Your Career: Skills or Personality?


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In my last blog, I stressed the importance of connecting with friends, followers, headhunters and anyone that may know of an available marketing position. But which role is the best fit if I’ve never been in an agency?

That was my first question when I looked at the agencies that were hiring.  Let’s determine what type of personality you have.

A “Simple”  Personality Test

There are numerous personality tests out there from the Meyers-Briggs, Herrmann Brain, Enneagram and at least a dozen more that I don’t feel like listing.  The personality test that I’ve recently taken seems to be the most straight forward test that only has five questions compared to some that have five pages of questions. The Personality Lingo test combines aspects of all the tests and simplifies them into a guide that is doesn’t require a psychologist to decipher for you.

Who Are You?

The Personality Lingo test breaks down personality types into four main groups.

  • the Thinker
  • the Planner
  • the Mover
  • the Connector

The Thinker

the thinker


Thinkers are natural leaders who are logical, analytical and good strategic planners.  They prefer to work independently and are great problem solvers.

In a marketing or advertising, roles that may best be suited for these individuals would be – Marketing Research Analyst, Advertising Creative Director or Marketing Directors.

 The Planner

the planner

Source: JUDUX website

Planners have a keen eye for details and are quick to make practical decisions.  They tend to be “big picture” kind of people and as the name says they love to plan and see their plans come to fruition.

You may see them in agencies as Project Managers, Account Planners or Web Development Engineers.

The Mover

Movers are resourceful and can be skillful at delegation and motivation.  They excel in crisis, value common sense and prefer action to conversation.  They will cut to the chase in their communication and can be very straightforward.

Source: National Theater School

Source: National Theater School

Account Executives, New Business Development, Strategists or Communications Analysts are potential roles within the marketing or advertising agency for these personality types.

The Connector

Connectors are the creative, people oriented individuals of our personality types.  They place high value on relationships and are highly perceptive individuals.  The connector is energetic, articulate, diplomatic and motivated by their deeper personal values.  Driven by firm principles and personal integrity, you may see them as Copywriters, Creative Directors and Account Executives.

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Image Source:

Obviously, these are fun guidelines for finding the Zen in your career.  We must also consider our skill sets to see if we qualify for these roles but doing what you’re born to do helps.  If you’re interested in finding out more detailed information on each personality type or taking the test for yourself,  visit and have fun finding out who you are.


It really IS who you know: Getting your information to the right people.

Now that I’ve crafted my human-voiced resume and cover letter in my last blog, how can I increase my chances of being seen and getting an interview?  We’ve all heard the cliche, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”.  There is some truth to that statement.  In the business world, customers like to buy products from people they trust.  The same holds true for work environments too – people prefer to work with someone they view could be a friend.

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, I mean, Separation

Kevin Bacon older

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How many times have you had a conversation with a friend and realized that someone they know is connected to you in some way whether it’s through friends of friends, a co-worker or a relative?  Probably a few times in your life and that’s only because you were made aware of the connection.  If this occurs strictly because of happenstance, imagine what you can do and who you can connect with if you intentionally look for a connection.

Back to Basics

Everyone knows that networking is the best way to connect in business so why not use the tools that are readily available.

  • Friends
  • Social Media Sites
  • Marketing Recruiting Agencies


Some people may feel uncomfortable with asking friends if their companies are hiring but why?  Many companies offer employees a “referral fee” for new hires that stay with the company for a designated amount of time.  I know my current employer offers employees a $300 new hire referral fee once a new employee is employed with the organization for more than a six month period.

Social Media Sites


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I think this is an obvious.  What better way to engage than on social media sites that you’re already using.  I’ve seen several friends make connections through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  I was made aware of several positions available at a Chicago pharmaceutical marketing agency by a friend on my FB page.

Marketing Recruiting Agencies

Okay. I know. This may not be a connection you have or consider to be a friend but you should.  Marketing Recruiting Agencies are staffing agencies that specialize in the advertising and marketing.  Why not use a company to help you with your search?  Recruiters can have information on positions that are not posted on company websites.  Generally, they do the screening for companies so that internal human resource departments have more qualified candidates to focus their efforts.  Recruiters can also provide insight to potential candidates on the what qualities and skills the hiring company is needing.  Another incentive for the recruiter to help you find your agency job is the placement fee for any candidate placed with a company.

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Image Source:

Finding a marketing position can be challenging in a competitive field but using all the tools available can help ease the pain and speed up the process.  Here are some agencies that I researched in the Chicago area: TalentFoot, Smith Hanley Associates LLC. and Paladin.  Search the internet for marketing agencies in your area and find out what resources are available for you.

One Document that Could Change Your Life….Maybe Two.

In my last post, Starting the Marketing Agency Search, I finally found my starting point to send out my resume and begin my transition (hopefully) into a marketing agency.  Deciding to change directions in your career can be frightening.  As we continue throughout our careers, our fate and possibly future employment relies solely on one document – our resume.  With such an enormous amount of influence on one document, why do we only spend a few moments adjusting it right before sending it out to potential employers?

Dusting Off the Resume  

As I was getting ready to send out my resume, I realized that I had to give my resume a complete overhaul to fit the marketing industry rather than sales.  So, I had my marketing friend review my resume before I added my current information.  After a quick scan, he recommended that I google Liz Ryan (@humanworkplace on Twitter) and the Human Voiced Resume. 

