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How Instagram Can Work to Your Advantage to Land the Job You WANT


We all know that to be relevant in today’s working world, companies need to maintain their social media presence. It not only helps them differentiate their company culture in the marketplace, but provides a softer platform to market themselves in an easily accessible way to the masses. Now the question is, how do you use this to your advantage and why should you care?

You should care because, as an active job seeker or someone who has their eye on a future career prize and wants to stay on top of the marketplace and trends, it is imperative that you get a sense of whether you are a good cultural fit as well as using this “insider” information on a prospective upcoming interview with your dream company. Nothing says “I’m impressed, this candidate did their research” more than mentioning during an interview how much you love the company’s culture of doing philanthropic walks together as a team unit. It is a sure-fire way to turn a 1-way interview into a dialogue amongst two people assessing if they are a mutual match to work together.

To get started, make a list of the companies to which you’re applying, or if you’re happily employed, the companies to which you could see yourself in the future. Then Google “company name” + “Instagram.” Even if a company doesn’t have its own Instagram, there are methods to the madness. Get on a company’s LinkedIn or the company’s “Team” page to find four or five employee names. Then, Google “employee name” + “Instagram.” Start monitoring trends for your own personal and professional edification and to keep this information in your back pocket for when you will need the ammo! And, always remember to keep it on the side of being an enthusiast- everyone always loves a fan, not too many people appreciate a stalker! Moreover, enjoy the process and feel great knowing you have great tools at your disposal to help you chart your professional career forward.

What To Write In A Cover Letter : The Do’s and Don’t’s of Selling Yourself

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Writing a cover letter is something many employers will tell you is an essential part of the job process in order to get your resume read, and we have to agree. It’s something that shows you put the extra effort in, and sets you aside from the numerous resume’s that get sent through by themselves. A great cover letter complement’s your resume by highlighting your skills, and adds a personal touch by demonstrating your writing style in explaining why you make the best fit for a position. A cover letter is usually the first written contact you have with a potential employer, so naturally, you want to make a sure it has the best impact as possible.

Effective cover letters are no longer than a page (you don’t want to bore the reader) and no shorter than a paragraph. You want to get your points across, yet make it flow and enjoyable for the reader.

If emailing your resume to a potential employer, put your cover letter in the body of the email rather than an attachment. This way you are able to reach the employer with your words, and it will encourage them to open your resume.

Answer the question “Why should I see you?” This may be the most important thing to remember when shaping a cover letter. These employers are taking the time out to read your document, and make the executive decision whether or not to open their doors for you. Summarize your strengths, and include details about why you are writing: what exactly about the company excites and motivates you? Feel free to delve into details about what brought the role to your attention, how you became interested in the industry or company, and why your past experience makes you a perfect fit for a career within that realm. Make sure you use the right tone; you want to be professional yet carefully assertive.

Tailor your skills from the job description to fit into your explanation. You’ll want your experience, personality and capabilities to reflect what is asked for by the employer. Try and mirror what is in the job description.

Highlight details from your resume. Explain any gaps, mention additional accomplishments and correlate your experience that is relevant to the job or industry. You don’t want to explain your entire role at a company, that’s meant for the interview phase. Instead, touch upon a position briefly, and connect it to the current posting.

Stay positive throughout the note, after all you are selling yourself! Be enthusiastic, and never bad mouth your old company or boss, or explain why you quit your last job.

Thank the employer. Make sure you thank the reader for their time, and offer to provide any other information if needed. Sign off with an appropriate signature, such as sincerely or best regards, and say that you look forward to hearing from them soon!

Additionally, make sure you never lie about your experience, as this is a sure way to ruin any chance you had in the first place. And don’t sell yourself short – this letter is meant to boost your position, not lower you in the ranks! And always, always, remember to proof read! Spelling and grammatical errors are too easy to fix to get penalized for (and you will, if they’re that obvious).

You’ll want to make sure each cover letter is tailored for a specific job or company, so don’t get lazy once your start applying – each posting requires its own letter. Stay positive and remember, the more time and personalization you put into it, the more likely you’ll hear back!

The Importance Of Being Responsive When Searching For A New Job

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The process of getting a job has a lot of moving parts. Consequently, most of these moving parts are extremely time sensitive. As a recruiter for The Melanie Andersen Agency’s fashion division, one obstacle I often face is response time from my creative candidates. As a creative, it goes without saying that you are on tight deadlines, busy and not necessarily at your desk all of the time. However, once you are engaged with a company regarding a potential job, you need to be on the ball or it may jeopardize your chances.

Clients can be pretty unpredictable in their response time, but they have the freedom to do so, they are the ones who are deciding whether or not to give an offer. I’ve had a search that I worked on for 6 months, where the client was moving at a snails pace, and then the final stages happened so fast my head was spinning. This is how it goes, and the most important thing is to be on top of making sure your recruiter or potential future employer has all the information they need from you in a timely manner.

In my experience, I have had to practically stalk some candidates on a daily basis to make sure they were giving me the information and documents I needed. It wasn’t because they felt lukewarm about the job, because they eventually accepted the offer, it’s just an issue of prioritization. At the end of the day, you are at a point where you want to change jobs so that should be a priority, and not on the backburner, since you could lose the opportunity because of a reason that was preventable.

My suggestion would be to answer emails as quickly as possible, even if you can’t do what is asked of you right that second. Acknowledge receipt and give a timeline of when you can have the information back to the recruiter or employer. Please bear in mind that absolutely no longer than 24 hours should pass from the moment something is asked of you to the moment you complete it. As recruiters, we abide by the same rule. When a client wants something from our candidate, we check in with the client after 24 hours, even if we have nothing to give them. In the age of smartphones where we all get our emails directly to our phones, this is something which shouldn’t be too hard to fix, but the payoff is significant in terms of giving you the best chances possible of landing your dream job!

