Construction workers wouldn’t go to a building site without bringing the right tools. Chefs wouldn’t start cooking before they have all the ingredients. It’s that same concept for your job search. Before you even start your job search, create a toolkit with the right items needed to hit the ground running.   In addition to your resume and cover letter, here are some other basic tools you will want to have in place: Business Card: Your business card is your first introduction of you as a professional. Hand them out to EVERYONE you meet. Phone Number: Use a phone number where you are the only one checking messages. Email Address: Create an email address that sounds professional. If possible, set up a special email address with your name. LinkedIn Page: Make sure your profile replicates the information on your resume and that you have a professional picture. Elevator Pitch: It is critical to be able to explain what you’re looking for in a few succinct sentences. Therefore, prepare a clear, easily understood statement about who you are, the job you are looking for and what your competitive edge is.   Other tools may include a BLOG, Twitter account, website or portfolio page. Utilizing multiple tools to market/brand yourself will help you portray a consistent, professional, sophisticated impression to your targeted... read more


It’s not important whether you put your home phone number or cell number on your resume. What is important is to put the number where you are the only one checking messages. You can’t expect your family or roommates to make the right impression. Check your messages frequently and get bck to anyone who leaves a message within a few hours — 24 hours maximum.   TIP: The professional impression you give when you answer your phone should be aligned with your voicemail message. You may want to record your voice and listen to it over and over to see how others hear you and make changes accordingly.  Remember, branding yourself is in every area of of how you present yourself.... read more

Do you tattoo?

The key to interviewing is to eliminate distractions that may keep the interviewer from hearing what you have to say! I’ve had recruiters tell me that while they are not against tattoos and/or piercings, but they can be a distraction.  With very little time to make an impression and sell yourself, it would be unfortunate if the interviewer never heard what you were saying because they were distracted. Creative and technology industries are usually more open and less distracted by body art so the guidelines are different. But if you are not sure, then I’d suggest going toward the conservative side and covering them up…especially on your first... read more

MARKETING YOURSELF through a new set of lenses…Michael’s story

Michael was heading into his last year of school when he sat in on a speech I was giving at his school.  He thought he had another year to worry about getting a job but when we talked about ‘marketing yourself’, he decided to start his branding process immediately.  We discussed his goals and came up with a personal marketing plan.  RESULTS: “I’m so glad I reacted to your message of ‘marketing myself’ early on.  First, I created a personal logo and put it on my business card, email signature and on the top of all school assignments. My professors immediately started to remember who I was….not just another student.  I built a relationship with some of them and they are allowing me to list them as referrals.  Second, I created a BLOG around my area of interest and filled it with content that aligned with my targeted industry. This BLOG provided me a great tool to show recruiters and they liked my passion. In fact, it was this BLOG that helped me get a part time job.  As you said, it made me stand out from everyone else.  I’m graduating in a few months and feel like I’ve paved the way to great opportunities. THANK... read more


Interviewing is stressful enough so make it a little easier by creating a checklist of things you don’t want to forget.   Here are some things to put on your list: Turn off all electronic devices BEFORE you enter your interview. Maintain good posture in the waiting room. Remember, how you look when they come to greet you creates their first impression. Throw out your gum before you enter the building. Maintain high energy and enthusiasm. Never be late. Both men and women should always wear a suit on their first interview… unless the company specifically states not to. Bring mints. (You don’t want to be remembered for the wrong... read more

Business Cards

Whether you are a student getting ready to graduate or someone that is re-entering the job market, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of having a business card.  Your business card is the first introduction of you as a professional. Hand your business card to EVERYONE you meet. You never know who may be looking to hire or who will know someone else who is looking to hire. I have had people tell me that they made a job connection at a coffee shop, at a social event and even on the bus.  You just never know so be prepared to leave a lasting impression.   My advice is to purchase the best business card paper stock you can afford. You can go to a local print shop, or you can get them online, but do not buy cards with advertising on the back…I hear from recruiters that they are perceived as... read more

Prepare for the Fair

Whether you’re attending a job fair on a college campus or one in the community, be prepared.  Remember, marketing is about buying or selling a product/service in the marketplace. That is what you are doing at the job fair, except YOU are the product.   People make an impression of you from what they see/hear in an instant so here are some recommendations: Research the companies that will be represented at the job fair.  Pick three you like, review their website, and be ready to discuss specifics about that company. Dress professionally Bring business cards and resumes Prepare a personal statement to explain what you’re looking for….and try to target this especially for the top three companies. Exhibit high energy and a positive attitude Shake hands when you meet someone…make it a firm handshake…and look them in the... read more

MARKETING YOURSELF through a new set of lenses…Brandon’s story

Brandon was rejected twice this year for a job at his dream company. He wasn’t sure whether to quit trying or if there was some other way to still be part of this company. We put together a personal plan to make sure he was ‘marketing himself’ the best way possible to get his foot in the door.   RESULTS: “I got a job at the company of my dreams. THANK YOU! After being rejected twice this year I thought my chances were over but then I put the plan we set up into full force. I used LinkedIn to reach out to all connections within that company and let them know I was interested. I then sent a handwritten thank you not to all individuals I previously interviewed with and let them know to keep me in mind for any future opportunities. To make sure I stayed on their mind, I sent out an email every few months to let them know I’m still interested. I’m not sure which of these worked the best but when the recruited reached out to me about this new job, she said I was “the first person she thought of when another position opened... read more


Whether someone has helped you get a job, provided leads, made personal introductions, or were there as support, let them know how much you’ve appreciated their assistance and time.  While a quick email works, a handwritten thank you note sends an even deeper message. I’ve had many recruiters tell me that a handwritten note really helps individuals reinforce a positive impression. And, if someone has gone above and beyond, consider sending a gift or donation in their... read more


You never know when or where you will meet someone new during your job search efforts. Therefore, it’s critical to be able to quickly explain who you are and what you are looking for in a few sentences. This quick introduction or ‘elevator pitch’ is that you are prepared to tell someone about your job search goals in the time it takes to ride an elevator. I’ve also heard this called a 60 second pitch and a quick sell.   Some people say your elevator pitch should take around 30 seconds, some say no more than two minutes. Typically it contains around 125-225 words. A simple way to think about writing your pitch is to: 1) say your name, 2) describe what you do and why you are unique 3) state your goal.   Create your elevator pitch a few different ways so you have one ready for multiple audiences and practice it over and over so it’s second nature. Remember, the energy you present when you first meet someone is part of marketing... read more