Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It's Time

It's time to admit, I need to update the name of my beloved blog. Confessions of a Creative Recruiter just doesn't hold true anymore. I haven't been a creative recruiter for almost two years now.

Five years ago, a good friend knew I liked to give advice to young creatives aspiring to be in advertising and he suggested I start capturing the advice in a blog. I couldn't imagine having something to write about for more than a few weeks. Ha! That certainly hasn't been a problem.

Yet, my personal branding is all over the place. My Twitter name is @WorkLifeAdvice, My consulting company is Cecilia Gorman Training Services and then this blog with my old recruiting title.

It's time to line it up.

When I think about this blog I realize it is just a place where I can offer advice (to anyone willing to listen) - sometimes it is about getting a job, or keeping the one you have. Sometimes it is about being a better co-worker or a nicer person. Other times it is about what not to do in an interview or a reminder to not have typos on your resume. Just pieces and parts of this thing called life. That's it.

Work. Life. Advice.


(My new blog can be found here... )

Thursday, November 14, 2013

There is PLENTY of money to be made...

There is plenty of money to be made as an advertising creative.

I guarantee you that.

If I hear one more junior/student/person say you can't make money in advertising I might scream. Where are these people getting their information from - a state fair fortune teller?

Your uncle or grandpa or dad's friend's brother is not right. Whomever is telling you that you cannot be successful and make money in this industry is dead wrong.

Folks, as a recruiter, I have seen salaries over the years, lots and lots of them. They are good, great, stellar even.

Below are salaries I have personally seen or heard of (in thousands). Granted I am sure there are exceptions that are less and lots more that are even higher...

Junior anything - $30, $35, $40, $45K (heck I even hired a junior in a time of desperation for $52K).

Mid anything - $45, $55, $65, $75K

Senior anything - $80, $85, $95K

ACD - $95, $100, $125, $140K

CD - $135, $160, $185, $235K

ECD - $185, $225, $350, $400K

Who cannot live on this amount of money? The Kardashians?!

Recently someone was lamenting a decision to go back to school and follow his true passion in copywriting. He said his dad's friend (who apparently is in the industry) told him you can't make any money as a copywriter.

True. If you suck.

Not true if you have stellar writing skills, work hard, deliver top-quality work and strive daily for an amazing career.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Four Seconds

You have approximately 4 seconds to impress a recruiter when using an automated application system. The kind where your resume is uploaded then auto-populates certain parts of the application.

First, know that it never auto-fills properly. DO NOT TRUST that it does.

Second, fill in any blanks with as much information as you can.

The 4 seconds that a recruiter glances at your application, searching for nuggets of information to show them you are an ideal candidate go by very, very fast.

I just got done looking at 20 candidates who applied via our online application system. 17 of them sucked. And by sucked, I mean they were practically blank. That tells me their resume did not upload properly nor auto-filled properly. It also tells me the applicant didn't double check the final content.

So 17 people got stopped in their tracks. Who knows, there may have been quite qualified people in that group, I just didn't see any of their information to tell me so.

I myself applied via this same online system about 2 years ago. It was the first time I had applied for a job in 13 years! It was brutal. The system hated my resume (which was in InDesign). I had to reformat it in Word. Then it hated the icons I used for my Twitter, Blog and LinkedIn profiles. I had to delete those. It took about 5 attempts to get it to upload my information correctly.

Then I spent another 30 minutes crafting/fixing/adding to what was there. If this was my only means of getting an interview, I wanted it to read stellar. Then I clicked submit.

Make that 4 seconds worth it.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Uncommon Sense

I gave a presentation recently called "Leadership Sound Bites." It covers some basic tenets of leadership and reminds people to own their personal development and grow their leadership skills.

After I spoke, one person said, "it's common sense."

Yes, my friends! Yes, it is!

Unfortunately, most of us forget to use our common sense-ness quite frequently.

