I created this video quickly in Animoto to wish all my friends and fans a Happy Halloween. Tonight is the night for “Trick or Treat”. Stay warm in the cold of the night. Boooooo!
Archives for October 2014
If you are a new graduate from Graphic Design or Web Design, whether you have a 4-year degree, 2-year degree, or a certificate, and you’re just starting and you don’t know what to include in your portfolio, I suggest you start with your website because your website is your portfolio.
If you’re going to pick the best of your work, say from school, don’t put so many in your website and make it look all cluttered up. Pick the best three you like and save the very best one in your drive. Just in case you want to Wow your prospect employer for something more later.
Save your very best one and present it to him later when you need to.
Put the best three of your artworks in each category such as: Graphic Design, Logo Design, Package Design, Website Design…you get the idea!
You being an organize Graphic Designer will show your prospect Client or prospect Employer/Contractor that you know how to put your work in order.
Three things you need to remember…
• Your Resume
• Your About Me Page
• Your Website
Your Resume is a very important tool in getting you that job interview. This is a proven fact offline and online. If this is a one-to-one client, fine. You don’t need a resume. But if this is about getting hired in a Fortune 500 Company or a big company, you need that special tool — your resume.
You need to perfect your resume. Make it stand out.
From my recent post How to Get a Job Interview I have told you all about it. It doesn’t cost you a dime to make your resume visually attractive.
Remember your resume is your wow factor that makes your prospect client and/or employer to click on your website or email you or call you for a job offer.
Your About Me Page
A lot of bloggers really ignore this and it’s a shame because it is one of the most read in the blogosphere. You should never ever forget to put an About Me page. Even Google Adsense, if you apply as one of their Affiliate Marketer or Advertiser, they require you to have an About Me page.
Your About Me page is one way to connect to your interviewer or client on a personal level. Each person needs to have that feel or connection if you’re the right candidate. They want to see your personality and you can shine out in your About Me page. Be personal but also be professional.
Some people would hire you because you shared the picture of your dog and yourself in the photo. If your prospect client or customer is fond with dogs, you are more likely to get his or her attention. Be approachable and don’t be aloof. Be personal so people can relate with you more.
In my recent interviews with companies over the phone, I have gotten compliments about my Resume, About Me page, and My Website per se. That’s right. Your About Me page is very important. It is one of the page that is read the most by Human Resources and Bloggers.
With me, before I whitelist someone on my blog, I always read their About Me page. I’m leery when I see bloggers or websites hiding their “About Me” or “About Us” page.
What are these websites hiding that they don’t want to show their About page?
You know Marketing Strategy of today have changed a lot since the innovation of social media. Nowadays we’re more personal. Thank God for that. I love the evolution of Internet marketing.
I know that some of my friends wrote about how important is your About Me page. But I tend to just scan that part and so I’m going to tell you exactly what I feel about this and my opinion about constructing your About Me page. Make your About Me page personal and approachable.
If honesty is the best policy, then so be it. It’s better to start it from the very beginning. Because if you are honest to yourself, you can be honest to others as well.
People love epic stories such as sharing your failure as well as your success.
If you’re the type of person who never failed then you’re not being human. Humans makes mistakes and it’s just natural for us to go through this process and so share that in your About Me page. What made you do what you do? How did you get there? What made you successful after these failures?
So you are a Freelancer and perhaps you are a Professional Writer, Graphic Designer, Digital Artist, Web Designer, Business Developer, whatever… I can only mention a few profession.
But whatever profession you are in, if you are looking for a Contract job or a Freelance job in a prestigious company you will need to have a website that will lead you to get that job. Your website is the visual proof of what you can do or what it tells more about your business.
I am telling you that majority of my clients are drawn to the quality of my website design. Majority said to me how fast and how they like the structure of my website. Easy to navigate. Also my interviewers said to me, “You have a great resume and then when I click your website, it’s even better!”
Your website must be fast, clean, simple to navigate and make sure you don’t have too many in your menus. Make your menus only to 5-6 selections. Don’t put too many unnecessary topic aside from what you want to portray to your prospect client.
If you put too many selections in your menu your prospect client gets confused. And that’s the last thing you need to do. Avoid confusion as much as possible.
Take it from presenting your Design Proposals for instance. You created a bunch of thumbnails. Perhaps you chose the best 10-thumbnails and you created a dummy from each of these. Are you going to present all of these dummies to your client? I don’t think so. Based from my experience, setting a limit is better than having too many to choose from.
You are going to select only the best three you think are outstanding.
