Resume Regular Programing

I collect a lot of resumes. But I collect even more surprising anecdotes.

In the process of applying for a job under my sub-par management, the entire state of New York has come up with some pretty quirky behaviors.

So many in fact, that I was able to compile this list.

Let’s start off slow.

This list is advice only for people who are applying for work within the service field. Corporate remains a mystery to me, I simply do not know her.

1. You may have other dreams and relevant experience that you want to include on your resume and tbh, that’s fine.

But please have a resume without your head shot on it.

Asking for a photograph with a resume, the last time I checked, was either illegal or strongly frowned upon in the state of NY.

If a restaurant or shop manager asks for you to include a pic, then maybe you need a gentle aunt type figure in your life to remind you what a red flag looks like and that this may not be an environment where you will be able to thrive and feel respected.

2. This is another really simple one. Please don’t bring me multiple copies, or leave one copy each day over the course of a period of time.

They don’t go in the bin. It’s part of NY law that all resumes must be accepted, considered and then kept for a period of time.

So like, we have it. Please stop doing this.

I mean, copies 2-12 will go in the bin. We’ll keep the first one.

3. That said, anything and everything that isn’t a resume DOES go in the bin.

Now we’re getting into the good stuff.

I take what seems like a million and a half resumes a week. I hire for a fun position in a well run environment.

But there are two very distinct groups who don’t give resumes. They give other.

Frequently, applicants over a certain age will think they are above a resume and give a business card. No.

And often kids who don’t know better will write their number (no name) down on a napkin. I stop them all, give them MY business card because I’M the person in charge of if they are hired or not, and tell them they need to email me a resume in order to be considered for the position.

They usually never do.

Your resume is not only about your job experience. A lot of people don’t understand that I have a stupid little system. And that system relies on full sheet resumes.

I take resumes in person or via email. I have 1 copy of each and I keep them in a stupid little order.

First it’s the order they are received and then I make phone calls and put them in the order I would hire them in.

It’s constantly rotating through the year.

Join the system. Or leave. Don’t invalidate it. If you work for us, what other of my stupid little systems are you going to just full out refuse.

No thank you. Bottom of the hypothetical pile.

4. Finally. There are only two ways to appropriately deliver your resume. In person or via email.

Your parents might not believe that the email one works but it does. I promise.

But under no circumstances, should you ever find the shop on Instagram or linked-fucking-in and ask ‘y’all hiring?’.

I get about ten of these a week.

There are only two ways to apply.

In person. Or email.

You can’t Snap me. We’re not doing streaks.

Even calling on the phone is sort of useless. A decent way to check in but not a fully fleshed out application on its own.

Okay that’s the end of the list. Happy hunting.

Selling Up Stream

Alternative Tite – Pissy with Mark Cuban but not for the regular reason/B corps?

This, like most of the single conversations I attempt to have, is really several smaller conversations wearing a trench coat.

Last night I watched Mark Cuban and two other sharks rip a lady to shreds because she was building her ice cream business with the intention of selling it.

She took it like a champ but I did not.

Sell Sell Sheet

What a Sell Sheet is and how they are evolving to meet a more demanding clientele of buyers.

A Sell Sheet is a lot of things, besides a tongue twister. Ideally it should be a quick information delivery system that whets a buyers appetite for a sample of what your product actually is. It should also give them everything they need to on-board your product quickly and effortlessly.

But so much more often then not, they are unanswered questions. And clutter.

A few weeks ago, a beverage rep came into the shop and offered me a Sell Sheet, he didn’t have a physical sample on him and was only about as well versed on the product as the Sell Sheet allowed him to be. This allowed him to tell me what flavors the product was available in, what certifications the company had purchased and how it was being distributed.

That literally wasn’t enough information, I’m a picky bitch.

Sell Sheets have such a huge potential to be not only a physical, 2 dimensional elevator speech that you can hand off to prospective clients, but also a training tool for your representation staff. If they are handed a piece of paper that is an incomplete representation of your brand, but billed as ‘Everything the buyer needs to know’, then the body of information your rep sees as important will also be incomplete.

That Sell Sheet landed in the trash very quickly.

However! The story brightens. I went to Fancy Food this year and had the opportunity to see A LOT of Sell Sheets. I mean like several thousand. (I wrote this a while ago. It was FF2018 I think).

And I was really happy because so many of them, were really above average. I think that my positive experience had a lot to do with the fact that I only walked the ‘Natural Foods Pavilion’ and didn’t bother with Gen-pop because the Natural Food sellers knew exactly who their buyers were and what we wanted to see.

