Elevated Thinking

Industry information and inspiration for talent and clients.

Building Your Digital Marketing Career

In today’s fast-paced digital age, a career in digital marketing offers abundant opportunities for creativity, innovation, and growth. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to transition into a new role, building a successful digital marketing career requires a strategic approach. Here’s a comprehensive guide

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Freelance, Agency, or In-House: Which is Best for You?

In the dynamic and ever-evolving field of marketing, professionals can choose from several career paths, each offering unique opportunities and challenges. Among the most common career options are freelance, in-house, and agency marketing roles. Understanding the distinctions between these pathways is crucial for making an

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Job Seeking + Games = Error Code

I often joke that there are two places where you can solve most problems: Nordstrom and the library. My adoration for the library grew when I learned that in addition to the typical offerings of books and movies, our local library also allows (free!) access

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Graduates: Navigating Today’s Job Market

As college seniors prepare to enter the workforce, they face a challenging job market marked by increased competition and cautious hiring practices. In a recent interview on “Here’s Your Money Briefing,” Wall Street Journal reporter Lindsay Ellis provided valuable insights and strategies for graduating students

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Tell Your Story With Marketing Metrics

Earlier this week, I spent an hour with a colleague who is looking to find her next marketing opportunity. I’ve known Alex casually for 8 years. I knew Alex did ‘marketing’, but I didn’t know what she did with any kind of detail. We talked.

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Navigating Networking Nuances

Networking can feel uncomfortable, intimidating, or like swimming in uncharted waters for active job seekers. There are so many questions about how/when/where to do it right and a whole lot of conflicting information out there to confuse the subject more. For those that find networking

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Marketing Yourself

In today’s job market, simply submitting a resume and cover letter may not be enough to stand out from the crowd. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out in your career, developing a compelling personal brand can make all the difference in landing

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Modern Marketing Excellence

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the ‘fairest marketer of all’? I wrote this blog to help you think about marketing in the broadest way and, by doing that, remind you of the context in which you practice your craft and share a framework

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Crafting Your Ideal Job Profile

Embarking on a job search can feel like stepping into a maze, with numerous paths and considerations to navigate. When you invest time to develop a clear understanding of your personal needs and wants, you’ll increase your job search confidence and success. In today’s competitive

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Navigating Interviews: Dos & Don’ts

Searching for a new role is one of the top 3 most stressful periods of your life (along with moving and getting married). It isn’t something you do regularly, so it’s natural that you’re not an expert on resume writing, interviewing, choosing the right recruiters

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Decoding AI’s Impact on Talent Acquisition

AI is such a hot topic and today, I’m exploring the impact of AI on recruiting. First, as a reminder, my team at Elevation Talent Group has two practice areas: human resources and marketing.  We are experts in recruiting and hiring in both spaces. We

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Getting Found on LinkedIn

FACT: More than 50% of companies recruiting on LinkedIn now use skills data to fill their roles. I’ve seen this fact (straight from LinkedIn) several times recently when I’m working inside of LinkedIn looking for great candidates and honestly? My eyes glossed right over it.

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Interview With Confidence

Embarking on a job interview can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. As you prepare to showcase your skills and experiences, there’s often one hurdle that stands out—the tricky interview questions. Fear not, for these questions are not roadblocks but rather opportunities to demonstrate your capabilities

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Is Your Resume Helping or Hurting You?

This is such a strange time to be looking for work – stranger than I’ve ever seen. When writing my recent Candidate Experience blog series, one of the biggest frustrations I heard was that applicants don’t feel their resumes are reviewed by human eyes and

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Ready For the 2024 Job Market?

If you’re in human resources, your manager is likely to ask you, “What’s with the job market and how will we better manage resource planning and recruiting in 2024?” If this sounds familiar, this blog post is for you. How’s the Job Market? We are

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How designers can leverage their portfolios in their job search

A Portfolio Checklist for Designers

In the competitive world of design, where creativity meets functionality, your portfolio is your calling card. It’s not just a compilation of your work; it’s a visual representation of your skills, personality, and experience. Your portfolio is the key to unlocking doors to exciting opportunities

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‘Tis the Season

The holiday season is here and while you might think hiring slows down in December, the job market doesn’t take a break … and neither should your job search! Contrary to popular belief, this time of year can be an excellent opportunity to make meaningful

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A Fresh Approach to Problem Solving

Who doesn’t like a story about magic beans? In the 15 months my colleagues and I have posted blogs to this site, can you believe there have been no blog posts about magic beans? Me neither! Most of our blog posts present relevant and timely

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The Broken Candidate Experience: Part 3

Attention Talent Acquisition Leaders: Can you feel it? Can you hear it? YOUR RECRUITING PROCESS IS BROKEN FROM SOUP TO NUTS! This is the last in the 3-piece blog series on how the Candidate Experience is affected by what is broken in the recruiting process.

