Artisan Blog

Achieving Goals: Why a Theme is More Effective Than a New Year’s Resolution

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Achieving Goals: Why a Theme is More Effective Than a New Year’s Resolution


How many times have you set a specific goal for yourself at the start of a year and achieved it? In a recent survey of over 1000 Americans, just 45% said they set resolutions for themselves. If you’re the type of person to say “I want to lose x amount of lbs” or “I’m going to read x amount of books each month” but have never quite attained your goals, consider setting yourself a theme instead.

 

What do we mean by theme?

A theme is an overarching mindset that you carry with you throughout the year – it can just be a single word. If your goal is to become healthier, ignore the introductory gym memberships and instead of setting rigid rules, try implementing healthier habits into your routine. With every decision you make, think of your theme or word.

This can be applied to just about any subject. If your goal is to find a new job this year, rather than set yourself the task of finding a new job, try thinking of a theme like “building relationships” or “making new connections”.  If you spend a whole year putting effort into business and personal relationships, at the end of the year you should have a much easier time with your expansive network.

Much like good design, you want to keep your themes simple. They need to be easy to navigate and clear. Without having to focus on specific measurables, you may find you’ve adopted new habits without even realizing it. Remember to stay open to new possibilities and changes in direction; the significant thing about having a theme instead of a resolution is that you never quite know where it will lead you.

Did you achieve last year’s resolutions? What theme will you set for yourself in 2015?

 Laura Pell - 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


Personal Branding Tips for Twitter

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Personal Branding Tips for Twitter

Whether you are an individual or a brand, social media puts many challenges in our path. If you are having a bad day, your personal voice can easily lean toward the negative. A company brand voice can do the same.

When you are thinking about your personal brand, though, you want to be presenting yourself as professionally and positively as possible.

Do the links that attract your attention today tend to talk about potential mistakes or potential successes? Are you posting articles about bad news stories or good ones? If you are drawn to the negative, it might be a good idea to take a break, take a walk, get a fresh perspective.

There can be a fine line between good branding and not-so-good and at times it can be hard to tell where that line falls. Here are some of our tips for walking the line:

  1. Universal truth--If that meme would make anyone with a heartbeat give you a high-five, you're good to go.
  2. Check the source--A great quote can still come from a controversial person. If you think your audience might object to the name at the bottom of the meme, you might want to find another one with a similar sentiment.
  3. Timeliness--If something negative is actually taking place locally (like a fire) or it is a trending topic and you don't mention it, you might sound out of touch. It is never out of place to wish a current event would work out as well as possible or express condolences.
  4. Watch out for cleverness--You are a writer and a clever turn of phrase is probably your bread-and-butter, but how many times have we seen communications pros get caught in a clever--but tasteless--tweet? Too many. Use a scheduler like HootSuite to give you time to look at that 140 characters before it gets published. Or run it past a trusted colleague if you think it is worthy, but may go out of bounds. 
  5. Know your audience--What are they interested in? What do you have in common? What do they like that may not be your cup of tea? Your audience is not you necessarily. Put yourself in their shoes and offer them content they will want to click through to.

Sometimes personal social media communication can get difficult. We are all out there hoping likeminded folks are listening. Body language is no help. Take a breath. Your follower might be having a bad day, too.

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative


Time for a Resume Refresh

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Time for a Resume Refresh

Don't you wish your resume had a Refresh Button? We hope you’re spending some time this summer recharging your creativity, refining your goals and planning for new experiences. Summer is a good time to get your resume out and refresh it as well. We don't have a magic button, but we did take a look at some current resume trends and wondered whether you would like to try some of these new approaches:

Charts and Graphs

Those metrics you have in your bullet points might make better visual information. If your accomplishments can be quantified, try adding some colorful graphics to your text resume.

Refine Your Keywords

Are recruiters finding you when they look for someone with your experience and qualifications? Make sure your resume is going to pop up in scans for your skillset. A great tip from CAREERREALISM: if you are targeting a specific posting, use Wordle to turn a job description into a word cloud--you can be sure you know the most important keywords to put in your text.

Tighten up your Summary

Put metrics in your summary as well as in your bullet points for previous jobs. You only have a few seconds to make an impact--make sure your summary does the job.

Hyperlinks

Since most resumes are being sent electronically, don’t forget to add hyperlinks to your online portfolio, LinkedIn profile, and email. Make it easy for recruiters and hiring managers to find out more about you--they will want to.

Numbers

Your bullet points should already be using active verbs, but it is even more important to use numbers to illustrate your accomplishments. You have some new achievements since the last time you revised your resume and you might have more results on previous projects now. 

Although a traditional resume can be updated, you can also try a non-traditional format, like a video, an infographic, or even a Facebook Timeline. And don't neglect your LinkedIn profile--it must always reflect your most recent work and include samples.

How often do you revise your resume? You should be revising your resume every quarter, even if you are not looking for a new job. 

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative


Spring Cleaning Your LinkedIn Profile

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Spring Cleaning Your LinkedIn Profile

Spring is here even in colder climates and it’s time to clean out your LinkedIn Profile as well as your closet. You should be revising your resume every quarter, listing new accomplishments and adding job responsibilities, volunteer experience and of course proofreading again. Your LinkedIn Profile could probably also use a fresh eye.

Summary

Make sure your summary reflects what you are passionate about now, not what you were doing last year. If your focus has changed, it’s time to rewrite.

Files

LinkedIn lets us add files, photos and videos so if you have some more current writing samples or other work product, post it now.

Experience

Freelancers have probably worked for new clients in the last few months. Make sure you add those clients to your experience on LinkedIn and your resume.

Skills

Added anything to your skillset this winter? Add it to your list. When you add skills to your list, your connections can give you new endorsements. And if you haven’t learned anything new lately, go do that!

Connections

Take a few minutes to send invitations to the people you’ve met over the winter. They will be happy to have some fresh faces in their connections, too.

Landing a new job isn’t the only time to revise your LinkedIn Profile, and it is easy to let it get stale. Open the windows and shake out the dust!

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative


Reflections: Competition

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Reflections: Competition

It’s competition season all over: for actors and others in the entertainment industry, for Olympians across the globe, and even close to home as show choirs on the west coast have a contest almost every weekend for the next few months. With so many vying for honors, we have been struck with the different ways we can handle competition as creative entrepreneurs.

Oscar Style

“It’s an honor to be nominated.” But the nominees do a lot of branding and marketing to try to get more votes. The ones who sit back and let the chips fall where they may are more likely to go home emptyhanded unless their work is truly stellar.

On the other hand, they never say their competitors’ work is worse than theirs and they seem to generally get along on a personal level. After all, the actor you mocked could be across the table read from you in a month or two. And you hope he will because that means you’re working.

As creatives, we need to pay attention to personal branding and marketing and keep it positive, too. You never know whom your next client might--or might not--be.

High School Style

Teenagers can be mean, but I’m around literally hundreds of kids in active competition in the performing arts, and they surprise me all the time. They support and encourage each other. What they don’t like is injustice, for themselves or their competitors.

They’ll fight for points, but equally for the deserved points of others. They love to win but they cheer (almost) as loud for other groups. They know that the most important thing in a competition is to do their very best every single time and leave the rest of it to the judges.

We all live in a sometimes unjust world where the rules seem to change while the game is still being played. All we can do is our best work and keep our cool and hope things turn out well more often than not.

Olympic Style

“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle.” The Olympic Creed says it all. My favorite stories from the Olympics are not the Gold Medals, the perfect scores. My favorites are when the athletes stop and help each other. Wait for an injured athlete to catch up. Share water. The struggle is the same for everyone. Some will win, some will lose. Being human and struggling together is what makes competition a worthy endeavor.

As part of a team, and between teams, we can help each other over the finish line. Mentor, network, give advice. You might be the one who needs an arm around your shoulder next time.

Competition is exciting--it stirs the blood, motivates us and offers the potential for tangible rewards. If we rely on the quality of our own work, the energy and commitment we put into it and sometimes even the kindness of others, we can all succeed.

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative


Job Jenny and Why You Should Be Rethinking Your Resume

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Job Jenny and Why You Should Be Rethinking Your Resume

In the first of a two-part blog, we speak with career expert Job Jenny and why we need to rethink our approach to resume writing and personal branding.

I was recently introduced to Job Jenny and her “ridiculously awesome resume service” by a candidate-turned-friend of mine who had used her services. It got me thinking about our approach to resume writing and personal branding. Resumes are essentially a marketing tool, right? So why is it that so many job seekers pay little attention to keywords, layouts and job search strategies? As recruiters we see all types; from carefully constructed portfolios to formulaic textbook resumes. I took some time to speak with Job Jenny to discuss resume writing and how job seekers should be marketing themselves to recruiters and potential employers.

At this point you may find yourself asking “Who is Job Jenny?” and wondering why she knows so much about resume writing and job seeking. Job Jenny worked for several years in marketing and communications at corporate level before moving into recruitment and starting her own agency. Job Jenny came into being in 2010 offering job seekers a support service which includes: resume writing, personal branding, LinkedIn makeovers and one-on-one consulting, job seeking and transitional strategies along with interview skills and e-books. She does it all!

If you’re faced with the daunting task of searching for a new job or if you’re applying online to multiple companies and getting nowhere, perhaps you need to rethink your resume. Are you having difficulty transitioning into a new career path? Are you wondering why you’re receiving little to no response when applying online? Take a look at these tips to get you started on the right foot:
  • Try to avoid approaching your resume as a list or a biography detailing every single responsibility and duty, but instead look at it as a marketing document that is a reflection of your personal brand.
  • Familiarize yourself with Applicant Tracking Systems if you are submitting your resume online. Does your resume contain industry-relevant keywords specific to the job you are applying for? Additionally, if your resume is over styled it could get in the way of the ATS and may not be received at all.
  • Pay attention to the job you are applying for. If you’re applying for an Account Manager position when you have a Project Management background, pay attention to the common deliverables of the job and detail your skill-set for the recruiter to see and make a connection. Do not expect them to deduce your experience from your resume without you making a connection.
  • Be consistent and focused with clear goals in mind – how do you want your resume to be conveyed? Be consistent with formatting and don’t forget: spellcheck!
  • If you’re looking at divergent roles, have a resume specifically tailored for each industry to showcase your work that’s most relevant to the decision maker. The easier you make it for HR to make a quick connection between what they need and what you do, the better the response
Your resume is your first (and often only) opportunity to sell yourself to recruiters and potential employers so investing time and effort into your personal brand is crucial. Your resume is a marketing document and a reflection on you (and often your recruiter.) Make it work! 

In the second part of our blog we’ll discuss LinkedIn strategies, social media branding and interview tips so stay tuned and if you have your own tips to share or would like to know more about resume writing, get in touch.

Laura Pell, Talent Acquisition for Artisan Creative


Artist or Artisan

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Artist or Artisan

Are you an artist or an artisan? Many people are very emotional about how their work is referred to and there are aspects of both for the talent we place at Artisan Creative. As a craftsperson as well as a creative myself, I have thought about it from both points of view.

An “artisan” is traditionally known as someone who uses creativity to make something useful. Ideally those creations are also beautiful, show innovative design and function exceptionally well. Are they making art?

An “artist,” on the other hand, creates for pure aesthetics, pure emotions, to make us feel, rather than use. Is art useful?

At their very best, both artists and artisans achieve the goals of the other. When we use a well-designed tool--whether it be a website, a piece of furniture or a skein of yarn--we recognize the beauty in it. We feel its rightness. We enjoy its aesthetic. We create through it for ourselves and others.

When we observe and interact with art, it inspires us to create, to innovate, to help others to feel. We also interact with each other differently, creating relationships based on our shared responses.

To me, artist and artisan are the same, when talent is used to its best potential. We use art to change ourselves and our relationships. We are inspired by using what artisans produce. There is beauty and purity in all good design.

Do you consider yourself an artist or an artisan? How do you define your work?

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative


Tweet Your Way to a New Job, Part 2: Companies

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Tweet Your Way to a New Job, Part 2: Companies

Last month we talked about using Twitter as a personal branding tool. We hope that you have set up a handle that gives people an easy way to identify and remember you and populated your profile with interesting and relevant information in case someone decides to find out more about you. We hope that you have also been Tweeting great content and engaging with people in your field.

Now it’s time to look for that perfect role.

You could spend every waking moment on Twitter looking for jobs--like job boards, there are so many listings, so many companies and only so much time. We don’t recommend this approach. A carefully limited strategy, however, could help you find the opportunities that are just right.

Target Companies

You’ve researched and found your favorite ten or so companies that you think will have the kind of culture you want, the right salary range, have a mission you could be passionate about and are in the right geographical area. They might have one Twitter handle or more; follow the accounts that are relevant to your search.

Search for hashtags to narrow your data even more. Some great examples to try:
  • #jobopening
  • #hiring
  • #HR
  • #employment
  • #jobposting
Engage with the people posting to your target company’s accounts. Retweet their content, comment on it and try to establish a relationship. It may feel tenuous, but it is real.

Every relationship has to start somewhere and Twitter is a great place to have a conversation with someone you want to meet but don’t know how or where. 

And if you want to see all of the Open Jobs at Artisan Creative in your Twitter Feed, follow us @artisanupdates and search #jobs. We would love to hear from you!

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative


LinkedIn Is Watching You

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

LinkedIn Is Watching You


Photo by Ian Westcott via Flickr Creative Commons

We hope that you are using LinkedIn for networking and personal branding every chance you get. But you're not the only one benefiting from your presence there--LinkedIn is, too.

If you are on a job search, LinkedIn is the perfect place for hiring managers to get more details about you and find samples of your work--if you have been adding files and links since LinkedIn’s recent updates--as well as doing research about your target companies and the people with whom you are interviewing.

You should also be using LinkedIn to increase your influence by participating in Group discussions and posting valuable content. You can find an overview of our past LinkedIn tips here. While you are using LinkedIn more to help your career development, however, LinkedIn is using you and your data more to increase its value--both to professionals and to stockholders.

Who’s Viewed Your Updates

LinkedIn.com is now keeping track of and reporting to you who has seen your updates. They are hoping that this feature makes you update more often. It does not require an upgraded account to see this information, unlike who has viewed your profile. If you are planning to take some time to tweak your profile, however, you might want to turn off updates until you are finished so your entire network doesn’t see when you corrected that typo or put in another comma.

You Recently Visited

It might feel more invasive to have LinkedIn so clearly monitoring where you go and what you read, but if you sometimes lose track of what you were looking at last week or the name of that person you were researching, this will definitely be helpful. LinkedIn always knew where you were going--now they are letting you in on your own data.

We find LinkedIn to be a very valuable resource, especially for research, whether you want details about a company you are interested in working with, information about a hiring manager for tomorrow's interview or when you are looking for talent. And remember, as on all social media platforms, a little thought about LinkedIn before you share goes a long way.

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative



Search

Recent Posts


Tags


Archive