Artisan Blog

Best Practices: Preparing for your interview

Monday, July 11, 2011

Best Practices: Preparing for your interview


I once read that if you do something 10,000 times - you are an expert. So with 15+ years successfully helping make matches between companies and candidates, I am well on my way to becoming an expert! 

I have to admit that the favorite part of my job is preparing people for their interviews.  Since not everyone has had the opportunity to work with a recruitment professional, I thought it would be valuable to share some keys pointers I've learned over the years. CONGRATULATIONS!  You got the what?
Do some research! 

I am often surprised to hear stories of how candidates have shown up unprepared....Regardless of the position, everyone must do the research! 

Here is what I suggest:
  • Read the company's website! You need insight into their culture and values, this is the best place to get it.  Pay attention to the ABOUT US section.  Do they have a Twitter or Facebook fan page?  Make sure  you know how they do what they do and where they are in the marketplace.
  • Research the people that you are meeting with.  You are not stalking them - just simply finding out more about them!  Maybe there is a common background or interest that you share and can feel comfortable about bringing up.  Use common sense though - don't bring up anything that could be sensitive or too personal!  The most effective tools I use include LinkedIn, Facebook, Google and Bing
  • Check out the company's location.  I like to use Google Maps.  See what companies, businesses and other venues are nearby.  Get a sense of their surroundings - as it could help you figure out what life working with the company might be like.
  • Write down talking points to bring up during the meeting.  This compliments all the research you do.  Just the fact that you did some research could make a big difference in you getting the job.
I hope that this helps to prepare you for your next interview! 

Carol Conforti, Sr Account Manager & Recruiter

9 Tips to a More Organized Work space

Thursday, July 07, 2011

9 Tips to a More Organized Work space

I sit back for a moment and look around my desk. It’s covered in paperwork, files, pens, business cards, industry trades and several remnants of my lunch - consumed (once again) at my desk. I know where everything is.  But why does it look so unorganized?  Is this what they call creative clutter or am I just plain messy?

In speaking with friends and colleagues, I realize there really are common elements that make for a more productive, organized work space:

  • Think green. Before you hit “Print” on that email or document, ask yourself, “Do I really need to print this? Or will it just lie in a pile on my desk and collect dust?” If you do have to print it – use recycled paper.
  • Stay organized. For the paperwork you do need to action/review frequently – create a filing system on your desk. In our office we prefer stackable letter trays for certain action items and desk sorters for others. Keep blank file folders nearby so you never have an excuse not to file something properly. Remember, if you use something daily – it should be closer to you than the items you use less frequently.
  • Avoid Post-its. Prevent those sticky notes from getting buried on your monitor, desk and wall. Try using your email calendar or mobile phone to store important notes. If you’re like me and can’t quite give up the paper and pen – try using a spiral notebook instead. This keeps all of your important notes in one place.
  • Throw out all those extra pens. Keep only 3 or 4. General rule – if it’s leaking, chewed or missing a cap – it’s time to go!
  • Keep personal items to a minimum. Pictures of or personal tokens from family and friends help keep us motivated and remind us of what’s important. However, any more than 3 items becomes a distraction.
  • Eat away from your desk. This one is tough for me. I can’t remember the last time I ate lunch at an actual table! When we eat at our desk it encourages trash to collect. An empty cup. A take out bag. Extra utensils. Salt & pepper packets. More napkins than you could use in a lifetime. Prevent the trash (and crumbs) by eating away from your desk (and preferably out of the office). We all need a daily break from work to keep us at our best!
  • Keep phone and computer cords to a minimum - Go Wireless. Move freely by investing in a stylish wireless mouse and bluetooth headset. You can even upgrade to a wireless pen tablet.
  • Keep electronics off your desk. Even if you have the room, items like printers, routers, batteries, etc take up space and just add to the clutter. Move them to another piece of furniture or the floor (if appropriate)
  • Cleaning supplies. By keeping cleaning supplies nearby, you’ll be encouraged to wipe down your surface more often.
Well, I know my marching orders tomorrow: take an actual lunch break, spending 30 minutes outside (away from my desk eating lunch) and the other 30 minutes inside (at my desk) getting organized! Cheers to a more productive week ahead!

Jess Bedford, Marketing & Project Manager

Seize the Summer: Reach your Career Potential

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Seize the Summer: Reach your Career Potential


With summer in full swing, it might be tempting to kick up your feet with a cold one and enjoy the weekly BBQs with family and friends. But summer is actually the perfect time to hone your career-advancing skills. Many people have New Year's Resolutions but Half-Year Check-Ins can be just as useful.

While everyone else is whiling away the longer days, you can seize the season to make sure you are reaching your full career potential. In order to be the star student who’s ready from the get-go on the first day of class, one needs to plan ahead and not let your mind turn to mush in the warm summer months. Read through these tips to get ahead.
  1. Review both short-term and long-term career goals. The summer is the perfect time to take stock of where you are versus where you’d like to be. Don’t wait until December to check in and determine your next course of action.
  2. Update your resume, portfolio, and online profiles. You’ve been busy meeting impossible deadlines and countless client revisions. Now things are slowing down for the summer and you can catch your breath. Don’t forget to update your “sales kit” of resume / portfolio / online profile (LinkedIn, CreativeHotList, etc.) to reflect these valuable projects.
  3. Look into potential skill-enhancing classes to take in the fall. Whether it’s a Marketing class via UCLA Extension or an Animation/Visual Effects class at Gnomon, course catalogs come out months in advance of the first day of class so now’s the time to plan ahead.
  4. If you haven’t already, include industry blogs and self-improvement tips in your summer reading plans. We know everyone wants to read about that girl and her tattoo, but throw in a good measure of fun and insight, too. (Just don’t watch cat videos until 2am. At least not *every* night.)
Of course, all of the above can be done outdoors, under a beach umbrella, or on your backyard lawn in the afternoon. We’re not humorless headmistresses. We know you want to get out there and enjoy the sun. But remember summer should be both restorative *and* productive. The key is in the balance of play and work.

Good luck!
Jo Szeto - Artisan Recruitment Consultant

Welcome to the Artisan Blog!

Friday, July 01, 2011

Welcome to the Artisan Blog!

Welcome to the newest version of our Artisan blog.

With so much information flying around these days, we decided to only bring you information and ideas that will focus in the four areas we feel most relevant to the work we do together:

  • creativity
  • staffing / job seekers
  • entrepreneurship
  • giving back

Our goal is to keep it simple and provide something of value each time you log in, read and reach the final sentence.

Thank you!
Jamie Douraghy, President


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