Tag Archives: job search

Aug02

3 Tips for Interviewing the Interviewer

Interviewing the interviewer

If interviewing is a new skill for you then pay close attention to these three tips for interviewing the interviewer.

Research the company and the people who will be interviewing you

This is easier than ever to do these days with professional networks such as Linkedin and other social media pages like Instagram, Facebook or Youtube. Look for similar interests, previous places of employment to see if they may know people that are connected to you and associations or organizations the interviewer has affiliation with. In addition, consider who they follow on Linkedin to understand where they like to get their news from. These are great facts to use to generate engaging questions. Conversations related to past careers and topics from channels they follow on Youtube can be used to develop instant rapport.

Be prepared to answer questions about your skills and achievements

To prepare, look at your resume and and identify bullet points that are measurable accomplishments. They should look something like this, “Consistently overachieved delivery goal of 10 new postcard designs a week.” Now all you have to do is use your resume during the interview to point out the achievement on the resume and discuss how you actually overachieved that goal on a regular basis. If you have several of these achievements on your resume (which you should) then you will always be able to answer any question that sounds vaguely familiar to, “Why should we hire you?” or “What experience do you have?”

Show interest in the position by inquiring about next steps

Don’t leave the interview without finding out how you can follow up. You may have additional questions in the future as you continue interviewing. Ask the interviewer if they have a timeline for hiring? Is it one month, 2 weeks or did they just start interviewing and they still have 10 candidates to meet? This will show that you are interested in following up so ask for their business card or email/phone to do so. If you are truly interested in the position, let them know that the position sounds great and you look forward to taking any next steps they recommend.

Sep07

Advice for Internships By Samantha Lauro

Samantha Lauro

You Were Chosen For a Reason:

Every person has the quintessential, “I don’t know what I am doing” feeling when they start a new job. It is only natural, as you’re in a completely new environment consisting of client approval rather than grade percentiles. There will definitely be moments that challenge you and even make you question your chosen career path. Your most important asset is how the anxiety is managed, as what ultimately defines the situation is the end result. Therefore look at the long run rather than getting caught up in the moment.

Morning Routine:

I suggest treating yourself to a coffee, or general beverage/snack, at least once a week to keep your mornings interesting. This especially goes for those who commute; not only does it expose you to new locations around the city, but it also takes the mindlessness out of the daily routine. I am a self-proclaimed, or self-diagnosed, caffeine addict so to me this is essential.

What to Wear: 

Attire is important. It is the first impression people have of you and sets the tone. The rule of thumb is usually, dress a level beyond the position you are aiming for. I concur, but my personal thought is that one must gage the social climate and dress appropriately. In other words, integrate yourself with the office culture but maintain a professional appearance. If your place of work is on the casual side, I recommend mixing professional and dressed down pieces to keep the balance.

Going to a Work Event:

This is a great opportunity to get to know co-workers. Be social and make connections. It may be intimidating but I have found most people to be open and friendly, plus casual conversation is a great way to gain insight on the field you are embarking in. Be yourself and be genuine; at the end of the day a real relationship is far more important than a list of completed office tasks or superficial conversation. Enjoy yourself!

Stay Off Your Phone:

To become fully involved and connected with jobs and accounts one should avoid distractions. Put the phone down and get the full experience. Use 100% of your mental capacity and it will pay off with regard to work quality and work relationships.

Junior Associate Mentality:

Think of yourself as a junior associate rather than an intern. People will tell you not to sweat it because “you are only an intern” but I say rise to the occasion. Don’t give yourself a proverbial out. You are working at a real company and the work you do will have an impact in some way, especially if you elevate your thinking.

Meetings:

Pay attention to details and take notes. Observe and absorb the general information and the essence of the gathering. Note the interaction, strategy, attitude, posture, and language. There are so many external and intrinsic lessons to learn, as meetings show thought process, culture, and final result. Always have an opinion about what is being said, and try to contribute when appropriate. You never know when you will be asked about your thoughts, therefore, listening intently is key. Additionally, ask questions to show that you are attentive and interested in learning. If you are nervous ask questions after the meeting or through a follow up email.

