Video Interviews…Ready for Your Close-up?  

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As some companies are moving towards video and Facetime interviews, being ready for your video close-up could make all the difference. Here are a few tips from our team of recruiters on being ready for video interviews.

1. Location, location. Pick a quiet place to interview without an elaborate backdrop so that you can be the focal point on the screen. No one wants to see your kitchen…or your ceiling. Remember to check your camera angles.

2. Check your lighting. Keep in mind that a bright window or light source behind you may cast your face in darkness. Test out camera placement beforehand to get your lighting just right.

3. Look at the camera, not the screen. While watching yourself during a video interview is oh so tempting, it may come across to the interviewer that you’re not making eye contact. Looking directly at the camera is a great way to avoid this.

4. Dress the part. When it comes to what to wear, treat your video interview like an in-person interview and dress appropriately from head to toe (or at least from head to waist!).

5. Practice makes perfect.  Having a practice interview with a friend beforehand is helpful because your first few video calls may feel awkward, especially if you are getting used to the technology.

6. Close other programs on your computer.  Getting email notifications and other pop-ups during your interview can be distracting (especially if they make noise). We recommend to make sure all other windows on your computer are closed before your interview.

7. Use notes.  Don’t be afraid to help yourself with post-it notes or a copy of your resume. One benefit of having a video interview is that you can have some key reminders in front of you. Keep in mind however, they are notes, not a script. Avoid sounding like you are reading out loud.

8. Avoid interruptions.  While we might personally love if your dog jumps into your lap during an interview, others may not. If you are interviewing in a house with multiple people or pets, be sure to let people know ahead of time and plan for a quiet space. 

9. Keep your profile professional.  Unlike an in-person or phone interview, your first impression during a video interview doesn’t actually involve you. The first thing your interviewer will see is your video username and picture, so double check that they are both interview appropriate (or create a professional Video account).

10. Let your personality shine through. Sometimes it is hard to get a read on a person’s personality via video interviews. We recommend that you let your personality shine through, while keeping it professional. As with any interview, standing out may give you an edge.  Even more so with a video interview.  Showing a little personality can go a long way.

3 Design Portfolio Tips... For Students & Recent Grads

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Recently we were invited by two local fashion schools to review graduates’ portfolios.  It was impossible not to be blown away by the level of planning, the quality of storytelling, and the caliber of designs – from classic to edgy – that went into most of these presentations. Not to mention the energy was electric. Great job teachers and students!

If we were to offer three simple tips to you, inspiring and gifted designers, to help you make a great impression on job interviews, here’s what they would be:

1. DON’T make your portfolio oversized.  Wide open spaces are as unflattering as the superfluous graphics used to fill in the space are.  An 8.5 x 11 portfolio is a standard..and common size. With that being said, if you have a lot of content that you feel confident and passionate about, you should absolutely use the next size up.

2. DON’T bind your portfolio.  An unbound portfolio allows for additional pages to be added, or for the content to be shifted around to highlight your newest work … or, sometimes more importantly, to showcase work for a specific job interview.

3. DON’T do giveaways.  Whatever the “gift”, it’s an unnecessary, and sometimes awkward thing to do.  Let your work impress the viewer. If you feel compelled to give something away, have your business cards or resume ready.

Hopefully these tips will help you to tweak your approach to showcasing your style and essentially marketing your personal brand. It’s a crazy competitive world out there, but your talent, hard work and attention to detail will pay off.

Maximize Your LinkedIn Profile and Get Noticed

We are in a candidate-driven market, yet some job seekers are experiencing challenges landing a job… or even getting a response. In the age of online career portals and applicant tracking systems, enhancing your LinkedIn profile may increase your digital visibility. 

Taking these 5 simple steps will have recruiters reaching out to you, and hey, you may land your dream job:

Maximize your Headline real estate.

The Headline on LinkedIn appears right under your profile pic. It is prime real estate for your career focus, job title or skills. Here is where it’s fully acceptable to call yourself a “Creative Ninja”.

Your Headline gives a quick snapshot of who you are on LinkedIn via a few well-chosen keywords. It is also how recruiters and companies search for you. It is very important to have the job title that you are interested in somewhere in your Headline so that recruiters can find you when they source candidates.

There are numerous ways to format your LinkedIn Headline. While some people put their exact job title and the company they work for as theirs, others list their key skills or traits. For example, a basic Headline could read, “Designer at XYZ” versus a skills-based Headline could read, “Pattern maker, Flat sketcher, and Fashion Disruptor who is passionate about Innovation and Design”. Both examples work; but if you want to stand out of the crowd, use a unique Headline that draws people in and makes them want to click your page and read more about you.

Set Your Industry and Career Interests.

In addition to recruiters using keywords, job titles and headlines to search for qualified candidates, they also source using the Industry and Career Interests filters. Setting these filters, is often a one-time task. 

Whichever industry you are looking to work in, set that as your Industry so the right recruiter can find your profile. This will not only save yourself time, but also save the recruiter time as well. It is a win-win for both.

