Artisan Blog

Our Top 25 Blogs

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Our Top 25 Blogs

We are thrilled to publish our 500th blog today. As we approach the end of 2018, we’d like to share some of our a.team’s favorite blogs.

These cover a range of topics from self-development and time-management to job search, hiring and much more.

We hope you enjoy this top 25 greatest hits compilation.

We hope you've enjoyed our 500th post.  You can find plenty other tips, inspirations, best practices and advice on our a.blog.

We look forward to connecting.




The Power of Ambiverts

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Power of Ambiverts

When it comes to styles of socializing, most people aren't fixed at one extreme pole or the other, at least not all the time. Most of us spend our time somewhere on the spectrum between painful introversion or exuberant extroversion. Some of us shift positions based on the situation, whether we're wired or tired, the cold number of strangers in the crowd or the warmth of being surrounded by close friends.

If you identify as neither an extrovert or an introvert and you share key traits with both, you may be an ambivert. Does this sound like you? Here are a few common characteristics of ambiverts - see how many you identify with.

You're All About Context

In high-stress situations, particularly at work, you may prefer to keep a low profile and think before you speak. However, when you're around your friends, you may behave quite differently.

Ambiverts have the color-changing powers of the chameleon, subtly altering their presentation to what serves them best in the situations they find themselves in. When you cultivate the mindfulness and self-awareness to make these adjustments deliberately, you can dramatically increase your effectiveness, at work and in life.

You Love to Chat But Prefer Valuable Conversation

You combine an extrovert's gift of gab with an introvert's aversion to small talk. Although you're adept at casual banter, you're eager to get to the heart of the matter and address what you really care about.

If you readily understand social cues, yet not always in the mood to follow them, you may be an ambivert.

You Provide Balance

When you're around your boisterous friends, you may calm down a bit, or do less talking and more listening than usual. However, when you're on a corporate retreat, you put yourself in the mix, break the ice, and help others form the connections they need to be themselves and come alive.

Because of your sensitivity and versatility to others with more extreme social styles, you can provide the secret sauce that makes relationships work.

You Respect Your Own Boundaries

You do fine in social situations, as long as you're in your comfort zone. Over time, you've come to know how much socializing you can tolerate without getting tired, how much you can participate in different sorts of meetings without overextending yourself, and what sort of people bring out your best as friends, collaborators, or mentors.

With their appreciation for the best of both worlds, ambiverts are well positioned to help others better define and establish their own needs and preferences. There is power in this versatility - when you understand the inner lives of both extroverts and introverts and can switch gears as appropriate, you are capable of great compassion and empathy.

Ambiverts may be well suited to roles that require thoughtful negotiation (e.g., sales or management), as well as the "helping professions" such as therapy, advocacy, or creative recruiting. Author Dan Pink, in his book "To Sell is Human” has created an assessment to test for yourself. He argues most of us are indeed ambiverts.

At Artisan Creative, we believe in the strength of diversity. We have decades of experience helping all sorts of creative professionals and businesses bring out their best selves and succeed beyond their expectations. Contact us today to discover your capabilities and embrace your excellence.

 

We hope you've enjoyed the 496th 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.


Create a Creative Workspace

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Create a Creative Workspace

Living things don't exist in isolation - we are who we are through complex interactions with our environments. This means building strong relationships with colleagues and coworkers. We can also pay more mindful attention to the details of our physical surroundings. This can help us bring our workspaces into harmony with our projects, our values, and our personalities.

Whether you work from home or have a desk/cubicle in a larger office, these tips can help you spruce up your space, which can help you become happier, more productive, and more creative.

Shed a Little Light

The light you work under sets the tone for what you think and what you accomplish. It can have a powerful effect on your psychological and ocular health. If you can, invest in a stylish lamp you love. If you love to work with your hands and you know a bit about electronics, you can even try making your own.

Know Your Ergonomics

We did not evolve to sit at desks all day. But with a basic understanding of the principles of ergonomics, you can make your work much easier on your health, and feel better as well. Understand what you need from a chair, how to place your equipment, and how to sit. You'll feel better, accomplish more, and preserve your long-term health.

Keep Your Vision in Sight

Keeping your vision board prominently placed in your workspace can help you stay cognizant of your larger goals and mission. When you're in danger of getting lost in the details, your vision board can realign your mind with a larger perspective. Whatever you're working on, the big picture is only a glance away.

Add a Splash of Color

In every culture, colors have deep symbolic significance. According to color theory, the right combinations of colors can inspire new ideas and perspectives. In your space, experiment with colors to find your ideal aesthetic and psychological balance. You don't need to turn your office screaming neon pink; minor accents can be enough to alter your brain chemistry and enhance your insights.

Go Green

When we strengthen our relationships with nature, we put ourselves in touch with the rhythms of the earth and the essence of life. Bringing plants into your workspace (even just a modest succulent) can freshen your perspective. Taking care of a plant also provides a sense of responsibility and accomplishment, a valuable reminder that what you pay attention to always matters in this complex web of existence.

Work Within the Code

When we innovate within the rules, we become, as Proust writes, "like good poets whom the tyranny of rhyme forces into the discovery of their finest lines." If your employer has rules governing how you can decorate your space, this can drive you to be more creative, not less. Go through the rulebook in detail, and figure out fresh ways to let your personality shine within the structure. This can inspire you and those around you to look at established guidelines with a fresh perspective.

At Artisan Creative, we support all aspects of your career, because we believe the best work can only be done in the right environment. Contact us today to learn more.

 

We hope you've enjoyed the 490th issue of our blog.


 

 




Personality Assessments and the Hiring Process

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Personality Assessments and the Hiring Process

"When you meet somebody for the first time, you're not meeting them. You're meeting their representative." - Chris Rock

Businesses struggle every day to hire and retain top talent. Making professional matches is as much an art as it is a science, and even the strongest minds in HR, recruiting, and management must sometimes learn from mistakes.

In their quest to find the best candidates, many top companies use a variety of personality and integrity tests to screen applicants during their interview processes. There's an ongoing debate around this practice, with strong arguments and research supporting either side. Should you consider implementing this sort of testing for potential new hires, it's important to know the pros and cons.

Pros

- You're in good company. According to a recent survey, more than 40% of Fortune 100 companies use some form of personality testing as part of their recruiting and onboarding procedures.

- It can get results. Studies have shown that retail businesses who used integrity testing in hiring reported a 50% reduction in inventory loss. Long-term results for some other forms of testing are less clear, but anything that weeds out clearly unqualified applicants obviously saves time for HR, and money for the company.

- It can eliminate biases. Individual interviewers may be biased toward candidates they personally like, or, worse, make decisions based on unconscious cultural biases. By establishing measurements that are more objective, at least theoretically, testing can correct for this tendency.

- It can be fun. Startups such as Knack offer gamified versions of some employment-related tests, which can infuse a spirit of play into your hiring process. Some companies also test current employees after they're hired, which can be a part of an employer-employee feedback loop that improves conditions at work.

-It's a good communication tool.  Learning more about ourselves and our colleagues is a great step towards better communication and connection.

Cons

- Tests themselves can be biased. Tests reflect the values and biases of their creators. Interpreting results requires training and judgment. Placing value on certain personality traits will always be controversial. Proceed with caution, research, and awareness.

- Potential new hires can "game" the tests. The main thing a test measures is how adept the subject is at taking the test. People who are determined to get hired, despite any reasons why they shouldn't, can find ways to manipulate their results.

-Testing can entrench a fixed mindset. "Growth mindset" refers to the attitude that perceived weaknesses present opportunities for improvement. According psychology professor Art Markman, there is a significant risk in testing if it carries the message that skills and characteristics are innate or that people are fixed entities, hardwired from birth for success or failure. Employees deserve the chance to improve over time through their own initiative, which is easier if they don't think of themselves as fixed data points on a scale.

