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Networking is a commonly underestimated method for success in the creative industry. People who are good at it don't label it "networking" and people who aren't have a difficult time believing it applies to an industry that's seemingly full of creatives all fending for themselves. But alas, knowing somebody who knows someone is what makes the world go 'round. The creative scene is the perfect industry for networking–with lots of side projects happening, people know a lot more people than in other industries.

And lucky for you–there are plenty of upcoming events in the Northeast that all happen to be great opportunities to make some connections.

1. Mix: Designers + Drinks // 2.4 // New York, NY

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As an AIGA event, you'd need to be a member in order to attend. Once you're in, however, bump elbows with all the other creatives in the busiest city in the country. Each MIX event is at a different location and February's is at Kiss Me I'm Polish, a creative studio specializing in branding, interactive, and editorial design.

2. UNITE on Data Visualization // 2.19 // Boston, MA

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A panel discussion of experts actively working with data visualization provides the perfect night to meet design enthusiasts and others involved with data visualization. Harpoon Brewery provides the liquid courage and the event is free for Design Museum Boston members!

3. TechCrunch Meet-Up and Pitch-Off // 2.26 // Boston, MA

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A free beer comes with the opportunity to mingle and watch chosen start-ups give sub-60-second pitches to a panel of judges. If any of them are terrible, at least you'll have a great opening line when you're small talking with strangers.

4. Boston Design Week // 3.19–3.29 // Boston, MA

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Last year was a smashing success, so why not stop by again this year? There will be talks, and open houses, and workshops galore. Check out the Marimekko presentation, the screening of Still Standing (oops, it's already sold out!), or attend the talk on the influence of Swiss poster design.

5. 99U Conference // 4.30–5.1 // New York, NY

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This is the big one. Behance's annual conference attracts top notch creatives from around the globe. The lineup of speakers is always phenomenal and this year will be no different. Complete with social events to accompany the talks, the 99U Conference isn't one to miss.

Posted: 1/30/2015 2:30:08 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments


The best time to find affordable flights? Wednesday mornings. Best time of day to exercise? Afternoon. No, evening.  Oh, nope. Morning. Buying a car should be saved until August. And even though these suggestions all seem like they were pulled out of thin air, there is data to back them up. If you're reading this, chances are you wondering when, when, WHEN.. you should find and apply for a job!

2015 calendar
2015 calendar by MeiPriskila on Etsy.

In January and February. 

So, NOW. A new year brings a new budget, and with the extra money in hand, many companies are looking to add some new faces to their teams. They want to get projects up and running and need more hands to handle the ambitious workload. January and February is when the work gets cranking, just after the slowest part of a work season: the holidays. Vacations. You know the drill.

Apply on a Monday.

A study from Bright.com, a job search site, found that 30% of job applicants who applied on a Monday moved on in the hiring process. Compare that to 14% of applicants advancing when they apply on Saturday, the worst day of the week, and it's a statistic worth considering. While there's no sure reason for the spike on Monday, people speculate it's a simple matter of work piling up as the week goes on, and resumes that see fresh eyes on Monday morning have the highest chance of being dealt with and avoiding the dusty depths of a desk pile.

…in the early afternoon.

Monday mornings are pretty much the same everywhere: catching up on emails from the weekend. Almost 40% of people's daily emails are received between 6am and noon, and you can't compete with that, so don't even try. Save it for the post-lunch email checking, when only a quarter of the day's emails are rolling in. You'll still get your application in on the best day of the week, but you won't have to fight to be seen.

It's Friday, so you've got a couple days before you should be sending in those applications!

Posted: 1/23/2015 2:02:10 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments


Applying for jobs has changed drastically in the last couple decades. Where hiring managers used to just take your word as the truth, they now have a major tool to prove otherwise: the internet. While it's brought about a lot of great things, the internet has also turned good upstanding citizens into paranoid self-policing job seekers. Which, unfortunately, is how it should be when you're sending out resumes. Managing your digital presence is a crucial component of applying for jobs (actually PRE-applying for jobs), and we're here to tell you what to do.

