Career Advice and Job Search TIps from Sears CMO

Posted: December 14th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, Job Search Networking, Personal Branding, Social Networking | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Career Advice and Job Search TIps from Sears CMO

When I began my business I had no idea that the luxuries of a flexible work schedule and being the boss came alongside being the janitor, IT department and paying more taxes than I’d ever thought imaginable. Owning a business has quite a few drawbacks but this week I was blessed with a business owner bonus.

I had the pleasure of enjoying dinner with two heavy-hitting senior executives, the CMO of Sear’s Tools & Hardware and CMO of Sear’s Online & eCommerce. These two guys run the famous Craftsman brand and a Fortune 100 retail website for an iconic brand. Sears may be a bit stale, sorry guys, but it’s a brand many American’s love. In fact, we still own Craftsman tools that my grandfather, rest his soul, bought when my mom was growing up.

As we chatted over salad and salmon, they dished out their recipe for a successful career in today’s digital world inside Corporate America.

  • Engage Socially – social media is the future. get engaged online, chirping and chatting to connect with brands that are moving forward (and hiring).
  • Eyes Open – when working inside Fortune 500 organizations, if you look for walls, you’ll find them. If you look for opportunity and open doors, you’ll find that also. Do the latter.
  • Opportunity – it exists and is best accessed via networking. Executives at this level are working double time right now and to capture their attention, you need to be personally networked in to see them, and it’s best if it’s around a key initiative.
  • Flexibility – make it easy to meet with them near/at their location when they can meet you rather than near you and around your schedule.
  • Backbone – if you’re an expert in your area, then they expect you’ll have a backbone and not back down at the first sign of pressure.
  • Results – what can you do for me lately is common inside Corporate America’s walls today. if you deliver, you’ll do well.

Bill Kiss, is the Chief Marketing Officer of  Tools & Hardware, which includes over 400 brands and 30,000 products, and the Blue Tool Crew. He has agreed to do an in-depth interview on personal branding, social media, networking and how they’ve played a role in his 2011 hiring and 2012 hiring plans. Our in-depth interview on his executive hiring practices will be released on January 2, 2012. Like adrianallames career services on facebook to get access to this exclusive content!


HOW TO: Capitalize on Your Brand Like Michael Jackson

Posted: December 9th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, Personal Branding | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on HOW TO: Capitalize on Your Brand Like Michael Jackson

Have you seen Michael Jackson’s This Is It” movie? What an inside view into the artist that Michael Jackson truly was on, and off, stage. Before I saw this movie, again recently on TV, I was blind to the deep talent Jackson held.

Group to solo artist
In ’77, after 14 years and 14 albums with the Jackson Five and Motown Records, Michael emerged as his own brand and released his first solo album, “Off The Wall”, with Epic Records. On the heels of “Off The Wall” came “Thriller” , which sold over 50MM copies worldwide, had 7 hit singles, and won Jackson a record-breaking 8 Grammy awards in one night. It was 1984 and he officially announced he was leaving the group and going solo.

Musician, movies and money
When you watch “This Is It” it becomes clear that Jackson is talented in many ways. Every element from selecting principal dancers to reviewing each song note and music key; he had his hand in each part of it. That’s not all he had his hand in though. Jackson was in more than just this movie, he collaborated with Francis Ford Coppola on Captain EO, a $30MM movie that was shown at Disney theme parks.

Businessman and philanthropist
A budding businessman, Jackson acquired ATV Music Publishing, including the Beatles music catalog and rights for $47.5MM in 1985. Just 10 years later, Jackson merged ATV with Sony and sold 50% of his rights for $90MM. By 1992, he founded
Heal the World Foundation, sending millions of dollars around the world to support children threatened by war, poverty and disease. Putting his financial pursuits aside, he donated 100% of the $100MM Dangerous World Tour profits, and the tour broadcast rights sold to HBO for a record-breaking $20MM, to charities.

Children and world aid were just the beginning. Jackson was an avid supporter of the HIV/AIDS movement; petitioning the Clinton Administration to contribute funds to HIV/AIDS charities and research and completing a goodwill ambassador tour to Africa and Egypt visiting over 100K people.

Brand diversity
We can’t all be Grammy-award winning artists, moviemakers, businessmen and philanthropists to this extent. However, we can learn from Jackson’s savvy personal branding. He diversified his brand while keeping each area focused on his core ability: music (e.g. philanthropic via charitable concerts, investments in music publishing companies).

It’s important to keep your personal brand focused on your key skills yet diversify it into areas your skill set will allow you to expand naturally and your skills will transfer into generously.


Video (Resumes) Killed the Job Seeker’s Chance

Posted: November 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, Job Searching, Resume Advice | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Video (Resumes) Killed the Job Seeker’s Chance

“Video Killed the Radio Star” led the charts in 1979 as the debut album for The Buggles and was the first music video shown on MTV at 12:01a.m. on August 1st, 1981. Video has now turned it’s destructive nature on unsuspecting job search candidates looking to amp up their brand with hot technology in hopes of grabbing the next lucrative position available in today’s intensely competitive job market.
Staying true to your brand
Two of the biggest brands in the world can attest to the danger of straying away from a great brand in hopes of becoming hotter, sexier and trendier. In 1985, one of the most memorable brand failures of all time occurred when Coca-Cola launched New Coke to replace its flagship soft drink, Coca-Cola (a.k.a. Coke). The result: marketing failure and public distaste, literally. Within a short time, the original coke was back on the market and so were their sales numbers.

Last October, after remaining true to the iconic American brand customers had grown to love, respect and appreciate, The Gap launched a new logo. The new look also unleashed a newfound fury inside their customers that had become as attached to The Gap’s logo as it had their merchandise. Following customer-driven social media outbursts, led mostly by Facebook fans, Gap switched back to the original logo after less than a week.

3 Reasons Video Resumes Will Die Young

Reason #1: Hiring Managers Time is Limited. 85% of hiring managers read only the top half of page one of a resume (WSJ) and according to a recent survey by Career Builder, 38% of hiring managers spend less than 60 seconds reading a resume. Net result: job seekers have a half page to capture the 60-second attention span of a hiring manager.

Reason #2: Message Quality. Given that the time is limited to 60 seconds, it now has to be a video that’s compelling, engaging and entertaining. Unless you’re looking for a career in the arts, the message has to combine your experience, education, accomplishments and expertise with a catchy yet not kitschy skit to captivate the viewer. If you can compete with David Letterman’s Top 10 or Jay Leno’s “jay walking” segments to land a Finance Director interview, maybe you’re in the wrong profession.

Reason #3: Cost. As a professional career coach, I’m an advocate for investing in yourself and your job search strategy. Hiring a professional resume writer? Great idea. Hiring a video resume producer? ABANDON SHIP. If you have money to spare, donate it to the Red Cross to support any one of the recent natural disasters.

Considering that traditional resumes sent via email already get caught by spam filters for simply being sent as Word documents (hint: get yours through by sending it as a PDF). If you want to guarantee yours never lands on the hiring managers desk, just attempt to send a video file. Can you say corporate IT red flag? Give yourself every chance possible to land the job (and, in this case, save some money doing it). Stick to a good old-fashioned resume, just polish it up and put your best foot forward.


Occupy Your Brand: Capture The Right Attention

Posted: November 22nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, Personal Branding | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Occupy Your Brand: Capture The Right Attention

What started in New York as a demonstration against Wall Street has become an international protest movement primarily directed against social and economic inequality. I’ve had the honor of getting up close and personal with protesters in New York, Chicago and Denver – all of whom I found to be non-violent and simply attempting to visibly voice their frustrations with the economic conditions.

Whether you’re a protester, passerby or passively aware of the Occupy Movement from seeing it covered by the media, there’s a way you can get involved on a personal level – without having to hold a picket sign or walk to park.

Occupy your brand
Taking a stand for what you believe and occupying it wholly is an empowering feeling and state of being. The Occupy protesters stand strong saying “We are the 99%” referring to the difference in wealth between the Top 1% and the remaining citizens in the U.S. It’s a definition, a statement and a way to empower each other in the group and Occupy movements across the country. The same philosophy applies to your personal brand. Define it, make a clear statement and allow yourself the permission to feel empowered. Let it occupy your professional life.

Capturing attention
If the Occupy Movement intended to get attention, it gets an A+. Take this lesson and learn from their successes. From ABC and CNN to CNBC, BBC, top media outlets worldwide have covered the movement. To capture attention your message has to be relevant, personal, clear and concise. Occupy Wall Street was the primary movement until they branded themselves with “we are the 99%”. Viola! Their brand was now clear, concise and given that their cause, jobs and the economic disparity, was already relevant and personal, the attention came quick. To capture attention with your personal brand, make it relevant to your audience (e.g. hiring managers), personal to you and keep it under 15 words to ensure it’s concise and clear.

Make it personal
How does a movement that started in New York spread to 95 cities in 82 countries and get response from 5 Presidents and Prime Ministers? They make it highly personal to their needs. From Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Germany, France, Mongolia and the U.K. to cities across the U.S., each one has personalized their Occupy Movement to their needs. Seek out ways to make your brand personal. What adjectives can you include that describe your personality? What short phrase describes you and your brand without sounding canned?

Connecting with your audience
Can you imagine getting 5 job offers in the next 30 days? Crafting a personal brand, that’s clear, which you embody and connects with your audience will have the type of results the Occupy Movement has experienced. These can’t be planned or foreseen; they happen as a result of being relevant. Today’s hiring managers are in dire need of highly qualified, professionals and executives and spend hours interviewing and sourcing for the top talent. When you deliver a relevant, personally branded statement to them, you will capture your audience – and possibly a new job.