MW University // April 28, 2014

The best advice that I received during college: when on an interview, ask which books you should read before starting your new position. Self-help books written by CEOs and professional in your industry can be incredibly helpful when starting your new career. Books, such as Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office and Who Moved My Cheese?, are classics for those entering the workforce. Whereas a mentor can share their advice from personal experiences and answer questions, a book can offer a breadth of knowledge on the do’s and don’ts when you’re taking a leap from the classroom to the office. Welcome to the Real World, by Lauren Berger is a perfect example of a book to read when you are getting started.

Reading Welcome to the Real World is comparable to having lunch with one of your younger mentors on a sunny day with a glass of lemonade in hand. Berger’s conversational tone is notable and vibrant, and her advice is easy to implement.

The book takes a holistic approach, explaining what it takes to have a successful career. This includes how to roll calls, prioritize your work, build relationships in the office, manage your personal finances, schedule your time on and off the clock, and dress the part. Berger recognizes that the goal of the reader is personal success and this success is only possible when life is balanced and progressive. She also clearly educates her readers on office etiquette -- advice that may not be readily available on the job.

Berger’s advice is specific to today’s modern woman entering the workforce. For example, Chapter 4, “How to Work Your Personal Brand,” includes how to use social media to your benefit, including how often to post to Instagram, who to follow on Twitter, and how to define your Facebook audience. It also gives helpful advice on how to combat the “generation Y” stereotypes and how to navigate through relationships at work.  

All of the advice that Berger gives her audiences is based on her personal experiences and the experiences of the interns she helped guide with her company, Intern Queen. She has made a career out of her passion to advise those entering the workforce. She frequently references common workplace mistakes with specific scenarios and effective solutions— all very helpful! Berger has a background in the entertainment industry, and most of her clients work in similar fields. So, most of the examples are based on common occurrences in entertainment, and readers in other fields may not be able to relate to every situation. Berger’s workplace rules, however, apply to any entry-level position.

When I started my first full-time job after graduation, I experienced a culture shock. Everything I did and said in the workplace had to be premeditated. I was no longer on my own time and as one of the youngest staff members, all eyes were on me. Like Lauren Berger, I dropped the ball a few times, as is expected, but I may have avoided these small failures if I had Welcome to the Real World by my side. Berger’s vast experience working with entry-level employees makes the book well worth the read, and helpful to the ambitious women that are just getting started.

Happy Spring Reading!

Published in MW University

Business // December 30, 2013

We’ve all had those moments, chatting away at a dinner party, vino in hand ... you ask the smokin’ hot hipster sitting to your left what he does for a living. “Oh, I’m a resort water slide tester,” he casually replies like that’s something you hear everyday. “Excuse me—a what?! Awesome ... I didn’t even know that was a job.”

In today’s world, countless unique careers exist that your parents and college counselor probably never mentioned (or even knew about for that matter.) At a young age, most of us are plopped onto a track heading straight to Normal Jobville. Few kids grow up wanting be to a roller coaster designer, hair stimulation supervisor, menu engineer, ice cream taster, fortune cookie writer, or conlinguist—but they are all very real vocations.

While some high schools and universities are attempting to better prepare future young adults for occupations that are unique or don’t yet exist, most haven’t found effective ways to make students more aware of the wide variety of positions that are available, beyond the basics. So, how does a modern girl discover unconventional career options? It’s not as difficult as one might think.

Start by digging deeper into the world in which you want to work. Food, fashion, photography, medical, writing, hospitality, travel, entertainment, interior design—in each industry, there are a plethora of uncommon jobs. Talk to as many people as you can who work in fashion, if that’s your passion, and Google! The answers are there under simple searches like “unique jobs in fashion.” Another option that yields results—visit the “career opportunities” section on websites of companies you’d like to work for. Often you’ll see job listed that you never knew existed. Here’s an example on CondeNast.com.

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There are also occupations that are highly unusual by nature and require unique individuals to fulfill the duties—i.e. sea urchin diver, coconut safety engineer, and snake milker—all examples of work that definitely qualify as unique, but also are not for everyone. Because most women I know (not all, but most), don’t want to learn how to extract venom from snakes and sell it to research labs for use in anti-venom medications, here is a list of unconventional jobs that might actually be of interest:

Fashion - beyond the buyer, model, and fashion designer

Textile Distributor

This person is the middleman/woman between textile manufacturers and designers. The job involves a fair amount of travel, as many fabrics are sourced in other countries. It also provides plenty of freedom from being stuck in a office cube. Textile distributors make an average of $105,000 a year.

