for you to gracefully ad-lib in the most professional manner possible.

Enlightened Quitting: How to Cut Loose and Unlock Success

Fulfillment has to be personally defined, and success isn’t one-size-fits-all. If it's not working, you get to stop doing it—yep, just like that. Quitting is a form of enlightenment.

How to Ace Phone Interviews and Get Hired

In a job market that taxes every hiring manager in terms of the volume of candidates they are seeing on paper or via email each day, you need to deal with the reality that a major hurdle in the process comes on the phone. Handling that moment without preparation, focus, and planning can end your chances for new employment in a split second.

Why Clothing Can Make or Break the Interview

Covering Your Tracks When Looking for Another Job

Almost all employment experts agree that it is advantageous to search for a new job while still currently employed. It offers a variety of advantages as an applicant that those who are currently unemployed are not privy to. You are able to be more selective in the job search process, you have more leverage in the salary and benefit negotiations, and you are able to relax more during stressful interviews with potential new employers.

10 Questions to Ask a New Network Connection

The majority of folks landing new jobs today are doing so through networking and their existing networks. Tools like job boards, classified ads, job fairs, and blind mailings are useful, but there is nothing like good, old-fashioned networking—whether it’s in person or not. Here are my top 10 questions to ask new or renewed contacts if you are in the market for a new gig.

Top Five Things That Can Kill a Résumé

This week we will be featuring some of the most popular Career Oxygen articles from throughout 2010. Happy Holidays to all.

Being aware of these pitfalls can help you be more savvy in developing your résumé and remove obstacles that could be holding you back.

Things You Should Not Say During an Interview

This week we will be featuring some of the most popular Career Oxygen articles from throughout 2010. Happy Holidays to all.

Sometimes, the easiest part of the interview is just coming up with the right answer. Most expect the inevitable curveball the interviewer will throw our way. That’s because some are smarter than the interviewer.

Dressing the Part Can Get You the Job

You have to be prepared to jump immediately whenever the alarm sounds on an opportunity. Dress as if you are going to work every day, even if you go nowhere.

I Know My Rights! (Or... How to Interview the Interviewer)

It's time to get out of the habit of thinking “I'm just happy to have a job” or “I would take any job that comes my way” and get back in the habit of knowing that you have a right to be happy at work every day and really dig the company you work for.

The Perks and Pitfalls of the Virtual Workplace

Imagine faceless names, nonexistent co-workers, and zero office politics. Say hello to the colorless, collarless work force that can be a beautiful reality … as long as you meet your deadlines.

How to Overcome the Obstacles to Your Dream Job

You’ve determined the job that you want, done your research, so what’s preventing you from getting your dream job?

Friends and Other Nice People Can be Crooks Too

They are no different than another crook you learn about in the media, except they are stealing from you.

Helping Your Employees Be Great

People are people; the difference is in the efforts you make to bring out the best in them.

TMI: When Too Much Personal Info Kills Your Job Prospects

Like dating, you don't want to dump your dirty laundry out there for everyone to see and pick through before you have a chance to sell your best attributes first.

Working for Perks Is as Important as Working for a Paycheck

Ideally, the company you work for should also work for you -- on some level.

Am I Crazy to Think I Could Quit My Job?

No, you’re not crazy to think you could quit your job, but you do have some work to do.

Four Ugly Twists to Hiring Talent and How I Wish I Had Handled It

As an entrepreneur, we don’t always have the luxury of time or an HR department to conduct deep background checks, so we make quick decisions.

How to Become the Best Interviewee You Can Be

These techniques, if practiced diligently, will put you in better control of interviews and make you a better speaker when you are asked to stand up in front of a crowd to present information.

Why Networking Outside the ‘Net Works

For job seekers, it is important to remember that every interaction counts, and there are ways to “create” interactions outside of traditional ways such as an actual job interview.

How to Make a Name for Yourself From Day One

Fantasizing about that perfect name is how the marketing world thinks in their never-ending branding quest.

How to Use Your Organs to Impress Hiring Managers

Passion is the essence of your persona, and your organs are the tools required to effectively demonstrate the essence of whom and what you are.

Why LinkedIn Matters in a Job Search

Many employers now are vetting candidates using social media, so having a half-done profile basically is akin to showing up to a job interview in sweat pants.

Career Management

Proactively managing your career is much easier and bears more fruit than reactively managing your career, and when put in those terms, I'm sure most would agree.

Phone Etiquette Makes an Impression

When did everybody’s business become everybody else’s?

Five Financial Questions to Ask Yourself Now

Asking these five questions can help get your financial home in order and allow you to run your family finances like a business.

How to Have an Awesome Interview

Pointing out your results and what you did that you weren’t required to do illustrates that you are self-motivated and creative, a go-getter.

Job Interview 2.0: A Crash Course for Social Media Skeptics

As I’ve said before, it’s more likely that a good marketer can catch up on two or three years of social media developments than a social media expert can compensate for 20 or 30 years of missing marketing experience.

How Can We Get More Heal and Less Hell in Health Care?

When the company you work for is “self,” sometimes the benefits are less than perky.

Here Are Four Ways to Get Yourself Kicked to the Curb

Being kicked to any curb is no fun. It means you got dumped, fired, let go, or thrown under the bus.

Concrete Tips on Using Social Media in Your Job Search

A balanced mix of research between Linkedin and Facebook (as well as traditional methods) can help job seekers reach their goals more efficiently.

Overcoming the Middle-Management Squeeze

Whether you are a newly promoted manager, are now formally managing a friend, or are now responsible for more people than you ever have been, you’re likely doing all of this with fewer manager “support tools” than you had a few years ago.

Did the Health Care Bill Just Crush My Taxes?

Beam me up, Scotty! After reading through the health care bill, the taxes to pay for the plan will make you feel like you are in outer space.

Interview Advantage: Understanding the Problem the Job Attempts to Solve

One of the most difficult things for people to understand when looking for a job -- whether they’re new to the market or old hands -- is that no one is hiring you because they want to give you a job.

The Ability to Represent Yourself: Don't Leave Home Without It

Job seekers can succeed by emphasizing their unique aspects, yet not in a lengthy or off-putting way. There is a fine line between bragging and confidently expressing one's uniqueness.

How to Retain Star Employees While Planning for Succession

Coming out of the 2009 decline, all organizations, and particularly agencies, are more exposed than ever. They are pressed to make up for the lag in 2009, are "resource lean" in all areas, and incredibly exhausted.

Who Goes on an Interview With You?

Sigmund Freud once wrote that every time you take someone to bed, you and your partner bring all of the past to bed with you -- domineering parents, past relationships, cultural attitudes, and more. The bed is so crowded and so scary that making love is best done in the dark under covers. Much the same can be said about job interviews.

Great Small Business Tax Deductions

When you're totaling up your business's expenses at the end of the year, don't overlook these 14 common business deductions.

Why Internships Are Important

College internships are extremely valuable for those who want hands-on, real-world experience while completing their degree requirements. In addition to gaining great experience to complete your classroom learning, college internships allow students to develop their résumés and portfolios. They also have the potential to make valuable industry contacts that can be essential to landing the ideal job upon graduation.

The Gap (Or, What I Did Last Summer)

There are likely many of you faced now with a résumé issue -- the gap in full-time employment without a meaningful freelance or contract assignment to fill the space. There are many ways to address this, and I can give you some solutions so you need not fret too much.

Using Résumé Filters to Create Your Personal Brand DNA

Potential employers don’t just drop hints about what they want. They are as explicit as possible because they want to limit the deluge of résumés that will flow their way. By being specific, they can “score” an application on the basis of how many of their criteria you meet.

Ten Overlooked Tax Deductions

April 15 is right around the corner. Before it's too late, refer to these helpful tips to identify all possible tax deductions.

Nine Reasons Recruiters Never Call

Have you ever wondered why a recruiter never called after you submitted your résumé? If so, you are not alone. Here are nine scenarios and some advice.

Designing to Win

Every year, design organizations and magazines send elaborate call-for-entry campaigns, enticing hopeful designers to enter their work. The process, fees, and paperwork can be daunting to some, but keeping an eye on the prize can be easier than people think.

2010: The Year of the Underdog

It's 2010. The Year of the Underdog. The year that often follows The Year of The Big Shakedown. The Year of The Big Shakedown is also referred to as The Year that The Coasters Became Toast.

Syndicate!

Face it. There is a lot of bad creative out there, especially at the local advertising level. The way to change that, and to grab a lot of business for yourself is to think syndication.

What If Tiger Woods Were A Stock?