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10 Steps to Take After Your Interview

The interview is over, and you’ve walked out (or hung up) with a sense of relief and accomplishment. Don’t relax too much, though, because what you do in the next 24 hours after a job interview can be just as crucial as your performance during

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Your Team’s Social Contract

You want to improve your team’s performance? Of course. We all do. This blog offers you a time-tested tool that most of us take for granted – the social contract. What are your social contracts? Family? Classmates? Members of your management team? All levels of

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3 Steps for Easy Connecting

Many candidates that I speak with wonder how to better leverage their LinkedIn connections to assist their job search. When you get to the point in your career where you’ve amassed several hundred connections, there’s a good chance that your next opportunity lives within that

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The Broken Candidate Experience: Part 2

Attention Talent Acquisition Leaders: Didn’t hear me the first time? LOUDER for those in the back: YOUR RECRUITING PROCESS IS BROKEN FROM SOUP TO NUTS! This is the second in a 3-piece blog series on how the Candidate Experience is affected by broken processes. My

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Rejection is a Gift

In the competitive world of job hunting, rejection can feel like a heavy blow. It can test your self-esteem and leave you questioning your skills and worth. The key to a successful job search, however, lies not just in landing the dream job but also

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Psychological Safety at Work

Sometimes we just need a clue or tool as a starting point to solve a problem. Often, the issue we are dealing with is familiar; we just need a framework to get on the right path. This blog is about a framework to improve your

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Social Media & Your Search

In today’s digital age, social media is not just a platform for staying connected with friends and family; it’s also a valuable tool for job seekers. With millions of professionals and companies active on platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, X, TikTok, and even Facebook, leveraging social

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The Broken Candidate Experience: Part 1

Attention Talent Acquisition Leaders: YOUR RECRUITING PROCESS IS BROKEN FROM SOUP TO NUTS! Don’t believe me? The candidate experience is collectively the worst I have ever seen throughout my career. But there’s hope! Most of the problems can be fixed – IF you care about

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Network Your Way to the Perfect Job

Are you tired of tirelessly scrolling through job boards and submitting applications into the digital abyss? I’ve talked to many job seekers recently who are struggling to get any traction in their search. When I hear this, my #1 question is “how much are you

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Reinventing the Middle Manager

Do you ever find yourself reading an article that seems to have arrived in your inbox at the perfect time? For me, that happened last week. I read, How to Make a Pivot in the Latter Half of your Career, by Mario Lyons. The article

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Key Takeaways: Chicago Innovation Summit

The 2023 Chicago Innovation Summit was filled with an exciting mix of speakers from a wide variety of businesses and backgrounds. There were three different panels throughout the event, “From Startup to Scaleup,” “AI Vs. IQ,” and “Combating Climate Change.” Each panel provided vastly different

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Confident Virtual Interviews

Prior to the pandemic, the first round of interviews was generally a phone screen. They were impersonal, left virtually no opportunity to interpret social cues, and left people feeling worse than a pat down by the TSA. Except the TSA lets you know right away

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Being a Better Boss Matters

I don’t know about you, but there have been more than a few times when I woke up in the middle of the night staring at the ceiling asking myself, “What’s wrong with me?  Why can’t my teams work together?  Why do my teams seem

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Self Love in a Job Search

Two months ago or so I picked up a copy of All About Love by Bell Hooks—a not-too-long page turner about, as the title suggests, loving yourself. It’s taken me all this time to get through the first three chapters to no fault of the

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Help Your Recruiter Help You

Job changes are in the top 3 of the most stressful events you will go through in life along with purchasing a home and getting married. It is wise to equip yourself with the intel you will need to remove painful obstacles during your search.

