Rob Sullivan's Speaking Engagements, Events, and Workshops

Contact Info:

rob at careercraftsman dot com

(If you are inquiring about an appearance, please use "Scheduling" as the email subject.)

On this page . . .
. . . . . Corporate/Professional Workshops & Keynotes
. . . . . Job Hunters  (College Students, Job Clubs, Networking Groups, etc.)




Workshops, Keynotes, and Coaching

For more info, see Rob's Corporate Training Page

All workshops are customized to meet the specific needs of your company.

RIFProofingSM Your Career:  How To Protect And Keep Your Job In Any Economy         Are you concerned about the stability of either your current job or the one you hope to land? Do you wish you had more control over your job security? Do you feel you should be doing more to promote yourself, but you aren’t sure what? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you won’t want to miss this session. These are the strategies most people never consider that could mean the difference between employment and unemployment

I. Self-Assessment Workshop:  Recognizing Talent—Before it’s Too Late!
Do you really know who is on your team? Do you have a complete picture of the true depth and breadth of your employees’ experiences? Companies routinely let top performers slip through their fingers because they haven’t taken the time to understand what these people are actually contributing--or could contribute. If you don’t help employees understand and recognize their value, you risk losing people who may be having a substantial positive impact on your company and bottom line. This is an expensive mistake to make, but a relatively easy one to fix. 

The goal of this workshop is two-fold:

  • To encourage the personal and professional development of employees.
  • To give the company a deeper appreciation of the depth and breadth of employee accomplishments, capabilities, and aspirations. 

The second point is particularly important because over 50% of the people I’ve surveyed (informally) indicate that they have skills they haven’t used that could be valuable to their company. By creating an accurate, up-to-date inventory of experiences and accomplishments, employees will be better able to manage their careers and position themselves for whatever is the next, logical step in their professional development.

 II. Effective Recruiting & Retention  
The following workshops and coaching sessions are designed to help your company attract, recruit, and retain the best employees. Like all sessions, these are most effective when they are customized to meet the specific needs of your company.

A.  Interviewing for Interviewers
You have 45 minutes to determine if you want a particular person on your team. Are you making the most of it? Most people don't. Learn strategies to ask more insightful questions and find out what you really want to know.

B.  Creating Effective Job Descriptions
Most job descriptions and help wanted posting are hopelessly inadequate. If you find yourself bombarded by applicants who are clearly not qualified, it's even more important to take the time to craft meaningful job specs that attract the best candidates. Learn what companies are doing wrong and how to avoid the mistakes that make the recruiting process longer and more painful than it should be. 

C. Employee Recognition
Are you rewarding loyal employees and keeping them motivated? Do you know how your employees like to be rewarded? (Hint: it isn't always about money.)  Whether your goal is to set up an Employee Incentive Plan or just find creative, low-cost ways to recognize your employees, let's talk. Together we can create a program to help you meet your goals.

III. Career Change

Jumping Ladders - The Art of Changing Careers
Are you thinking about changing careers? Have you ever thought to yourself: "I know I'd be great if only someone would give me a chance", or "I would love that job, but I could never make money doing that"? Have you reached the point where the only thing you are sure of is the feeling you aren’t on the right path? If you answered "yes" to even one of these questions, you won't want to miss this workshop. Embarking on a career change can be one of the most exciting and rewarding challenges anyone can face. But it isn’t for everyone. If you want it enough and you are willing to do the hard work that goes into repositioning yourself, you probably have what it takes to make your dream a reality. Whether you have a specific new career in mind or not, you will get value from Rob’s insights about what it takes to change careers and how you can leverage the skills you have developed in seemingly unrelated areas.

IV. Stress Management: Keeping Your Cool When You Are Burning Inside
Give your employees the tools to deal with difficult situations. Learn techniques to keep your cool--even when dealing with circumstances outside of your control. Unlike workshops that focus on “softer” techniques like meditation, candles, and relaxation, this workshop is based on Learned Optimism, neuro-linguistic programming, and others strategies. As a result, it is well-received by right-brained and left-brained types alike. It is a particularly helpful workshop for people dealing with change and uncertainty.
V.  Outplacement
Includes Self-Assessment, Skill Assessment, Cover Letter Writing, Résumé Writing, Job Search Strategy, Researching Companies, Working with Headhunters, Interviewing Skills, and Negotiating. These modules can also be presented separately.

