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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.

Win Over Anyone You Meet in Seconds

Being successful in the business world doesn’t necessarily come from what you were taught in college. Surprisingly enough it has been proven by extensive amounts of research that about 85% of it has to do with your capacity to connect with other people. The key factor in ANY relationship, whether it be personal or a professional is establishing some sort of mutual trust and respect.

Technology has played a very important role in shaping and molding how we interact and behave with one another, specifically in the creative industries. Although there are a considerable amount of pros to our rapid tech advances, there have also been many cons as well which have made us more impatient; therefore within seconds, everyone you meet forms a strong impression that is the deciding factor on whether someone will like, trust, and respect you.

Whether you’re simply job-hunting, dating or mingling at an opening of a new art gallery, making a good impression is absolutely essential in life and in the workforce as well. But not to worry, as the creative tips below will guide you in the right direction.

Tip #1: Respect Boundaries

Be aware and conscious of other people’s space. Try your best to notice any clues like if they lean in, then lean in some more and if they step back, then try to do the same. Remember that rules or norms about people’s personal space depends on culture so that is always something to keep in mind.

Tip#2: Body Language Awareness

Actions speak louder than words, so be mindful on your body language as it makes up for more than half of what other people respond to. Always carry yourself in a way that projects ‘openness’-meaning that you aren’t closed off since that shows a lack of interest and at the same time doesn’t want to make other people stay around you. Feel free to refer back to a blog post I’ve written in the past that dives deeper into the specifics on the importance of body language.

Tip#3: Dress the Part

Try and find a sense of style that sends the right message that you would like to portray. Think of yourself as a product, and your wardrobe as packaging. For tips on how to dress specifically for an interview, you can always check out my previous blog post which gives great tips and tricks about dressing for success.

Tip#4: Attitude Adjustment

People can sense the energy you give off instantaneously, it’s the 1st thing they respond to without even knowing it themselves. If you find yourself disengaged or bored, put that aside and try to portray a positive vibe even if that is not how you are feeling at the moment.

Tip#5: Introduce yourself with Pride

Share what is it that you do to others in a brief and fluid way. Be passionate and explain what it means to you and why you think it makes a difference. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re pitching yourself as part of a new business initiative, but as a way to engage and creatively form a power point slide to which the subject is YOU.

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.

Summer Style: How To Dress Appropriately In The Workplace While Keeping Your Cool

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Summer is upon us and you know what that means : less clothing! However, despite the scorching temperatures outside, it is important to find a way to incorporate minimal clothing will still maintaining professionalism, style and appropriateness in the workplace, or while interviewing for a new job. We’ve compiled a breakdown of what’s appropriate to wear during those hot summer months, and what you’re better off saving for the weekend.

What’s OK:

– Spaghetti straps (this one’s two fold; as long as this is covered up with a sweater, cardigan or jacket). 99% of offices will allow this if you are covered up appropriately.

– Open toe sandals or heels

– Shorts (as long as they are not too short!) and you smarten the look with a cute blazer

– Maxi dresses

– Wedges

– Ripped jeans (this one is tricky, but if you work in a casual environment, we say go ahead)

– Any dress below the knee, and a few inches above

– Skirts (no more than 3 inches above the knee)

– Espadrille shoes

What’s NOT acceptable, no matter what the season:

– Flip flops

– Spandex shorts

– Denim shorts

– Tube tops

– Forgoing undergarments

– Bathing suits (seems obvious but hey, when you’re in a rush to get to the beach after work…)

– Cover ups/sarongs/anything see through (if it’s meant for the poolside, leave it there)

– Crop tops

– Sunglasses inside

5 Tips for Using LinkedIn to Further Your Career

Tailoring your LinkedIn profile and keeping it updated may seem like a daunting task, but maintaining an informative profile is an invaluable way to get noticed by potential recruiters, employers or collaborators. To help tackle this task, I’ve compiled some of the best tips for managing your profile so that you can utilize your LinkedIn in order to get noticed by potential connections and make a great first impression:

Connect with Recruiters
One of the best resources LinkedIn can offer is the option to connect with recruiters in your industry. When looking for a new job, proactively reach out to recruiters either by finding their contact info on their LinkedIn profile, or by sending them a connection request with a personalized message. Explain in your initial contact with a recruiter that you are looking for new roles and that you would love to connect to discuss potential opportunities.

