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Self-Assessment Understanding the Marketplace

Positioning Yourself
Your Professional Image
Once you have completed your market research, you need to develop a plan to highlight your positive attributes and establish relevance between who you are and your target position. Even if your functional skills and background are not perfect fits, if you can communicate this link you will be much more successful in your job search. In this section you’ll look at how you communicate your entire package as a job candidate.

Positioning Yourself Networking Executing Your Job Search Interviewing

The First Two Minutes
We have all read about first impressions and the impact they can have on your professional success. Most agree that within two minutes you have already been evaluated. Some professionals argue that it happens even faster than that—within seconds. People evaluate your visual and behavioral appearance in its entirety. They observe your demeanor, mannerisms, and body language, and even assess your grooming. Within seconds, you have moved from a neutral candidate, assessed only by a résumé, to a probable or improbable candidate. You might argue that you have the best skills among all the potential candidates. But you never get to prove that if the initial impressions are poor. Yes, a candidate can overcome a bad first impression, but it is an uphill battle. If you are impressive in the first two minutes, research has shown that interviewers will give you the benefit of the doubt on the more problematic parts of your résumé. This is driven by two primary factors. First, people like to hire people whom they like—people who will get along with the team and not strain the social fabric. Second, regardless of your initial position, you are being assessed on your ability to make a first impression on their clients. That will help close sales and result in customer satisfaction. The bottom line is that if you fail the twominute test, you will likely have a long and painful job search.

Succeeding with Offers and Negotiation

Graduation/ Job

Strategies to Pass the Two-Minute Test
Start with these three strategies: • Read How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, the Bible of business behavior in the United States for more than 50 years. Even if your interviewers do not practice the teachings in this book, they know that good professionals do. Read this book and practice its suggestions. • Read How to Talk to Anyone by Leil Lowndes. This is a newer book that is particularly useful if you don’t have a lot of experience with the well-heeled in finance, consulting, and C-level circles. • Practice! Practice informally by putting these ideas to work with your friends on a day-to-day basis. And be sure to ask them for their evaluations.


Activity 6: Two-Minute Test Practice
Step 1
Prepare to ask friends, faculty members, or a Career Management Center advisor for their evaluations of you—and prepare to listen openly to their feedback. Getting this feedback is critical. The comments you hear will be a powerful tool that will affect not only your job search but also the rest of your life.

Your Pitch
Your pitch is a 90-second personal statement (also called a positioning statement). It should be succinct, memorable, and relevant. You will use it at corporate briefings, networking events, and any other time you want to quickly summarize your unique qualifications and career aspirations.

Sample Pitches

Step 2

Since this kind of evaluation is very personal in nature, people will rarely offer the feedback without your prompting. Even then, some people will be reluctant to be completely honest. So you need to ask often—and ask specifically. And record the answers.

• “Hi! My name is Jane Awesomeness-Smith. I am a 2010 graduate of the Johnson School, and I’ll be finishing the operations immersion in the spring and am looking for a job in supply-chain management. I recently won a supply-chain-centered national case competition after reading The Goal.” • “Excuse me, do you have a second? I just want to introduce myself—my name is Mark Snelson and I will be graduating from the Johnson School with a concentration in finance. I plan to study abroad in Shanghai in the fall of my second year and am looking for positions that would take advantage of my international business and fluency in multiple languages.” • “I will be receiving my MBA from the Johnson School in May 2009. Before business school I worked in civil engineering for almost five years; my most recent position was project manager. My last assignment before b-school was working with a gold-mining company in Papua, New Guinea. I’m hoping to leverage my engineering background and technical skills in the consulting industry.”

Questions to Ask:

• What one thing could I do to improve my first impression? • Is my eye contact solid, or do I seem distracted? • Do I smile enough? Do I smile too much? • Does my pitch sound genuine or stilted? How can I improve it? __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

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Your Marketing Plan
As you learned in the Core Programs, a marketing plan is designed to launch a product thoughtfully and effectively. In the job search, you are a brand. You are packaging and selling your unique qualities and attributes. How will you package and market yourself so that an employer will want to take you off the shelf, learn more about you, and purchase you?

Elements of Your Marketing Plan
Understand the elements that will comprise your marketing plan: • Target Positions: In review of your self-assessment results and your exploration of the careers in the section “Understanding the Marketplace,” you should have identified one or more target positions that you are interested in pursuing. • Brand Description: The brand description is a summary of your attributes as a product. What are you known for; what is your essence as a brand? You must establish the link between yourself and the career you’re pursuing, and, more important, you need to clearly articulate your distinguishing characteristics. • Positioning Statement: This is your sales pitch, telling who you are and what you’re about. It’s succinct and memorable and describes how, and for what, you want to be remembered. It should concisely communicate where you want your career to go, why, and how you plan to get there. • Product=Key Competencies: You are the product: your skills, interests, and motivators. Review your CareerLeader® results and the section on “Selfassessment.” From your CareerLeader® results, list your top skills, the industry and professional knowledge you’ve acquired, and your career-relevant traits. • Place=Target Market Characteristics: A comprehensive list of 20–30 specific target companies, including geographic area, industry, company size, culture, and organizational structure. • Price: The compensation and benefits package you require • Promotion: Your plan to network and publicize yourself


Activity 7: Develop Your Marketing Plan
Step 1
Place=Target Market Characteristics
Review this example of a marketing plan for the position of brand manager. Geographic area: Midwest preferred; smaller, secondary city Industries: food, restaurant, hospitality Size of organization: Fortune 1000, international in scope Organizational structure: hierarchical is fine as long as culture is collaborative, creative, fun Culture: team-based, creative, fun

Sample Marketing Plan
Target Position
Associate Brand Manager or Brand Manager

Brand Description

In my work I value financial gain, prestige, variety, and affiliation. I am at my best in a creative business environment where I am a key contributor to a product development team. I bring my talents of understanding customer needs, communicating those needs to others, and translating those needs into products. I am known for being customer-focused and innovative. In my next role, I would like to be thought of as a savvy businessperson who understands the bottom line and generates results. Five years from now, I want to be a senior manager or director with brand strategy responsibility for international, food-oriented consumer products.