One tool that the Artisan Creative team uses as a group is the CliftonStrengths Assessment, where we use our top 5 strengths to communicate via a common language on a regular basis.

With decades of experience as creative recruiters, we know hiring is easier when you don't have to do it alone. Contact Artisan Creative today and leverage our expertise to make your next great match!

 

We hope you've enjoyed the 481st issue of our a.blog.


5 Free Online Courses for Creatives

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

5 Free Online Courses for Creatives

Another long, hot summer is upon us! If your business takes on a slower pace and you’re planning to take some time off, we’d like to recommend taking this opportunity to build on your professional skills and enrich your creative awareness by taking free online courses.

Coursera is one of several popular online platforms for massive open online classes (MOOCs). It offers engaging college-level courses in partnership with major universities, in a variety of creative disciplines and new technologies, all free of charge. Along with video lectures and reading material, many of these include tests, graded homework, discussion forums and some offer certificates of completion that add more experience to your resume or LinkedIn profile.

Here are five free creative courses that can give you a professional upgrade.

While predicting the future isn’t easy, there are some core thinking skills and mental models that can help leverage change and prepare for whatever comes next. This knowledge is widely applicable to those who do any sort of creative or entrepreneurial work and need to remain relevant to stay successful.

The essence of “design thinking” is “doing more with less.” This course explores how to pull off brilliant innovations under challenging and shifting circumstances, with ideas that are essential in UX or product design and relevant to anyone in business.

This is the first in Professor Scott Klemmer’s series of classes on interaction design, highly acclaimed by those in UX, information design, and computer science. You’ll learn the basic skills of ideation, research, and rapid prototyping that drive the latest trends in human-centered design, which is the art of working with your users and customers.

Content marketing uses the skills of advertising, branding, storytelling, and journalism to hook audiences and drive conversions. While this class is about communication and messaging strategy, its knowledge applies to anyone who wants to do business in the always-on digital age.

This course takes a serious, analytical look at the cutthroat social dynamics of high school that have inspired comedic films such as Mean Girls. By tackling a taboo topic with rigor and compassion, it has become one of the most popular MOOCs of all time. Its lessons have profound implications in design, in marketing, and across the cultural and professional spectrum.

Besides online courses, this is a great time to revamp your design portfolio and resume with updated information.

At Artisan Creative, we believe that the best opportunities are always reserved for those creative professionals who are most eager to learn. Contact us today to see how we can help you enrich your career, and yourself!

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 479th issue of our a.blog.


America’s Best Recruiting Firms 2018

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

America’s Best Recruiting Firms 2018

We are delighted to have made the Forbes’ list of “America’s Best Recruiting Firms 2018.”

At Artisan Creative, we believe that successful placements change lives. They provide our talent with opportunities for personal and professional growth, and our clients with the right team members to make a difference in their businesses.

We have loved every minute of our 22+ years in the creative staffing and recruitment space. A special thank you to our clients and talent who have shared this journey with us.

This couldn't have been accomplished without our amazing a.team, who over the years have demonstrated heart, grit, passion, commitment, tenacity, and dedication to create trusted relationships.

Here's to continuing to build a more creative world together.


Using Video to Impact Your Brand

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Using Video to Impact Your Brand

Whether you're a small business or an enterprise-level company, there's one thing you can do that's just as important as attracting new clients and customers, and that's attracting top talent. Just as you can use the tools of the internet and social media to communicate your value proposition to potential buyers, you can use them just as well to showcase your brand's culture and story for potential new hires, the people whose skills and hustle you need to succeed into the future.

A full 82% of Fortune 500 executives don't believe their companies recruit highly talented people. Attracting top talent gives you a serious competitive advantage. To make an unforgettable first impression, make full use of online video.

