Home   /   Noteworthy   /   A Conversation with Freeman+Leonard EVP and Director of Talent & Consulting Solutions, Andrea Tipton

A Conversation with Freeman+Leonard EVP and Director of Talent & Consulting Solutions, Andrea Tipton


In our last newsletter, our Conversation with Freeman+Leonard co-founder Valerie Freeman included discussion of today’s low unemployment rate and its impact on companies trying to identify and hire strong candidates.

This month, we look at the talent side of the question with Freeman+Leonard’s EVP and Director of Talent & Consulting Solutions, Andrea Tipton. Andrea transitioned from a career in the agency business to take over the Talent division at Freeman+Leonard nine years ago. She is expert at identifying top performers and matching them with the right job.

So, Andrea, today’s tight job market not only impacts employers looking for top talent, it also affects the candidates themselves. What is the current situation for candidates looking for a job in the marketing/advertising field?

AT: We often categorize talent as active or passive.

An active candidate is actively looking for a job. They may be in a job they don’t like or that isn’t working out, or they may be “in transition” – not currently employed.

A passive candidate is not looking to move. While we know that 74% of all employees are open to taking a call about a new job [ in a tight market like we have today, passive candidates are generally not looking at the job boards for posted positions. Consequently, it’s much more difficult for hiring managers to find them. That’s where we come in, with recruiters who are adept at finding those passive candidates.

How do you advise an active candidate to conduct their job search?

AT: Since we are in the business of helping clients find great talent, we suggest candidates who are looking for jobs in the marketing and advertising space contact our team of recruiters. We can help them boost their résumés and suggest other strategies that will help them get noticed by hiring managers.

We also recommend candidates make a list of target companies, those they would like to work for.  Again, our team will work with the candidate to get them noticed by the right people in the marketing department and the company as a whole. From an active and professional presence on LinkedIn to a sophisticated career-at-a-glance document, there are many ways our recruiters help facilitate getting the job interview.

How should an active candidate handle work gaps on their résumé?

AT: If you’ve been out of work for a while, you don’t want your résumé to look as though you haven’t been doing anything. We suggest candidates do the following:

  1. Use years rather than actual dates to help cover the gap.

Brand Manager, ABC Company, 2015-2017

Brand Strategist, XYZ Company, 2018-Current

  1. Change up the résumé format

Highlight your skills and accomplishments rather than when you did what.

  1. Include other experience gained during the gap.

What did you do while not employed? Did you volunteer? Did you consult or freelance? List other experience as you would a regular job.

How to Explain an Employment Gap on Your Resume

Image by Catherine Song. © The Balance 2018


When looking for a job in a tight market, it’s good to have a plan. This will help you to focus on your career search, and you’ll be given the confidence and the information necessary to impress when you finally do land that interview.

The Freeman+Leonard team recommends these steps:

  1. Make a list of your top 10 “dream” companies and then diligently research them. Become familiar with their corporate history (a good source for this is the “About” section of their website), their mission statement, their organizational structure, and the names of their executive officers, in the marketing communications department, and in human resources.
  2. Create or update your profile on LinkedIn so that it emphasizes the skills and professional experience that would best qualify you to work for one of your dream companies. Make sure your professional brand matches what you are looking for in the next phase of your career.
  3. Use LinkedIn and the corporate websites to learn who works at your target companies. Freeman+Leonard recruiters have tools that enable them to access this information on your behalf.

How to Get Noticed by Your Dream Company

60 Hiring Statistics You Need to Know