5 Ways to Ignite Creative Inspiration

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It happens to the best of us that at times we feel uninspired, and it can be difficult to climb out of the rut. Sometimes we need that extra push to get us focused and revamped so below are some tips to help spark that creativity.

– Take a break from the computer and office environment and go for a walk. Take in your environment- the people, the places, the culture. Be vigilant and check out new stores, restaurants, landmarks or even new street art/graffiti, as these can provide for some great inspiration for your next project.

– Learn a new skill. As creatives, we are fortunate enough to be able to continually add to our skillset. Try taking a class or check out free tutorials and videos online to learn a new skill that could provide value to your current work environment or to simply to expose yourself to a new experience. For example, take a coding course, a cultural dance class, or even a cooking class.

– Make use of your off-work hours by taking on a freelance project that would give you hands-on experience in something that you wouldn’t normally be doing, either in a new industry or within a different skillset.

– Invite someone who you admire but who is working in a different industry to yourself to pick their brain. Find out what inspires them, learn about their job/skillset and possibly find a way to collaborate with them and learn from them.

– Go on a vacation or even a staycation. Relaxing and letting go of obligations for even just one day can bring new energy and inspiration to your work and life in general. Sometimes giving your mind a break is necessary in order to be productive.

For Freelancers – The Importance of Billing Clients on Time

If you are a freelancer and invoicing your client directly, I cannot stress the importance of keeping up to date on your invoices. I know, this may sound counterintuitive. Afterall, who wouldn’t love to get a bill later or perhaps even not receive one at all!? I will tell you who – anyone that is managing a budget and has a P&L to work against (i.e. your client). Clients budget for projects within specific fiscal periods and if the checks and balances of those numbers do not reflect such forecasting and allocation, then it can affect their bottom line. Moreover, it can cause your client more hassle and more work, which I’m betting is not your goal. That is, unless you don’t want to work with them again. And more importantly, you yourself want to get paid, and the sooner you invoice them the sooner that can happen.

While clients do hire creatives to be “creative”, no one appreciates continually having to follow up with someone to receive an invoice or their timecard. People want to work with people who are not only talented but are also professional, responsible and accountable. To rise to the top of the heap of freelance resources available to a client, do yourself a service and be that total package of amazing talent and an ease to work with.

Trimming the fat- 6 tips for that 6 pack at work

As warmer weather approaches, everyone is quickly kick-starting their diets and getting back to their fitness regimes. As people make adjustments to their lives in preparation for the summer, there always seems to be a battle between treating yourself and looking good on the beach. Since we all spend so much time at work I’ve written some easy tips below to stay healthy and fit so everyone can feel confident and happy this season.

1) Start a support group- one of our teams here at our agency committed themselves to a 30 day challenge. They took turns preparing healthy lunches for each other every single day and engaged themselves in some sort of physical activity as well; this ranged from enrolling in a bootcamp or yoga class or even a run by the Hudson River. It not only made them all look great, but it strengthened their relationship and made them even stronger as a team.

2) Pack healthy snacks- this will definitely control your appetite throughout the day to make you stay away from the vending machine of death. Eat your nuts and ditch the chips!

3) Just say “NO”- it’s always hard to say no to food, especially if it’s free and you have to see it all day. Remember that taking one bite out of that cookie will lead to worse decisions later. Give yourself a cheat meal or day on the weekend depending on how much you exercise as it’s never good to deprive yourself, since that often leads to binge eating.

4) Drink more water- this will keep you full, and is great for your skin too.

5) Forget the elevator- take the stairs once in a while to give you a boost of energy while burning calories and working on your gluts.

6) Ditch your chair and sit on an exercise ball- I did this when I used to work at an advertising agency. Both our creative and account management teams participated. Surprisingly, it was actually fun and increased our posture, plus we got to bounce all day so it kept us alert.

How To Approach Being Given a Test Project

Thea8273As part of the interview process, clients will often include a test project to better evaluate a prospective candidate’s conceptual/strategic, executional and presentation/communication skills. It can be the defining factor in securing the position, and often times, justifying the salary one requests. How you handles this delicate time in the interview process is critical in either “making” or “breaking” the prospects for landing the job. Below is a brief checklist on “how-to” and “HOW NOT-TO” approach this segment of the interview process:


– Graciously accept the project and show your enthusiasm and excitement for tackling the creative objective at hand. Clients want to see that you are excited about their brand and feel the passion you have for your craft.

– Think strategically about what you are doing. Nothing irritates a client more than someone who does not demonstrate a higher-level of thinking when it comes to how their brand operates. This includes taking into account the competitive landscape and existing branding and marketing principles that already exist.


– The best way to show an employer that you do not want their job is to “pushback” in any regard to the deliverables of the project. Examples include: wanting to be paid, wanting an NDA signed so your work is not used and telling the client that the scope of the project is too large. While you might be 100% correct about all of these points, if you want the job, the project as it exists is mandatory. If you are not doing it, you have to realize that your peers and competitors for the role are. At worst, your competition will advance forward and you will be disqualified for the role. At best, it will definitely set you back in the employer’s mind, and give them a glimpse of both your disinterest in the opportunity or leave a “diva-like” impression. Not a good look.

In summary, if you want the job, my best advice after years of doing this is, put your best foot forward. Show your prospective employer that you are a strategic, teamplayer – at Every. Single. Stage. Of the interview process.