Target Companies
Industry: food Nestlé General Mills Industry: restaurant Darden Industry: hospitality Starwood

Positioning Statement

Price=Compensation and Benefits

I have a consumer marketing background, primarily in the consumer package goods industry, where I have been involved in all stages of the product life cycle. Most recently I was part of a team that successfully launched a new line of healthy breakfast cereals. I want to use this experience in a brand management role for a nationally known restaurant group or more diversified or niche foods company.

Competitive per Johnson School employment stats; more important are challenge and opportunity, quality of life, child care (on site)


Product=Key Competencies
Skills Customer service Project management Written/verbal communication Knowledge Food industry ISO standards Product life cycle Traits Creative Organized Collaborative

Speak to Johnson and Cornell network, personal network, alumni Attend New York Restaurant Association Show Networking trip over spring break to Minneapolis

Step 2

Complete a marketing plan for one of your target positions.

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My Marketing Plan
Target Position_____________________________________________________ Brand Description
__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Place=Target Market Characteristics
Geographic area: _________________________________________________________________________ Industries: _________________________________________________________________________ Size of organization: _________________________________________________________________________ Organizational structure: _________________________________________________________________________ Culture: _________________________________________________________________________

Positioning Statement
__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

Target Companies
Industry: Industry: Industry:

Product=Key Competencies



Price=Compensation and Benefits

__________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________


1. ___________________________________________ 2.___________________________________________ 3. ___________________________________________ 4. _ _________________________________________ 5.___________________________________________


Activity 8: Personal Creative Brief
Personal Creative Brief
To successfully position yourself, you will need to specify your attributes, your essence. You must establish the link between yourself and the career you’re pursuing and clearly articulate your distinguishing characteristics. A personal creative brief is a communication tool to help you understand and articulate your core brand essence. It condenses your marketing plan to a few important key words and phrases that differentiate you to employers. The thoughts and words from your personal creative brief will be useful to you in your résumé, business correspondence, and interviews. A personal creative brief is a communication tool to help you understand and articulate your core brand essence. In this exercise, you’ll condense your marketing plan to a few important key words and phrases that differentiate you to employers. Plan your words carefully—you should be able to utilize the thoughts and words you write for this activity in your résumé, business correspondence, and interviews.

Step 1

Understand the issues addressed in each section of the creative brief. • Communication Objective: What is the reason for this specific communication? Are you asking for a networking meeting? Are you hoping to get an interview? Are you gathering information about different careers? • Target: With whom are you communicating? The words you choose may change based on your target. • Target Insight: What is uniquely important or relevant to the target or the company? (You should be able to state this insight in one sentence.) • Single Most Important Point: This point is about you. If your communication target remembers only one thing about you, what should it be? (Be prepared to summarize your single most important point in one sentence.) • Target Action: What are you trying to get out of this particular communication? What do you want the target to think and do in response to this communication? How will you connect with the contact? • Personal Tone and Manner: How do you want to come across in your communication? (Consider what three adjectives best convey these qualities.)

Step 2

Review this example of a creative brief.

Sample Creative Brief

Communication Objective: Get an informational interview with an alumnus. Target: Drew Pascarella at Citi Target Insight: Drew has been in the technology group and recently became a VP; one of Citi’s core values is cross marketing. Single Most Important Point: I worked in the treasury department of a technology firm and just completed an M&A deal with a company. Target Action: I want to get 15 minutes on Drew’s calendar. Personal Tone and Manner: tech savvy, motivated, enthusiastic

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Step 3

Develop a creative brief that will help you convey your core brand essence as a business professional.

• Take CareerLeader® and discuss results with a Career Management Center advisor. • Attend a Career Self-Assessment workshop. • Take the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and discuss results and their relevance to career choices with a Career Management Center advisor. • Read Discovering Your Careers in Business by Timothy Butler and James Waldroop and complete the exercises in Chapter 3.

My Creative Brief
Communication Objective:_ _________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________


Business Correspondence
Cover Letters
The cover letter functions as an extension of your résumé and reflects your knowledge of a specific employer’s needs. It should demonstrate that you are able to communicate clearly and concisely, that you are sincerely interested in this particular job, and that you are well suited for the job. Employers look for passion and enthusiasm for the industry, the company, and the position. Because employers’ needs are different, you will need to write a unique cover letter carefully tailored to each individual employer. A cover letter typically consists of three parts: • Introduction: Capture the employer’s interest! Identify the position for which you are applying, tell how you found information about the job, and describe your interest in the opening. If appropriate, you may even identify second-year students or alumni whom you know there. • Specifics: Explain how your qualifications relate to the opening. Include examples of measurable results from past jobs that make you a particularly strong candidate.

Target Insight:

Target Action:

Single Most Important Point:

• Closing: Ask the employer to agree to a date for the two of you to meet for an interview. In cover letters for on-campus interviews, say that you look forward to seeing the recruiter when the employer comes to campus.

Personal Tone and Manner:


Activity 9: Introspective Questions for Cover Letter
Before you start to write your cover letter, answer the following questions: • Why did you choose this industry? • Why did you choose this company? • Why did you choose this position? • Why should the company hire you? The text of your cover letter should address each of these points.