VI. Sales, Networking & Relationship Building

A. What To Say About Yourself When Other People Are Listening
Do you struggle with the concept of networking or feel you have fewer valuable contacts than others? Have you ever watched another person’s eyes glaze over as you attempted to describe what you do? Does the prospect of talking with complete strangers make you mildly uncomfortable or, worse yet, send shock waves of terror through your body? Contrary to popular belief, networking isn’t about “working a room” or “schmoozing.” It’s a lot easier than that. Done correctly, networking can be fun—even if you don’t consider yourself a naturally outgoing person. You’ll leave this session with ideas you can use immediately to build your network and reach your goals.

B.  Getting People to Call You Back
Learn why so many people have trouble building relationships and what it takes to communicate in such a way that inspires people to WANT to talk with you. Find ways to identify and create the opportunities most people miss.

C.   Creating a Winning Elevator Pitch:  How to Say Who You Are
For many, the most dreaded phrase uttered by an interviewer (or a networking contact) is, “Tell me about yourself.” Most people have no idea where to start. Even fewer know when and how to stop. Use this opportunity to learn a technique you can use in interviews, at parties, in elevators, or anywhere else you might be expected to describe who you are and what you want to do.



I.   Marketing Yourself for the Future (NEW)
Do you feel stuck in your current position unclear what it would take ahead? Is there something you have always wanted to do career-wise yet never had the courage to make the change? Do you feel your efforts and ideas often go unrewarded? Have your contributions had a financial impact on the company that went well beyond what you received in compensation? Do you worry that the economy or other factors beyond your control (age, race, disability, etc.) negatively impact your ability to get ahead? Are you in between jobs and concerned you may have to take a step back and settle for less than your market value?  

If you answered “Yes” to even one of these questions, this is a presentation you won't want to miss. Too often, we miss opportunities because we fail to realize the value of what we have experienced. Or worse, we mistakenly believe the responsibility of managing our career rests with our employer. Whether your goal is to advance in your current company or move on to a completely different position, Rob will share valuable tools and strategies designed to help you identify and leverage what you have already accomplished. In addition, he will discuss workplace trends, opportunities, and challenges that will impact us all over the next few decades.

II.   Making the Most of Your College Years: Demonstrating Your Leadership, and Initiative BEFORE Graduation
Do you think an internship is the only way to gain experience? Have you ever wondered about other ways you might develop your skills while you are still in school? If you are interested in learning what you can do to build a track record that will impress potential employers, don’t miss this workshop. Rob will share sound, practical strategies to help you demonstrate leadership, resourcefulness, and initiative and, at the same time, make yourself more marketable upon graduation. While any student could benefit, this workshop is particularly helpful for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors.  

III.  Packaging Your Potential:  Lessons from a Job Hunter Who Learned the Hard Way
Have you ever thought to yourself: "I know I'd be great at that job if only someone would give me a chance", or "I would love that job, but I could never make money doing that"? Do you ever find yourself apologizing for your age, level of experience, or education? Are interviews uncomfortable because you find it difficult to talk about yourself without feeling like you're bragging? Do you wish you had a more effective Career Services office at your school? If you answered "yes" to even one of these questions, you won't want to miss this workshop.

IV.  Identifying and Pursuing Your Dreams
Many of us have experienced the empty feeling of uncertainty that comes with not knowing what we want to do with the rest of our lives. In this workshop, we’ll look at ways you can uncover your passion and turn it into a fulfilling career. Too many people struggle in their pursuit of the “right” career or worry that their choice of a major (or grad degree) will limit their opportunities. It doesn’t have to be that way. The road to success is rarely straight. This session will energize you as identify your path and navigate the inevitable twists and turns.

VWhat to Say About Yourself When Other People Are Listening
Do you struggle with the concept of networking or feel you have fewer valuable contacts than others? Does the prospect of contacting complete strangers make you mildly uncomfortable or, worse yet, send shock waves of terror through your body? Contrary to popular belief, networking isn’t about “working a room” or “schmoozing.” It’s a lot easier than that. Done correctly, networking can be fun—even if you don’t consider yourself a naturally outgoing person. You’ll leave this workshop with ideas you can use immediately to build your network and reach your goals.