When in Doubt, Go for It:

There will be quite a few times during an internship where the opportunity to go beyond what is expected presents itself. Many times it means putting oneself on the line or taking a chance. Admittedly, this is pretty scary especially in a new place. Personal examples of this included emailing my thoughts on an account after sitting in on a meeting, creating a POV, presenting an idea to an art director, and asserting my opinion despite the fact that it challenged the idea of another co-worker. Before every decision I contemplated whether or not I should act, and I went for it. I can say with confidence that it was worth it, as each became a personal victory despite varying degrees of success. Take a chance on yourself, it will pay off and show initiative.

Don’t be Afraid to Stay Late:

Staying late can be daunting. If there comes a time where you need to stay late to get something done embrace it; buckle down and get to work. You want to show your team that you are dependable and dedicated, therefore don’t run out of the office at 5:00pm on the dot. In the process of staying late you may even meet some coworkers who you would not have met during the day. Additionally, if you are working on a project for someone, always check with them before you head out for the day.

Commuting:

Commuting is exhausting and can be mind-numbing. A good percentage of the time I was passed out on LIRR, but for the days when my mind was left wandering I often searched for a way to pass the time. I suggest making a playlists to keep it fun; good music makes every situation better. I also recommend podcasts, as they are a great way to wake up your mind for the workday.

Time Management:

One will quickly realize that time is fleeting, especially if there is an abundance of work to be done. Stay on top of your work and things will run smoothly. Additionally, quality is essential so do not rush through your tasks at hand. It can be hard to say no to projects when multiple people come to you for help at the same time. If you think you can handle more work then go for it, but do not take on more responsibility if quality of work will suffer. It helps to know deadlines and be open; ask your supervisors when things are due and create an open dialogue. Lastly, keep a schedule to keep track of jobs.

Carry a Notebook:

I am a firm believer in carrying a notebook at all times during an internship. You can record what is going on, keep track of work and information, and have a daily account of your internship experience. It is also great for writing down ideas when inspiration strikes.

Work Quality:

Quality on one task can determine whether people will come to you for other jobs. Put in maximum effort. Also, do not be afraid to ask questions, as an internship should be about developing your skills.

Be Hungry:

An internship is a learning experience. Strive to learn as much as possible, and experience all that you can. Ask to attend meetings, look for work, volunteer, and enquire about opinions. Be assertive, in a mature way, and you shall receive.

Think Outside of the Box:

Creative thinking is valuable. As an outsider you do not have preconceived notions/stigmas from the industry and are not assimilated to the general way of thinking. Moreover, you hold a fresh perspective and come from a place of different experiences. Use this to your benefit and go against the grain. Also, some of the most wacky and outrageous ideas can be the best, or at the very least can stimulate thought, so make sure to speak up.

End of Internship:

Meet with your supervisor one last time before you leave to debrief. It can be a great way to gain valuable feedback on your performance and can showcase your progress. Be sure to thank your supervisor, as graciousness goes a long way.

 

May29

You Too Can Find Your Dream Job, Here’s How?

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If your current job does not satisfy you or you think it is time for a change in careers, you are most likely leaning in direction of following your dreams of working in the industry of your dreams. It is unlikely that you will jump from one bad job to another so if you are seriously thinking of leaving your current job for a new one, we suggest you apply for your dream job. You do not want to waste your time in yet another job that does not satisfy you.  Life is way too short.

If you are seriously considering this, you need to do the following things to land the job of your dreams:

1.    Get a Clear Idea of What Your Ideal Job Is

Can you sum up in two to three sentences of what your ideal job is? If you cannot, we have some major work to do here. You need to be able to define the exact requirements you are looking for in a job that you absolutely want.

Base your requirements on your interests and hobbies, and then come up with a job description that matches them. We repeat never ever take or leave a job based on other people’s view on it. For instance, you love to paint and want to make a career out of it, knowing that not many succeed. Just go ahead and do it.

2.    Learn to Sacrifice and Compromise

In the beginning of any job, you will struggle, but it is on how you handle the struggle that defines your success in the future. To deal with the setbacks, you will have to compromise on certain things. You might have to sacrifice going out to eat with friends, your car, and other things. However, the sacrifices and compromises that you make all depend on the type of job you have selected for yourself.

3.    Learn to Sell Your Skills

If you are a website designer, you will need to find customers who need their websites revamped. How will you find them? By calling them and selling your services, you might land a few clients. Remember, companies may not want to hire an unknown person cold calling them. In the beginning stages of your dream job, you can sell your services at no cost to them. Perhaps, they might even end up hiring you.

