Monday, December 21, 2009
John Gaines, from Microsoft, was our guest speaker and covered the topic of "Going Digital."
- We first discussed "Digital Natives / Digital Immigrants," the difference between the two, and why we should be aware of each as we seek jobs in the digital realm. The term Digital Natives refers to students, K through college, who represent the first generations to be surrounded by and using the tools of the digital age: computers, video games, cell phones, digital music players, etc.
According Marc Prensky, who coined the phrase, they "think and process information fundamentally different from their predecessors." On the flip side (and that phrase, which all too well is a great example of the difference) is the group he calls Digital Immigrants. "Today's older folk were 'socialized' differently from their kids, and are now in the process of learning a new language." We're adapting to their environment and learning to teach, work, and communicate in new ways.
[Author's Note: I'm currently living this difference, with a 3-year-old who, this summer, asked why I couldn't play The Killers' "Human" video on my phone. (My kids don't listen to Elmo or The Wiggles. Give 'em Johnny Cash, The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, and yes, The Killers) "Because mommy has the iPhone, Tommy." And why I also have a 5-year-old home on holiday break who's not being subjected to game shows and soap operas, but rather can watch any number of PBS 'educational' cartoons recorded on the DVR. Because of examples like these, I'd also add "... a life of, and need for, instant gratification" to Prensky's dissertations.]
John shared links to two articles by Prensky, which while written in 2001 (with no reference to the advent of Google, Facebook or Twitter), provide a basis for understanding the digital chasm between these generations.
Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants
Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants - Part 2
- John and the group also discussed the importance of having an online presence: a blog, a web site / digital portfolio... something that literally demonstrates to hiring managers that you have the chops to put one together. John suggested BigBlackBag.com as a great resource for putting together a personal web site.
- We also talked about our ability to build digital street cred with the relative ease of which we can now shoot, edit, and post videos. John did it. Landed a job with Microsoft. Are they directly related? No way to tell, but it helped. I brought up another example, where former OCA member, Arik Abel, did the same thing with an experiment he called "The Unemployed Gourmet." Now Arik is employed full-time at the user-generated advertising company, Zooppa.
- Lastly, John talked about the need to understand the real difference between Traditional and Social marketing. Traditional marketing creates a one-to-many relationship with the consumer, whereas social marketing involves the consumer in a many-to-many relationship. Companies (and job seekers) looking to leverage social media and marketing need to realize that it should be viewed as a communications strategy and not just a tactic.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
The 55-min film, titled "Between the Folds" tells the story of mathematicians, physicists, and artists and how they "reinterpret the world through paper."
Below is a trailer for the film. To watch it in its entirety on PBS.org, click on "Between the Folds."
While somewhat short-lived, I also really liked Target's campaign for their 2-day sale with Maria Bamford.
- Terry Moos, marketing copywriter, who was with Attachmate for more than 13 years. Terry has recently contracted as a marketing manager at Vertafore.
- Alison Worthington has landed at Microsoft as Marketing Director for Bing. Alison has a ton of big brand management experience (Starbucks, Coke), and had been consulting recently before getting in the door with the "large software company located on the East Side."
- Daniel Holland inked a 60-day contract with the Spring Creek Group, working on Bing.
If you can't tell, the Bing group at MSFT is generating work in the Seattle area, both within the company and through its vendors. More evidence that 'going digital' and getting up to speed on "Search" is a viable career direction.
Healthy discussion at our last meeting about contracting, and how it can impact your status with the unemployment office. We had two different takes, depending on circumstances and who you may have talked to at Worksource.
- If you have a finite contract (say 3 months) and a definitive end date, you can pick up where you left off with unemployment when your contract ends.
- If, however, it's a situation where you may be on a 'trial basis' through a short-term contract, and the trial doesn't work out (for whatever reason), the unemployment office will then open an investigation to determine your status.
The latter is obviously a more precarious spot to be in, though it may be required by the hiring company. They're taking their time to further check you out, not necessarily wanting to commit to full-time employment, nor benefits, until they feel it's a great fit. This has been more prevalent lately, given the economy. On the flip side, you may be balancing a need to replenish finances and getting back into a work environment with "What happens if this isn't the right fit in the end?" or even "I know this isn't a fit or where I want to land full-time, but a bird in the hand...". Then what?
OCA will be on a 2-week hiatus during the holidays and will resume meetings January 8th.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
- Beth Pascarella, most recently with Majestic America Line, has just finished several web related courses and has both marketing and agency-side experience.