It is common sense to believe in yourself.
It is common sense to quit doing things that limit your potential.
It is common sense to own your mistakes.
It is common sense to have authentic conversations.
It is common sense to purposefully craft your legacy.

In fact it is all so common, it has become uncommon to see it happening on a daily basis in the workplace. We forget the simple things when we are bogged down by projects and deadlines and other day-to-day junk. Remind yourself on a regular basis that the basics are what are building the foundation of your career. You can't climb higher up the rungs if your ladder is on shaky ground.

Start with the basics folks. Start with common sense. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Letter

Have you ever written "The Letter?" The one that, at the time, seems perfectly needed, perfectly justified yet years later the memory of writing it makes you cringe? I'm sure loads of you have written The Letter to a boyfriend or girlfriend, but what about to your boss? I wrote one years and years ago and still cringe at the memory.

Here's what prompts writing it:

1. You're rockin' your job
2. You're getting a lot of great projects
3. You're getting a lot of great compliments
4. You love what you're doing and know you are good at it

All that sounds great, right? Well, then there's this last one:

5. You've been snubbed for something you feel you deserve

Thus, The Letter.

I was at my first job right out of school. I had the blessed fortune to work for a couple who owned a printing business and who made it a high priority to teach me everything about their business. Essentially my entire career in printing, production and creative management is owed to them.

All I can remember about The Letter is I was clearly mad. Mad that I wasn't included on some trip to some meeting that I felt I deserved. I worked hard preparing for it, I contributed to the presentation at a senior level and really felt like I made a difference to the project. Yet, I was not asked to attend and man, that pissed me off.

So all my anger and resentment went down on paper (pen and paper back then). I thank the Lord that I don't still have a copy of it and I have no memory of what I wrote. What I DO remember is the look on my boss' face after he read it. TO THIS DAY, I shudder when I think about the immaturity of my actions. If I could take one single thing back in my 20-year career, this letter would be it.

When I gave The Letter to my boss, he in turn gave me the silent treatment for a few weeks. That's it. No discussion, no rebuttal, no response. It was the worst few weeks I've ever had at work. And to this day, I feel like a shit. An ungrateful shit. I learned so, so much in that first job. I had incredible opportunities. And that job essentially launched my entire career.

So just a word of caution if you're ever feeling the need to get all your angst down on paper (on email). Don't. Big Capital D. Don't.

What you can do -- in this temporary moment of despair -- is remind yourself of what's great. How much you are learning. How amazing this creative industry is. That you actually have a job. And again, that you HAVE A JOB. That you are really good at what you do. That people are noticing. Think of these things, take a breath and step away from the keyboard.

20 years later, that, you won't regret.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Today's Horoscope

The horoscopes on are always true. I swear. Or at least they are when they are good and I really want them to be true.

Today's says this: The politics surrounding the events of the day will be quite ugly.

Ugh. The P-word. What workplace is without politics? None, my friend. None.

Politics are a weird thing. You need to admit there is a game to play, without overtly participating in it. You need to respect the existence of it, without paying it too much respect. Weird stuff indeed.

I think the word Politics is just code for Meany. I mean really, if we were all kind and helpful and genuine and respectful at work would there even be any Politics? I doubt it. Because there are Meanies there are Politics. So what's a girl to do?

1. Be kind. Self-explanatory.
2. Be helpful. The favors you extend come back to you double.
3. Be genuine. Everyone can sense phony-ness and we tend to avoid people we label fake.
4. Be respectful. You are not an island unto yourself. Respect that every person can teach you something if you just give them half a sec to do so.

Practice these four simple things daily. All four work together to stifle the efforts of the Meanies in this world. Less Meanies = Less Politics = Better Horoscopes.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Relentless Attention

First, can we all just agree that relentless is a great word?

Seriously. Doesn't it just say so much in a mere 10 letters?

