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The Dreaded Digital Burnout and How to Avoid It

 

 

Pretty much all of us are involved in the digital world to some extent, take work emails for example. We understand that sometimes it feels like it’s almost impossible to escape from them, and this can cause some real stress. This often results in ‘Digital Burnout.’ 

 

The dictionary definition of ‘burnout’ is “a physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress.”

 

Everyone feels stressed from time to time, and we’ve all been there, it’s human nature;  for example when Monday rolls back round and all you want to do is hit the snooze button, hide under the duvet and ignore the world.  

 

But burnout is something more, and is identified through the consistency of feeling overloaded with work, dissatisfied and cynical about work and feeling stuck in a job rut without the power to escape, all of which can lead to physical and mental illness. 

 

 

So how can you tell if you’re just stressed or suffering from digital burnout? 

 

The key indicator is your motivation levels. Sure, stress can affect your energy levels, but burnout drains you of motivation and inspiration, leaving you with a sense of hopelessness. 

 

Traditionally it has been doctors and nurses who are thought of as the most common sufferers of burnout. The ‘always on call’ nature of their work, plus their average forty-plus hour working weeks places them in a high risk category. But digital burnout is increasing within the digital sector, as more and more people take their work home with them in the form of emails, social media and technology. 

 

What’s the best way of avoiding burnout? 

 

We’ve put together three tips below to help you adjust your outlook to help avoid a digital burnout. But if you do feel as though you may be suffering from burnout - please go and see your Doctor! Remember we’re just recruiters! 

 

Tip 1: Find and remove stressors 

 

With regards to your career and job, it’s important to focus on what is working for you, what inspires and motivates you and focus on that, whilst attempting to get rid of all the things that leave you feeling drained. 

 

And always be honest with yourself, ask yourself is your work fulfilling, or is it holding you back?

 

Tip 2: Find time to Unplug

 

If you can’t unplug then you can’t escape. Create rules that will allow you to completely switch off from work. Whether its just for an hour a day, an evening off a week or using the weekend to completely ignore anything remotely work related. Getting away from your job both physically and mentally and spending time with friends and family is like medicine. It’s important to spend your free time in your happy space, and not worrying about how much work you have to do. 

 

Tip 3: Focus on You

 

Looking after yourself should never been overlooked. Eat right, drink plenty of water, sleep lots and exercise. If you’re on the brink of burnout, take a big step back and look at how you’re treating yourself. Surviving on 4 hours of sleep and relying on caffeine and chocolate to get you through the day is not going to help you. 

Take small steps towards a big difference. Walk to work, or to the next bus stop along your route, keep a bottle of water on you all the time, swap out the junk for something more healthy. All these little changes add up to help make you feel 100 times better within yourself. 

 

 

All these ideas might be obvious, but its always the most obvious solutions that are the first to be overlooked. Being mindful of you mental health, even if you feel fine, will make you feel more productive, happier and energised. 

 
Back on the Market: Tips for Experienced Job Seekers

 

 

Whether you’re currently employed and dipping your toe in the job pool, looking for a change of scenery at work and at home or you were recently laid off from a long-held position, a job search can be a challenge for anyone who has been steadily employed for the better part of a decade or longer. It can be especially daunting if you haven’t yet established a digital presence and brand.

 

To this we say: breathe. Here at Agenda Recruitment, we recognise that many are dealing with similar obstacles, so we have put together some actionable tips for your job search:

 

REWORK YOUR CV


Give your CV the love and attention it deserves. Don’t rush it, because this is the first impression employers will have of you when applying to new positions.

 

Go in with a strategy to market yourself. Ask yourself: How do you want to be perceived by potential employers, and which positions would you like to be considered for? This may mean “re-titling” yourself to catch a potential employer’s attention. For example, you may want to call yourself a “Production Manager” rather than a “Director of Production,” simply because there are more manager-level roles available. Most workplaces only have one Director, so those opportunities can be few and far between.

 

As you detail your previous experience in your CV, keep it clean, simple and try not to exceed two pages. No need for a photo on your CV–keep that for LinkedIn–and remove any experience from before 2000, because technology has made pre-2000 experience irrelevant. Creative and marketing jobs are not the same as they were in the 90s, therefore there really isn’t any reason to detail that experience.

 

Similarly, be sure to include up-to-date software skills and any new certifications you’ve acquired.

 

BUILD AN ONLINE PRESENCE


Create a LinkedIn profile if you haven’t yet already, as this will be a powerful tool to let recruiters and former colleagues know you’re looking for work. It helps bring opportunities to your inbox, and supplements your proactive efforts.

 

Flesh out your LinkedIn profile with recent experience and a professional photo, then connect with your business contacts to expand your network. As a tip, searching for LinkedIn profiles of professionals with similar backgrounds can help you find different ways of improving your profile through imitation (this, of course, does not mean plagiarism!).

 

If you work in a creative field, you must put together a portfolio of recent work. We highly recommend using a site like Behance, Creativepool or Squarespace to showcase your work online. A PDF will also work, but without attachment to an online network like Behance, it won’t bring you the inbound employment opportunities that these online portfolio sites provide. When updating your portfolio, be sure to drop anything too dated (the last 3 years of work would be most relevant), redundant or any pieces that doesn’t serve a purpose.

 

KEEP AN OPEN MIND

 

Don’t close doors before they’re even opened! Explore a wide variety of options, including those outside of your current industry or comfort zone. For example, if you’ve worked in ad agencies for most of your career, now could be a good time to look at corporate and brand-side opportunities. Remember, it’s just an interview – you’re not accepting the offer by simply exploring a job opportunity. Check it out and trust your gut. You may be surprised.

 

Furthermore, stay open to freelance and contract opportunities as well, which can provide income, build new skills and add diversity to your CV (which is especially helpful if you’ve spent a decade embedded in the processes and workflows of one company). Temporary roles can be very helpful in transitioning a creative or marketing pro into a new role.

 

It can also lead to something more long-term. At Agenda Recruitment, we’re seeing more and more temp jobs turn into permanent positions. Look at freelance work as a chance to prove yourself and earn a full-time seat.

 

PRACTICE YOUR INTERVIEW SKILLS

 

If you haven’t interviewed in years, meeting with potential employers can be nerve-wracking. In our experience, the number one mistake made by those who have been out of the job market for a while, is simply talking too much; About yourself, about your last company, about your previous experience, about your pet… know when enough is enough and let others get a word in.

 

Mirror your interviewer, listen and answer thoughtfully with an emphasis on how you can help them accomplish their goals. Focus on the needs of the company you’re interviewing with, not your former employer’s needs – each company has its own unique business challenges, and it’s up to you to show how your skills adapt. It’s important not to come off as having blinders on.

 

And one more thing: Remember to check your ego at the door. You’re likely very accomplished at this stage in your career, but what got you to this point in your career may not be what gets you to the next level. Be receptive to new ideas and new ways of doing things when discussing a role with your potential new team.

 

STAY POSITIVE

 

If the search is taking a little longer than you hoped, don’t get discouraged. Remember your experience is valuable, and your gap-less CV speaks volumes of your skill set, loyalty and dependability. Stay positive and be creative as you go about your job search.

 

And, most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Working with a trusted recruiter who is specialised within your field can widen your network and the amount of job opportunities available to you. Recruiters can help make your job search easier and infinitely less stressful (we do the brunt of the work for you!).

 

To learn more about how Agenda Recruitment can help you find your next career opportunity, or to speak with an industry-specific recruiter, contact us today.

 
10 Ways To Brand Yourself as a Graphic Designer

 

 

As a graphic designer, you've probably had the opportunity to create a brand identity for a client. But have you taken the time to brand yourself? Building your own brand is in many ways more important than the work you do for clients because it demonstrates your strategic thinking and creativity to potential new clients straight off the mark. 

 

The saying "the shoemaker's children have no shoes" can easily refer to graphic designers or creative agencies that don't carefully craft and maintain their own brands. Like the shoemaker who doesn't have time to make shoes for his own kids, a designer who neglects to create a logo for their freelancing business carries through the analogy. When you brand yourself effectively, you're not only representing yourself well but also giving prospective clients and employers an idea of your level of professionalism and the confidence they need to hire you.

 

But what does it mean to brand yourself? Personal branding is loosely defined as a representation of your professional skills and experience viewed through a lens that reflects your unique, authentic self.

 

Whether you're a freelance designer seeking new clients or searching for full-time employment in a creative agency or in-house department, branding yourself should be Job 1 — even before polishing your portfolio and resume, because your brand should shine through in both.

 

Here are 10 tips on how to brand yourself as a graphic designer:

 

1. Treat yourself as a client

Take your branding project through the same process you would use with a key client. Block time in your schedule, develop a creative brief, and gather information about your competitors and your market.