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Another section to review is Career Interests. Are you looking for a full or part time role? Remote or onsite? Permanent or temporary? Let your preferences be known. Recruiters often search for candidates based on Career Interests. So, set yourself up for success in the job search by telling recruiters what your skills are and what type of work you want.

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Turning on the Open to Opportunities function will allow people searching LinkedIn to find, recruit, and ultimately, hire you.

To learn more about setting your LinkedIn Career Interests and turning on the Open to Opportunities function, visit; https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/67405?lang=en_US 

Add Relevant Jobs, Education, and Volunteer Experience. 

Now that you have created a unique Headline that explains to people who you are professionally, and have set your Industry and Career Interests, now it is time to add all relevant roles, education and volunteer experiences. Recruiters will often search LinkedIn by specific job title. They will narrow their search for candidates who currently, or in the past, have the same job title. Therefore, if you are applying for a job, make sure that job titles can be found on your profile. Recruiters may also search for specific degrees, schools or higher education. So, if you have a degree, list it. If you have certifications, list those, too.  

Check your LinkedIn Inbox daily.

If you are a current job seeker and actively applying for open roles, then it is important to check your inbox for replies from recruiters. There are times when we have received a reply from a candidate asking to set up an interview months after we emailed them about the job. Time is an important factor in the field of recruiting and job seeking, so if you are on the job hunt then act with a sense of urgency and have open and fast communication.

Your LinkedIn profile should reflect your professional brand.

Your LinkedIn profile is about your career history and your experiences which brought you to where you are now. Perhaps you are a growing Designer or a powerhouse Creative Director.  Your LinkedIn Profile is a great place to broadcast your professional brand and when an employer or recruiter visits your LinkedIn profile, your professional brand should stand out. For example, if you are looking for a job as Creative Director, your page should showcase the titles, skills, dates and experiences you have had in that capacity. As always, the information on LinkedIn should closely match the information on your current resume.

The five bits of advice above are a great starting point for getting yourself more noticed on LinkedIn, and in hope, have recruiter’s and companies reach out to you about jobs. Should you continue to apply for jobs that you’re interested in? Definitely! The advice we provided are great ways to add to your job search and garnish greater visibility on LinkedIn so that you do not exhaust yourself with submitting application after application with no results.

About Emerging Blue:

Emerging Blue is a creative talent resource partner that represents freelance, temp-to-perm, and full-time talent in Fashion, Home and Beauty. We fill jobs from San Francisco to New York, and everywhere in-between. We represent top candidates, the hottest brands and innovative companies of all shapes and sizes. If you need recruitment and hiring support, we would love to partner with you. Our talent is your strength.

Top 3 Things We Learned from the Holiday Pop-up Season

What a wonderful Holiday season! It helped drive retail sales for many companies. According to Mastercard, total US retail sales rose 5.1% between November 1 and December 24 from the prior year. As you were out shopping, you probably noticed at least one pop-up shop. They have become more and more popular as they give a fresh twist to the former all brick and mortar retail environment. In addition to an influx in commerce, retail hiring rose this past Holiday season as well. According to the Labor Department, 312,000 jobs were added in December 2018. That number includes many seasonal retail jobs.

Since the holidays have come to a close, we want to take a few moments to step back… give out some high fives, and reflect on what we learned by staffing a record number of pop-ups across the country. 

The top three trends we saw for a successful pop-up this season:

Plan out staffing needs. We cannot stress enough how important it is to hire, at least, 25% more staff than you think you are going to need. Life can be busy around the holidays and this applies to the staff you hire. Plan for additional staff to cover increased business or any ‘holiday attrition’. To keep your team engaged and committed to your pop-up, plan to pay and train them well.  Development of a well-trained and informed team will make the short-term sales associates feel like they are part of your brand.

Create a lasting relationship with your customers. Channel all of your resources to find ways to continue the retail momentum you’ve built by leveraging in-person interactions, digital or social media, and to extend the brand experience beyond the event. You’ve gotten them excited about your brand and now you need to stay top of mind for their future retail purchases. One example is to interact with customers on Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook so you can stay connected after the pop-up shop closes.

Have an end game. Plan out how the pop-up shop will close and make your staff aware of your plans. Will you need them to work after the shop closes to wrap everything up? Are they good candidates for working any permanent retail locations you have? Consider offering a bonus for working through the entire pop-up or consider those candidates for future full-time positions with your company.   Either way, your end game, is as important as your roll-out plan.  Execute both and your pop-up will likely be a success.

To sum it up, it is critical to develop a thorough and practical staffing plan, create a lasting relationship with your clients, and have a long-term game plan. Mapping out those three key areas will have you on the right path to a highly successful pop-up event. As always, if you need support, our team at Emerging Blue would gladly connect you with the best pop-up event staff.

About Emerging Blue:

Emerging Blue is a creative recruitment agency that represents full-time and freelance talent in Fashion, Home and Beauty. We fill jobs from San Francisco to New York, and everywhere in-between. We represent top candidates, the hottest brands and innovative companies of all shapes and sizes. If you need recruitment and hiring support, we would love to support you. We fill jobs from Visual Merchandisers and Keyholders to Luxury Retail Store Managers and Sales Associates. Our talent is your strength.