Respond to Recruiters – Even if you are not looking for new opportunities
Even if you are currently happy in your current position, you should never ignore a recruiters request to discuss potential opportunities, or worse yet, give them a rude response. While you may have no intention of changing jobs currently, you never know what the future holds and you could find yourself looking for a job and wishing you had kept in touch with that recruiter who reached out to you. The best policy is always to answer politely and honestly – let them know that you would love to work with them in the future should your current job situation ever change. It’s a great way to start a relationship and have a head start should something change with your current job situation.

When reaching out to a connection on LinkedIn: Don’t neglect their contact policy
Whether you are sending a message to a recruiter, a potential employer, or someone you admire in your industry who you’d love to form a working relationship with, make sure you always check that person’s contact policy on their profile. While some people may accept messages on LinkedIn, a lot of people include email addresses to directly connect with them or may have specific instructions on how to best reach them. It’s best to check someone’s personal preferences on contacting them so you can show that you have paid attention to the details of their profile.

Editing your profile: Know how much information to include
It’s imperative to not post too much or too little to your LinkedIn. It’s great to include a concise personal summary to quickly recap your career so that anyone looking at your profile can quickly get a sense of your background. However, be sure to not be too superfluous- avoid writing an autobiography about yourself. It’s a fact that people lose interest quickly and you can lose your audience’s attention if you’re too lengthy. As far as your work experience goes, after including your company and title, it’s best to include a brief description of the responsibilities associated with your role – maybe one or two bullet points or an example of some clients you worked with. Think concise but informative; a snapshot of your career that won’t bore your potential connections.

If you want people to connect with you: Make your contact information readily available
If you are open to being contacted by recruiters, potential employers, or potential collaborators in order to further your career – it’s imperative that you include your contact information in your LinkedIn profile. Don’t leave it up to people having to search high and low for your contact information because that’s one way for a potential connection to become disinterested and give up on contacting you. Depending on your profession, if you have projects that showcase your work – it’s also helpful to include a link of any portfolio or personal website you may have in order to allow people to see the caliber of your work and encourage them to reach out to you.

While it may seem like an intimidating task to perfect and manage your LinkedIn profile, remembering these easy steps can help to keep your profile in tip top shape and help attract potential connections in your industry!

You Are Your Own Brand

my pickThis week’s post will touch on the importance of being your own brand ambassador at all times. This means maintaining a standard of professionalism, and being thoughtful about how you would like to be perceived. Although your work is a critical part of hiring decisions, personality, communication and presentation can be make-or-break factors.

What to wear

Deciding what to wear for an interview can be telling of whether or not you understand the company culture of where you are interviewing. You need to gauge for yourself what kind of company this is: is it a suited up environment? Is it a relaxed environment? However, no matter the dress code, you need to present yourself in a way that is representative of your unique style and aligns with the brand you are interviewing for. You should be polished, since it is above all else a professional encounter.

What to say

The best types of interviews are ones that flow easily like a conversation, and are focused on your skillset and strengths as a candidate for this role, and why you want to work for that company. This is a sign that the interview is going well. HOWEVER, do not let it get too casual! It will be tempting to start going off on complete tangents, or making jokes or comments that may not be interview appropriate. Stay away from these kinds of comments, if you feel at ease with your interviewer that’s great, but don’t get too comfortable! And remember, keep it professional, which means no bad-mouthing your previous employers. It doesn’t matter how negative your experience might have been, highlight the positive aspects of your experience there, and give a reason for leaving which has more to do with personal and career growth, NOT a reason which has to do with why you dislike your current employer.

The follow up

I cannot stress enough the importance of following up. It is something that is so quick and easy to do, but if you don’t do it, it can hurt the hiring manager’s impression of you, even if the interview went really well. It is always a good policy to include at least one concrete thing that you talked about during your interview in your thank you note. This shows that the conversation you had was memorable and meaningful to you. For more tips on the follow up, check out my colleague Rachel’s post “The Ultimate Thank You – Why Following Up Is Important.” My advice: send out the follow up thank you email as soon as possible, you want to show the hiring manager that you really want this, and it keeps you top of mind.

