Artisan Blog

How Interviewers Can Find the Best Candidates During the Interview Process

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

best-candidates-interviews

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.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

impress-recruiters-6-seconds

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?


The Importance of Proofreading Your Resume (And Everything Else)

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

According to a survey conducted by Grammarly on Indeed.com, the average job seeker has at least one punctuation error on their resume, and 60 percent of errors are grammatical.

If the job requires attention to detail or if you promote yourself as “meticulous,” how can a hiring manager trust that you are those things if your resume has simple spelling mistakes and typos?

Those tiny errors could make them think twice about calling you for the role.

One cannot underestimate the importance of proofreading. Here are a few tips to keep in mind during this necessary step in applying for jobs:

Proofreading does not equal spell check. Misspellings and grammatical mistakes are common, and they happen to everyone. But spell check cannot replace your sharp eye. Most spell check programs do not recognize contextual spelling errors (like “achieve” versus “achievement”).

Don’t rush your email. When you see the perfect job, it’s easy to get excited and click “send” before thoroughly reading it over. However, if you spelled the name of the company incorrectly, it’s very unlikely they’ll be emailing back!

Check your online portfolio. Hiring managers, especially in creative fields, are going to look at your website. If you’ve misspelled a few words, or have grammar errors, it will negatively impact your beautiful photos or exquisite design. They’ll remember that you weren’t fastidious enough to double check your own website.

Keep it consistent. If you’re still employed at a position, use present tense -- use past tense if you’re no longer there. Stay consistent and use an active voice (“developed strategy,” “created designs”). Catching errors in consistency is part of proofreading.

Have a friend help you! If you’ve already combed through all your hiring materials, ask a friend (or several) help you proofread as well just to be on the safe side.

The good news is that your resume, LinkedIn profile, and online portfolio are easy to fix. All you have to do is take the time to proofread and make sure there are no errors.

So proofread your resume. Proofread your cover letter. Proofread your online portfolio. Proofread your writing samples. Proofread your blog. Proofread your email to a recruiter or hiring manager. Proofread, proofread, proofread. You can thank us later after you score the job!


Job Search: Research and Development Part II

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

In the second of our two-part series, Artisan Creative's President Katty Douraghy talks about how to develop your brand in order to have a successful job search.

The Development phase of the R&D process includes developing your brand. 

Start with Social Media. 

  • Employers do check it out. 
  • Learn how to control your privacy settings, so keep your private information private!
  • Depending on your industry, set up your appropriate social channels, join groups or start adding relevant content.

LinkedIn is a powerful tool

  • Update your profile and work history
  • Join industry groups
  • Expand your network and connections
  • Get recommendations
  • Participate in discussion boards, posts, or blogs to highlight your subject matter expertise

Develop Your Portfolio

  • If you are in the creative space, update your portfolio with recent, relevant samples.
  • Organize your samples by focus whether it’s digital, print, broadcast, or mobile.
  • Detail your involvement (whether it’s concepting, executing, production) and remove the guesswork for Hiring Managers.
  • Be specific if it was produced work, or comps or a class project
  • If you don’t have web skills to create your own custom portfolio, then use the several online portfolio tools that are available. 
  • The key is to be current, relevant and organized in the flow of presentation of your work.

Next, Develop your resume.

  • Write, edit and proof it.  Did I mention to please proof your resume?  ◦A typo can quickly derail everything!
  • Besides using spell check, Read YOUR RESUME OUT LOUD and enunciate words to catch errors! 
  • Have someone else read your resume with a fresh set of eyes. 
  • Remove the guesswork from your resume. ◦Be specific with your work dates. Clearly state the months and years. 
  • Indicate contract or freelance assignments, otherwise it can be viewed as job hopping.
  • Highlight your relevant work history
  • Use keywords, specific job titles, software programs, and certifications. Many online job application portals search and scan for keywords.
  • Use brief, concise bullets or phrases
  • Education: List graduation dates and completed degrees.  

