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8 Portfolio Phrases That Send the Wrong Message

Like corporate website, which use phrases like “innovative strategies” and “leading-edge solutions” ad naseum, many freelancers’ online portfolios tend to use some of the same tired phrases again and again. I combed through dozens of freelance websites (many of them discovered through FreelanceSwitch’s Find a Freelancer Directory) to create this list of over-used and ineffective phrases.

If you’re using these in your own portfolio, consider finding other phrases so you can stand out from the pool of eager freelancers.

Read the full article here! (via freelanceswitch.com)

Concise Guide to Archiving for Designers

Designers, protect your hard work! Archiving is one of the most important steps of the creative process, even if it isn’t always the most fun! But if you take the time to archive properly, it will pay off down the road. For effective ways to archive, check out this comprehensive guide.

‘I swear you’re the only one!’ Or, The Importance of Customizing Submissions

So the tedium of the job hunt is getting you down. It seems like you’ve applied to a billion places, and no one is getting back to you. You’re frustrated and all you want is an ice cream sandwich.

I understand your pain.

But let’s look at one huge thing you can be doing to better your chances.

So here’s the set-up question:

Is it better to:

A) Send out a billion resumes that all say the same thing,
Or
B) Five that are customized?

If you chose B), DING DING DING! Correct! Go get yourself that ice cream sandwich as a reward!

Potential employers get frustrated when they get materials that are either obviously generic, or (even worse) have someone else’s name on them. As an internal staffing professional, I saw a lot of ‘em. Google, Apple, Yahoo!, you name it. What did I do with those resumes and cover letters? Tossed them!

Employers want to feel special. When applying for specific positions, be sure to send a resume that has an applicable objective, as well as a resume that high-lights your skill sets that will be most valuable to that particular job. Being a jack-of-all-trades is a fantastic thing—it means you have a lot of doors open to you. However, if someone is looking for a print packaging designer, chances are they don’t really care that you were a camp counselor at Little Champs Baseball Camp and know how to make balloon animals. Focus on your packaging design skills, including brands you worked on and programs you use to design.

And double-y goes for your cover letter. Try and limit it to one page, high-lighting those awesome things about yourself that make you perfect for the job. Address the needs and wants specified in the posting, and how your skills will benefit the company. And the cover letter is the place you can let a little personality shine through (here’s the place to mention your mad balloon-animal-making skills.) Mention accomplishments that you want to highlight in your resume, such as measurable profits, gains, awards, or accolades.

Indeed, personalizing your documents can be time consuming, but trust me: it’s worth it!

Looking for an advertising job? You’ll need this threesome.

Rarely a week goes by at SVC that we don’t interview someone who’d like to break into advertising copywriting or art direction. We’re delighted to meet them, of course, as our ad classes have been one of the mainstays of our portfolio training for umpteen years.

However, we’ve noticed lately that aspiring ad creatives seem less prepared than ever to break into the field. Why? Because advertising has changed so drastically in just the past couple of years. The old style portfolio with a dozen funny or provocative print ad concepts just doesn’t cut it any more.

So what would we do if we were in your shoes? These three things:

Read more: http://www.svcseattle.com/blog/svcthoughts/2010/01/looking-for-an-advertising-job-give-me-three/#more-155

Article posted at The School of Visual Concepts Blog: “Thought of the Hour”

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