1. Keep it clean. According to this Online Colleges info graphic (also at the bottom of this post), 61% of recruiters don't want to see profanity in your social media accounts. It exhibits potential unprofessionalism. Grammar mistakes are also a blaringly obvious indication that you cannot write well. 26% of recruiters and hiring managers surveyed suggest avoiding  filling your social media accounts with religion-related posts as well. They are considering you to be an employee of their company–a face of their company. You can't blame them for wanting a face of their company to use appropriate words, proper grammar, and to avoid the topic of religion.

2. Yep... those photos. This does get tricky, because most candidates should definitely go through their photos and make private the ones that don't shine them in a particularly flattering light. College years? Get rid of most of them. The opposite side of the coin says that if all of your photos (or your entire account) is private, it raises a little red flag that you have something to hide. So, find a happy medium, and get rid of photos in which you look like anything even remotely close to three sheets to the wind. Not flattering, and though we know everybody has fun, recruiters don't need to see it. Again, face of the company.

3. Beef it up. Though we know LinkedIn is a solid site for job-seekers, hiring managers and recruiters are now also using other social sites, and having luck! In 2012, 66% of them used Facebook to find job candidates, and 55% of them went through Twitter. With more attention payed to sites that specifically aren't career-related, job candidates need to put evidence of their professional skills somewhere within these other accounts.Tweet about some causes you care about, and steer clear of Twitter-bashing of any kind. Also, Facebook has an employment category that should be utilized–to recruiters, the current and previous jobs are the first pieces of essential information. It's estimated that around 80% of jobs filled are from networking with friends, family, or past and present employees–having information about your professional experiences listed on a social site could end up in a job without you even trying.

4. Put your work out there. If you're looking for a creative position, you already know that this it the most important thing to do. You often get judged on your work before your credentials and professional experiences are seriously looked at, and hey, we've already shown you how to make an online portfolio, right? If you can write, why not have a blog? Having an outlet to communicate your knowledge and maybe present your own work, all the while developing a following in the process, is a great way to display your presence in the design world, and could end up bringing some work your way. It's online networking (with strangers) at it's best.

So, clean it up, put your work out there, but keep the photos you wouldn't show your mom out of your future employer's sight as well. For more info, we leave you with the previously mentioned infographic from Online Colleges:

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Posted: 1/20/2015 2:52:23 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments


It's 2015! If you're reading our blog, your resolution is perhaps easily guessed. Let us give it a shot: you want to take the next step in your career!

It's a new year, but it's not necessarily a new you, so how can you freshen up your search for a new job? The name of the game is change it up.

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1) If you've been applying but the responses haven't been rolling in, maybe it's time to reevaluate your resume. Take a look at what information you've included–did you clearly display your familiarity and experience with certain programs? Should you include some non-career-related interests? Could the design or organization of it be revamped?

2) If you've been trying to find a job on your own and nothing has panned out, consider reaching out to a team like us! At CM Access, we have existing relationships with hiring managers, so we can take all the grunt work of the actual search off your plate. Once we meet with you, we know just what you want and we know just what companies are looking for.

3) In the spirit of fresh starts, January has become the month to push yourself. The cold keeps you inside more often than usual, so why not transform those hibernation hours into some new bullet points on the ole resume? If you've always wanted to learn a new program, find a class. If you've always wanted to familiarize yourself with web design, or photography, find a class. Just FIND A CLASS. Or look online.

4) Revisit places you've already looked–they might have added new positions post-holidays. We'll touch on this a bit more next week, but January is one of the biggest hiring months of the year, and not only do companies have revised budgets they can squeeze new employees into, but other people are doing the same thing as you: changing it up. "New year, new job." should be a much more common saying than it actually is.

Have any tips of your own? Tell us in the comments!

Posted: 1/12/2015 3:16:33 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments