Artisan Blog

What We're Thankful For

Nadia Osman - Tuesday, November 24, 2015

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season already here, we would like to take a moment to share our gratitude.

We spoke with some of our talent and the Artisan team to see what they are grateful for in 2015.


I am grateful for health of my family and friends.

I am grateful for my artisan team!

I am grateful for happiness!


I'm grateful to have a wonderful husband, loving family and even after 20 years a job I still have so much passion for.


I am thankful  and feel so fortunate to work from home.  Working from home has been such a blessing since I became a mom and even though my kiddos are in school,  it still allows me the flexibility to volunteer as a room mom and participate in all sorts of wonderful activities.  


I'm grateful for all the Creatives that make our world a more beautiful and inspiring place.  I'm constantly amazed by the passion and dedication they have for their craft and always find myself in a much better mood after speaking to one.  Thankful for all the creative minds that never settle for "good enough" and inspiring me to do the same.

What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving? Tell us over at Twitter (mention us in @artisanupdates) or on LinkedIn.

Pinterest, Google Plus, and Other Social Media for Creatives

Nadia Osman - Wednesday, November 04, 2015

We’ve talked at length about crafting tweets or building your LinkedIn page. But what about other social media platforms, like Pinterest or Instagram? What do you even do with all these platforms? And will they help your career? Here’s a rundown on other forms of social media that go beyond what Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can do:


This app lets you post photos with comments, helping you create a curated feed of images. This is an excellent way for designers and more  to share their work, as well as share their personalities. Use Instagram to help build your client base by creating a company account.


Think of this as a public (or private) inspiration or vision board. Find images you want to “pin”, then create boards for them. Like Instagram, creatives can use this as a way to share what interests you visually and show off your portfolio. For instance, you could create Pinterest boards labeled “In Progress” and “Favorites”, for examples, of whatever projects you’re working on.


While this is connected to your Gmail account (if you have one), Google+ is more than just a freebie. Create circles to connect, such as a Circle of Colleagues or People You Worked With in the Past. As a creative, you can use Google+ to link to your website, blogs, or portfolio, along with links to interesting content you come across that’s relevant to your work.


If you consider yourself an expert in your field, it might behoove you to make short videos about your work. Or, if you work for an agency, you can use YouTube to create videos about your expertise or previous clients (if they’ll allow it).


Given its parameter of six seconds, Vine might seem limiting. However, people can get extremely creative in six seconds! Creatives might find Vine useful if they’re particularly drawn to video versus static imagery. For example, you could use Vine to show the process of creating a logo design, or connect with followers by showing six seconds of your day.


This app lets you live video stream whatever is happening around you. Start a live stream and get people to ask you questions about your work, show off finished products, or go to the public to get ideas!


Although this platform is connect to LinkedIn now, it’s an ideal way to showcase your portfolio and link it to your profile. Slideshare has its own user database who can follow, like and comment on your work.

What social media channels do you use to connect and engage with others while highlighting your work?

Do stay connected with Artisan Creative on our social channels!  Visit us on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Slideshare, Google+ and Pinterest.

How Important Are the Requirements in a Job Description?

Nadia Osman - Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Here at Artisan Creative, we read a lot of job descriptions. I mean, a lot of job descriptions! It’s part of what we do. And we also write a lot of job descriptions.

While we focus more exclusively on helping designers and creatives find jobs with our clients, job requirements in general seems to always sound like they’re difficult to meet! Whether it’s an entry-level copywriting position that needs two to three years of experiences, or a senior designer that needs over 10 years of management experience, job descriptions universally sound hard. Even if something sounds like an ideal fit for your background, there might be something else you’re not as familiar with, like a CMS system or Adobe Illustrator.

So, exactly how important is it that you meet every requirement in a job description? Well, it all depends on your experience level, your education, and special skills. Let’s explore further:

  • Experience: If a job listing needs someone with five to seven years of experience, they’re looking for someone who’s experienced. That means those with only one to two years of experience aren’t the best match. However, if you’ve got three or four years under your belt, plus some major accomplishments worth sharing, it might be worth exploring further.

  • Education: Among creatives, your degree can sometimes come second to your experience in the field. For instance, if you have five to seven years of graphic design experience but actually got a degree in English, it’s probably fine to apply. However, keep in mind that some companies do require a college degree. Please do list graduation dates and degrees received. If you’re in the middle of finishing a degree, you can always list your degree as “in progress” with an expected graduation date. This info is looked at during background checks, so be as clear as possible.