Next, practice your interviewing skills, especially if it’s been awhile

  • Practice in front of the mirror
  • Practice with a friend
  • Do an interview prep with your recruiter
  • Record yourself and listen to your voice, tone, filler words
  • Join Toastmasters or other public speaking forums to practice your presentation   

The better your R&D phase in setting up the strategy for the job search, the more tactical you can be in your approach. 

Leave the guesswork and haphazard approach to your competition—and plan your success to stand out from the crowd.

View Part I here 

 


Meeting Recruiters: 5 Reasons to Meet Your Recruiter before a Job Interview

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Meeting Recruiters: 5 Reasons to Meet Your Recruiter before a Job Interview

 


At Artisan Creative we aim to meet every candidate interviewing with our clients. It's a crucial part of the hiring process for both the client and the candidate (and our team at Artisan). It's also an opportunity to get to know one another better and build long-term relationships. We've been in the business for over 20 years so long-lasting relationships mean a lot to us.

Inside Scoop
It's a great feeling walking into an interview feeling prepared and confident. If you are working with a recruiter they should give you the inside scoop and the who's who of the company along with who you'll be meeting. They should set your expectations for culture fit, dress code, number of interviewers etc. ahead of time.  No one appreciates surprises -- especially on interview day. Your recruiter should prepare you for your best interview possible.

Beyond a Job Description

Job descriptions may tell you the requirements of the job but they can't really tell you much more than that. There's a ton of information left off including lots of little details such as who's on the team, key projects and what are the company's future growth plans. Meeting with your recruiter before an interview will provide you with extra knowledge, especially if your recruiter has a long-term relationship with the client.

Relationships and Networking

Building a good working relationship with your recruiter is key.  A good recruiter can be a great asset in knowing the openings in the job market, knowing the must-have's of job requirements and being an advocate on your behalf. Building relationships with a recruiter will not only expand your network but save a lot of time, too.  A good recruiter can be a strong connector.

Culture Fit and Non-Verbal Communication

You can learn a lot about a person from their non-verbal communication. Meeting face-to-face allows people to connect and learn about your interests beyond your work experience. If you love craft beers and surfing and choose creative over corporate environments that may not shine through over the phone. We like to know about your interests and find an alignment with a client to make the perfect match.

Market Insight
The job market can be a volatile place. If you're looking to change jobs or start freelancing, recruiters can give you crucial market insight. We handle multiple job opportunities daily and can often help to give you our views on any changes that may occur within the industry.  


Laura Pell - Artisan Creative 

 


5 Online Courses to Make You More Marketable to Employers

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

5 Online Courses to Make You More Marketable to Employers


 

At Artisan we’re big fans of self-improvement and learning new skills which is why we’ve put together a list of our favorite online resources to expand your knowledge and make you more marketable to future employers.

Online courses are a perfect way to hone existing skills and build new ones if you don’t have the time or the money to do in-person workshops and lessons. The important thing to remember with online courses and discussing these with potential employers is that you must demonstrate how you used your newly-acquired skills e.g. “after learning X I then went on to create YZ.” Show that you can learn something on your own initiative and then apply it to something else. 

Excel
There aren’t many jobs we can think of in our industry that don’t require exposure to Excel at some point. While some may work in Excel day in and day out, if you don’t use it too often you can become rusty. “But I don’t use Excel!” we hear you scream. At some point, you probably will and nothing will win your employer over more than having someone on their team who can navigate their way around. Excel Is Fun is a comprehensive YouTube channel with over 2000 tutorials and clips led by Mike “excelisfun” Girvin, a business instructor. There’s also Reddit’s creation, Excel Exposure and Chandoo with extensive tutorials and advice.

Web Design
Udemy’s Introduction to Design course aims to teach you design principles and take you further than just using Photoshop. It’s free and includes over 12 lectures to bring you up to speed on design basics. If you want to take it one step further try Alison’s Applying Design Principles which is a more in-depth look at design including production and colors.

Languages
Learning languages doesn’t have to be about classrooms and textbooks when you have companies like Duolingo and Memrise. They both make language learning fun and entertaining by working with the theory that if you repeatedly learn, repeat and memorize a word, it will eventually stick. If you’ve just started working with a new client who is based in Europe, try impressing them on your next status call with your new-found vocabulary.

Photoshop
If you work in design, Photoshop should be second nature to you but perhaps you’re moving into a more creative role or you need to start file checking or updating documents. For just $19 you can take a 30+ hour course on Photoshop. This course aims to teach you the basics and beyond. If you’re looking for free courses, Adobe also offers a 13 hour introduction on how to quickly master Photoshop which we’re particularly fond of.

Programming
There are a huge amount of online courses for programming, it can be hard to know where to begin. If you’re looking to move into a pure development role, it’s best to look at intensive courses where you can be hands-on but if you’re wanting to expand your understanding and come to terms with the more technical side, an introductory course can be helpful. Code School is an interactive way to learn front end development. They teach you by doing, so you’re not just watching online tutorials but you’re putting what you learn into practice via lesson plans and coding challenges. They cover HTML, CSS, Responsive Design and much more. We also recommend Team Treehouse, too. With a beautiful interface and easy-to-understand modules, learning programming languages has never been easier.

Have you tried online courses before? Which of these courses is the most useful to you?

 

Laura Pell - Artisan Creative

 


First Day on the Job: How to Make Your First Day a Success

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

First Day on the Job: How to Make Your First Day a Success

 

The first day at a new job is nerve-wracking for everyone and first day nerves should be expected as you prepare to meet your new team members, managers and departments. To make sure it's a positive experience for both you and your new company, we put together a few of our favorite points to make your first day an absolute success.

First day success falls into two categories:  Operational and Interpersonal. 

The first step for Operational success starts before the start day. 

What are the orientation or training plans?  Does your new company or assignment have an on-boarding plan in place?  Will there be a workstation waiting for you?  Will you be working on a Mac or PC?  Will there be a team of people or will you be the solo designer for the day?  If you are working with a recruiter, they should provide these details for you ahead of time.

Equally important are the Interpersonal skills such as meeting and interacting with your new supervisors and coworkers.  Before you start, take a look at LinkedIn and your new company's social media pages to get a sense of the team, interests and company culture.

 

Introductions

Introducing yourself to new people can be daunting, especially if you're an introvert, but making an effort at the start will have its benefits in the long run. First impressions are lasting impressions so make a point to introduce yourself to your new team and have a quick chat with people you meet in the kitchen, the elevator or just around the office. Ask questions about what they do at the company and what they like about working there. Let them know what department you are joining and offer to help if they need anything from your team.

Treats

We'll let you into a not-so-secret secret. Everyone loves cupcakes or some kind of treat. Taking in a box of cupcakes or candy for your team is a delicious little ice-breaker and gives you a reason to walk up to new people and make your introductions. Setup business lunches to make more formal introductions and learn as much as you can about the company and its people.

Positivity

At the early stages, it’s best to listen more than to talk. Get to know everyone’s communication styles and personalities. You should be absorbing as much information as you can and asking questions so you can quickly get up to speed. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know something, there’s always a learning curve with new jobs and it’s usually expected. Show up 15 minutes early, grab a coffee and be ready to tackle anything thrown your way. Oh, and don’t forget to smile!

How was your first day at your new job? Did you try any of these tips to get you through your first day?

 

Laura Pell - Artisan Creative

 


Agency vs. Client Side

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Agency vs. Client Side

 

For many people, there comes a time in your career when you start considering what it would be like to work on the other side. There’s no right answer: agency life can often involve long hours and multiple clients, but it can also be very rewarding. Perhaps working for a brand is more suited to you if you like to specialize in one area and take ownership? Many of our candidates talk about their desires to work for the other team so what better way to help you make the decision than by comparing them side by side.

