Browsing Tag


Career Tools, General Information, Job Search, Personal Development, Sales & Marketing

Editing Yourself – Successfully Selling YOU

The most essential business skill is the ability to “Self-Edit.”

This process involves the tailored creation and delivery of a great message that is not only powerful but also concise.  This message must also carry an authentic voice, that of the speaker, which is well suited to the audience.

Terri Sjodin, Owner of Sjodin Communications, National Best Seller and National Speaker, solves the difficulty of creating a perfect commercial as “The solution depends on your ability to “self-edit” and apply a tight analysis of your content—keeping the best parts of your message, and dropping the unnecessary—while still giving a rock-solid talk.”

Sjodin continues on to describe how to time the elevator speech or personal commercial as a process that must be practiced and timed out loud.  The speech must be balanced into specific points and or broken down into key important items.  For example, if there are 6 points and 3 minutes, 20 seconds should be designated to each point, which a conclusion to summarize and close the presentation or personal commerical.

“As you practice, you will develop almost a sixth sense about the timing. After a while, you will better understand how to flow through your content with smooth transitions from talking point to talking point. The best way to stay on track is to literally track the time and become aware of what it feels like when the clock is ticking,” says Sjodin. 

So how does one accomplish this?

Each presenter, job seeker, networker and peer must be aware of the common complaints his or her audience feels, and how to improve his or her talk next time, as well as how to get the buy-in of the audience.

Here a list of common complaints to get you started when considering your next presentation, conversation or meeting:

Push-back No. 1: I’ve heard this all before.

Self-edit trigger question: How do you open your talk in a fresh and timely way that creates an awakening in the mind of the listener?

Push-back No. 2: I don’t need this.

Self-edit trigger question: Ask yourself why do they need you, your company, and why now?

Push-back No. 3: I don’t think this is going to fix my problem.

Self-edit trigger question: Did you really show and illustrate for the listener the solution for how you can fix their problem?

Push-back No. 4: I don’t see myself doing that.

Self-edit trigger question: Did you help the listener “see their possible new future” and help them to visualize the change as worthwhile?

Push-back No. 5: I’ll think about it.

Self-edit trigger question: Did you “close” at the end of your talk? Meaning did you ask them to specifically do something, and, if so, what did you ask them to do? (Note: Many people conclude but do not close.)

Push-back No. 6: I’m bored.

Self-edit trigger question: Is my talk interesting, fresh, entertaining, insightful and/or fun? Did I tell a good story and use clever analysis?

Push-back No. 7: This is taking too long.

Self-edit trigger question: Did you let them know up front how long your talk would be and what you were going to cover? Did you stay within the time limits they requested?

Push-back No. 8: Where is this presentation going? He’s all over the board!

Self-edit trigger question: Begin with your goal and ask yourself, What do I really want to have happen as a result of my “talk or presentation” when I share it with others? Does it take the listener on a journey, with a clear beginning, middle, and end? Is there a sense of progression to your message, leading to a natural conclusion and action step?

By taking these audience push-back complaints into consideration and applying them to your personal pitch or next presentation, the message and outcomes are sure to be a success.

To read more regarding Terri Sjodin and other communication tactics visit:

All MBAs, LinkedIn, Networking, Sales & Marketing, Social Media

Facebook – The New Job Board?

Last week Facebook announced its newest endeavor, recruiting.  The Social Jobs Partnership application was released, aggregating over 1.7 million openings from Work4 LabsBranchOutJobviteDirectEmployers and  This implementation allows the job search to be taken one step further by allowing users to apply directly through Facebook and instantly share the jobs to their social network.

Author J.J. Calao of Forbes says, “according to Facebook half of employers in the U.S. use the social network during their hiring process. Of those companies already using Facebook to engage with customers, 54 percent anticipate using it more heavily in their recruitment efforts in the future. Given those numbers, the lucrative nature of the recruitment industry and the success of companies like Work4 Labs—not to mention increasing pressure from battered shareholders—it appears likely that Facebook will seek monetize recruitment efforts at some point soon.”

While Facebook may be trying to monetize the recruiting front, it is well behind that of Linkedin, a professional networking site.  Linkedin allows seekers to market themselves professionally, while keeping their personal life separate, not the case with Facebook.  Linkedin also utilizes recruiting efforts directly from companies hiring for hundreds of positions, like that of Adobe.

“Today Adobe leases 70 Recruiter seats for their hiring efforts. A typical user is Trisha Colton, who leads Adobe’s hunt for digital media executives. On a recent afternoon she needed to fill five positions. With a few clicks of the mouse on her ThinkPad laptop, she could tailor a project-manager search that enabled her to look at possible candidates from 21 leading ad agencies, 15 publishing outfits and a host of other suitable backgrounds,” says George Anders, a contributor of Forbes.

LinkedIn enjoys a vast sweet spot between two extremes – low paying part time jobs, that will most likely be posted on Facebook and executive level positions- helping fill high-skill jobs that pay anywhere from $50,000 to $250,000 or more a year. (Anders, 2012)

While Facebook continues to evolve their utilization of social media networking, Linkedin has continued to be the juggernaut of professional networking and recruiting that is both effortlessly accessible and specialized to each members professional endeavors.