 

2. Study the brands you admire

How do the designers and creative agencies you respect present themselves verbally and visually? As you brand yourself, study other successful brands. Observing what they're doing right — and wrong — can help you enhance your own branding.

 

3. Start with words, not images

While it's tempting to start your branding process by sketching a personal logo, that's not the place to begin. To effectively brand yourself, make a list of your skills, experience and qualities. What do you love to do? Who are your ideal clients? Develop a list of words that reflect who you are, personally and professionally.

 

4. Find your unique offering

Thinking about your competition, consider what you bring to the table: a unique perspective, a specific skill or a way of working that's different from every other graphic designer in your area.

 

5. Make it authentic

When you brand yourself, you have to live it in every interaction you have with clients or prospective employers. When you're comfortable in your own skin, your authenticity shines through, which makes you appear more genuine and trustworthy.

 

6. Craft your story

Take a stab at writing your professional bio. If this becomes a daunting task, consider hiring a copywriter to help.

 

7. Draft an elevator pitch

Distill that story into a single sentence that effectively (and interestingly) conveys your brand premise. As they say, it takes only a second to make a good (or bad) impression. When you inadvertently bump into a potential client, your elevator pitch can come in handy as a succinct, descriptive and accurate way to present your brand.

 

8. Translate words to images

Sketch designs to represent your brand. Whether it's a typographical treatment of your name or a conceptual graphic, find the best way to brand yourself so your look matches your story.

 

9. Carry your brand through

Brand yourself with a full suite of tools and materials, including your logo, portfolio, website, business cards and invoices.

 

10. Refine

Your personal brand is a living thing, and it should evolve as your graphic design career develops. Revisit it every two or three years to see if it needs a refresh.

 

When you brand yourself effectively, you create a strong impression that quickly tells a prospective client or employer all the important things they need to know about you — and can impact their decision to work with you or contact a competitor.

 

Searching for a freelance opportunity or a full-time job? Learn how we can help you!

 
Should you quit your job?

 

 

If you’re feeling unhappy at work, you’re not alone. A staggering 6.5 million UK workers (that’s a whopping 30% of the working population) also admit to being unhappy in their jobs. 

 

All those unhappy people is pretty unsettling, but if you’re really not sure if you should quit your job, then you found the right place. 

 

Don't fall into the common belief that no one actually likes their job, and that many will stick it out through their unhappiness. Guess what, there are people who do in fact love their jobs. 

 

It may be your time to stand up for yourself and put your happiness first. 

 

Still not convinced? Here’s seven signs it’s time to find your happy job.

 

 

1. You have a terrible boss. 

 

An obvious first point, and the reason that so many employees decide to quit. We get it, when you have an awful boss at work it can be truly miserable. 

 

  • You feel they don’t appreciate your hard work 
  • They don't treat you very well as an employee 
  • They refuse to give you a break 

 

Whatever it is, if you don’t feel comfortable taking to your boss about it, it can cause real problems. A good leader will be there to help their employees, mentor and nurture them. That’s obviously a great prospect for you, but great for the outlook of the company too. 

 

It goes without saying that companies that have a bosses that just yell all day and don’t care about their employees, won’t have a high staff retention rate. 

 

 

2. Poor structure and management. 

 

When a work environment is a disorganised mess, with poor management it will inevitable spiral downhill. In most cases, employers will get frustrated and stop performing at their best and will eventually give up or leave. 

 

If you feel you’re currently in this type of environment, where managers don't really seem to care, it may be time to quit. 

 

Be reassured that there will be someone else who will appreciate your hard work. 

 

 

3. You’re not happy with your salary.

 

You might not hate your job, but your salary just isn’t cutting it anymore? 

 

It will be up to you to find the balance between enjoying your job and being able to live on a lower salary than you’d hoped for. 

 

If you haven’t already, it may be worth speaking to your boss - they may be able to do something. And if you don't ask then you’ll never know. 

 

But if you do try to negotiate higher pay, make sure you go in prepared. 

 

 

4. No room for growth. 

 

Most jobs and companies will offer the chance of promotion and room to move up the career ladder. However, some companies just don’t and that could be for a number of reasons. 

 

They may be a small business will a low turnover of staff

The budget may be tight 

They don't like to hire from within the business

 

Whatever the reason, if you feel you’re being held back from your true potential, it’s definitely time to move on. 

 

 

5. Long hours with no flexibility. 

 

You’ve got a high salary, but you have to work all hours under the sun. What’s the point, you don’t have the time to spend it anyway. 

 

Maintaining a work-life balance is absolutely essential to living a happy and healthy life. If your current workplace doesn’t value that, then they may not be the right fit for you as an employee. 

 

 

6. Life 

 

Big changes happen throughout life, so if you’ve gone through one yourself recently it may be worth reconsidering your options. It might be time to reassure yourself that you’re in the right place, in the right career. 

 

Think about these things: 

 

  • Is the salary still suitable?
  • Is the stress-level acceptable?
  • Will you need more flexibility?
  • Is the location still working? 
  • Are you happy?

 

Sometimes it’s essential to reassess things. 

 

 

7. Stress

 

Stress is unfortunately an inevitable part of life. And there will be points in your career that you will stress about something. 

 

However, it is important to draw yourself a line. There is a time when enough becomes enough. 

 

If you start to feel emotionally and physically unwell, and you find no joy in what you do. If it starts to affect the people closet to you, then it may well be time to hand in your resignation. 

 

 

 

The above are all very different legitimate reasons to consider leaving a job. But we definitely do not suggest walking straight into the office, and in a blaze of drama scream “I quit” before slamming the door behind you. 

 

It’s extremely important to consider your situation before doing anything and we believe it’s always better to have a new job lined up first. 

 

If you’re ready to start looking for a new role then we can help you find your happy job asap. 

 

 
How To Be & Stay Creative for Career Success



You have nailed your job interview, and you’re in a deserving job that brings you happiness and money. But is it enough to achieve career success?

 

Although you have great knowledge, skills and experience in your chosen career, you must stay creative to keep on climbing the career ladder.

 

First and foremost, let’s take a look at the statistics:


80% of people claim that creativity is the key driver of economic growth

75% of people think they are not living up to their creative potential

60% of CEOs agree that creativity is the most important skill to have in a leadership role

 

Hold on…

 

What is creativity?


“To me, creativity is seeing and communicating ideas in ways that are unique, compelling, and unexpected.” – Lee Odden

 

It seems that being creative at work can help you a lot! But if you’re still hesitating whether it is important, take a look at the reasons why doing it should be high on your list:

 

Why you need to stay creative

 

1. Creativity Gives You Flexibility

No matter what your job position is, you need to stay focused on the task to complete it on a high level. Even if you have a short attention span, you can work hard on your task until someone or something interrupts you. The business environment is full of distractions like noisy colleagues, meetings, conference calls, and you need to stay flexible to boost your focus.

 

Being creative encourages flexibility as you can switch between tasks with ease. The key point is that creativity is connected with advanced memory abilities and focus, so it’s easier to shift tasks.

 

2. Creativity Prevents Burnout

Having overwhelming tasks at work may lead to burnout which means reducing job performance. If you have a goal to achieve career success, burnout is your biggest enemy. However, creativity can help you a lot as you can find a unique solution to any task and, therefore, make it more interesting. After all, a routine can cause stress as your brain doesn’t work for its potential, so stay slightly groggy.

 

3. Creativity Improves Productivity

Being productive in a workplace means being able to complete more tasks, spending less time. All in all, it means finding a work-life balance, so many people crave for productivity at work.

 

When you have improved creativity skills, you know how to use different methods to finish your tasks.

 

4. Creativity Helps to Find Various Solutions

Creativity offers diversity. When you think outside the box, you’re able to find solutions to the same problem and pick out the most actionable one. Going beyond the surface, creative workers can make up unusual problem-solving and, therefore, achieve success.

 

5. Creativity Keeps You One Step Ahead of Competitors

What makes you any different from other colleagues hoping for a job promotion? Your creativity, without a doubt! The more creative you are, the more unique ideas you have. Working in a competitive environment, you need to offer something innovative. Therefore, your skills are in a high demand for employers.

 

6. Creativity Increases Income

For a variety of reasons, creativity gives you opportunities to earn more. When you’re a valuable worker, your boss knows the importance of your work for the company, so you get a promotion and keep on climbing the career ladder.

 

Plus, being creative at work allows you to take several freelance projects as you’re able to complete them on time. In short, you’re able to manage several works to increase your income.

 

7. Creativity Helps to Win Friends at Work

Creative people know how to establish good relations with different people, and it plays an important role in the business environment. Although you don’t have to become close friends with your colleagues, getting along with them is crucial for your business growth.

 

8. Creativity Keeps You Inspired and Motivated

Creativity drives innovation, and when you see the progress of your work, it inspires.

It goes without saying that being inspired and motivated is great when it comes to achieving business success. If you know how to learn from other people who succeed and draw inspiration from them, you don’t give up.

 

9. Creativity Allows You to Keep a Work-Life Balance

It’s scientifically proven that creative people can find a balance between work and life as they know how to keep in touch with their dearest and nearest while working hard. When you have a creative attitude towards the life, you have various techniques to stay a profitable worker without sacrificing your personal life.

 

 

Ways to Improve Creativity at Your Workplace

 

All the above-mentioned reasons prove that staying creative at workplace pays off, so if you want to improve creative skills, check out the list of ways on how to do it with ease:

 

Form Flawless Daily Habits


Having daily routines can be a key to success as some of your habits can give you benefits in a business environment.


get enough sleep: if you sleep for 7-9 hours, your body gets a rest which gives you extra energy for daily activities.

drinking a cup of green tea: it consists L-theanine that boosts brain powers and, therefore, you’re more creative.

do physical activities: going in for sports helps to improve mental skills like creative thinking.


It doesn’t take much time or effort to form these habits but it gives you an incredible result.

 

A well-organised workplace

Distractions are the biggest enemies for creativity. When you’re working in a messy environment, you spend a lot of time searching for things in those not so organised piles of papers, therefore reducing your creativity. Creating a well-organised workplace (where everything has its place) is important.

 

Brainstorming

Although many people prefer working alone, collaborating with your team can enhance creativity. All people are different and we have various views, so discussing a topic together can give useful insights.

 

Role Play

If you’re an employer who wants to encourage employees, do an experiment: change people’s duties for one day. Implementing a role play in a workplace can help to understand more about your colleagues’ duties and boost creativity.

 

Challenging Tasks

Have you ever heard advice to ‘find comfort in discomfort’?

When you take a slightly difficult task, you start using extra brain power, and it helps to become more creative. Plus, if you have a difficult task, you need to stay creative to find a solution to it. Thinking outside the box is the next step towards personal growth.

 

Bonus Systems

Although most of us know that we’re lucky when we’re able to do what we love for a living, it’s important to get a financial bonus to keep on achieving success. People who have bonus systems at work are more likely to do their best whilst completing tasks.

 

Changing a Workplace

Changing a workplace can lead to creativity boost. The main idea is that you need to adapt and respond to change, and it makes you more creative. Moreover, if you work in an office daily, you don’t have a source of inspiration, while working in a cafe can give you insights while observing other people.

 

The Sum Up

Being creative pays off as you can stay ahead of your competitors and get more at work. However, some people believe that creativity is available for a limited group of people. If you believe that being creative is an inherited skill, you should try to develop it. Without a doubt, creativity can be taught and learnt, if you have the want and desire.

 
Late for an interview? Here’s how to recover.

 

 

The Irish playwirght, George Bernard Shaw, once said, ”Better never than late.” Bearing these words in mind, if you suddenly find yourself waylaid en route to an interview, is it better to turn around and head home? Or, can you find your way back into the interviewer’s good books and salvage a possible missed opportunity? 

 

I’m sure it’s happened to most of us in our day to day lives, even when we have the very best intentions we often find ourselves in situations beyond our control - like a delayed train - rendering even the most punctual among us hapless victims of tardiness. 

 

When a potential new job is on the line, what’s the best way to handle this situation? 

Here are five tips for rebounding from a late arrival.

 

1. Call if You Can 

 

If you are able to, it’s important to call the interviewer and give them the heads up that you’ve found yourself in this unfortunate situation and won’t be arriving on time. When you call, let them know your ETA and ask if that time will still work for them. If it doesn’t, offer to reschedule. 

 

Don't forget that everyone has an agenda. If you’re meant to arrive at 1.30pm and show up at 2pm then it can throw off the afternoon schedule. Offering to reschedule shows that you’re respectful of that person’s time. 

 

2. Apologise, But Don’t Go Over the Top

 

Overdoing an apology can do more damage than good. So whether you’re apologising on the phone or in person, always stay professional - don’t gush and ramble. Let the interviewer know how sincerely sorry are and how out of character this is, make your apology and then move on. These things happen, and people understand that. Don't undermine yourself by giving them lots of silly excuses. 