You don't need a Hollywood backlot to create video content that engages highly skilled job seekers. Just keep these tips in mind, and to make your brand a star.

Be Transparent, Be Authentic

Honesty and authenticity work wonders on the internet. Take pride in who you are and what you do. Videos that feature members of your company team will strike a more authentic chord than those with actors or special effects. If you can, shoot in your own offices and facilities, and provide a visual sense of what a day at your company is really like. If you present your company culture in a way that's fun, true, and realistic, you will attract talent that will be excited to work with you and appreciate the things that make it special.

Approach Potential Hires as Potential Customers

According to Glassdoor, more and more job-seekers are taking a consumer approach to the job hunt, treating it more like comparison shopping. 70% read company reviews before they apply, and most look at multiple competing opportunities before zooming in on one. Therefore, in order for your video to stand out from the competition, it must address the hopes and ambitions of your ideal candidate with empathy and enthusiasm. When planning your video or writing your script, be specific - not every job-seeker will be right for your team or vice versa. Craft your pitch for the ones who are.

Tell Your Story

In order to communicate your brand value, be clear on your mission, your culture, and what sets you apart. Your core principles set the foundation for any message your video will communicate. When you are clear on these, ask yourself, "how can we present our story in an intriguing and memorable way?" Does your company or its founder have a relatable story of risk or overcoming adversity? How are you changing the world? Determine how to tell your story visually, in a way that will stick, and then familiarize yourself with some of the insider tips and best practices of video storytelling.

Be Creative

Be willing to experiment with a fresh, out-of-the-box approach to your video. Check out some of the innovative, reasonably priced tools that are available, and brainstorm different approaches until you decide on the one that best suits your message.

At Artisan Creative, attracting top talent and matching them with career-making opportunities is our mission. Contact us today and discover new ways to elevate your recruiting and put your brand in the limelight.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 472nd issue of our a.blog.

 

 



Maximizing Your LinkedIn Profile

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Maximizing Your LinkedIn Profile

If you are looking for work, considering a change, or have any interest in industry networking, we all know that a profile on LinkedIn, the top social media network for professionals is the place to go. Potential employers and recruiters may find it unusual if you aren't on the site in today’s highly competitive job market. It only takes a few minutes to launch your profile, and with a bit more time and effort, you can make your LinkedIn profile a powerful tool for advancing your career and achieving your goals.

Here are a few tips to help maximize the potential of your LinkedIn presence, build your network online and offline, and gain access to opportunities that others might miss.

Complete Your Profile

Only 51% of LinkedIn users have fully completed their profiles, and LinkedIn's search algorithm strongly favors those who have. Take the extra time to flesh out and optimize all areas of your profile, including education and work history as well as volunteer roles and interests, to gain a significant advantage in your job search.

Be Real and Be Specific

When writing descriptions for yourself and your previous roles, eliminate fuzzy buzzwords and replace them with metrics, achievements, and real-life examples of what you've accomplished. Your headline should be succinct, and your profile should communicate a clear idea of who you are, what you can do, and what you value in your work. Be true to yourself, and you will stand out from the crowd. And, of course, always keep it positive - highlight what you've learned and how you've grown. Your profile should reflect well on you and on those who have given you their trust and invested in your career.

Use Multimedia

Media presentations add detail and credibility to your profile. If you have design portfolio samples, slide decks, videos, articles, or other files that showcase your work your expertise and your overall approach to business, be sure to include them where they best fit.

Connect Strategically

Profiles with 300+ connections get more attention and appear more substantial, so endeavor to build a robust network. When you reach that threshold, be more judicious about whom you add, to ensure that your feed remains useful and that your virtual network reflects your real life. When you request a connection, send a personalized message to let the recipient know why you value their work, their trust, and their time. Make sure your network is focused on those with some leverage in your industry. At a glance, it should give you credibility with anyone you might want to work with in the future.

