Artisan Blog

Are You Overqualified for That Job?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Have you ever been told you were told you were “overqualified” for a job?

Overqualified?! What does that mean? Can someone really have too much experience? Surely that must be a positive thing, right?

When a job seeker is considered overqualified, it means there is not a right match between the available position and that person’s experience level. For example…

  • The candidate may have more experienced than the supervisor
  • The candidate’s experience may be intimidating to others on the team
  • The candidate’s years of experience may warrant a higher salary than the company is able to pay
  • The candidate may not be challenged by the job in the long run
  • The candidate may get bored and leave the role (this is a big reason why hiring managers are cautious of hiring someone with more experience than the role warrants)

However, you’ve worked hard to gain valuable experience you can apply in a myriad of roles. Your skills are likely transferable from one industry to another, especially in the creative industry, so if you are going to accept a role more junior than your skill level, be honest with yourself as to why you want this position.

And if you are truly interested in a specific role, even if you are more experienced than the job description indicates, then you can highlight your experience so it is an asset:

  • Update your resume to highlight relevant experience specific to this role
  • Write a cover letter that expresses why you’re genuinely interested and excited for the role, even if it seems like your career is further along than the position would require.  For example, if this allows you to learn a new industry, or learn a new skill
  • Highlight how your experience can be an asset and help the team or manager

Keep in mind that your resume and cover letter are just tools to help you stand out among a sea of candidates also applying for the same position. Once you are granted an interview, the real work begins.

Looking for work? Make sure to follow us on social media and check out our open job listings for freelance and full time roles in a variety of industries!


10 Best Practices for Your Resume

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

10 Best Practices for Your Resume


We’ve talked at length about the things to include on your resume. However there are  just as many things to avoid if you want to land an interview. Given that you’ve a mere few  seconds to impress a hiring manager, your resume needs to stand out! Here are 10 things to eliminate from on your resume in order to highlight your work experience, skills, education, and achievements to be distinctive:

1. Objectives. These descriptions at the top of a resume not only feel antiquated, but they don’t add anything to your resume. Moreover, they focus on what want rather than what you can offer to the company. If you feel this job is the best next step for your career, talk about it in your cover letter.

2. Photos. Unless you’re auditioning for a TV pilot or modeling gig, don’t include your photos.  Chances are your online portfolio, website, or LinkedIn profile already includes your photo.

3. Subjective traits. You may feel you possess amazing leadership skills or are an innovative thinker in design, however employers ignore these subjective traits because they can’t be measured. Instead, focus on objective facts and metrics If you really are an amazing leader, include how many team members you’ve managed, or include a quick example in your cover letter explaining how you’ve led your team to success, or achieved ROI in a campaign.

4. More than one page. We’ve debated this, but the short answer is--either in OK.  It all depends on your work experience, whether you have been freelancing at multiple places or been at the same company for several years.  The key is to include relevant, accurate and current information.

5. Salary history. This is a major faux paus, as well as a bad idea, as it compromises your ability to negotiate for a higher salary later! Leave it off so you can have some negotiating power later.

6. Short-term jobs. You don’t want to come across as job-hopping, so make sure to emphasize freelance or contract in the job title.

7. Leave out overused words. Here’s just a sampling of words that are redundant and don’t give employers concrete information: capable, skillful, effective, hardworking, innovative, and motivated are all qualities they hope you already have without you having to say so. Instead, search for synonyms that more closely fit your personality. For instance, as an “effective” employee you “engage in creative tasks”.

8. “References Available Upon Request”. If an employer wants references, they will ask. Save precious resume space for other accomplishments rather than including this sentence at the bottom.

9. Education. If you’re just out of high school and applying to your first jobs, it makes sense to include the information. Otherwise, focus on college and graduate information as well as degrees earned.

10. Misspellings, grammar issues, and typos. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again -- proofread, proofread, proofread! Nothing can make the resume  less professional than resume errors.  

A resume is a snapshot of your work experience -- not only should it be well written, it should highlight the best possible version of your experience and how you will be contributing to a new team. Take out irrelevant information, and polish up your resume so represents your experience in the best light possible.


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!


Resume Buzzwords: Are You Really a Dynamic Team Player?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Resume Buzzwords: Are You Really a Dynamic Team Player?

A resume takes time to write. It should be well-crafted and every detail and word scrutinized and then proofread before sending out into the world. A tiny error can be the difference between getting an interview and getting rejected. As recruiters, we read hundreds of resumes each week. So how do you set yourself apart from the rest of the pack? Generic buzzwords can fill up space but they don’t really say a lot about you.

 

Take a look through LinkedIn’s most overused buzzwords. Are some of these on your resume or LinkedIn profile? If the answer is yes, it’s time for a refresh. There are also resume writing services such as our friends at JobJenny.com who are one of the best in the business for resume writing and also offer one-on-one sessions to get your resume in tip top shape.

Things to Avoid

You may actually be “a motivated and dynamic team player” but it really doesn’t explain how motivated and dynamic you really are. In fact, it doesn’t really tell us much at all. Stay away from job-seeking clichés. If you find you’re having to bulk up your resume, you need to re-think your resume strategy. Are you currently using any of these words?
-Dynamic
-Expert
-Extensive experience
-Motivated
-Passionate
-Team Player

 

What Should I Use Instead of Buzzwords?
Don’t be afraid to show personality, we are in the creative industry, after all. As recruiters we want to hear about your favorite projects or your most exciting campaigns and your hobbies outside of work. Include metrics of your greatest achievements and show how motivated you really are without actually having to say it.
A few examples:
-Increased a brand’s social presence by X% within one year
-Tasked with growing a digital department which generated X amount of revenue
-Mentored junior members by doing XYZ
-Exceeded targets by X amount

 
If you want honest feedback and guidance on your resume, have a chat with one of the Artisan team who can give you some insight. We want you to look your best! Take a look at your resume; if it’s filled with superlatives and empty words, it’s time to start thinking about substantial facts and achievements to really sell yourself.

 

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


5 Apps to Make your Job Search Successful

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

5 Apps to Make your Job Search Successful


Resume Designer
Have you ever had a recruiter call you for that perfect job while you’re away from your desk and you wished you could have sent your resume right away? Or perhaps you saw an ad for an immediate freelance need but you need to add in some extra details about your latest project? Resume Designer is an app that allows you to not only build and design your resume on mobile or tablet, it also allows you to edit and update it, too. It’s perfect for job seekers who are on the go, often away from their desk or for those already in jobs who prefer to edit with privacy.

Indeed Job Search
Indeed
’s easy-to-use platform is a must have for every job seeker. This comprehensive app allows you to search through a ton of job listings and apply directly from your mobile. You can even save and email your favorite listings to review at a later date. Easy peasy!

Simply Hired
Simply Hired
reigns supreme when it comes to job searching. As a job search engine just for job seekers, you have access to an enormous amount of job listings. The great thing about Simply Hired’s mobile app is that you can sort job listings by date. It has a built-in location finder and an extensive list of highly-targeted and aggregated jobs. Available for both iOS and Android, once you save any jobs on your mobile, they’ll also be available when you login to your desktop.  

Monster Interviews
You’ve landed an interview at that perfect company, now what? The Monster Interviews app is a step by step guide to help you prepare for an interview. It takes you through each process from interview questions, how to choose a killer outfit, through to the post-interview follow up. The app makes sure you’re fully prepared -- you can also enter your interview info and any questions you have so you can seal the deal!

LinkedIn
No app guide would be complete without LinkedIn. If you haven’t already downloaded it, we urge you to do so right now! The slick interface operates in a similar fashion to the site except it’s more cohesive and easy to navigate. The invaluable app is a great way to stay in touch with contacts and recruiters while out and about, plus you can browse jobs, update your profile, post content to your homepage feed and add custom shortcuts. LinkedIn remains one of the most essential platforms for networking, plus their app is free!

Laura Pell | Talent Acquisition | 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


Having an All-Star Job Search Team

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Having an All-Star Job Search Team

We are on teams at work, collaborating on projects and inspiring creativity in one another. Teams are becoming more and more important, even in academic subjects, at school. We are also on teams in our personal lives, whether we practice sports or do DIY projects at home. 

Have you ever been on a job search team? We all need people to help us along, especially when we are looking for that perfect new role. Who should you be scouting?

A Pitcher

A friend who is not averse to getting in there and making big moves is a great motivator. She has great ideas and unafraid of risk. Brainstorm with this team member for new strategies and energy. And let her take the lead if she has great connections.

A Catcher

Good advice is always welcome and this colleague always knows when you are in need of a little pep talk, help handing a particular situation, and a calm voice. He can also throw the ball back to you when it's time for you to be proactive.

First Base Umpire

When you are between interviews or waiting to hear, she can keep you steady on the road to landing your new job. Someone with great focus on your goals can help you stay focused as well. Is it time to take a breath or time to head for home?

Mascot

No matter what, your mascot thinks you are the best. Staying positive is one of the hardest things about looking for a job and you definitely need someone to cheer you on.

Coach

A recruiter can help you see the big picture, improve your resume and presentation skills and get you out there interviewing for the jobs you want. 

Do you have everyone you need on your team? Don’t job search alone. Pull your team together and go for the win!

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative


The Active Voice

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

The Active Voice

To those of us who pay a great deal of attention to grammar, the passive voice is at least correct. It doesn’t make our antennae go up. In fact, it probably makes our antennae go down, but not necessarily in the right way. It makes us stop paying attention.

The same can be said for hiring managers. Or rather--hiring managers might say the same.

The first sentence above is in the passive voice and the second in the active voice. Do they sound different to you?

In a job interview situation, you want to sound like a great prospect--maybe even the perfect candidate. Many people have trouble speaking of themselves and their accomplishments in the active voice. After all, you don’t want to start every sentence with “I” or sound like you are bragging. But you will never land that great new job if you cannot talk about your accomplishments as yours (or your team’s). Here are some examples of passive voice and a more active voice alternative:

Over 1000 PR packages were produced and delivered in a three day period.
Okay, but what did you do? What was your contribution? Glad to hear it. So what?

My team of 5 produced and delivered over 1000 PR packages in less than 72 hours.
Sounds like you managed a team to a challenging goal! Congratulations!


A new website was designed and launched ahead of schedule and under budget.
That’s nice. What were you responsible for on that project?

Designed and launched new company website 2 weeks ahead of schedule and 10% below budgeted cost.
I like that one--active voice and numbers. Great resume bullet point!


Facebook engagement went up 35%.
Okay.

My goal was to increase engagement 20%. I posted original content daily, which increased engagement on Facebook by 35% in 3 months.
Exceeded expectations. Great work!

Most of us are more comfortable using passive voice in our interactions. We eschew talking about our own accomplishments and skills in an active way. However, a job interview is not the place for self-effacing language. If you are the right candidate--and a great fit for the role--make sure the hiring manager knows it and knows you know it, too. Tell them what you did and why.

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative



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