Artisan Blog

Are You Overqualified for That Job?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Have you ever been told you were told you were “overqualified” for a job?

Overqualified?! What does that mean? Can someone really have too much experience? Surely that must be a positive thing, right?

When a job seeker is considered overqualified, it means there is not a right match between the available position and that person’s experience level. For example…

  • The candidate may have more experienced than the supervisor
  • The candidate’s experience may be intimidating to others on the team
  • The candidate’s years of experience may warrant a higher salary than the company is able to pay
  • The candidate may not be challenged by the job in the long run
  • The candidate may get bored and leave the role (this is a big reason why hiring managers are cautious of hiring someone with more experience than the role warrants)

However, you’ve worked hard to gain valuable experience you can apply in a myriad of roles. Your skills are likely transferable from one industry to another, especially in the creative industry, so if you are going to accept a role more junior than your skill level, be honest with yourself as to why you want this position.

And if you are truly interested in a specific role, even if you are more experienced than the job description indicates, then you can highlight your experience so it is an asset:

  • Update your resume to highlight relevant experience specific to this role
  • Write a cover letter that expresses why you’re genuinely interested and excited for the role, even if it seems like your career is further along than the position would require.  For example, if this allows you to learn a new industry, or learn a new skill
  • Highlight how your experience can be an asset and help the team or manager

Keep in mind that your resume and cover letter are just tools to help you stand out among a sea of candidates also applying for the same position. Once you are granted an interview, the real work begins.

Looking for work? Make sure to follow us on social media and check out our open job listings for freelance and full time roles in a variety of industries!

10 Best Practices for Your Resume

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

We’ve talked at length about the things to include on your resume. However there are  just as many things to avoid if you want to land an interview. Given that you’ve a mere few  seconds to impress a hiring manager, your resume needs to stand out! Here are 10 things to eliminate from on your resume in order to highlight your work experience, skills, education, and achievements to be distinctive:

1. Objectives. These descriptions at the top of a resume not only feel antiquated, but they don’t add anything to your resume. Moreover, they focus on what want rather than what you can offer to the company. If you feel this job is the best next step for your career, talk about it in your cover letter.

2. Photos. Unless you’re auditioning for a TV pilot or modeling gig, don’t include your photos.  Chances are your online portfolio, website, or LinkedIn profile already includes your photo.

3. Subjective traits. You may feel you possess amazing leadership skills or are an innovative thinker in design, however employers ignore these subjective traits because they can’t be measured. Instead, focus on objective facts and metrics If you really are an amazing leader, include how many team members you’ve managed, or include a quick example in your cover letter explaining how you’ve led your team to success, or achieved ROI in a campaign.

4. More than one page. We’ve debated this, but the short answer is--either in OK.  It all depends on your work experience, whether you have been freelancing at multiple places or been at the same company for several years.  The key is to include relevant, accurate and current information.

5. Salary history. This is a major faux paus, as well as a bad idea, as it compromises your ability to negotiate for a higher salary later! Leave it off so you can have some negotiating power later.

6. Short-term jobs. You don’t want to come across as job-hopping, so make sure to emphasize freelance or contract in the job title.

7. Leave out overused words. Here’s just a sampling of words that are redundant and don’t give employers concrete information: capable, skillful, effective, hardworking, innovative, and motivated are all qualities they hope you already have without you having to say so. Instead, search for synonyms that more closely fit your personality. For instance, as an “effective” employee you “engage in creative tasks”.

8. “References Available Upon Request”. If an employer wants references, they will ask. Save precious resume space for other accomplishments rather than including this sentence at the bottom.

9. Education. If you’re just out of high school and applying to your first jobs, it makes sense to include the information. Otherwise, focus on college and graduate information as well as degrees earned.

10. Misspellings, grammar issues, and typos. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again -- proofread, proofread, proofread! Nothing can make the resume  less professional than resume errors.  

A resume is a snapshot of your work experience -- not only should it be well written, it should highlight the best possible version of your experience and how you will be contributing to a new team. Take out irrelevant information, and polish up your resume so represents your experience in the best light possible.

How to Take Time Off from Freelancing Over the Holidays

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Maintaining your freelance work during the holidays can be really stressful. Along with holiday shopping, travel, social events, volunteering, and so on, you have to juggle multiple clients and projects that may very well be likely wrapping up by the end of the year.

The challenge and beauty of freelancing is that it is unpredictable. It may be hard to predict when the next assignment will take place, so how can you enjoy the holidays without worrying about the bottom line?