Participate in Groups

LinkedIn Groups can be a useful way    to monitor trends and participate in discussions, and they have some less obvious perks as well. For example, when you join a LinkedIn Group, you can privately message any other member. This can afford opportunities to connect with people who are passionate about the same things as you but may be harder to reach through traditional channels.

Update Regularly

Every few months, inspect your LinkedIn profile from top to bottom, and update anything that's out of date or that could simply use a polish. Take the opportunity to improve your profile on a regular basis, not just when you're looking for work. Over time, you will build a much stronger presence than the vast majority of users. And, you may be surprised at the opportunities you discover through LinkedIn.

At Artisan Creative, we help top creative professionals get the most out of their careers. Contact us today, and we'll help you master digital networking and take your work to the next level.

We hope you've enjoyed the 470th issue of our a.blog

 


How to Build a Design Portfolio

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

How to Build a Design Portfolio

"It's easier to get a job when you have a job."

There is some ring of truth to this cliche. If you're a designer starting out - perhaps you're a fresh graduate, or you're changing careers - this can seem frustrating and paradoxical. Most high-status job openings are available only to those with years of experience. If you must have experience to get experience, how does anyone ever get started?

Fortunately, it is easy to build an impressive design portfolio with no professional experience whatsoever. Even if you've never had a paying client, you can do remarkable work and showcase it in a manner that will open doors.

Think Like a Designer

Before you create an online portfolio or get an account on Dribbble or Behance, rethink your entire life story, from the perspective of your identity as a designer.

"If you’ve ever solved a problem, then you have design experience," says Jason Early, a designer, entrepreneur, teacher, mentor, and author of the career guide Getting Hired. "You just need to reframe how you present it. The design process is used to address a challenge. Any challenge. And showing how you worked through the process to address that challenge can be a portfolio piece. Show your work. Just like in grade school math class, showing how you got to a solution shows how you think through a challenge. And that is what a portfolio is. A collection of examples showing how you reached a solution."

Say "Yes"

As you move forward in your career, you will learn to say "no" to opportunities that don’t serve you. However, in your early days as a designer, you must err on the side of taking on more work and saying "yes" to as many different projects as you can. Then, follow the green lights.

Look for pro bono projects for nonprofit and charity organizations you support. (Taproot Foundation, a clearinghouse for pro bono creative work, is one place to start.) If you have acquaintances who perform or promote shows, offer to design graphics and fliers for them in exchange for free admission (or beer and pizza). Seek out any opportunity to show up and create something.

If you're passionate about the early work that goes into your portfolio, you will likely find opportunities to do more work like it, for more generous compensation.

Make All the Things

Keep solving problems, embracing fresh challenges, flexing different muscles, and adding work to your portfolio. At first, you may be frustrated that your own work isn't up to the standards of the successful designers you admire. This means you're right on schedule.

Work through the "taste gap," push through the resistance, and keep showing up. The only way to do great work is to do lots of work. As you consistently generate more new samples, you can continuously update your portfolio to showcase better and better examples of what you're capable of.

Find the Others

You are one of many people building a creative career. It may scare you to think you have millions of skilled and hungry competitors. But you can shift your thinking and instead see the creative people around you as potential collaborators, eager to work and grow together. Being independent doesn’t mean being alone.

Attend networking events and reach out to those who have complementary skills. Then, work together on projects that showcase and challenge you both.

For instance, if you are a designer, join forces with a like-minded copywriter. You may build a fruitful long-term partnership, like copywriter Jeff Gooodby and art director Rich Silverstein, with a joint brand that combines your talents. At the least, you will build your professional network, enrich your thinking through cooperation and mutual respect, and do work together that you wouldn’t and couldn’t do alone.

At Artisan Creative, we have years of experience helping new and experienced designers build their portfolios, their networks, and their careers. Contact us today to learn more and get started.

We hope you've enjoyed the 466th issue of our a.blog.




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