Artisan Blog

Tweet Your Way to a New Job Part 1: Your Feed

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tweet Your Way to a New Job Part 1: Your Feed

Social media can be a time waster or a great way to accomplish your goals. The tricks are using it thoughtfully and staying on task. You might think Twitter’s 140 characters make it less useful on a job search or that Twitter isn't really a job search site, but there are ways to make Twitter a valuable partner in your process. Here are some tips we have picked up about branding for a job search on Twitter:

Your Feed
  • Your Handle--Choose a Twitter handle that is catchy, easy to remember and clearly associated with your name or business name. Try to avoid underscores and numbers, unless a number is part of your business’s name.
  • Influencing--Those short messages can be used to show your expertise. Use Tweets to offer advice on challenges in your field.
  • Content--Use Twitter Search to find links to interesting articles or news items that apply to your field. You can become a resource for your Followers and others who search for your topics.
  • Hashtag--If you really want Hiring Managers to find you, use hashtags to attract their attention. Research the Twitter Feeds of your target companies and use the same hashtags they are using in their Tweets to come up in their searches.
  • Engage--Mention or Retweet a company that you are interested in. They will definitely have your handle in the front of their minds.
  • Ask Questions--Twitter can feel like shouting into the void, but it’s really a conversation with the world. See if you can get the world to respond.
Watch out for:

Always remember anyone can see your Tweets. Twitter is not a good place to post personal or confidential information, profanity or anything about your boss or your clients.

Tweeting too often, especially during business hours, can make you look like you’re not being very productive at your current job or you don’t have anything better to do.

My Rules of Facebook apply here, too--even in 140 characters, you can say something you wouldn’t want your grandmother or a hiring manager to see. Think before you hit that Tweet button.

In Part 2 of our series, we will give you some tips on finding great job postings on Twitter and connecting with the hiring managers who are looking for you.

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

Where Are You Going?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Where Are You Going?

When you land a new role, you want to tell everyone what it is and where. After all, it is exciting! It could be your dream job and, these days, if you are on a job search, you might have been looking for quite a while.

Although you will give proper notice at your current job, however, you probably should keep the details about your new job opportunity limited to to yourself and your family until your first day.


Especially before all of the tiny details are arranged, you don’t really have a deal. If you have received an offer but the paperwork is still processing, you have not truly landed. Let your colleagues know you are leaving, but keep the specifics to yourself for the moment.

Even after all of the logistics have been worked out, you are still not in the chair and your name isn’t yet on the office door. While you are in limbo, resist the urge to make an announcement. Your new company might want to do it first and you don’t know their policy. Better safe than sorry.

Be extra careful about talking on social media about your new job. Careers have been made or broken right here. In one story we wrote about last year, a candidate’s offer was rescinded because they started posting about it too soon. Don’t list your new role on LinkedIn until you have started onboarding.

On your first day of work, you can make your excitement about your future public knowledge. Be thoughtful about thanking your colleagues for their support and write professionally about your new position. It’s easy to gush, but everyone is going to see your news--including your new manager.

And enjoy it! It's not every day you get to start something entirely new!

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

Maximizing LinkedIn: Adding Files and Videos

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Maximizing LinkedIn: Adding Files and Videos

LinkedIn has developed into an essential social media platform for anyone in business and especially anyone who is now or will ever be on a job search. Nowhere is it easier to connect with colleagues, share business goals and perfect your personal branding.

Earlier in its life, LinkedIn was pretty simple. It offered a place to put the information on your resume and a way to build a professional network. However, LinkedIn’s features have grown and just recently in a very interesting way: the ability to add files and videos to your profile.

We have talked about the importance of having an online portfolio in previous posts, but the ease of having some work samples available at one central location, easy to find and easy to click on, cannot be overemphasized.

What files you will add to your LinkedIn profile depends on how you are marketing yourself and for what skills. 

What could you add?
  • Blog posts and other writing samples—I was very proud of my recent post about the themes from “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” so I added it to my LinkedIn Profile as a writing sample. 
  • Images—Photographers and Graphic Designers, a few pieces which show your versatility here could attract more attention to a more extensive portfolio.
  • Videos—If you are producing video content for your clients or yourself, choose an example that shows your work well and add it to your Profile. If you are a performer, add a video of yourself in a concert or theatrical setting, or a clip from a film or television episode. Video is much more compelling than just your headshot and clicks from LinkedIn are valuable.
While you are tweaking your Profile, remember to:
  • Add new roles or responsibilities at your current job.
  • List any recent volunteer opportunities.
  • Check the keywords in your Summary to be sure that you will be found in searches that will interest you.
  • Make sure the listings on your Profile are in the order you wish. LinkedIn now lets you reorder items on your Profile by preference rather than just by date. Put more relevant listings higher up.
It’s a good idea to edit your LinkedIn profile every quarter, if only to add a new accomplishment or responsibility. Don’t let your Profile get stale; make it work for you.

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

Business Cards: Trash or Treasure?

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Business Cards: Trash or Treasure?

Life gets more and more paperless every day. And in most ways that’s a good thing. We archive our emails instead of printing and filing; we view attachments on the screen instead of using up expensive ink or toner. We share documents in the cloud instead of distributing paper copies before a meeting. Are business cards going to go the way of the memo?

We don’t think so. Whether you work for a company, own your own business or are a freelance entrepreneur, business cards still carry relevant information in an inexpensive and convenient format. And with a couple of 21st Century tweaks, they can be a great little marketing tool:

  • Design—Make sure the design of your business card effectively reflects your business services. Colorful or subtle, austere or complex. Think about the visual image as well as the information you present. For creative companies/individuals – the design of your business card is as important as anything you could say to a potential client. Your card should represent the type of design you prefer to deliver. Misrepresent yourself here and risk losing potential business – before you’ve even connected.
  • Email—Of course you will include your email address on your card, but if you are a freelancer, you might want to consider obtaining a more businesslike alias than your personal email address. Find out if your email service will let you have more than one. You can have it automatically forward to your regular Inbox and not miss a message.
  • Portfolio—Don’t forget the URL of your online portfolio or website
  • Social Media—If you are marketing your services on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or another platform, include your contact information on your card. You never know where someone you only met for a moment might look to find out more about you. Make it easy.
  • QR Codes—The latest trend seems to be putting a QR code which leads to your portfolio or website as well as the URLs on your card. People with smartphones can get all the information they need with just a moment’s scan. 
Without business cards, the people you meet will have to remember your name to look you up later. Will they or won’t they? Don’t take a chance. Business cards will be around for a long time and for good reason.

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

Personal Branding: Facebook

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Personal Branding: Facebook

Facebook seemed to have been created to allow us to reconnect with old friends, to help us remember birthdays and sometimes even to shout into the void when we feel the need to express ourselves. However, the longer Facebook is around, the more it changes and the more it becomes a marketing tool for companies, brands and people. Are you using Facebook to your best advantage for marketing your personal brand?

Although Facebook allows you to have both a personal profile and a business-person page, since they changed to the Timeline format, strangers have been able to see your cover photo and anything you publish publicly by searching for you. You may not need a page as well as a Timeline if you are being thoughtful about what you post and what is in your Profile:
  • About You—Be sure to include a link to your Business Page (if you have one) as well as your website or other social media accounts and your online portfolio in the About section of your Profile. Make sure if a business contact finds your Timeline first, they can easily access your business information.
  • Privacy Settings—No one’s friends are always perfect and you can’t control what they post, so set your privacy so that your Friends List is visible only to you.
  • Business List—If you want to be Facebook Friends with professional connections, make a custom list of your business contacts so that you can limit the privacy of your posts. You can create a Custom privacy setting so that your default audience is only your personal friends, but not your business contacts unless you specifically include them.
  • Always Check your Audience—If you do post to different lists at different times, it’s easy to forget that Facebook remembers your last post and uses those settings again next time. If you posted something publicly on Tuesday night, your post on Wednesday morning will be public, too, unless you change it. Best practice: post to your custom list every time. After you have posted, change the audience to Public or Friends if you want your post to reach more people. That way Facebook does not forget your custom settings and you do not have to recreate them later and save yourself some time.
  • Don’t Be Blank—Since you are searchable, take a moment to post something publicly every so often, once or twice a week, so that even strangers will find something valuable about you if they look. Links to work samples are a great example.
It is just a fact of life that people you meet in either a personal or a business setting are going to look you up on social media. Make sure they are finding the person you want them to find.

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

Branding for 2013

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Branding for 2013

Whether one of your New Year's resolutions is to get a new job or learn a new skill--or even pick up a new hobby--now's the time to get yourself in gear. One of the best things you can do if you are a creative starting a new job search or continuing an ongoing job search is revising your online brand.

On LinkedIn

  • Remember all those people you got back in touch with over the holidays? Invite them to join your LinkedIn network. Be sure to personalize the invitations, including a reminder of where you met or your recent conversation.
  • Add 2012 accomplishments to your Profile. Your description of yourself may not be as perfect now as it was last year, so go ahead and tweak it for right here, right now.
  • Give some endorsements. The people already in your network are talented professionals that you trust or they wouldn't be there. The new Endorsements feature in LinkedIn lets you give them some support without having to write a recommendation note.

On Social Media

  • If you have a Business Page on Facebook, take a look at the postings and descriptions. Make sure they are current and reflect your brand as it is today. 
  • Evaluate how frequently you are posting. If you are neglecting your Page a bit, put a reminder in your calendar to post once or twice a week. If you are posting a lot, makes sure all of your content is high quality and relevant.

Your Online Portfolio

  • If you are a busy freelancer, your online portfolio is working for you. Don't neglect to add new projects from the past year. You might tell a better story in a meeting with a potential client about something recent, that you are still excited about, than a project from a couple of years back. Put some new material in your portfolio to prime your interviewer with good questions that make for great storytelling opportunities.

At Artisan, we hope that 2013 is a banner year for you in all of your professional and personal endeavors!

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

Reflections: It's Never Too Late

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Reflections: It's Never Too Late

It might be too late for your gifts to arrive in the mail before Tuesday (although I hope not), but the world isn’t going to end tomorrow, whatever the Mayans may have said. It is never too late to change your thinking and it’s never too late to find the perfect job.

As the US economy slowly recovers, creating more new opportunities, it’s worth reviewing how you think about your career or job search. With this in mind, what can you do to make yourself more successful in 2013?

  • How long have you been using the same resume? Career advisors are telling us to edit our resumes for every application, with special thought to keywords from job descriptions for which screening technology specifically searches. 
  • How long has it been since you updated your LinkedIn profile? Even if you are in the same job, you probably have some new accomplishments in the last quarter or 6 months that you haven’t added yet. Now is the time to include them.
  • Are your skills up to date? A new year is a great time to take a class and get back on the cutting edge if you have been doing the same things for a while or are in between roles.
  • Reconnect. The holiday season is a great excuse to get in touch with people we may have neglected for a while. A great new year’s resolution: contact 5 people in your network every week just to find out how they are doing. A little note of congratulations or encouragement can go a long way.
  • Make a long-term plan. Especially when we are so busy at this time of year, it’s easy to get into the habit of thinking day-to-day. Where would you like to be in 6 months? A year? 2 years? Planning for the future is the only way to know what you need to do tomorrow to make it happen.
The Artisan Team will be taking some time off next week, but we wish you all a very joyous and peaceful holiday season!

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

Artisan Creative Places Talent in 3 Top Jobs for 2013

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Artisan Creative Places Talent in 3 Top Jobs for 2013

We hear a lot on the news about jobs that are disappearing or being outsourced. But what about jobs that are expected to have growth in the coming year?   

Artisan Creative actually places talent in 3 of the hottest job categories for 2013: 

  1. Social Media Manager—Online marketing gets bigger every year. And these days, no Digital strategy is complete without a business presence on multiple social media platforms. To ensure companies reach as much of their target audience as possible by delivering frequently updated and engaging content, organizations are looking to hire a dedicated resource to develop, implement and manage a comprehensive social strategy for their brand.
  2. Marketing Specialist—Like the Social Media Manager, the Marketing Specialist focuses on particular campaign strategies within a company. This could be Direct Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), eCommerce, Product Marketing or Brand Strategy. Depending on the nature of one’s business, finding experienced marketing professionals with industry-specific skills could come at a premium. Therefore, the trend will most likely continue as companies continue to seek experts.
  3. Web Developer—These days, every company needs a website. And any good website need to be updated. Often. To do so requires some level of front end (and often back end) web development work – from simple HTML/CSS, to more complex Javascript or PHP. Working in conjunction with Web Designers, Web developers help get entrepreneurs started and keep established businesses thriving. 
If you are new in the creative job market or thinking of changing careers, keep these fast-growing paths in mind for 2013. 

Who knows where they might lead!

Maximizing LinkedIn: Endorsements

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Maximizing LinkedIn: Endorsements

When we first started writing about LinkedIn, we talked about asking people in our network for Recommendations and especially the value of volunteering in getting Recommendations for your Profile. Recently LinkedIn made it easier for your network to recommend your work through a simpler process: Endorsements.

Endorsements offer an easy one-click way to agree that someone in your network has a particular skill. Where Recommendations take time and thought to do well, as well as careful consideration of not only whom to ask, but whom to recommend, Endorsements are easy to give and nice to receive.

If you haven't logged into LinkedIn recently, you will see a popup box like this:

Click on the Endorse button and that's it!

Keep in mind that you should only endorse people in your network for skills that you know they have because of your experience with them and if you are unsure, wait.  The same endorsement opportunity will come by again later.

When you click on Endorse, LinkedIn will repopulate the box with more people and skills for your perusal.

There is no word yet on whether Endorsements are enhancing the job search process or whether hiring managers are checking Endorsements when culling out candidates, but additional positive information in our Profiles can only be a good thing.  Happy Endorsing!

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

LinkedIn Part 3: 5 Mistakes You Should Not Be Making

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

LinkedIn Part 3: 5 Mistakes You Should Not Be Making

Talent Manager Laura Burns sent me a link this week to an article in Forbes Magazine about LinkedIn mistakes and since we are in the middle of a series of blog posts about LinkedIn, I thought you might be interested in my take on what Forbes thinks many people are doing wrong on LinkedIn.

Forbes emphasized the importance of LinkedIn for talent and companies alike and we agree.  LinkedIn is a great way to connect easily with the people you work with and meet through your work life and also a great way for companies to find talent and talent to find jobs.  But it definitely can suffer from the old “garbage in-garbage out” problem.  If you don’t use it well, it could hurt more than help.  Here are the mistakes Forbes says people are making and our opinion on them:

1.  Sending general invitations

Sure, if you click on that “Connect” button, LinkedIn will provide you with a little message box, already filled in with a message: “I’d like to add you to my professional network.” 

Oh, sorry, I got bored. 

You should personalize every invitation.  Remind your connection of where you met or your most recent conversation or where you worked together.  Be friendly and inviting and you are much more likely to get approved before your connection falls asleep.
2.  Ask for recommendations

BUT be sure you really know the person and be specific about what you are looking for.  Let them know what you would like them to talk about in regard to your experience and their relationship with you and they are much more likely to help you out.  Writing a recommendation without any parameters takes a lot more time than writing one with a specific purpose in mind.

3.  Never use default text. 

If there’s anything you want your professional connections NOT to think about you it’s that you’re lazy.  Write your own messages, always.

4.  Don’t link your Tweets to your LinkedIn Updates.  

If you were doing this, you’re not any more because this service has been discontinued, so lucky you! Read more… 

5.  Proofread, proofread, proofread.  

You can never proofread too many times.  Send a link to your profile to some trusted friends and have THEM proofread.  There are never too many sets of eyes on your professional materials, digital or print.

Forbes hit the nail on the head here, although they left out one of my favorites that newbies on LinkedIn like to do—don’t let LinkedIn populate your profile.  They can, but it won’t be in the right order and the details will not be presented in the ideal way.  Take the time to do it yourself here and when you connect and LinkedIn can be an asset whether you are a job seeker, employer or entrepreneur.

And if you find a typo in my Profile, please drop me a (personalized) note!

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative


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