- Will Powers, former VP of Marketing at Restaurants Unlimited, brings a wealth of strategic marketing and branding experience.
- Dana Pruiett was a marketing communications manager with with Fluke Corporation for more than 8 years. Prior to that, she held media and account management roles at local ad agencies.
Taking classes are a great way to use downtime to upgrade your skill set or to simply reinvent yourself.
We had a healthy discussion on local courses and workshops that can help add to your current skill set, specifically in the digital realm.
- Beth recommended Seattle Central Community College as a spot that offers classes that are affordable and up-to-date. They also have a Worker Retraining Program.
- The SVC, which lends a hand to OCA by donating meeting space, has just announced its winter sessions.
- Jerome Thiebaud just landed a job as VP of Marketing for K2 (software). He's also asked to stay connected with OCA and has been a great asset to the group over the past several months. Congrats, Jerome!
Upcoming guest speakers and events.
12/18 - John Gaines, former colleague at Publicis who has made the 'digital transition' from traditional copywriter and is now contracting at Microsoft, will be talking about "Going Digital."
1/15/10 - Kristin Flor, VP of Business Services at the ad agency Radarworks, has also offered to come talk to us. Topic details to come.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
"Twitter Patter: Tips on building your profile and tweeting your way into a job," by Michelle Goodman, provides practical tips and great advice for another way to network with potential employers:
- Start following your favorite employers and recruiters on Twitter.
- Build rapport and community by tweeting (and re-tweeting) relevant items, such as "ideas, questions, inspiring quotations, and links to articles and resources..."
- Don't mix business with your everyday life. Nobody at the company you'd like to work for needs to know what you made for dinner last night.
Michelle also has a book out that was brought to my attention:
My So-Called Freelance Life: How To Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire.
... and she has a blog on nwsource.com, called Nine to Thrive, which offers "fresh tips and trends for attaining that crazy little thing called work/life balance."
Monday, November 23, 2009
But then I see or read something that tells a story so well, it simply moves me emotionally. It makes me laugh. It makes me cry. Sometimes, as in this case, it does both. And I'm reminded of my love and respect for the power of pure art.
Click here or on the photo above to share in one man's story.
Paul Verner recently attended ProLango's resume writing 2.0 workshop, and he shared some his newly learned insights with the group:
- Write your resume for the recruiter, not the hiring manager. The purpose of the resume is to get you the interview.
- Contrary to popular belief (and all of us in the room last week), ProLango suggests 3 pages if you have more than 5 years of experience, 2 pages if you have 3-5 years of experience.
- Focus on keywords that tie to the job description. Repeat them within the resume, as current automated readers pick up on these (and the number of times they occur) and will flag your resume as one that is a good match.
- Not rocket science, but identify "tasks and results." Use percentages and dollar figures to highlight sales, cost savings, etc. - what you contributed.
Gayle Rose asked if any of us had examples of Social Media case studies. We were able to quickly pull up several examples online (and sites with lists of hundreds of examples).
My favorite of the past year: Crispin Porter's "Whopper Sacrifice," which won a 2009 Cannes Titanium Lion, and asked, "What do you love more, your Facebook friends or the Whopper?"
233,000 friends were dumped in just over a week. I wish I'd known when this launched... I could have cleaned up my Facebook account and gotten a burger (or 3).
Duane Hobbs recently started working on a project for the Seattle chapter of Lighthouse for the Blind. It's always nice to hear how some of us are putting our skills to good use.
Reminder... No meeting this week, 11/27, due to the Thanksgiving holiday. We'll reconvene next Friday, 12/4.
Have a safe and fun Turkey Day!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Welcome to one new OCA Member
It was a first visit for Terry Doyle, a writer and ACD from the east coast. Terry's background (if I remember right) is Grey in Atlanta; plus FCB, DraftFCB, and Publicis elsewhere.
It was the second visit for Jim Zimmerman (Business Development and Marketing Management), and the 3rd for Wes Youngquist (AD, CD).
We talked about the "Seattle Premium" – that portion of compensation that seems to come in the form of the opportunity to live here – yes it's real. We talked about contract work as a means of surviving the recession. We talked about start ups, forming your own Co., and venture capital. Most important, we just talked.
Kelly reported to me that there's some good news for one of our members: Vanessa Gallant will be starting at T-Mobile on Nov 30th as a Sr. Communications Manager.
