Advice for GenZ Marketing Job Seekers and Hiring Managers

If you’re looking to hire new graduates, learn who the best candidates are by networking with their college professors. My former partner, Jon Roska, brought the best and the brightest college grads into the agency every year by networking with professors at local universities.

There’s a story I tell to my students about getting their first job.

Former University of Pennsylvania President Judith Rodin was addressing the graduating class of 2003 and started a litany of the important things the graduates learned during their time at the university:

At Penn you learned this, at Penn you learned that, at Penn you learned this, at Penn you learned that, “but most importantly, at Penn you learned that it is not WHO you know, but rather WHOM you know.”

Grammatically correct, but also valuable advice for job seekers and hiring managers alike.

Advice for Job-Seekers

I encourage students to start their job networking while they’re still in school. Go to industry events. Meet people. Connect with people who can introduce you to prospective opportunities in their own firms, as well as in related companies. Build a strong network on LinkedIn and don’t be shy about using it to get introduced to job opportunities. When jobs become available, hiring managers are more likely to hire someone they already know, or someone who’s been referred by someone they know, rather than a stranger.

Advice for Marketing Team Hiring Managers

This advice applies to hiring managers, as well. If you’re looking to hire new graduates, learn who the best candidates are by networking with their college professors. My former partner, Jon Roska, brought the best and the brightest college grads into the agency every year by networking with professors at local universities. It was a win for everyone: the professors, the students and the agency.

Many colleges hold job fairs for their graduating seniors and invite prospective employers to set up shop and meet their graduating students. These events are a great way for students and managers to meet each other, but tapping into a network of teachers who have gotten to know which students are the best during a 15-week course is an excellent way to screen for the cream of the crop.

It’s all about whom you know.

What’s the Secret to Managing Digital Nomads and Remote Teams?

For businesses that want access to the best marketing talent, it’s nearly impossible to look past freelancers and digital nomads. But learning how to manage them efficiently can prove to be a significant challenge.

For businesses that want access to the best marketing talent, it’s nearly impossible to look past freelancers and digital nomads. But learning how to manage them efficiently can prove to be a significant challenge.

Who Are the Digital Nomads?

If you’re a business owner or CEO, you better get used to working with digital nomads and remote workers. Studies suggest that more than half of the workforce will work in a freelance capacity by 2020. And if you’re operating in a digital industry like marketing, that percentage will likely be much higher.

But before you can manage these remote workers, you need to understand who they are, how they think, and what sort of management styles and structures they respond well to.

According to HubSpot, “Digital nomads are remote workers who usually travel to different locations. They often work in coffee shops, co-working spaces, or public libraries, relying on devices with wireless internet capabilities like smart phones and mobile hotspots to do their work wherever they want.”

The average digital nomad is a Millennial between the ages of 22-35 who is tech-savvy and in hot pursuit of optimal work-life balance. In fact, scheduling flexibility is often more important than salary. They want the ability to live life on their terms, rather than being chained to a desk for 40 or 50-plus hours a week.

4 Management Tips

Some of the most talented people in today’s workforce are freelancers and digital nomads. And if you want to reach these people, you must be able to manage them well. So, without further ado, here are some techniques and strategies you may find helpful:

1. Hire the Right People

You’ll do yourself a huge favor by adopting a meticulous approach to hiring. In fact, you’ll make or break your ability to successfully manage digital nomads by how and whom you hire.

In the search process, look for candidates who possess high levels of self-discipline and motivation. Speak with past employers and clients to see how well a candidate adheres to deadlines. You’ll also want to consider how responsive a candidate is.

2. Set Clear Priorities

There shouldn’t be any question about what’s expected of your team. Whether an individual spends part of the time in the office or operates remotely on a full-time basis, they should understand exactly what your priorities are for their time, effort, and responsibilities.

For example, do you expect team members to be available during certain hours? Are there mandatory meetings that require attendance? Is there a certain approval process for requesting time off or extending the deadline on a project? These aren’t questions you want to answer on the fly. It’s best to have them established ahead of time.

3. Stay in Touch

When managing remote employees, communication is supremely important. Stay in touch with your team and don’t let distance create separation in how you work. There are lots of free and/or cost-effective tools to make remote communication seamless. Learn what works for your team and utilize them!

“Instant messaging tools can be more efficient than email for quick questions. However, if there is a complex problem, it is worth bringing relevant freelancers into the office to talk through the challenge together,” entrepreneur Peter Johnston writes. “If they are based abroad, this would be the time for a phone call or video conference.”

4. Be Transparent

One of the more challenging aspects of managing a remote team is helping them feel connected to the business. There’s no office or water cooler to gather around, which means employees and contractors can feel isolated.

One of the top ways to enhance the corporate culture and identity within the company is to be transparent with your leadership. Let your team know what’s happening and allow them to suffer through challenging times and celebrate big wins. Keeping everyone in the loop will strengthen the trust your team has in you as a leader.

Don’t Lose Control

If you’re going to work with digital nomads, freelancers, and remote employees, you have to be cognizant of how you’re managing them. You don’t want to micro-manage, but there’s danger in not keeping a close enough eye on what they’re doing. It’s imperative that you establish some structures and parameters so you don’t lose control.

Marketing Technology vs. Marketing Strategy

Coming into the second annual All About Marketing Tech virtual conference, one question has come up again and again: Are you just buying marketing technology, or are you empowering a marketing strategy?

Coming into the second annual All About Marketing Tech virtual conference, one question has come up again and again: Are you just buying marketing technology, or are you empowering a marketing strategy?

We are in an age when marketing technology can let us do amazing things, as you’ve seen me and all the editors and writers here on Target Marketing discuss many times. But they’re all tools, and even the best tool is only useful when you have a plan to use it.

Kids at Santa’s Workshop

It’s like when you were a little kid, and “Santa’s Workshop” came to school. Did you have these? The school would bring in a vendor to sell Christmas presents for the kids to buy for their families? (Come to think of it, it does seem a bit exploitative now that I type it out …)

Anyway, I remember one time seeing a tool that I thought looked so cool, so I bought it for my dad. It was this handheld thingy with slim little nails and a plastic tube with a magnet. The nails would go in the tube, and you’d push the top down to drive them. It looked so cool! But I had no idea what it did.

So I bought it for my dad anyway.

He smiled and accepted it, and I don’t think he used it once. In retrospect, it was probably for hanging wall paneling, which we never had.

How to Empower a Marketing Strategy

One of the things I’ve heard from multiple speakers heading into this show is that marketers sometimes buy technology a lot like I bought that nail thingamajig for my dad. They wind up with a cool looking tool, even when they don’t have a plan for how to use it.

And beyond the plan for how you’re going to use it, you need to have plans for how to integrate it into your marketing processes, train personnel to use it and plug it into your existing tech stack.

Tomorrow, All About Marketing Tech will introduce you to new marketing technologies — six of them, in fact — but also help you put together the marketing strategies that really determine what technology you should be investing in to begin with.

Andy Markowitz will talk about why marketers win or lose in the age of AdTech and MarTech convergence.

Jerry Bernhart will show you how to find the best marketing tech talent.

Peter Gillett will lead an international panel of experts on how the EU’s GDPR regulations will impact your tech stack.

Beerud Sheth will show you how to build an AI chatbot that doesn’t suck.

PLUS: Mitch Joel of Mirum, Rob Pinkerton of Morningstar, Samuel Monnie of Campbell’s Soup Company, Jonathan Levey of Flexjet and more!

So, if you want to know more about cutting edge marketing technologies, how companies are building strategies to be empowered by technology, how to find the people who have the skill and vision to use those tools, how to avoid one of the biggest fines your company would ever see and more, be sure to register for All About Marketing Tech, happening live from 10 AM to 3 PM EST tomorrow.