  • Skills: Those who have at least several years of experience have likely amassed a number of skills that are transferable from one industry to another. That said, sometimes the job description requires a specific background. If you have a background in fashion, it’s probably unlikely you’re a good fit for a job with an insurance client. Yet you might be a great candidate for a job in entertainment, even though it’s not exactly the same. Pay extra attention to required software skills such as Javascript or 3D Studio Max and highlight your skills in those specific areas.

Generally, a good rule of thumb is that if you meet 75 percent of the requirements listed in the job description, it’s worth applying or talking to your recruiter about your qualification. Your recruiter will have a better idea of a role’s "Must-Haves" versus the "Nice-to-Haves" and can share more insight about the requirements.

Remember, your resume needs to be proofread and highlight your previous responsibilities and achievements, while your cover letter must be effective. If you’re armed with these tools, you’ll be ready to apply to any job you’re qualified for!

How Interviewers Can Find the Best Candidates During the Interview Process

Nadia Osman - Wednesday, October 21, 2015

One of the big responsibilities of recruiters is helping our amazing prospective candidates prepare for interviews. We’ve sent hundreds of wonderful candidates out on thousands of interviews, and we have to say, we’re experts on what helps make a great interview. If you’re in charge of hiring, the following tips on conducting an interview can be of benefit to find the perfect candidate for your company:

Prepare your questions in advance. Whatever the position, make sure you know ahead of time what you’re going to ask them. How would you best describe the role’s day-to-day needs? How will you review the team structure, reporting structure and company culture and values?

Ask open-ended questions. Ask questions that start with “why” or “how” to allow candidates to put into their own words what they think or feel. For instance, “How did you handle a crisis?” or “Why is a strong team environment important to you” will let them tell their story. Therefore, you’ll get to know them better!

Hone in your listening skills. This might seem obvious, but active listening is absolutely necessary to getting all the info you need. Pay attention to more than their words. What does their body language and tone say? You can learn a lot about whether you think a candidate is truly a good fit or if you think they’re just saying what they think you want to hear.

Keep it positive. Even if the role is challenging, or the company is in a transitional stage, it’s best to upfront yet keep the tone of the interview positive and informative.

Don’t let time slip away. Always leave time during an interview so the candidate can ask questions about the role and company. You’ll be able to find out what’s important just by giving them the opportunity to ask.

Know what comes next. If an interview goes well, let them know! Tell them about the current interview process and how it’s going, as well as whether you need to set up a second interview with other hiring managers or team members. They could be entertaining multiple offers, but if they know you’re interested, it could seal the deal.

Remember -- a good recruiter can help you find the perfect candidates to interview, and a good interviewer can assess who’s the right candidate for the job, but a great hire can truly make a successful team thrive!

Here’s How You Can Impress Recruiters with Your Resume in 6 Seconds.

Nadia Osman - Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A recent Harvard Business Review article pointed out that online job search site The Ladders says recruiters take about six seconds to look at a resume.

Six seconds! What can anyone reasonably do in six seconds?

Well, they can make a judgment call. And that’s what you can fix. Because as long as your resume is effective, you get a lot more than six seconds of someone’s time.

Spruce up your portfolio. Your resume may only get a few moments of time to make a mark, but a well crafted portfolio of your work can make all the difference. A great portfolio can help convince hiring managers that your work speaks louder than your resume, as well as make the connection between your work experience and actual creative endeavors.

Close the employment gaps. If you’ve been looking for a while, it can feel like the gap between jobs is just getting bigger. Volunteer, freelance, or create your own projects to add to the resume so the gaps lessen. Look for leadership roles to help enhance your standing.

Be selective. Your resume is a body of content that represents you, so it doesn’t need to be comprehensive. Include whatever is relevant to the job and hiring manager as part of your experience. The same goes for your skills and accomplishments.

Format your resume correctly. Use bold and underlining plus bullet points to help promote yourself in a concise yet detailed fashion. Add the right keywords -- the more specific, the better. Short descriptions of previous work experience will suffice. Make sure to point out your responsibilities in each position in addition to personal achievements. Education goes at the end. Finally, keep everything clean! Lots of white space helps your resume appear professional and polished.

Ask for help. Being objective about your career can be difficult. Some people overestimate or underestimate their success. Hire a resume writer, or ask a mentor or friend to help with the resume writing process.

Take your time. Creating an effective resume is not a quick or easy process. You have to think carefully about what you want to say and how to say it.

Is your resume ready for review in six seconds? What are your resume tips?

