Monday, July 25, 2011

Negotiating a Salary (haz click aquí para Español)

"you got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away and know when to run"

This isn't just good advice for poker. You can apply it to salary negotiations.

Before you search for the job of your dreams, before you take a call from a recruiter, before you step into an office for an interview - you have to answer one question: "How much am I worth"?

That number is based on a few factors:
-education (where you go/went and how far up the ladder does matter)
-experience (internships and where, jobs and where/how long)
-speculation (what you bring to the job, company -- short and long term)

If you don't have a clear response to the above. If you don't understand the response well enough to speak to it...then you walk into every situation behind the eight ball (even before you hit "enter" on that job search, certainly before you agree to call back the recruiter, every time you walk into that interview)

Without knowing how much you are will you know when to hold em, fold em....get it?

For those of you who are thinking - what? WTF? Is this guy really comparing a salary negotiation to gambling?? You better believe it.

I believe in hard work.....merit always counts, but when you meet with a prospective employer - they're "the house" and the house always holds all the cards....the odds are always with the house.

A) If you contacted them - your hand isn't that strong.
B) If the recruiter (third party) called you - your hand just got a little better
C) If the company contacted you - you're in a position of power

In any of the scenarios above.....never, ever talk about money until it's time to talk about money.
They will- at all stages (some right off the bat) want to know how much you want to make. There is only one answer to that question (before an offer is made). The answer is "I am open to discussing a salary that is fair and competitive based on the responsibilities of the position and my experience". If they can't accept that answer....then it's time to "walk away".

If they accept that answer...congratulations! You're "holding em".

If you give them a just lost, "fold em". At this stage how do you know if you just low balled yourself? Maybe they would have been willing to pay you more. Remember -- a few thousand more is not a major impact to the employer, but it can make a major impact on your personal budget.

So, now you know when to hold em, fold em and walk away....but when do you "run"? When they ask you how much you are making in your current job.

What you are making (in your current job) has no relevance to what the salary (of the prospective job) is. Remember...that salary is based on the existing budget (for that job), what's competitive in the market for that job and what you bring to the table (short and long term).

Some employers will ask you what you currently make because a $5-10k increase might be enticing for you to jump ship and join them. That might be enough for you to do so, but think about this -- what if that bump is less (significantly less) than what the salary is budgeted for??

Here' a link for more advice on salary negotiation:

As always - feel free to send me any questions.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Is Univision’s in-house ad agency good for the industry?

A recent blog asks the question: Is Univision’s in-house ad agency good for the industry?

It's more of a matter of dollars and cents Vs. sense.
Why outsource what you can do yourself?....and from a position of strength? - is there a stronger domestic brand in media than Univision? Univision (like many media companies) is an expert in production and marketing -- reinvesting in marketing (themselves) will help their bottom line in the short/long term and guarantee complete control in the (marketing) process.

Here's a link to Jose Villa's blog:

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What? Where are the Latinas on this list??

How could this be?

In this week's Crain's New York Business list of "50 Most Influential Women of NYC" there are no Latinas and only a total of 3 diverse women featured.

Author, Speaker, Consultant and close friend Mariela Dabbah writes in her blog that she has sent a letter to the editor (one of many she says she has sent the last few months after every list they publish!.

Below is the blog Mariela wrote that includes the letter to Crain's and the names of several Latinas (of the many out there) that she feels should've been on the list.

Click here:

Monday, July 4, 2011

To use a cover letter or not...

A recent blog, painting a grim picture of the need for cover letters by David Gaspin, formerly head of talent acquisition for Conde Nast got a lot of play in the past week.

At first I was taken a back in reading a quote from Gaspin in Media Jobs Daily: “9 out of 10 recruiters that I know don’t read them, and 10 out of 10 recruiters that I know don’t pass them along to hiring managers….”

After saying something like “whah, whah, what!!??”, I visited Mr. Gaspin’s blog site and found that after condemning cover letters – he actually had some sound advice.

From his Blog:
1. Cover letters don’t matter.
2. A cover letter will never get you a job, but it can certainly lose you one.