Lets talk about exactly what someone should see on your Sell Sheets

SKUs: Your Sell Sheet should be broken down by SKU, or item. If you are a small company and you make three products, one Sell Sheet is all you need. Each SKU will need to represented with an image, (glamour shot) of that product as well as some text and a bar-code. You should be able to represent each SKU with some space left over, a common area for information about the company as a whole.

Bar Codes: The reason for bar-codes on your Sell Sheets is so that after a successful pitch, the buyer or manager can scan the bar-codes with their POS and create a listing for your products in their machine. This prevents any delay between delivery and merchandising so sales can start immediately. So far they are the only commonality between all of the Sell Sheets of launched products I’ve seen. That’s because I think we can agree that everyone in this industry is SALE oriented and having your bar-code right there is the best way to facilitate quick, easy and efficient SALES.

Certifications: Whatever niches and standards your product fits should be listed both on your product and on your Sell Sheet. The example below from Wild Joy is a Pre-Launch Sell Sheet (so no bar-codes) that lists their seals in a really nice, subtle way. They are important, but they shouldn’t be the focus or the largest image on the page. To be completely honest, they also need to be infallible. If you are made in a facility with gluten, you can include the gluten free sticker. I’m using Wild Joy as an example of what to do but in this area, I found them flawed. In lighter news, I also really like the way that Wild Joy gets across their…

PERSONALITY: The entire front of the Wild Joy Sell Sheet is an image of their branding. They are going hard with that which is a really good idea for a specialty product. Some might say its a waste of space, but to me it just makes it clear that their priority is your ability o recognize their very bold packaging. The first and largest text you read is a PUN. Love it. Also their Flavor Text is so on point that you read it without even realizing how much RELEVANT INFORMATION you are absorbing. Which brings us to our next point

 

RELEVANT INFORMATION: This Sell Sheet includes the Ingredients List of each SKU, as well as the MSRP. I can’t stress enough what a pleasant surprise both of these things are in the sea of uninformative pieces of paper that I have been swimming in for two years. You literally should not go without these two things. In every case these two things will either help you get to a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ faster. FASTER is the operative word.

A ‘No’ in two minutes might be better for you and your company than a ‘Yes’ that takes two months and four follow ups.

-Me, I said it. Just now. Write it down.

Okay, I’m winding down. There are a few more thoughts that I have on Sell Sheets and what they have to offer. I’m going to list them in a more rapid fire style down here.

Your Picture – If you are the person making the product and you are the person schlepping it from store to store, I can tell you that by including your picture on the sell sheet so that a buyer knows you aren’t just a rep is going to earn you an extra few seconds. From me at least. If you aren’t the person going door to door, it’s still nice, and when you inevitably make in-store visits, you might even be recognizable. It’s something that I only see brands with ‘celebrity’ owners doing but I think more people should take advantage of including their own image in their brand. Including a quote or a quick sentence about why you started the company or what you want for your customers is really nice too.

More Relevant Information – How big is your product? Do you offer it in multiple sizes? Where is your ginger sourced from? Whats every question you’ve been asked about your product that has ever made you say, ‘wow, what a good question’? Include as much of that info as possible in as few words as possible.

Claims – Avoid them at all costs. Big promises are technically illegal and anything that isn’t a statement can be skipped when it comes to this medium.

Fun Facts – We’re living in a world where we want to be able to understand everything on the ingredient list, but we’ve also got access to ingredients no one has ever heard of before. If you are using something interesting in your product, list your ingredients and find a fun way to inform the reader about what Lacuma or Yakon is.

Contact Information – Including contact info on the sell sheet makes your business look smaller/personal. It’s a choice. An email address is necessary but if you are expecting your street team to grow, leaving a phone number off so they can staple their business card is a better choice.

Something Fun – This is literally so dumb but you know how magazines can include peel off sticker patches or even scratch and sniff patches on their pages. You could do that on your Sell Sheet. Literally nothing is stopping you. And I can’t say that this is something that would make me buy a product I wasn’t interested in, but i can tell you that if I was interested, it would make your Sell Sheet and your brand stand out. I would also never throw it away.

Testimonial – Putting a testimonial on a Sell Sheet is not for everyone and I get that, but if you have a really unique product and you want to make sure that the way it is received in correct, adding a little quote from a customer in your demographic who ‘gets’ what you are doing, is a really good idea.

Authority – an alternative to a testimonial is including any little nugget of PR you have as a company and riding that baby all the way. If one flavor was featured in a magazine, give it a little seal. Canva can help you. *featured in Food and Food Magazine* *tiny text month and year of issue*

Size – if you have a simple company and a good graphic designer, you don’t really need to do an 8 1/2 x 11 sell sheet. You could print them in Rack Card size (usually 8×5) to save some $$ and by utilizing both sides of the paper, you’d be able to fit everything just fine. Maybe you use these at conventions and shows. Maybe you print these without bar codes and distribute them at demos and during big events. You aren’t trapped in a box with these. Doing some unusual, as long as it suits your purpose, will usually help you stand out.