Schedule moments of free time: Carve out specific calendar time for yourself, family, and friends throughout the holiday. You’ll feel less guilty about taking off an evening for a party or running errands if it’s been scheduled as time off already.

Post date all your work: Schedule social media, blogs, and emails in advance. Use tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, and Boomerang to take care of emails to clients or tweets for the company in advance.

Take advantage of free time: If work slows down on its own, consider it a gift of time to spend with your loved ones. Even if your cards are mailed and your cookies are baked, you can still enjoy other festivities or just take some time for yourself!

Work on next year’s work: Chances are your clients are out for the holidays as well, so use the quiet time to do things such as updating your portfolio, sprucing up your website, or working on personal projects. You’ll get a head start on your New Year’s resolutions without worrying about taking time away from work!

Plan for another time: It might be too late to take time off this year, but you can make a plan to take a vacation during the winter, spring, or next holiday. Figure out your expenses to cover the costs of your travel or time off, and then put a plan in action to make it happen. You deserve a break, even if it’s not during the holidays!

From all of us at Artisan Creative, have a wonderful and merry holiday season!

Tips for Working With Recruiters To Find You a Great Job

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Recruiters are here to support your job search, but it’s like they say in Jerry Maguire: “Help me, help you.” Here are some tips on how to work with recruiters so they can help you find the perfect role:

Recruiters have a good insight into a company’s open roles.  Recruiters are a great source of knowledge about openings in the industry.  They also have specific insight into what a hiring manager is looking for, so if you aren’t considered for a role, it’s because you’re not the best fit according to the hiring company’s needs.

Include an intro letter. A short email introduction highlighting your skills, leadership qualities and why you’re interested in the position is a good way to get yourself noticed. If you have a website or online creative portfolio, include the link.

Apply to local jobs. If a job posting includes the phrase “local candidates only” or something similar, the company needs an employee to start immediately or will not pay for relocation. Look for local jobs or wait to relocate before applying -- otherwise it will be a challenge for a recruiter to convince the hiring company you’re a great candidate.

Find positive spins for unemployment. If you’re currently unemployed, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, it’s always better if you can fill in the gaps.  Use your time to try consulting, working on freelance projects, taking a class, starting a blog, volunteering for a cause or organization you’re passionate about. Alternately, create samples for the types of jobs you want (like copywriting samples or mockups of websites).

Make it easy to find you. Let’s say you’re not the right candidate for a particular job, however you want to have your profile discoverable by future employers. Create a website or creative portfolio, social profile and samples so your recruiter can better promote your skills.

Trust the recruiter. Don’t contact the employer directly -- that’s why they hired a recruiter in the first place! Trust that they’re doing everything they can to put you in that great position. Moreover, recruiters are experienced, so if they advise something like fixes on your resume or an improved online portfolio it’s likely your chances of landing a great gig will increase!

Build a relationship. Even if a recruiter isn’t able to place you immediately or your find an ideal job on your own, maintain the relationship and check in on occasion. You never know when you can use their services again--either as a candidate or as a hiring manager.

Recruiters are invested in your success. As long as you know what you want and how you best fit into a job, then it’ll be easier for a recruiter to assist you. Follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way to a new job!

Is Your Body Language Affecting Your Presentation?

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

You’ve prepared your presentation, gone over the your meeting notes, and are excited about the idea. You assume you’ve been clear, effective, and informative, yet you walk out of the meeting unsure of how it went. What happened?

Were you possibly paying too much attention to the presentation instead of your audience?

Being aware of how your audience reacts, whether it’s a short meeting or a face-to-face pitch with a client, is important in determining how your material is being received. It also helps you improve your communication skills and make needed adjustments to make the presentation work better. Here are a few tips on how to watch your body language as well as theirs:

  • Make eye contact. It shows you’re actively paying attention to them.

  • If your audience is leaning forward, they’re interested. Keep up what you’re doing.

  • However, if they are leaning their head on their hand it could indicate boredom!Switch up the pace or ask a question to engage them again.

  • Use vocal variety to re-engage your audience.

  • Use humor if appropriate!

  • Don’t slouch--stand strong to project confidence.

  • Use the stage, however be cognizant of erratic movements or other restless behavior.  These gestures can be distracting and come off as unassured.

  • Keep your arms open instead of crossing them, since it could come off as defensive.

  • Above all, be sincere--audiences can easily spot this.

  • And be passionate about your subject--after all you are the expert here!

  • Watch your audience and adjust when needed.

By watching the nonverbal communication happening, you can hone in on what you can do to improve the next time and understand what information to give best.

To  improve your presentation skills further, sign up for a local Toastmaters meeting.

What are your body language tips to watch for in your next meeting?

What We're Thankful For

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season already here, we would like to take a moment to share our gratitude.

We spoke with some of our talent and the Artisan team to see what they are grateful for in 2015.


I am grateful for health of my family and friends.

I am grateful for my artisan team!

I am grateful for happiness!


I'm grateful to have a wonderful husband, loving family and even after 20 years a job I still have so much passion for.


I am thankful  and feel so fortunate to work from home.  Working from home has been such a blessing since I became a mom and even though my kiddos are in school,  it still allows me the flexibility to volunteer as a room mom and participate in all sorts of wonderful activities.  


I'm grateful for all the Creatives that make our world a more beautiful and inspiring place.  I'm constantly amazed by the passion and dedication they have for their craft and always find myself in a much better mood after speaking to one.  Thankful for all the creative minds that never settle for "good enough" and inspiring me to do the same.

What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving? Tell us over at Twitter (mention us in @artisanupdates) or on LinkedIn.

Pinterest, Google Plus, and Other Social Media for Creatives

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

We’ve talked at length about crafting tweets or building your LinkedIn page. But what about other social media platforms, like Pinterest or Instagram? What do you even do with all these platforms? And will they help your career? Here’s a rundown on other forms of social media that go beyond what Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can do:


This app lets you post photos with comments, helping you create a curated feed of images. This is an excellent way for designers and more   to share their work, as well as share their personalities. Use Instagram to help build your client base by creating a company account.


Think of this as a public (or private) inspiration or vision board. Find images you want to “pin”, then create boards for them. Like Instagram, creatives can use this as a way to share what interests you visually and show off your portfolio. For instance, you could create Pinterest boards labeled “In Progress” and “Favorites”, for examples, of whatever projects you’re working on.


While this is connected to your Gmail account (if you have one), Google+ is more than just a freebie. Create circles to connect, such as a Circle of Colleagues or People You Worked With in the Past. As a creative, you can use Google+ to link to your website, blogs, or portfolio, along with links to interesting content you come across that’s relevant to your work.


If you consider yourself an expert in your field, it might behoove you to make short videos about your work. Or, if you work for an agency, you can use YouTube to create videos about your expertise or previous clients (if they’ll allow it).


Given its parameter of six seconds, Vine might seem limiting. However, people can get extremely creative in six seconds! Creatives might find Vine useful if they’re particularly drawn to video versus static imagery. For example, you could use Vine to show the process of creating a logo design, or connect with followers by showing six seconds of your day.


This app lets you live video stream whatever is happening around you. Start a live stream and get people to ask you questions about your work, show off finished products, or go to the public to get ideas!


Although this platform is connect to LinkedIn now, it’s an ideal way to showcase your portfolio and link it to your profile. Slideshare has its own user database who can follow, like and comment on your work.

What social media channels do you use to connect and engage with others while highlighting your work?

Do stay connected with Artisan Creative on our social channels!  Visit us on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Slideshare, Google+ and Pinterest.

How Important Are the Requirements in a Job Description?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Here at Artisan Creative, we read a lot of job descriptions. I mean, a lot of job descriptions! It’s part of what we do. And we also write a lot of job descriptions.

While we focus more exclusively on helping designers and creatives find jobs with our clients, job requirements in general seems to always sound like they’re difficult to meet! Whether it’s an entry-level copywriting position that needs two to three years of experiences, or a senior designer that needs over 10 years of management experience, job descriptions universally sound hard. Even if something sounds like an ideal fit for your background, there might be something else you’re not as familiar with, like a CMS system or Adobe Illustrator.

So, exactly how important is it that you meet every requirement in a job description? Well, it all depends on your experience level, your education, and special skills. Let’s explore further:

  • Experience: If a job listing needs someone with five to seven years of experience, they’re looking for someone who’s experienced. That means those with only one to two years of experience aren’t the best match. However, if you’ve got three or four years under your belt, plus some major accomplishments worth sharing, it might be worth exploring further.

  • Education: Among creatives, your degree can sometimes come second to your experience in the field. For instance, if you have five to seven years of graphic design experience but actually got a degree in English, it’s probably fine to apply. However, keep in mind that some companies do require a college degree. Please do list graduation dates and degrees received. If you’re in the middle of finishing a degree, you can always list your degree as “in progress” with an expected graduation date. This info is looked at during background checks, so be as clear as possible.

