Lisa Cummings (@LisaCummings) is a corporate consultant and trainer, and host of the Lead Through Strengths Podcast on LeadThroughStrengths.com. She offers insight and advice to job seekers and people at all stages of their careers, answering questions about office culture, hiring, and how to use your strengths at work.

Today’s conversation borrows the format of her show, answering user-submitted questions specific to the create professions.

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Show Notes & Links

  • On quantifying your work: put it in their perspective, be able to communicate your successes, make it all about the company. Also, get those figures wherever possible.
  • Present a business case rather than ask for stuff
  • On “creative” resumes: The content has to be solid, they don’t have to be infographics per se, inject your brand and personal style, show precision and attention to detail

“Your resume is the first piece in your portfolio.”

—Lisa Cummings

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  • A resume is for 3–5 seconds. A hiring manager may only see your resume 30 seconds before they meet you.
  • On learning in preparation for quitting: present your case as a learner and leave the quitting part out, get the knowledge elsewhere by training outside the studio, take advantage of the business’s need for “utility men”
  • “Open the Kimono”
  • On declaring your [small] role on a project: be honest in describing your role and the other people involved, spin your part as a learning experience, describe the new skills learned, don’t lead with the shortcomings
  • Two (or Six) Degrees of Kevin Bacon
  • On reading books to learn business skills: learn the people skills (you’ll need them), also check out courses (online or off)
  • To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink on Amazon and on Audible
    To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie on Amazon and on Audible
    How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  • Influence by Robert Cialdini on Amazon and on Audible
    Influence by Robert Cialdini
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey on Amazon and on Audible
    7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
  • How to Be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul by Adrian Shaughnessy on Amazon
    How to Be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul by Adrian Shaughnessy
  • The Essential Principles of Graphic Design by Debbie Millman on Amazon
    The Essential Principles of Graphic Design by Debbie Millman
  • The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber on Amazon and on Audible
    The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
  • The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley on Amazon and on Audible
    The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley
  • The Long Tail by Chris Anderson on Amazon and on Audible
    The Long Tail by Chris Anderson
  • Onward by Howard Shultz on Amazon and on Audible
    Onward by Howard Shultz
  • Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson on Amazon and on Audible
    Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
  • On being hired without a prestigious background: if you can’t go through the front door, check out Lisa’s podcast episode about job descriptions, network like crazy, and craft your personal brand identity.
  • Big Spaceship, AKQA, RazorFish – well-known web design agencies
  • On building your portfolio as a young creative: Do self-initiated work, do projects for community organizations, family or friends, take on a before-and-after, plan your time for taking on projects “for fun”
  • Spray and Pray“, the wrong approach to job-hunting

Tools

  • Resume and Portfolio

Techniques

  • Chronicle everything. Get co-workers testimony, get figured & statistics
  • Use your promotion opportunities as a chance to update your portfolio. Keep things fresh.
  • Ask for feedback following an interview, don’t accept “you need more experience”

Habits

  • Save your praise, especially in a corporate environment
  • Bring two copies of your resume to any interview, on the paper that you chose. Control that experience.
  • Always be networking

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About the author: Prescott Perez-Fox

Prescott Perez-Fox is a New York-based graphic designer and brand developer with 17+ years experience in branding, packaging, graphic design, and web design. He runs The Busy Creator.

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