Navigate the Job Search Process: Explore Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Advancing your career doesn’t happen in one day. But professionals in a variety of fields can improve their skills and knowledge by participating in Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Through CPD, opportunities abound in a variety of channels. Learners set objectives for themselves (e.g. specific skills to be learned or practiced) and afterward participate in self-reflection of the progress they’ve made.

Advancement in your industry might require a myriad of skills. Some are concrete and visible actions, while others are more subjective. CPD offers opportunities to hone these skills whether they require more physical or mental capabilities.

maze-navigating-job-search

Soft and Hard Skills
It is no doubt easier to measure hard skills (physical tasks) over soft skills (e.g. time-management, creativity, etc.). But job performance improves with both kinds. The desire to broaden your horizons illustrates workplace adaptability. And the very notion of wanting to participate in CPD is itself an indication of workplace and skill growth potential.

Sharing is Caring
Volunteering might be an excellent CPD option for someone wishing to change careers. Donating your time can get you in the right places at the right times. Additionally, you could also be the individual offering up the CPD to others. Showing others the ropes is a great way to stay fresh yourself.

Go for the Freebies
Online learning has taken off the last few years. This means that professional development can be had off and online. Check out YouTube and udemy for free (and paid) courses in numerous fields and subjects.

Legit CPD
Independently-guided CPD might not quite be intensive enough for some learners. To help with this, formal CPD is offered through organizations, associations, and companies. Offering staff these opportunities gives employees a chance to build deeper professional-to-professional relationships and interactions.

All learning might be the same to some people. But formal CPD takes the usual rote approach to a new impactful level. The information gleaned from these interactions is immediately at a higher more usable level. Learners can see the information in action.

Did You Read that Somewhere?
Absorb the literature within your chosen field. Such information is often written by those right in the thick of the industry themselves. Consider publications, articles, trade journals, and news. Stay up to date with new business practices, innovative technologies, and the right skills to learn to put you at the top of the applicant pile.

Don’t Forget to Reflect
CPD is not just about absorbing a few bits of information from professionals. For CPD to truly be effective, the learner must be active throughout the entire process. Reflection is critical to successfully improving your skill and knowledge base. Use the exercise to grow, both career-wise, emotionally, mentally, and educationally.

Enhance Your Career with CPD
Use CPD to gain an edge in your field. Find a mentor, enroll in an online course (independently or through official channels), read, volunteer, research, and more to improve your knowledge base and skill set. Organize it yourself or seek out professional opportunities. Either way, become an active learner in your future endeavors. Reflect on the knowledge gained and use it to take you where you want to go.

Enhance Your Career with the Right Community of Professionals
Contact an experienced recruiter at 800.338.4327. Simplify and expedite your job search or posting process the moment you need it with Creative Talent Management.

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8 Questions Your LinkedIn Profile Should Answer

Employers really do look at your LinkedIn profile. It should not be left to gather dust bunnies and cobwebs. It can be your first impression to a potential employer and you don’t even know it. Employers want to be able to find out certain bits of information about you without really having to do a lot of work.

Ask yourself these 8 questions to see if your LinkedIn profile hits high marks on the impressive scale.

1) What is Your Current Job Title and/or Position?LinkedIn Icon

This sort of seems obvious. Employers need to see your current employment details. Make it your headline on your profile to snag their attention even earlier. Also, make sure that your job title properly reflects your abilities. Think about how you describe yourself when you meet new people or discuss career-related topics. This might offer you a chance to reflect and truly express your skill set.

2) How Do You Back Up Your Job Title?

This is your chance to be as thorough as you can. This is where you present your background and qualifications. List locations, companies, titles, as well as your responsibilities. Also, try not to be too general. Since you won’t be in front of the employee offering commentary, you have to fully explain everything in your profile – for them to read, and not make them guess.

3) Are You a Strong Writer?

All of the above sections of your profile will be for naught if your writing is stinky. And if your writing skills are stinky, any potential employers will immediately see this and immediately click right on through to another candidate’s profile.

How can you instantly improve your profile? Check spelling, remove slang, or texting language, and overall poor grammar.

4) What Tools Do You Know?

Don’t just tell, show! It is critical to explain all of the software programs you have basic to advanced skills in. List tools, software programs, computer systems, and more that contribute to your experience. Also, add in how experienced you are with each tool.

5) How Do You Sell Yourself?

No one is going to sell you but you. How does your profile market your brand? Or does it? Your LinkedIn profile needs to tell employers what makes you different. This is where your creation of a tagline helps you stand out from the crowd. Also consider adding logo or design elements if you are graphically-inclined.

