Tuesday, August 10, 2010

More Calendar additions

Check out next weeks Linkedin networking events just installed on the calendar below.

(BTW– When you learn of a event others should know about, or you're just wanting company at an event, shoot a link over to me and I'll add it to the calendar. DFHobbs {shift '2'} gmail.com)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Calendar addition for tonight

The August Prolango Career Mixer is happening tonight at Bellevue's Maggiano's.

Time: 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Location: Maggiano’s Little Italy, Lincoln Center, 10455 NE 8th St, Bellevue, WA 98004

Cost: Free

To Register: http://prolango-career-mixer-aug-2010.eventbrite.com/

Speaker: Heather (Abramson) Krasna - Author, Director of Career Services, Evans School of Public Affairs at University of Washington

Work the room: Career mixers offer an informal way to mingle -- no resumé required


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Friday's topic: Career Obstacles

This Friday, 8/13, at 10:30, OCA will welcome Rita Ashley, Career Coach.

Our topic of discussion: Career obstacles - the over qualified label, scaling the ageism issue and improved interview skills will be covered. We will discuss social networking for job search and answer your most troubling questions. "Examples, not theory."

Formerly a Silicon Valley executive and then a Seattle high tech recruiter, Rita now coaches clients towards career planning and "an expeditious and efficient job search."

Ms. Ashley refined her coaching skills based on her experience working directly with investors, hiring authorities and those who refer candidates to them. Her advice is field tested over 10 years and in the toughest of job markets. In the last three years, 98% of her clients received the promotions they were after or landed the jobs they wanted within six months. She's taught executives how to hire, read a resume and vet candidates. Ms. Ashley has been a board member to start up companies and was an active Executive Board Member of the MITEF for nine years. Her education includes degrees and/or certificates in Technology, Counseling, Psychology and Education.

Her book, “Job Search Debugged,” includes advice from hiring authorities, examples, scripts and step by step guidelines to avoid the rocks and refine your search. Her other book, “Networking Debugged,” guides job seekers towards simplified networking that gets candidates to hiring authorities before the competition.
PDFs are downloadable from her website.

Website: Jobsearch4execs
Twitter: Jobsearch4execs

The Cycle Continues - Job News and New Members

Several OCA members, over the past couple months, have landed jobs:

- Marci Kearney landed a full-time job at Microsoft, after contracting there for a while through Kelly Resources. She's now Marketing/Visual Merchandising Manager for Microsoft's worldwide Retail Services group.

- Jacque Coe, after 6 and a half years as Communications Director with Washington's Lottery, is now Director of Communications and Community Engagement for the Bellevue School District.

- Deanne Krauter followed her passion for wanting to work with a well-established outdoor brand, is now working in Denver, Colorado as an Art Director for Cabela's.

- Asako Yoshimura, who had worked for Adobe Systems for 13 years, is now a Sr. Product Manager with T-Mobile.

- Lastly, I, Kelly Evans, just started a contract job with Venture Arts, an interactive design and communications company. I'm helping them with project and account management, managing several web design projects for a handful of clients, including Microsoft and WorldVision.

While OCA has seen some members become alumni, we also welcome several new members:

Jinhyung Pak, has just gotten out of the Navy, after a career that included managing nuclear reactors. He's exploring his options and is highly interested in the complexities of Marketing.

Kerry Alexander, an experienced marketing communications and PR professional, was most recently with Colliers International.

Donna Duncanson was VP of Marketing at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, where she was employed for 20+ years. After taking some time off from the business world, she's back and is now a marketing consultant.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Notes from 7/30/2010 - Applying Brand Techniques to the Job Search

The words "Brand" and "Branding" are tossed around quite a bit in the advertising and marketing arenas. But how many people truly understand their essence, and more importantly, how many know how to help their clients create strategies for managing them? And how can we apply what we do know to the job search?

At our 7/30 OCA meeting, our guest speaker,
Jessie Lernmark - Sr Strategist with MODO Group, does know 'brand' - and gave a fantastic presentation on the topic. Jessie, whose background includes sales, marketing, advertising and an MBA, has been working within the branding realm for over 4 years, the last two of which have been with MODO. Her group, which is small but has folks working in Asia and Europe, consults such companies as Grupo Modelo (Corona, Pacifico), Microsoft, Sony Ericsson, and Starbucks - helping them with a wide variety of brand services.

MODO's client services include everything from researching Insights and Trends, creating Brand and Marketing strategies, to developing Tools (such as brand books and guidelines) and analyzing Metrics. They are brought in to help a company wade through the complexities of managing product brands, and in many cases, to help the company figure out their own brand.

"Fundamental to any business is understanding the customer and their evolving needs." Starting with qualitative and quantitative research, MODO looks to uncover the needs and motivations of its clients' customers - both the emotional (heart-based) side and the rational (head-based) side. They look to understand the motivation that a consumer has that leads them from awareness and trial through purchase to advocacy of a particular product or company.

"Brand Strategy is more than a logo."
Brand = our identity (how we view ourselves) + our reputation (how others view us).
Brand Strategy = managing any variance between the two, looking to match our reputation in the eyes of the consumer with our own view of ourselves.

To position a brand then, you need to understand your target, your category, your consumers' needs, and most importantly, your point of difference. What is it that makes your product or service different in the marketplace that will satisfy your consumer's need.

It's no different when searching for a job. Jessie suggested that anyone looking for work needs to do the same thing. We all know that if you are pursuing a position with a particular company, you need to understand as much about that company as you possibly can. Use informational interviews and resources, such as LinkedIn, to research 'the target.' Secondly, study the category. If it's a marketing position you're going after, know about the latest trends and happenings. What brands are making an impact?

Third, understand what a company needs. Here, again, utilize research to see what issues a company may be looking to solve, what their competitors are doing, and any pain points the hiring manager may be experiencing. Develop a point of view with regard to how you'd tackle those needs.

Lastly, what is your point of difference? What are your key strengths and benefits that you can provide a hiring company? What makes you distinct and unique? As fellow OCA member, Duane Hobbs, has stated: "Each of us is the unique answer to one exacting question. What's your question?"