Have you ever asked yourself around a specific investment you have whether you should buy, sell, or hold the investment? If Tiger Woods were a stock in today’s marketplace, the big question you should be asking yourself is should I buy, sell, or hold Tiger Woods?

Transitioning To An Agency Gig - Or, Be Careful What You Wish For

A frequent question I've been asked over the years is posed by people who haven't worked at an ad agency but want to. They ask "How can I break in?" There is no easy answer folks, but I do have some advice to help you.

Volunteering Creates Contacts

One of the problems with being out of work is that it suddenly gives you a lot of extra time to fill. Getting a job is a full time job in itself, but after you’ve visited all the job sites, and called around to the people you know, trying to stir the waters, you may find that you still have some extra time on your hands.

Smart Money Tips

You just got married, but you may not have realized that your money did as well. One of you is a spender and one is a saver! How in the world will you make it work.

Know How vs. Know Who – What Do Employers Really Want?

In a shrinking economy, where companies struggle to maintain market share, let alone grow it, many jobs are what a friend of mine describes as “know who” jobs.

Is a HSA the Best Medical Plan Option for You?

A Health Savings Account is a savings product that offers a different way for consumers to pay for their health care. HSA's enable you to pay for current health expenses and save for future qualified medical and retiree health expenses on a tax-free basis.

Using Phone Interviews To Your Advantage

Phone interviews are very subjective. While there are many best practices in terms of asking good questions, there are virtually no consistent practices in how interviewers score the results.

Your Resume (Your Ticket)

When applying for a job, remember that you are trying to impress someone. That doesn’t mean don’t be true to yourself, but you do want to put your best, most impressive foot forward.

Build Your Credibility Bank

Linkedin.com and Spoke.com are ways to stay in touch, along with the ubiquitous Facebook and MySpace pages. But if you’re going to use them to your best benefit, you have to set up a credibility bank.

I’m a Freelancer . . . Should I Set Up a Corporation?

If you are starting a business as a freelancer, you have a choice of the legal type of business structure (entity) that you choose. There are advantages and disadvantages among them.

Metrics, Metrics, Metrics

Knowing the metrics of each job, and how well you met them, helps you put your best foot forward... it can also get you better jobs and higher pay.

When Enthusiasm Borders on Stalking

Before writing this, I asked a few fellow recruiters what topic I should cover and they came back with a resounding reply: “Stalking!” Stalkers wind up looking desperate and we all know, if you’re desperate, it means no one wants you. If no one wants you, you can’t be any good.

5 Financial Secrets to Know When You Look For a New Job

Everybody dreams of that perfect new job -- a great office, an even better title and of course, the perfect compensation. Here are a few tips to keep in mind before you accept a new job. Look beyond the salary and get the whole package.

How Not To Get Dinged by a Recruiter

When you’re looking for a job or freelance gig, everybody wants to get past the gatekeeper and in front of the actual hiring manager. Here’s a list of 10 things to watch out for when applying and interviewing for a job.

The Job Search Plan: The Most Important Tool Ever in Your Arsenal

Here are some suggestions on how to chart your course, add some structure to your day, and give yourself definable goals to give you that sense of order that you had within the workplace.

Job Searching Secrets from the Frontlines

In the marketing industry, you’re expected to be creative … so why is this not being translated into your resume? Sadly, many resumes look nearly identical and do nothing in order to grab the reader’s interest.

Job Search 101

Originally published in February 09, this piece is among the most popular career advice articles on our site. Enjoy the read and holiday weekend.

Do's and Don’ts to Consider When Building Your Online Portfolio

A reality that has withstood the transition from an old school to online: A portfolio that is beautifully presented and thoughtful is a joy to review. It looks good, it has wonderful work, it is neat and tidy, and there are no typos.

Tips for Job Seekers in the PR & Marketing Field

While it is unfortunate that many companies have opted to lay off marketing and public relations professionals, I believe the other side of that coin points to a healthy re-shuffling of resources and creation of new, re-defined career opportunities for many.

Digging Deep

You always do your research before you put yourself on the line. Now try applying this lesson to your job search.

Thx 4 UR Email

The decision to take a job is, I’d say, second only in importance to that of choosing a spouse. If you don’t take this seriously enough to avoid overly casual text and typos in your correspondence, we’ll assume you aren’t as interested in the role as the candidate we’re interviewing tomorrow.

The Ten Job Hunting Blunders Many People Make

It's true. And it's common. Most people know what they DON'T want, not what they DO want. They move away from unpleasant, instead of toward fabulous. That's because one is much clearer than the other.