Interview Preparation Tips for Anyone in Any Creative or Design Job

Nadia Osman - Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Your resume is perfect. Your cover letter is amazing. But it can all go downhill with a poor interview and a lack of preparation. Here’s our quick guide to prepping yourself for any job interview, for any company, at any point in your career:

Do your research. No matter the company, become familiar with it before the interview. Understand the job description and what they’re looking for. Read over the mission of the company, as well as other company details. Are you interviewing for a position with a large digital agency that works mostly with fashion clients, or with a up-and-coming startup that needs someone who falls in line with their values? Does this company have product lines or do they offer services?

Anticipate questions. Come up with appropriate answers and practice them before the interview so you can be prepared. Align yourself with the prospective employer. Moreover, come up with 2-3 questions you want to ask about the team, the role or the company.  Do not ask questions about the salary, vacations and other benefits in the first interview.

Consider image. Dress for the part—even if it’s a video interview. Wear what will best fit in with the culture and expectations of the company. You can always ask what that is before the interview, but it’s always safe to aim for business casual with a creative touch.

Remember nonverbal messaging. What you say without saying anything can make a big impact. Offer a firm handshake and stand tall. Pay attention to eye contact, tone of voice, posture, and gestures.

Keep your responses concise. Don’t ramble about a particular achievement when you can sum it up in a few sentences. Don’t talk over the interviewer. If they ask for more explanation, talk a little more, but your answers should still be to the point.   

Know your metrics! Back up your answers with quantifiable data. Instead of mentioning how you grew a company’s social media presence to “a lot more”, make mention of how a specific Twitter campaign helped increase followers by 25 percent. Alternately, offer examples of your leadership skills with numbers. You weren’t just a manager -- you were the manager of a 12-person team who helped the company succeed with innovative and collaborative ideas, or you managed X number of presentations.

Know your key strengths and repeat them. Don’t brag, but do praise yourself and your accomplishments. It’s essential to confidently articulate what you’re best at doing! It also helps the interview know whether you’re a great fit for the job.  

Share your success stories. Oftentimes, interviewers ask about a project you were proud of or a role where you had to overcome adversity on the job. Reflect on your past jobs and write out a few times you set out to execute a campaign, presentation, or idea, and how you were able to demonstrate your skills.  For example share how you won a pitch, achieved ROI, or reduced redundancy.

Visualize.  Can you see yourself as part of the team or company?  Use "we" vs. "them" as you discuss questions or specifics about a role. It helps to “see” yourself in that setting.

Bring your portfolio. Having a physical (or virtual, if you bring your laptop or tablet) representation of your work to show off your technical or design skills, as well as past projects. This will also help you explain those success stories in further detail.

Good luck on your next interview!  

Best Practices for Phone, Skype and Google Hangout Interviews

Nadia Osman - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Interviews can already be a nerve wracking ordeal, and telephone and video interviews can be as uncomfortable as in-person interviews. Yet they’re a great "first step" in many interview processes, especially for candidates who are in another location. Screening calls can be one-on-one, or with a committee. Either way, the same rules apply as in-person interviews: make your best impression. 

Telephone Interview Tips

Here’s how to prep yourself telephone interviews:

  • The criteria is not the same as an in-person interview. Instead of eye contact, you’re using your voice and its tone to communicate how you feel.

  • Talk concisely. Your experience, accomplishments, and achievements are worth celebrating, but you don’t need to launch into a diatribe about each one. Clear and short responses will do just fine, and keep the interviewer engaged.

  • Be friendly! Just like an in-person interview, you want to convey enthusiasm. Smile over the phone. When you smile, they’ll hear it!

  • If there’s dead air during the conversation, use the moment to ask a prepared question. Find out about the company’s culture or more about the team.

  • Listen closely. Without body language cues, you’ll have to engage in active listening to “hear” between the lines. Take notes if it helps, and concentrate on what they tell you about responsibilities and expectations.

  • Don’t discuss salary or benefits. You’re talking to them to connect about the basics of the job. If you get into second and third interviews, then consider talking about it.

  • Make sure you are in a quiet place without technology or connection issues.

Video Interview Tips

Likewise, video interviews via Skype, Zoom, Facetime or Google Hangout come with their own best practices.  Here’s how to prep:

  • Practice questions before the interview. Have a friend talk to you via video so you can work out any tech kinks in advance.

  • Look at the camera! If you look at the screen, you’re not making eye contact. Remember to apply in-person interview eye contact to a video one as well.

  • Dress like you’re meeting the interviewer in person.