I guarantee you out of those three designs you have represented, one will be chosen. Versus to 10-different ones. Or 20 even! Your client will say, “I like number #3 but then I also like #5 and I’m fond of #7…I don’t know. It’s too many to choose from.” This is the last thing you need. Same thing with your menu!
You are only depicting on what you want your client to see.
With my designs, if I didn’t like the design I will never show it to my client. I know this is Commercial Industry and I’m suppose to please a client. But it’s also important to me that I am happy with the design. And that what I have chosen for the client is something I feel confident and not ashame to show on my portfolio! You are the Designer. Trust your instinct.
You are the designer of your own website. You are the master of your own domain. And so therefore choose only what you want your client to see!
Your website design plays an important role…
When you have a very good web design other people will trust you more. If you are serious about your business therefore you need to make it look good. It is the most important when you are trying to depict your brand. You are the brand. Therefore make it look professional.
When it comes to your website, you want to make it look unique. You don’t want to be someone else’s cookie cutter. Although you have used the same theme, you still do not want to simulate someone else’s. You want to stand out from other websites on the Internet.
I suggest if you are on free theme, you need to get a paid theme. I recommend Genesis and it’s child theme. On my previous post What is Blogging, I have explained “How does Genesis relate to a WordPress theme?” Genesis is a clean design. Fast and reliable.
Friends who represents great portfolio online (in alphabetical order):
- Adrienne Smith = Her website is a great portfolio which represent herself as a Blog Expert who predominantly speaks about Engagement and Network Relationship.
- Carol Amato = She is an Internet Marketer who helps other build a better business and create successful blog. You can see how organize is her website and how easy to navigate.
- Don Purdum = Shows you his expertise as a Business Developer, Coach, and Speaker. His Alexa ranking boosted up to 24K ranking just within 3-months.
- Harleena Singh = She is a professional Writer and her website says all that. Shows you a a lot of great samples of her writing and engagement with others.
- Rob Cubbon = He is a professional Designer & Marketer in London. I love his new theme which is a Magazine Pro. Check out his new website how fast & easy to navigate.
Top 10 Best-Selling Themes for September 2014
- Foodie Theme: my.studiopress.com/themes/
- Parallax Theme: my.studiopress.com/themes/
- Executive Theme: my.studiopress.com/themes/
- Magazine Theme: my.studiopress.com/themes/
- Lifestyle Theme: my.studiopress.com/themes/
- Swank Theme: my.studiopress.com/themes/
- Modern Blogger Theme: my.studiopress.com/themes/
- Metro Theme: my.studiopress.com/themes/
- Daily Dish Theme: my.studiopress.com/themes/
- Agency Theme: my.studiopress.com/themes/
I am an affiliate of Studio Press and I promote Genesis and their Child Theme. If you click my banner and you bought the theme I will be compensated. I’m a lousy affiliate marketer and I don’t know how to incorporate each of the child theme to my affiliate link from each of the sample theme above. I am including the hyperlink there to show you exactly what the design looks like.
If you click my banner and from Studio Press website, you click Shop for Themes and from there you can find the child theme you are looking for, that’s the only way I can get paid if you buy the theme. Otherwise, if you decide not to do it, it’s up to you. But I’ll be very sad. I hope you support me on this. And if you do, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Anyway, let me tell you more about these Child Themes. Genesis child themes already have a built-in SEO. And so your website will be found on Google without a problem. If you’re not as savvy on SEO, I recommend for you to use these child themes instead.
Web Design Portfolio Examples Across the Web
(NOTE: If you want to see the Wacom tablet demo start @ 9:40.)
I have been wanting to get this for a long time. I wasn’t so sure when but I have been eyeing on one of these tablet. And finally I am so excited to tell you that I got one!
Lately, I have met this Digital Artist name Mike Meth in YouTube. He works for Wacom and also works as a Digital Artist Teacher. I have just shared one of his YouTube video saying, I have been inspired by it. And then we just started talking. This is the beauty of social media, I get to meet all kinds of professional people in my industry and connect. And, I like to experiment on my new toy.
I have been wanting to get back on painting again. Perhaps not on the real canvas but on digital media. Real paint can be messy in real life. But the Wacom tablet will take me to the next level on my journey in the Graphic Arts world and the Interactive media per se.
Anyway, I’m not going to waste your time reading my post today. But I’m going to keep this short and sweet so you can watch my video, the latest news and my demonstartion on how to use the Wacom tablet for painting. So have fun in this video…
After 3-days trying to get the feel of this, here’s my first attempt on real drawing and painting. I don’t mind being a copycat right now because I am just praticing my related space and shape. This is going to take a while getting used to it. This video is 8x faster. Done in Photoshop. Artwork is unfinished.