I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough...

In trying times, the biggest enemy you can face is yourself. The voice in your head can fling some of the nastiest insults you're ever likely to hear. The trick: fight back.

Cleaning Up Your Social Media Closet

Would you wear a dirty, tattered, or mismatched suit to an interview? Of course not! Yet many people allow their social media profiles to be a mess when looking for a job. Maybe they don’t know any better. Don’t let yourself be one of those people!

This Ain't Burger King

And you don't get to have it your way. Sorry folks, but that's how things are as a Job Seeker right now. Yes Employers are behaving badly (phone calls or emails not returned, disappearing acts in the middle of the interview process, you know the drill) but it's in direct response to how they were treated from 1996-2000, or 2004-2008 when YOU called the shots.

I do, I do, I Really-Really do!

There are still some good fish out there in the sea, and many of you will be lucky enough to be introduced to them and live happily ever after. Ever after is relative - marriages and employment tenures don't last forever these days - but you you won't know until you try.

Value Add

Recruiters want to know what you bring to the table. It’s even more the case these days. When you hear numbers like 2000 people have applied for one job at an institution used to receiving 20 applications per position, you know there is some very fast scanning of resumes going on.

A Bad Deal

Sometimes you just know when it's time to settle down - find that special someone, get hitched, and live happily ever after. And sometimes you want it so badly that you can't see the red flags popping up telling you to run the other way. Job hunting when you really need a job can produce the same blinders that love will. Even if you're ok with Mr.-Right-Now, there are some bad eggs to avoid at all costs - Mr. Never.

Meet the Parents

It's probably the most unnerving part of the interview process - meeting the CEO/Top-Dog. But if you look at it like you're meeting the parents of your new love interest, it may help you pass with flying colors and be one step closer to that offer.

Recession Guide for Designers

In difficult times people get creative — and creative people must find new ways to use resources wisely. Whether you work as an in-house designer at a large company, own your own design firm, or work as a freelancer, the recession has no doubt affected you or someone you know.

Is it OK to Settle?

Everyone wants a great job, just like everyone wants a great spouse or partner. But in this economy can you afford to hold out for Mr. Right, or should you settle for Mr. Right-Now?

How To Prepare For Interviews

Okay we’ve all read these tips before. It’s not brain surgery, but somehow the art of interviewing still eludes us. You think of yourself as a “people person,” but then somehow all intelligent thought seems to vanish as you blankly stare back at the recruiter. So here are a few quick tips to help prepare you for that hard-earned interview.

Job Advice Q&A

I was honored to participate in AdweekMediaConnect's live chat session on 4/15. Through the course of an hour answering questions in real-time, I discovered there were some smaller issues addressed that may benefit anyone reading this column.

101 for Recent Grads

If you are a college senior preparing to graduate in May, The Steve Miller Band said it best, “Well, I been lookin’ real hard and I’m tryin’ to find a job but it just keeps gettin’ tougher everyday”

Career Kama Sutra (or, Positioning Yourself)

Back when there were no jobs in the industry in 2001 & 2002, “Consultant” was the resume term du jour. It’s 2009 and everything old is new again.

Your Righteous Resume

I have seen some truly bad looking resumes in my time. And I mean bad. You don't necessarily have to have the best resume ever created or pay a firm to write one for you...

Nail the Interview

Interviews are your big chance to make it happen. A lot can ride on the outcome; often there's not a 2nd chance. But hey, no pressure right? A lot has been said and written about interviews in the past but I continue to receive questions about best practices and tips so it's obviously a timeless subject. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind.

Patience in the Job Hunt – A Virtue?

Many adages revolve around the idea of having patience and that you will be rewarded for it. But how virtuous can you be when job hunting? And when do you show your take-charge and aggressive side that so many employers seem to value?

Salary and Title Expectations

You don’t have a lot of bargaining power if you receive a job offer these days. But there are some rules to keep in mind that will help keep your expectations in line and guide you through the process.

How to Get Headhunters to Do Back Flips For You

Distinguish yourself as being one of the best that every headhunter wants to know.

Pitch Yourself to an Employer Like an Entrepreneur

Job seekers should treat themselves as a valuable commodity or brand and pitch themselves as such. Often they have invested large sums of money in their education or professional training in order to hone interpersonal and professional skills that help them stand out from other qualified candidates.


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