4.    Never Give Up

You might not find your dream job as soon as start looking for one. You may land interviews, but may not secure the jobs, but the key here is never to give up. You need to keep searching for your dream job regardless if takes you a six months or a whole year. Since it can take you a while, remain at your old job or take up freelancing jobs in your field to showcase your talents.

Whether you are looking for your next dream job, or you are a Recruiter or Employer seeking a new employee the Social Media, Digital, Web, Creative and IT Global Jobs Board can help you.

For Job Seekers:  Instant application and access to thousands of Live Jobs covering an extensive range of sectors and worldwide locations from some of the world’s leading companies and recruiters.  Start by setting up a Job Mail Alert.

Oct08

How to Avoid Dishonest Job Listings

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Marketing and related fields have a weird tendency to attract misleading job listings, especially at the entry level. This phenomenon tends to be much more prevalent in marketing than other fields. For example, I don’t think paralegal applicants ever interview for a job that turns out to be selling knives door-to-door. Unfortunately, many companies have loose definitions of marketing, and their jobs end up being a waste of time. It is very important to be able to filter these positions out in order to find quality internship and career opportunities.

Here are some red flags to watch out for when job hunting:

1. The phrase “Brand Ambassador” is used

This was one of my first “marketing” jobs, and I got it the summer before my senior year of college. The main responsibility of a Brand Ambassador is to generate leads for the sales side of a company. My job entailed going to fairs and asking people for personal information so sales reps could cold-call them (under the guise of a contest). I don’t want to name names but this company was in the basement finishing industry and their mascot was a pink jungle cat. So after many hours of low pay and no professional development, I moved on. Brand Ambassador jobs are a fine way to make money over a summer or in between classes, but they offer almost no real worthwhile experience for a creative job seeker.

2. Company reviews are polarizing

There are some great resources out there to check if jobs are legitimate, and one of my favorites has to be job review websites. They are easily the best place to find out if the company you are applying to is worth your time. The companies that are scams will have both over-the-top positive reviews and very negative ones, with nothing in between. I found this example on glassdoor.com. All of the positive reviews are very generic and say the same things, implying that the same person wrote them. Any company that possibly hires review writers is not worth your time.

3. The pay includes commission

The nature of marketing is to compliment sales. Some companies ignore this fact and simply refer to entry-level sales jobs as marketing positions. Marketing professionals should never be paid in commission because they don’t sell a product, they sell a brand. In fact, if a job description even contains the word “sales,” it probably isn’t a marketing job.

4. The job listing is on a database

This is not a real red flag as much as it is a need for caution. There are a lot of great listings on sites like indeed, monster, and sometimes even craigslist. However, there are many more bad listings to sift through on these sites than directly on a companies website.

There is an exception to this rule: for a database that only has legitimate job listings click here.

Sep16

Popular Job-Seeking Tips That You Should Ignore: The Resume

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There are thousands of articles out there with great tips on how to get a job. These tips are invaluable and they’ve helped many people. Here are a few of those tips, and why as a creative job seeker you should ignore them:

Bad Advice: Don’t use a template

The main argument against using a template is that employers will see right through it. For graphic designers this is good advice because it gives you a chance to show off your skills and make your resume a true reflection of yourself. For non-graphic designers this either makes your resume boring and text heavy or, if you try to use limited design capabilities, an unclear and abstract mess. Both of these scenarios are likely to get your resume thrown out in seconds.

Better Advice: Use a template, but change it enough to make it not look like a template.

It turns out that if you aren’t a graphic designer chances are the people who make resume templates are better than you at designing resumes. You can build off the designs given and cater them to the way you want to present yourself without it looking too cheap.

Bad Advice: You don’t need an “Interests” section

Remember that poster you had in your freshman dorm room? The one of that movie that was universally liked or that inspirational quote that seemed really deep? You hung that poster so strangers would talk to you about how awesome the Boondock Saints are or how Marilyn Monroe was SO ahead of her time. That is basically what an “Interests” section of your resume is: a conversation starter.

Better Advice: Have a short interests section at the end of your resume

An employer is not only looking to hire the right person for the job, they also want to be able to relate to and like that person. That starts with common ground, and an “Interests” section is the best way to find that.