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Decoding the Job Search Silence

Searching for a job can be a challenging and often frustrating process. You spend hours crafting the perfect resume and cover letter, you apply to promising looking opportunities, and you eagerly await a response. Sometimes the silence can be deafening as you’re left wondering why

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“Tell Me About Yourself”

“Tell me about yourself” is one of the most common questions a job seeker can be asked in an interview, yet many job seekers are unprepared when the moment inevitably arises. This is a missed opportunity because this open-ended question gives you a chance to

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Perspective: Viewing Labor as a Supply Chain

‘Plan your work, work your plan.’ I’m a big fan of quotes like that. When I hear self-help advice like that, it stirs my mind to think something like, ‘Yes, I need to do that!’ Maybe you, too? Alas, this blog post is NOT about

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Women working together

Women Inspiring Women at ASA’s THRIVE Virtual

The American Staffing Association’s THRIVE Virtual conference was held on April 27th, 2023. Not only was THRIVE a wonderfully executed virtual conference with stellar presentations, a fantastic moderator (@Diana Mertz), and poignant topics …  you even left with a Spotify playlist to keep you striving

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Expert Series: Rita Chen, Chicago Marketer

This spring I’m celebrating twenty years in the recruiting industry. My daughter helped me determine that I’ve interviewed more than 12,000 people over the course of my career. 12,000! That number prompted me to reflect on certain interviews and people who have inspired me along

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Are Signing Bonuses Worth It?

Did you ever look at your list of open jobs and wish you could “phone a friend” like contestants did on ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’ This week’s blog suggests recruiting managers should phone a friend – their CFO – for help in making

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The Job Market is NOT a Used Car Lot

Earlier this week I read a blog from a firm called Boost Pricing about the importance of getting to the real story when a firm loses a proposal because of price. It was short and concise and reminded me of some important lessons I had

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Let’s Get Real, It’s Tough Out There!

“Let’s be careful out there.” Some of you might recognize that quote from the 80’s tv drama, Hill Street Blues. Those five words closed the morning roll-call scene that started every episode. The message, ‘it’s tough out there, take care of yourself and your partner’.

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A Healthy Dose of Podcasts

Sometimes our worlds can seem upside down with so much that we cannot control. Continued economic strife, job (in)security … there are days that so much negativity around us can start to feel like “too much.” In my ongoing daily efforts to harness my own

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How to find internships

5 Ways College Students Can Find Internships

College students, are you taking advantage of summer internships? Having an internship is an important career-booster that can help you achieve better job search success once you graduate. Having some professional work experience prior to graduation will help your resume stand out in a sea

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The Pros and Cons of ChatGPT in Marketing

As technology continues to advance and transform the way we do business, chatbots and AI-powered tools are becoming increasingly popular in the world of marketing. One of the most exciting and innovative tools in this space is ChatGPT, a state-of-the-art language model developed by OpenAI.

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Using Notion to Organize Your Career

Whether you find yourself in an unexpected job search or you’re facing the first quarter’s performance review season, trying to remember your accomplishments, accolades, and achievements can be a challenge. Despite the plethora of organization and productivity tools (here are some good ones), there’s always

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HR models

HR Models vs Methods

Models are used in all sorts of business functions: supply chain, financial, sales and marketing, IT, or HR.  Models help us organize the complex and give us labels for big ideas. I eagerly clicked on McKinsey’s December 22, 2023 article, HR’s new operating model. Unfortunately,

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Keep your confidence high

Six Tips To Sustain Your Self-Confidence

Job seekers, you are going to experience ups and downs on your job search journey. It’s inevitable. You might start off with tremendous enthusiasm, and then the reality of the search process settles in. You might apply to many job postings without getting any response.

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(Easier) Goal Setting

With the blank slate of a New Year ahead of us, it’s only natural to think about getting organized with your personal (and professional!) goals. Pen and paper checklists are certainly a gold standard for feeling accomplished as you move from one task to the

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Give gratitude

Gratitude

It’s nearly impossible not to love this time of year… the holiday season. Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family and friends, to express gratitude for the many wonderful people in your life, to toast those you miss or may have lost, and, of

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Pay transparency

Talking About Pay Transparency With Your Team

On October 13th, our Elevated Thinking blog was about pay transparency and we explained the topic, discussed the coming changes, and suggested strategies to plan for the new requirements. Since then, pay transparency has become an even hotter topic for managers. Today’s blog digs deeper

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Four Tips for Marketers During Turbulent Times

There is no doubt that we are in one of the most unique economic periods in U.S. history. We have uncertainty on a multitude of interconnected factors including a volatile stock market, continuing supply chain issues, inflation, interest rates, consumer spending, labor market factors, and

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Taking a 5 minute break

5 Minute Refocusing

With the holidays quickly approaching and our newsfeeds inundated with economic strife and workforce reductions, staying focused can seem impossible. With our feeds and brains constantly distracted, maintaining clarity and calm can be an uphill battle. While taking time to focus is hard, starting small

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

DEI Success? Count On It.

