Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Notes from 4/2/2010 OCA Meeting; Job News!

Four new people joined us at the 4/2 OCA meeting:
- Karen Holum, most recently the creative director for One World 2011, has over 20 years of creative services and design experience.
- Jill Schultz, a graphic design and marketing specialist, actually just took a role as Proposal Coordinator in the Energy, Environment, and Transportation group of ICF International, a global consulting firm.
- Zrinka Sliskovic was most recently a print/web designer with United Reprographics and has done freelance work for the Linden Tree Retreat Center.
- Doug Sutherland, a graphic designer, was most recently with the Hacker Group.

Kirsten Thompson and Sara Westerlund, recruiters from Creative Circle, were our guest speakers this past Friday. They introduced the staffing agency and provided tips on how to best work with them.

With 7 offices around the country, Creative Circle focuses on (obviously) the creative side of things. They primarily work with agencies and marketing groups, staffing candidates into 1 of 3 types of placements: 1) freelance, 2) freelance to full-time, or 3) full-time. Typical roles include: account management, art/design/creative, marketing, and media buying / planning.

Recent trends. They've had a significant uptick in placements, which they refer to as "starts." The number of starts per month has nearly doubled since last summer. And they are also seeing more full-time placements, as clients are beginning to feel a bit more secure in their hiring.

What is the best way to work with them? Make it easy. When applying for a particular job opportunity, highlight in your cover letter the skills that are applicable, so the recruiter can more easily match your experience with the job requirements. This will also let them respond quicker to their client. "Speed counts." They are paid for quickly gathering and positioning the best candidates for a position, and for a recent posting, they had over 400 responses within 2 hours. And speaking of cover letters, don't attach a separate Word doc. Bullet list out your key qualifications in the body of your e-mail.

Keep in touch. Creative Circle makes a point to meet with every candidate, to get the best sense for what candidates are looking for and what they have to offer. Considering you're part of a large talent pool, make sure you touch base with them on a regular basis, so that you're top of mind. They recommend at least once a month. Another rule of thumb could also be to reach out every time you update your resume, letting them know of the change and that you're still available.

Be mindful that recruiters are an extension of the hiring company. How you work with a recruiter is also a good indication of how you may work at a client site. Seems obvious, but key components to consider: "preparation, reliability, and flexibility."

Another interesting point that Sara and Kirsten made was to "Have a visual component that you can use to help sell yourself," regardless of position. Have a portfolio that you can point to and show off your work. If you're just starting out or changing directions, as many people are in the digital spectrum, put together comp work to demonstrate what you can do.

Contact info:
Kirsten Thompson - kthompson@creativecircle.com
Sara Westerlund - swesterlund@creativecircle.com

Job News!
Jenna Swalin has accepted a contract position as a Communications Assistant with the
Initiative for Global Development.

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