 

3. Take A Minute To Compose Yourself 

 

You’re already running late, and your brain is telling you there’s no time for anything. Who has a second to take 10 deep breaths and pull themselves together? You do. 

 

Yes, it hasn't been the best start, which will automatically put you at a disadvantage, but entering an interview flustered will only harm you further. Instead take a few moments and do whatever you need to do to get yourself back on track. Whether that’s counting, listening to music; take that extra minute to do whatever you need to, to calm down. If your heart is racing and your blood pressure is up, you’re not going to make a good impression. 

 

4. Keep it Positive

 

When you arrive into your interview, apologise again by saying, “I’m sorry; this is not ordinarily how I conduct myself,” then let it go. Always bear in mind that if things go well, this is the person you’ll either be working for or with, so keep the conversation positive and professional. Give him or her a chance to get to know you - particularly your strengths, such as how you can overcome a challenge like an unexpected detour on the way to an important meeting. 

 

Woody Allen once said, 80% of success is just showing up. So when you do show up, be present and give them 100%. 

 

5. Prove You Are Adaptable 

 

50% of an interview is about getting to know you, the candidate, as a person and getting a feel for who you are and if you’ll fit well within the company or organisation. How you handle yourself under pressure says a lot about you and how you’ll conduct yourself as the company’s employee. 

If you’re late to your job interview, there’s a possibility you could be late to see a client, and the company will be paying attention to see how you recover. It becomes a test of how you handle the situation, so use it to your advantage. 

 

If you do find yourself in the uncomfortable position of arriving late to an interview, all may not be lost. Being prepared and working through the situation like a professional could save the interview and also the job opportunity.

 
How to Prepare for a Design Interview

 

 

The Creative and Digital Industries are highly competitive, so be under no illusions, a portfolio may get your foot in the door, but it would be highly unusual for a company to hire someone solely on them being a good designer, no matter how good they are. 

 

Meeting with the designer behind the portfolio is the real suitability test for our clients. Being prepared and aware of what the interview will entail will hopefully avoid you stumbling at the first hurdle. You’d be surprised just how often this happens. 

 

The following tips, although some may seem obvious, are always worth discussing and offer a refresher for anyone looking for a job in design. 

 

1. Ask yourself if you’re 100% committed and interested in the job

 

Yes, it’s an obvious question, but it’s important to ask yourself this simple question. Whilst you should feel genuinely committed and interested in a job before applying, things can change. So if it happens that before an interview you know that you’re not longer interested and nothing can change your mind, then it’s probably best for all parties that you take yourself out of the process. 

 

If you decide that it’s time to withdraw, it’s important to provide sufficient notice - and we’re not talking an hour before! Always call your interviewer or recruiter to talk through a decision like this, rather than just sending an email. 

 

2. Use your recruiter to help you to understand the structure of your interview 

 

It often happens that candidates are given little information about their interview and a very informal “here’s the time of your interview, let us now how it goes,” type of send-off. 

 

We try to give our candidates as much detail as possible including:

 

Who you are meeting; who you should ask for when you arrive; what you should take with you; how you should prepare beforehand; what to expect in your interview. 

 

Usually a first stage design interview will focus on a portfolio review, where you will be asked to walk through your key projects. With that in mind…

 

3. Always decide beforehand what projects you're going to present

 

As well as creative talent, good communication skills in designers are highly desirable. The ability to understand the needs of a client and effectively communicate their ideas and vision visually, verbally, and in writing will make you stand out from the crowd. 

 

Your portfolio and portfolio review provides a great opportunity to showcase your range of communication skills. It’s worth taking some time to consider the following:

 

Don’t let your interview be the first time you’re talking about your work. You wouldn't dream of delivering a presentation without preparation and a run though, so don’t consider your interview to be any different. Get some practice in beforehand with friends and family. 

 

Be careful to choose projects that are relevant to the job you are applying and interviewing for. Remember a project can be relevant for a number of reasons. Think about a project in categories, such as platform type, sector and processes. 

 

Don’t be tempted to talk through everything in your portfolio. Think quality not quantity. There’s more value to be thorough on two or three projects than to rush through 10. 

 

Practice talking about your process. Almost all clients will want to hear the details about your thought process behind your work. Avoid “Here’s a website I designed… isn’t it great!” focus more on, “Here’s a website I designed. The brief was x, the problem the client needed solving was y, and these were the steps I took to get to the end result.”