Cover Letter Framework
[Date] month day, year [Mr./Ms./Mrs.] Joseph/Jane Sewall Director of Marketing Kraft Foods Inc. 1500 West Road White Plains, NY 10705 Dear [Ms.] Sewall: It was a pleasure to attend the Kraft Foods Inc. briefing at the Johnson School last [month], where I enjoyed meeting several company representatives. Recently I spoke with [name], a Johnson School [alumnus/alumna] at Kraft Foods Inc., and [he/she] told me about your company’s expansion into the freeze-dried foods business. [He/she] indicated that you will be launching [this project] during the coming summer months. I am very interested in joining Kraft Foods Inc. in a position in this area. [This section introduces the candidate, the position of interest, and relevant company contacts]. I will receive my MBA from the Johnson School at Cornell University in May. During my first year I decided to pursue a concentration in marketing and gain some related experience through my summer internship. As a marketing assistant at [company], I was an integral part of the team that launched [company’s] new [product name] product. This successful project allowed me to demonstrate and sharpen my analytical, quantitative, and team skills. This experience also confirmed my interest in consumer-goods marketing. [This section highlights the candidate’s relevant experience and fit for the position. This section should build on the résumé but not repeat information that can be found on the résumé]. I would like to talk with you personally about my interest in working for Kraft Foods Inc. I will call you in the next week to ask if it might be possible to arrange a meeting. Sincerely, [Sign your name] [Type your name] [Your Street Address] [City, State, ZIP] use the proper postal abbreviation for the state

Checklist: Cover Letters

q My cover letter is carefully tailored to each individual employer. It’s not the same
basic letter with only minor changes.

q My cover letter is addressed to an individual. It does not say “Dear Sir/Madam” or
“To Whom It May Concern.”

q If my cover letter responds to a specific job posting, it addresses skills and attributes
desired for the position.

q My cover letter has an introduction, offers specifics, and has a call to action in the

q I carefully proofread my cover letter and checked for misspellings. I didn’t just use the
spell-check function on my computer.

q I checked for copy-and-paste problems. q My cover letter fits on one page and is centered on the page with equal margins on
the sides.

q I’ve checked the file name before attaching to an email. (Applicants often use a
company name in the filename, edit the letter, and forget to update the filename to reflect the new company.)

q For cover letters that are sent by postal mail or hand-delivered, I’ve used quality paper
either in white or a color matched to my résumé.

q For cover letters that are sent by postal mail or hand-delivered, I signed my letter
above my typed name.

q I followed up by phone and/or email with the employer after he/she had adequate
time to read and consider my cover letter.

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Sample Cover Letters
Charles J. Bowser 336 North Sunset Drive Ithaca, NY 14850 607-229-0573 Email: September 25, 2003 Mr. Jeffrey P. Agranoff Recruiting Manager PricewaterhouseCoopers 1177 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY, USA 10036 Dear Mr. Agranoff: As you know, I am a second-year MBA student at the Johnson School at Cornell University. I am a 1994 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and an 8½-year veteran of the U.S. Submarine Force. Last spring I took the Managerial Finance Immersion to deepen my knowledge of finance before the summer internship. This year I have continued to concentrate my studies in the area of corporate finance. I am very impressed by the breadth of opportunities at PricewaterhouseCoopers. What attracted me to your firm is the superior reputation PwC enjoys in the financial sector, as well as the high-caliber graduates PwC hires. My desire to work for PwC was solidified by my background in the energy industry and continued interest in corporate finance. In the course of more than 8 years as a naval officer, a year of graduate school education, and a summer internship in the private sector, I have gained a great range of leadership, teamwork, technical, and interpersonal skills that I feel make me uniquely qualified for your firm and a career as a financial risk management consultant. As a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy’s elite Submarine Force, I have led many sailors in both training and clandestine missions. Success as a submarine officer requires confidence, technical know-how, and fine-tuned leadership skills; vision, commitment, integrity, and the ability to “think on your feet” are crucial. I have proven that I am a leader, not just a manager, and have led through attitude and achievement, no matter where I have appeared in an organizational chart. My experience in the Navy Nuclear Power program has provided skills that are directly applicable in the Energy Sector of PwC’s FRM practice. During the Managerial Finance Immersion and subsequent finance classes, I have rediscovered my deep interest in a financial career. Finance was something that fascinated me before I entered the service, but until business school I have been detached from what I believe to be my true calling. During my summer internship at Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., I honed the skills of client service. The problems I encountered this summer were all unique and required creative solutions as well as the ability to interact with the client and learn the firm’s true needs. In addition, as the co-chair of the Community Consulting Group here at the Johnson School, I have enhanced my ability to create innovative solutions that drive customer satisfaction. I have spent some time speaking with Trish Murison. She has reinforced my belief that PwC can provide an interesting job, intellectual challenges, and the optimal working environment for me. Thank you for your consideration. Best Regards, Charles J. Bowser

Nicole Craddock Class of 2008 Tel: 425-985-0261 December 16, 2006 Ms. Molly Morgan-Bove IBD Associate Recruiting Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. 745 7th Ave. 28th Floor New York, New York 10019 Dear Ms. Morgan-Bove: I am a first-year MBA student at Cornell University and am writing to express interest in the Lehman Brothers Investment Banking Summer Associate position. Through conversations with members of the Lehman Brothers team, I have developed a strong appreciation for Lehman Brothers’ culture and capabilities. I have had the pleasure of speaking with a number of Lehman employees, including Steven Berkenfeld, Evan Rothenberg, Robert Chesley, Christina Park, Steve Pedone, Beth Schrader, Peter Ying, Charles Fisher, Jared Talisman, Kiran Prasad, Matthew Conroy, Evelyn Estey, and Angela Mwanza. Based on these interactions, I believe that my personality, leadership abilities, and analytical skills are a strong fit with Lehman Brothers and the Investment Banking Summer Associate position. Over the past few years I have worked in healthcare strategic planning. My work was highly projectoriented and required me to synthesize quantitative and qualitative information and present key findings to people at all levels across my organization. Through this experience I developed a strong ability to work efficiently, handle changing deadlines, and establish rapport with clients and teammates. I have attached my résumé for your review and look forward to speaking with you about how my skills and qualifications will add value to the Lehman Brothers team. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Nicole Craddock Enclosure: Résumé


Abigail Hills Apt A Ithaca, NY 14850 Phone: 212-111-1111 email:

October 24, 2007 Ms. Jennifer Durante Deloitte Consulting LLP Campus Recruiting Lead 25 Broadway New York, NY 10004 Dear Ms. Durante: I am a second-year MBA/MHA student at the Johnson School and the Sloan Program of Health Administration and expect to graduate in May 2009. I am writing to express my interest in the Summer Associate position in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Life Sciences and Health Care practice. Over the past several months I have had the opportunity to learn about the company through the Johnson School Consulting Club office visit, corporate briefings in both graduate programs, and conversations with former Deloitte interns and present employees. I am also currently in the midst of a Deloitte Human Capital case competition supported by Vivek Sethia (NY–Human Capital). Overall, Deloitte is a primary player in the provider, payer, and life science areas, making important advances throughout the industry. Based upon all of these points and further research, I believe that Deloitte offers exceptional opportunities for a summer intern. My rationale in pursuing the MBA/MHA degree combination was to apply overall business knowledge to the dynamic problems of the U.S. healthcare system. The variety and complexity of Deloitte’s projects provides the opportunity to apply this dual knowledge base. In addition, my work in the hard-science environment at U.S. Genomics, combined with my pharmaceutical experience while in the Treasury at Merck & Co., provided exposure to the life science facets of our healthcare system. Finally, my years as both a college lacrosse player and as an assistant women’s lacrosse coach at Cornell helped me develop strong skills of teamwork, discipline, hard work, perseverance, and a results-oriented mentality. I am certain that the combination of my experiences will prove advantageous to a career in consulting. I am confident that my prior work experience covering a variety of healthcare industries, along with the academic base I am establishing at Cornell, will enable me to make a valuable contribution to Deloitte. I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss my candidacy further when your company interviews on campus. Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely, Abigail Hills Attachment: Résumé

Michelle Colban 215 College Avenue #3 Ithaca, New York 14850 Phone: 917-968-5659 email: December 16, 2007 Ms. Katie Preston Candidate Care Specialist Campbell Soup Company 1 Campbell Place Box 35D Camden, New Jersey 08103 Dear Ms. Preston: I am a first-year MBA student at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management writing to express my interest in Campbell Soup Company’s Associate Brand Manager Internship. Campbell’s has national brands that are recognized for their consistent quality and that are the optimal size to allow me to positively impact the business. I received information regarding this position at Campbell’s company briefing at Cornell earlier this fall. In September at the Johnson School’s Golf Invitational, I had the opportunity to learn about the position of Associate Brand Manager by speaking with Michael Hill, Jake Ellerbrock, and Sandra Gilligan, who are currently at Campbell’s. I also had the chance to meet with Lynn Ambrosia, vice president and general manager at Campbell’s, who gave me an overview of her career path in the food industry after graduating from the Johnson School. Throughout my conversations with Campbell’s representatives, I’ve found that the Associate Brand Manager Internship represents the best alignment of my education and experience in the food industry with my practical marketing skills. I have had the opportunity to work in marketing at a start-up food company, new-product development at Unilever, and quality control at Kraft. While at Cornell, I became interested in consumer behavior as a research associate for Brian Wansink’s Food and Brand Lab, designing marketing experiments to test how consumer perceptions are affected by different package sizes and eating environments. Because of my cross-functional background, I was chosen for a consulting project to create a marketing strategy for Nurture Foods, a company that develops frozen organic baby food. As my résumé indicates, I also led several projects that required me to work well in extended teams as my projects often depended on collaboration among various disciplines. Throughout my academic and professional career, I have consistently demonstrated strong communication skills, analytical ability, creativity, dedication, and poise. I am confident that with my diverse background and experience I can make a significant contribution to your company. I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to further discuss my credentials for Campbell Soup Company’s Associate Brand Manager Internship. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Michelle Colban

The Johnson School Career Workbook


• Cover letter workshop offered by the Career Management Center • Career Management Center staff can help review your letters. • The Career Management Center’s Cover Letter Craze • Books on the subject are available in the career management section of the Management Library. In particular, we recommend Cover Letters That Knock ’Em Dead by Martin Yate.

Thank-You Letters
Thank-you letters are required after every interview, including phone interviews. It is becoming more common to send an email thank-you note, but a handwritten note on tasteful stationery can be written in special cases. If you meet with a panel interview, you should send individual thank-you notes to each panel member, tailoring your note to their specific interests or functional role within the team. Thank-you letters should accomplish the following: • Convey your appreciation for the time the employer spent in the interview • Restate your interest and qualifications • Strengthen your candidacy with additional, relevant information and/or provide information of interest to the interviewer, such as an article you just read • Indicate eagerness for a positive response

Email Framework
Subject Line: [company name] Dear [first name], I am a first year MBA student at Cornell University pursuing a career in [insert career interest]. I located your information on [data source: JS alum, LinkedIn, etc.] and would appreciate connecting with you to learn more about your experience with [company name]. I am very interested in [company name] because of [X reasons]. Prior to business school I worked in [ job function] at [company] for [X years]. Like yourself, I [insert what you have in common] and was hoping to connect with you to learn about how you have built a successful career at [company]. I will follow up on this email by phone on [day of week] [date] at [time]. If this time is not convenient, please let me know a time that would work better for you. Sincerely, [first name] First name Last name Cornell University The Johnson Graduate School of Management | MBA Class of 20xx Phone: (607) 555-1212 | Email:

Activity 10: Introspective Questions for Thank-You Letter
Before you start to write your thank-you letter, answer the following questions: • What is the one thing you want to make sure the interviewer remembers about you and your skills or qualifications? • Now that you’ve learned more about the position during your interview, what additional information about you do you want the interviewer to know? • What original ideas would you bring to the position? The text of your thank-you letter should address each of these points.

Tips: Email
• Keep emails concise. Every sentence should contain something that will pique your target’s interest. Nothing will get their attention more than someone with whom they can identify as well as someone who has a sincere interest in their company. • Avoid sending a career summary, and use your discretion when deciding to send your résumé in an introductory email. • Try to keep the font style, size, and color consistent with conservative business communication. • Proofread all emails before you send them. You only have one chance to make a good impression.

Checklist: Thank-You Letters

q My thank-you note is sent out within 24 hours of the interview. q It conveys my appreciation for the employer’s time. q It shows that I listened attentively in the interview and that I added additional
information about my candidacy.

q It reinforces my best selling points and shows why I’m the best fit for the opening.


