Artisan Blog

Maximizing Your LinkedIn Profile: Getting Started

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Maximizing Your LinkedIn Profile: Getting Started

Everybody’s talking about LinkedIn these days. And a lot of them are asking questions.

How many people does it take in your Network to start paying off? 
What’s it really good for?
Did anyone ever get anything out of it?
Who do you connect with? 
Who do you avoid?
Most of all, how can I make LinkedIn work for me?

I will get to all of these questions, but first let’s avoid a few pitfalls. Larry Braman from Global Career Consulting gave me a lot of great advice about getting started with LinkedIn that I would love to pass along!

  1. Get your LinkedIn Profile up to 100% completeness.  Your Profile will take a lot of tweaking, you’re not finished yet, but don’t let it sit there looking unfinished.  The very first people who find you should be able to get an idea of who you are.
  2. Turn off your Activity Broadcasts (temporarily).  While you are doing that tweaking we talked about, you don’t want your connections to see every time you put in a comma.  When you think you’re finished, turn Activity Broadcasts back on, since then it will show when you land a new job, volunteer at a new organization or get a new endorsement!
  3. Enter your Experience manually.  If you let LinkedIn enter the information for you, it will not look the way you want.  Take the time to do this yourself.
  4. When LinkedIn asks if you would like to send invitations to all of your Contacts, say NO.  First of all, you don’t want to send the same generic invitation to everyone.  Second of all, you don’t even want to connect with everyone in your email Contacts (we will get to this later, too).  Third of all, and most important, you can’t ask everyone again later, when you figure out how to do this, without looking like an idiot.

LinkedIn is great for finding people you already know, but you don’t know what they do: other parents from school might work at one of your target companies; people who attend church with you might be looking to hire, you never know. 

Most of all, though, LinkedIn, like your resume, is telling your story. What you do, your job responsibilities, your achievements, your education, what is important to you.  It is a place for people to find things they have in common and ways to help each other.

Next time: What do I do now?

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

One-Up the Competition: 3 Ways to Get a Recruiter’s Attention

Thursday, September 22, 2011

One-Up the Competition: 3 Ways to Get a Recruiter’s Attention

As creative recruiters, talent are always asking us about the best way to stand out from the countless applications we receive. While a well-written cover letter or introduction email is a good start, job seekers need to do more to make sure their background and skills are being properly considered.

Here are a few tips to get our attention:

1. Be concise. What’s your elevator pitch? Present us with one short and sweet paragraph about why you are perfect for the job to which you are applying. Not too much, not too little. Tell us how your experience specifically applies to the job requirements. This not only makes your history more appealing, but also makes it easier for us to place you.

2. Do NOT bury the lead. If you have a degree from a well-known school, have won credible industry awards or worked with top brands - hit us with that right up front. Don’t make us wait until the bottom of page 2 on your resume!

3. Follow up. Email us every couple of weeks or so to say, “Hey, just wanted to remind you that I am available for work. I’m an art director looking for $45/hr and available to drive anywhere in Los Angeles County. Here’s my website.” This helps keep you top of mind with our company and helps us better serve our clients when we know what talent are available.

Next time: 3 Reasons You’ll Have A Hard Time working with Recruiters.

Kevin Kahn
Talent Manager

Revive Your Creativity

Monday, September 19, 2011

Revive Your Creativity

If you follow Artisan Creative on Twitter or like us on Facebook (and if you don’t yet, click on the links!), you probably noticed that this week’s theme is Creativity.

I spent some time getting inspired by finding quotations about creativity and ended up thinking about the ways I get inspired--get my creative juices flowing.

Whether it’s the 4:00 Wednesday afternoon slump or you just feel stuck looking at that blank screen, there are lots of ways to inspire and enhance your creativity:

  • Learn something new.  Picking up a new skill makes you think differently about the skillsets you already have and especially ways to make them work together.
  • Get out and get moving.  Changing your environment can definitely inspire new ways of thinking about old problems, especially if you’re feeling stuck.
  • Start by fixing something small that’s broken.  You may not know how you want your entire design concept to look, but you can fix that header and maybe that will tell you what you want to do with the next element.  And the next.
  • Keep a notepad and pencil in every room.  Don’t let those fleeting moments of brilliance get away!

Me? I’m a fiber artist in my free time and I love to surround myself with color, riotous, crazy, vibrant color.  Color makes me happy, wakes me up and inspires me to make something new—create.

Recently CEO’s were asked what is the most important leadership quality they need but have trouble finding and the winner: creativity.

"The creative person is both more primitive and more cultivated, more destructive, a lot madder and a lot saner, than the average person."  Frank Barron

What inspires and enhances your creativity?  We would love to hear about it in the comments! 

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

7 Reasons to Use a Recruiter in Your Job Search

Thursday, September 15, 2011

7 Reasons to Use a Recruiter in Your Job Search

Last week I asked the recruiters at Artisan to give me their number one reason for using a recruiter to find a new role. I ended up with a pretty comprehensive list. If you are considering adding a recruiter to your job search team, here are some great reasons why:

  1. A recruiter is a consultant acting on your behalf. They are as committed to finding you a perfect new role as you are. They are pro-actively advocating for you and thinking of new opportunities.
  2. A recruiter can get you a lead into the company culture and processes that you could not find out on your own.  Your own research can only get you so far. Recruiters can often provide details not listed on job descriptions.
  3. A recruiter can negotiate salary and benefits for you. By knowing the clients’ actual salary range and benefits offering, recruiters may actually be able to get you a better package than advertised.
  4. Resumes from recruiters go to the top of the pile (assuming your recruiter has a good relationship with the client).
  5. An extra set of professional eyes on your resume is incredibly important (especially but not exclusively to eliminate typos).
  6. A recruiter has access to opportunities not listed on job boards.
  7. A recruiter with a great reputation for representing outstanding talent adds value to your brand.

Having a recruiter on your team can be the difference between landing the perfect role and sitting home by yourself wishing for that great job. Consider signing up with a recruiter who places people in your area of expertise. You’ll be glad you did!

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative, with help from everyone on Our Team

6 Ways to Beat Burnout & Improve your Work Life Balance

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

6 Ways to Beat Burnout & Improve your Work Life Balance

In recent years, with a number of cutbacks and layoffs, many employees have felt overworked, struggling to balance the demands of their careers and personal lives.  Afraid they, too, could be out of a job, they are putting in more hours at work and leaving their health, families and personal enjoyment to suffer. 

If you find yourself sharing this frustration - you are not alone!   

The good news is that with just a few small changes, you’ll could find yourself not only more effective at work, but also happier when you’re not working.


Here's what we recommend to better juggle all that work and life have to throw your way:

Schedule it. Whether it’s work or play – plan your time and protect it.  If you won’t be available certain nights and/or weekends due to family commitments or you need an hour each evening to complete work engagements, communicate these times to both managers and loved ones so they know when they can reach you and when you will respond.  With little ones at home, Jess & Jamie G. couldn’t agree more. 

Can you Telecommute? In many industries, working from home is both realistic and possible. With no commute, limited office chit-chat and less meetings, you can get more done at work and use the extra time to meet household or personal responsibilities.

Get out and get moving!  Everyone on our team agrees that getting out of the office and doing something active is the best way to help them unwind.  Jamie D’s article in Business Week discusses how he uses fencing to reduce stress.  Maggie is a certified Pilates instructor and loves how Pilates exercises both her body and mind.  Carol creates balance, literally, with Yoga.  For Laura it’s spinning and walks on the beach!  Ana, our Controller, agrees that walking on the beach is great exercise with the bonus of calming waters and relaxing ocean waves! 

Be creative! Even if you work in the creative industry – by pursuing a creative outlet that you don’t utilize every day at work, you create a separation from your work life and allow yourself to do something you're truly passionate about.  Stephanie in Accounting loves to draw and play music after work.  It’s the perfect distraction from all the numbers she deals with during the day.      

Switch off. Without technology, we could never keep our work or personal life running smoothly.  But it shouldn’t rule your life either.  It’s important to make technology-free time to spend with those who are important to you.  Set aside rules – and stick to them.

Treat yourself!  Doing something special for yourself on occasion isn’t a luxury, but a must.  We all work very hard and deserve to be rewarded.  Margaret plans a number of short weekend trips to literally get away from her work and personal commitments.  It allows her to return to her routine rested and more focused.  Kevin prefers an evening of cigars and fine liquor with friends.  The perfect escape from a normal evening at home. 

Still not sure how to keep everything in check?  Try CNN’s Work Life Balance Calculator to help you strike a balance in your work and personal life. 

What do you do to beat burnout?

Jess Bedford, Marketing Manager

Should you be blogging?

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Should you be blogging?

Why Blog for your Business?

Your website is a great place for people to go to find out information about your company.  What you do, what you sell, where you are, what jobs are available, who partners with you.

All of that is important.

Your business blog, however, is important, too, and worth spending time on.  Your blog gives people a sense of who you are and what is important to you as a company.  It lets them know what’s going on at your company that is exciting.  It gives you a place to show your appreciation for your employees’ hard work and commitment.  It’s also a place to show off your expertise in your field and be helpful.

Is your company culture like a family?  Here’s where you can show that.  Is it more like a think tank?  Here’s where you can show off your analytical skills.  Is it a place where creative people collaborate?  Here’s where you can showcase all that creativity.

The real benefit of business blogging is in the relationships you can build.  If you are out there talking about what you do and asking questions, you will start relationships with your readers.  Relationships are everything in today’s business world and are vital to take your business to a whole new level.

Why Blog for your Job Search?

Funny thing is, Job Seekers should be blogging for the same reasons Businesses should.  Whether you are a freelancer or employed full time, your business expertise is what makes you relevant in your field. 

Blogs offer a way for you to illustrate not only your knowledge of a particular industry or skill, but also show your appreciation for your network.  You can also talk longer and more specifically than you ever would in an interview about your mission.  You can talk about what is important to you, what inspires you and what gets you excited.  You can even showcase your creativity.  You can give a potential employer a sense of who you are and how you might fit into their culture. 

And again, the real benefit is relationships.  Starting conversations, finding people with things in common, getting and giving support all help in your job search. 

Check out or Blogger .com to get started.  They are free!

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

Top 8 Traits Employers are Looking For: Creative and Marketing

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Top 8 Traits Employers are Looking For: Creative and Marketing

I was reading an article on 8 traits employers are looking for on the other day and although some of them were right on target, others missed the mark in terms of Creative and Marketing roles.  And of course the hard part is making sure you show them all off in your interview. 

So here you go, à la David Letterman, my Top 8 Traits Creative Employers are Looking For (and how to work them into your interview):


8.         Engagement. Direct eye contact and listening skills are just as important as being articulate. Show how well you collaborate right from the start.

7.         Confidence. A classic, but still so important. You are creative and skilled and talented.  You ARE!

6.         Dress. Whatever your style, be clean and put together. Hiring managers expect you to be professional, but still want to see a bit of that personality shine through. Check out our blog for more tips on what to wear to your creative interview.

5.         Do your research.  Know as much as you can about the company culture and the person you are meeting.  Prepare a couple of interesting questions to ask your interviewer.  LinkedIn is a great place for finding inspiration!

4.         Adaptability. I agree on this one. If there is any chance to express that you’re ready for anything, do so.

3.         Curiosity.  Creative people are interested in learning new skills and coming up with new angles on old problems.

2.         Stories.  A great story is gold. Have a few stories prepared to illustrate how you accomplished something challenging, delivered a project with unexpected results or learned a valuable lesson.  Come on, you must have some stories to share!

And 1.  Energy.  Be a bright shiny penny.  There are a lot of people out there who are tired, overworked and underpaid. You might be interviewing with one of them.  Remember - you may be between roles and stressed, but you are NOT tired! 

Did you notice anything that was missed from the lists?  What traits do you think are important?  We’d love to hear your favorites!  