So remember, dress the part, talk the talk, and always always ALWAYS follow up!

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.

It’s All Relative – A Few Dating Truths That Apply to Job Searching

Very similar to dating, looking for a new job can be scary, taxing and sometimes pretty weird. It’s a two way street, involving more than one person’s personality, skills and presentation combined to potentially secure a long term relationship. In this blog I’ll discuss a few dating truths and tips that also apply to the job hunt – how to use them to your advantage and when to proceed with caution.

Look your best…
Just like you want to impress your date by showering, shaving and putting on some perfume, it’s important to look the part for the role you’re interviewing for. I’m not saying go to your meeting in a ball gown and stage makeup, but take extra time to wear a skirt and heels, or dig up that suit in the back of your closet. You want to look polished, well presented, and like someone that is pleasant to be around (this applies to general hygiene of course, but also in the way you dress yourself). Granted, all company cultures are different and if you’re aware of a super casual clothing environment, or your recruiter tells you ahead of time not to dress too formally, you should cloth yourself accordingly. Still, it’s never a bad idea to go the extra step and throw on those booties – looking cute never hurt anyone from landing the role!

When you listen to your date talk about their lifestyle, and the things they like to do, you wonder if you could see yourself joining them. This completely applies to job searching; you should go into every interview to not only hear, but really listen to what your interviewer is saying about the company, and ask yourself if you can see your personality and skills thriving there. It’s extremely important to listen just as much as you talk on a date, and this truth applies directly to interviewing.

In this digital age, it’s practically expected that you’ll look up your date beforehand. You want to see what they look like, what they do in their free time, and if you have any mutual friends. This truth applies to job searching quite possibly more than any of the others – doing research on a company beforehand is vital for a successful interview. You should thoroughly look up their clients, their company structure, and any recent business wins or press releases they’ve been involved in. Although sometimes frowned upon in the dating world, this truth in the job hunt is an absolute must! You should also mention this research during your meeting if it’s relevant to what you’re discussing, and feel free to flatter the company’s success or anything else you admire about them.

Be Honest
This truth is one that applies to dating in every aspect, as well as when you’re in an actual relationship. Being honest with your date about what you’re looking for in a relationship is super important, and being honest with your partner about your needs is essential for long lasting success. Similarly, being upfront with your potential employer about your experience, as well as what you’re looking for in your next role is a must. You should be clear about your goals, what you’d like to accomplish in your future and what kind of position you see yourself thriving in. It doesn’t help anyone when dating to lead the other person on to believe you want something you actually don’t (say you’re looking for a committed relationship, and they just want a casual fling), and this applies just the same when looking for a new job. There’s no point in lying about your capabilities if you’re not experienced in a certain realm, or saying you enjoy the type of work you actually hate. Eventually the truth will come out, and you’ll be much more embarrassed once you’ve been hired than if you were just honest in the first place. Be truthful about what you’re looking for from a job and company, as well as what kind of employee you are, and you’ll be sure to find the right match.

Sometimes No Means Maybe
Any smooth guy is familiar with this one – sometimes “no” really just means maybe. She won’t go out with you at first, but that doesn’t mean the chase is over: with a little finesse sprinkled with persistence, you know you can change her mind. This tactic completely applies to job searching, and should always be encouraged. Just because there are no open positions at your level, or the team is at capacity, does not mean things can’t or won’t change somewhere down the line. It’s always a good idea to follow up, and continue following up, until you get your foot in the door. Teams are always changing, budgets are shifting and recruitment needs change frequently. If you feel passionately about a role or even just a company in general, make it known that you remain interested (even if it becomes 6 months or a year later) and remain as tenacious as you can in your resolve.

Overall, it’s about finding that match that feels right, and more often than not it takes trial and error. Think about how many first dates you’ve had that never went anywhere – it’s still great experience (and sometimes a great story) and the same applies to interviews. Now go on and nab that dream job!