This is just a reminder that one of the advantages of being a member of the EMPLOYER & CANDIDATE CONNECTION LinkedIn group and its subgroup, STRIVE FOR FIVE is that you can ask job-related questions and get answers from me as the group owner, one of the two Group Managers or other members of the group (which include other recruiters and employers who are members of these groups)AT NO CHARGE.  What could be better than FREE, individualized career coaching?

Please ask your questions THROUGH ONE OF THESE GROUPS so that others will benefit from your question and the answer.

(Bear in mind that if your issue involves confidential information (e.g., salary negotiation questions, reason for being laid off, etc.), you can either make your question general in nature or, it may be beneficial for you to seek the services of a career coach.  There are numerous coaches right on this group, or, you can consult my public website where I have made the names of some coaches that have been referred to me available.  Please note that I do not endorse the services of any particular coach and strongly suggest that each person do their own due diligence and “interview” the coach(es) they are considering for compatibility.)

Mark wrote:

“Hi Marissa,

I attended a coaching session with you at NCCC last month. At that time you mentioned a method for taking a list of key words (that describe my aspirations desires, skills abilities etc.) that could be plugged into a search engine that would bring up a list of Job Descriptions that may fit with the key words. It was a way of narrowing the job focus or bringing up other careers or industries where the skillset would be valued. Will you remind me of the procedure/process and were the web site is located to do the search? I appreciate you and your time. Please let me know if I can be helpful to you in some way.

Thank you again. You are a gifted presenter.”



Mark.  I remember you, and am impressed that your notes are so detailed.

All materials I review are on http://www.meetup.com under the “NC3” meetup group.

What is LinkedIn?


Linkedin for Dummies:

LinkedIn Job Seeker features: Open up to opportunities: (What is OpenLink?) Great for Job Seekers!!!)

LinkedIn Discount – Cheap LinkedIn Plan : Personal Plus – Secret way to get it! (1 yr. old: may not be available, but check for it as the monthly cost is very low)

How to find a new job using LinkedIn? (www.explania.com):


How To Optimize You LinkedIn Profile [The Download]:

How to LinkedIn: Create Your LinkedIn Company Page:

LinkedIn Marketing: 5 Steps to Growing Your Business on LinkedIn:

Succeeding with LinkedIn.com: How Agency Recruiters Find Top Candidates

Best-Kept LinkedIn Invitation Secrets


Stacy Donovan Zapar is a recruiter and coach and as the most LinkedIn woman on LinkedIn, has more than 30,000 first connections.  


In a recent article that she authored, Stacy illuminates some of the finer points of LinkedIn’s invitation functions, covering do’s and don’ts, how to know if your account has been restricted and get it unrestricted, and much more.  


For advanced users who want to offer others a shortcut to their LinkedIn invitation page, Stacy even provides a fill-in-the-blank formula that links directly to your invitation page.  From there, you can go to http://www.TinyURL.com or a similar site, paste your unique LinkedIn invitation page link into the bar, and convert this link to a much shorter one.  You can then post it right on your LinkedIn home page under the “Contact Info” section by editing your profile, add it to your business card, public website, FaceBook page, etc.  See Stacy’s Tip #12 (one-click invitation link). 


Take a look!


LinkedIn Invitations: Everything You Need to Know (and Then Some!)

Q:  (Dennis asked) I have owned 2 businesses and managed a $7 million company. I don’t want big responsibility and wonder if some positions I apply for are viewed in a negative light of “why is this guy aiming lower?”

A:  Marissa Marsala • As I understand it, you recently relocated. In some ways, I believe that provides an edge as you are starting anew. Try to use that as an advantage when you are asked the question above. Also, consider doing a pre-emptive strike in your cover letter and indicating why the role is perfect, and weaving in that at this juncture in your career, what is most important is … (fill in the blank), and that you are therefore focusing on opportunities that provide X, Y, and Z.

Many job seekers are doing a lot of soul searching as a result of being out of work and taking a “Life’s too short” to be doing something that I don’t enjoy or want to do, attitude. Also, as a consequence if this difficult economy and resulting self-reflection, many are aiming for jobs in new fields or want lower level jobs with less responsibility due to quality of life reasons. If nothing else, I think that all of this re-evaluation is a silver lining and will make more people not look back later on in life. Then again, I tend to be a glass half full person.

I suggest you take stock of the things you’ve done (you can use my verb list on my home page to trigger ideas) and then create this “inventory.” From there, put a star next to what you would LIKE to continue doing. Then go on to Indeed.com or simplyhired.com and click on ADVANCED to do an advanced search. Type a few of your favorite things in the “at least these words” bar, and see what emerges. That may provide some degree of clarity.

My sense is that if you find a few target jobs that you are excited about, you will arrive at interviews excited/passionate, and be able to convince folks that you are their candidate. If they ask you why you would aim for a lower job, you can indicate that it is purely a quality of life decision. You should also reinforce that with the fact that you have financially planned well and are in a position to now take on a job that you love vs. one that in part, you’ve taken in the past due to financial needs. What interviewer wouldn’t be envious and wish they were in your shoes?

I think you should attend the next CommNexus meeting. See the link to turningpointsearch.net on my http://www.TheECC.com website on the “Local Networking Groups” page which has this group listed on their site. You can try commnexus.org. I think there are many start-up companies (EvoNexus) that can use your expertise, but you can come and go as you wish or arrange a part-time schedule. For instance, many start-ups use interim or part-time CFOs until they are financially stable. Many of the EvoNexus and CommNexus companies here in San Diego are located at 4225 Executive Square in the UTC area, while others are a few blocks away. (THOSE OUTSIDE OF THE AREA SHOULD RESEARCH SIMILAR START-UP “INCUBATORS” OR SMILAR ORGANIZATIONS THAT SUPPORT EMERGING COMPANIES.)

Call Resources Global Professional and talk to them about interim exec or other assignments (They are nationwide, pay W-2 wages to seasoned execs and offer health and other benefits).

You might check is the Private Equity (PE) websites out there to see who has gotten funding. A good venture loop company is http://www.KPCB.com.

Also go onto the ReferenceUSA national database in the library and check for the non-profits within your zip code radius. Many will welcome as they cannot afford to pay the same rates as the public sector, and feel a huge win/win if they could get someone with your experience.

Check http://www.AARP which has a list of “mature friendly” companies seeking good talent, regardless of age and other issues that those of us over 40 and 50 may encounter.

Lastly, check the executive networking groups on my webpage (mentioned above). You can always opt for a scaled-down version of what you’ve done. You just need to confidently, succinctly and convincingly move past the objection question that you mentioned when asked. Collect your thoughts and come up with an answer. Then run it past some trusted colleagues to see how they think it sounds. Practice makes progress … if not perfect! It will be worth your investment of time.

Aside from using Wordle.com and similar sites, what can you to best ensure that you have the right keywords to attract recruiters and employers to your LinkedIn page and resume?

There are two ways that I know of to do this on LinkedIn:

The first way is to simply go to the Skills & Expertise area (the section where people endorse you) and add a skill and note what suggestions pop up that may have higher appeal.

The other is to go to the last tab across the top navigation (“More”) and click on “Skills & Expertise.”  After the page loads, type in some words that you are considering and watch the bar graph to the right populate!  Analyze whether it will help you to add that word or term and compare it against other words/terms that are suggested on the left side.  Pick the word/term that is being used the most to find folks with your skills.

Remember that aside from these tools, you can use Word Cloud technology (www.ToCloud.com and http://www.TagCrowd.com) in two ways:

1. Copy and paste 3-5 job postings into one word cloud window and see what the most frequently used words that employers are seeking and they will visually appear larger relative to other words that appear in those documents.  Then, copy and paste your resume in a second window and compare what words you are missing.

2. You can also analyze the keywords used in a SINGLE job posting and compare it to your resume to see if there is a match between your resume and the job to which you are applying. (For employers who use automated resume soring software, this exercise may help you to score high enough to remain in the “call back” pile.

You know what they say “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and this applies to doing your homework to ensure that you are using all of the most marketable keywords you can  Comparing this beforehand may make all the difference between you getting a call to be interviewed or not.

Happy keyword researching!


P.S.  For more LinkedIn and other tips to help you land a job more quickly, go to www.TheECC.com (Speaking/Other Events Page) and download the 50 LinkedIn & Other Tips document).

I wrote this prayer/poem on the plane a few days ago, and shared it at NCCC, the Church event that I presented at on Monday night. It apparently struck some common chords with many in attendance who asked me for a copy of it, so I thought I would share it with others it may help.

Feel free to share it with others if you’d like.

My Wish for Fellow Job Seekers This New Year…

My wish for fellow job seekers in this New Year,
Is to be focused, vigilant, positive, and persevere.
To take stock of your talents, and get crystal clear,
On how to market these strengths that you bring to bear.

To keep an open mind to any new idea,
Rather than dismiss it or otherwise not let yourself hear.
For if someone offers advice because they believe you need it,
Divine Providence may be ‘at play,’ so you should be sure to heed it.

My other wish for job seekers this year,
Is for an increased focus on others to show them we care.
For by paying-it-forward others benefit from what we do,
and doing so has a tendency to find its way be to you.

Share words of encouragement or any act of kindness,
For as a community, these are the ties that matter and bind us,
For those who need it most, no act is too small,
Offer a lead, a smile or willing ear … anything at all.

It can mean so much when others express care and concern,
It can transform our mood, lift our spirits, inspire us to learn.
It can open windows or doors … or cause other small miracles to be sent to us.
And often will lead to the job meant that is for us.

By expanding our minds, NEW possibilities can be born,
And from them new leads and new paths can take form.
Your kindness may have more impact than you might expect,
Like a pebble in a pond it creates a splash and ripple effect.

And can be that one key we needed to land that next opportunity,
For that’s the value of building a strong networking community.
To get a job in today’s market is a challenge, to be sure.
It takes fortitude, a good attitude, and guiding light from above to endure.

As we close the chapter to a year now completed,
Take stock in your skills; resist feeling defeated.
With the new year upon us, it is a time for reflection,
A time to recalibrate, to chart a course for a new direction.

And for those who have spent longer periods in transition,
Lean more on your higher power and God-given intuition.
Trust that there is a path, and invest time wisely to seek this path out,
For this is what true faith is about.

A new year is a blank canvas and invites us to move ahead.
So my wish for you — with all these things now said …
Is that you successfully FIND and LIVE your Dream
— as early as possible in 2013.

Here is a list of California companies that made Inc’s Top List.  Check out their rankings, 3-year growth % and annual revenues:
851   Niner Bikes 364% $5.8 million CA
2552   Million Dollar Baby 91% $37.2 million CA
515   TicketZoom 649% $23.8 million CA
1546   Joby 179% $23.1 million CA
709   Koncept Technologies 445% $6.2 million CA
2807   Via Trading 78% $25.4 million CA
2868   EO Products 75% $9.4 million CA
2810   Robanda International 78% $11.8 million CA
1081   BLUE Microphones 280% $13 million CA
970   IMVU 315% $38.2 million CA
3613   M S International 45% $336.8 million CA
4712   Wagic 12% $14.1 million CA
721   LifeWave 436% $38.8 million CA
3153   Astek Wallcovering 63% $10.6 million CA
480   TrueCar 721% $38.1 million CA
299   BackJoy Orthotics 1,092% $8.8 million CA
1870   Healthwise 139% $11.7 million CA
4869   Easton-Bell Sports 7% $772.8 million CA
1645   Lifespring Nutrition 164% $5.5 million CA
1593   Deuce Entertainment 172% $8.1 million CA
879   World Centric 350% $9.4 million CA
768   Ammunition 409% $6.3 million CA
994   Disability Group 309% $14.3 million CA
350   Litchney Law Firm 964% $2.1 million CA
124   SafeRacks 2,200% $2.8 million CA
2740   Rabbit Air 82% $5.6 million CA
1688   Cloud B 159% $15.8 million CA
4177   KINeSYS 27% $4.2 million CA
1334   Flipswap 215% $18.8 million CA
3423   Vizio 52% $2.9 billion CA
3266   Artissimo Designs 58% $59.7 million CA
2656   Brainstorm Corporation 86% $9.9 million CA
1782   Cali Bamboo 149% $11.3 million CA
2239   Bulletproof Automotive 110% $2.2 million CA
1907   SKLZ 135% $41.4 million CA
1627   Timeshare Relief 167% $60.5 million CA
13   Astro Gaming 9,179% $9.6 million CA
3253   Smog ‘N Go 59% $4 million CA
2872   Zobmondo!! Entertainment 75% $5.6 million CA
3849   Innex 37% $12.2 million CA
567   Sena Cases 583% $14.1 million CA
2240   Tea Collection 110% $18.6 million CA
Here is the actual Link to the listing for ALL states:  http://www.inc.com/inc5000/search/2011/x/x/x/x/4/x/x/state
Hope this helps our job seekers to focus their energies.
Of course, using the library’s subscription to ReferenceUSA is also a GREAT way to identify companies that fit a job seeker’s target company profile and proactively sending them a letter of interest!  (About a third of the companies listed in ReferenceUSA have email addresses, eliminating the postage, paper and envelope expense issue!)
Those with library cards that have barcodes on them can access this database FROM HOME, if their library branch subscribes to ReferenceUSA; otherwise, apply at Carlsbad library or one of the other library branches that do subscribe.
All the best, and happy hunting to all!

How ACCESSIBLE are YOU and YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE to Recruiters and Employers? Ten (10) Tips to Increase Your Likelihood of Being Contacted

This may be one of the most important things you can do to improve the number of contacts you get on LinkedIn (LI).

There are many articles about optimizing your LI profile to that you come up higher in searches performed by recruiters, employers and others. Key among these tactics are optimizing your current title with descriptive and keyword-rich terms, ensuring that your last title is optimized to the extent reasonable, adding “SKILLS” and adding “SPECIALTIES.”

My question to all of you is, “Are you making it easy for employers and recruiters (especially) to contact you?” If so, is your status (in transition and available for full-time or consulting work) crystal clear?

When I do a keyword search for candidates, after reviewing each profile and determining their potential suitability, if I decide to pursue them, I look for any way to contact them. Some contact access points are obvious, but perhaps some are not. Here are some things you may not have thought of, but they are VERY critical.

1) Is your phone number or email address anywhere on your profile? I have seen this information in the following areas:
a) Inside a member’s title
b) In the Summary area above Work History
c) In your contact info stated in your Other Information section at the bottom of your profile
d) In an attachment such as a resume, a PowerPoint presentation or other document
(Not everyone feels comfortable or safe stating a phone number or email, but including your contact info inside an attachment is an excellent alternative means by which to guard against “pharmers” and “phishers” easily scanning your profile for this information.
2) Have you checked your settings and preferences to be contact-friendly? Some profiles I have seen do NOT state that the member is open to career opportunities. This may discourage recruiters or employers from contacting you.
3) If you are no longer working, does your profile reflect that you are no longer affiliated with your last employer?
4) If you are Consulting, working at a temp agency, volunteering, on a Board, etc., have you added your status as a “New job” to reflect that you may be taking on consulting jobs as an interim measure until you land your next (fill-in-the-blank) job?
5) Have you revised the Summary area above Work History to articulate your status and reinforce your availability (while remaining positive and ensuring that you do not come across as anxious or desperate)?
6) Do you have a personal blog and/or website that you can add to your LI profile? If so, this will add dimension to your capabilities, PLUS will give recruiters another way to contact you.
7) Have you gotten at least the minimum of three (3) recommendations required to qualify for a 100% complete profile? If so, recruiters MAY be able to contact you through those who recommended you if they know them well enough (have a first connection with them).
8) Are you a member of groups, and if so, do you display the ones that best depict the types of jobs/industries you are targeting? (If you do this, those who want to contact you can join the groups you are a member of and contact you through that group affiliation.
5) Are you a member of professional organizations, and if so, are they listed in the lower section of your profile?
6) Have you listed as many employers within a reasonable time frame (e.g., up to 15 years), so that those interested in you can either contact you if they were affiliated with those companies in any way? A variation of this is that if you list more employers, those wanting to pursue you can reach out to their contacts who worked at the same companies within the same time frames and ask THEM to reach out to you.
7) Do you update your status bubble on your LI landing page to state that you are currently exploring new (insert types/categories of positions) opportunities in (state Industry, if desired) and in (state general locations or “virtual/remote”, if appropriate)?
8) Do you offer a “FREE InMail” option for others to use to contact you? (I have contacted three people in as many weeks using this feature.)
9) Are your visibility setting set at Anonymous or Private?
10) If you ARE a member of groups, is the last box in your settings for those groups checked so that anyone in those groups can send you a free message?

Bonus (#11): Do you state in your profile Summary that you will accept all invitations! (Many LI members know that if you receive too many “Don’t Know this member” results after attempting to LinkIn that you get sanctioned by the LinkedIn team. To avoid this concern, let those viewing your profile know you’re receptive to invitations.

The above are just SOME of the measures you can take to facilitate a phone call or email from a recruiter.

As an aside, I now have 23 jobs I am trying to fill (many now listed on my LinkedIn landing page). I frequently go on LinkedIn and I cannot emphasize enough how often I cannot GET to candidates. In several cases, a desirable candidate’s headline or summary makes it obvious that the member is seeking work. For example, Current Title reads, “Open to New Opportunities” — yet, they are unreachable.

So … how accessible are you to Recruiters, Employers and others and how clear is your current status?

Being found is one think. If you want to be contacted, you need to do everything possible to make it easy for others to connect with you.

I hope this article sheds some light on how to improve your odds, and motivates you to take action to improve them!

JUST UPDATED THE JOB SEEKER NETWORKING EVENTS IN CALIFORNIA ON www.TheECC.COM. (Other States are listed but I need your help!!!)

Please see “Local Networking Groups” page of my website for details.
“Where are the Best Job Seeker/Other Career Workshops and Networking Events Held? Need your Input! Please Provide Feedback.”

Note: Every effort has been made to reflect accurate information, but visitors are encouraged to check websites or otherwise confirm information prior to traveling to these venues. Please also use Linkedin Events, Craigslist.com and also seek out churches and libraries for local events:



Q: Where do I find companies in San Diego that are small to mid-sized? What are best ways to find a marketing manager, associate manager opportunity? What are trade or prof. orgs to find opportunities? (Stacy)

A:  You’ve asked a number of questions, so let me start by offering the following, and let others on this group also add their perspective. We are lucky in that we even have other coaches on this site! The bottom line is that there are numerous ways to accomplish the things you’ve asked about:


Using the library can open your eyes, doors and opportunities. Some great reference sources are:

ReferenceUSA (online searchable database of US companies that allows you to sort records and export and download information.) You can access this from the comfort of your own home if you have a library card that has a barcode on it. Simply go to the appropriate library that corresponds to your card such as http://www.carlsbadlibrary.org, and log in by entering that number. This will open up a world of tools including searchable databases under “Research.” You can sort companies in many ways and even export them to an Excel spreadsheet by category. (You can download MORE files and information if you do your research at the library vs. home. Be sure to bring a flash drive or CD-ROM to export information/files from such sources.)

San Diego Business Journal Book of Lists (Top business listings by business category. The new edition for San Diego was just released! Other areas should check with their libraries to see if they have this resource. Orange County, CA and Los Angeles, for example do.)

Standard & Poor’s Registry of Corporations, Directors and Executives

Southern California Business Directory & Buyer’s Guide

Thomasnet.com (listing of companies)

There’s also Hoover’s, Edgar Report and Dun & Bradstreet, so ask the librarian if the library has a subscription.

If you need help, a reference librarian can help you.

Depending on who you ask, the answer may vary, but I would say that if you go to specialized sites and join specialized Marketing LinkedIn groups, that’s one of your best bets.

Many job sites are free while others like http://www.MarketingLadders.com charges a fee. For the job levels you mentioned, you can simply search Google for specialized marketing job sites. Many such jobs are also on other aggregator sites such as http://www.indeed.com, http://www.simplyhired.com and http://www.oceanjobamatic.com.

There are many, and even some here in San Diego Imarketers, SDDMA, etc. They both have meetings in town. There’s also AMA: American Marketing Association, and they hold events. Speaking of events, go to the “More” bar on LinkedIn and click on “Events” and then type your zip code and “Marketing,” “Social Media” or other keyword to get a sense of the organizations holding meetings in the area.

Many organizations also have groups here on Linked In or even have a FaceBook page. Take a look at some of the groups I’ve joined and ones that other Marketing folks have joined. You will also note that some are professional organizations.  (Those in different professions can review the LinkedIn profiles of those whose careers are similar to theirs/the one they wish to pursue to determine some of the best groups for them to join.)

I hope that others will chime in as well, but this should get you started.