VI. Why Most Résumés Are Ineffective (and What You Can Do To Make Your Résumé Stand Out)
According to surveys of hiring managers and human resource professionals, the percentage of résumés that are EFFECTIVE is staggeringly low—between 1% and 5%. Rob Sullivan, author of the book Getting Your Foot in the Door When You Don’t Have a Leg to Stand On will share valuable tips and techniques you can use to get your résumé noticed for its content. At the same time, we’ll explore common mistakes people make and how to avoid them. This is an especially important topic for people who have more potential than actual experience.

VII.  Résumés Can Get Interviews, But Cover Letters Can Get JOBS!!!
Do you know the single, most important thing a cover letter can do that a résumé cannot? Don’t feel bad. Most people don’t. In this session, you’ll hear about a woman who literally got a job as a booking agent for bands based on her cover letter alone. The hiring managers knew when they read her letter that she was the person they wanted. That’s even more impressive considering the company was looking for 3-5 years of industry experience when she had none. Hear her letter. Find out what she did. And learn to make cover letters work for you!

Schedule An Appearance
If your school, company, or group would like to schedule an appearance, please email your name and contact information to Rob at careercraftsman dot com. (Please write "Scheduling" in the subject line. If you don't hear from us within 24 hours, please resend your message--it probably means we didn't get it.) 

Here's what people say about Rob's workshops and coaching. . .

Rob Sullivan has been instrumental in my career development, playing a key role in two successful job moves over the past 3 years. From re-working my resume and how I viewed my strengths to coaching me on interviewing and job offer negotiations, his help has been invaluable. Rob was able organize and craft my complicated background into a compelling story via my resume. I got more responses from my new resume in the first 3 weeks than I had in the prior 6 months with my old resume. Three recent interviewers specifically commented on how much they liked my resume and how well it answered all of their questions. One recruiter said that mine was his favorite resume and asked if he could use it as an example when working with other clients. He has also helped me to conduct my salary negotiations in a straightforward and open manner that didn’t paint me into a corner. I point all of my friends in the job market to Rob and he holds my highest recommendation.

--John Marcos 



"Rob, a big thank you! We thought it was a great event. Just to give you a sense of things, we launched our follow up survey to the event and the response rate and the feedback has been fantastic. The 4.82/5.00 rating you achieved was the highest overall satisfaction of the 14 events we did this year."

Kathy Noble, Vice President 
University of Michigan Alumni Association

"Rob, I thoroughly enjoyed your recent seminar at the Homer Public Library. I learned more in one evening that I did reading the classic What Color is Your Parachute? Thanks!"

Robert A. Harrison, 
Homer Glen, IL

"As a recent graduate from Northwestern University, I knew I carried the school name but found myself stumbling for words during interviews.  What made things worse (and ironic) was the fact that I was a communications major interviewing for investment banking positions. But that's where Rob came in. A few minutes into the conversation, Rob presented in a clear fashion several major obstacles current grads like myself go through when getting interviewed and gave key advice on how to overcome them.  Example: one of my major challenges was learning how to tell a concise yet meaningful story on how and why I changed course to pursue a career in finance.  Although my fellow classmates recommended reading books like the Vault Guide to Investment Banking and WetFeet I-Banking Interview Practice -- which I did -- it was only after speaking with Rob (he's been through countless situations like this) that I truly felt confident in my ability to stand out amongst the competition and land that highly coveted position.  Within the course of a couple months, I landed several interviews, flew out to several cities, and recently accepted a great offer at a premier investment bank.  I am a success story because of Rob, and I highly recommend -- and commend -- his passion to see recent graduates reach their full potential."

Chris Hwang 
Hanover Park, IL


"Since I saw you give speeches 2 or 3 times during my 8 month job search, I just wanted to let you know that your information helped me greatly in finally landing a positions as Controller. You are definitely a very good, motivated, and energetic speaker who presents your ideas clearly. And I like your style--it is much more interesting than speakers who just read from notes or a power point presentation. Thank you for all the great work you do to help job seekers find new positions. You are great!"

Bob DeVille
Arlington Heights, IL


"Rob, your class was excellent and made me realize how ill-prepared I was to face the outside world."

Tom B., Chicago, IL 
Logistics Manager


"Rob's presentation was superb. It was fast paced--I never looked at my watch; informative--I took home information I then used; entertaining--He shared personal stories from his own life that were truly inspiring; and the best part is that he is personable and willing to help."