Hmmm. I disagree with point #1, but see the truth in point #2. As someone who has read many cover letters (as a hiring manager), I can tell you that a poorly written cover letter will often deflate a strong resume. Usually the problem is that the writer either did not understand the purpose of a cover letter (so, the focus was missed), rushed in writing it (and so, used poor grammar), used it as a tool in walking the reader through every detail of their experience (which is best used in an interview conversation) or was repetitive (a longer version of their resume.

Here’s great advice from Gaspin on making cover letters better:
1. Address it to the correct company. Please.
2. Keep it brief. No more than a couple of well thought out paragraphs.
3. Outline two things: why you want the job and why you’re right for the job.
4. Don’t repeat your resume. They’ve already read that.
5. Try to keep it conversational – this is your chance to show your personality.
6. Don’t show too much personality. Failed attempts at humor are deadly in cover letters.
7. If your personality sucks, ignore #6 and stick to a very business-like tone.
8. Read it out loud. If it doesn’t sound good out loud, it doesn’t look good in writing.
9. Proofread it. Check for spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure. Spellcheck is your worst enemy. Just because there are no red squiggly lines doesn’t mean it’s right.
10. Proofread it. Again. You missed something the first time. Trust me.

Gaspin’s blog:

So, while the headline on articles written about Gaspin’s blog on cover letters were a little bit on the insignificance of them….I’d say – the blog is more about the pitfalls of a poorly written one.

I will add that some candidates should consider writing a biography of their experience. It reinforces and elaborates the line items in your resume and keeps you from adding information in your cover letter that shouldn’t be there. Similarly to the advice on resumes and cover letters – keep it brief and on point. One to three paragraphs for each position you outlined in your resume and be sure to use specific examples.

For example (for the position of News Director/Vice President):
In my resume…..
• Production: Administered the mission and tactical operations of a multiplatform local content organization (News, Entertainment, Commercial).
• Marketing: Lead the strategic development of all viewer-focused marketing to build the Telemundo 47 brand and drive audience tune-in/usage of its various platforms.
• Sales: Conducted innovative multiplatform initiatives to support Sales team in generating revenue (product integration, promotions and sponsorships).
• Network: Conceptualized the production of content relevant to a national audience for News, Sports and Entertainment Programming.
• Programming: Authored long format specials (domestic, international), assembled the production team and pitched new revenue making packages.
• Operations: Directed the investing and implementation of new technology to improve on-air product, comply with operational financial goals and enhance the skills of personnel

In my biography….
As Vice President of News for NBC Universal’s Spanish language television station Telemundo 47, Balta turned a traditional broadcast news operation into a multiple platform content center that produces news, entertainment, specials and commercial productions for major markets in the U.S. and Central and South America.

In converting WNJU into a multifaceted production center, Mr. Balta was key in meeting the operational targets of a big media company to meet the challenges of a changing industry and economy. In Sales, he was instrumental in the creation of new streams of revenue as well as maintaining current clients. He implemented new marketing tools that strengthened T47’s brand. Mr. Balta’s investment of new technology and training improved the station’s product and employee skills.

Specific to his duties as News Director, Balta lead a team of more than 80 journalists in the planning, promoting and production of newscasts (morning to late evening, seven days a week) which were recognized with multiple nominations by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and (among many of the awards) achieved 3 “Emmys” for “Best Local Newscast” (out of the 7 consecutive nominations).

In the end, be sure you understand the purpose of (resumes, cover letters, bios) and how to focus them properly in your strategic job search.
It’s never a “one size fits all”. When you take your time (as you should) in properly writing your story – it shows.

As always, please feel free to ask questions and leave your feedback.


Friday, July 1, 2011

The Key to Advance Your Career


Here is an excellent blog from a close friend and experienced professional: Mariela Dabbah.

In "La clave para avanzar en tu carrera" she soundly illustrates the importance of having a network in order to positively and productively manage your career. Her focus is on women in the workplace -- but the advice is universal.

click here: