Job Search: Research and Development Part II

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015|

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

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

Start with Social Media.

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

LinkedIn is a powerful tool

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

Develop Your Portfolio

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

Next, Develop your resume.

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

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

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

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

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

View Part I here


5 Apps to Make your Job Search Successful

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014|


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
’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!

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

Personal Branding Tips for Twitter

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014|

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 like-minded folks are listening. Body language is no help. Take a breath. Your follower might be having a bad day, too.

Wendy Stackhouse for Artisan Creative

Time: Your Greatest Asset

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014|

What is the one thing we all want more of, but cannot buy it, earn it, or save it? The one thing that when it passes us by, it can never ever be regained? Time!

No matter who we are, or what we do, we only have 1440 minutes in a day. We all start our days with those same elusive 86,400 seconds and spend vastly different ways of enjoying or squandering it.

Time is a mystery, and if I don’t figure out a way to manage it, time will manage me.

How do I manage my time?

The only way I know how is to diligently work from a plan. Without a plan, I become disorganized and distracted. To keep me on track and on time, I adhere to some of the pointers below and am adding in new ones to take my plan to the next level.

This is the plan that works best for me and I am most productive when I follow it:

1) Start my day by 6 AM so I can take advantage of the early morning hours, my favorite time of the day.


2) Schedule workouts, meditation, journaling and learning a new tool into my calendar every day and do these in the early AM hours.


3) NEW: Schedule my lunch and a 15-minute afternoon break for a walk outside or a nice cup of tea. I find mini-breaks serve as fuel for the soul and get me more energized and productive than if I powered through lunch.


4) NEW: Schedule my calendar and To Do list the day before. Schedule the time to work on your schedule.


5) NEW: Plan a regimented but fluid schedule down to every ½ hour task. Schedule all calls and meetings and don’t be late…or this will have a snowball effect.


5) NEW: Avoid distractions — Don’t turn on Facebook/Twitter on mobile devices unless on a break or it’s scheduled time. I LOVE social media, but it can be a time thief if I allow it. I can easily spend countless hours on social media. I schedule time for social media. Same with emails… It’s OK to have emails turned off while focusing on other tasks. I absolutely turn off the notification beeps.


6) Adhere to my version of Zero Inbox rules. My version is not an inbox that has zero emails, rather it’s one that adheres to a zero unread inbox. This adapted system works well for me and is a daily goal. I read each email, file, flag, delete or add a task to those that can’t be answered immediately or require research.


7) NEW: Set reminders and alarms for all tasks. My brain cannot remember everything—nor should it be wasted trying to remember mundane to-dos—that’s what reminders and alarms are for.


8) Use time management tools like Chime, Slimtimer, Evernote, or Doodle to schedule meetings and keep track of tasks. There is a tool out there that is right for everyone—find yours.


9) Communicate my calendar. Artisan Creative proudly promotes a virtual work environment—for this to work well, we communicate regularly via AIM, Zoom or Skype. Therefore we set our status on our AIM to communicate our availability or lack of ….In a meeting, OTP, DND


10) I am not perfect and occasionally fall off the plan. I’ve learned to forgive myself, and quickly course correct so I am back on track.


Katty Douraghy, President, Artisan Creative

Spring Cleaning Your LinkedIn Profile

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014|

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.


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.


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


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.


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!


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 for Artisan Creative

Gifting to Your Network: LinkedIn Recommendations

Thursday, December 5th, 2013|

Wondering what to get your favorite colleague for a holiday gift? How about an amazing LinkedIn Recommendation!

Hard to request and rather intimidating to write, a polished LinkedIn recommendation on your LinkedIn Profile can be a lot more valuable than bath oil beads to a rock star member of your network. Here are some tips on writing something your friend will appreciate for years to come:

Don’t bury the lead–Just as with a great job description, if you don’t start with something compelling, a reader might stop with the headline. What is your friend’s best quality in her professional life? Put it right up front.

Ask for the target–If your friend has asked you for a Recommendation, find out what his next goal is and focus your recommendation on the qualities he brings from his past experience that would make that goal attainable. This is especially important if he is changing careers or industries.

Offer a preview–When I write Recommendations, I always send them to the recipient in an email before posting. Your friend might want you to mention a particular accomplishment. And another set of eyes proofreading for any errors is always a good idea.

Show your connection–Someone looking at your colleague’s Profile can figure out where you worked together, but don’t make it harder than it needs to be. Include the context of your relationship.

Keep it brief–Hiring Managers don’t have a lot of time. Pithy is best.

If you know that a colleague is planning a job search, looking for a promotion or making a change and you have confidence in his or her abilities, offer to write a Recommendation. Your friend will appreciate your proactive desire to help and not have to sweat about asking you first.

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

Scary Social Media Advice

Thursday, October 31st, 2013|

Ever find yourself frightened by something you see on the internet? We all do on occasion, especially at this time of year. Regrettable Facebook status updates, terrible typos, inadvertently offensive language or other content can affect people both personally and professionally. But scariest of all is really bad “expert advice.”

There are people out there who aren’t really social media experts, they just dress up as one, and not only on Halloween. Today, we hope you eschew the advice of the pretend social media gurus:

  • Party Hopping–Having a presence on every platform would not only mean monitoring them every waking moment, it would make you look like you aren’t doing anything productive. Choose platforms based on the audience you want to reach and pay attention to them, providing quality and entertaining content. And then go be creative!
  • Ghostposting–Although we are fans of some automation, you can’t leave all of your social media to a computer. Social media is really a conversation with the world. But for that to be true, you have to be responsive or you are just shouting into the darkness.
  • Zombie Updating–Professionalism is great and staying on message is important, but social media shows the human side of a company, too. Don’t forget to put some personality into your social media marketing.
  • Clowning Around–There are extremes on both ends, of course. Don’t forget that you are the voice of your company even for a minute! Always think carefully before you hit “Send.”

Social media can help you be the house that everybody knows has the best candy or the one with the porch light out and no decorations. Which would you rather be?

Wendy Stackhouse, for Artisan Creative

Networking After Networking Events

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013|

Going to networking events–or industry events where networking is appropriate–can make all of us nervous at times. We feel like we need to have the perfect elevator pitch, the perfect outfit. We need to be outgoing but not overwhelming, interesting but not self-involved. Passionate but not too intense.

If you have managed to put all of that together and meet some people, the next steps may not be clear. Here are our tips for making that ten-minute conversation the beginning of a real relationship:

  • Use your database–Whether you collected paper business cards or QR codes in your smartphone, add that information to your contacts, and don’t forget to note where and when you met and a word or two about what you discussed.
  • Sort for follow-up–Put each person you met into a category for a particular level of future contact. Do they need a simple “It was nice to meet you at…” or do they warrant an invitation for coffee or a request for an informational interview? 
  • Follow through–Did you offer someone assistance? Get in touch with them first thing the next business day so they know you were serious. And then follow through. It’s very easy to let offers like this fall through the cracks, but those are missed opportunities. Think like an entrepreneur.
  • Send invitations–Invite your new contacts to connect with you on social media. Be sure to personalize invitations and remind them where you met and what you talked about. On Facebook, you can add them to a business-oriented list if you don’t want them to see all of your personal posts, and then make sure you customize your posting status groups. Don’t neglect LinkedIn!

Showing up at networking events seems like the hard part–and in many ways it is. But it can be a waste of time and energy to do all that if you don’t keep the real goal in mind–building relationships.

Wendy Stackhouse for Artisan Creative

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

Thursday, September 12th, 2013|

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, for Artisan Creative

LinkedIn Is Watching You

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013|

I 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 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, for Artisan Creative