There's plans for another edition of the very popular WordPress WorkShop. (We're waiting to hear back from Richard Geasey on dates. Shooting for early next week, if Thanksgiving plans don't interfere too much.)
See everyone next week,
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
- Gayle Rose, most recently an Account Supervisor with McCann, has a wealth of agency experience and has worked with some top brands.
- Jim Zimmerman comes to OCA with experience on both sides of the table, having owned his own agency and having also worked on the client-side in the banking business.
As with several previous meetings, the discussion turned to Microsoft and how to get in on a contract basis. We talked A- and V- and the differences between the two, as well as how staffing agencies can get you in the door.
My homework: put together a list of the agencies and headhunters working with Microsoft and other big companies in the area.
WordPress WorkShop - 2nd Session
With the success of our 1st session, we're looking to run another. Rich Geasey has kindly volunteered to teach again. I'll send out a note to the group to see who's in.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
As simple as the theory is, it's spot on, as evidenced by the viral nature of the site's current videos.
Apply the concept to today's burgeoning issues, and who knows what we can accomplish.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Pre-lunch networking 11:30-12:00
Lunch and Presentation 12:00-1:30
Washington Athletic Club, Seattle
PSAMA Members and Students: $38
Build Your Brand, Land the Job
Friday, November 13, 2009, 12:30 - 5:30pm
REI Flagship Store, Seattle
What: Psychology of Interviewing - How to STAND OUT in Today’s Crowded Market
When: 11/05/2009 or 11/10/2009, 10:00am - 11:30am
Where: Thinkspace | 8201 164th Ave NE, Suite 200 | Redmond WA 98052
Cost: FREE (limited time only)
Event Sponsor: Thinkspace
What: Career Search Seminar 2.0 - How to STAND OUT in Today’s Crowded Market
When: 11/09/2009, 10:00am - 11:30am
Where: Thinkspace | 8201 164th Ave NE, Suite 200 | Redmond WA 98052
Cost: FREE (limited time only)
Event Sponsor: Thinkspace
To see more seminars visit the Prolango website:
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Among many a topic, we talked about Taproot, and a project Duane Hobbs has just been selected to work on as Brand Strategist. He'll be helping with a rebranding and messaging project for Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind
The Taproot Foundation has come up at several OCA meetings. For more info, click here for 2 older posts with notes/links about the good work they do.
Social Media Update
We have 3 volunteers who have stepped forward to help keep our social media outlets up to date with information about events, articles, and the latest news.
- Daniel Holland / linkedin
- Suzanne LeMere / OCA blog
- Mark Jovan / twitter
Yes, you read that correctly, OCA now has a Twitter account.
OCA e-mail distro vs. OCA LinkedIn group.
Several people have asked recently to be added to the e-mail distro or have connected thru our LinkedIn OCA group. Both have over 70 people, but there's not a 100% correlation. For instance, there are 20+ folks listed in the LinkedIn group that I haven't technically met, most of whom are gainfully employed. So, if anyone is looking to reach a broader audience, make sure you communicate to each group.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Complains one patron, "It's the Upper East Side.... This isn't supposed to happen here."
Sure, comments like this are enough to make anybody with some clue of what's going on roll their eyes in disgust and possibly turn off the TV. Thankfully, that particular patron is shown to highlight just how ridiculously unaware some folks are. However, most of the show provides insight into how it isn't just this company or that, it isn't just happening here or there, nor is it even just happening to me.
By following the stories of several people, the documentary does a great job of sharing from different angles: how the economy has affected families, how an older workforce is coping with unemployment, and how some have had to simply start over. One person's story, which particularly hit home, was Rob's. He had been a highly-paid HR exec for a large marketing firm and now finds himself on the other side of the desk. Someone who had once been responsible for hundreds of people now spends endless hours submitting applications, tweaking copies of his resume, and networking with others in the job hunt. His recounting of the day he was laid off was eerily familiar.
One thought I did have while watching, as the tales of unemployment rolled on, was... "I wonder how much that haircut is costing that guy." Ironically, I got my hair cut yesterday, and no - I didn't go to a discount chain, so I, too, had to spend money I don't have on something so simple.
Below is a clip from the documentary. For the full-length version, click HERE.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Last week, we did something we never usually do on an official basis. Each week we talk about the companies we're researching and submitting applications with, which always leads to great discussions, but we hadn't ever taken the time to really examine who we're targeting.
Six of us listed out our top 10 companies, and it was surprising to see how some considerably floated to the top. Despite the fact that all of us were coming from different backgrounds and from different career levels, 5 out of 6 of us listed Starbucks. REI was next with 4 out of 6. The common theme for both of these was strength of the brand, and not surprisingly, the culture and how they consistently rank among the top companies with which to work.
Among agencies, Wunderman, DNA, and Wong Doody topped our list. Company growth and good, consistent creative propelled these to the front of the line.
Despite some crossover, there were more than 45 companies on the final list, which spanned a wide range of industries and company sizes. And as suspected, many of us were able to connect the dots and determine that we had contacts we could use to introduce our fellow OCA members.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Date / Time - next Wednesday, 10/28, from 10:30am - 12:30pm
Place - SVC, Room 204 (so up a level from where we normally meet)
To provide a basic intro to WordPress and how it can be used as a tool to create an online portfolio (and more).
-Difference between WordPress.org and .com, and why choose one versus the other
-Obtaining a great domain name
-Selecting a theme
-Installation and hosting
-Pages versus posts
-On going maintenance and updating
Richard figures he can cover these topics in 90 min, using samples, and we'll have approx. 30 min at the end for Q&A and possibly hands-on help.
We realize everyone may be at various levels of familiarity with WordPress, from "I have no clue" to "I'm close to getting it, but just need help."
Materials: While there is no need to bring a computer, I'm going to bring my laptop. The SVC has Wi-Fi we can tap into. And if time allows, we might be able to look at some stuff hands on.
Disclaimer: While we're at the SVC, and they're providing space, this is not an SVC-endorsed course.
Monday, October 19, 2009
"hmm... just need to grab the exact title of my last manager, and I can finish this job application. I'll just pull it off LinkedIn. Oh, what's that?? 14 of my connections have made new connections themselves today? Oh - someone from XYZ company. Haven't heard of them - better check that out... Interesting web site - and, ooh - an article on their site's blog about social media. Hmm... one of the comments, rather insightful, came from Jane Doe. She's retweeting the link to the article. Wonder who she's following..."
blinking light, blinking light...
[ If you need more time to complete the application, please CLICK HERE. ]
"What the hell was I looking for?? Oh, right... manager's title."
And so it goes.
And this is about the same path in which I found the following YouTube video for a band out of Japan.
Small, but lively group, this past Friday. We covered several topics, including:
- Online portfolios (OCA is setting up a 2-hr WordPress WorkShop); Steve Andrews, art director, suggested the web site / service, Wix.com, which is where he developed his site.
- Our top targets. We had the suggestion that next week, our 'homework' is to bring a list of the companies we're looking at - to compare and contrast - and, more importantly, to see who has connections within these firms and agencies.
- Marchex, who is hiring product and product marketing jobs, as well as looking for a Media Buyer, here in Seattle.
- LinkedIn, and how companies are using the tool to quickly vet possible employee candidates. HR reps at companies, such as T-Mobile (which is where the inside info came from at a recent information session), can look to:
* double-check that the resume you've submitted matches that of your profile
* how well-connected you are (would a Sales Rep candidate only have 23 connections?)
* see how well-liked you are (how many recommendations does this person have?)
* use it to check references.
Monday, October 12, 2009
- Richard Geasey, with over 20 years of technology business development, has recently published a book on local search - Get Found Now.
- Jeff Rea brings 25 years of marketing experience and was most recently with Voltap, LLC. He is currently consulting with several local firms.
- Sharon Whiting, online marketing manager, most recently worked with Rivals.com (Yahoo! Sports).
- Wes Youngquist, art director / creative director, is currently freelancing with ad agencies along the West coast.
Thanks to Lisa Quast, last week's guest speaker. Lisa gave an inspiring presentation on how to manage your career search by creating a strategic plan. Her book, Your Career, Your Way, provides a road map for the steps she suggests implementing, including:
1) Review assets and liabilities
2) Determine your differentiators (what do you bring to a company that makes you unique?)
3) Get feedback (from former co-workers, friends, mentors, and people you trust)
4) Know your competition
5) Determine your goals, long-term and short-term
6) Create your career plan - write it down.