Fashion Colorist

It’s the job of a colorist to make sure that fabrics are the right color and of the same dye lot. If you have an amazing eye for color differentiation and know how different light sources effect the way we see color, this might be your next job in fashion. Colorists make an average of $53,000 a year.

Other unusual jobs in fashion: Fashion Forecaster, Set Designer, Personal Shopper

Food - beyond the chef and restaurant

Recipe Developer and Tester

Today you don’t have to have a professional culinary degree to get sell your recipes if you’re an amazing cook, uber detail oriented and can write precise directions. Magazines, brands, and even celebrity food personalities are hiring home-chefs to help fill their plates, pages, websites and cookbooks with delicious recipes. This is typically freelance work and it helps to have a food blog to showcase your talents. Recipes are generally sold for between $275 and $1,000 each. If you’re skilled at food photography, you can charge more.

Gourmet Food Buyer

If you have a passion for food, this could be a dream job. Stores like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Costco all employ people to find and purchase the foods they sell and to decide which items to take off the shelves. To qualify for a position like this, it’s best to have a background in hospitality and gourmet food, but Trader Joe’s is known for promoting from within if you have the drive. Other skills needed: excellent palate, ability to negotiate with vendors, product sourcing, inventory management, marketing, and an understanding of trends in consumer taste. Travel is sometimes involved and salaries range from $50,000 to $80,000.

Other unusual jobs in food: Food Stylist, Culinary Trendologist, Test Kitchen Taste Tester, Restaurant Publicist, Chocolate Explorer

Hospitality - beyond the concierge, front desk, and hotel manager

Cruise Director

This is an amazing way to travel the world, entertain people, and avoid sitting behind a desk all day. Cruise directors are responsible for all on-board hospitality, entertainment and social events. They act as the public face of the company and are constantly interacting with the guests. For this job you’ll need a charismatic personality, tons of energy, the ability to be away from home for extended periods of time, and experience working in recreation, entertainment and/or hospitality. Here is an example of a job listing for Cruise Director for Royal Caribbean. Salaries can range from $45,000 to $150,000.

Vibe Manager

Hot hotels today are hiring “Vibe Managers” to create the overall “vibe” of the hotel—from the music in the lobby, spa and elevators to creating unforgettable corporate meeting experiences for hotel clients, e.g. setting up a DJ booth in the conference room so the CEO can be spinning pre and post meeting. Read more about the Vibe Manager for Hard Rock Hotel, San Diego here. Salaries range from $50,000 to $75,000. Here is a list of other unique jobs in the hospitality industry.

No matter where your passions lie, you can be sure there are unique jobs that exist in that field … you just have to do some digging to uncover your first or next unconventional career!

Published in Job Hunting

Business // June 17, 2013 

We’ve all had those moments, chatting away at a dinner party, vino in hand ... you ask the smokin’ hot hipster sitting to your left what he does for a living. “Oh, I’m a resort water slide tester,” he casually replies like that’s something you hear everyday. “Excuse me—a what?! Awesome ... I didn’t even know that was a job.”

In today’s world, countless unique careers exist that your parents and college counselor probably never mentioned (or even knew about for that matter.) At a young age, most of us are plopped onto a track heading straight to Normal Jobville. Few kids grow up wanting be to a roller coaster designer, hair stimulation supervisor, menu engineer, ice cream taster, fortune cookie writer, or conlinguist—but they are all very real vocations.

While some high schools and universities are attempting to better prepare future young adults for occupations that are unique or don’t yet exist, most haven’t found effective ways to make students more aware of the wide variety of positions that are available, beyond the basics. So, how does a modern girl discover unconventional career options? It’s not as difficult as one might think.

Start by digging deeper into the world in which you want to work. Food, fashion, photography, medical, writing, hospitality, travel, entertainment, interior design—in each industry, there are a plethora of uncommon jobs. Talk to as many people as you can who work in fashion, if that’s your passion, and Google! The answers are there under simple searches like “unique jobs in fashion.” Another option that yields results—visit the “career opportunities” section on websites of companies you’d like to work for. Often you’ll see job listed that you never knew existed. Here’s an example on CondeNast.com.

Like what you're reading? Join Made Woman Mag's mailing list for updates, special promotions and more. Click here!

There are also occupations that are highly unusual by nature and require unique individuals to fulfill the duties—i.e. sea urchin diver, coconut safety engineer, and snake milker—all examples of work that definitely qualify as unique, but also are not for everyone. Because most women I know (not all, but most), don’t want to learn how to extract venom from snakes and sell it to research labs for use in anti-venom medications, here is a list of unconventional jobs that might actually be of interest:

Fashion - beyond the buyer, model, and fashion designer

Textile Distributor

This person is the middleman/woman between textile manufacturers and designers. The job involves a fair amount of travel, as many fabrics are sourced in other countries. It also provides plenty of freedom from being stuck in a office cube. Textile distributors make an average of $105,000 a year.

Fashion Colorist

It’s the job of a colorist to make sure that fabrics are the right color and of the same dye lot. If you have an amazing eye for color differentiation and know how different light sources effect the way we see color, this might be your next job in fashion. Colorists make an average of $53,000 a year.

Other unusual jobs in fashion: Fashion Forecaster, Set Designer, Personal Shopper

Food - beyond the chef and restaurant

Recipe Developer and Tester

Today you don’t have to have a professional culinary degree to get sell your recipes if you’re an amazing cook, uber detail oriented and can write precise directions. Magazines, brands, and even celebrity food personalities are hiring home-chefs to help fill their plates, pages, websites and cookbooks with delicious recipes. This is typically freelance work and it helps to have a food blog to showcase your talents. Recipes are generally sold for between $275 and $1,000 each. If you’re skilled at food photography, you can charge more.

Gourmet Food Buyer

If you have a passion for food, this could be a dream job. Stores like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Costco all employ people to find and purchase the foods they sell and to decide which items to take off the shelves. To qualify for a position like this, it’s best to have a background in hospitality and gourmet food, but Trader Joe’s is known for promoting from within if you have the drive. Other skills needed: excellent palate, ability to negotiate with vendors, product sourcing, inventory management, marketing, and an understanding of trends in consumer taste. Travel is sometimes involved and salaries range from $50,000 to $80,000.

Other unusual jobs in food: Food Stylist, Culinary Trendologist, Test Kitchen Taste Tester, Restaurant Publicist, Chocolate Explorer

Hospitality - beyond the concierge, front desk, and hotel manager

Cruise Director

This is an amazing way to travel the world, entertain people, and avoid sitting behind a desk all day. Cruise directors are responsible for all on-board hospitality, entertainment and social events. They act as the public face of the company and are constantly interacting with the guests. For this job you’ll need a charismatic personality, tons of energy, the ability to be away from home for extended periods of time, and experience working in recreation, entertainment and/or hospitality. Here is an example of a job listing for Cruise Director for Royal Caribbean. Salaries can range from $45,000 to $150,000.

Vibe Manager

Hot hotels today are hiring “Vibe Managers” to create the overall “vibe” of the hotel—from the music in the lobby, spa and elevators to creating unforgettable corporate meeting experiences for hotel clients, e.g. setting up a DJ booth in the conference room so the CEO can be spinning pre and post meeting. Read more about the Vibe Manager for Hard Rock Hotel, San Diego here. Salaries range from $50,000 to $75,000. Here is a list of other unique jobs in the hospitality industry.

No matter where your passions lie, you can be sure there are unique jobs that exist in that field … you just have to do some digging to uncover your first or next unconventional career!

Published in Job Hunting
Friday, 15 March 2013 21:33

Job Hunting | Revamping Your Job Search

Job Hunting // March 25, 2013 

If you’re searching for a job, here’s something you already know: it sucks.  There’s nothing fun about going through hundreds of job listings, tailoring your resume to each one and firing it off into the abyss, not knowing if it’s ever even going to be viewed by a recruiter.  Looking for employment is a job in itself, and it sucks up time, energy, patience, and probably a lot of your sanity.

I was just like you.  Applying to every job that even remotely related to my skillset and going months without so much as a “you’re useless” email in response.  I had basically the same framework for a resume my entire time job hunting, but I only started getting hits for interviews in the past few months.  So what changed?  After a lot of trial and error, and rewriting my resume every single time I sent it out, I finally got it to a good place…started getting calls for interviews — a victory in itself in the overcrowded job market — and just recently accepted a job offer (hurray!). I spent a year tirelessly searching for a new opportunity, and if there’s some sort of instant, miracle advice to land the perfect job, I certainly don’t know it.  But what I can tell you is that there definitely are some ways to get yourself noticed.  Here’s how I got there:

1. Fix that resume… over and over.

Do NOT just make up one standard resume and send it out for every job.  A generic resume  that can apply to all sorts of jobs is not going to convince anyone that you’re a good fit for the job in question.  You need to put in that time to read the job description and illustrate how your skills apply to it.  Be specific.  You should go so far as taking keywords in the description and literally putting them in your resume.  Recruiters get hundreds upon hundreds of applicants for each job listing.  Their eyes are going to skim over each application and look for the most critical skills.  Anything that doesn’t have them?  Trash!

2.  Think about changing the layout/format of your resume.

I added a line at the very top of my resume that specifically mentioned the job I was applying to, and then listed several sentences underneath it about how I am that person.  It doesn’t matter that my current job is something different; I can be that person you’re looking for and here are x, y, z reasons why.  Your first sentence should be compelling and confident.  For example, mine is: “Driven, efficient and customer service-oriented marketing professional with experience managing the social media presence of an online magazine.”  I was mostly applying for jobs in marketing or social media related fields.  This opening sentence flat out states exactly who I am and what I do.  When I changed this sentence from what it was before, suddenly I started getting calls.

3.  Network your face off.

There’s a reason networking gets mentioned all the time.  The more people that you talk to and let know that you’re looking for new opportunities, the more likely someone might actually refer you somewhere.  Bring it up to everyone you talk to.  Seriously!  If you work in a big company, take advantage of it and try to set up informational interviews with people in fields you are interested in.  Most execs are more than happy to talk about what they do and how they got there.  You’ll get valuable insight, and they might also keep you in mind should something open up in their department.  It’s good to have friends in high places, y’all.

4. Google yourself and change things that need changing.

Google is a beautiful thing: it makes finding things ridiculously easy. This can also come back to bite you in the arse.  I Googled myself not long ago and was shocked to see that an essay I wrote in 6TH GRADE is actually online somewhere.  When an employer Googles me, they get to read “What The American Flag Means To Me” by a 12 year old version of myself.  Lucky them.  My point is, you need to know what is out there about yourself.  If you have a public Facebook or Twitter page, you’d better believe that you’re going to be judged by it.  Either protect your accounts, or make sure that you don’t have anything up that might raise eyebrows.

5. Promote yourself!

You have talents and skills — show them off!  Buy your own website under your full name and think about starting a blog.  You don’t need to be considered an “expert” to do this.  You can write or tweet about your thoughts on things relevant to your field.  It will make you appear more credible and competent.  If writing really isn’t your thing, you can also just buy some webspace and post your bio/resume on it.  That way if people Google you (and they will), it will be one of the first things they see.  It’s worth the investment of your time, and it’s really not as hard as you may think.

And there you have it!  None of these are magic keys to a new job, but if you utilize all of them, you’re definitely going to increase your chances of meeting your goals.

Let me know if I missed any great tips that have helped you.  And happy hunting!


Published in Job Hunting
Monday, 24 October 2011 02:33

Job Hunting Guide | Acing The Interview

October 24, 2011

You never know, this may be the year that you land that once-in-a-lifetime job you’ve been waiting on for far too long! So, are you prepared to get that call from a top company that wants to add you to their employment roster? Would you know how to dress-to-impress for the interview or how to best answer an interviewer's questions so that you stand out amongst the competition? As a Talent Acquisition Manager (a swanky title for Recruiter) at one of the leading entertainment companies in the world, I want you to do your best during an interview so that you can sign that coveted offer letter and secure the job of your dreams. Here are a few tips that are sure to increase your chances of sealing the deal:

Tip #1

Girlfriend, those stilettos, jeggings, noisy charm bracelets and dangling earrings might have looked fabulous at the Summer Soiree, but be sure to leave them in your closet for the next night out on the town. For an interview, you want to have a basic, conservative look--the less flagrant distractions, the better. An interviewer should be more attracted to your bright eyes, welcoming smile and confident persona than to your wardrobe.

Tip #2

Please avoid looking at your resume and reading from it during your interview. The first step to impressing the interviewer is to know on-demand all of your experience. You shouldn't have to glance at the paper in front of you to explain the depth of your professional fabulousness.