If you know anything about me, know that I am sucka for great quotes. I found one that uses the word relentless and thought I'd share:

"To devote relentless attention to doing one good thing after another, however small, is the only path to becoming and remaining a great boss."

But what I would like to suggest today is that you switch out the word boss with any other word that applies to you. Like friend. Or wife. Or parent.

Devote relentless attention. To whatever you are focused and passionate about. Surely words to live by.

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Tale of 2 Art Directors

This is a story about two art directors.

They went to the same graphic design school.

They graduated the same year. With the same degree.

They both got junior designer jobs right out of college.

They both have been in the business 18 years.

One makes $54,000. One makes $180,000.

Hmmmmmm. Word up with that? Well, pay attention because 18 years from now you may find yourself in the same kind of chart. On which trajectory do you want to land?!

The difference in these two folks is the skill and will to lead. Think about that. As you grow and develop in your career, perhaps choosing to learn more about managing and leading will change your trajectory.

Some say leadership is an innate skill, you either have it or you don't. I doubt that. I know you can learn to improve your people skills, you get practice at it daily from 9 to 5. Some people just pay more attention to the lessons they are learning. They apply the daily lessons, improve their abilities with every opportunity. Others, well, others just work from 9 to 5.

Exercise your leadership muscle at every turn. Offer to take on an intern and learn management fundamentals. Watch the senior folks in the office, take notes. Pick up their good habits and learn from their bad habits. Read books, watch TED videos, research past great leaders. Invest in your noggin.

Those who move up faster and further have a genuine desire to develop themselves AND others. Don't remain a party of one and forget to focus on what's going on around you. You can't just show up to work every day and expect a phenomenal career path. You need to put the time and effort into being more that you ever thought you could be.

Aspire. Act. Grow. Make $180K.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Where's Waldo?

I ran into a girl who works in our department last week and actually thought to myself, "Wow, I didn't know she still worked here."

I can't imagine this is a good thing. In any way. At any time.

If people haven't seen your face in so long that they think perhaps you don't work there any more, you have got to be doing something horribly wrong.

Like not eating your lunch in the lunch room occasionally, like not grabbing a coffee with a co-worker every so often, like not speaking up in any meetings, like not walking through the department like, ever.

People! Showing your face is the easiest career move you can make. Do Not Hibernate! Do Not Hide in Your Cube! Do Not Keep Quiet! Once you realize that a face seen is a face remembered (especially with the upper ranks) you start to steer your career in a better direction.

I say this because I know there are some people who wonder why they've never been promoted, it's because they've spent too much time blended into the background that no one recalls they exist!

Purposely I walk into my building through the front door every day. Why? It's a longer route to my desk. I do it because it ups my chances of being seen (well partly, we also have the coolest f-ing lobby on the planet, as described in this post).

What are my chances of running into the CEO in the back stairwell? ZERO. What are my chances of having a chat with the CFO, CMO or C-whoever in the back stairwell? NIL. What are my chances of running into any one of these folks -- and being seen -- in the lobby? Higher. Much higher.

Now I know it is not just a matter of seeing your face to help you get ahead but I can assure you when the upper ranks are making decisions on staffing, their ability to recall you, your face AND your work performance is key. If they don't even know you, well then, they don't even know you.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Mic is Always On

I am reading an article on the book "Speaking as a Leader" by Judith Humphrey and it makes a good point. One we often forget.

The Mic is Always On.

This is a good lesson for anyone in business, but an even better one for managers. Once you start leading other people, your responsibilities change. You are no longer a party of one. You are holding the careers, aspirations and livelihoods of a greater group of people in your hands. And a key responsibility of any manager is to lead (and speak) by example.

So remember, that mic is always on. Capturing your words and blaring them out for all the world to hear.

That means when you think you are off the "manager" stage: at lunch, out with friends, on Facebook; you in fact, aren't.  

The words you say (and write) will always be heard. They create people's impression of you, of your company, of how they think you are as a person and a manager.