7) Implement your plan
8) Check your progress
9) Stay focused - tenacity, courage, and commitment
10) Celebrate achievements
If you couldn't make it to the meeting but want a copy of Lisa's presentation, let me know and I can send one.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
For those not familiar, these are little 5-min historical vignettes, as told by someone who has had a few too many drinks, and acted out as narrated. I realized one day, as I helped my 5-year-old count and roll coins from his piggy bank, that my own father-to-son versions of George Washington's presidency and Abe Lincoln's take on the civil war were not too dissimilar in style (minus the occasional hiccup, slurring of words, or trip to pay homage to the porcelain bowl).
I do, however, tend to pepper my historical accounts with a fair amount of the word, "Dude."
There are several in the series, but this one is my favorite:
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Marci Kearney has accepted a contract Marketing Manager role with Microsoft and will start next week. Another example of the power of the OCA group... Marci heard about the job through our Kelly Resources connection, Marc Tolan.
LAST WEEK'S MEETING (10/2)
Welcome to new members:
- Deanne Krauter, art director and graphic designer, most recently with Coldwater Creek where she was for 13 years.
- Laurie Krisman, marketing communications, and new to Seattle by way of Denver. Laurie was most recently working with Xcel Energy, and spent 6 years with Qwest Communications as a marketing manager and copywriter.
Topics covered last week:
- Taproot Foundation, and how they can be used as a great way to volunteer your skills, while giving back to non-profit groups in the area. Click HERE to see a list of on-going projects in Seattle.
- Design groups that are active in Seattle and often host social get-togethers.
* AIGA - the American Institute of Graphic Arts, has a local Seattle chapter
* SPGA / Seattle Chapter is part of the Graphic Artists Guild.
- We also discussed the possibility of having someone in to do a workshop on building an online portfolio. I'm talking to someone now about that and am seeing if we can line him up shortly.
Monday, October 5, 2009
It's part of a program put together by the American Marketing Association, and the presenter was Nancy Goldstein from Compass (x) Strategy in Chicago.
Very interesting topic, as many companies are starting to focus on sustainability projects, designing for 'good,' and investing in cause marketing and corporate-sponsored foundations.
Link to the presentation can be found here.
Link to other upcoming AMA webcasts can be found here.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Recently,Erik Proulx, who masterminded the PFTA blog (and Lemonade movie, etc.), set about organizing a weekly schedule for his "Blog for the recently unemployed advertising professional."
On MONDAY's: Jeanne Schaad writes a column simply titled, "Monday Morning Coach," in which she advises how to survive a layoff and what steps to take to get your career back on track.Click here for a link to previous postings.
"Jeanne Schad is owner of Internal Relations Professional Coaching Resource. This former agency account service suit now works with companies to coach their people to have more fulfilling careers."
On THURSDAY's: Josh Copeland offers up advice for those of us on the account side of the business in "Account Service Thursdays."Click here for a link to previous postings.
"Josh Copeland is a 10-year digital account service veteran with experience managing Whirlpool Corporation, ExxonMobil, Frito-Lay and the Clorox Company. Josh has worked for Tribal DDB, Arc Worldwide and Elevate Studios."
This topic should resonate with both men and women, so I expect to see a packed house on 10/9.
From her site...
"[Lisa] is the author of the award-winning book “Your Career, Your Way: Personal Strategies for Achieving Your Career Aspirations”, is a sought-after professional speaker, trainer, and career coach, in 2005 was named one of the top 40 under 40 business leaders in Seattle by the Puget Sound Business Journal and in 2007 earned the "A Woman to Celebrate" award for achievements and involvement in the community from the ACT Theatre, YWCA of Seattle-King and Snohomish Counties, the Seattle Times and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer."
- Anne Bassing, a design & art director, most recently with Coldwater Creek.
- Anne Hur, photographer and production artist, most recently with Tommy Bahama.
Anne and Anne met while at Nordstrom, where they were there for 18 and 5 years, respectively.
NO GUEST SPEAKER, so we did things the old fashioned way... We just talked and got to know one another. Topics covered:
- companies on our 'watch lists'
- Thank You notes, and when to send / when to follow-up
- online portfolios and "blogfolios" - how to set up and "should we put together a hands-on workshop?"
- the ProLango seminars - thoughts on the Interviewing one, and shared tips.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
The markets are saying the economy is picking up. If the recent job news within OCA is any indication, it's true. Several people have contacted me over the past 2 weeks with great news.
- Annemarie Beliard just accepted a 6-month contract job in Product Marketing for Adobe.