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

7 Tips for your Skype Interview

Friday, September 02, 2011

7 Tips for your Skype Interview

With a growing number of employers open to telecommuting positions and more hiring being done from corporate locations based elsewhere in the country or world, many jobseekers are finding themselves preparing for interviews via Skype.

As we’ve helped prepare several of our candidates for these types of interviews – we’ve found the following list helpful in preparing:

  1. Monitor your surroundings.  Your computer should be set up in a room that is quite, well lit and clean.  Ensure your background does not have distracting posters, pictures or wall paper.
  2. Test your equipment.  The night before your interview, ensure your software, microphone, camera and internet connection are working correctly.  Test your internet connection again 15 minutes before your interview to ensure you’re call can begin on time.
  3. Dress for success.  This is an interview – dress as you would for a face to face interview – professional and polished, with a hint of personality.
  4. Be prepared.  Like with any interview, make sure you’ve done your research, prepared anecdotes to demonstrate your skills / success and developed a list of questions and/or talking points to refer to when conversation lulls.
  5. Look at the camera, not at the screen.  When the interview starts, just as in a face to face interview, you want to establish proper eye contact and maintain it throughout the interview.  This helps you better connect with your interviewer.
  6. Prepare your desktop.  If screen-sharing will be part of your interview (perhaps to showcase your portfolio of work or review websites), make sure all other windows, programs and files are closed.  You should have a professional desktop picture and limited folders on the desktop.
  7. Be Yourself.  Remember, this is your only chance to make a first impression.  Don’t let the technology scare you!  This is about people making a connection.  Let your interviewer(s) see the real you.  Be genuine about your skills / experience and enthusiastic about the opportunity for which you are being considered!

We wish you the best of luck!

Jess Bedford, Marketing Manager

What type of creative talent does Artisan actually recruit?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

We’re often asked by both prospective clients and jobseekers – what exactly the “Creative” in our company name really means.  After all, the creative industry can encompass so many areas of expertise.  So where does Artisan focus our core recruiting, networking and talent development efforts?


You can see a comprehensive list of the types of roles we place.


Still have questions?  We’re happy to help.

Dressing for Success: How to dress for an interview with Creatives

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dressing for Success: How to dress for an interview with Creatives


A colleague of mine in Accounting recalls how she arrived at an interview for a large financial corporation wearing black suit pants, a dressy black sweater, silver flats and a matching silver purse.  After a great interview, she was told by HR that her “casual attire” was evidence that she didn’t understand their corporate culture and they would not be hiring her. 

A few weeks later she wore the same outfit when she interviewed with our company – a Creative and Marketing Recruiting agency.  Her outfit (which hinted at her creative personality) paired with her great accounting skills, helped us realize she was the perfect fit for us.  We made the hire and she’s been here for years now! 

Moral of the story:  What you wear to an interview can be a big factor in the impression you leave behind; make sure you leave the right one.

Whether we like it or not, research suggests that more than half of another person’s perception of you is based on how you look.  Therefore, if you don’t fit that “look” a company subconsciously expects of its employees, you will have to work much harder to prove that you are still the best person for the job.

This is why researching the company culture is vital before an interview.  If after conducting your research you are still not sure of the best attire, check with the Hiring Manager, Human Resources Representative or Recruiter who scheduled your interview. 

In the Marketing & Creative world, client environments can run the gamut.  In some organizations suits are still the rule, in others it’s business casual.  And while in most agencies jeans and graphic tees are the uniform of choice, there are still a few shops where board shorts and flips flops prevail. 

With every creative company being so different – is there any way to appease the masses? 

As a general rule, it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. A safe bet when interviewing with a creative company is to don a slightly more conservative version of the typical “every day attire” in your target company’s office. 

A few tips:

  • Solid colors are usually better than busy patterns; Same goes with darker colors over lighter ones.
  • Jewelry should be limited to one or two key pieces
  • Make-up, hair and nails should be neat and well-maintained
  • Go easy on the perfume, cologne and aftershave

We also recommend that you find a way to show a bit of your personality – be it with a fabulous fashion accessory (shoes, glasses, purse or jewelry) or stylish haircut.

Jess Bedford, Marketing Manager


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