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Rob Sullivan

Speaker? Yes. Consultant? Yes. Trainer? Yes. Entertainer? No.
Corporate Alliance? Yes. Security Alliance? No.



Getting Your Foot in the Door When You Don't Have a Leg to Stand On (McGraw-Hill)
- Book has started to replace What Color is Your Parachute? at schools that offer career development classes
- Interviewed on over 50 television and radio programs across the country


Rob Sullivan is living proof that the exercises described in his book are effective. After more than 80 interviews and a humbling series of rejections in the ultra-competitive advertising industry, Rob uncovered the secrets of job hunting. With this knowledge, Rob reapplied to Leo Burnett -- the agency that rejected him the year before -- and earned a coveted spot in the company's Client Service Training Program. At Burnett, Rob worked as an account executive on the Philip Morris/Marlboro, McDonald's, and John G. Shedd Aquarium accounts. He also gained extensive experience as an interviewer and campus recruiter.

In 1994, Rob decided to pursue one of his other lifelong dreams -- to become a trader at the Chicago Board of Trade. This gave him the opportunity to use the same job-hunting principles to reposition himself for a completely different career. Despite the fact that he had no formal experience, Rob earned a position with Cooper Neff & Associates-one of the premiere options trading firms in the world. Although he no longer works on the trading floor, Rob used this experience in his role as freelance Writer and content provider for optionsXpress, the top-ranked online brokerage firm (Barron's, 2003).

Through his own ongoing process of self-evaluation, Rob has also decided to dedicate his talents to "marketing that makes a difference." Helping job hunters, career-changers, and companies is an important part of that objective. To this end, he currently speaks at colleges, universities, and companies helping job hunters and recruiters alike. In addition, Rob also works on a project basis with Carpenter Associates, Inc., a retained executive search firm. In his role as Senior Consultant, Rob has contact with hiring companies and candidates at all levels. From his perspective as a headhunter, Rob continues to gain insight into the ways job hunters can market themselves even more effectively.

Rob has a BA in psychology from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, as well as an MS in advertising from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

Presentation Titles and Description


I. Commencement speeches

Delivered commencement speeches in 2002 at universities in Atlanta, Santa Barbara, and Chicago. Audiences ranged from 350 - 1,200+.

II. Packaging Your Potential: Lessons from a Job Hunter Who Learned the Hard Way~

"Why People Find it Difficult to Sell Themselves
- Self-Analysis: Creating a Personal Inventory of Skills & Experiences
- Creating Opportunities
- Strategic Networking
- Playing the Matching Game

II. Marketing Yourself for the Future: Making the Most of Your College Years

While applicable to seniors, this presentation is ideal for college freshmen, sophomores, and juniors who can use the strategies to make themselves more marketable at graduation.

III. Employee Recruitment and Retention in Difficult Times

Strategies for attracting and keeping top talent.


Recruiting and Interview Training -- Ideal for companies that need help approaching the hiring process more strategically. This workshop examines the entire process from the creation of a job description through interviewing and negotiating.

The Career Workshop -- This workshop, which typically runs 2-3 days, is designed to help job hunters at all levels. Starting with the self-assessment process, this course is designed to help people quantify accomplishments, identify skills, and put together a compelling personal marketing plan. This includes researching companies, creating and tailoring resumes, working with headhunters, and alternative job search strategies. Networking, interviewing, and negotiating strategies and exercises are also covered in depth.



Media Bytes Or Testimonials

"I learned more in one hour with Rob Sullivan than I did reading What Color is your Parachute? Rob's approach to marketing yourself and avoiding the pitfalls of the job search are a needed resource."
- Robert Harrison, Chicago, IL

Praise for Getting Your Foot in the Door

"Get hired, get promoted and earn more money by learning the hiring game from the insiders' insider."
- Mark Victor Hansen
Co-creator, #1 New York Times best-selling series Chicken Soup for the Soul


For fee information, please contact (262) 853-4627.

Travels From And Travel Requirements

Chicago, IL. Travel expenses not included in fee (client pays).

No special travel requirements.

Who Should Hire Rob And Why

Companies concerned about recruiting and retaining the best employees.
(Topics: Interviewer training, employee development, coaching/mentoring)

Schools that are looking for ways to motivate students and help them compete in the job market

Student groups (fraternities, sororities, etc.)
Student associations (AMA, PRSSA, etc.)
Any group interested in helping all students (not just graduating seniors) make the most of their college years.

Professional Associations in the ongoing professional development of their members.

Networking & Employment groups dedicated to helping unemployed members get back on their feet.

Small and mid-size companies that are having problems achieving new business goals but don't have enough money to hire an ad agency.

(The challenge of attracting new clients is EXACTLY the same as the challenge job hunters face in attracting the attention of hiring managers. In each case, the hiring company has to be convinced that the person or company can help them solve a particular problem or capitalize on an opportunity.)

Rob Sullivan

Favorite Quote

"In my life, I have learned that at precisely those times when life seems to get worse that you may actually be getting ready to make a leap. When you feel like you're getting nowhere-stagnating, even slipping backward -- what you're actually doing is backing up to get a running start."

-- Dan Millman