I know I have caught myself on occasion saying things that later I wished I hadn't. Either I spoke less-than-kindly about someone at work, or complained unnecessarily, dropped an f-bomb, whatever. The mic is on and people are hearing what I say. I may think the audience may not matter at the time, but who knows how what I say will get shared around.

This is especially true in the crazy social world we now live in. Your words can get repeated, misinterpreted and broadcast out to very large audiences in a millisecond.  So be careful around that microphone, for a manager, it is always on.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

You Never Know

Deja Vu post again (thought I had written on this but not finding it).

Ever had those moments where you walk by someone who is on the phone and you catch only like one sentence of their conversation? Yea? Pretty funny sometimes. And you've probably seen those "OH at work today..." posts on Twitter.

Yesterday it happened twice to me, only on the not-so-funny side.

First one I was walking to down the hall to the bathroom and a guy on the phone says, "Hi, I need to schedule a CT scan." Later in the day I passed a guy on his phone outside a side door who says, "it's going to be a big legal matter now."

On top of that, I myself went out to the hallway to call the Sheriff's Department to follow up on a robbery that happened to me a few days prior.

All sucky life things. Big ass sucky.

It's serves as a reminder to me -- to all of us -- that you never know what people are going through on any given day. Maybe they just found out they have a tumor. Maybe they just found out they're getting divorced. Maybe they just had every single piece of sentimental jewelry stolen from them. Who knows.

But man, we need to remember to cut one another some slack. Perhaps your co-worker is slightly grumpy because of a sad/mad/heartbreaking phone call they just had. We are all living life here. Bad stuff happens, happy stuff happens. And for 40 hours a week of it, we are at work when it happens.

I'm going to call it Grace. Let's give each other Grace more often. Give it now before your phone rings.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Capital G Grateful

It is so easy to get caught up on what your work doesn't provide. Much harder to grateful for what it does.

Didn't get that day off as planned? Yet, you get free breakfast on Fridays.

Didn't get the hugest raise? Yet, you can bring your dog to work.

Working some long hours for a few weeks? Yet, your work has a free gym.

Bummed you didn't get recognized for that great project you did? Yet, your company holiday parties are pretty legendary.

Complaining about the size of your desk? Yet, you play foos ball/ping pong/pool whenever you want.

Snarky that you have to travel on a Sunday? Yet, you can crack open a beer at 4pm and nobody minds.

Be Capital G Grateful folks.

We all work in creative, cool, fascinating, amazing places.
NOT like a lot of people.

We can express uniqueness, ideas, craziness daily.
NOT like a lot of people.

We arrive to work at 8, 8:30, 9, 9:30, whatever.
NOT like a lot of people.

Before you bash the don't's. Pause for a second about the do's. There are so many stuffy industries that are so unlike ours that we should be grateful for the mere fact we get to go work each day.

In the grand scheme of life, the simple gratefulness for your participation in this world of creativity and advertising is worth so much more than a foot more of cube space or an extra day off.

Capital G folks, Capital G.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sit Up

I have the privilege of speaking at our new hire orientation every two weeks. I introduce myself, the creative department and talk about the importance of brand consistency both within and outside our four walls.

Not only do these new hires get to hear from me, they hear about benefits, perks, our charity causes, our parent company, they get a tour, they see demonstrations of our proprietary technology, they get to shop in the employee store, and they have safety training. A big, long day filled with everything to get someone started off on the right foot. I myself found the day fascinating when I was a new hire.

Now of all places to sit up and show interest, I would imagine new hire orientation is probably one of the most important.

Cut to two weeks ago. I am doing my section, which is all of 10 minutes. There is a young women a few rows up that is slouched so far down her seat that her head was resting on the back of the chair. Not only was she slouched to oblivion, her eyes were half mast. It is 10:15 in the morning.

