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OTM Job Center Recap

Carmen and employment gurus Jason Ferrara of Careerbuilder.com and Jeff Taylor of eons.com proved on Friday's special edition of OTM that there are jobs available in several industries out there. It just takes more persistence and untraditional methods to find them these days. Several viewers called in and received advice specific to their situations -- but may apply to you as well!

Helaine Weinberg of New York has been looking for about a year. Even with over 15 years of valuable marketing experience and strong writing, communication and negotiation skills, she's found it discouragingly difficult to find job leads and land interviews.

After looking at her resume, Jason notes she could do a better job of highlighting her many achievements. A simple list of quantifiable accomplishments -- with clearly presented numbers and milestones -- can go a long way with possible employers. Jason found three positions that Helaine would match well:

  1. Director of Marketing at USA Today. While the newspaper industry is undergoing massive transformation and challenges, this can be an advantage for someone with the right marketing background like Helen, who could be the one to make the strategic changes needed in that situation.
  2. Director of Multicultural Marketing at Time Warner. Helen worked at Time Warner for several years and has many contacts at the company. However, she notes the competition for jobs is still intense, even with the existing network of past colleagues there. Jason's advice in that situation is to pick just one "champion" to focus on -- one who has the best chance to land her a foot in the door.
  3. Vice President, Client Services at Nielsen.

Martin Kennedy of New Jersey was making $175,000 as a structural financial analyst before the recent fallout in the financial sector. He's sent out literally hundreds of resumes in the past six months to both private sector and government listings -- with no tangible results. He feels that the high salary he held at his last position is presenting a challenge in his job hunt.

Jason lauds Martin's resume in its presentation of his cross-functional experience and his areas of expertise. Jason: "What I would suggest, is adding more color to his employment prior to S&P. While those earlier positions may have similar functions, you may have had different accomplishments or contributions you should highlight."

Jason points out three listings suitable for Martin's background:

  1. Assistant controller, posted via staffing firm Robert Half. "Look at exec recruiting firms," says Jason.
  2. US and Latin America PMW Controller/CFO at Morgan Stanley. Despite the undisputed wave of layoffs occurring in the financial giants, they may still be hiring in other areas of their corporations.
  3. Commercial Business Manager at Thomson Reuters. This is what Jason calls a "TS (or Transferable Skills) Job." The key in applying for TS Jobs is to sell yourself, says Jason. Job hunting in general is all about selling yourself.

Another victim of the finance implosion, Vito Sannicandro was laid off at the end of 2008 from Dow Jones, where he worked in the financial services group. He prefers that his next job not be in sales, but is finding it difficult to land interviews for jobs with a different focus, such as analysis.

Jason notes that sales is a great learning ground for college students graduating soon -- it strengthens business acumen, market knowledge and interpersonal skills. Jason also again stresses the importance of highlighting "transferable" skills on a resume. Three job openings that Jason found for Vito:

  1. Marketing Manager at Kawasaki Rail Car.
  2. Business Advisory Services, Manager, CRM at Ernst and Young. This job is all about strategy -- in other words, related to sales.
  3. Community Relations Coordinator at Holy Name Hospital. This is a perfect example of a TS Job as it relies heavily on communication skills, which are inherent in sales also.

It's no easy task to look for jobs in the current environment. You need to sell yourself to the best of your ability through all avenues of professional networking: job/social networking sites, industry events and local job fairs. Above all else, don't get discouraged -- the key is persistence! Keep sending out those resumes, hunting down every possible job lead and pursuing possible "Transferable Skill" Jobs as well.


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