Bad Advice: Don’t be afraid to have more than one page

This tip can be useful in certain situations, like if you have had multiple jobs over a span of around 10 years. Chances are if you’re looking for an internship or entry-level position, this isn’t you. As I briefly touched on in the “Template” section, the look of your resume matters. If you have to sacrifice some information to get it down to a page, so be it. As long as the most important information is kept, it shouldn’t matter.

Better Advice: Keep your resume to one page until you absolutely can’t add another single word

Mess with the margins. Change the font size. Go through every single line and delete any redundant words. Get creative.

Note: Every job is different. What works for one might not work for another. Do some research about the job you want, and tailor your strategy to that job. Don’t base your entire job-seeking strategy on a set of tips, but try something different until you find something that works for you.

Dec31

Are you ready for 2014?

Happy-New-Year-2014

In 12 hours, we will all be screaming “Happy New Year” and ushering in 2014! As another year ends and a new one begins, there is always room for reflection and growth. What are you doing to prepare yourself for 2014?

Measure your growth

In the past 12 months, 365 days, 52 weeks, how did you grow professionally and personally? Someone wise once told me, you should enter the New Year by measuring your growth from the last year. Have you enhanced your professional skills? Did you start 2013 not knowing how to code and now you’re ending the year with HTML and CMS under your belt? Measuring your growth sets you up for where you would like to be for 2014.

Don’t just set a goal, set up a system.

I recently read an article from entrepreneur.com about focusing on the system around the goals you wish to attain. Forget the cliché New Year resolutions that many of us tend to neglect after January and focus on the process. For example, if your goal is to create a video production company you should set up a timeline of the necessary items you need to accomplish or acquire to turn your dream into a reality.

Pay it forward

Successfully getting through 2013 didn’t happen by your self. As the old adage goes, “it takes a village to raise a child.” If you attained a collegiate or graduate degree this year, know that your support system made it that much easier. If your career is accelerating in a positive direction, I’m sure you have a mentor to thank for that. In 2014, give back to someone what someone gave to you.

2014 is right around the corner and as you walk into another New Year remember how far you’ve come, how far you want to go and to always pay it forward!

From the Creative Interns Team to you, Happy New Year!

Dec22

What You Missed from the LinkedIn Challenge

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We kicked off the month of December with the LinkedIn Challenge. For 21 days, Sarah Santacroce sent us one tip for each day in order to share with our talent and employers on how to leverage many LinkedIn possibilities. Read our recap of the entire LinkedIn challenge…

Our favorite days

Day 6: Gaining more visibility by commenting on people’s updates.

Day 9: Send a personal thank you message, after accepting a LinkedIn connection. Lori Ruff said it best, “saying thank you when hardly anyone else does is a great way to standout in a crowded marketplace.”

What the experts had to say

Rick Itzkowich, the LinkedIn Guy, honed in on having a memorable headline.

Viveka von Rosen, the LinkedIn Expert, touched on the practice of “reverse engineering.” This is a way to communicate with individuals you share a group with by doing a simple people or advanced search. Through these searches, you can see if a person is a member of a shared group and send them a message to connect.

Jo Saunders of Wildfire Social Marketing expound on one of the most hated acts of social networking – being a spammer! Never treat LinkedIn as a mailing list. Like Saunders said, “being connected does not give you the okay to send me your bulk message via LinkedIn.”

Be sure to watch the Google+ video recap of the LinkedIn Challenge finale here!

For more tips on LinkedIn, join the #LinkedInchat on twitter every Tuesday at 8PM EST or follow @SarahSantacroce and @LinkedInExpert

Dec19

The Art of Building Relationships

Networking

“Networking” has become just a buzzword and we have lost sight of what is really behind networking – relationships. We have forgotten that your network isn’t the goal, but yet the relationship. My various encounters over the past few weeks has inspired this post to encourage others to go beyond the benefits and build lasting relationships.

Forget the network. Remember the relationship.

People often dive into networking thinking, how can this individual benefit me? That sort of thinking ruins the relationship immediately and inevitably destroys the network. Just recently I was approached at a holiday event and charity drive by a woman who immediately asked “where do you work?” There was no proper greeting, no introduction or even an exchange of smiles. I immediately lost interest in the possibility of a relationship being formed. I properly greeted her, told her my name, what I do, asked for hers and then politely walked away.