How has social media helped or hurt your career goals?  

Articles discussed:

Facebook Job Board is Here: Recruiting will Never Look The Same

How Linkedin Has Turned Your Resume into a Cash Machine




All MBAs, Networking, Personal Development

5 Reasons Mentors Can Advance Your Career

Mentoring, it isn’t just for kids.  Adults, especially those during career transitions, and at mid-level growth benefit from having a mentor during their professional careers.  A report released by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology found that “mentoring has been associated with higher job satisfaction, higher promotion rates, higher future income, increased work success, and higher retention rates.”

Beyond navigating the extensive employment economy, mentors offer much more than a networking connection.

According to Dr. Lois Zachary, Mentor extraordinaire, here are a few reason mentors are advantageous to any career:

  1. Perspective and Experience. A mentor can give you the benefit of his or her perspective and experience. He or she can help you assimilate to a new position and give you an insider’s view on how to get things done.  A mentor can help you look at situations in new ways. He or she can ask hard questions and help you solve problems.
  1. Define and Reach Long-Term Goals as well as Accountability. A mentor can help you define your career path and ensure that you don’t lose focus and continue down that road even when you become distracted by day-to-day pressures. When you know you are meeting with your mentor, you ensure that all the tasks you discussed in your last meeting are completed.
  1. Trusted Colleague to Discuss Issues. A mentor can be a great sounding board for all issues – whether you are having difficulty with your immediate supervisor, an ethical dilemma, or need advice on how to tackle a new project or ask for a raise.
  1. Open Doors and Expand Networks. A mentor can open doors within your company, in other companies, or onto a board, as well as offer connections or other professionals to get in touch with.
  1. Work better. With the help of a good mentor, you can work more efficiently with a clearer view of the future you are trying to achieve. This helps you feel more confident in your job, which leads to better job performance and more success along your chosen road.
If you are interested in finding a mentor, see the Graduate Business Career Services Department

How have mentor or other professional relationships shaped your academic and professional career?



Adapted from The Glass Hammer, 10 Reasons to Have a Mentor, especially Mid-Career, December 2009. Author: Andrew Newell

Click here to view the full article

Career Tools, Job Search, Personal Development

Beyond Average

In Graduate Business Career Services we have long been addressing the importance of differentiating, standing out, and making yourself desirable to prospective employers.  As we continually invite professionals on campus to provide insight on hiring practices and share professional development tips, we repeatedly hear that today’s MBA and MBC students need to be educating themselves beyond what is taught in class and gaining experiences over and above what is learned in Applied Business Research.  As one CEO of a successful Twin Cities interactive marketing company recently told me, “ as a professional you need to be asking yourself  ‘what can my brand bring to this company’?  Not ‘what can this company’s brand bring to me’.”  Here marketing guru, Seth Grodin, provides additional evidence that in today’s tight job market, the job seeker who is comfortable shooting for “average” isn’t going to make the cut . As Grodin frankly states, “For 80 years, you got a job, you did what you were told and you retired.  But the days when people were able to get above average pay for average work are over.”  The point is make yourself different and unique.  Create a brand that employers need on their team.  Ask yourself “how can I stand out from the crowd?”

Career Tools, Networking

A Full Time MBA account of the Fall Career Opportunity Fair

This post is by Dan Jackson, 2nd year MBA Student

It’s the beginning of the week, and my follow-up process with recruiters has just started Dan 1after having attended the 2011 Career Opportunity Fair and UST Exchange event. Over 30 companies were represented and there were many great experiences. I’ve come to a good place to pause while writing out my thank you cards and would like to share two great experiences that took place with two companies of my interest, Target and SUPERVALU.

I am a 2nd year MBA student with an interest in urban real estate development.  My interest in urban real estate involves understanding how infrastructure plays a role in shaping the economic vitality of a neighborhood/community.  Target is currently in the process of rolling out their new ‘City Target’ concept.  This concept focuses on placing Target stores in high, densely populated urban core areas around the country.  This concept moves away from the traditional building footprint of about 120,000 SF, and creates a new building footprint of about 80,000 SF.  This concept is exciting as Target explores how to be able to still offer great value with less building capacity, all while providing a new and unique urban experience.

SUPERVALU is currently expanding one of their brand stores, Save-A-Lot.  In this expansion, SUPERVALU intends to place Save-A-Lot grocery stores in areas known as food deserts.  A food desert can be described as an area where there is a lack of fresh, healthy and affordable food choices.  Food deserts can typically be found in urban core areas or rural areas with a large number of low-income individuals.  Currently SUPERVALU is planning to expand the Save-A-Lot brand into food desert locations in the Chicago area.

Both opportunities at these companies link directly with my desire to work in urban real estate development.  Having done my homework on both companies and with my pitch ready to go, I was ready to make a great first impression.  Everything fell into place.  The recruiters commented that they sensed my excitement and desire to connect my passion with the current on-goings of the companies.  All-in-all, it was definitely a win-win situation and a great Career Opportunity Fair experience.  Now the follow-up continues, back to my thank you cards…