 

4. Do your research 

 

The most frustrating thing for a hiring manager or interviewer is dealing with a candidate who comes across as not knowing why and what they're there for, or hasn’t researched the company. 

 

It’s important to really read up on the company before an interview. Search for recent news articles and stories, and don’t forget to look at their website and social media pages to get a feel for the brand and tone of the company. 

 

Make a note of any of their design work you like (and also dislike). Identifying any work that resonates with you, or that you're curious about, will provide points of interest throughout your interview. It will also show that you have a genuine interest in the company.

 

And finally, here’s some quick tips for you.

 

  • Take your own laptop to showcase your own work. 

The interviewer wont be able to take any notes if you're looking at your work on their screen. this will also avoid the panic of an unfamiliar laptop; who knows how they've setup up their scroll! 

 

  • Organise your work.

You don't want to spend your interview rifling through folders and sub-folders. Have all your work neatly organised into PDF case studies or all on your website to ensure a crisp presentation.

 

  • Be constructive, never negative.

It’s NOT advisable to put down the company/people you are currently working for! 

 

And remember that this is definitely not just a chat, it’s an interview. Design can be a casual industry, but it’s important to be casual whilst also being professional, organised and prepared! 

 
5 Golden Touches to Your LinkedIn Profile

 

 

With close to 500 million users LinkedIn is the world’s biggest professional network and it continues to grow - 2 new members sign up every second. Every LinkedIn user that signs up gets a profile when they join. So with all those profiles available to view, it’s important to ensure that your profile gets found and read by the right people - whether thats recruiters, headhunters, or the company you really want to work with.

 

 

1. Killer Headline 

 

There are currently 242 million monthly active users on LinkedIn. With all those people in one place all trying to do similar things to you, it's easy to become a small fish in a big pond. That’s why you have to find a way to stand out amongst the pack. 

 

The most viewed part of a LinkedIn profile is the headline - the text that appears under the persons name. LinkedIn does a good job of generating this for you, but we suggest writing something that really shows who you are. How many years have you been working in your current position? What else have you done in the past? These can all be included in your headline to make it eye-catching and interesting. 

 

Be creative, outline who you are (more than just your job title) and be genuine. Your LinkedIn profile is the place to showcase the real you. 

 

 

2. Outline Contact Details 

 

If you’re on LinkedIn to launch yourself into a new job or career then you want to make communication easy and accessible. Sending a connection request can take a while sometimes, however an email or a phone call is usually instant. Unless you are connected with someone on LinkedIn, you’re unable to see their contact details, and you will have to wait until you are connected. 

 

If you are looking to receive opportunities from recruiters or headhunters, outline your main contact details at the end of your summary section. You can list whichever method you prefer, just make sure it’s easy for people to contact you. You can always send them a connection request once you’ve received their email, and this will save you a lot of time in the long run. 

 

Don't forget, LinkedIn is an online networking platform, so don’t shy away from sharing your contact details. Who knows what you might miss out on. 

 

 

3. Share Interesting Content

 

Recently there have been a lot of frustrations surrounding LinkedIn and how people feel that it’s becoming more like Facebook. This is due to non-business related updates, such as selfies etc. 

 

Ensure that any content you share on your LinkedIn isn’t just click-baiting, and it’s genuinely interesting to yourself and your peers. Don't post content for the sake of it. Make it interesting, entertaining or educational - but be sure that your connections can get something out of it. 

 

 

4. Make Your Profile (suitably) Public

 

Lets not forget that your privacy settings keep you safe, so it’s important to strike that balance between visibility and security. 

 

Take 5 minutes out of your day to ensure that your settings are switched to their optimum. And while you’re there, review your public profile, as this setting outlines what will be seen when you are found via Google search. Switch on all relevant options, and make yourself extremely visible to the outside. 

 

Top Tip: LinkedIn profiles with professional headshots get 14 times more profile views! 

 

 

5. Have Some Personality

 

We mentioned at the start that there are a huge amount of profiles on LinkedIn, that’s why it's important to not be like everyone else. Show that you’re unique and different. Like to paint? Add it on. Do you like to go rock climbing? Put that on too. Use your LinkedIn to create a profile that shows off your personality in and outside of work, and proves every aspect of you. 

 

LinkedIn is an extremely powerful tool when used correctly. Make your profile as strong as it can be and watch the job offers come rolling in! 

 
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