Why is DEI so hard to “get right” at so many firms? This post explores what I believe is the single most important reason: measurement. Before diving into the reason DEI is hard to get “right,” ask yourself, “is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) really

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Elevation Talent Group is Now Certified Woman-Owned

DARIEN, IL (October 31, 2022) – Elevation Talent Group is proud to announce its certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE). Elevation Talent Group is a staffing solutions provider specializing in marketing and human resources talent for temporary, temp-to-hire, and direct hire opportunities nationwide. Elevation

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Yes, You Can Negotiate!

There’s plenty of negative news that LinkedIn would like us to believe—flashy click-bait newsfeed articles hawking headlines of major Titans of Industry cutting and slashing jobs … but there are good things happening out there. Hiring remains at a strong clip and there are many

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Digital marketing talent trends

Digital Marketing Talent Trends

The dynamic labor market we’ve experienced over the past two years is showing some signs of stabilization to pre-pandemic levels. Unemployment and labor force participation are leveling out and as recent New York Times article says, “unemployment is low, and hiring is strong. But there

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Pay transparency is a trending HR topic

“Show Me the Money”

Companies are increasingly adopting pay transparency practices to address gender pay gaps and increase employee engagement to build trust. Pay transparency is a policy in which companies voluntarily give compensation-related information to all employees. You might be asking, “why is pay transparency so important right

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Where Are All the Workers?

Last week I attended the Illinois Search and Staffing Association’s Midwest Staffing Owners & Executives Retreat. The agenda for this event was packed with really strong speakers and we managed to mix in some fantastic networking, including a hilarious masquerade murder mystery dinner. The real

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Business people at a networking event

Yes, There’s Time to Network

Indeed, there is time … and it doesn’t have to be scary! Avid readers of our blog will remember how my last article covered the topic of digital networking and how making connections from home isn’t just possible, it can be effective. Today we’re going

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Culture = Dollars and Sense

What makes a great company culture? It’s a question leaders often ponder, since they understand the tangible and intangible value that a great culture can have for an organization. Owners want a great culture. Employees want to work at a company with a great culture.

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Find Gold Talent in Your Silver Medalists

What’s new and noteworthy about the silver medalist topic in recruiting?  I found references to the term in Google going back 10+ years. Google the phrase “silver medalist recruiting”. 948,000 results. So why write about it again? Two words: Direct Sourcing. If you’re a hiring

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Post-Pandemic Networking

As a recruiter I’ve been to hundreds of networking events—some with better appetizers than others—and while I miss the selection of onsite events, I realize that they’re not everyone’s ideal way of spending time. A warm, curated, and cared for network is a big help

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Six Rules for Success: Employee Engagement

The importance of retaining your employees is common sense. Retaining your best employees means retaining knowledge, continuity, team strength, customer relationships, and more. If you’re like most companies, employee retention is challenging right now. Employees who stayed with you during the worst of the pandemic

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“What’s Love Got to Do With It?”

Apologies (and credit) to Tina Turner, but her iconic song title is the perfect title for this short essay about Marcus Buckingham’s new book, Love and Work and a related article in the Harvard Business Review, Designing Work that People Love. (HBR, May-June 2022). Let’s

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AI & the Future of Social Media

We recently listened to an interesting Social Pros podcast featuring Paul Roetzer, Founder & CEO of the Marketing AI Institute. Paul’s organization is “a media, event, and online education company making AI approachable and accessible to marketing and business leaders around the world.” In this

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Key Takeaways: Deloitte’s CMO Survey

The CMO Survey by Deloitte is conducted bi-annually by Duke University and the recently released 28th edition provides “insights into the latest trends impacting the world of marketing and how marketers are engaging with the ever-changing landscape.” Today we’re looking at the top 5 takeaways

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9 Trends: The Future of Work

We all know that the pandemic created dramatic changes in the world of work. We also know that much is being written and discussed about the state of work today and predictions for the future. Most articles focus on remote, in-the-office, or hybrid, but this

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Welcome to Elevation Talent Group

It’s a thrill and honor for us to share our new company with you. My name is Lana Johnson and I’m the CEO and co-founder and together with my husband, Jim, our goal is to create a unique company that helps others flourish, whether it’s

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Be Inspired