Archive for the ‘Career Advice’ Category

2017 Graduates: Have You Perfected Your Elevator Pitch?

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

It’s graduation time, and many are thinking about landing their first job. Even those entrenched in a career may be prompted by graduation season to think about their career paths and whether it’s time to consider a job switch.

We responded recently to a reporter’s query about creating “elevator pitches.” It’s an important concept for graduates, for those 30 years into their careers, and for any company or organization that has a key message to convey to a target audience. (more…)

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Holiday Small Talk: Explaining What You Do For a Living

Friday, December 9th, 2016

The holidays are a great time to see family and friends you may not have seen or spoken to in some time. And when conversations with people you don’t see regularnetworking, business networking, effective networking, business development, developing new businessly gets stale, the quest for common ground may lead you to a variation of this common fallback: “How’s work?” or “what do you do for work again?”

For entrepreneurs, who have often been greeted with blank stares in response to that question, the answer can be tricky. (more…)

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Making Friends With Finance

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

MentorIt’s not uncommon for the finance and marketing functions to be at loggerheads in the office. Whether it’s about the wisdom of embarking on an expensive new marketing effort or finance professionals refusing to share the praise for positive financials with their peers in marketing, conflicts can abound. While Lincoln Martin amusingly compares the two functions to the Starks (marketing) and Lannisters (finance), a la HBO’s Game of Thrones, it generally isn’t the case that finance people don’t like or trust marketing people. It’s often an issue of poor communication. Marketers are in a good position to leverage their communications skillset to help bridge that gap. (more…)

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Two Must-Haves for a Strong Employer Brand

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

Big conference roomWhen we talk about branding, we focus a lot on an organization’s corporate image, the impression the market has about its service, the quality of its leaders and key or, if a service organization, the personal touch its employees provide. These are certainly important areas of focus for branding; however, in a service-driven marketplace, employers are becoming more and more aware of the importance of human capital. From senior leaders to front line employees, organizations need to attract the best and brightest to remain competitive for the long run. There are plenty of strategies and tips for effective employer branding, but here we focus on two: (more…)

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5 Steps to a Strong Employer Brand

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

executing your strategic plan, strategic planning, strategic communicationWe’ve written previously about the importance of employer branding and why consistency and coordination between the marketing arm and the HR arm are crucial to ensure alignment. In this post, we’re going to look at a practical, step-by-step approach to building that brand by applying some fundamental branding tips in the context of employer branding.

Generally, in working with organizations on these types of projects, the steps are: (more…)

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Building Your Digital Marketing Team

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

MentorDigital marketing is a key aspect of any organization’s marketing mix. As digital marketing grows to represent a greater proportion of your marketing mix, at some point you’ll need to start thinking about splitting up the digital marketing responsibilities among multiple employees. Below we look at some tips and strategies for putting together an effective digital marketing team for your organization. (more…)

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Networking in the Digital Age

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

It simply can’t be overstated just how important networking is for business professionals. But, in an increasingly online world, the game has changed significantly from the days of handing out business cards at cocktail parties. Here we explore the concept of online business marketing. (more…)

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Intuition vs. Thoughtful Decision: Finding the Right Balance

Friday, September 30th, 2016

business decisions, making effective decisions, business decision-making, intuition

In business even the biggest companies don’t always get it right. Things move quickly in the business world and we’re all operating in a very fluid, and volatile, environment. While it’s easy, in hindsight, to be critical of the blunders that even the most powerful organizations in the world fall prey to, it’s important to keep in mind how pressure often gets in the way of making a thoroughly thought-out decision.

Sometimes, of course, the pace of change prevents the level of research and analysis that some might feel most comfortable with. Business leaders need to have sound instincts for making snap decisions that could have enormous implications for the business, its shareholders, its employees and its customers.

Here are three ways to help find the right balance between intuition and thoughtful decision to boost the odds that you’re more often right, than wrong. (more…)

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Tips for Business Networking: Online and Off

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

networking, business networking, effective networking, business development, developing new businessWe talk a lot about the value of online marketing and analytics for growing your business. These are crucial tools; however, it’s also important to keep in mind that business is also very personal. While outreach through the internet is certainly a must, knowing how to effectively network on a more personal level is critical. This is especially true for larger customers, business-to-business relationships and engaging with key influencers. The same is true for executives in larger organizations. As reported in Fast Company, “A recent study of 6,000 executives at 3,000 companies in the U.S. and Europe found that executives with 50% more professional contacts above the average, had a salary 3.5% or $15,000 higher than their less gregarious/friendly/sociable colleagues.”

So how can you network online, and off, in a way that’s designed to build value—and relationships? (more…)

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Best Business Books for Young Professionals

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Bookshelves-smallLast semester, I taught three sections of a strategic management course at a local university. The students were all seniors, near graduation, and many had already landed a job and were ready to enter the business world full time. I thought it might be helpful to share some recommendations for great business books that might help them as they entered the business world, recognizing, of course, that few students in college have much time for leisurely reading outside of their required coursework.

And, while many seemed bored and disinterested as I shared my recommendations (no real surprise there, I suppose), I persisted. Interestingly enough, by the end of the semester — and even after — a number of them contacted me to ask if I could send them the list of books I’d recommended. (more…)

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