Friday, August 28, 2009

Buff up with powerful language: Kirk Miller Interview

After my visit to The Art Institute of Chicago, I decided to grab a drink at a random establishment. In general, drinking by yourself is no fun so to remedy this, I turned to the guy next to me and started a conversation. It just so happens that this gentleman, Kirk Miller, is the global account manager of Vodafone, the largest international cell phone company in the world. On a local perspective, Vodafone controls 44.8% of Verizon Wireless. I enthusiastically explained my Job Safari to Kirk, and before I knew it, he offered to be a part of it.

Kirk is responsible for two major accounts for the Vodafone business. His major duties are to:

1. Negotiate contracts and new business on the customer’s behalf with the goal of increasing Vodafone’s share of business in other companies. He fulfills these tasks by meeting with local and regional IT and discussing ways that Vodafone is the right strategic partner for their business.
2. Evaluate mobility challenges for customs and create strategic spending decisions.

In a nut shell, Kirk has a ‘Cosmo Martini’ of a job that mixes business, sales marketing and strategy.

Kirk and I met at a lovely Café in downtown Chi Town. While sitting at this cafe, the first thing I noticed about Kirk is his down to earth, humble attitude and his willingness to talk to people; character traits needed to be a part of this people-centric industry.

One thing you wish you knew:

Be persistent. It really pays off to keep plugging away and never stop.

Kirk also emphasized understanding the employer’s motivation behind interviewing you. As a job seeker, this means understanding the needs and wants of the company and using these to leverage your skills and assets.

When I asked how one could figure out a company’s motivation, Kirk simply said “just ask. By asking others what propels them to success, you are also helping brand yourself.” You can demonstrate how much you know about a business by asking the right questions.

Kirk also suggests that you recognize the importance of your brand. If you do good work, make it known without being a jackass. You need to sell your brands on multiple levels to generate a buzz about yourself.

As far as breaking into a company...

To start, the economy is forcing people to pursue opportunities harder and more aggressively. This means you need to be first, fast and different.

Kirk recommends that you skip HR and get to know people within the business. You can do this by calling the company and asking for an “informational interview” on the subject for advice on your work, via LinkedIn, other social networking sites, or you can even ask people you know personally. Don’t be afraid to "flex your networking muscle, as you know a lot more people than you might think. Simple email blasts to all of your ‘peeps’ can yield new contacts."

Also, do your research and equate yourself with the company’s business language to gain more leverage.

The Interview:

Prior to the interview, get to know the company’s challenges and ask questions about it. A smart way to do this is to look at industry reports and take note of the language. Also, state that you are aware of the poor economy and that you can contribute to business efforts to increase business.

As a side note on this point, gives access to many free services without having to sign up for a subscription. This includes industry reports. - Thanks Julia Johnson :)

Kirk states that there is a fine line between showing off and showing you have done your homework. In general, the less you use the word ‘I’ the less you risk showing off. Use words like 'we,' or 'my group.'

Also, you should do some self reflection and understand how you personally measure success. If you don’t know, how can you expect to go anywhere?

Finally, do not accept no! If someone tells you no, ask why.

On the Cover Letter:

Make sure that it is well researched and never send a resume without a cover letter. Make your cover letter compelling and state your objective upfront. Limit your chance of “bullshit” by keeping the objective crisp, clean and limit it to one to two lines at most. Keep your objective directional, but not overly specific as this could limit you.

The last paragraph should have a course of action. For example, "I will call you on Friday at noon." NEVER say "I look forward to hearing from you." Finally, do not be afraid to follow up.

On Language:

This can be applied to a resume, cove letter, or interview; pretty much any capacity where you will be discussing a position. Kirk stresses the importance of using words that sell. Here is a list of Kirk’s top ten:


Rhetorical language is extremely powerful and an excellent tool to use while in an interview. This involves proposing a question yourself to generate an answer. This is a great way to get the interviewer to ask you good questions.

Keep yourself busy...

If you can’t find a job, work on preparing yourself for when the economy does bounce back. Doing nothing is always an awful idea. Take extra classes, do some independent projects, read books and become more familiar with your ideal business.