In courtesy of: sirenaconsulting.com
When I saw this cartoon, it made me laugh! 😀
Isn’t it funny that most jobs nowadays are outsource in another country? I mean most of my problogger friends hire someone from another country because it is a lot cheaper in comparison to hiring someone in the United States, Canada, or United Kingdom.
Their cost of living is a lot lower than ours and so I don’t see why other company wouldn’t hire someone from another country like: Philippines, India, China, etc.
Should I say this is the cons instead of pros in America? We now have Elance, PeoplePerHour, oDesk…just to name a few. Some of the Graphic Designers who’s done this type of job for a long time are infuriated against places like Fiverr. Why would you want to create a logo for $5 dollars? Isn’t this quite insulting? Oh well. The debate goes on and on. But if you think about this again, your communication with a client is the key to keeping your value.
I believe your value has no competition!
My friend Don Purdum understand what real value is all about so wrote a killer content regarding: How to Stop Being a Commodity and Start Building Value
You know my daughter is currently taking Business Administration courses at a private school here in town and she’s an A-student. Her teacher favors her a lot coz she’s a great student.
And so I ask her, “Why don’t we practice for a job interview.” First she said to me, “Tell me about yourself.” I told her confidently about myself. I have no problem saying this.
Then she asked me, “Why should we hire you in our company?” And so I did then she said to me not to forget that I should mention the word adaptable because majority of the companies would love to hear this word.
The question of “Tell me about yourself” is your brand. Don’t bore the interviewer with your love life or what your hobbies are. You are the brand. Say something related to your field. What made the company successful because of your expertise. How much money did the company save because of you. I’m just throwing you a few examples what to say. Know who you are and your brand.
Your brand is like a logo stamped on wood. Give your interviewer something they can remember you by. Create an impact that will get their full attention.
One of the best thing to get a job interview is pick up that phone.
But first make sure you study the company and get to know a little bit about them. Do a research online if you can, this is the beauty of today’s era we can get information about the company in just one click.
So let me demonstrate to you my phone call conversation to one of the Fortune 500 Company…
Me: Can I have the Graphic Design department?
Receptionist: Can I take your number and have them call you back?
Me: By the way, who is the head of Communication Department, can you ask them if I can do a 10-minute portfolio presentation?
Receptionist: Sure! Let me ask them….
(After a few minutes she comes back)
Receptionist: Can you you come at 9:00 AM tomorrow and talk to John Smith?
(NOTE: John Smith is a bogus name, I just used a substitute name to protect the company’s privacy)
Chances on this “Let me give you a 10-minute portfolio presentation” they will give you an interview. I thought it would only take me 10 minutes but it turned out to be 38 minutes of interview.
If you came at the right time and the right place and they like you, your chance of getting picked as one of their Vendor is more likely. Sometimes it’s who you know and not much of what you know.
Job Interviews Do’s and Don’ts
• If you are a female don’t wear low cut dresses that shows your cleavage. This is very unprofessional. If you’re male don’t wear shorts or jeans that have holes in it, it’s the same with female. Wear appropriate clothing that is business-like. Don’t wear clothes as if you’re going to a disco. Wear something comfortable but be professional.
• Make sure you plan where you are going before the interview. Know your map. If you ask the company for direction how to get there and they gave you instruction then you said later, “I got lost!” This is not a good impression because if you are a Graphic Designer or Freelance Writer, they think you cannot follow instruction. It’s even worse if you are a Registered Nurse or Respiratory Therapist, if you cannot follow instruction you can kill a patient. Just keep your navigator handy.
My husband said, “Looking for a job is like hunting for ducks the more bullets you shoot in the air the better chance at hitting one.”
• Arrive in the job interview at least 15-minutes earlier so you are not so rush. You can relax a little and compose yourself together.
• Do not chew gum during the interview. This shows lack of professionalism.
• It is better to do a research about the company before the interview. This shows that you are very interested in the company.
• Write a thank you letter after the interview or if you forgot to give your resume, you can send them your resume afterwards. This will act as a reminder that you were the person interviewed on that day. Also it is a good excuse to call them later and ask if they receive your resume.
• Do not make negative remarks on your previous employers or clients.
• Don’t act desperate as you would take any job.
For more info read: Interview Dos and Don’ts
Job Interview Questions and Answers Samples
These questions are always relevant on interviews. It doesn’t matter if this is temporary or permanent job. When I say permanent it means that you are the regular vendor or contractor. I believe the questions are pretty similar whether this is Job-For-Hire or Contract job. Here’s a few questions I have chosen:
What are your strengths?
