Monday, September 28, 2009

Let’s celebrate Monday with some quick insight into the effectiveness of LinkedIN!

Hello everyone!

Happy Monday! The following are responses I received via LinkedIn on a 'LinkedIn based' question. I think it’s really cool to see how responses differ through the various methods of advice/insight seeking. Enjoy!

Question posed via Linked IN:

Hey everyone! I don't have a post for this yet and would love to get some opinions. How can we as entry-level job seekers make our LinkedIn profiles more effective? -Thanks!


1. Hey, Alex: here are some "To Do's" to beef up your LinkedIn profile:

* join LinkedIn groups and other professional groups related to your industry; share useful answers to questions from other group members; link to members of the group; pose questions to the group

* join and participate in alumni groups from any school or previous employer; link to members of the group * on your profile, add links to your professional blog or Twitter account (not a personal Twitter account that gives updates like "I am sitting on the porch.")

* link to everyone you admire who you used to work with and currently work with

* give and get recommendations from people you used to work with and currently work with There are other things you can do, but just doing the above will add good value to your LinkedIn profile. If you want to add even more value to your profile, link to me : )

-Mary 'marymac' MacKinnon
Available: Online Marketing Sales Strategist: drives traffic to websites to generate significant sales leads

2. I've always felt one should never hide the fact that he or she is just entering the job world. New is fresh. Fresh ideas. Fresh attitudes. As for facts: record of an internship or ad-related job is good (you have that). A recommendation by a professor, internship/job supervisor is helpful. Avoid puffery in one's text--it looks bad even for seasoned folks. Almost forgot...someone WILL see you or your book, remember to pass that goodwill onto another junior once established. Good luck, you're off to strong start.

-David Fong
Freelance Art Director, David Michael Fong Advertising Concept and Design

3. Share your ideas. You bring a fresh set of eyes to the table. This is very much a work in progress. (Boy is it a work in progress!) Approach it from a "Here's what I think needs to be done to get things to the next level and here's some thoughts on how to do it." Good luck!

- John W Scherer
John W Scherer, Founder and CEO of Video Professor, Inc

4. LinkedIn is basically a very popular place you can post your resume online for the world to view, as well as network with specific Groups. I'd say the most effective thing to do on LinkedIn for a talented person entering the job market is to know what type of job you want and write about all the talent, education, experience and knowledge you have that demonstrates how you'd be a great choice for a company to consider for an entry-level position.

For instance, let's say you've just acquired a Marketing degree and are ready to light the world on fire with your talent, you should give examples of the marketing areas you excel in on your LinkedIn profile. Are you more creative and great with branding a product/designing ads/writing catchy slogans/etc., or, are you great with analyzing demographics/managing marketing data/creating spreadsheets, etc., whatever your SPECIFIC talents are...highlight your talent in a way that a company can see how you'd tackle projects they need accomplished and how you'd be a worthwhile addition to the team.

Use your LinkedIn profile as your own personal commercial to sell your value and usefulness to your next employer. Post as much industry knowledge as you have -- remember, when the company recruiters or Hiring Managers are looking for their next intern or entry-level employee, the profiles that match the search criteria/search words will be the ones who are reviewed and invited in for an interview. It's what you can do for them -- not what they can do for you that will separate you from the pack.

- Debbie Duguay, CIR
Executive Recruiter / Sr. Staffing Manager at Kaizen Staffing

5. Never underestimate what value youth and enthusiasm brings to the discussion. Many professionals get jaded and lose sight of innovation after a while in corporate America, particularly if they have remained in one job for several years. Participate in the discussions and don't be afraid to give your opinion or ask questions. Don't stagnate, always be open to sharing ideas and listening to others and you will succeed. Be committed to lifelong learning and network with those who can provide a mentoring relationship. My sincerest wishes for success. - Molly

Molly Walpola
VP of marketing at PureOFlow

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Getting a job online will work!

I had a bit of a realization today and I wanted to share it with all of you. As many of you know, I too am looking for an entry-level job in advertising. What I feel makes this blog so different is that it is a job advice forum created through the eyes of a fellow job seeker. I too am on this entry-level job search, seeking advice and then applying it to my own process.

Enter advice:

I have been applying to quite a few places via the internet, and today I received an email back from one. It wasn’t that wonderful interview I was hoping for, actually it was the complete opposite; a nicely written and personalized rejection. In this situation most would be upset by the outcome but I was quite happy. It sucks that I didn’t get it, but I now know they read my application and my cover letter. The company told me they received 100s of responses, and went through all of them. This made me realize that in order to get a job via online; you must keep pushing and responding to the online posts despite rejection and disappointment.
In general, keep in mind that people will read what you send. If you are determined enough to brush off rejection and keep on plugging, it’s only a matter of time before a company wants what you have and calls you in.
Do not give up! Keep trying, and it will happen.

-That’s all for now, Alex

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The first page is really good! Interview with Craig Oda from Page One PR

As this project continues to help others, I thought it would be a good idea to seek advice and insights through digital sources. After all, this is an open advice forum, why not have the advice stem from a variety of sources?

With that being said, I was on LinkedIn the other day when I came across a job posting for Page One PR. Living in SF for quite a while, I had heard of Page One, but still took the opportunity to thicken my understanding of the company.

Page One PR is a very innovative, forward-thinking firm. The realization that traditional PR methods did not work for their clients sparked the creation of this company.

I emailed the company and explained my project and heard back from Mr. Craig Oda, who offered to answer a few questions via email. The following is the raw email received from Mr. Oda. Enjoy!

Please check out the company's website at

-Alexander N Harvilla

These questions are my personal perspective. Some points about me:

- managing partner at Page One PR
- executive in charge of strategy for all social media programs
- currently working on strategy with a mix of Silicon Valley startups and large tech companies like Cisco and SAP.
- started first ISP in Japan, now part of Cable and Wireless Japan
Can't help but love and embrace the US's migration towards electronic music. Awesome, right?

Begin Questions:

How did you break into the PR industry?

A group of us in Silicon Valley were trying to develop business models around open source software. We had raised $96 million in venture funding and saw that the public perception of software was critical to the success of start-ups. Having hired many PR firms, we found that the traditional way of doing PR did not adequately address the need to communicate to people online. Traditional PR especially didn't address the viral communication aspects that were so critical to open source communities. My friend Lonn Johnston decided to leave the venture-funded start-up we were at and eventually started Page One PR. He asked me to join him on this incredible journey to build a new type of PR company.

Knowing what you know now would you do it differently? If so how?

I think we were successful under Lonn's strategic leadership. In retrospect, I might have hired young, smart people earlier and built up teams around them.

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

Well, that's pretty obvious. If you are a shy PR person, you're not going to stand out above the competition.

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

Smaller agencies generally want people that can take on larger blocks of responsibility more quickly with less direction. Larger agencies might be more interested in experience with the process of PR and especially dealing with the internal communication issues of larger organizations.

In 4 words, can you say something inspiring to those currently job searching?

Huge opportunity now!

How can we use cultural trends to help us find a position?

The culture is changing very rapidly. Expertise in the new elements of culture probably doesn’t exist internal to most organizations. By showcasing how the culture has changed and why your experience with the new culture is relevant, you'll be able to capitalize on the HUGE opportunities we're now faced with in the communications industry.
What are some ideas and methods we can implement to 'up' the value of our social network?
People are obviously moving from print media to online media. People are also looking for product and corporate information from their friends, not just the traditional paid influencers.

What are some methods to make ourselves more visual within social media?

Do a campaign pro-bono for a high-profile non-profit. Don't charge them in return for them serving as a reference for you.

I would love to hear your view on the importance of a multifaceted social networking profile.

A small number of strong channels are better than having a shallow presence in many channels. Ultimately, people will find out about the strength of your ideas.

I have been told that it is very important to sound "real" and more "like a person" when applying for a job online. What are some effective ways to do this?

Your employer will most likely see your LinkedIn and public Facebook profile. If you're a top candidate, they'll scrutinize your cover letter. You should send an introduction letter regardless of whether or not they ask for it.

Creating a portfolio of your work might distinguish you.

What is the importance of having a unique voice? How do we show this uniqueness without being tacky?

You need to have strong ideas. Even student-run campaigns can showcase strong ideas that will resonate with employers.

What is the most effective tool to have or use when job hunting?

If I were looking for job, I would start with my existing network of friends and try to do work for their company even without getting paid. Proof of successful work experience and products is going to be the most effective tool. Also, you're going to be top of the list to move from a volunteer to a paid position if your work is any good. Taking contract work might also help.

If SFO's ad market were a dessert, what would it be, how would it taste and how would you eat it?

Tiramisu comes to mind. It's a mixture of light layers and more dense layers with a bittersweet chocolate and caffeine kick. Get it and eat it right now before someone else does.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Enter: Pittsburgh

Hey Everyone!

The Job Safari is now beginning to post and explore Pittsburgh market info, insight and advice. Check it out starting with my video post discussing a general view of the city.