Call me ADD but I get easily distracted when I am speaking to an audience. It comes from my teaching days when I literally would ban students from their phones and computers when I was lecturing. All eyes on me.

This young woman was killing me. It was one of those times when I was thinking about saying something when all of a sudden I realized I was saying something. "You may want to sit up," I tell her. "Huh?" she answers. "If you sit up, it will be easier to keep your eyes open," I say back. She seems confused when I finally say, a bit forcefully, "Sit up."

Folks! It is your first day. At a new company. You should be EXCITED. You should be oozing interest and passion from your pores. Sit up and pay attention. Sit up and participate. Sit up and be grateful that you were chosen over others to have a place in that orientation. You must remember you reflect outward how you feel and if you are feeling slouchy half-mast on your first day at a new job, man, things will only get worse every day forward.

Friday, April 26, 2013

My F'ing Front Door

Let me tell you about the front door of where I work: It's pretty f'ing cool!

Seriously, the first time you walk up to my building you'll mutter, "holy shit" under your breath. The building is cool, the lobby is cool, the reception chairs are cool. Cool-o-rama all around.

There are plenty of other doors to get into my building. The back door, a couple of side doors. Just regular ones, nothing cool about them.

So here's the choice I have daily: enter through the f'ing cool one or enter one of the regular ones. Every day I get to decide where I walk in. A basic, elementary decision. One most people don't even consciously make.

I will tell you (as I tell every person who reports to me) walk in the front door folks! Every. Single. Day.

Even if your building or lobby isn't an oozing temple of coolness, walk in the front door. It will remind you of why you came to work at your company in the first place; it gives you the same rush that others get when they walk in for the first time (by the way, most every ad agency or design firm is pretty cool); and is a thoughtful choice on how to start your day. It is you doing your small part to validate your company, your job and the utter coolness of this creative industry we all get to work in.

Shirking in the side door just doesn't feel the same.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

More About: About Me

People seem to have a hard time knowing what to write in the "About Me" section of their resume. Not sure why. I guess people just struggle with identifying what is truly unique and interesting about themselves.

The About Me part of someone's resume is always my first stop. The most important stop in my opinion (especially, especially for juniors!). I am dying to know what somebody is about - what they do in their free time, interesting hobbies, weird travels, whatever. These interests are what differentiate one candidate from the next. Oftentimes it is the deal breaker.

Here is are two simple, good examples:

Sean O'Connor, student at Massachusetts Art & Design:

Marc J Fisher, Art Director:

Take a moment and reflect on yourself. What makes you, you? Certainly anything is more interesting than this:

Friday, March 29, 2013

Be here. Now.

Ever been in a meeting and a couple folks bring their laptops? Then they spend the entire meeting typing away and half listening to what's going on? I don't get this.

First, it is definitely not quiet. Second, what good is half listening? Half good in my eyes.

Nothing says "I'm really much busier than all of you and being in this 30-minute meeting is a cramp to my style" then bringing a laptop, phone, ipad and doing something else while you should be listening.

Be here. Now.

Not half here. Not half digesting what is said. Not half participating. Half contributing. Half everything.

Physical presence is one thing. Intellectual presence is another. When you attend a meeting, participate. And to fully participate you must be paying attention. Replying back to emails can wait. Seriously, I wonder who the heck is that important that their emails must be returned right that second.

Not to mention, it is rude.

When you are somewhere with someone, be there now. Physically, mentally, emotionally. Half there is half good.

Friday, March 22, 2013

God Bless the A**Hole

Could have sworn double pinkies that I have written on this topic before, but for the life of me I cannot find it in my blog history.

Bear with me if I am repeating, this topic is worth it.

God Bless the A**Hole. Yes my friends, bless that jerk that sits next to you or the one who's currently your boss. God Bless everything about them and every shitty thing they say and do.

Here's why.

The jerks of the world are teaching you. Skills like tact. Grace. Diplomacy. Patience. Self-control (hopefully, self-control). The jerks of the world are put in your life for a reason. To teach you how to deal with the jerks of the world. And that business skill is essential.