Holy Grail

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The Holy Grail (at least of resumes)

When I found information on this type of resume, I was impressed with the level of expertise that Ms. Ryan had in Human Resources.  Liz Ryan has over 20 years experience as an HR executive for a Fortune 500 company and is a consultant, correspondent and writer on career and employment advice.  Liz Ryan advocates for the human voiced resume and the pain letter which are guidelines for writing a resume and cover letter that provide the hiring manager with an understanding of who you are, not just a listing of job duties.  The biggest difference with the human voiced resume is to provide a story of your accomplishments for the hiring manager that helps you stand out in sea of resumes that only lists duties.

Think of this style of writing like a movie. The Human Voiced Resume is the trailer to a movie with you as the star actor.  The traditional way of writing a resume is like watching the credits before getting the story.

I Feel Your Pain

Now every resume needs a cover letter but Ms. Ryan named her version – the Pain Letter. I know, I had the same reaction.  “What do you mean Pain?” Well, it’s not what it seems.  According to Liz Ryan, “you’re going to congratulate your possible-new-manager on something cool the organization is doing, and you’re going to mention the business pain your hiring manager is likely to be up against. Then you’re going to tie that business pain to your own background.”  With these two documents, I crafted the tools to start my adventure in finding my Zen in my career.

If you haven’t found the Zen in your career, you can learn more about the Human Voiced Resume and the Pain Letter at or follow Liz Ryan on Twitter @humanworkplace or LinkedIn.

Starting the Marketing Agency Search

When I first decided to make the transition into a marketing agency, I contacted my friend Ryan who had been working in an agency for over ten years.  We decided to meet after work and have a few cocktails so that I could pick his brain about how he started in the marketing industry.  Living in the third largest market in the US for marketing, I thought this should be a fairly easy task to accomplish.

Ryan’s first questions to me were, “Have you decided on the type of marketing agency that interests you and what industry? Do you know what role or job you’re looking for?”.  I realized that I had some homework to do before I could start sending my resume out.  I never considered how many different types of agencies existed for every industry imaginable.  We decided to make my process much simpler and review some of my past experiences and where they could be best put to use.  We agreed that my experience in the pharmaceutical industry coupled with my experience in communications could make me a good candidate for the medical marketing industry.  Now, I had a starting point.

How Many Types?

After meeting with Ryan, I had to have a better understanding of exactly what opportunities existed.  In my search, I found there are eleven types of marketing agencies summed up nicely in The Definitive Marketing Agency Selection Guide by Amalgamated Marketing.  This guide was developed to assist company executives with determining which agencies to use for specific marketing strategies.  According to Amalgamated Marketing, these agencies include:

  • advertising agencies
  • media agencies
  • promotion agencies
  • PR agencies
  • marketing services agencies
  • internet or digital agencies
  • direct agencies
  • branding agencies
  • design agencies
  • social media agencies
  • specialty agencies

Each type of agency and industry has their top 100 agencies nominated every year so why not use these lists as a filter.

Top 100 Agencies

For my search and transition, I used the Top 100 list for medical marketing agencies published in Medical Marketing & Media.  This list provided me with a basic contact information, services mix by percentage (digital, strategy, video, print, etc.), year’s accomplishments, structure, future plans and even philanthropy and citizenship.  I found the list to be an efficient source of information on each of the one hundred most influential agencies in the healthcare industry.  Instead of doing a search of each company which would have taken a couple of hours to find, I was able to read through the company profiles within an hour.  My suggestion for anyone looking to transition into a marketing agency – find the top performers list within the industry that fits you.  If you are interested in advertising agencies or social media agencies, there’s the Agency A-List 2014

Ad Age Image

Image Source: Advertising Age

or the Best Social Media Marketing Companies. No matter what type of agency you decide for your career do the research.  This was my starting point and my first glimpse into the world of marketing agencies.  What’s yours?

Nothing is Constant but Change

When I was a little girl, I knew that when I grew up I was going to be a doctor like my father.  I was always a Daddy’s girl – watching him tie his tie as he got ready for a day taking care of patients in his small town physician’s office in Kentucky, shining his shoes before he slipped them on and squeezing him as tightly as I could before he went to off to heal the world.  Days when dad would come home after making a house call to a bedridden patient were a special treat for me because that meant he was bringing his “medical bag”.



I would gleefully open the leather clasp to reveal the glistening vials of liquid, alcohol prep pads, stethoscope and individually wrapped syringes.  Little did I know that my parents had different plans for my education.  As I entered my college years with hopes and dreams of entering the medical field one way or another, my parents sternly told me that I was NOT going to major in medicine or nursing but I was going to go into business. ~SHOCK~ As the somewhat obedient daughter, I obliged and finished with my Bachelors in Computer Information Systems which was the degree that I could complete as quickly as possible since I was forbidden to pursue the healthcare industry.

Source: www.

Source: www.

Being derailed from my original intentions left me a little lost in my career as I fell into a multitude of sales positions in numerous industries – pharmaceutical, medical and education.  These jobs led me to a management position within a small, private university in Chicago.  One of the mandatory criteria for landing the job as a manager was to achieve a Master’s degree.  With all of the degrees available to me, I decided to pursue a Master of Science in Marketing.  I figured it was the closest degree to sales and I could use these skills in my career.  After almost a year of working on my MS in Marketing, I have come to realize just how much I love the marketing industry.

This blog is a chronicle of my immersion into the world of Marketing Agencies, more specifically the pharmaceutical marketing agencies.  I anticipate that this blog may morph depending on my success into an agency but I’m going to keep it as authentic and organic as possible.  I guess we will see where this journey (and blog) takes me.