For some, approaching people may not be the easiest task. Food for thought – if you forget the network (the benefits for you) and just focus on genuinely getting to know the person, the approach will be that much easier. This leads to my next point…

Shared interests and values

To build a relationship, you must understand each other’s interests and values. More than likely you will share a similar interest with the person you are trying to connect with. To get to know what that interest might be, you have to be personable and authentic. Authenticity and even transparency (no that does not mean you have to bear everything on the table) will make the conversation easier.

The follow up

Follow up with the person that you share interests and values. Your follow up should consist of more than “it was a pleasure meeting you!” If through email or a personal hand written note, let them know why it was so great meeting them and always provide a call to action – maybe a follow up lunch or coffee to continue the conversation. The follow up will be the beginning of building an actual relationship, which will be more beneficial to your network. 

Nov13

Interview with Rena Tom of Makeshift Society

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Some people may know Rena Tom as a business strategist consulting with product designers, while many others know her as the Founder of Makeshift Society San Francisco… and now Makeshift Society Brooklyn.

Makeshift Society is a clubhouse for creative freelancers and a space to sustain low-growth businesses. With the “make, learn, teach and think” motto at the core of the space, Rena Tom talks with Creative Interns about how she’s bringing that motto to Brooklyn.

Creative Interns: What made you create Makeshift society in San Francisco?

Rena Tom: I was doing consulting work, some in-person and some over the phone. I was having trouble finding a place to work, so I started renting space at Workshop during the daytime hours when no one was there. While renting the space, I was sitting there basically by myself. Over time, I found myself at the coffee shop more and more just to be around people.

I started talking to my friends who were independent workers, bloggers and designers and I realized we were all in the same boat (wanting to engage with others while working). So I decided I would make a little office space for people and the more people I talked to, the more people wanted to be involved with the space. And so it evolved into a working space – Makeshift Society.

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CI: Why did you decide to expand to Brooklyn?

RT: As soon as we opened in San Francisco, we were getting a lot of requests all over the country saying this is a great idea and wishing we were in their city. My friend, Bryan Boyer, was moving to New York and was interested in developing another Makeshift location.

CI: Do you feel Makeshift Society Brooklyn will contribute to the growing creative digital space that is happening in Brooklyn?

RT: Definitely! That’s the reason why we thought it would be ideal to have our second space in Brooklyn – sort of a hub for the east coast. Brooklyn has an enormously large creative population, especially in the freelance side and it does have a good tie to San Francisco. We are there for the independent consultants and entrepreneurs in Brooklyn – designers who want to remain freelance; photographers who get hired to take product shots; or copywriters who are brought in to work on a collection.

CI: Will there be opportunities to work directly with Makeshift Society Brooklyn?

RT: There will be employees on site and we would like to take on interns in marketing, event planning and programming. Beyond that, we are leaving a lot of it up to the members and the companies we will be partnering with.

CI: When can emerging creatives expect to use the Brooklyn space?

RT: We are depending on the completed construction of the site, but first quarter of 2014 is our goal.

For more about Makeshift Society Brooklyn, connect with them on twitter: @MakeshiftSocBK

 

Oct31

Job-hunting Nightmares

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Job-hunting can be daunting, even frightening. While emerging creatives may have encountered their own scares today, here is a list of “job-hunting nightmares” we’re releasing into the universe this Halloween – don’t read them alone…

  1. Realizing your dream job is with your former internship employer – yes, the internship employer that you never stayed in contact with
  2. Creating a video reel of your amazing work, sending the reel out to prospective employers and then realizing the reel video has a glitch
  3. Finding a job, spending time crafting the perfect cover letter and then realizing the job posting has been taken down
  4. Realizing a job prospect went to your spam mail and now it’s just too late
  5. Interviewing for a job, thinking you nailed the interview and then getting the “we’ve filled the positon” notice
  6. Online job applications and systems that seem only to exist to cause job seekers even more pain
  7. Months of applying, networking and no leads
  8. The well known recruiter who says “you’re perfect for the job” and then suddenly disappears
  9. The reference that never really refers you (be careful of who you ask)
  10. You’re current employer finds out your on the job search before you even give notice (yikes)

Can you think of any other job-hunting nightmares emerging creative professionals may encounter?