Last words of advice:

Don’t walk into an interview with preconceived notions about a person or company. Keep an open mind; if you are offered advice listen to it, don’t ignore it. Be open to any opportunity as you never know where an opportunity will take you. Be prepared to take any entry level jobs and evolve it yourself.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Thank you everyone so much for your support! I could not do it without any of you :)


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lets Sing of Advertising! Rebecca Sanders from Team Detroit

I’m very happy to have Team Detroit be apart of this blog. This agency takes 5 major contributors of the ad world (JWT, Y&R, Wunderman, Ogilvy and Mindshare) and places them under one roof. It is a very new-age, progressive way to conduct business and generate great ideas.

I was able to get in touch with Rebecca Sanders, head of creative recruitment. From the second we began ‘talking shop’ I could hear the passion in her voice and sense her willingness to help others succeed. Overall, she was a very powerful person to talk to.

On another note, I’ve been typing up a lot of articles as of late and feel like this blog needs a little shake. For this interview, I am going to relate all of the advice to various songs and lyrics. I hope you enjoy it!

“Thank you for the music, the songs I’m singing…” – Abba, Thank you for the Music

Don’t forget to send a thank you note. Rebecca emphasized that many fail to remember this. As a result those people are either forgotten about, or discarded. Don’t let something as simple as dropping a ‘thank you’ note destroy your chance at a potential position.

“Call me on the line · Call me call me any anytime ·Call me!” – Blondie, Call Me

A nice, polite phone call is a great way to show your interest and stand out among the rest.
Don’t rely solely on email to generate a response! HR is usually super busy and gets slammed with a ton of emails on a daily basis.

‘Questions, I've got some questions. I want to know you, but what if I could ask you only one thing…’ –Jack Johnson, Questions

Do your research and know the agency prior to the interview. Be prepared to ask questions relevant to the agency’s current clients, culture and opportunities. Rebecca also declares that “taking light notes during the interview is a great way to demonstrate your interest and impress the employer with your preparation.”

“That's all I get if this is communication…” - The Cardigans, Communication

People in the ad world get distracted easily. Be able to communicate what you can bring to the company in a short, clear, concise manner. In a nut shell, know your “raw deal”.

“Name it, rate it, tune it, print it,Scan it, send it, fax - rename it, Touch it, bring it, pay it, watch it,Turn it, leave it, start - format it.Technologic [4x]…” – Daft Punk, Technologic

To be in the ad world, you need to be digitally savvy. Get on Linkedin, facebook, twitter, etc. and post your interest for a position followed by your skills. When Rebecca needs to fill a position, she migrates through facebook and linked in to find the right people.

“Get out (leave) right now · it's the end of you and me ..”–Jo Jo, Get Out

“If you don’t adapt you will have to get out”, was a comment Rebecca made in relation to the rising of digital media. As striving advertisers, we must stay updated on the newest forms of communication. Always be doing your research and striving to say on the cutting edge.

“Think (think) think (think) think (think) think (think) think (think) think (think) You better think (think) think about what you're trying to do to…” -Aretha Franklin, Think

On a designer portfolio specific note, looks are not as important as communicating a good idea. A design portfolio should show how you think. As fresh graduates, we haven’t had the opportunity to work on real brands. Therefore we must demonstrate HOW we will work on brands when given the opportunity. Show your THOUGHT PROCESS! Use your designs to show how you see the world.

On another note, your own blog is also great way to do this.

“There are only 2 types of people in this world, the ones that entertain and the ones that observe…”-Britney Spears, Circus

Do something that will make you stand out among the rest. One way of doing this is to create a non-traditional resume or pitch. For example, I know a woman who sent bubblegum, with her resume printed on the wrapper, to various agencies. What an attention getter!

“I go humble.You're so curiously pure,only before you I'm humble,I go humble.You amaze me,only before you I'm humble.” -Bjork,I Go Humble lyrics

Be humble and willing to learn. Rebecca stated than many entry-level job seekers “toot their horn too loud.” This can cause a major disconnect between you and the employer. As entry levels, we need to recognize that we have to put in our time and climb the ladder.

“Dream until your dream come true. Dream on, dream on, dream on” – Aerosmith, Dream On

Be willing to take an internship or something that isn’t quite your dream job. In general, planning your perfect position is impossible and you must make the best out of any opportunity. Remember that a job is only as good as you make it.

“Because you gotta have faith!” – George Michael, Faith

When I asked Rebecca for some words of encouragement, she told me to be persistent, be patient and have faith. If you keep trying and stay positive YOU WILL LAND SOMETHING.

Thank you Rebecca! Your advice is an asset to us all.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fruits of Labor: Kimberly from Tangerine

Awhile back I met a partner at Tangerine, a creative/advertising recruiting firm, at Miami Ad School’s portfolio review. The other day I was at the supermarket and saw a tangerine, which reminded me of my contact, Kimberly Aguilera. I then reflected on how knowledgeable she is about the advertising world and thought she would be an excellent addition to this job forum. The following is our interview, and I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had doing it.

Small vs. Big:

A question that has been burning inside me is related to large agencies vs. smaller agencies. If you really want to work in a “big agency” setting, is it better to hold out for that specific opportunity or take a gig at a smaller place and gain a bit of experience? Kimberly explained that the way you handle this situation is relative to your lifestyle. If you really desire a ‘big agency’ job, you must consider how long you can really afford to hold out.

Kimberly also disclosed that "it isn’t that black and white. It is possible to work at a large agency in a junior capacity and not gain relevant experience, but the same could happen at a smaller agency. It all depends on how the agency runs and what the agency specifically does. That’s why it is important to do your research and find out specifically what brands you could potentially work on as an entry level associate."

Don’t be afraid to ask which projects you may be working on during the interview. If you are being interviewed for a position, the agency will have a good idea what you would be doing if hired.

On an account planning/strategy specific note, it is really difficult to break into this concentration as a junior account executive. One way in is through taking an account job, and then asking if you could take on some extra planning-focused projects after-hours. This shows your initiative and will not go unrewarded. If your desire is to work in smaller teams, don’t completely close yourself off to larger agencies; do your research first! Again, agency culture is not so black and white. There are large agencies, like Ogilvy and JWT, which embrace smaller teams and vice versa. In general, don’t pass judgments without doing your research first.

On your network:

Building your network is dependant on how you choose to “take advantage or not take advantage of opportunities.” If you’re not willing to put in the work that goes behind developing and growing your network, of course you will come up empty handed. Be your own brand and take advantage of what you can to put yourself out there. You can join LinkedIn groups, read and comment on blogs, go to local events… The more exposure you get, the more likely you are to find a helpful connection.

In general, if you really want into the advertising world you will find a way. Just keep trying; if what you’re doing isn’t working, reevaluate and try again. Our economy puts us all in a “sink or swim” situation. Don’t give up and swim hard:

Note from your blog master: I know how hard it is to stay motivated and focused. Believe me when I say that I am guilty of crying in my room due to jobless situations. It is important for all of us to stay positive and motivated. PLEASE SWIM HARD! I know you all can do it!

A good tip: Talk to interesting people! It’s a great way to get yourself out there.

This economy can be good?

Kimberly expressed that as a result of this economy, many agencies are being restructured. This provides the opportunity for new methods and new ways of thinking to come into play. Take the time to read up on the ad agencies of your choice and learn from their restructuring; it will help keep you in the loop and help your advertising future.

SOME OTHER WONDERFUL NEWS: From this restructuring, many new jobs are being formed and put out there. However, entry level jobs are the last to be formed and filled. In the words of Kimberly: “It starts at the top and trickles down.”

This gives us, as entry level job seekers, the opportunity to learn and surround ourselves with new aspects of the world. Kimberly recommends that we read, connect and research as much as we can. This way when entry level positions are created, we are the first to be thought of and are well prepared.

The following is a “good book” list sent to me from Kimberly that we can all take advantage of to better prepare ourselves.

-The New Influencers
-Marketing to the Social Web
-Being Digital
-The Big Switch: Rewiring the world, from Edison to Google
-Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems and the Economic World

Be prepared for the digital world:

Make an effort to embrace the digital and social media world. So many agency jobs are being restructured to include all the fun of the digital world. PREPARE YOURSELF by reading, researching, and attending lectures; form an opinion and a footprint on the digital world.

To close, the economy is starting to bounce back. Stay positive, keep trying and don’t give up… Show the world you mean business!

Featured! YAY times 80!

Hey Everyone,

A blurb from the recent interview with Tom Jeffrey was featured on!

I am so happy that this blog is reaching so many people and I could not do it without all of my wonderful supporters, contributors, readers and followers. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!

Your blog writer and bff,


Friday, August 14, 2009

Let's get HOOKed! (bad pun)

Hello Everyone,

To get the word out about this blog, I posted blog based questions on various Linkedin discussions. Tom Jeffrey, a partner at Hook in Charleston, South Carolina, left a very insightful comment on one of the discussions.

This inspired me to email him and ask if he would be interested in doing a post of his own. As you can all see, he was!

The following is the raw email received from Mr. Jeffrey himself... ENJOY!


1. How did you break into the advertising field?

I applied for a freelance position at a small agency. I was invited in for an interview and the owner of the agency confessed that he had received a pile of resumes and samples, but left them on a plane during a business trip. I was the only person to follow up. I started freelancing for them right away and was hired full-time within a month.
Wanting to get into a bigger market, I saw an agency in Philadelphia had won the Sunoco Gasoline account. I scrounged up an old tire from a repair station, cleaned it and and then painted in white letters, "COPYWRITER HITS HIGHWAY" on one side and my name and phone number on the other. I made the tire shine with some Armor All and mailed to the agency. They called the day they received it to have me come in for an interview and I was hired a few days later.

2. What is one thing you know now that you wish you knew when you were an entry level job seeker?

How important it is to make yourself stand out. After being in the business for several year, I went to meet with a head hunter in NYC. He had at least 100 black portfolios lined up in his office. The next day I bought vintage green suitcase and that has served as my portfolio ever since. That alone put my book at the front of the pile.

3. When looking for a job, can one be too aggressive? Is it better to be too aggressive than to be too shy?

Yes, it is possible to be too aggressive. You want the people you're corresponding with at a company to like you. Get too aggressive and you may come across as annoying and take yourself out of contention for any future openings. I don't think you can be too shy when looking for a job. If you have a great resume or great portfolio, people are going to notice and contact you.

4. What do you think the difference is when trying to land a job at a large agency vs. a smaller one?

There are more doors to get through at large agencies and you're probably going to run up against a lot more competition. At smaller agencies, it's often easier to get your resume/portfolio in front of the decision makers. In my own experience, it also seems the folks at smaller shops are more likely to provide feedback.

5. Applying to online job posts... can one ever land a job this way? Is there something us entry level job seekers can do to make this method more effective?

You can absolutely find work through online job posts. I've done it myself. If you know which company is posting the job, do your research and learn as much as you can about the company - their clients, any new business wins or new news. Then take your time and write a great letter to send. Each letter you send should be tailored to the job your applying for. If it's a blind online posting, play up your strengths. Be personable.

6. In 3 words, can you say something inspiring to those currently job searching.

Never give up.

7. How do you find new talent when your Hook is in need?

First we comb through the resumes/portfolios we have on file. We've also placed ads on Communication Arts.

8. What is something an entry level job seeker candidate could do to really "wow" you

We're very focused on our creative, so a really good portfolio is key. We also like to see letters that show an applicants personality.

Too often college graduates are taught to write boring, conservative cover letters. You should be professional, but at the same time, it's important to be yourself. Show a little life. Avoid formula letters at all costs. Send something fun in the mail.

9. I'd love to hear any comments you have on building a digital network.It's a smart idea to build your online network.

You never know when you can tap into those connections for tips, advice and insights that can help you with interviews or information about a particular agency.

10. I'd love to hear any advice you have on face to face networking.

Be professional and be yourself. Along with talking about yourself, be sure to ask questions about the person you're networking with.

A few other points:

Timing has a lot to do with getting hired. If agencies don't respond to your letter and resume, don't automatically assume they don't like you. More often than not, they're not hiring and it's not always possible to respond to every resume, especially for smaller shops.

- Do your research. Make sure you know the agency you're sending a resume to. Don't write one cover letter to send to everyone. Demonstrate that you know what kind of work the company does, who they work for, etc.

- Read the trade magazines and website. Watch for which agencies are winning business and which ones are losing accounts. Agencies often staff up when they win big pieces of business.

- Show some creativity when contacting agencies

. - When applying for jobs, take your time with your letter. Write, re-write it and re-write it again. I sometimes think applicants feel if their resume gets to the door first, they're going to get the job. That's not the way it works. Agencies are looking at how well people write and communicate. It's a big part of this business, regardless which department you're trying to get into.

Hope you all loved this post as much as I did! Check out the agency website at


Thursday, August 13, 2009

The suit and tie debate goes on!

Another cool blurb of advice via the linked in discussion "Wearing a suit and tie to a job interview is not always the right choice. Experience why at the latest post on"

"The role of dress on a job interview is to avoid causing any negatives to your first visual impression. If you know that a suit is going to knock you out of the running, by all means wear something else. So far, I cannot think of a job interview where wearing a suit would offend the interviewer (unless is is for a clothing design job and the suit you are wearing is from a competitive designer.) "

-Stephen Pickens
Product Manager/Brand Manager for Altaquip

You all like? I DO!


Getting LinkedIn, part 2

Hey All,

Posting the Job Safari on LinkedIn has again generated some new advice. Take a look

"professionals...real professionals pursue work with the calm confidence that comes with experience. if you don't have that calm confidence yet, "fake it 'til you make it." a note every 6-8 weeks will keep you in mind without becoming known as a pest. keep it relaxed. just touch base...check in. send the occasional sample of some new work. NURTURE your contacts just like you would a new business prospect. "

-Walter Adamkosky
freelance creative director

The following are comments on the discussion "Wearing a suit and tie to a job interview is not always the right choice...."

"If you do you homework and research the company you're going to interview with, you should have a pretty good idea of how to dress. And yes, in the ad world there's a good chance the suit and tie is not necessary."

-Tom Jeffrey
Partner, Hook

"I presume wearing Suit & tie to a job interview is always right. Although I also feel that what you wear completely depends on the profile you are being interviewed for as well as the industry you want to be part of. But the base line is you should be able to carry whatever you are wearing. "

-Anuj Sharma

Hope you all enjoyed that!


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.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Getting Linked IN

Hey All!

I posted the blog URL on the "advertising professional" group on Linked in and received this tid bit of advice from an experienced professional at AdelphiEden Health Communications. Here is what they had to say

" I once had an entry level candidate show up unexpectedly at my office the same day of the phone interview. I had told them that I would be in touch soon regarding next steps. Showing up unexpectedly did not come across in a positive way. My advice is to follow up with a thank you e-mail, and to touch base the week after to see if there are any updates. "

awesome eh?


“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.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Awesome advice from an interesting source

hey all!

So, since my laptop died somewhere between Chicago and Pittsburgh, this is my first post via iPhone. This method may take twice as long, but my desire to post this awesome info well overides the extra time.

Start: The Story

This person remains nameless due to prior agreements, but she is very insightful and has quite a bit of experience under her belt. She found this site via a spray painted URL in the financial district of San Francisco. Please note that I was not the individual who tagged the URL.

Anywho, she contacted me and was interested in posting. This goes to show you, connections happen in very strange ways. The following is her raw, emailed advice to me, and now to you... Enjoy!

I've interviewed countless people and here are
some of my tips to interviewing,resume/cover letter
writing,networking,and networking sights like

Smiling is so important if you forget to
smile it goes hand-in-hand with eye contact when it comes to making a
good impression.A smile can make the difference between otherwise
equal candidates.

Eye contact is the best way to connect with the
person on the other side of the table. Use it to your advantage and it
can win you the job. Avoid it and it looks like you are hiding

Asking no questions this is critical. If you don’t ask
intelligent, informed questions, it will appear that you are only
there for the job and not to become part of the team. Giving long
answers relates to respecting the employer’s time. Give short, concise
answers to avoid rambling. It will help to reinforce that you know
what you are talking about.

Don't Be Needy or Overbearing: coming off
desperate is a major turn-off. Employers want confident, capable
candidates who are easy to get along with.Don’t talk about how hard
you worked. Stress what was achieved ,and what you can bring to the
table.Be nice to everyone.The receptionist may be more influential
than an oral board member they are often the first point of contact
before meeting anyone in the company .The main goal of a cover letter
is to get you noticed and convince an employer to look at your
resume.While personalizing this letter cannot guarantee success, not
personalizing it will (almost) guarantee failure.

Send out more resumes. A job search is often a numbers game.A long with
personalizing a cover letter it would be interesting if a "creative"
got creative and personal with their resume as well. So it goes
without saying that I don’t have to remind you to be careful about
what you post on social networking sites
(Twitter,Facebook,LinkedIn,Myspace,Blog Sites).I am in fact on most if
not all those websites just to check on prospective employees purposes
only.Most prospective and employers check these sites to see what
their employees are writing or up to! No one wants to read that they're
going to "hit up" their boss for a raise, or that they dislike a
fellow coworker or matter of fact their job.

Now this brings me to networking you have to start networking it is
crucial. This market is starting to change, starting to slow and you
need to be ahead of the curve. Looking for events going on in
different cities that you want to work in,go to local art shows,and
local community events to ensure you meet the right people.I
interviewed a gentleman in Los Angeles awhile back he said he didn't
have time to network or go to social events to land him a job,and even
with the market slowing down you have to able to get your next gig.
And then he started marketing himself AFTER gigs had ended and slots
were filled. Projects were planned and staffed. He found himself on
the outside looking in,don't let this happen to you. You should always
make time even if you feel you don't have the time to network,it will
pay off in some way,shape or form.Here are some important key things
when making connections within a networking event or community.Never
forget the old adage about putting all your eggs in one basket. Where
networking is concerned, quantity is everything, so make sure that you
just keep adding as many new contacts to your list as possible. Never
provide your fellow networkers with any information.Remember,
information is power, and you don’t want to be giving all of yours

Never be sociable with your networking contacts.Don’t meet with
them for drinks, meals or social occasions or otherwise mix business
with pleasure.You will only be running the risk of them thinking of
you as a friend - and you don’t need any more friends,right? Never
offer advice or support to your contacts.They might be going through a
rough time and need help, but if you are there for them, how are they
ever going to learn to stand on their own two feet? Never demonstrate
your expertise – doing so is only likely to make your fellow
networkers feel insecure about all the stuff they don’t know.Besides,
you could be running the risk of them pumping you for information
which they then use to their own advantage.I believe networking to be
wonderful and exciting and a great social link don't get me wrong,but
it's ultimately about you and getting you where you want to be,not
helping others.

Don’t bother about keeping your contacts updated on
your job search.It will just take away valuable time from your job
search efforts.Save your contact until you really need something from

Love ya all!


Sunday, August 2, 2009

OMG! The Job Safari was featured again!

Hey everyone!

The Job Safari Blog was posted on!

I love the attention the blog is getting because the more people we can reach, the more we can help.

BIG THANKS to EVERYONE who has been helping me out on this journey. I must stress that without your support this blog would be nothing.

Love you all!


Updates! YES!

Hello my friends and blog followers!

Here are some words to describe my experience thus far!

Amazing, fun, enlightening, scary, stressful, surreal, mind boggling, social, engaging, random, exhausting, creative, forward, loud, freaking crazy, awesome.

That being said, please note that:

1. There will be many updates this week

2. You will all find a job :)

Peace and love,