Unemployment Style

The Lighter Side of Unemployment

Brand ME July 22, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — cherylsjohnson @ 2:22 pm

Okay the unemployment rate as of June 30, 2009 is 9.7% – what does that mean?  Well it means that I’m competing with thousands of unemployed marketing people – we’re a dime a dozen in today’s marketplace.  But have no fear marketing people know how to market themselves right, WRONG!  I attended an American Marketing Association (AMA) seminar last week titled “Get noticed. Get the interview. Get Hired”.  I had a strategy for attending the seminar – meet the speakers and get, at least, one new thought or idea.  I executed my strategy and got both – Worth the investment!

What I found interesting was the lack of knowledge among marketers on how to market themselves.  We can market a product or service but when it comes to marketing ourselves, most of us don’t do a very good job of it.  I shouldn’t of been surprised, I didn’t like to talk about myself much – I would always let my work speak for itself.  But I had to learn and learn fast and feel comfortable doing it. In today’s environment you have to talk about yourself!  It’s key to landing a job. 

I’ve been unemployed for awhile and attended several, okay numerous, classes, seminars, clinics, etc so I’ve gotten the hang of marketing ME.  And I love to share what I’ve learned with others so here we go:

:30 Elevator speech – your commercial

This took me awhile to accomplish and sometimes I still ramble on.  I thought I had to cram everything into my :30 spot because I didn’t want to leave anything out.  You just can’t – take my word for it.  It’s a challenge and I practice my speech everyday while on the treadmill.  They say practice makes perfect! 

You need to state your name, experience, and what you are looking for:  My name is Cheryl Smith-Johnson.  I’m a senior level marketing professional with extensive experience in the business-to-business and consumer arena.  I’m looking for opportunities in the DFW area with a medium to large size organizations.

Marketing plan – career objective, target companies, demographics

This didn’t take me too long to compile because I already had most of the elements just not in one place.  This helped me put it all on one page. (Send me an e-mail I’ll share my with you.)

Professional appearance

Dress to impress.  Wear a suit to an interview.  Ladies – wear panty hose (boy do I have a story for this one) and never, ever CHEW GUM or suck on CANDY.  Not professional at all – I don’t care what industry you are in or who you are interviewing with, not even a friend.  Just don’t do it.

Now to the panty hose story (this interview was over a year ago while I was still employed and didn’t have the knowledge I have now) – I went on an interview on a very hot day in Dallas (around 95 degrees).  I had spoken to the HR person about the dress code.  She informed me that the dress code did not include panty hose and it would be okay not wear them.  So I thought I was safe going bare-legged.  My attire was very professional but NO HOSE.  Boy did I make a mistake.  The hiring manager was so stuck on the fact that I wasn’t wearing hose I don’t think she heard a word I said.  Now I didn’t know this until the HR person called me the next day but it all made sense after I learned of this.  The moral is – always wear panty hose to an interview or wear a pantsuit – I don’t care how hot it is outside!


Make yourself heard – network yourself to death (not literally but close to it)

Inform everyone you know about your employment status.  I try and work it into every conversation I have with people.  Granted I don’t hammer this information to death – just let them know that you are available for employment and the rest will just happen.  I’ve told my doctor, my hair stylist, my neighbors, my friends, people I meet at parties, etc.  Just don’t get obnoxious about it.


Final thought – Get out there and market YOU.  No one is going to do it for you!

Stay positive!







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