  • Make sure your space is well lighted. If you’re in a darker room, move a lamp nearby so they can see your face.

  • Pay close attention to what is being displayed on the wall behind you.  Ensure you have clean, professional backdrop.

  • Keep up the pace. Like on the phone, you want brief and memorable answers to their questions. Be mindful of how long it takes you to respond, and be aware of the time.

  • Confirm timezones, especially if you are in a different timezone that the other person.

  • Be mindful of tech issues. Check your microphone and Internet connection prior to the interview start.

  • For creative roles, you may need to screen share and show your portfolio. Be prepared with a clean, uncluttered desktop and have your portfolio ready to go!

What are your tried and true interview tips?

Getting Creative With Your Job Search

Nadia Osman - Wednesday, September 09, 2015


Let’s face it -- the job market is competitive. While some job seekers use extreme tactics to get noticed, like billboards or brewing their own beer, there are plenty of other ways to get creative with your job search. Follow these tips to find more opportunities beyond standard job hunting websites and boards that could lead you to the position you’ve always wanted!

Using Social Media to Find Jobs

We’ve talked extensively about how LinkedIn, Twitter, and other sites can help your search. Here are some key takeaways you can apply to any social media platform:

  • Share your valuable content. Use these platforms to discuss topics you care about and want to share with the world. Whether it’s graphic design you admire, marketing campaigns you think could use some improvement, or your own artistic creations, use social media to express your opinions and insights. If you feel you’re too busy to tweet all the time, use social media schedulers like Hootsuite and Buffer to do it for you.

  • Use search features. We post links for jobs all the time on our social media channels! Search for the jobs you want by trying different combinations of keywords. For example, “los angeles creative jobs” may yield different results than “UX jobs los angeles”

  • Network. Join groups on LinkedIn and interact with influencers. Reply to folks on Twitter, or strike up a discussion in Facebook. Keep your thoughts professional and courteous, but feel free to engage with others. Eventually, you’ll be more connected than ever -- and your potential job network will grow in the process!

Using Email to Find Jobs

You can job search right from your inbox! Do you want to work for a specific company? Set up a Google alert for your target organizations and what jobs they have open. You’ll be the first to see what new positions they have. Similarly, sign up for job notices from select websites that will offer you hyper-focused opportunities. And of course, always check Artisan Creative for new job openings every day and subscribe to our RSS feed.

Moreover, referrals are a great way to get in the door, and your family and friends are just the people to recommend you. Rely on them to help your job search. Send out emails to close family and friends asking them to keep an eye out. Then, work your way outwards by contacting old colleagues, mentors, college friends, and whoever else you think could help you out. And don’t forget to reach out via LinkedIn and add recommendations, as well as see who is connected. Someone might be willing to make a virtual -- and possibly in-person -- connection on your behalf!

Using Your Website to Find Jobs

If you’re looking for creative jobs, an online portfolio will highlight your amazing work. It’s the quickest and easiest way to have someone find you! Remember to add your URL to your email signature or social media profiles. If you’re not sure where to start, check out SquareSpace or WordPress to help build your own site, or there are many online portfolio sites such as Behance or Coroflot. Furthermore, start blogging! Become a subject matter expert in your field. Much like with social media, blogging is a terrific way to share insights while positioning yourself as an expert in your field.

A helpful hint: if you’re applying for a specific position, pay attention to the company profile and skills they want. Fashion companies want to see fashion samples instead of health care samples, so create space on the site to showcase those samples and make it easy for hiring managers to see relevant work right away.

Using Networking to Find Jobs

When it comes to job searching, your alma mater is a goldmine of possibilities. Connect with alumni by emailing or connecting online. Go to alumni meeting and grow your network, adding new alumni every week. Network and discuss your work to improve your job search opportunities, or suggest ideas of your own for their company they might want to hear.  Reciprocate and help them out where possible.

Another way is to connect with people is through events. Professional organizations, charities, and meetups are great ways to meet new people and get the word out about your valuable skill set. Talk to at least a couple of new people at each meeting you haven’t met yet, and follow up (without imposing) to continue growing the relationship. Volunteer where possible and get connected within the community you are interested in.

What have you done to get creative with your job search?

Photo Credit: kate hiscock via Flickr under a Creative Commons license

12 Email Productivity Hacks So You Can Get Back to Work

Nadia Osman - Thursday, September 03, 2015

Worried about your inbox? It might be stressful to look at all those messages, whether answered or unanswered, sitting there. The good news is it’s an easy fix! Read these 12 email productivity hacks to help you develop good email habits, get your inbox under control, and go on with your day:

1. Every time you open an email, use RAFD. Reply (write back), Archive (save it), Forward (send along to whoever needs to see it), or Delete (trash it).