6) Are You Active?

Creating your profile and then letting it linger won’t help your career chances. It is important to show that you are active on the platform – through who you follow, post, etc. Make sure you stay in-the-know in your field, so it shows employers your desire to be ever-learning and gaining industry knowledge.

7) Do Others Think You Are Awesome Too?

Scoring recommendations for your skills, or be able to include quotes about your performance are strong additions to your profile. Some people may automatically offer these to you, while it is perfectly acceptable to ask trusted individuals to provide them to you.

8) What Are Your Famous for?

Don’t forget to include when you were tops! Maybe you won an award, or you raised sales or increased revenue for your company. Share the love! Tell employers through your profile. Because they aren’t going to just stumble upon it accidentally.

Polish up that Profile

A stellar profile needs a bunch of stellar opportunities. Let Creative Talent Management help you find your next opportunity. Get started today by calling one of our experienced recruiters at 800.338.4327.

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Why a Staffing Agency is the Right Plan for Your Job Search

recruiter, staffing, job applicationsJob searching is not the really the most fun you can have. It can be tortuous, long, and just plain morale crushing. You might feel like you are doing the same thing day in and day out experiencing little to no results. You also might feel or even worse not even know that you are doing it all wrong, because there is no one to offer you feedback on the process. But alone no more!

Have you considered employing a staffing/talent agency to assist with your search?

There are three main reasons that staffing agencies come out on top in the job search process: insights, knowledge, and in-the-know.

1. Candidate and Company Insights
Searching for a job often means a lot of searching and no finding. And companies simply aren’t interested in letting you know why they didn’t choose you for the position. Staffing agencies though have these insights. They have also developed relationships with a variety of companies through the years and thus have insider knowledge of exactly what the position is calling for (e.g. skills, experience, background, etc.).

This is not just you the job seeker being thrown to the job wolves with no rhyme or reason. These sorts of insights help facilitate the candidate and company because the party in charge of this meeting knows where each side is coming from and spends more time producing a quality match.

2. Working Knowledge
Most people don’t seek out a new job each and every day. Talent managers, on the other hand, do. This is their bread and butter, or pen and paper, or tablet and phone—you get the picture. Because many job seekers go long periods of time in between searches, it becomes a pretty daunting task to do.

Additionally, just as job seekers keep up-to-date on skills within their industry for their current job, so too do staffing agencies—the kind of trends going on within the job market. This means that candidates who falsely believe that getting a new job will be just like the previous one won’t waste valuable time. Another benefit of working with a specific talent managing agency is that they want to fill the position with the right person just as much as you want to be that right person. So, in order to do that, they will offer you real advice and tips, immediately applicable information.

3. In-the-know
Probably the most important reason to work with a staffing agency is the fact that they are in-the-know when it comes to jobs. So many career advancements take place all because of who you know. And talent companies do indeed have access to open positions that would otherwise be out of reach to many candidates if they were going it alone.

Beyond jobs that might be listed privately or more exclusively, working with a staffing agency opens you up to jobs that you might not have even previously considered applying for. Talent managers look at the whole picture of you and understand how to match you to possibilities. Going even further, candidates can get matched with companies before positions might be available. But because of the relationship that these hiring managers have with the staffing agency, potential employees have a shot because everything about them makes them a perfect fit. This means that sometimes the person comes first and then the company creates the opening.

Looking for a Great Talent Agency to Partner With?
It’s closer than you think. Tap into the right network to connect with the key decision makers in the hiring process. Creative Talent Management is your source for expert talent managers. With firsthand knowledge of the fashion, beauty and advertising industries, CTM can get you to your next position faster. Get started today by calling one of our experienced recruiters at 800.338.4327.

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Drudgery of Work Hindering Creativity? Banish it and Improve Your Productivity While Maintaining a Healthy Work/Life Relationship

work and life balanceWhat you do in your life is important. But your job doesn’t define you. And as many of us know all too well: Our job has a sneaky way of taking over our lives. That is why developing a balance between your work life and your home or social life is critical to success, in all these areas. But merely wanting to have free time and a successful professional career may not be the easiest balance to find.

What Does Balance Even Mean Anymore?
In today’s constant “on” society, professionals can feel overwhelmed and obligated to be available all the time. And there is a sense of guilt when you pull away and actually live your life. Can you be both “on” and “off” in your position and still be productive? Many companies subscribe and advocate for this life versus work ethic, you just need the right talent partner to help you find them. As you seek out your next step in your career, take note of the advice below to help ensure your transition runs smoothly.

