Monthly Archives: January 2011

4 ways to stand out from the crowd in your marketing job search

crowd of peopleWhen stacked against tens or even hundreds of candidates for desirable positions, candidates need to find creative ways to stand out from the crowd.  How you present yourself makes a big difference in how memorable you are and the likelihood that well-connected people will hire you or recommend you for positions.

From networking to interviews, here are four ways all professionals - young and experienced – can stand out from the crowd:

1. Business cards. If you don’t already have them, it’s time to get your own business cards. At a Drake University alumni-student networking event, each student I encountered gave me a business card. I was impressed and held onto them for a couple of weeks. I matched up cards to the follow-up e-mails some of the students sent, and eventually hired one of these students for an internship. That business card was a critical first step in our relationship. Many folks use vistaprint.com for low-cost cards. I use uprinting.com for my social media cards.

2. LinkedIn Profile. How does your profile look? Do you have at least 50 connections? Recommendations from colleagues, managers or even classmates? This is your online resume – spend time building it out. Send out connection requests to your network (with personal requests, of course). Of course LinkedIn is becoming more helpful for networking – but even more importantly, it is part of your online footprint. LinkedIn profiles rank high in Google searches and your future boss is likely to check you out there.

3. Twitter Account. For extreme networking opportunities and to catch the front end of industry trends, start a twitter account in your full name. Not sure where to start? Find someone in your network who uses twitter and ask them for a few tips and to help you make some initial connections in your industry. I advise new tweeters to make a commitment to tweet for a month. As you are getting started, make it your goal each day to tweet one original thought, respond to one tweet and retweet something. You’ll get the hang of it in no time. Remember – your focus is on professional networking, so don’t tweet from the bar Saturday night. Of course, you’ll list this account on your resume and business card… to stand out from the crowd.

4. Professional blog. Provided your content is marketing-related, your blog could make you stand out from the crowd and land you an interview. Think of it as an online portfolio -  use it to feature case studies of your work or share your thoughts on various trends and hot topics. What a great tool to feature your work! If you build a blog you are proud to share on your resume, future employers will take notice and check it out.

Are you using these tools effectively? What other tips do you have for job seekers to stand out from the crowd?

Credit: photo by Mitch McPherson on flickr creative commons

Yellow pages aren’t extinct (yet)

When’s the last time you used a phone book?

As customers, the way we search for business information has changed due to the internet. Are businesses keeping up? As technology moves forward at a fast pace, what do businesses need to do to make sure they are accessible?

Check out my guest post over on the PRevolution blog: Closing the Book on Yellow Pages. There you’ll find the latest usage numbers for off and online directories. I also share how drastically I cut Allina’s yellow page advertising spend over the last couple of years.

Mini-conf recap – MN Blogger Conference

Hosted by CoCo

The mini-conference was hosted by CoCo in St. Paul. Photo by Joel Carlson.

Last Friday we held the first mini-conference for the MN Blogger Conference. There was a full house of local bloggers and social media professionals in attendance to hear speakers Becky Flansburg on networking and Josh Braaten on Google Analytics. Josh posted a recap of his session here: Google Analytics for Bloggers.

Becky Flansburg presented on networking. Photo by Joel Carlson.

Josh Braaten

Josh Braaten taught the group about Google Analytics. Photo by Joel Carlson.

It was great to see a crowd of bloggers gather together again after our large conference last fall. We saw many of the same folks, but new faces as well.
group photo

A large group filled the CoCo space to learn about blogging.

There was a lot of buzz on twitter for at least 24 hours after the event, including blog posts by Joel Carlson and Griff Wigley. And tweets like these:

 

beth's tweettweet shot from Griff

screenshot of Paul's tweet
Thanks to all the attendees who donated diapers for The Diaper Drive. These donations will help lighten the load for local families struggling to get by.
Diaper donation

Josh and Paul carried some of the donations.

Big thanks to my partner in crime Arik Hanson for planning the event with me, and special thanks to Judy Grundstrom for the extra help with logistics. A survey will be going out to attendees in the near future to get input on future events.

Inspired to help others

inspiredThe ’98 senior capstone class at Drake University challenged students to build a PR campaign for Kraft Cheez Whiz. I was grateful for the opportunity to build my portfolio with a national brand, but I was completely uninspired. The lesson I learned that semester set the tone for the rest of my career: product marketing was not for me. I need to direct my skills towards helping others. Because of that experience, I knew upon graduation I would focus on service marketing and non-profits.  

In fact, I landed my first job in healthcare, for the Hazelden Foundation, marrying my service and non-profit direction with a goal of helping others during a difficult time in their lives. While marketing skills are generally transferable from one industry to the next, most people need to find the product or company they are promoting interesting, or at the very least, challenging.

I’m quite confident I won’t ever take a position marketing consumables, such as food, cars, toys or clothing. The Cheez Whiz experience taught me that I’m simply not interested in the retail aspects of pricing and positioning when it comes to product marketing.

Although my skills lie in marketing, I’m careful not to confuse it with my passion. Truthfully? I am not passionate about marketing. (Okay, I am passionate about BAD marketing…) but my inspiration is in using my skills to help others. Making sure people have the right information, at the right time, to make important decisions in their lives.

Knowing my hands (and heart) have touched these folks in a meaningful way – that inspires me.

New year, new goals, new blog

new year 2011 graphicWhen I’ve shared with friends and colleagues that I am starting a new blog, they give me the strangest looks! Their first question typically is, “are you stopping the Marketing Mama?” The second, “why?”

No, I’m not going to stop writing my first blog. For now it’s giving me a lot of joy and I’m quite proud of my work and the community I’ve built the past 4+ years. However, every [good] blog has a niche. The Marketing Mama has a rather broad topic span: parenting reflections, family activities, the Twin Cities, and pediatric health issues. The topics have grown as I have grown, both as a person and a parent.

The part of me I’ve had a difficult time including, however, is the professional side. Discussing perspectives on marketing, social media and other business topics often feel disconnected in that space. And frankly, that’s not what my readers are there to read. I’ve been struggling with this disconnect for some time and trying to figure out how to honor my hunger to write more about business.

For all of these reasons, one of my goals for the New Year became to build a stronger online presence for my professional work. Launching this blog, a new twitter account, and guest writing for a number of biz/marketing blogs is how I’m going to accomplish this goal. It feels like the right direction and presents me with a new challenge. I love challenges and I look forward to engaging with you in this new space!

Credit: graphic by volcanno on flickr creative commons

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