If marketing technology or strategy is a part of your job, or part of the job you want to have, you can’t afford to miss it.

3 Pressing Marketing Tech Questions — And How to Get Answers

What worries you about marketing technology? With All About Marketing Tech right around the corner on March 15, we’ve been putting the finishing touches on the program, and that question has been top of my mind. This year, three issues are at the forefront.

What worries you about marketing technology? With All About Marketing Tech right around the corner on March 15, we’ve been putting the finishing touches on the program, and that question has been top of my mind. This year, three issues are at the forefront.

1. How Do You Make Marketing Technology Part of Your Strategy?

This is the big one. We’ve gone through years of picking up whatever shiny new technology seemed to be working. But now that customers have made so many channels a part of their lives, it’s really less about the tech and more about your overall marketing capability. How does the technology enable your strategy? That’s the real question.

To answer that, Andy Markowitz, former general manager of GE, will sit down to talk about “Why Marketing Organizations Win or Lose in the Age of MarTech-AdTech Convergence.” If you want to know the difference between organizations that use technology to enable their strategies and organizations that waste their time and budget chasing shiny objects, this is the keynote for you.

2. How Do You Find the Talent to Use It?

Perhaps the most overlooked challenge of the marketing technology era is the people problem: How do you find the personnel who know how to get the most out of all the technologies and execute your strategy?

It’s one thing to find people who excel in single channels, but another to find the people who can create omnichannel experiences.

In “How to Find Great Marketing Tech Talent,”  Marketing recruiter Jerry Bernhart will talk about the key considerations in making a great, tech-savvy marketing hire.

3. How Does GDPR Impact Your Tech Stack?

The biggest new worry for 2018 has got to be the EU’s upcoming General Data Protection Rules (GDPR). Requiring marketers who have EU citizens in their files to account for a host of new rights — including the right to erasure, which requires you to erase all data about a customer on request — GDPR raises many questions about your tech stack. Are any of your tools going to be a problem for GDPR compliance?

In “GDPR and Your Tech Stack,” we’ll talk about those concerns, and what you should do about them.

Plus, hear from six new marketing technology startups, Campbell’s Soup, Flexjet and more! Registration is open, just head over to aamt.targetmarketingmag.com to sign up today!

The Wisdom of Fools: ‘Onion’ Co-Founder on How to Succeed By Being Outrageously You

The kinds of things The Onion tended to get attention for were scandals. The brand benefited most from times when governors demanded retractions, or famous folk threatened to sue them out of existence. Those accidents that just came naturally as part of the business of being The Onion did more to promote the brand than anything they did intentionally.

Onion LogoA few weeks ago at MarketingSherpa Summit, I got to hear Scott Dikkers, who co-founded The Onion, speak. In fact, I got to interview him as well — and you should be seeing that video in a few weeks — but he talked about some different things in his keynote that I think every marketer should consider.

Dikkers is a funny guy (who knew?). He built a great, iconic brand that has survived and thrived with the switch to digital.

He also has a strong dislike for “marketing.” In fact, avoiding writing for marketing is a lot of the reason he dove into The Onion.

The Accidental Marketer

Scott Dikkers, Co-Founder, The Onion
Scott Dikkers, Co-Founder, The Onion

It was when The Onion wanted to get a little brand exposure and publicity for itself that Scott really began to see the shortcomings of traditional marketing and PR. Again and again, The Onion tried to promote things they were doing that they thought were special and worthy of attention, only to not get any.

Instead, the kinds of things The Onion tended to get attention for were scandals. The brand benefited most from times when governors demanded retractions, or famous folk threatened to sue them out of existence.

Those accidents that just came naturally as part of the business of being The Onion did more to promote the brand than anything they did intentionally.

They couldn’t catch good publicity, but they couldn’t help stepping in it.

At this point, Dikkers figured out something most PR and marketing folks never do: The press hates writing about press releases, but they love discovering stories.