Spark Your Creativity
Your energy levels need to be recharged. How you use up your energy is directly related to how it (or does not) recharge. Efficient use of time allows creative and innovative juices to flow. No more guilt about family and friend time!

Vacay Around the Block
It may sound like a motivational speech, but in the end, the most important person is you. Having a few moments or a few days to yourself is really important to your ability to focus and remain accountable in your position.

Don’t Lose Yourself (Or Actually Do)
You had a life before your job. Make note of this and remember to continue hobbies or activities you did before. Recall that sometimes employers even inquire about reading interests or hobbies during interviews to gain a better understanding of the person. To help separate yourself, try focusing on material or activities that actually have nothing to do with your job.

Cut the Cord
Okay, maybe not literally, because you will still need it to charge your devices. But unplugging from the world will make a world of difference. Set aside specific times of the day or week to leave the world of connectivity. Recharge your electronics and recharge yourself at the same time. Let the stress drain away.

Routines Beget Consistency
Knowing roughly what to expect each day has a calming effect in itself. This can mean consistent sleeping hours, regular exercise, e-mail checking cut-off times, and regular duties within the office. Mental clarity to the rescue!

Work Has a Place
Your work has a role, a very important one: It provides financial support,ability to take time off, retirement funding, and more. But these benefits can only be achieved if you adopt a work/life balance, that allows you to separate these areas and be productive in your job while enjoying the activities that make you happy.

Achieve that Balance

At Creative Talent Management, the possibilities are infinite. CTM offers a range of opportunities that speak to different philosophies, experience levels, and career aspirations. Do you need guidance finding a position in the creative or technology industries, that rewards innovative ideas? Our clients include top design and technology firms that are primed to lead with creatively-minded professionals. Get started today by calling one of our experienced recruiters at 800.338.4327.

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Kickstart Your Creative Career

creative, designThe creative professional world is an intriguing industry. But finding that prime writer, web, and graphic designer opening can be difficult. Rather than give up your dream, use the tips below to help you get started in showcasing your mad skills.

Free Isn’t a Dirty Word
If you don’t really have a lot of experience or projects to show potential employers, consider taking on pro bono work. It might go against your grain to have to offer up your services gratis, but these opportunities become instant artifacts to add to your portfolio. Many non-profits or other local organizations often have a variety of designs or copy needed. Do a good deed for them, receive a return favor of more experience.
You can even contact these businesses or organizations yourself and pitch some creative suggestions to them. they are likely to be more open since you are offering the work for free. Here are some potential creative idea boosters: newsletters, photos, videos, PR, website design, and website management, to name a few.

Know the Lingo
If you don’t seamlessly incorporate industry lingo into work discussions, you might not be truly ready to join the field. And it doesn’t matter whether you went to school and officially studied design, etc. or taught it all to yourself. Within the lingo, you need to be aware of software programs commonly utilized, so you are prepared to work with a variety of them if the company you are interested in employs a different one than you normally use.

And for other creative jobs, such as writing, make yourself aware of the different kinds of writing that you might apply for (e.g. styles, standards, digital, print, marketing, industry-specific, etc.).

Show What You Know
Creating a portfolio is another critical step to entering the creative professional world. It is through a portfolio that you can back up your experience and prove to potential employers that you can really do the things you say you can do. In this age of the internet, creating this portfolio in digital form makes showcasing it that much easier (for you and employer), and that much more organized. When you submit your cover letter and resume, consider also supplying a link to your digital portfolio. There are several online options available: Coroflot and Behance are two such sites.

Brand Yourself
As someone who desires to be the creative force behind a company, you should consider first working on a brand that is much closer to home: YOURS. Developing a personal brand can help you figure out where you really want to go in your creative career. It can help you focus your design or writing skills and help you develop and hone them. so, how can “brand” yourself? It involves your social media persona, online profiles, resume, and more. It means tailoring these to a consistent design or direction.

And to take your brand to the next level, take advantage of the power of social media. When you build a consistent personal brand online, you can use it to network or be discovered (through LinkedIn for example). Share the work you have done with others in your industry and utilize various available resources that you are more likely to come across when you become more involved with your industry via social media outlets.

Tap into the Right Network
Whether you are seeking full-time, freelance, or contract work, your next opportunity is closer than you think. Tap into the right network to connect with the key decision makers in the hiring process. Find your creative outlet with Creative Talent Management. Our expert talent managers have firsthand knowledge of the fashion, beauty and advertising industries, and understand exactly how to match you to a position and company. Get started today by calling one of our experienced recruiters at 800.338.4327.

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