Artisan Blog

Creepin’ It Real: Scary Job Interviews From Our Recruiters

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Creepin’ It Real: Scary Job Interviews From Our Recruiters

We've all been there. We turn up late to an interview because of that pesky LA traffic. Maybe you meet your interviewer who is looking dashing in a suit and you're wearing jeans, or worse, shorts. Did you fail to do your research and you're horrifyingly unprepared to answer questions on the company?

Job hunting can be terrifying. We get that. And we all have at least one frightening interview we’ve endured. Our recruiters have lived to tell the tale of their early career interviews and they're sharing their horror stories with you this Halloween. Avoid any bone-chilling experiences at your next interview by learning from their mistakes.

Dressed to Depress

“On my first day of interviews to enter recruiting I had two back-to-back interviews: a corporate recruitment firm followed by a digital agency. My recruiter only prepared me for the first interview, not the second. The first interview took place in a private members-only bar, so of course, I was dressed to impress. I went straight to my second interview wearing a suit only to arrive at an edgy agency surrounded by people in casual, trendy clothes. There was nothing more humiliating than being marched through the office with everyone staring at my formal attire. The interviewer (wearing jeans) asked why I was dressed in such a way – I did explain myself and felt incredibly uncomfortable.” – Laura Pell – Recruiter at Artisan Creative

It’s important to do your own research on office environments. To get a better sense of a company’s culture and employees, look at their social pages, read up on their core values and look up their Glassdoor reviews. Look online for company events to gauge what to wear. Remember, in an interview, it’s always better to dress up than dress down -- make sure you’re well-groomed and presentable.

Scary Requests

”I once interviewed for a company specializing in hypoallergenic products. The job description clearly stated no strong perfumes so I made sure to skip my usual spritz that day. When I arrived, they had me sit face to face with the main interviewer while an associate sat in the chair right next to me and proceeded to lean in and take a few deep breaths. She continued to do that for the next few minutes and then asked if I was wearing deodorant. I said yes and apparently, the deodorant scent was too strong for their liking. I guess for this role, it wasn't enough to look the part, you have to smell the part as well!” – Jen Huynh – Recruiter at Artisan Creative

This request is uncommon and while we hope you won’t have to endure being sniffed at by interviewers, do heed any requests client’s make. They may ask you to fill in application forms, present portfolios or take a skills test. If you come unprepared, first impressions of your organizational skills will be duly noted.

We’d love to hear your interview horror stories. Do you have your own frightful story to share?

 

We hope you've enjoyed the 495th issue of our a.blog.  Happy Halloween! 

 


How to Find a Mentor

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

How to Find a Mentor

 

Finding the right coach or mentor can take your creative or business career to the next level. In work and in life, no matter what stage you may find yourself in, you can always gain tremendous value by seeking guidance, wisdom, and aid from masters, teachers, or anyone with a unique perspective on your field.

It’s important to always be seeking the help of mentors and coaches. The biggest question is how do you find them? Lots of people are willing and able to help the right mentee - you just have to locate and approach them in ways that will show them the benefit of mentoring you, and the difference you’re going to make once you are committed to learning from them.

When looking for new coaches and mentors, or strengthening connections with those who have enriched your mind and soul in the past, it pays to keep these key principles in mind.

Bring Value

Before you seek out a mentor or coach, be able to show them what you can accomplish on your own. As much as people may believe in your potential, once you give them solid proof that you're on your way and you're willing to work toward your goals, you make it easier for them to support you.

Build your portfolio and resume. Do projects you love (even if they don’t come with high pay or a high profile). When you encounter a possible mentor, your body of work is your best introduction. Have something you’re proud to show.

Build Your Community

To receive support from others, constantly looking for new ways to support yourself and those around you. Building strong networks and communities is its own reward. The more you put yourself out there as a helpful, collaborative spirit, the more others will want to be part of your cause, including those who can provide valuable coaching and mentorship.

To gain mentorship, be a mentor to others. "Your legacy is not what you do," says writer and investor James Altucher. "It’s what the people you teach do." When you give more than you expect to get, the rewards can be far greater than you ever dared to anticipate.

Seek Out a Variety of Mentors

Intelligence and strength come in a rainbow of flavors. Julia Fawal lists five distinct types of mentors with whom you should cultivate close relationships. It includes not just masters and higher-ups, it also includes friends and coworkers you see every day.

Everyone has a different piece of the puzzle. Your most valuable mentorship may not come from a glamorous boss or a wizened shaman on a mountaintop, it may simply come from someone who sits next to you on mass transit.

Be Resilient

"The best mentorships I’ve had have taken a lot of time to cement," says Altucher. While some of your best coachings may come from a three-hour class, you must also have the patience, and put in the time, to build relationships with mentors that stay strong for years and decades.

This requires staying in touch, providing continuous value, and developing the relationship over time. Be adaptable to change when you want to keep relationships going through challenging times and circumstances and be willing to walk away from those that have run their course.

Be Humble

"A mind is like a parachute," said the musician Frank Zappa. "It doesn't work if it isn't open." Socrates, one of the wisest philosophers who ever lived said, "All I know is that I know nothing."

The most important rule in receiving help from the world is always to make yourself available for it. This requires questioning your judgments and assumptions. Know that wisdom is infinite, and the more you experience, the more you will realize you still have to learn.

Challenge yourself. Live on the outer edges of your comfort zone. Take a Socratic approach to work, life, and your own self-concept. When you make yourself open to new information, you make it easy for those with more wisdom and expertise to guide you into new ways of knowing.

At Artisan Creative, we pride ourselves on the guidance, connections, and stewardship we provide to creative professionals at all stages of their careers and their lives. Contact us today to learn more.

 

We hope you've enjoyed the 494th issue of our a.blog


Project Management Software Review

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Project Management Software Review

 

Choosing a new project management software is one of the most significant and impactful management decisions you can make. The right choice can amplify your efforts, help you achieve and exceed your goals, plus give you what you need to work more efficiently, effectively, and fruitfully.

If you’re close to making a decision, or you’re just getting started on your research, here is a quick inventory of five popular project management software systems, with some of their pros and cons. This may help you stay focused on choosing the right project management solution for your particular team and case.

Basecamp

Basecamp was one of the first all-in-one project management solutions to gain wide popularity, and it remains widely used and loved. Created by the team formerly known as 37signals, it’s designed with a deep appreciation for the culture of business.

Pros: Simple, intuitive, easy to use and to master.

Cons: Lacks some of the slicker capabilities associated with newer entries into the market.

Trello

Based on a system of boards, lists, and cards, Trello has quickly become a favorite of designers and visual thinkers and is now a serious contender in the field of user-friendly project management software.

Pros: Fun to use, aesthetically pleasing, popular with visually inclined users.

Cons: Potentially challenging for users more accustomed to more plain and traditional methods of organization.

Asana 

Sleek, colorful, and user-friendly Asana is currently a pace-setter in the realm of project management software. Designed for detailed tracking, its organization encourages collaboration. It has been gaining wider adoption over the last several years.

Pros: Excellent mobile app, well suited for more fluid communication, collaboration, and goal-setting.

Cons: Requires some training and practice to master, which demands participation from the whole team.

Smartsheet

Smartsheet functions as a sort of enhanced version of Excel. Its spreadsheet-based interface is useful for planning and tracking elaborate projects and breaking them down into specific initiatives, tasks, and goals.

Pros: Highly recommended to those who are experienced with spreadsheets and fond of that organizational format.

Cons: Not as colorful or user-friendly as the modern-minded alternatives.

Airtable

Relatively new on the scene, Airtable is popular with publishers and is gaining steam and broader acceptance thanks to its versatility.

Pros: Highly flexible, easy to use and customize, well geared towards communication, file-sharing, and more.

Cons: Still fairly new, complex, requires some patience to understand and to master.

When choosing a project management system for your team, choose mindfully. This decision will fundamentally affect the culture that you work so hard to develop.

You need a system that works with the quirks, practices, and objectives of your team, as individuals and as a group. The right software should empower you, play to your strengths, be geared toward your goals, and bring you closer together.

As you choose, we recommend further research on collaboration tools and apps, project management software, and the broader thought behind project management systems.

At Artisan Creative, we pool our workplace wisdom and dedicate ourselves every day to finding the best creative talent available and to helping your team be as effective as it can be. Contact us today to learn more and explore your full potential.

 

We hope you've enjoyed the 493rd issue of our a.blog.

 


7 Impactful TedTalks

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

7 Impactful TedTalks

TED Talks are a rich resource for ideas and inspiration. With countless hours of video and curated playlists on nearly any topic of interest, they present a nearly endless buffet for the mind and heart.

We highly recommend sampling TED Talks whenever in need of fresh perspectives. Here are a few we find particularly relevant to our goals of career advancement as it dovetails with personal, professional, and community enrichment.

Brene Brown - The Power of Vulnerability

In one of the most-watched and best-loved TED Talks of all, Brown expands on the notion of grit, one of the qualities that set Scrappers apart. She shares her research on human connection and finds that, through accepting difficulty and pain and turning them to our advantage, we can find homes in dimensions of the human experience that cannot be accessed through pure brawn alone, but through a lifelong cultivation of sensitivity and compassion.

Andy Puddicombe - All It Takes Is 10 Mindful Minutes

In an age of overstimulation, it can be easy to forget how to simply sit and do nothing, even for just ten minutes at a go. In this wise and friendly talk, Puddicombe offers a broad introduction to the core principles of mindfulness practice. He explores why it can be so difficult to do nothing, and why it's so important. He suggests that we are what we pay attention to, and the best way to get better at using our minds is to sit back and observe them in action.

Susan Cain - The Power of Introverts

Most workplaces and most constructed environments, in general, are designed for the benefit of extroverts. In this acclaimed and influential talk, Cain shares her rocky journey to accepting her own introverted nature. She proposes that, through their powers of calm and skeptical observation, introverts have much to teach about potential new ways of doing and being. And she makes the case for building spaces and teams that can help introverts bring forth their transformative power.

Magnus Walker - Go With Your Gut Feeling

A British metalhead shares snapshots from the ping-ponging odyssey that led him to become a famous clothing entrepreneur in Los Angeles. To lead an interesting life, he suggests, we must cultivate intuition, take dangerous risks and leaps of faith, and go for what we want rather than what we think we’re supposed to want. Anyone who wants to live a bit closer to the edge can find inspiration in his exhilarating escapades and his penchant for charming and galvanizing storytelling.

Rajiv Nathan - How to Become an Expert in Vulnerability

For another expansion on Hartley's key themes, check out career coach Rajiv Nathan's observations on his revelatory Costa Rican vacation. He learns that entrenched knowledge can be an impediment to open-minded, open-hearted investigation, and that true strength comes from accepting how little we know about the world. Along the way, he meets a strange and surprising new friend, riffs on the foundations of Buddhism, and learns to live in a state of perpetual growth through self-critique.

Terri Trespicio - Stop Searching for Your Passion

Life doesn't have to be a mission; it can also be an exploration. The single-minded pursuit of a dream can close doors and make your life less interesting while engaging with opportunities as they arise, and building skills by learning to "solve your favorite problems," can help you become a person you never knew you could be. Trespicio shares her story of being fired from her "dream job," and how she discovered that "success fuels passion more than passion fuels success." If you're fixated on a distant goal, or you're nervous because you don't have one, Trespicio's talk is a rousing wake-up call.

Regina Hartley - Why the Best Hire May Not Have the Perfect Resume

An HR expert draws a distinction between two sorts of candidates, those who have the educational pedigrees and smooth career progressions that are generally made possible by backgrounds of privilege. And those who may hail from public schools and have uneven resumes, often because they have navigated significant hardship and uncertainty. Hartley explores the revolutionary concept of "post-traumatic growth" and makes a case for hiring for grit and humor. In a workplace that is rapidly diversifying and a society that is beginning to seriously reckon with the costs of steep inequality, her message is urgently relevant.

At Artisan Creative, we believe that the right intellectual diet is essential to success and fulfillment at life and work. Contact us today to take your team or your career to places you never knew it could go.

 

We hope you've enjoyed the 492nd issue of our a.blog.

 



Resume Refresh Checklist

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Resume Refresh Checklist

Are you starting a new job search? Could your ongoing search use an energy boost? Have trends in your industry shifted? Have you accomplished those professional goals you committed to at the start of this year?

If you answered yes to some or all of the above, it could be a good time for you to review your resume to give it a quick update and polish.

For most recruiters, hiring managers, or connectors who find you through a LinkedIn search, your Linkedin Bio and resume will be your best chance to make a first impression. You will approach the job market with more confidence if you’re sure your resume is as strong and polished as it can be.

Have a look now at your resume to make sure it meets all the important criteria.

Is it fresh?

If you haven’t spent any time on it in more than a few months, it pays to give your resume a close read, especially if you’re actively sending it out. You may be able to improve some awkward phrasing, use more modern formatting, or even catch a stray typo. Grammarly and Hemingway are two popular and trusted tools you can use to improve and tighten your writing.

Is it current?

Clearly, if you change jobs or achieve new professional goals, you should update your resume to reflect the new you. You must also be mindful of changing trends and language in your industry. Any expert who reads it should know that you know your stuff. With the rise of applicant tracking software, exceptionally strong SEO is one of your best friends during a job search. You are your own marketing department, so familiarize yourself with the latest SEO tricks and techniques that marketers use to boost visibility. Also, read job descriptions for jobs you want and rework your resume to use similar keywords. Make yourself easy to find.

Is it exciting?

Write in the active voice to present a stronger sense of who you are and what it might be like to work with you. Rather than “responsibilities” or “duties,” focus on your accomplishments and how you provide value and ROI. Rather than your “objective,” be descriptive – every line should be lush with details about what you know, what you can do, and what makes you different. Grab your reader’s attention and lodge in their memory.

Is it on brand?

Your resume works in concert with your social media profiles, your online portfolio, and the rest of your overall digital presentation. Make sure they all present a consistent sense of your personality, your professional values, and your realms of expertise. Create a buyer persona to represent the hiring manager whose attention you want to attract, and redesign all aspects of your digital presence to communicate directly with that person.

Is the design appropriate?

Always emphasize content over form. Every element of your resume should add; none should distract. Unless you are a visual designer with a distinctive aesthetic, stick with common typefaces and simple formatting. Trends in aesthetics and language change rapidly; present yourself in a manner that will have perennial appeal. If you’re in doubt, find a mentor or a peer you respect and ask if you can use that person’s resume as a model for your own.

At Artisan Creative, we know that building your dream career isn’t just about attention to detail – it’s about knowing which details matter.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 491st issue of our a.blog. Get in touch today and continue the conversation.



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