- Ed Ferguson started a new Product Marketing job last week with TCS (TeleCommunication Systems) in Seattle.
- Mark Jovan has taken a contract writing job with KING-5 news.
- Kristin Mackay starts a new Management Supervisor job this week with Wunderman's Team Microsoft.
At last week's meeting...
We Welcomed Several New OCA Members:
- Terry Coe, most recently with Encore Media Group as General Manager and publisher for City Arts Magazine.
- Laurie Krisman, new to Seattle from Denver, was most recently with Xcel Energy as a Communications Consultant.
- Kristina Muller-Eberhard, Creative Director most recently with Publicis.
- Paul Verner, product marketing expert with experience running brand groups and AT&T Mobility.
Zooppa Reps Arik Abel and Kirk Mastin Were On Hand To Introduce Their Company and to discuss the challenges of running and growing a community for user-generated advertising.
First things first... they are NOT a restaurant. Rather they are a robust, relatively new company which was originally formed in Italy, but is now headquartered here in Seattle. Their community is comprised of 44,000+ members worldwide, with more than 15,000 of those in the U.S.
Zooppa helps clients (for example... Mini Cooper, Jones Soda, Brooks Running) who are looking to add to their marketing campaign arsenals. These client companies, who have a new product or service to promote, work with Zooppa to set up contests in which community members can contribute original user-generated advertising content. A brief is written, and members then create video, print or web ads to further promote the brand's new offering.
Criticism among the creative community is that the model promotes spec work and downgrades the work from the pro's. But Zooppa contends that they are not looking to take the place of ad agencies. In fact, they are looking more closely at how to partner with agencies, so that clients can benefit from additional concepts.
Perusing the site, it is easy to find examples of concepts I wouldn't take to a client. But with the shear amount of the masses contributing, there are also lots of samples of great work.
For the best info on the company and how it all works, visit their blog.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
JOB NEWS... Geoff Tucker started a new marketing job with LMN Architects this week.
VOLT was our guest speaker at last week's OCA meeting. Erin Lastala and Dan Ratliff provided over an hour and a half of insight into their staffing agency and how they work with Microsoft and other companies in the Seattle area, including Starbucks, REI, The Gates Foundation. Below are highlights from the meeting:
- Volt is premier staffing partner with Microsoft (over 20 years of experience), placing both V- and A-dash contracting positions. In some instances, they also help place FTE positions.
- After receiving your resume, Volt recruiters will generally have a phone interview to get more information about you and what you're looking to do.
- Getting timely, relevant feedback from hiring managers has become more difficult due to the recently implemented procurement process.
- When asked what sets them apart from other staffing agencies:
*weekly paychecks *401k plans *holiday/vacation/bonus pay
*ER (employee relationship) reps, who are on site the day you start to make sure you have everything you need for the transition.
*Volt recruiters meet face-to-face with the hiring managers, so they can get a better sense of what's needed to fill a role, team climate, and to help gather inside tips for interviewers.
- No surprise here, but "Be prepared." Develop a list of Interview FAQ's, write out your answers, and practice.
- One of the biggest pieces off feedback they get from hiring managers is that some candidates don't show enough interest in the job. Their suggestion: "Ask for the job."
- With there being so many qualified candidates to fill one role, Dan and Erin feel that cultural fit and personality are 95% of what hiring managers are looking for.
- Along the same lines, have a prepared "Here's how I'm different" angle that you can work into the conversation.
- When interviewing for a contract job, never say "I just want to get my foot in the door" to a hiring manager. It conveys that you're looking for something else and don't plan to stick around.
The Current Market
- They both see things starting to pick up. Dan, for instance, is getting calls from small to mid-size companies looking for staffing help.
Erin Lastala - Sr Technical Recruiter (Microsoft)
Dan Ratliff - Sr Technical Recruiter (other companies)
21520 30th Drive SE, Suite 100
Bothell, WA 98021
tel - 425.806.1900
fax - 425.806.1920
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
In addition, ProLango is hosting a Career Mixer on Monday, September 21st, over in Bellevue. Click here for details.
"Using his background in psychology and communications Anderson specializes in helping his clients achieve stronger sales, effective communication, top careers, and masterful public speaking. His unique combination of communication and business psychology enables executives and businesses to significantly improve performance and productivity."
Resume Writing 2.0 Seminar
- Learn WHY your resume doesn’t work in Today’s market.