Supplemental pages – For me, receiving a sell sheet along with a catalog listing sheet is exhausting and a really good example of why more relevant info needs to go on your Sell Sheet in the first place. Don’t hand me two pieces of paper.

One piece of paper goes in a drawer for later. Two pieces is HEAVY in my sickly little arms and may get “lost”.

There is more. This may be a fun post to do a part two for in a few months. It’s a lot of hot takes and some things are outside the box. But take them with a grain of salt and use it as encouragement to be unique, not a road map to be just how I described.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Market, Market, Marketing

The downward spiral is not news to anyone. In fact hardly anything is news anymore.

There are rare pockets of people who I find, absolutely thriving right now. To be honest, I thought I was one of them. I thought every pot I had my hand in was an unsinkable ship.

If you don’t like mixed metaphors or dumb sentence structures in general, X out now fam.

But then something sort of happened. I think it might have been a wake up call, IDK. The positions I’m in, the restrictions that come and go with numbers on a screen, I’m vulnerable.

But the path to immortality is clear. Marketing. I basically feel that I have 6 months to get really fucking good at Marketing before I become completely (not sure if unemployable is the right word even though it packs more of a punch, but) obsolete (or plateaued feels better.)

For anyone who finds themselves in the same position, dangling precariously by word of mouth you might also need to explore not only how to market your place of work, but how to like, do it well. So that it converts into actual money.

The time of Instagram influencers getting companies traffic is over and Social Selling is on the rise.

In store Demos are suddenly illegal and like, something has to be done.

In my attempt to get really really fucking good at marketing quickly and for free, I have stumbled on a few resources that I’m excited to either store here for antiquity and my eyes only or share with you if you’re still reading.

The first is this article on Medium. It sums up every reason I’ve ever though that marketing was a dead art, only perusable to robots and nightmare humans. It also confirmed at the end that marketing, when done well, is just a conversation.

The second thing, I’ve found is Muck Rack Trends Tracker. So far it’s a completely free service. Say you’ve been tasked with managing the publicity for a company. You would search trends for all of that company’s key words and name components.

You might come up with some publicity you didn’t know existed or data to support your worthwhile-ness. But more likely you’ll find people whose job it is to write about stuff who are specifically interested in the stuff that is your stuff.

Finally, I want to talk about video content. In March DIY Video BootCamp was on the rise, because there is no more face to face and reels is as close as we can get.

I’ve noticed a drop off in that, or maybe it’s just been drowned out by like, actual video content inspired by the how-to’s.

I think Social Selling and the idea of doing that as a company, with a representative, instead of as a person at the behest of a company, should translate into being just about as successful as in store demos were.

We’ll see. I’ll report back. Hopefully before my six months is up.

How to Run A Give Away That Gives Back

Give Aways are so fun. They are a great way to bump up followers, move traffic to your page, make connections and inspire new customers to buy.

But, a lot of brands think of them as a necessary evil or something they need to give out with minimal return on their investment.

I’m here to tell you it isn’t true. Give Aways can be so beneficial for brands and can generate so much more than clicks. Especially if you know what you want and how to ask for it.

Turning Clicks into Customers

For the last few weeks I’ve been using a graphic website to keep track of likes and comments on a brand page that I contribute to.

As a content creator and a realist, I want to make sure that what I am contributing to a fledgling brand is actually making an impact on traffic and hopefully on sales as a byproduct as well.

I was reassured because I did actually find that each recipe post with a picture of food over lifestyle lead to a small bump in engagement and was a contributing factor to overall growth in engagement over time.

However, there was one single spike of data that rose from the rest like an unattainable obelisk, reaching for the sky with its pointy little hand.

Don’t Knee-Cap Your Brand

There is a specific piece of advice going around the public speaking world lately, ‘Don’t Knee-Cap Your Sentences’.

I’ve seen it about 15 times in the past few months and it refers to the use of words like ‘really’ (i.e. really good) and ‘just’ (i.e. just perfect) and the limiting effect they have.

Start From Where You Are

“Start from where you are” is a phrase that has been soothing the itching privilege of the wellness industry this week. It’s meant to be a slower and more empathetic approach to a healthy lifestyle that factors in socioeconomic factors, food availability, familial obligations, stress, time, and the sheer existence of non wellness priorities.

It is a loud and clear “You can sit with us” shouted into the echo chamber of digital onlookers who’s dirtiest secret is that the ‘Wellness Industry’ is desirable because there is cost of entry.