Lisa Maroski, Chicago
(Small Business Owner)


“Rob’s lectures and workshops have benefited my students in three primary ways: they showed them how to develop a strategy to effectively market themselves, improved their prospecting and interviewing skills, and inspired them to face the challenge of a job search with enthusiasm and tenacity. Best of all, Rob’s passion for this subject and vast array of colorful real-world examples truly inspired my students to approach their job search like it was the opportunity of a lifetime. Rob's charisma, sense of humor, and commanding presence in front of a group fired up my students to the point which they were brimming with confidence and anticipation.”

—Jonathan  Cohe
n, Instructor
International Academy of
Design and Technology

"Rob Sullivan offers insights for students in how to market themselves in the best possible way. He provides examples of how actual people have used this knowledge to propel themselves into opportunities that fulfill their life's dreams. Our students have commented that Rob's wisdom and style of writing encouraged them in their own job search."

Elly Tucker, Career Resources Manager

University of Virginia/Charlottesville

“One of Rob’s skills is the ability to bring about participation by the audience, which goes well beyond the usual Q&A segment at the end of a session of this type. He draws on the resources of each person, thereby enriching the career transition process and exchange of views we seek to develop.”

—Michel Cade, Facilitator

St. Chrysostom’s Employment Council


“Not only is Robert an articulate and compelling speaker, the substance of his presentation would be invaluable to anyone who is looking to market themselves more appropriately in their current legal job, or who is looking to market themselves in an entirely new field.”

—Paul Chronis, Attorney

McDermott, Will & Emery  


"I loved your stories--they really make the suggestions you are presenting come to life."

Jeannine Parisi

University of Virginia/Charlottesville


"This was an incredible way to demonstrate why it's important to identify who you are and where your passions come from."

Bill Edwards

University of Virginia/Charlottesville


More Quotes from Seminar Participants. . .

(from anonymous evaluations)



"Rob is an awesome speaker, instructor, and advisor."



"Excellent material presented clearly and succinctly. Rob is a superb presenter and an excellent resource."



"Rob is a very charismatic, fun, informational speaker/facilitator. It makes me feel much more prepared to get out there and get a rewarding job. He provided me with the tools I need."



"Rob is a great speaker who not only gets his point across, but also instills confidence and knowledge to people who need it most. "



"The information provided exceeded my expectations because it can be applied to any aspect of your life (e.g., communicating your ideas). Overall, this was the best workshop I have ever taken. I'll use the information immediately."



"I was completely impressed with this workshop. Not only did it provide valuable information, but Rob did a fabulous job conveying the information. His upbeat attitude and vast knowledge and experience in this area made the three days fly by."



"Excellent mix of instruction, constructive criticism, and 'group therapy.' Rob Sullivan is very enthusiastic, supportive, and willing to spend extra time with individuals."

"I have never been more motivated than I am today! A wonderful experience. Rob is a great trainer. He really made people feel comfortable so we were not afraid to bring up real life issues we were experiencing. This was a wonderful experience that I will remember forever."



"I leave the workshop with elevated confidence that I can go out and get a job. The techniques and strategic approaches covered in the workshop are invaluable.  Thanks to Rob Sullivan, everyone was engaged in the workshop process. It was great!"


"Rob Sullivan is awesome! The workshop would not have met my expectations without his high energy and passion."



"Rob's seminar exceeded my expectations. It was interactive, engaging, and provided me with creative strategies for my job search. It also helped me think outside the "norm" regarding career options."


"Rob Sullivan is very motivational and uplifting. He encouraged us to possibly explore different opportunities. Great job!!" 


Schedule An Appearance
If your school, company, or group would like to schedule an appearance, please email your name and contact information to: rob at careercraftsman dot com.
Please write "Scheduling" in the subject line. 

Rob Sullivan is a frequent and popular speaker at high schools, colleges, universities, companies, and other groups. He speaks on a variety of job-related topics including:


  • How to attract, retain, and motivate top talent. 

  • Interview Training
    For companies and job hunters

  • Stress Management

  • Sales Training


  • Packaging Your Potential: Lessons from a job hunter who learned the hard way  A popular topic among entry-level job hunters, career-changers, and others who have more potential than experience.

  • Making the most of your college years.    
    What you can do before you graduate to make yourself more attractive to future employers.