Tuesday, January 27, 2009

First Impressions Part One: The Professional Resume

You may have wondered where part one went. Well here it is:
(Part Two is here: Creative Resumes)

This is part one of a two-part series on resumes. There are countless different ways you can format your resume, depending on who you are and what you do. Remember: when applying for a job, your resume is often the first impression that the employer will have about you.

Today's entry by Neal F. Litherland

With the job market the way it is today, everyone's feeling the squeeze. Those whose work depends on their creativity to stand out though may feel as if they've been hit particularly hard. Whether you're looking for work as a freelancer, or you're trying to grab one of the spots as a regular employee in your craft, the first thing your prospective employers are going to measure you by is your resume'. For many of us, that's a good thing, but for the rest, here's a few tips about cleaning up your first impression.

First and foremost, make sure that you're using proper format. All your contact information at the top, then your education, and finish up with your work experience, no more than two pages, but aim for one. It should be obvious, but it's worth mentioning here... do not get fancy with your resume'. Whether you're a graphic artist or a novelist, keep your resume' straight and to the point. Given that creativity and imagination can't be measured, part of what your job rides on is how professional the impression you give is... no non-standard fonts, colored texts, or pink paper.

Now for the other half of the equation... content. Do not include anything that doesn't seem relevant. If you attended multiple colleges to get your degree, just put where you graduated from to streamline things. For your work experience, first list everything you've done. Then look at the job you're applying for. Cut out everything that doesn't seem relevant. With what's left, pick and choose what to include. Things to keep in mind might be the past employer's opinion of you and your work, how recently that experience is, and whether or not the work was paid.

Of course, what this might mean is re-tooling your resume' every time you apply for a job. With exceptions, that is usually true. If you keep applying for similar jobs with similar requirements, then you're fine. However, taking a little extra time to make sure you look like solid gold to your next prospective boss is probably a good idea, no matter the circumstances.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

First Impressions Part Two: The Creative Resume

This is part one of a two-part series on resumes. There are countless different ways you can format your resume, depending on who you are and what you do. Remember: when applying for a job, your resume is often the first impression that the employer will have about you. Today's entry by Ria Ranka

We all know about 'The Perfect Job'. But what about 'The Perfect Resume'? A resume is so much more than your accomplishments styled in nice font and placed in chronological, functional or a combination of these orders upon a sheet of paper. A resume is your personality and your achievements-it's the armor you need before going into the interview that will remodel your life for the better. But where to start?

There are a few paths that will lead you to the completion of a successful resume. But if creativity is your characteristic, there's only one way to go: The Creative Resume. The Creative Resume is the only resume that acquires incandescence, ingenuity, and most importantly, creativity. Keep in mind, the quintessence of your objective will be like any other. However the heart of a creative resume will be incomparable. Who You Are is very important, and becomes the scenery of your listed qualifications. Most times it becomes what the interviewer hones in on-your creative style. So how can you enhance your chances of standing out?

You've spotted your dream job. Only problem is, so have about three hundred highly qualified candidates. How can you get your resume to pop out of the crowd? Literally make it pop. 3D resumes will set you apart from everyone else. Interviewers won't ever lose sight of their main goal: finding the most qualified candidate. If you have what the company is looking for, adding your flavor won't make you appear underdeveloped. It shows not only do you have great work experience, you have great personality, too.

How to be remembered: Color. Because success considerably depends on color, in a creative resume, color can be just as important as your objective. It influences the interviewers memory, so always make sure to keep it bright. Also adding a picture can never hurt. A face behind the words illustrates your achievements.

You're all set. Time to land that job!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Suburban vs. Urban: How to Gain Notoriety in Any Location

Guest post by Alyssa Choiniere

For the creative individual, success in the professional world, accompanied by a large paycheck, seems to be a gift for the favored few. Many creative people abandon their hopes for a dream job in exchange for stability and a larger payment. However, this success can be obtained with talent, networking, and most importantly, persistence.

The first step in securing an income is to know your environment. In a suburban area, it is easier to gain recognition than in the city, but more difficult to receive high payment. The most important step in either area is networking.

In the suburbs, make contact with new, local businesses. They are unlikely to have a large budget, but they have many needs. Your job is to let them know that you can fill their need, and prove that it is deserving of pay. For musicians, offer to perform at a local restaurant or coffee shop. This will draw a crowd to the advantage of both yourself and the venue. Artists, sell art to a new business. Restaurants and coffee shops value art, and will appreciate the unique flavor. Writers can offer to write ads or positive PR pieces. Local newspapers welcome well-written freelance pieces.

In the city, a similar approach is necessary, though more options are available to you. Artists may sell a piece to a corporation or hotel. Musicians can offer to play at many venues, large or small. Writers have many options, and are rarely tied down to a location for freelance, as many options are available for telecommunicating. In the city, it is more advantageous to place an advertisement, as word of mouth will carry your reputation in the suburbs.

Calling a business directly has more positive results, but when applying to a position on-line, a creative and interesting cover letter is necessary. Generic introductions precede generic people. Creative cover letters present unique individuals with genuine interest in the position.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Creative Job Fairs Do Exist!

Guest Post by Laurence Girard

Most career fairs are not centered around helping people find creative jobs in fields such as the arts and music. Even online job sites do not focus on helping people find jobs in creative industries. The fact that career fairs do not focus on creative jobs makes it increasingly difficult for someone to break into a career in the music or arts industry. If you just do a little bit of research, you will be surprised to find out that there are some job fairs that focus entirely on helping people find creative jobs in industries such as the music and the arts.

For the past three years, the Creative Career Fairs in England have been run, and over 1,000 young people attended the fairs in hopes in starting a career in a creative job. These fairs offer one-on-one advice on education, training and jobs in the arts as well as other creative industries. The Creative Career fairs are funded by the Arts Council England, East and have been extremely successful over the past couple of years. If you are sick of going to work in a suit everyday and working from nine to five day in and day out, switching into a creative career might be the right choice for you.

If you are a creative person that likes to think outside the box you should be following your passion and working in a creative career! It is important that you use your creative talents and go to work everyday doing what you love. Whether you want to be a dancer, an artist, or work as a professional musician, creative job fairs can help you talk to professionals that want to help you reach your goals! The Creative Jobs Fairs are run every year in England and help thousands of young people find new creative jobs that they love doing! If you want to check out more about the company that runs the fair you can head to www.creativecareers.org.uk.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Using Creative Promotional Materials

Guest post by Joey Papa

One of the most effective and affordable ways to get seen and heard is through promotional materials. My recommendation is to find a simple and creative web address (even if it doesn’t correlate exactly your business or name). The web address is for the purpose of attracting attention, not to make sense. Link that web address your website and voila, you’re directing the masses to your site.

Print business cards with just that web address on it and leave them everywhere and anywhere. I’ve taken stacks of business cards and placed them in all the local coffee shops, pizza shops and other places I frequent. You can get 250 business cards free at vistaprint.com (you have to pay for shipping) and then blanket the town with your website.

One of my favorite promotional materials is bumper stickers. Bumper stickers that simply have your web address is bound to draw curious eyes to your site, especially if your web address has something to do with a common interest in your particular city. Believe it or not, photocopied flyers can be very effective as well. Your photocopies should match your business cards and bumper sticker – just the web address.

The goal to peak people’s curiosity. Maybe annoying to some, but this is bound to get your name noticed. If you live in a small town, cover the telephone poles, the cars windshields and the neighbor’s doors with these flyers. It’s a prove fact that repetition is the way of marketing. The more people see something, the more they will remember and they more likely they’ll visit your site. This is one quick and affordable way to get you and your business known.