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Author Archives: Liz Da Ponte

Brand YOU: Serious about self-promo? Go digital

fg-blog-branding-digital-youImage of branding concepts via Shutterstock.

The second in a two-part series, writer Liz Da Ponte explains the ins and outs of self-branding. In part one, Liz gave pointers on how to define your personal brand. This week, she advises that in order to kick ass at self-promo, you need to be sure your tech game is on-point.

Is your personal brand top of mind yet? If you’ve got a few technical skills under your hat and are okay with spending some money, you may want to check out the options listed below.

In the first post about getting started with your personal brand , we looked at Wix, Tumblr and as free options to get your own site up and running. Now, let’s check out some paid options. Continue reading

How to tell you’re about to get fired

freshgigs-blog-about-to-be-firedImage of employee getting fired by boss from Shutterstock.

At this point in my working life, I don’t know anyone who hasn’t lost their job – either through layoffs, outsourcing, or being fired. I myself lost a job as part of company-wide layoffs.

Losing your job sucks, there’s no way to sugar coat that. I’ve worked at several companies since my layoff experience and they’ve all gone through job cuts of one variety or another.  So while losing your job isn’t completely preventable, there are some warning signs you can look out for to better prepare yourself. Continue reading

Brand YOU: How to successfully market yourself

Personal-BrandingImage of smiling young woman from Shutterstock.

Have you given any thought to your personal brand lately? Hopefully you’ve come to understand that managing your personal brand is important, especially if you are looking for work. Writer Liz Da Ponte helps you figure out how to sell your best self.

One of the easiest ways to maintain your own brand is with a personal website. I know what many of you are thinking: what do I know about setting up a website?!

Luckily, there are many options out there for anyone (regardless of technical abilities) to get their own site up and running. Continue reading

Three awesome writing tools (plus one bonus app) to help make your content rock

Writing-ToolsImage of coffee cup and notebook from Shutterstock.

Being a marketer today means having to do a lot of writing – and not just of the email variety. Today’s marketer has to be comfortable writing (and editing) web copy, social media messages, ads and reports.

Here are 3 tools you can start using to help you be a more productive, confident writer.


Grammarly is a program that checks any writing that you do on the web. To start, simply install the extension in Chrome. The tool will then check your writing for common grammatical errors as you type, up to 10 times more than what Microsoft Office typically finds.

Most modern browsers already have spell check built in; what makes Grammarly so helpful is that it will catch more than just misspelled words. It will help you find the perfect word with context-optimized synonym suggestions.

Grammarly is a great resource for me as I write a lot of social media messages on behalf of brands. While typos are to be expected (we are human after all), as a marketer you want to be sure that your messaging is concise and error-free. Continue reading

Not getting any callbacks? You might be making these cover letter blunders

cover-letter-mistakesPhoto of Creative ideas notebook and pencil from Shutterstock.

I’ve had a number of people ask me for tips on applying for digital marketing jobs following the post on preparing for an interview.

Unfortunately, recalling the mistakes I’ve seen on cover letters was far too easy. Below is a list of the 4 most common mistakes I noticed on candidates’ cover letters when applying to digital marketing roles.

Not personalizing the letter

If you are applying to a digital marketing job and are still addressing your cover letters with “Dear Sir or Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern,” you may as well stop sending your letter.

I can’t speak for how other business areas feel about this, but for any roles related to digital marketing or social media, this is a big annoyance. Why? Because it shows you didn’t bother looking up who the hiring manager was on LinkedIn. Continue reading

Do this one thing – right now – to send your resume to the top of the pile

Resume-Top-Of-PileImage of Job search from Shutterstock.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – having an online presence is the best thing you can do for yourself if you’re planning on looking for a job. A recent survey of 300 HR professionals who are involved with recruiting illustrates just how important a strong online presence is.

In the survey, was conducted by ResearchNow, about 30 per cent of the HR pros surveyed said that a personal website can be a competitive advantage for a job candidate. Thirty-nine per cent said that all other qualifications being equal, they would be more likely to pick a candidate with a personal website over a candidate who didn’t have one. Continue reading

5 essential tools and web apps for freelancers

5-Freelancer-ToolsPhoto of Brunette woman using laptop from Shutterstock.

Making the switch to full-time freelancing is exciting; you get to set your own hours, choose the clients you’d like to work with and you can work from home. It can also be a little daunting, too. There is a lot of security in working at an established company – you have regular hours, regular pay, and access to enterprise-level software.

As an employee of an established company, you have access to the tools and software that you may not have when you’re out on your own. Fortunately, there is an abundance of free (and almost free) tools to help you manage your time and your clients.

Here are a couple of tools you may want to look into as you start your freelancing business. Continue reading

5 Red flags job hunters shouldn’t ignore

LDP 0903 Red FlagsRed Flag photo from Shutterstock.

Job hunters spend a great deal of time researching companies, crafting cover letters and resumes, and preparing for interviews. During the process, many candidates forget that the job search is actually a two-way process.

When you are looking for the next great fit for your career, it’s important to stay objective about the companies you meet with. A job can appear perfect on paper, but there are certain behaviours you may come across that will serve as a red flag.

Here are some of the most common issues you may come across in your search: Continue reading

How To Adjust To Working From Home

How To Adjust To Working From Home

If you’re making the switch from full-time employee to freelancer, or just starting to work from home more, there are a few things you should be aware of as you prepare to make the transition. As someone who has extensive experience working from home, I can attest that it’s not for everyone. It requires a lot of focus, motivation and self-discipline.

Here are a couple of things you should be mindful of as you prepare to work from home:

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3 Easy Steps to a Great LinkedIn Profile

3 Easy Steps to a Great LinkedIn Profile

In the post about how to prepare for a digital marketing interview I mentioned the importance of having a good online presence. Many people I work with will argue or say that they don’t have the technical know-how or skill set to set up a site or maintain a blog.

My response is always the same: do you have 15 minutes to update your LinkedIn profile? If so, then you’re well on your way to making a great first impression.

While I always emphasize that a complete LinkedIn profile is best, here are 3 key areas of your profile you can update quickly that will have maximum impact.

Continue reading