Tuesday, August 11, 2009

“Don’t forget to follow up but without being a stalker” Linda Hamm from Ogilvy Chi Town Interview

My next interview was with Linda Hamm, an awesome recruiter at Ogilvy in Chi Town. Ms. Hamm was able to offer a “large agency” perspective on the subject of entry level job seeking.

To Begin:

Ms. Hamm stressed the importance of being prepared and doing your research. Know the exact agency you are talking to. Many large agencies have multiple departments and focuses. If you are contacting the PR sector, and think you are contacting the Design/ creative sector, you risk sounding unprepared and stupid.

Note from your blog master: Believe me this is true… not that I’ve done this… (wink, wink)

The WOW factor:

As far as the WOW factor, Ms. Hamm stressed the importance of doing your homework prior to the interview. Also, respect the interviewers time as most are very busy and cannot give up a ½ hour to discuss thing with you. Think about the message you want to portray and be brief. Prior to the interview, be able to sum up in 30 seconds what value you can bring to the company.

Another note from your blog master: Practice the delivery of this 30 second message in front of others. Believe me when I say that thinking it and saying it are VERY different.

Also, make yourself compelling. Research the company’s current needs and use those as leverage when selling yourself. Know which parts to play up and which to play down.

Let’s not be an obsessive fan, OK?:

“Don’t forget to follow up but without being a stalker” was anther piece of interview advice Linda offered. You need to demonstrate interest, without being annoying. You need to follow up with a “soft touch, not a hard sell.”


Again, Ms. Hamm, like many others, stresses that networking is crucial. Knowing people can put your resume at the front of the pile. You can meet agency professionals by doing your research and reaching out. Connect to industry professional by asking for insights and advice on your work. Most everyone in this industry is willing to help, you just need to make the effort and ask.

On the job market in Chicago:

Linda Hamm stresses that the market is all the same across the board. It is rough, and very hard to find a job. As entry levels, we have it particularly rough because we are in competition with everyone. Due to the recent layoffs, many individuals with much more experience take entry level jobs at the pay decrease.

But, does this me we give up and cry, NO!. Linda stresses that we need to be flexible and embrace any opportunities, even if they are not exotically what we want.

On a final note:

Try to get face time. This means asking for informational interviews, even if no positions are available. The more face time you can get, the more memorable you will be when a job does open.

Thanks Linda! Your ‘big picture‘ advice is a value to us all.

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