  • Skills: Those who have at least several years of experience have likely amassed a number of skills that are transferable from one industry to another. That said, sometimes the job description requires a specific background. If you have a background in fashion, it’s probably unlikely you’re a good fit for a job with an insurance client. Yet you might be a great candidate for a job in entertainment, even though it’s not exactly the same. Pay extra attention to required software skills such as Javascript or 3D Studio Max and highlight your skills in those specific areas.

Generally, a good rule of thumb is that if you meet 75 percent of the requirements listed in the job description, it’s worth applying or talking to your recruiter about your qualification. Your recruiter will have a better idea of a role’s "Must-Haves" versus the "Nice-to-Haves" and can share more insight about the requirements.

Remember, your resume needs to be proofread and highlight your previous responsibilities and achievements, while your cover letter must be effective. If you’re armed with these tools, you’ll be ready to apply to any job you’re qualified for!

How Interviewers Can Find the Best Candidates During the Interview Process

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


One of the big responsibilities of recruiters is helping our amazing prospective candidates prepare for interviews. We’ve sent hundreds of wonderful candidates out on thousands of interviews, and we have to say, we’re experts on what helps make a great interview. If you’re in charge of hiring, the following tips on conducting an interview can be of benefit to find the perfect candidate for your company:

Prepare your questions in advance. Whatever the position, make sure you know ahead of time what you’re going to ask them. How would you best describe the role’s day-to-day needs? How will you review the team structure, reporting structure and company culture and values?

Ask open-ended questions. Ask questions that start with “why” or “how” to allow candidates to put into their own words what they think or feel. For instance, “How did you handle a crisis?” or “Why is a strong team environment important to you” will let them tell their story. Therefore, you’ll get to know them better!

Hone in your listening skills. This might seem obvious, but active listening is absolutely necessary to getting all the info you need. Pay attention to more than their words. What does their body language and tone say? You can learn a lot about whether you think a candidate is truly a good fit or if you think they’re just saying what they think you want to hear.

Keep it positive. Even if the role is challenging, or the company is in a transitional stage, it’s best to upfront yet keep the tone of the interview positive and informative.

Don’t let time slip away. Always leave time during an interview so the candidate can ask questions about the role and company. You’ll be able to find out what’s important just by giving them the opportunity to ask.

Know what comes next. If an interview goes well, let them know! Tell them about the current interview process and how it’s going, as well as whether you need to set up a second interview with other hiring managers or team members. They could be entertaining multiple offers, but if they know you’re interested, it could seal the deal.

Remember -- a good recruiter can help you find the perfect candidates to interview, and a good interviewer can assess who’s the right candidate for the job, but a great hire can truly make a successful team thrive!

Here’s How You Can Impress Recruiters with Your Resume in 6 Seconds.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


A recent Harvard Business Review article pointed out that online job search site The Ladders says recruiters take about six seconds to look at a resume.

Six seconds! What can anyone reasonably do in six seconds?

Well, they can make a judgment call. And that’s what you can fix. Because as long as your resume is effective, you get a lot more than six seconds of someone’s time.

Spruce up your portfolio. Your resume may only get a few moments of time to make a mark, but a well crafted portfolio of your work can make all the difference. A great portfolio can help convince hiring managers that your work speaks louder than your resume, as well as make the connection between your work experience and actual creative endeavors.

Close the employment gaps. If you’ve been looking for a while, it can feel like the gap between jobs is just getting bigger. Volunteer, freelance, or create your own projects to add to the resume so the gaps lessen. Look for leadership roles to help enhance your standing.

Be selective. Your resume is a body of content that represents you, so it doesn’t need to be comprehensive. Include whatever is relevant to the job and hiring manager as part of your experience. The same goes for your skills and accomplishments.

Format your resume correctly. Use bold and underlining plus bullet points to help promote yourself in a concise yet detailed fashion. Add the right keywords -- the more specific, the better. Short descriptions of previous work experience will suffice. Make sure to point out your responsibilities in each position in addition to personal achievements. Education goes at the end. Finally, keep everything clean! Lots of white space helps your resume appear professional and polished.

Ask for help. Being objective about your career can be difficult. Some people overestimate or underestimate their success. Hire a resume writer, or ask a mentor or friend to help with the resume writing process.

Take your time. Creating an effective resume is not a quick or easy process. You have to think carefully about what you want to say and how to say it.

Is your resume ready for review in six seconds? What are your resume tips?


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