So, Dikkers said, “We’re going to stop sending out press releases, and we’re going to start doing things that are worthy of press attention.”

But OK, they’re The Onion. They once named Kim Jong-Un the sexiest man alive, and fooled China’s state-run newspaper into running a 55-page photo gallery celebrating it. Ridiculous is their job, and it’s always worthy of press attention. What does that do for you?

After all, your brand (probably) isn’t ridiculous or outrageous, right? This is stuff that happens to other brands.

Not necessarily, according to Dikkers:”What’s your brand? What’s the most outrageous thing you can do that’s within the character of your brand? Play that role to the hilt, and you may never have to do marketing again.”

I love this idea. Every brand has a space where they can go pretty much as outrageously far as they want, because it’s still in-brand. You see brands do it all the time.

So the next time you’re looking to make a splash, take a minute to think about how really far out there can you get, while still staying within the map of your brand? Go do that thing, and it might just be the best marketing you’ll ever do.

Bonus: Building Layers Like The Onion

As a final bonus, Dikkers said three things about team building that I thought were interesting:

  1. “I started by obsessively doing all of this stuff myself, and that created a center of gravity that pulled all these people toward me.”
  2. “We did not search high and low. We just searched low. Drop-outs, shut-ins … These were our A players! This was because they were bitter, they were smart, and they had no prospects in life.”
  3. “Leave people alone and let them do what they are born to do, what they are compelled to do.”

You may not want to limit your hires to just shut-ins, drop-outs and conspiracy theorists, but there’s something to be said for finding people who really seem like they’re meant to do the thing you need done, setting a good example of your own work ethic, and then letting them do what they were made to do.

6 Strategies to Land a New Job By January 

With Halloween gone and Thanksgiving just around the corner, you can easily get distracted by all the festivities and put your job hunt on hold. It’s actually a common misconception that hiring doesn’t happen over the holidays. In reality, it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Find a New Job by JanuaryWith Halloween gone and Thanksgiving just around the corner, you can easily get distracted by all the festivities and put your hunt for a new job on hold. It’s actually a common misconception that hiring doesn’t happen over the holidays. In reality, it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Last year I delivered documents for a client on November 23 and by early January, he started a new 6-figure job. The year prior, I bumped into a client in November who had been in transition for several months. I told her to not slow down her search over the holidays. She emailed me in early January to say she was starting a new position.

Hiring does happen over the holidays. Here are six ways to make the most out of the holiday season for your job hunt.

1. Ramp up Your Job Search During the Holidays

Most of your peers slow down their search because they think that “people are busy”, or “no one is in the office.” So that means there is less competition out there for you. The last quarter of the year is actually pretty active. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the hire rate for December 2015 was more than 5 percent higher than in January 2016. Oftentimes, companies have head counts that they will loose if they don’t fill it by year-end. Or they know they are getting approval to hire in January so they start searching now in order to have the new person starting in early January.

2. Re-engage Your Network With Holiday Greetings

The holidays are a perfect time to reconnect with your network — recruiters, colleagues and previous employers — and provide a reminder that you exist. It’s as easy as dropping them a note on LinkedIn, or arranging a time to meet and catch up.

3. Work the Room at Holiday Parties

Social events are pretty synonymous with the holidays. Not just family events, but events at work and any associations you may be a part of. No one is expecting you to be fishing for job leads at one of these events, so it’s easier to keep things more casual. But people feel more giving around the holidays and want to help.

If parties usually make you feel like running the opposite direction, seek out the other person standing alone and engage in some small talk. Ask some questions about their holiday traditions or their favorite thing to do over the holidays. Eventually the conversation naturally leads to, “So what do you do?” This is when you can mention your career goals or that you are looking for a new challenge.

4. Reach Out to ThirdParty Recruiters 

Lack of open positions is not the challenge for recruiters during this time of year — in fact, the challenge is in the pool of candidates drying up. Recruiters are motivated to fill any open positions by year-end so they can earn their commission. So make third-party recruiters be your secret weapon to snag an offer and have a great reason to celebrate on New Year’s Eve.

5. Be Flexible

Those involved in the hiring process may be trying to take some vacation time themselves. So if you can make yourself available you’ll likely have an advantage over your competition. This may mean you need to be willing to come back early from vacation or shift holiday plans. There is no reason to go extreme and cancel without an interview secured, though. That will just disappoint you and your family.

6. Update Your Personal Marketing Materials

Finding time to job search while you’re employed is not always easy. Make the most out of your time off and get your resume, LinkedIn profile and cover letter up-to-date. Gather your reviews and make notes about the projects you’ve completed over the last 12 months. Ask your colleagues for recommendations on LinkedIn. Better yet, gift your colleagues and former managers by writing a recommendation for them, first.

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year to be in job search! Companies don’t stop hiring just because it’s the holidays. Happy job hunting!

How to Beat Ageism and Get Hired

Ageism — age discrimination — in the job search is a reality that’s hitting both ends of the spectrum. As a job seeker, it’s pretty easy to fall prey to it (especially when you don’t get the job you’re after) if you don’t have the right attitude.

Can you guess which generation I’m describing?

  1. Old school. Stodgy. Unwilling to change.
  2. Lazy. Entitled. Selfish.
  3. Pessimistic. Disillusioned. Skeptical.

Unfortunately, stereotypes are pretty prevalent, and my guess is most of you had no problem identifying A as Baby Boomers, B as Millennials or C as Generation X.

Ageism — age discrimination — in the job search is a reality that’s hitting both ends of the spectrum. As a job seeker, it’s pretty easy to fall prey to it (especially when you don’t get the job you’re after) if you don’t have the right attitude.

A friend of mine — a young-looking 55 year-old — is coming up on the two-year anniversary of being in transition. He has had lots of interviews and been the second choice a couple times, so clearly he’s able to generate interest. However, when you ask him why he can’t seem to land the offer, he’ll tell you it’s because of his age.

Do you believe he’s right? I don’t.

You will experience ageism in your job search, but it’s not the cause of everything going wrong in your job search. Once you accept that it will be an obstacle you can’t control and change your focus to things you can control — your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, interviewing skills — you will no doubt land faster.

Avoid Looking Your Age on Paper

Whether it’s your LinkedIn profile, cover letter or resume, chances are hiring managers or recruiters will first meet you on paper (or online). A Millennial, GenXer or Baby Boomer “star” will either sizzle or fizzle with how they present themselves in writing.

Star Millennials will pounce on the opportunity to showcase their writing ability in their cover letter. It makes an impact because, unfortunately, most people don’t even bother writing one. It’s also a good way to debunk the myth that Millennials are only able to text and cannot write in complete sentences.

A star Millennial’s resume WILL NOT include the following:

  • Lists of tasks: Just because you’re a doer by the nature of a lower-level role, doesn’t mean you didn’t make an impact to your employer. What results did you help achieve?
  • Smugness: No jokes, irony, Millennial buzzwords or exaggerations. Just professional in tone and presentation.
  • Language errors and typos: “Your” and “you’re,” “there” and “their.” You get the point. No mistakes!
  • GPAs: Anyone that’s been out of school more than three years needs to scrap it from their resume.
  • Self-centered summaries: You need to focus on what you can do for the company, not what the company can do for you.

Gen Xers are in the middle of their careers — and in the middle of the workforce, so one strategy to take in your cover letter is to indicate how you serve as a bridge between Millennials and Baby Boomers. It can appeal to a hiring manager who may be older or younger than you.

When it comes to your resume, Gen Xers should quantify achievements with numbers and results. Many members of this generation have had managerial experience, so it’s great to highlight any organizational results here as well. A star Gen Xer’s resume WILL NOT include:

  • Overdone, meaningless cliché’s: “Results-oriented,” “passionate” and “guru” should be deleted.
  • Basic technical skills: Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint are assumed skills and should be left off the resume.
  • References: “References Available Upon Request” should be left off because it’s assumed and having it there, just dates you.

When it comes to a star Baby Boomer’s cover letter, clearly illustrate how you’re willing to embrace new things and how you can help mentor younger employees. Highlight your unique qualifications and recent accomplishments (not from 10+ years ago). You might even tackle difficult issues here — things like resume gaps or why you’re coming back to a corporate environment after running your own business.

A star Baby Boomer’s resume WILL NOT include:

  • Volumes of your life story: Keep it under two pages at the most, focusing on your most recent 10 to 15 years. Anything prior to this can be included in a summary paragraph with dates left out.
  • TMI: Every single job you’ve had does not need to be clearly described and listed. Only relevant ones to the position you’re offering.
  • Descriptions of outdated skills: Outdated technology and skills should be simply documented as part of a job.

Avoid Appearing Your Age in Person

Now that we’ve got you looking good on paper, the next step is to look good in person – the interview. According to a survey of 2000 bosses, 33 percent claimed that they know within the first 90 seconds of an interview whether they will hire someone. That means first impressions really count.

Working With Recruiters: What You Need to Know

Most job seekers I meet lament how they haven’t had much luck working with recruiters. As a job seeker, don’t you wish you knew the best way to work with a recruiter? I recently spoke to two recruiters who specialize in marketing roles …

Most job seekers I meet often lament about how they haven’t had much luck working with a recruiter. As a job seeker, don’t you wish you knew the best way to work with a recruiter?

Recruiters get paid by their clients, the employer, so their attention isn’t proactively looking for a job on the candidates behalf. It’s their job to fill an open position for their client.

Lynn Hazan, President of Lynn Hazan & Associates Inc.
Lynn Hazan, President of Lynn Hazan & Associates Inc.

I recently spoke to two recruiters who specialize in marketing roles — Lynn Hazan, president of Lynn Hazan & Associates Inc., and Maricel Quianzon, business development manager for Paladin. Lynn has been an executive recruiter for her entire career, and has been leading her agency for the past 16 years. (For full disclosure, I am both a past candidate and client of Lynn Hazan.) Maricel began her career as a creative and moved into recruiting about 10 years ago. Since, she’s been in her clients’ shoes, she has an empathetic approach to recruiting.

Maricel Quiazon, Business Development Manager for Paladin
Maricel Quianzon, Business Development Manager for Paladin

The transcript has been edited for clarity and length.

Q: What types of qualities do you look for in candidates?

Lynn Hazan: They need to have passion, energy, creativity, a smart can-do attitude, the ability to empower others, curiosity, be deadline oriented and committed to continuous learning. I need to see a spark and how they can fit the company’s culture.

Maricel Quianzon: Most importantly, I am very interested in who is passionate and has a keen interest in what they do. The more focused a candidate is with their search, the more attractive they are. Many things actually go into it, the cultural fit and emphasis on certain skill sets. Lately, it’s heavy emphasis on digital, marketing automation and customer acquisition.

Q: Where do you like to find candidates?

LH: Everywhere. Literally, planes, trains and automobiles. I think every opportunity is a good opportunity to connect with good candidates. I also find candidates through professional associations and LinkedIn, primarily.

I am a relationship builder though, so many clients find me through my website, public speaking and articles. It’s common for candidates to introduce themselves to me after I speak. Recruiting is really a relationship building business. I like to know candidates as they grow through their careers. I track their progress over time.

I tell both my clients and candidates, I don’t hire resumes, I hire people.

MQ: I’ve been doing this for 10 years. The best candidates come from referrals from talented marketers. People that we have placed in the past often refer their friends and colleagues. I make time to talk to them right away because it is always great to know who you have in the candidate pool.

For the “purple squirrel” (very specific and unique set of requirements) jobs I do go to the job boards to source candidates.

It really boils down to networking. I always have my ears open to find out what people do for a living. When I meet someone, I always start trying to match them in my head.

Q: What is the most important thing you consider in assessing a candidate?

LH: Fit! I get a lots and lots of candidates applying for potential jobs, so the first thing I do is see how close a fit are you to my current clients’ needs and jobs. Then I can see potential fit for other jobs. I have an analogy I like to use involving ducks. In fact, if you come to my office you’ll see all my ducks. If you look like, walk like, talk like and sound like a duck, and my client is looking for a duck, the more duck-like you are the better chance you’ll have of being hired.

Mentoring: Give a Little, Get a Lot

Last summer, I heard that my alma mater was launching a mentoring program between graduates and enrolled Seniors. Even though I no longer reside in my college town, I quickly volunteered to be a guinea pig for remote mentoring

Last summer, I heard that my alma mater was launching a mentoring program between graduates and enrolled Seniors. Even though I no longer reside in my college town, I quickly volunteered to be a guinea pig for remote mentoring.

The woman running the program was hesitant at first—her vision was to put grads and students together face-to-face and create events that would bring the mentor/mentees together outside of 1:1 meetings.

Even though I reside in the San Francisco Bay Area and my college is in chilly Ottawa, Canada, I convinced her to team me with a student who was studying abroad for a semester so neither of us would be on campus.

Luckily I was paired with a wonderful senior named Mitch who was spending a semester in The Netherlands and studying marketing. We hit it off immediately, swapping stories about our pasts, our work experiences and talking about his goals when he graduates (to work in sports marketing). Mitch proved to be intelligent, inquisitive and eager to learn about the real world of marketing and advertising.

In our weekly calls, I answered a lot of questions (about marketing strategies and tactics and concerning specific job functions in the industry), but we also talked about some very practical things like how to put together a solid resume and a LinkedIn profile. Frankly, I was a bit surprised that in this social media crazed world, this very bright student was not that familiar with LinkedIn and how to use it to his advantage. Upon having further conversations with my college graduate son and his friends, it seems none of them were particularly savvy about LinkedIn and how leverage it to their advantage.

Helping Mitch with his resume was a fascinating exercise in marketing. His first draft provided a laundry list of all his summer jobs, but didn’t successfully position his experience and his growing expertise. As I quizzed him on what he actually did at each job, I helped him extract the salient messages he needed to convey about his skills and accomplishments—it was similar to working with a client to help them clarify and synthesize a product’s attributes and benefits, and how they stacked up to the competition.

For example, during his Junior year, Mitch worked for a marketing agency that was helping Microsoft increase its mindshare among college students. He described that job as “Independently reach and educate University students regarding the benefits of Microsoft products while entrusted with expensive technology.”

After some probing into what he was REALLY doing and the knowledge and skill set it required, we rewrote it to read “Manned an on-campus booth and answered questions about various Microsoft software products while retaining proficiency in Microsoft Windows 8.1 and the Microsoft Office Suite of products. Using Microsoft-provided software / hardware, performed a Pre- and Post- Attitudinal Behavior Study.”

Now he sounded impressive!

What was most exciting, however, is that this week Mitch advised me that a Netherlands-based sports organization that he follows on Twitter had tweeted about an opening for a marketing assistant. We quickly got to work refining his resume to match all the skills the job description required and crafted an introduction letter that further highlighted his skills.

We also did a LinkedIn search to determine who the position would report to and poured over the hiring managers resume. I encouraged Mitch to spend time on the company’s website, social media sites to become immersed in the brand, its mission, brand positioning, communications messages and key issues the company is facing.

Yesterday Mitch was contacted by the hiring manager and asked for work samples and to set up an interview. We then went to work prepping him with questions he might ask during the interview process. Honestly, I was as excited as Mitch was!

As I finish this column, I’m waiting to hear the outcome of that first important job interview, but either way, I’m confident that this young man will be a marketing rock star and any firm would be lucky to employ him. And, I relish the opportunity to help another grad enter the world of marketing fully knowledgeable with the skill set to market themselves successfully.