Thank-You Letter Framework

[Date] month day, year [Mr./Ms./Mrs.] Joseph/Jane Sewall Director of Marketing Kraft Foods Inc. International 1500 West Road White Plains, NY 10705 Dear [Ms.] Sewall: I enjoyed meeting you last week. Thank you for taking the time to speak with me about the Assistant Brand Manager position at Kraft Foods Inc. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to share some of my thoughts on marketing and brand development. [This section thanks the employer for his/ her time and reaffirms the interest in the position]. After talking with your staff and learning more about Kraft Foods Inc.’s expansion into the freezedried business, I am even more excited about the position. I believe it offers a great opportunity to combine my skills and experience in sales and marketing in order to build a dynamic brand platform that can make a real and lasting impact on Kraft Foods’ business. I would very much like to join the team. [This section summarizes qualifications and answers why you are the best person for the job]. I look forward to hearing from you soon regarding your decision. Sincerely, [Sign your name] [Type your name]

[Your Street Address]

MBA Résumé
Your résumé is a vital part of your job search. It is used by employers seeking candidates for position openings; it is used as a “calling card” when you meet people who might be valuable contacts in your field. A great résumé describes your achievements and skills in such a way that readers can quickly understand your strengths and easily infer your interests. The standard Johnson School résumé should be a one-page document summarizing your education, professional experience, related skills and interests, and personal interests. Employers in business favor a straightforward, reverse-chronological-order document. Therefore, we discourage using a “functional résumé” format. For the résumé book you are required to use the template we have prepared. This same template may serve you well in all other instances. The résumé is not written in complete sentences but in short phrases. These phrases should convey a great deal in a few words. Insofar as possible, the phrases in the “professional experience” section of the résumé should summarize your achievements. Begin these phrases with strong past-tense verbs, such as “Achieved, managed, coordinated, led, oversaw, facilitated.” Whenever possible, quantify the results of your work—for example, did you reduce costs, increase sales, reduce lead-time, reduce staff turnover?

[City, State Abbreviation, ZIP]

Key Words
Make your résumé scannable by applicant-tracking systems. Incorporate key words and describe your work experience in a way that is meaningful to your target industry. Develop your key words through research: • informational interviews • job descriptions • trade organization materials • company websites • online discussion groups For more information, refer to the article, “Résumé, Meet Technology: How Your Story Gets Read by Machines” by Lisa Vaas (copyright 2009, The Ladders), reprinted in the Appendix of this workbook, with permission of the publisher.

Sample Thank-You Email
Dear Greg, It was nice to meet you at the Kraft briefing on Wednesday night. Thank you for answering my questions about the various Brand Management positions you’ve held within the company and sharing with me your experiences so far. I’m very interested in pursuing a career in food marketing, and I have a few questions about the more specific day-to-day functions of a Brand Manager within the Foodservice division. At your convenience, would you have some time to talk via phone? Please let me know what works best with your schedule. Thanks, Michelle _____________________________________ Michelle Colban, MBA ’09 Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University (917) 968-5659

What to Omit
The standard professional résumé in the United States does NOT include: • Height and weight or other physical features • Marital status • Objectives • Executive summary • Citizenship—but work authorization may be included

The Johnson School Career Workbook


Formatting Specifications
• Use one page of 8.5" x 11" paper. • Use a clear simple font—such as Arial, Palatino, or Times Roman. • Use the font in a 10-, 11-, or 12-point size. • Set the page margins at 1" all around. • Do not use oversized type for your name; do not change type size or style within the document; use only one font style for a clean, crisp appearance. • Section headings should be in the left margin. • Use boldfaced or italic type to highlight schools, titles, or company names. • Use a list format with bullets to clearly show short, descriptive phrases.

Checklist: Résumé Writing
I have included:

q My name, email address, and preferred telephone number q Education—institutions and degrees, listed in reverse chronological order, including
the month and year I graduated (or expect to graduate)

q Work experience—jobs held, listed in reverse chronological order, including name of
company, job title, and dates held I have made sure to:

q Convey my achievements in concise, descriptive statements using strong
past-tense verbs

Sample Résumés
The résumés for these alumni (shown on the following pages) are good examples of one-page Johnson School résumés: • Nicole Craddock ’08: Nicole was a career switcher and used this résumé in her search for a summer internship. She received several job offers, held a summer internship with Lehman Brothers in investment banking, and accepted the permanent full-time offer that resulted from her internship. • Meloney Moore ’08: Meloney conducted an off-campus job search, received several job offers, and accepted a summer internship and a full-time position with Diageo. At the time she prepared the résumé labeled “2006,” early in her first year, she planned to take the Strategic Brand Management Immersion. She later changed plans and developed a customized program focusing on international brand management and negotiations in emerging markets. The version labeled “2007” summarizes her first-year activities and her summer 2007 internship. • Brad Gallant ’08: Brad entered the Accelerated MBA program in the summer of 2007. He was a career switcher and obtained several job offers through his offcampus job search. He accepted a full-time position with DTE Energy Services. • Rohit Kumar ’08: Rohit used this résumé in his search for a summer internship. He was a career switcher who is not authorized to work in the United States. He received multiple job offers, accepted a summer internship at AT&T and a permanent position with CapGemini. • Santiago Canela, who is not authorized to work in the United States, obtained several job offers through on-campus recruiting. He accepted a summer internship with McKinsey in Colombia as the result of an off-campus job search. • Kate Capossela was a career switcher who obtained several job offers through oncampus recruiting and accepted a summer internship with Johnson & Johnson.

q Demonstrate results, not just tasks and responsibilities q Quantify results as much as possible q Write for the reader
(Identify the skills useful in the position for which you’re applying and cite examples of achievements that demonstrate those skills.)

q Use industry terms to make résumé key words searchable q Avoid jargon
(If you are a career switcher, make sure the reader understands the significance of your accomplishments and can imagine you using your skills for his/her ends.)

q Edit ruthlessly and annihilate all unnecessary words and sentences
I have considered including these optional items:

q Majors, minors, concentrations, Johnson School immersions q Honors and awards q Named scholarships q GPA, if it would be considered exceptional q Special programs and study-abroad experiences q Short 1- to 2-sentence description of any company, if it is not well known
I have considered including this other information—headed “Other,” “Personal,” or “Interests”:

q Languages, including level of proficiency q Professional affiliations or certifications q Community service q Athletic and artistic interests q Hobbies that I can discuss knowledgeably q Interests that distinguish me and catch the eye of the reader


MBA Focus Template
Street Address, include apartment #, City, State ZIP 000-000-0000

Sample MBA Résumés

First Name Last Name

400 Triphammer Road, #L-2, Ithaca, NY 14850 425-985-0261

Nicole Craddock


Cornell University, Johnson Graduate School of Management

Master of Business Administration, May 2009 Immersion (optional) Officer/Member, Name of Clubs; continue with Clubs divided by semicolons or commas

Ithaca, NY


Cornell University, Johnson Graduate School of Management

Undergraduate College City, ST Bachelor of Xxxx, Month Year Highlight only major leadership or major achievements, using only one line

Master of Business Administration, May 2008 Park Leadership Fellow—Merit-based, full scholarship awarded for demonstrated leadership, professional and academic achievement, and community service Old Ezra Finance Club, Student Council Facilities Chair, Women’s Management Council, Investment Banking Immersion, 720 GMAT

Ithaca, NY


Company Name
Position Title (most recent) Depending on responsibilities you may want to write 1-2 lines here describing essence of your work OR describing the company if not commonly known. Follow with bullet points. [Refer to pages 22–23 in this workbook.] • Highlight accomplishments in this space; résumés are not job descriptions. • Start your sentence with an active verb, not a passive one. • Use past-tense verbs to show what you have accomplished. • Quantify results as much as possible. • Use key words that will catch a recruiter’s eye.

City, ST

Whitworth College Spokane, WA Bachelor of Arts, English Literature, May 2002 Magna cum laude, Presidential Scholarship, Faculty Writing Award


Overlake Hospital Medical Center
• Earned rapid promotions based on exemplary performance • Awarded Employee of the Month Bellevue, WA


Company Name
Position Title • Emphasize accomplishments that are relevant to the job you want. • Be specific—omit unnecessary words and sentences.

City, ST


Company Name
Position Title • Write without reference to first person (“I,” “me,” or “my”). • Enter the R (result) from your PAR. Language Skills, Certifications, etc., if relevant to desired position [If fewer than two outstanding entries, omit this section.] • Put personal interests that will distinguish you from other applicants here, can use commas. • Volunteer service, miscellaneous leadership; can separate with commas. • If no “Skills/Awards” section, you may put more information here.

City, ST

(2005–2006) Communication and Market Research Specialist (Strategic Development and Marketing) • Led a cross-functional team to develop a model of care that will better support the long-term health of elderly patients • Analyzed a merger opportunity and presented analysis to board members • Authored articles for external publications reaching more than 250,000 potential patients • Prepared a written presentation of hospital and market data to complete an official statement for a $160 million bond offering • Revitalized and redesigned the organization’s internal communication publication • Mentored and coached less-experienced staff members (2004–2006) Market Research Coordinator (Strategic Development Department) Furthered a multi-year initiative to build a $200 million, 120-bed hospital in a rapidly growing submarket • Played a significant role in the submission of an extensive regulatory application to the Department of Health • Raised community support through PR and outreach campaigns (2003–2004) Planning Assistant (Strategic Development Department) • Led a team of 350 participants in the American Heart Association Heart Walk • Supported all members of the department on projects and initiatives 2002–2003

Skills/Awards Personal

Aromas Naturales Alaska
Entrepreneur/Marketing and Sales Manager Ketchikan, AK; Everett, WA • Developed a business plan and opened a start-up retail business • Managed all aspects of the business and supervised a staff of 5 employees • Motorcycle enthusiast and aspiring golfer • Enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and cooking • Advocate for empowering homeless youth to exit street life: served as a mentor for homeless youth in Spokane, WA and received 30 hours of training in this area • Taught English as a second language in China and Vietnam • Performed relief work in Honduras following Hurricane Mitch


The Johnson School Career Workbook



518 Dryden Road Apt #B3F, Ithaca, NY 14850 H-607.319.0880 C-917.749.1941

Meloney Moore


518 Dryden Road Apt B3F, Ithaca, NY 14850 917.749.1941

Meloney Moore


Cornell University, Johnson Graduate School of Management

Master of Business Administration, May 2008 Strategic Brand Management Immersion Marketing, Black Graduate Business, and Asian Business Associations

Ithaca, NY


Cornell University, Johnson Graduate School of Management
Master of Business Administration, May 2008 Global Marketing and Negotiations in Emerging Markets Focus VP of Marketing, Johnson on Tap Member of Asian Business Association

Ithaca, NY

University of Notre Dame South Bend, IN Bachelor of Business, May 2001 Marketing and Government, International Business Certification Thurgood Marshall Scholar, Diversity Leadership Award Recipient Deans List


Liz Claiborne Accessories
Sr. Brand Planner for Juicy Couture, Lucky, and Kenneth Cole Accessories New York, NY • Facilitated brand diversification strategy by providing strategic analysis to senior management in the area of new brand initiatives Result: Aided team in achieving $9 million in annual revenue • Increased the efficiency at which senior management analyzed the business through the design of an automated database tool that recaps weekly sales opportunities, inventory position and business performance at retail Result: Identified more than $20,000 a week in additional sales opportunities • Implemented an inventory/sales planning tool that allowed merchandisers to balance inventory, sales to focus efforts on owned inventory, and production to increase internal margins Result: Aided team in achieving $76 million in annual revenue • Established division-wide process to anticipate potential loss in revenue due to shortage of supply, late shipping, and order errors Result: Identified more than $1 million in monthly shrinkage • Conducted external research to effectively manage the sale and production of a $2 million replenishment suiting program Result: Achieved 95 percent fill rates; exceeded expected budget by 15 percent • Worked closely with retailers to understand competition and sales trends in order to provide strategic direction to the design and merchandising teams for future product development initiatives Result: Initiated re-pricing strategy for Ellen Tracy Handbags • • • • Liz Claiborne Accessories Cross-Functional Leap-Frog Award (2006) Notre Dame Young Alumni Award for volunteering efforts (2006) Liz Acts Volunteer Achievement Award (2005 and 2006) Competed 16-month cross-functional executive leadership training program (2002)

University of Notre Dame South Bend, IN Bachelor of Business, May 2001 Marketing and Government, International Business Certification Thurgood Marshall Scholar, Diversity Leadership Award Recipient Deans List ’01



Summer ’07 MBA Marketing Intern on Beer Innovation New York, NY • Presented recommendations to management on strategic opportunities within the craft beer industry Result: Provided executable strategies for existing brand portfolio • Worked closely with brand managers, distributors, and ad agencies to develop an on-premise test strategy for Red Stripe Draft Result: Maximized test performance by identifying key commercial barriers and location opportunities for the new product launch • Presented market opportunities for a new beer brand within a new beer category Result: Provided team with entry strategy 2001–2006

Liz Claiborne Accessories
Sr. Brand Planner for Juicy Couture, Lucky, and Kenneth Cole Accessories New York, NY • Facilitated brand diversification strategy by providing strategic analysis to senior management in the area of new brand initiatives Result: Aided team in achieving $9 million in annual revenue • Increased the efficiency at which senior management analyzed the business through the design of an automated database tool that recaps weekly sales opportunities, inventory position and business performance at retail Result: Identified more than $20,000 a week in additional sales opportunities • Implemented an inventory/sales planning tool that allowed merchandisers to balance inventory, sales to focus efforts on owned inventory, and production to increase internal margins Result: Contributed to the achievment of $76 million in annual revenue • Established division-wide process to anticipate potential loss in revenue due to shortage of supply, late shipping, and order errors Result: Identified more than $1 million in monthly shrinkage • Emerging Markets: Japan and Korea Study Trip (2008), South African Exchange Program (2008), Turkey and Bulgaria Study Trip (2008), China Study Trip (2007) • Accomplishments: Awarded Liz Claiborne Accessories Cross-Functional Leap-Frog Award (2006); awarded Notre Dame Young Alumni Award for volunteering efforts (2006); awarded Liz Acts Volunteer Achievement Award (2005 and 2006); competed 16-month cross-functional executive leadership training program (2002) • Professional workshop facilitator for inner-city scholarship fund • Hobbies include wine tasting and beer brewing



• Professional workshop facilitator for inner-city scholarship fund • Scheduled to learn fluent Mandarin in fall semester of 2007 • Wine enthusiast, member of Johnson School Wine Club and Sheldrake Point Wine Club




222 Summerhill Drive, Apt #1, Ithaca, NY 14850 607-221-5522

Bradley Thomas Gallant

400 Triphammer Road, WestView Apt. #B1, Ithaca, NY 14850 914-552-6605

Rohit Kumar


Cornell University, Johnson Graduate School of Management

Master of Business Administration, May 2008 Energy Club, Net Impact, Automotive X Prize (AXP) Competition, Finance Club Big Red Ventures Fund—Novomer and Optimal Energy Systems, Inc. projects Winner of Johnson School McAllister Essay Award for excellence in writing

Ithaca, NY


Cornell University, Johnson Graduate School of Management

University of Findlay Findlay, OH Master of Science, Environmental Management, November 1999 Innovative curriculum focused on environmental risk management, sustainable development, and environmental compliance Completed program while working full time Ohio University, Russ College of Engineering Bachelor of Science, Civil Engineering, March 1996 Completed three civil/environmental engineering internships Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity, philanthropy chair Athens, OH

Master of Business Administration, May 2008 Managerial Finance Immersion; Leadership Focus; GMAT 720; GPA 3.8/4.0 VP Johnson Consulting Club; BRI Consultant; Old Ezra Finance Club Teaching Assistant for Finance, Cost Accounting President—Johnson Squash Club; member of Toastmasters

Ithaca, NY

Pune University, Army Institute of Technology Pune, India Bachelor of Engineering Electronics and Telecommunications , June 2001 First Class with Distinction (top 5 percent of graduating class) Winner of the intercollegiate debate contest Verve 2001, from among 97 Indian colleges Recipient of Best Student Award and the Rajshekhar Trophy for best in extra-curricular

2005–2006 Corning, NY

Infosys Technologies Limited
Business Consultant London, UK • Managed relationship with sales and key client for $1 million revenue project; added projects worth $3 million to account portfolio in 6 months • Led a team of 5 consultants in a client-facing role on a technology M&A engagement in the fiber-optic space and conducted post-merger systems integration • Performed advisory role identifying new growth opportunities for the largest telecom service provider in the United Kingdom • Developed a roadmap for the largest fiber-optic network migration program in Europe; identified issues and prepared risk-mitigation strategies • Performed industry competitive analysis and streamlined organizational effectiveness by implementing strategically viable practices; achieved cost savings of $60 million Programmer Analyst Bangalore, India • Led teams that designed and developed cutting-edge networking applications in record time and budget of $100,000; zero-defect delivery consistently for 2 years • Co-designed Internet routing algorithm that increased data throughput efficiency by 40 percent; algorithm design filed for patent • Anchored the first ever Technology Summit within the division; initiative cited by CEO and event now conducted annually • Recipient of the Excellence Award—among top 100 performers from 60,000 employees Software Engineer Bangalore, India • Automated client application testing processes; decreased test-cycle time by 90 percent • Mentored fresh entrants; executed a formalized training plan • Led a voluntary team of web designers in designing a web portal for the entire division • Fluent in Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi, and Marathi (basic reading) • Member of Toastmasters International (3 years); won several public-speaking contests • Volunteered in school for visually impaired children; organized a charity walkathon in which more than 5,000 citizens participated • Led several trekking teams, including one in the Himalayas