What’s it like to work at an agency?
Agency life can often have a reputation for long days and hard work, but on the upside you get to flex your creativity and have exposure to many different accounts and brands. You can be working on a last minute project one day then quickly switch gears onto a pitch or something entirely different the next. Multitasking is king so you must be switched on and ready to take anything thrown your way.

For designers, an agency is a perfect way to build your portfolio. You can show a breadth of work with multiple brands while proving to future hiring managers you have what it takes to survive in a fast-paced and deadline-driven environment. This rings true for those in marketing, client services or similar verticals.  Being exposed to many different brands also means you will qualify for more jobs in the future so think about where you want to be in 5-10 years and make sure your current responsibilities are in alignment with your future goals.

What’s it like to work client side?
Unlike agency life which can be very seasonal, workflow in-house is often more stable and predictable. Projects are usually repeated (and improved upon) each year so you know what to expect and when. There’s also a sense of brand familiarity. You will live and breathe one brand and their message so you can become specialized in their area, such as CPG or technology. There’s also the added job security -- agencies are reliant upon business from their clients; if one client leaves it can put jobs at risk. We’re not saying that layoffs don’t happen for in-house companies because sadly they do, but it can be less of a concern.

In the end, it comes down to what you want to get out of your career. If you like high energy and a variety of work, perhaps the agency world is where you will thrive, but if you feel you want brand familiarity, it could be time to look at client side.

Have you worked on both sides before? How did the experiences differ? Share your thoughts and experiences with us on Twitter @artisanupdates.

 Laura Pell - Recruiter at Artisan Creative


6 Things You Should Be Doing in Your Next Interview

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

6 Things You Should Be Doing in Your Next Interview

 

You’ve landed an interview, now what? Interviews can be a nerve-wrecking experience so in order to help you through your next interview, we’ve compiled a list of things you should be considering to get that job offer. Have you come up against any of these points in interviews before? How did you overcome them?

Being Prepared
Being prepared for an interview is a given, but how well do you really know the position and the company? It’s useful to make notes and bullet point any relevant information before you interview. A job interview isn’t a test so take your notes with you if it makes you feel more confident. Try to learn a few facts about the company such as a recent takeover or a statistic and reference it in your conversation.

Body Language
We can’t stress how important body language is. If you don’t believe us, watch this TED talk on power posing. Now we’re not saying you should walk in to an interview with your hands on hips and head held high, but what we are saying is that subtle language such as posture and hand movements can make all the difference between appearing shy or confident. Sit up straight, make eye contact and use open hand gestures. Avoid body language such as sitting on your hands, playing with your hair or looking around the room as it gives off the impression that you're nervous.

Having Gratitude
Gratitude can go a long way so thanking the interviewer for meeting with you and following up with a thank you note will show how interested you really are. You could be up against several candidates and if you’re the only one to follow up and thank them, you’re already ahead of the rest.

Questioning
Even if the interviewer has answered everything for you, ask another one! There’s nothing worse than being in an interview and not having any questions prepared or forgetting to ask something. Take in a list of questions and refer back to your notes when they ask you. If they truly have answered everything, at least they can see how prepared you were, but make sure you leave knowing as much as possible about the job and company. Don’t be afraid to ask several questions; just don’t take over the interview!

Standing Out
We attended a NAWBO conference earlier this year and they discussed the importance of standing out. When the speaker would take to the stage, she’d wear a hat or another item of clothing that would make her memorable. After the event, people would spot the hat and know who she was. So wearing a hat is obviously out of the question for your next interview, but how can you stand out – what is your hook? You may have a charming accent or have ran a marathon, whatever you choose as your hook, bring it up as a topic of conversation to help the interviewer remember you.