Tip #3

Never speak negatively about your current or previous employer. It's just like going on a blind date--the last thing that your date wants to hear is all about the disastrous last relationship that temporarily drove you insane.

Tip #4

We have all had that interview where you really vibe and connect with the interviewer. Remember, even if you establish a commonality to break the ice, he or she is not your friend and you are still in the hot seat. You want a job from this person, so always maintain a high level of respect and professionalism.

Tip #5

Be able to recognize the job that you are ready for today. Sure, your mama thinks that you are the smartest person in the world, but landing the right job has less to do with smarts and more to do with progressive experience. True, you may have what it takes to learn the VP level job, but the current skillset on your resume reflects that you are assistant level. While it is great that you are ambitious and trainable, an employer is looking to hire someone who requires the least amount of training and is experienced enough to walk onto the job and do it. Don't be discouraged; instead, get in on the level for which you currently qualify, put your best foot forward and rock it straight to the top, girl! A good boss will recognize your potential, and if you're patient and demonstrate a tremendous work ethic, growth opportunities are inevitable.

In this economy, getting a job is not an easy task. Still, when an opportunity does come knocking, if you abide by these tips, you will be better prepared to seize it.  Here's to a brand new outlook and to landing that brand new gig! 


Published in Job Hunting
Monday, 10 October 2011 04:34

Job Hunting Guide | Beefing Up Your Resume

October 10, 2011

We’ve all heard the expression—a first impression is a lasting one.  Well, that phrase couldn’t ring more true when it comes to landing the right job at the right time.  Many believe that the key to getting a job begins with the interview. They’re right. Having a great interview is imperative to getting that coveted offer; but first and foremost, it is important to realize how you got into that interview chair in the first place.  The secret ingredient to getting your foot in the door – at least for those of us who don’t have a rich executive relative to pull some strings – is to wow a recruiter with your resume.  Your resume is the first glance that a recruiter has into your professional and, sometimes, personal life-story.  The format of and content on your resume is often the deal-breaker as to whether or not you secure an interview, so it is critical that you get it right the first time around.  As a recruiting professional in the entertainment industry, I’ve seen many people unknowingly miss out on an opportunity due to senseless resume mistakes.  Here are four tips to help you get your professional snapshot in tip-top shape: 

Tip#1  Create a Targeted Resume Full of Power Words and Action Verbs

Utilization of strong words (i.e. implemented, facilitated, etc.) and targeted content can significantly influence an employer’s interest in learning more about you.  It is also wise to review the job description for any keywords that can be referenced on your resume in your job responsibilities.  This technique can be advantageous for a job seeker because many recruiters do keyword searches via networking sites.  For example, sites such as LinkedIn are a great way to get your resume discovered and to attract recruiters to you before you even know there is a job available.  As a site user, it only takes a few easy steps to insert your resume into your profile, and it gives you the advantage of being able to connect with professionals who are already employed at the companies you are interested in joining.  If your resume highlights what an employer is searching for, your chances for being discovered become much greater.

Tip #2    Avoid Objectives

Objectives are not mandatory on a resume; in fact, they can be limiting and pigeonhole you into only one specific job category if you make it too specific.  Recruiters are constantly forwarding resumes to their colleagues, so if your objective states that you are only interested in Finance, you might limit your chances for consideration should your resume be forwarded to another department for review (i.e. Ad Sales).

Tip #3    Maximize the Space on Your Resume

If you have ten years or less of full-time work experience, your resume should be one page only.  Utilize your margins and the space between each professional experience wisely.  Avoid repetition and clutter, and free up space by eliminating certain qualifications that might not be relevant to the particular job of interest.  If you have a wide array of experience, it’s perfectly fine to have several resumes.  

Tip #4    Avoid Unprofessional Email Addresses and Outdated Contact Information

Rule 101 in resume etiquette is to be sure that your contact info is always current and your email address is business appropriate—first and last name email addresses are preferred.  Additionally, be mindful of the information you portray about yourself via sites like Facebook and Twitter.  It is very easy for prospective employers to access these sites and gather information about you before an interview. 

Bottom line: there is no magical formula to getting hired, but having a clean and well-rounded presentation shows an employer that you are serious about success and you want the best. Ultimately, that’s the impression they’ll remember.


Published in Job Hunting