2. Follow the 2 minute rule. Is answering that email going to take longer than two minutes? Then write back immediately. If you need time to think about your answer, hold off until you have time to compose your thoughts.

3. Shorten your sentences. When you reply to an email, keep your responses to three sentences or less. If you need more to write more than that, evaluate: will it be faster to add this to your to-do list, or to pick up the phone and call them?

4. Prioritize your most important mail first. Now, if you decide to write a longer email, write the one that needs the most attention. Then work your way down the list.

5. Set up a specific time to check your email. Don’t feel beholden to answer every email that comes through your inbox. Instead, choose a few select times during the day to check -- for example, look through your emails later in the morning, then after lunch, and before the work day ends.

6. Use filters to manage incoming messages. Inbound emails that are automatically filtered into a folder system lets you scan emails and figure out who needs a response right away. Try setting up a filtered folder for emails from your supervisor, or redirect emails into your inbox for high-priority clients.

7. Separate individuals from groups. If you work in a large organization and lots of mass emails are sent, it’s useful to prioritize personal communication over company memos.

8. Try Mailbox. It might sound hyperbolic, but this is one of those apps that could seriously change your life. Perfect for on-the-go email checking, use the app to schedule a time to read emails later, whether it’s that night, tomorrow, or next month.

9. Add extra data. Are you afraid to delete emails because you may need to reference them later? Consider purchasing more data for your account. It’s a small price to pay for piece of mind.

10. Don’t use your inbox as a to-do list. This one is very important! Use apps, notebooks, or Post-It notes to write down your daily to-do’s, but when you use your inbox, it keeps it cluttered. It also doesn’t help you remember what you need to do!

11. Unsubscribe! Are you still getting emails from that one website you bought a t-shirt from six years ago? What about that nonprofit you have no passion for, but you’re on the email list because one time you signed a petition online? It’s time to click unsubscribe. is a great way to extract yourself from lists quickly, or set aside a half hour to do it all at once.

12. Deal with personal messages after work. Avoid answering personal emails until you’ve clocked out. It helps create a productive mindset and lets you take time to read that article or watch that video.

What are your favorite email hacks?

Photo: xJason.Rogerx via Flickr under Creative Commons license

How To Say Yes At Work Without Driving Yourself Crazy

Nadia Osman - Wednesday, August 26, 2015

As a creative, your unique set of skills is in high demand! What’s great about this is that there’s always a business or organization that needs you. On the other hand, when friends or acquaintances need some help designing a website or crafting copy, they may turn to you when your plate is too full. Or perhaps you’ve added several new clients who take up a lot of your time, but you love working for each one. We all want to say “yes” to as much as possible, but how can you say yes without feeling like you’ve taken on too much?

Before you take on the next big thing, consider some of these factors so you can continue to balance work and life while taking on the best and brightest opportunities:

Passion: Is this project for a cause you believe in, or area of interest you love? If it’s something you’re passionate about, chances are you’re going to pour more of your heart into it since it’s personally fulfilling. For instance, those who are committed to a healthy lifestyle may likely have a better time creating logo designs for a new health or fitness client rather than a fashion one.

Development: Taking on projects that help you grow your skills is a smart move. Whether you’ll be working with someone who can help mentor your career or add new strengths to your resume, a project where you’ll learn is a great way to gain new experiences and fill in any gaps in your work history.

Fear: Think long and hard about whether you feel like want to decline a project due to time constraints, or because you’re afraid to take it on. Never fear! The jobs that scare us a little are often the ones where you learn the most!

Being a Team Player: Your job might want you to take on a few extra responsibilities, and as long as they’re doable and you can devote attention to them, it makes sense to showcase your ability to work in a team rather than saying no. However, if these responsibilities start to encroach on your existing job duties, you may want to bring up the idea of an intern or assistant with your boss.

Money: Of course, we’re working to make money, but there are so many other factors beyond a paycheck that make an impact.. The best case scenario is a project you’re excited about that also pays well! But don’t turn down a project with less pay if it’s something that energizes your spirit.

If you do have to say “no” to a project, it’s better to politely decline than risk burnout. It’s better to evaluate your commitments and choose the ones you love best rather than take on new projects that might lead to a drop in productivity. Allow yourself to continue working on projects you care deeply about, and keep an eye open for the opportunities you want to take on!

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