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Interviews! Bleh!
We all need jobs, though, and sometimes it involves convincing other people we deserve them. There's a lot we can just trust our instincts on, but we've pulled together some pointers for you: The Dos and Don'ts of Interviewing.

Interview_Tips_WearWhatYouWant

Do: Be yourself.
Don't: Overdo it.

When it comes to interview attire, particularly for a creative position, the hirer wants to see a glimpse of a personality. Yes, your work speaks volumes about the kind of person you are, but ultimately they're hiring a human being who they spend eight hours with every day (at the very least). Dress the way you'd normally dress, just take it one or two steps closer to "professional." You should look like you put in the effort but not like you borrowed your mom's pantsuit.

Interview_Tips_GetSomeSleep

Do: Prepare your portfolio.
Don't: Save it until the night before.

You've seen exhausted friends' faces. You know what tired looks like, and it isn't pretty. Sleep the night before, and get your portfolio prepped dayyyys ahead of time. Your brain will thank you for it, and this means no impulsive last minute decisions.

Interview_Tips_Know_Your_Stuff

Do: Know a bit about the company.
Don't: Stalk them.

Again, these are humans you'll be working with. They'll like that you noticed they're involved in an after-school program for kids in their neighborhood but will be genuinely creeped out if you mention that you know the CEO's favorite drink. Just because it was on Instagram doesn't mean you can bring it up.

Interview_Tips_CalmDown

Do: Loosen up before the interview.
Don't: Have a quick smoke.

Nervousness is so easily detected and no matter how confident of a person you are, you'll get the jitters before a big interview. Take a few minutes, breathe deeply several times, tell yourself that you've prepared and are ready for the interview– those are all acceptable methods of easing oneself into a stressful situation. But whatever you do, don't fall back on your normal vices. A quick cigarette or a beer to take the edge off before an interview are major no-no's. Imagine what you'd think if your first thought when meeting a job candidate was "they smell like [booze or smoke]." Ick.

Interview_Tips_StayInTouch

Do: Follow up and stay connected.
Don't: Wait too long!

An email thanking the interviewer for their time, reinforcing your interest in the position, and reminding them that you're a polite, lovely person is a good thing. A LinkedIn request is... iffy. In theory, a LinkedIn request is perfectly appropriate, but a too-speedy request can be a bit pushy to some. If you think the interview is going well, don't hesitate to ask at the end if it would be alright to connect on LinkedIn. Candidates are often kept in mind for future positions, and when you send the LinkedIn connection request, be sure to remind them who you are and thank them for meeting with you to discuss the position. Then they're free to reject or accept, and you don't catch them off guard with an out-of-the-blue request.

These are some basic suggestions for what to do and avoid when it comes to interviewing– the rules change every year it seems!

Posted: 8/25/2014 2:42:04 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments


In the design and marketing world, there's so much to keep up with. New fonts, new programs, updated SEO rules and ways of tracking customers. Along with the everyday stuff, there's now a challenge to stay on top of the ball as far as programs to use. Too much! We've pulled together some of the best design and marketing tools for you to use, whether we personally use them or have heard rave reviews. Hopefully this guide helps simplify your options a bit:

Paletton

Paletton_Color_Palette

For all of your color needs, Paletton has you covered. With an easy interface and simple options, it's the easiest way for you to get a great visual of the possibilities, or tweak an existing color scheme with slight alterations to hue contrast, saturation, or brightness. Feeling uninspired with your own ideas? Try the "randomize" button and see what it comes up with.

Adobe Programs

Adobe_CS5.5_Product_Logos(image source: Wikipedia)

Sure, we're (most likely) preaching to the choir on this one. But Adobe has been around for a while and is strongly holding it's place as the top design software used today. The only potential blip in their rise to the top was their recent announcement that all future versions of CS programs would be structured within a subscription-based cloud system, called Creative Cloud. Goodbye CS, hello CC! The benefits of this change are the options to subscribe to programs a la carte, or to subscribe to the entire package for a bit of a discount.

Support for the new structure varies, and a lot of users fear new charges will come once Adobe has everyone in the pal of their hand, but we'll see. With a goal of 3 million subscribers by this November, they're thinking large-scale.

The Adobe programs themselves are so engrained in many younger designers' educations that they offer the most intuitive interfaces and most relevant tools. Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Dreamweaver are the most common.

Typekit

Typekit

Another Adobe product, but there's a reason they have such a loyal following! Typekit is a subscription-based library of fonts for web or print use. Bringing together the work of many different foundries, Typekit offers a streamlined collection  of sophisticated type (and is also included in Adobe Creative Cloud).

Buffer

buffer

Buffer is an app to organize and schedule your social media marketing. We use it here at CM Access, so we might be a bit biased, but... Buffer is awesome. Just fill it up with posts for the day, the week, whatever, and Buffer schedules them out at ideal times. It analyzes Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn as a whole so it knows the best time for your posts to go up, and can prove it with analytics.

Wacom Bamboo

Wacom_Tablet(image source: Amazon)

A pressure-sensitive pen and tablet may not seem like a key part of your daily design routine, but boy oh boy, does it make things easier. Takes a bit of adjustment, but once you've reprogrammed your brain to use a once-familiar pen, the result is work that is more precise and effortless. You can switch between the stylus and your fingers, so it will feel like a laptop touchpad if that's what you're looking for.

Moat

Moat

Simple, simple, simple. Just a quick (and we mean quick) search in Moat, and you're looking at all the online ads of your competitors. A great way to get an overview of another company's (or your own!) marketing in one click.

Have any other items you think are crucial to designers and marketers? Tell us!

Posted: 8/18/2014 3:53:40 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments


If you're using a Mac right now (not necessarily likely, as percentage of Mac vs. PC users has wobbled back and forth for a couple years), you're familiar with the command key: that loopy little icon that's right next to your keyboard. It's a unique part of the keyboard for several reasons– the first being that it is completely fabricated. This icon was only in one place before it claimed its home on an Apple keyboard, and that place might surprise you.

command

A Swedish Campground! That's right, the Swedish symbol had been used in campgrounds to mark a place of interest.

The command key was created to add more functionality to a standard keyboard: when pressing down command along with another key, the user could access shortcuts to commonly used actions like 'Print' or 'Undo.'  Before the "Gorgon loop" decorated the command key, Apple had used a company favorite... an apple. Though the icon made sense for a key unique to Apple, Steve Jobs was not a fan of overusing the company's logo.

Susan Kare, Apple's 8-bit designer responsible for everything from the smiley Mac to the ticking watch, did a bit more research and settled on the floral symbol that remains today.

command_symbol_CreativeReview(image credit)

She says, however, that she discovered years later that the symbol may also be an abstract view of a castle with minarets, seen from above.

We can thank the loopy icon most for its 'Undo' capabilities.

command_controlz

Read more about the command symbol here and here.

Posted: 8/11/2014 4:09:23 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments