In 5 Years I Will…

We are always asked, where do you want to be in 5 years?

More often than not, it’s very hard to answer this question.  You might answer it during an interview by including the company’s mission statement and where the company might envision itself in five years. You might also answer the question by talking about what you hope to be doing in five years, perhaps that might involve you taking courses or getting a promotion at work.

Amy Gallo, who wrote the article Where Will You Be in Five Years?, suggests that you be introspective.  Amy encourages people to answer the following questions before answering the big question.  These thought provoking questions are:

1. What are my values?
2. What are my goals?
3. What am I willing to do to get there?

In order to have better answers to these questions you should understand what the inquirer is actually asking.  Are they looking for answers that revolve around self improvement?  Are they hoping to figure out if you are results driven? The answers to your questions will allow you to narrow down your final response.

Where will I be in 5 years?  After thinking about the above three questions I would say that I want to continue to be a good person who helps others and comes in and does a good job at work.  I am always trying to learn more and as long as I am allowed to do so I will not only excel in my job but be happy that I am allowed to better myself through educational courses.

What did you do today?

Is Being Overqualified Bad? (and) How Should Employers Handle Overqualified Candidates?

I recently read a great article which wonderfully reflects the state of today’s job search.  There are a lot more overqualified candidates than underqualified ones.  Yes of course, there are those looking for work right out of college but more often than not, those folks are looking for lower end positions.  However, for those who have worked for many years and find themselves on the unemployment line have a harder time swallowing the idea of being overqualified and underpaid.

So is it bad to be overqualified for a job?  Not necessarily.  You might walk into a job that reflects some of the tasks you used to do and perhaps, if the folks interviewing you are open to it, you can actually expand the functions of that job position.  It really is a win win for both parties.  You get to do what you’re good at and actually stretch your skill set and the employer gets more than they hoped for.  However, in order for this to really be a win win you have to be compensated accordingly.  A lot of times employers hope to get a big bang for their buck and these are the situations in which the new hire will more than likely leave the minute something bigger and better is offered to him or her.

So how should employers handle these type of situations?  They shouldn’t avoid overqualified candidates.  Instead they should look at what the candidate can offer the company and how much more they can get from this one new person.  Perhaps new ventures can be explored that were never even considered.  But once again, the key is to pay accordingly.  If you want to save money, then go with the underqualified or just “good enough” candidate.  However, if you have a bigger plan for the current position and have a bit of wiggle room in terms of salary then go for the guy or gal who might be just above the “good enough” bar and give them a chance.  Chances are, even though they are being paid fairly, you’ll still get more bang for your buck.

What did you do today?

P.S. Read the article that gave me inspiration for this blog post: Should You Hire an Overqualified Candidate?

Fashion from Chicago

After spending a day on the streets of Chicago three fashion trends stood out.  Colorful coats, knee high boots and more rain boots than you can ever imagine.(Don’t forget to click on the images to make them bigger)I was kind of wishing I had brought my own rain boots but I was glad I at least got the first two trends down…

So, after seeing those three trends, here are my picks for favorites in those three categories.

I hope you are inspired for spring, happy Friday and what did you do today?

Welcome to Spring…With New Fashion!

There is nothing better than new season clothes to welcome…a new season.

I was in Chicago this week so I had to look for inspiration from the windy city.  So let’s welcome spring, with the following “it” fashions.
What did you do today?

Google Analytics

The second event I attended through the AMA was essentially a Google Analytics crash course.  I loved this event.  A) It was free B) It was incredibly informative…did I mention that we also got fed?

For those who did not attend here is everything I learned about Google Analytics that I didn’t already know:

1. Apparently you can view whatever metrics you’d like, not just number of visits and the pie charts that are the default.

2. “Pageviews” stands for how many pages in your site are people looking at, not how many times they’ve viewed a page

3. Pages/visit should be a high number, whatever that might mean to every company.

4. Bounce rate: the goal is to be under 60%.  A bounce is considered when someone comes to one page and one page only before leaving.

5. Map overlay, very cool, you can actually zoom in, down to the city, to see where your visitors come from.

6. Benchmarking…You can see how your company compares to other companies in the industry.  If you opt in, your personal information will be anonimized.

7. You can schedule certain reports to be emailed to you on a regular basis.

8. By going to Advanced segments, in top right corner of screen, you can get custom reports

9. You can see how long people stay on our site by going to “Visitor, Visitor Loyalty, Length of visit.”

10. Content:  Top content=the most visited pages of a site.  To find weak pages: Go to, site comparison, bounce rate: it  gives you the highest bounced pages

11. You can choose what Google Analytics sites as your home page.  It can either be “/.” Or “/home”.  Change this in the settings area by clicking a box.

12. Goals:  “Cross domain tracking” will allow for cross domain jumping.

I hope you all have learned a little something new as well.  I’ll continue to give my reports from events that I take part in.

What did you do today?

The Future of Marketing Analytics

The first event I attended through the AMA was called The Future of Marketing Analytics and Automation Technologies.  The panel of speakers consisted of VP’s from Eloqua, Neolane and Silverpop.

What happened was the following.  My manager and I were expecting something completely different from the event.  We were thinking that we would get information about the future of marketing analytics and that there would be more of an emphasis on Google Analytics and the like.  However, the event revolved around marketing automation companies, such as the above, who offer marketing analytics software and services.  Not exactly what we had been hoping for.

But, I feel that you can always learn something.  I still went on listening and taking notes and thinking about topics that could fit into a blog post.  The catch phrase I am glad I caught was “Crawl, Walk and Run,” which was a blog post from Silverpop.  This phrase applies to more than just marketing automation, it applies to analytics and it also applies to a job search.  You have to “crawl” through your resume and the job boards, you have to “walk” to interviews and “run” after that perfect job!

But I digress.  Here are the other things I got out of the event:

1.A new connection, Brian Allain of Good Samaritan Networking Group.

2. That no matter if you have a company such as Silverpop analyzing your marketing efforts or not, you should yourself analyze web behavior and score your leads.  Not everyone is a good connection and it’s up to you decide who matters.

3. Lead scoring should be done in two phases: finding out who the lead is and what they do.  By this point you should also know how they found your company and what information they were interested in.  (Did you meet this lead at a trade show?  Did they request literature?)

4. After you’ve valued your leads you have to nurture them.

5. After all of this has been done, sales will know that these are quality leads and exactly why they are important to them.

There you have it, you can learn something anywhere!

What did you do today?

Event Driven Networking

In the past month I have had the great luck of attending two marketing related events, both were organized by the American Marketing Association, Boston Chapter.  I will dive deeper into each event in the next two blog posts but before doing that, I wanted to touch on the importance of networking.  I’ve said it time and time again that you shouldn’t only network when you are looking for work.   You should make it a part of your everyday life.  You can network with new employees, you can network on LinkedIn within your expanded network and your various groups.

The point is, the more people you can chat with and meet the more value you can bring to not only every day conversation but also to your job.  You are given the opportunity to learn, interact and share and compare your knowledge about a certain topic.  What’s not to like about reaching out and…meeting someone new?

Get out there, attend an event, learn and network!

What did you do today?

The Two Page Resume…Is It the New Norm?

I wanted to begin this week talking about attending work related networking events but I just had to share an article with you all.

I was told for a long time that I should condense my resume on to one page.  After this became increasingly difficult, what with degrees and extra job experience, I had to expand.  I still see some people with one pagers, which is fine if you’ve just graduated but if you are on to your second or third job I would advise that you let your resume flow over.  There is no sense in taking out relevant experience just because you want to stick to one page.

One other great tip I learned while interviewing and sending out resumes is including your name and contact information in the footer of every page.  At first I thought this was rather silly but I saw, several times, recruiters and other interviewers tear one page off from the others so that the resume was easier to read.

So, here are some highlights from an article by Alexis Grant of USNews titled, The Death of the One-Page Resume?

1. If you have enough experience and credentials to really highlight on two pages, don’t short-change yourself,” says Vicki Salemi, a recruiter and author of Big Career in the Big City: Land a Job and Get a Life in New York. “It’s not the end of the world if you do need to go onto two pages.”

2. Not only is the longer-than-a-page resume not the end of the world, but many recruiters and job-search advisors actually encourage job seekers to continue selling themselves after the page break. Paul Anderson , a Seattle-based career coach, says one-page resumes simply don’t have enough content. “I completely advise against [the one-page resume] unless it’s a college graduate or someone who’s brand-new to the marketplace,” he says.

3. Though other experts will no doubt beg to differ, Susan Ireland, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Perfect Resume, suggests this neither-hard-nor-fast guideline: Aim for one page if you have less than five years of work experience, and if you have more, consider two pages.

4. If you do go for two pages, make sure your second page doesn’t include an awkward amount of white space. If you’re only using a quarter of the second page, try to condense it into one page instead. And if you’re at one-and-a-half pages, play with the layout and fonts to use that leftover space, giving your accomplishments room to breathe. Don’t forget to include your name on both pages and number them in case they get separated.

Read the article to find out more about those who do like a one pager and what industries expect longer resumes.

What sis you do today?

5 Tips for Entering the Workforce Post Graduation

I have to say that this post was inspired by the fact that my blog is mentioned under the 50 Resources for Students Attending Online MBA Schools on onlineschools.org.

I have to applaud those who attend schools that offer co-op/internship programs.  These experiences not only allow you to add real work skills to your resume but more than that it allows you to understand what skills matter and what qualities employers look for.

However, regardless of experience or not you need to think about a few things before graduating and entering the workforce.  Here is my check list for soon to be graduates:

1. Update your resume with you graduation date
2. Rework your resume with new keywords and an objective.  Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Take a look at these resume samples and my other resume tips.
3. Draft up some cover letters.
4. The most important tip of all. Start networking with your professors and advisers and ask for recommendations.
5. Create a LinkedIn account!

What did you do today?

P.S. Check out Alesia Benedict’s advice from GetInterviews.com about how much you should highlight your education section on your resume. (Alesia Benedict-Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of GetInterviews.com, the country’s leading resume writing firm.):
1. Where do I put my education?
The current format for most resumes does not lead with education. In fact, it is not wise for someone with a solid career – and who recently obtained a degree – to lead with his/her education. Doing so may give the mistaken impression that your education is your strongest asset.
2. Should I include graduation or training dates?
Unless you are a recent graduate, it is not necessary to include specific dates of graduation. In fact, including dates on early degrees may actually make you vulnerable to ageism. Including dates of education and training also clutters the resume and takes up valuable space.
3. How do I handle the lack of a degree?
Including extensive training experiences can also be an attempt to over-compensate for the lack of a completed degree. Of course, a degree is an important credential, but if you don’t have one or didn’t complete all the requirements, don’t attempt to hide that fact.
4. How do I handle work gaps for education?
You can also add an educational note in the midst of your work history to explain any gaps for school-related activities. Place the note chronologically as if it were a position, exactly when it occurred.

Researching Your Industry and Next Job

As I’ve mentioned, prior to coming in for an interview you should obviously do some research on the job at hand.  However, this is not what this blog post is about.  It’s about researching the industry for key words for your resume and cover letter.

You need to make sure that when you’re applying for a job you are using the industry lingo in order to have your resume stand out to the hiring managers…and to the computer which is running 100’s of resumes through its database and picking out key words.

So…key words, those are extremely important.  This is the main reason why I encourage everyone to tweak their resumes for every position.  Even though it may be in the same realm as a previous job you applied for, the fact that it is at a different company might mean that different acronyms are being used and that they are looking for slightly less “x” and a little more “y.”  What “x” and”y” are is your job to find out.

You can’t just assume that every marketing position will want someone with experience in social media or product management or writing press releases.  One company might want you to have all that and more while another might want you to mainly know about budgeting marketing budgets and how to make the department function better with less resources.

So once more, I’ll say that you have to research the industry and the job and pull out key words that will make your resume and cover letter stand out!

I hope all of these job search related tips have helped you.

What did you do today?