The Busy Creator Podcast, episode 33 – Creative Career Q&A with Lisa Cummings

The Busy Creator 33, Creative Career Q&A w/guest Lisa Cummings

Lisa Cummings (@LisaCummings) is a corporate consultant and trainer, and host of the Careers Q&A Podcast on She offers insight and advice to job seekers and people at all stages of their careers, answering questions about office culture, hiring, money, and other career-related topics.

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

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” ← Click to Tweet
  • 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)
  • On being hired without a prestigious background: you can’t go through the front door, Lisa’s podcast episode about job descriptions, network like crazy,
  • 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


  • Resume and Portfolio


  • 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”


  • 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

Get The Episode

Subscribe in iTunes

Subscribe to The Busy Creator Podcast on iTunes

Have a creative career question? Leave a comment below to participate in the conversation.

About Prescott Perez-Fox

Prescott Perez-Fox is a New York-based graphic designer and brand developer with 15+ years experience in branding, packaging, graphic design, and web design. He runs The Busy Creator.