Well, it’s that time of year! We’re in the final stretch of our time at Sheridan in the Web Design Program. The prospect of looking for and finding a job can be extremely scary. Thankfully we got to meet two of the lovely ladies at Creative Niche and they shared with us some tips for creating the best resume we can, get that call, nail that scary interview, and finally (hopefully!) get the job.
First off let’s introduce our speakers, Theresa (Perrotta) Casarin and Dyanna Zaidman.
Theresa is the Director of Talent at Creative Niche and has worked there for over 4 years. She is a recruitment specialist that is always looking to meet talented Creative Directors, Art Directors, UX/UI Designers , Designers, Developers, Project Managers, Copywriters, and so many more people to help them find the best opportunity that meets their needs.
Dyanna is a Talent Scout for Creative Niche and has worked there for just over a year. She spends her time looking for great creative talent that matches her clients needs. She specializes in the creative field and works with Web Developers/Designers,UX/UI Designers, Mobile Developers, Copywriters and many more.
They didn’t waste any time jumping into their bag of tricks and advice for getting a job and I can’t wait to share it with you. There was a lot of great advice that makes the hunt just a little bit less daunting. We can take what we’ve learned and apply it to our portfolios and resumes and be confident in what we are showing to potential employers and that will lead to us nailing that interview!
Let me break it down for you:
These tips below apply to what type of content should be in your resume.
Did you know the average screener will only take 5 seconds to look at your resume/website!? You have to make the most of it, below is what you can do to use that 5 seconds the best you can.
- Have clean clear objectives.
- Make it scannable.
- Clean and concise.
- Be specific and true to the skills you bring to the table, don’t be vague.
- Tailor your resume to the skills and objectives that you are looking for.
Ask your self the following:
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- Why do you want the job?
- If your a match, how should they reach you?
A successful resume should answer all these questions. Once you’ve answered them you will have all the information you need for a successful resume.
You know what you want to include, but how do you word it so that your information is the most effective?
The answer is:
- Use action verbs (managed, supervised, organized, etc).
- Avoid Pronouns (It’s already about you).
- Use consistent tense (it doesn’t matter if present or past tense, but make sure you are consistent).
- List your hard (technological) skills.
- List your soft (communication, personality) skills.
- Show your personality by designing a nice template that stands out of the pile.
Don’t do this:
- Make it your dating profile.
- Use pictures.
- Adding too many personal interests or likes, only include the ones that are directly related to the job.
- Use jargon or slang (that people may not understand, it might be a recruiter or hr representative first screening your resume and my not know what they mean).
- Add obvious points like “references available upon request”.
What should the structure of your resume be like?
When deciding how to lay out all the content you have generated Theresa and Dyanna told us that we should break it down into the following six categories.Experience, Additional Experience, Education, Hard Skills (technological skills), Accomplishments. They also gave us some tips and what each category should contain or look like, here they are:
- Your resume is a snap shot of what your qualifications are, just include experience that will be relevant to the job you are applying for.
- That being said, if you don’t have experience that is related directly for the job you are applying for you can take the experiences you do have and word them in such away that makes it beneficial to the job you are after.
- Any freelance work while in school, or smaller side projects will beef your experience section of your resume if you are lacking be sure to include this.
- When you’re just out of school, your education looks better at the top of your resume then your past job experiences as it will likely be directly related to the job that you are applying to.
- It is common to have it at the top of your resume for a year after you are finished school. After the year is finished you should move your experience back to the top of the page.
- If you are applying to a position while still in school go ahead and put your expected graduation date.
- Use a graph or something similar to show your skills, showing them in a visual way will be easier for the screener to scan insuring that they will spend the time on them.
- Include skills as long as you have a proficiency in them (no fibbing).
- Show what your skill level is with each of them.
- Talk about what your achievements are when it comes to your projects and not just what you completed.
Lastly, when pulling your resume together make sure that you do the following it’s worth the extra check.
- Make sure that it reflects you and your personal brand that you have set for yourself.
- Pay attention to your content, read it once and read it again, then get someone else to read it. You want to make sure that you are including the most relevant information.
- Insure that is consistent professional tense.
- You can add creative copy but make sure that it’s still professional.
- Remember Adjectives, Action Verbs, and use of descriptive language are your friends. you should use them!
- Keep your resume 1-2 pages in length.
- Have minimum 2-3 people edit your resume. Try to pick people who are objective (not your Mom).
- Send it as a word file, keep it as a PDF.
- Make sure it is printer friendly, if it is full colour send a print friendly version along with the colour one.
With everyone on social media these days its safe to assume that your perspective employer will google you.
This is what you can do to insure that your social media reflects you the way you want it to.
- Sanitize or put your facebook, twitter, instagram, or what ever other platform you use on lock down.
- Use linkedin for professional purposes. You can add a detailed history of your past work experience and other items you would like to include.
This is a complement to your resume and super important. You can host it on a websites like Behance, Wix, Format, or even create and code it yourself. In what ever you choose make sure that you make it yours, are creative, and keep it updated/relevant.
What employers see on your portfolio will more than likely get you that job.
The Job Hunt
When starting the job hunt it can be almost overwhelming. Theresa and Dyanna mentioned that making an action plan and keeping track of where you applied is a good start. If you know what you want and where you want to work it will make things less overwhelming and allow you to focus on your goals.
A couple other things to consider:
- You should also push yourself and put yourself out there, you never know until you try.
- Break down what your needs are and what you want, and work towards a balance between the two.
Oh My God, you got the interview now what! You can prepare yourself so that you can show the best side of yourself and hopefully GET THAT JOB!
What to do to make sure the interview goes your way:
A quick note about phone interviews:
If you get the phone call interview and you are in an area where you are able to give them your full attention and interview go for it. But if you are in the middle of a crowed mall, or public space it is okay to let it go to voicemail and get back to them, or answer and say that you need to call back at a later time. You want to make sure that you are able to give them your undivided attention.
In person interview:
- Prepare and do your research, make sure you know why you want to work for them. They will ask.
- Be prepared to not only answer questions but also to ask questions. Make sure that they are intelligent for example ask your interviewer “What will the challenges of the role?”.
- Dress to impress!
- Don’t go crazy, but show your personality
- The safest bet is business casual: slacks, heels if you want, blazer, dress up a little first impressions are important.
- No phones in the interview, turn it off or put it in airplane mode. The last thing you want is the phone to ring. Or to fell it vibrate and throw you off your game completely.
- Follow up, send them a note. Don’t just say thank you, this is the chance for you to reiterate something you talked about or even tell them about something you forgot. Make a lasting impression.
The search is on.
How to get in contact with Creative Niche
Theresa (Perrotta) Casarin: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/theresaperrotta
Dyanna Zaidman: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/dyannazaidman
Company Website: http://www.creativeniche.com/