Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ethan Goodman from Mars Advertising

I had the pleasure of ’rapping’ with another Mars Advertising employee, this time at the Chicago office. Ethan Goodman is a wonderfully insightful Digital/Interactive strategist. Ethan has the incredible opportunity of fore fronting digital strategy at Mars through helping launch the new social media composure of collective bias. In a nut shell, Collective bias is a divergence of Shopper Marketing, social and digital media.

A note from me, the blog master: It is an amazing opportunity to see Mars operate in different capacities and gain an understanding of how the distinct offices work both independently and with one another.

For those still in school:

“Focus less on class and more on experience.” Filled with passion, Ethan states that he learned more working in groups and getting involved in a variety of activities/functions, than he did in his University classes. Outside experiences will help you “break away from the norm and embrace new ways thinking.”

Note from me, the blog master: Getting involved in outside activities will also help you get familiar with and understand culture and people…. Advertising and culture go hand and hand.

Breaking into the field:

When I asked Ethan specifically how he broke into the field of Advertising, he told me that he just fell into it. Each new opportunity he embraced, led him closer to his current job in advertising. The moral of this is to keep yourself open and receptive to a variety of experiences and opportunities as you never know where they may lead. Ethan emphasizes that while it is important to take on as many opportunities as you can, still keep your end goal in sight. Don’t be afraid of change, as change can lead to the best connections. Oh, and EMBRACE CHALLENGES!

Also, don’t be afraid of starting out at the bottom. Many of us entry level job seekers contrive this awful nightmare of being abused at the bottom, but as an entry level employee it is important to grow and develop through the ranks. ‘Climbing the ladder’ will help you gain more respect from others within the company and your field. Keep in mind that hard, valiant work, regardless of the position, will turn heads and pay off.


Ethan also stressed how hugely importantly networking is; “It’s how I landed my job in Advertising.”

There is a difference between Personal and Professional networking. You can gain a new world of connections through people you know on a personal level. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends and family and let them know you are looking for a job. The more you put yourself out there, the more likely you will be to receive a response.

As far as professional networking, Linked in, Twitter and Facebook are great ways to do this. As an entry level job seeker, it is important to put fourth the effort to create your digital network.

Finally, do some research and check out your cities own networking hubs. You can do this by googling advertising events in your city, and by checking out your local AIGA or Ad fed chapter. An alumni club is also a great way to make some connections.

Be persistent and set your self apart from others. In Ethan’s words, “This approach may turn some people off, but you probably wouldn’t want to work for them anyway.”

Being a ’good fit’ at an agency is just as important as having the necessary skills to excel at the position. If you are true to yourself throughout the job seeking process, when you do land a position it will be the best fit for both you and the company.

Outfitting yourself:

As far as your interview attire, it should be dependant on the culture of the organization. Some agencies project a relaxed, social atmosphere and being over dressed could send the wrong signal and vice versa. Remember that a job interview does not always equal a suite and tie. Do your research prior to the interview to find out how you should dress. You can conduct this research by isolating social networking tools, or through contacting an individual at the agency for advice. Remember that as a job seeker it is a rarity to hear no when reaching out to someone and requesting advice.

The Interview:

It is important to be confidant, comfortable and calm during an interview. Keep in mind that an interview is merely an intelligent conversation and that there is nothing to be nervous about. Also, a good way to make yourself memorable is through being engaging dynamic and social.


Keep it easy to read but make it visually compelling at a fist glance. A good tip from Ethan, add a 2 sentence blurb at the top about who you are.

As far as your experience section, don’t solely list what you have done, describe it and offer tangible results. For example, don’t write ‘marketing coordinator for project‘, write ‘developed and executed creative marketing plan that showed 75 % effectiveness in the market place.’ As a general rule, meaningful things stand out.

Don’t forget to run your resume by as many and as wide of a variety of people as you can. Professionals, friends, family, and drinking buddies alike may all have something interesting and relevant to say. Don’t be afraid of criticism, see it as an opportunity to strengthen your weaknesses.

A final note from your blog master: Being fearless of criticism is easier said than done. It took me a long time to embrace criticism and I honestly still get nervous hearing it. The only way to become more comfortable with criticism is to suck it up, request it and embrace the responses. Believe me, the more you embrace it, the less it will bother you.

A few final words of advice from Ethan

Stay positive, don’t take rejection personally and be persistent.

Thanks Ethan, you are a man of good words.

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