People who work with lovely co-workers -- ones who are kind, courteous, and easy to get along with -- may have less migraines, but folks, they also are NOT learning coping and conflict resolution skills.

Bless too the A**hole Situations. Like having to fire someone; or deal with a bawling employee; or needing to layoff a group of 10. These too are tough situations, not ones I would wish for daily but certainly ones I have had to deal with and I am thankful for the experience.

You want them in your life. Trust me. Grab a hold of every difficult challenge and let it teach you what it must. I read this somewhere; "You can gauge the measure of leader by the number of difficult conversations they are willing to have." Amen.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Empty the Dishwasher

One simple thing has changed my life: emptying the dishwasher.


It sounds weird. Really weird. But seriously, it has CHANGED my life.

Here's why.

I HATED emptying the dishwasher. I would put it off for days. No big reason why, I just did not like doing it. But here's what happens when you don't empty it: Dishes pile up in the sink. Crap piles up on the counter. The dining table gets cluttered. The counters get dirty.

The whole kitchen slowly becomes a big fat mess. Then when I'd come home from work, I'd walk into the kitchen see that big fat mess and feel bad. But still, not bad enough to empty the dishwasher. I'd just ignore it and cook around it and make the piles bigger.

Then one day I emptied the dishwasher immediately after it was done.

Ahhhhhhhhhh. Then I put the other dirty dishes in, I cleaned the counter and cleared the table. And the place was clean. And I felt good. Great even. And the next morning when I woke up and walked in the kitchen, I felt great again. My emptied dishwasher made me feel great. Simple.

From that moment on, I realized feeling great - however small level of great - was worth it. The 2 minutes it took to empty the goddamn dishwasher was so worth it.

Why did I dread such an easy thing? It's not like it takes hours; it takes minutes. Dunno. But man, once I realized that feeling great can be easy and small and make such a difference to my demeanor and my day, then taking that 2 minutes became a non-issue.

I came to this realization a couple years ago. And I'm not joking how it has changed me. Now that silly dishwasher stands for so much more. When there is something I dread doing, I remember how great a clean kitchen feels and somehow it helps me tackle other things.

Brian Tracy, a motivational speaker, has written a book on a similar topic. He calls it "Eat the Frog." He says if the worst thing you have to do all day is eat a frog, then wake right up and choke that thing down. Then it's over. The anticipation is over. The dread is over. The act of eating a sick frog is over. Then you can move on with your day. Done and done.

Unconscious dread is a weird thing. It's like a low grade fever that doesn't quite go away and doesn't quite come to fruition. It's there making you feel some level of bad and you don't even realize it. But the second it is gone, man you feel it. Something lifts off your back and it wasn't even that heavy. It was just there.

Do yourself a favor and rid your life of a few of these. I guarantee you it makes a difference. Wash that car. Pay those bills. Or empty that goddamn dishwasher.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Thou Shalt Not Have It Easy

I read this quote recently and loved it!

Thou Shalt Not Have It Easy.

Seriously, how great are those words? We go through life expecting everything to be so easy for us all the time. Easy calms us. Easy makes the day go smoother. Easy is just easy so why shouldn't we want it 24/7?

We want our home life to be easy. Kids changing easily into their day's attire after easily brushing their teeth then easily getting into the car for school (yea right).

We want our jobs to be easy. Assignments that are clearly spelled out with timelines that are cushy with co-workers that are happy and nice (can I get another yea right?!)

We want our love life to be easy. Partners that are compassionate and loving while equally supportive and thoughtful while they go out and pick up the dry cleaning and roses. Hmmm, you are getting this right?

Easy. Easy. Easy.

It's just the sooner we realize that everything isn't supposed to be easy. It isn't supposed to be anything else but what it actually is. And that may be easy, hard, fine, great, boring, sucky, completely screwed up, whatever. These adjectives aren't under our control. Things just are whatever they end up being. We are not so privileged to get easy delivered to our doorsteps on a daily basis.

When we lose that expectation, we open ourselves up for experiencing things just as they are. We learn to deal with problems and unexpected outcomes. The things that are hard are what teach us about life. And love. And work.

Thou Shalt Not Have It Easy. Remember that and life just might become a tad bit easier.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Two Words on Leadership

Next in the series on Leadership. Two words.

What two words can I use to talk about the foundation of leadership, the traits of leaders, and the path to start you on your way to leading?


Lots of folks waffle before they act. Hem and haw while thinking through all the angles. Oftentimes, a little debate can help in decision making. Just don't let it cripple you. Don't take days to decide something that should take an hour. Avoid going into a week-long black hole while your staff is wondering what the outcome will be. Leaders act swiftly.

Leaders make the best decision they can, with the best information they can gather, as swiftly as possible. Maybe they don't know 100% that something will work, but they have a strong sense of intuition (and experience) that guides them.

Colin Powell has a great presentation on Leadership that is favorite of mine.

He uses a P = 40-70 rule. P = Probability of success and the numbers indicate the amount of information you have. So if you have less than 40% of the information, not a good idea to act. If you have more than 70%, you've most likely waited too long. Between 40-70%: Go with your gut.

Obviously in Colin Powell's former position (and the military in general) waiting to act means life or death. Procrastination with the goal of getting more information and lowering your risk of making a mistake actually increases your risk by taking a lot of time.

I used to have a manager that would take FOR.EVER. to make a decision, finally decide something, then two days later bring the issue up again, debating the answer that was already made. It was maddening.

When you do this, your staff gets confused. As their leader, you should evoke a sense of confidence and certainty on behalf of the entire team. You may be faking that confidence sometimes, but your gut tends to be fairly accurate.  And, yes, you can always change your mind. This is not about sticking to your guns at all cost. It is about trusting your gut and using momentum in your favor.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Glamour Don't: silly subhead

I've seen about a billion LinkedIn profiles over the years. As a former recruiter, I've spent a fair amount of my time searching profiles, reading resumes, making connects. I am still on LinkedIn daily.

This is a word of caution for crafting your subhead on LinkedIn.

It should be your current job title, but often people get creative here. Sometimes it'll say "Currently Looking." That's a helpful subhead. Sometimes it'll list a couple skills "Writer, Photographer." Also helpfu.

What it SHOULDN'T say is something funny that only you think is funny. And I, said recruiter, may also think it is funny...But rarely the 3 or 4 folks I have to forward your profile to as part of the candidate review process will also think it is funny.

One that's killing me: "P.T. Barnum in a skirt producing intelligent creative to sell your stuff."

So first I don't really get it. Second if I did, I'd be somewhat embarrassed to forward it to an ECD with the expectation that this person, with this silly description is the best person I could find. Then I am getting judged on the level of someone else's attempt at humor.

It is a fine line between standing out (perhaps P.T's goal?) and causing you to get filtered before you even are considered.

Consider it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

One Word on Leadership

I'm working on a Leadership presentation and wanted to start simple. With just one word.

What single words can I use to talk about the foundation of leadership, the traits of leaders, and the path to start you on your way to leading?

Here's the first.


First and foremost believe in your ability to become a leader. Whether you feel like you are worthy of it yet or not. You must believe in your own potential. I liken it somewhat to that book The Secret. In The Secret you wholeheartedly envision things (your potential) constantly and visually, then they happen. Same here with leadership.

Believe that one day you will lead people. Believe that you are worthy of followers. Believe in your own great potential. Above all else.

Even if you are a student in college or a mid-level worker bee. If leading teams is what you truly want to do, who is anyone else to get in the way of you visualizing that destiny? I can tell you that without belief in yourself, it is much, much harder to obtain.