- The importance of personal branding and why it’s so useful.
- Do cover letters work? What purpose do they serve?
Career Search 2.0 Seminar
- Why is it so hard to find a job today?
- Why Social Media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter) is the gateway to finding new opportunities.
- Where to find positions that are never posted publicly.
- What recruiters won’t tell you about your permanent hiring record
Psychology of Interviewing Seminar
- Why is it so hard to pass an interview?
- Take advantage of the number one hiring mistake that most managers make.
- How to leverage psychology to pass any interview.
Click here for details.
FREE workshops have been added to the new SVC Fall class schedule:
9/15 - How To Get a Job When There Aren't Any To Get
9/16 - Get to KNow Belle & Wissell, Co.
9/17 - Pre-Digital Motion Graphics Film Festival
Click the above links for details.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Welcome new members:
- Greg Roberts, communications / reporter - previously with the Seattle PI.
- Sean Linton, CPG sales professional / account manager - most recently with Cintas.
Last week Marc Tolan of Kelly Resources met with the group to talk about Microsoft and marketing contract positions. He reviewed the differences between V- and A-dash resources, and we discussed a multitude of things, including:
- There are several 'types' of employees at Microsoft, the most common being A-dash, meaning "agency," and V-dash, meaning "vendor."
- Agency jobs can last a max of 12 months, then a contractor must take a 100-day break. They can be hired full-time by Microsoft at any point, and any time over 40 hours is paid time and a half. Marketing positions are usually paid between $25 and $45/hr, depending on experience and title.
- Vendor jobs are overseen by the contracting company, have more flexibility with pay structures (as often the work is just billed through the company), and there are no time constraints that need to be met.
- There used to be 9 agencies that Microsoft worked through, but the 'approved list' was just recently increased to over 25 companies that place staff. These include Kelly, Corestaff, Act-1, MAQ, Excell Data, Aquent, Filter, Creative Circle, Creative Group, and others. (A list of those that we have connections with is forthcoming.)
- Marc recommends working with multiple agencies, but to make sure that if you're applying for a particular job, you apply through only one.
- For each position that he is working to staff, Marc can submit up to a total of 4 resumes.
- Typical timeframe to place someone is 3 weeks, but it can happen as quick as a week and as long as several months - depending on how quickly the hiring manager within Microsoft is moving.
- With regard to the idea of looking for full-time work while contracting: If you are working as a contractor, there is no legal obligation to continue with that contract. (Washington is an at-will state.) Obviously, it's up to you how you handle giving notice, etc.
- When presented with an opportunity by an agency, ask them what rate they are targeting for you in the position.
- Marc recommends to stay in touch with him (every couple weeks or so), but that he is actively looking to place people. "We both benefit if you're working."
- "Position your resume to the job that you want, not the jobs that you've done." Tailor so that your relevant experience speaks to the qualifications and responsibilities of the position.
- Make sure the experience on your resume, if it's the same, matches the job description syntax. If they don't match, screeners (human or machine) could knock your resume out of the pile.
- Marc mentioned a few useful questions to ask during an interview. About 20 minutes in, ask "If I were to join your team, what would be my biggest challenge?" This can bring up any perceived weaknesses, which you can then address during the rest of the interview.
If you feel you may run into the "... but you haven't worked with Microsoft before" objection, a question to ask could be, "What did you do to be successful here at Microsoft when you joined?"
Another question to ask at the end of the interview is, "If I were to join your team, what strengths do you feel I would bring?" This makes them reiterate the positive attributes you possess and will be the first thing they remember from the interview.
- One of the OCA members mentioned that you should literally state your excitement during the interview. "Before we get started, let me just mention how excited I am about this opportunity." You can also end with, "Have I conveyed how much I want this job?"
Marc's contact info:
Kelly Financial Resources Microsoft Team
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
CONGRATS to Joseph Hunziker, who starts this week with Wunderman as a Facilities Assistant. More credit to the power of networking... a mutual friend and Publicis alum helped Joseph get his foot in the door.
Upcoming guest speakers:
8/28 - Marc Tolan, staffing manager for Kelly Services, who is on-site with Microsoft as a v-dash consultant, will be on hand to introduce his company and provide insight into the staffing world of a "large software company located in Redmond, WA."
9/11 - Erin Lastala, Senior Technical Recruiter with Volt's Technical & Creative Communication group, will join OCA to introduce their staffing agency.