Unemployment Style

The Lighter Side of Unemployment

Professional Recommendations July 24, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — cherylsjohnson @ 11:02 am

How many recommendations are too many?  I had this discussion last week at a LinkedIn seminar.  Some say 3-4 but not more than 5.  I disagree.  It depends on the industry you service.  Take me for example, I’m in marketing and interact with many different segments of the workforce – peers, team members, field and industry marketing leaders, agency people, advertising reps, clients, etc.  Having several (I have 12) recommendations provides a well-rounded cross section of the business world.

Thoughts?

Stay positive!

Cheryl

cjohnson0114@verizon.net

www.linkedin.com/in/csmithjohnson

https://cherylsjohnson.wordpress.com

http://www.visualcv.com/csjohnson

 

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!

Cheryl

cjohnson0114@verizon.net

www.linkedin.com/in/csmithjohnson

https://cherylsjohnson.wordpress.com

http://www.visualcv.com/csjohnson

 

To Blog or Not to Blog – That is the Question July 20, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — cherylsjohnson @ 3:17 pm

Well I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for some time now, just didn’t want it to be boring and uneventful.  So I thought, why not make it humorous – taking a look at the lighter side of unemployment (if there is such a thing).

First a brief background on myself – I became unemployed at the end of January 2009 along with millions of others.  I was the Global Advertising Manager at EDS, a technology services company in Plano, Texas.  My position was eliminated when HP acquired EDS.  I loved what I did – managed all the advertising for the company including but not limited to advertising and media strategies, advertising production, media planning and placement, research projects, managed multiple advertising agencies, worked with Sales and field marketing teams, worked with media reps, etc. 

I guess you could say I have a PASSION for advertising.  Most people think of advertising as a commercial, a print ad, a radio spot – while that is for the most part true it’s the process that excites me the most – the strategy (both creative and media),  how the concept was born, working with the creative teams, production, timelines, budgets (most of the time lack of budget), etc.  After all that is said and done the final product that can speak for itself and make the brand proud. 

I have stories, boy do I have stories from my JCPenney and EDS days that would make lots of people laugh and some cry but that’s another blog in the making.

During the last several months I’ve been attending classes and group work sessions at Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH), a talent solutions company (www.llh.com).  This service was part of my severance package.  I now have an updated resume, which I’ve revised four times in five months – I’ll talk about that later – a marketing plan for Brand ME, and a group of supportive LHH friends, which I’ll be discussing in later posts.

So please stay tuned for some funny stories along with a few rejections that I just have to tell you about.  I hope I can brighten the day of a few unemployed soles like me.

Stay positive!

Cheryl

cjohnson0114@verizon.net

www.linkedin.com/in/csmithjohnson

https://cherylsjohnson.wordpress.com

http://www.visualcv.com/csjohnson