Avoiding Negativity
People tend to remember the bad points, so how do you avoid using negative language? Stay away from saying “I’m not” or “I can’t” and say phrases such as “I’m strong with” or “I can”. If you’re asked to give an example of managing a team and you’ve only had experience managing an intern, give a solution to the problem by saying “I haven’t had specific team management experience, but I have mentored and trained an intern who became a great designer. “

 

By Laura Pell - Recruiter at Artisan Creative


8 Tips to Help Your Resume and Portfolio Stand Out

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

8 Tips to Help Your Resume and Portfolio Stand Out

 

As agency recruiters and sourcers, our goal is to find amazing talent for the open positions our clients have and help make an impact for both.  In order to successfully do so, we review 50+ resumes a day before we get to the interview phase.  That makes over 250 a week, and more than 1,000 a month, conservatively guessing!

Below are 8 tips to help your resume and portfolio stand out.

INITIAL FACTORS

Every new search begins with the required elements of a position. We're here to help by working with you to see how and why your background may be fit for a role.  Here are a few things we take into consideration at the beginning of a search.

  1. Job Title & Responsibilities.  Your current job title & what your current responsibilities are.  For example, if you are looking for a graphic designer role but have not held that position in a while, we'll need your help to clarify why.
  2. Industry/Vertical Experience. If you looking to change verticals or have an industry preference but haven't been able to work professionally in it, consider taking on some freelance projects to gain exposure and industry experience.
  3. Years of Experience. Let us know why you are open to a more junior position, or why you may be qualified for a more senior one.
  4. Job Location.  An important factor is commute-time. If you are open to a position outside your local area, please be specific in your submission letter.

RESUMES, PROFILES, AND PORTFOLIOS

Once we have identified a pool of candidates for a specific role, the fun begins! When looking for creative roles, we like to browse the portfolio first.  We begin every search with a good understanding of the aesthetic and design style a talent has and whether it's a match for what a client is looking for.

  1. A clean, organized, and easy to navigate portfolio is a breath of fresh air!  Give your portfolio an extra "oomph" by showcasing your most recent and relevant work samples.  When selecting pieces to include, go for the projects that demonstrate your design strengths, add a little bit of diversity, and make sure images are high resolution.  Don't forget to include your favorite projects as well since your passion will shine through when talking about them.   List your involvement on the project—whether it was creative direction, or production….let your online portfolio be clear and concise.

If you are unable to create your own website, there are many online portfolio sites such as Behance, Dribbble and Coroflot to utilize.  A comprehensive list can be found on our resources page.

  1. A chronological resume is the easiest to browse, starting with the most recent work.  If you've worked at agencies, make sure to include a brief list of accounts you've worked on.  Descriptions of your roles and duties are essential, along with time spent in the company.   List your Education, dates, degrees, software proficiencies and expertise levels
  2. Longevity.  Clearly state if a role was freelance for a specific project. Otherwise several short-term assignments at different companies can be considered a red flag.  Help us understand the different career moves you've made and how you can be a stable and loyal addition to the team.  
  3. Typos are the first things to jump out on your resume and portfolio.  Even if you've reviewed it a hundred times, let a friend with a critical eye take a look before you send it out.  As Laszlo Bock, Senior VP of People Operations at Google, said, "Typos are deadly because employers interpret them as a lack of detail-orientation, as a failure to care about quality."  You don't want that to be their first impression of you so take a few extra measures for peace of mind.

Of course, this is a general approach at how the initial process of sourcing goes.  The depth of what we do as an agency and the core of how we take a different approach takes precedence during the interview stage where we dive deeper into your background and work with you on culture fit and career expectations.  

At Artisan Creative, we are in the business of connecting you to the right role so help us understand your strengths, values, and career objectives.  A clear understanding of these on our end, coupled with a well-written resume and beautifully designed portfolio on your end, can be the beginning of a great work relationship.

 By Jen Huynh, Sourcer at Artisan Creative



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