Corning, Inc.
Management Practicum consulting project • Conducted segmentation study of the non-road diesel-emissioncontrol market • Reported on customer purchasing procedures and preferences, and developed strategic business development recommendations


Conestoga-Rovers & Associates, Inc.
Project Manager Detroit, MI • Managed 20+ facility closure/redevelopment projects with fees exceeding $10 million for a variety of clients including General Motors, Ford, Delphi, and DTE Energy • Developed and administered more than 30 construction contracts for projects involving multiple sub-contractors and aggressive projectcompletion schedules • Led business-development initiative focused on Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance • Awarded the Michigan Association of Environmental Professionals Award for Environmental Excellence for General Motors Ypsilanti Powertrain Renovation Project • Received the Conestoga-Rovers & Associates Detroit Office Dedication Award • Published two articles in peer-reviewed journals



Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
Environmental Specialist II (Division of Surface Water) Columbus, OH • Developed design guidance that improved consistency and reduced permit to install application review time by an estimated 20–30 percent • Promoted to Coordinator of the Ohio Biosolids Management Program (1997) • Represented the Division of Surface Water on public and industry advisory committees tasked with reviewing proposed environmental legislation • Licensed Professional Engineer, Michigan (#46864) • Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and Urban Land Institute • Enjoy golf, history, and travel



The Johnson School Career Workbook



700 Warren Rd, Apt. 12–3E, Ithaca, NY 14850 607-379-3496

Santiago Canela

523 East Buffalo Street #10, Ithaca, NY 14850 ~ 415.272.8352

Kate Capossela


Cornell University, Johnson Graduate School of Management
Master of Business Administration, May 2009 Healthcare & Biotech Club; Leadership Track; General Management Club and Golf Club

Ithaca, NY Education Cornell University
Master of Business Administration, May 2009 Roy H. Park Leadership Fellow: Merit-based, full-tuition scholarship and leadership program; S.C. Johnson Case Competition Winner Strategic Brand Management Immersion; Admissions Ambassador, Cornell Chorale, member of Marketing Association and Net Impact

Ithaca, NY

Universidad de los Andes Bogotá, Colombia Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering, September 2001 (scored 5.0 out of 5.0 on graduation research thesis) Bioengineering Research Group—Cardiovascular Fluids Dynamics


The Linde Group, Hospital Care Business Division

Bogotá, Colombia

Customer Relationship and Project Management Manager South America North (Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Perú) • Supervised a team of 4 sales representatives in Colombia accomplishing a ten-fold sales increase and the creation of a new value proposition for Colombia’s small-customer business segment. • Co-led a CRM program implementation for Colombia and Argentina through the management and motivation of a cross-functional team of IT, human resources, sales, marketing, and customer service personnel. • Created toolkits and methodologies for future CRM implementations. Colombia and Argentina CRM project became a model for Linde Gas Therapeutics. Rollouts being evaluated in Europe and United States. • Led region-wide CRM Project rollout in Venezuela, Ecuador, and Perú by managing CRM coordinators in each country and coordinating crossfunctional teams of IT, human resources, and sales in each country. • Assisted the commercial coaching team by catalyzing and leading sales managers towards improving sales force efficiency, efficacy, and cultural change within Colombia’s sales force. • Played a role in setting priorities and strategies and ensuring projectmanagement best practices for all key projects in the region, as a member of South America North Market Development Team. • Selected for company-designed graduate management studies at Los Andes University in Colombia and worldwide Linde University Trainings (highpotential employee program). • Implemented the first websites for Linde Gas Therapeutics in Colombia, Ecuador, and Perú. Applications Engineer (2003–2004) • Responsible for sales, collections, and customer relationship at key accounts. • Designed an IT-Dashboard for sales and marketing follow-up and control. • Promoted to management after 9 months of work (average time: 4 years).

Stanford University Stanford, CA BA, Political Science with Honors and BA, French Literature, June 2001 Internships at U.S. Department of State, Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris School of Education Research Assistant Chamber Chorale, East Palo Alto Youth Mentor, Peer Tutor Ecole Superieure de Commerce, 1999–2000 Paris, France Conducted Honors Thesis research at Bibliothèque Nationale de France


The Asia Foundation (2003–2007)

$120-million international development fund with 17 offices across Asia Manager, Corporate Relations San Francisco, CA • Achieved 125% percent increase in corporate/foundation partnerships, including 13 first-time partners • Managed more than 20 partnerships with Fortune 500 companies to implement customized corporate social responsibility and international development initiatives across Asia • Oversaw production of marketing proposals (45/year) with cross-functional teams in 17 field offices Associate, Corporate Relations • Created Women’s Advancement Fund: first vehicle to market foundation’s women’s programs • Created 50-page marketing proposal handbook, including templates for branding, financial reporting • Managed team operations, including business development pipeline and direct-mail campaigns • Partnered with CFO to develop accounting training for more than 15 new staff Women in International Security (WIIS) Professional association for 3,000+ foreign affairs experts Washington, DC




Marubeni Corporation

Bogotá, Colombia

Commercial Assistant—Metal and Mineral Resources Division • Achieved sales quota of US $35 million/year for Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, and Central America.


American Glass Products

Bogotá, Colombia

Program Director • Established WIIS network of more than 100 civic and government leaders in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia • Managed marketing and program development for 42 policy and career programs annually • Managed media relations, securing regular interviews on ABC News, PBS’s “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” C-SPAN • Assumed leadership responsibilities for six months after CEO’s departure Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, board of directors, 2005–2007 College Bound Foundation, youth mentor, 2005–2007 20s–30s Volunteer Association, president, 2004–2006

Research and Development Engineer • Performed research and development of new products involving advanced plastic and glass materials. • “I Believe in Colombia” Foundation volunteer. Project proposal to World Bank. • Independent software developer. Sold to major corporations (Allianz, Unilever.) • Passionate about golf (handicap 4).

Community Leadership


Languages Personal

Fluent French, proficient Spanish, conversational Italian, beginning Arabic, Japanese Classically trained singer; enjoy sailing, hiking, and writing