The best answer you can give are the skills and experience that’s related to the job. For instance you can say something like, “I’m organize, efficient, and adaptable.”
What are your weaknesses?
This is kind of a tricky question. Make sure if you say something negative, you have turned that negative into positive. You don’t want your qualifications for the job to be questioned. A good answer example on this is: “I hate deadlines! So I like to finish my project before the deadline.” Something negative that turns into positive!
What are you passionate about?
This doesn’t have to be job specific but be realistic about this. Don’t say you’re going to climb Mount Everest in 6 hours! You can say something like you’re passionate about painting and is taking a night class to help you relax. Or you can say that you love helping others and that you are passionate about solving other people’s problems and get the right solutions. Or you can say that you are volunteering to help prevent animal abuse. Be realistic.
Why did you leave your last job?
Also this is another tricky question. The company wants to test you to see if you are going to talk something negative about the last job you have work for. If you say negative about your last job, they are going to wonder if you will do the same thing with them.
If they knew you sued your last company because of sexual harrassment (for instance), chances are they probably will not hire you. The reason why I know that is my sister have done this a few times and it puts her on a “red zone” on some of the companies.
Companies do not like being sued. Whether you are right or wrong, you end up looking like the gold digger. They think you will find reasons just to collect money!
Why should I hire you?
This is like asking, “Are you the best fit for our company?” To prepare for this question make a list of the requirements for the position, your skills and job qualifications, including your personality traits! Some of the words you should include are: great team player, adaptable, quick learner, people oriented. So you get the idea!
What are your salary requirements?
This depends on your knowledge, job experience, and how much you are worth. You can say the amount you want to get paid based on your research on that particular job. Don’t say “yes” right away on a job offer but say something, “I’ll think about it.”
Sometimes it’s better not to give them amount because they might offer you something more than what you have originally thought about.
If you ask, “What is your greatest offer?” Then they’ll say, “If I say that you will ask me the same thing.” So it’s better to know and research the pay in that particular position.
For more info read: Top 20 Job Interview Questions and Best Answers
Don’t Forget Your Resume in a Job Interview
Your resume is your last tool to remind your prospect client about you. After the Interview, sent them a thank you letter and tell them that you are privilege to talk to them. This is like a reminder again of who you are after they interviewed 300 of them! Okay, I’m exaggerating. But you get the idea.
I know that you should give your resume first before the interview right? But in my case I forgot to print my resume and I only have my business card handy. And so it’s always good to leave your resume after talking to them, reminding them who you are again, a good reason to talk to them back.
Make sure you have your telephone number, email address, and your website (if you have one) on the resume. I am showing you my resume below as an example.
NOTE: If you click my resume below you can create beautiful resume that includes your portfolio on the side of it. Just click on “Create your own VisualCV”.
…and you can create a resume just like this for FREE without spending a lot of money. They have all kinds of beautiful template. You can create a PDF to send to prospect companies and it’s a lot easier to send it than create it from scratch.
You can also launch “VisualCV Resume Builder” on Chrome.
Remember now a picture is worth a thousand words. If you can present your resume visually, chances are your resume can stand out more than any other boring text resume. Resumes are cheap to make now you should be creative!
Graphic and/or Web Designers are in a visual world. We should emphasize more on that visibility of depicting a picture on what you can do. If you are a Registered Nurse for instance, you would want to put a picture of a doctor or nurses on the side right?
…or if you are a Professional Writer, you would want to include images of the books you have written. Anyway, this is the best resume maker I have found online.
So you can be CREATIVE and create your own design template.
Keep your resume in one-page. If this is the resume for the Internet, the PDF doesn’t matter how long it is because the PDF is always one. But if I have to give a resume in person, I prefer it to be just one-page. Why? Because sometimes the 2nd page gets lost even if you staple it together.
So it’s better to make it simple with no-attachment.
Also, notice that I have gaps in between jobs. If you’re like me, be prepared to answer your interviewer, “So what happened between February 2012 and October 2012?” Most companies likes to see sequence order and not random ones. But if you tell them that in between gaps you have volunteered work somewhere or help a family in crisis at the time, you can still be a good candidate for the job.
Anyway, in order to enjoy your work you have to enjoy your job right? I just receive this from my email and so I thought I’d share a little funny at the end of my post.
Companies I used to search Contract work:
Over to you
So if you are looking for a job as an independent Contractor or Vendor, you have idea on what to do. Prepare for your interview. Practice before a mirror. Practice your speech. That’s the way to go!
Anyway, you are more than welcome to share your experience with me and your reader how you accomplished that Job Interview. I’ll be more than happy to hear your comment below.