Category Archives: Job Search

Warning Signs That You’ve Outgrown Your Position

Warning Signs That You’ve Outgrown Your Position

For better or for worse, there comes a time when your current position will no longer be right for you. It could be that the job no longer fits your career trajectory, doesn’t align with your values, or a variety of other reasons that cause a need to part ways.

Sometimes the hardest thing about it is realizing when you’ve outgrown a position entirely. Here are a few signs to look out for.

You’re no longer learning anything new

At the end of every week, it’s a good practice to ask yourself: “What did I learn this week?”

By doing this, you’ll let the lessons sink into your memory and you’ll quickly realize when you aren’t learning anything new. You’ll also notice when day-to-day tasks start to feel mundane, and your position starts to feel like a never-ending cycle of the same tasks.

This can be a result of a limited role, inexperienced team, or lack of opportunity.

You’re completing tasks above and outside your job position

It can be a pretty great feeling when you start to step up in a position and go outside your job description. It feels like you can take on the world, and nobody is going to stop you.

Eventually, you start to realize you shouldn’t be responsible for these tasks and that it might be more impactful to have someone with true, narrowed expertise handling these responsibilities. Once your role starts expanding, it means you’re not pre-occupied enough with your prescribed duties, and the job is not challenging you in a way that it should.

It can also be a red flag if the company starts to expect you to go above and beyond with no clear plan to expand your job role or provide compensation for the additional tasks being covered. If this happens, it’s probably best to consider moving on.

Your team relies heavily on you for decisions

If you’re near the start of your career and already the final voice in every decision, you’ve outgrown your position. You want to be in a role where you can aspire to grow, to work your way up. If you’ve already made it to the top, whether it’s official or not, you are not in an environment that will nurture your career.

In order for us to grow, we need to experience both ends of the hierarchy around us, and we need to have others who offer a perspective we’ve yet to consider. If this isn’t something your organization can offer due to its size, push yourself to find connections and mentorship outside of the office with those in similar or higher roles at other organizations in your area.

There’s no longer room for growth

Understanding how your company is structured can be more complicated than looking at an org chart. Some companies prefer to promote from within a department, while others cross-promote from different branches of the organization or hire an external candidate when a new position opens up.

It may seem like there’s room to grow when you first sign onto a position, but politics, individual seniority, and company policies may create unforeseen obstacles. Reflect on past hiring decisions to make sure you’re not stuck in your current role for life.

You can’t focus on the work you’re doing

Minutes feeling like hours and days feeling like weeks is one of the more obvious signs that you’ve outgrown your position. We can convince ourselves that boredom is common across workplaces, and it can be to a certain degree, but when it drags from one week into the next, you’re bored because you’re ready for more.

Acknowledge your feeling of boredom, and identify it for what it is. If you have a slow week, it happens. If every week feels like the last four, it’s time to start looking for the next learning experience.

You find yourself browsing alternatives

When you’re not entirely satisfied with your current position, you might find yourself browsing job boards or paying more attention to LinkedIn’s Recommend Jobs for You. This is a great idea whenever you’re employed, so you can keep on top of what’s new in the industry, what future jobs are looking for, or what the competitive rate may be.

Reflect on why it is you’re browsing, and acknowledge if this browsing is a tiny, internal attempt to escape your current position. While this can be an indication of outgrowing your position, give your employer a chance before jumping ship. Let them know what it is that’s intriguing you in other job descriptions, and see if there’s any opportunity to explore a role expansion.

Everything (and everyone) is telling you to move on

If you’re in a position where friends, family, or even co-workers are saying they think it’s time for you to move on, you should probably stop and listen. While these comments may be flattering, they are also important indicators that you’ve outgrown your current position.

While the people closest to us could be the ones to say it, you may also find signs through your own actions that are begging you to move on: caring less about the work itself, dreading the office, or even just a gut feeling.

Saying goodbye isn’t easy

Knowing it’s time to move on doesn’t always make it easier to do so. Try taking some interviews and really digging into your research to find out what else is out there for you before taking the plunge. Keep working hard while you search for your next step, but avoid paralyzing your growth with excuses for each new opportunity that arises.

Leaving a job before the experience has expired entirely can be one of the best ways to make sure you leave on a positive note and full of fond memories.


Ready to grow with a new challenge? See the best jobs for web creators at Authentic Jobs.

Conquer Rejection: 4 Steps To Take When You Don’t Get The Job

Conquer Rejection: 4 Steps To Take When You Don’t Get The Job

It’s the email nobody wants to get. It starts with “We regret to inform you….” and ends with you wondering what went wrong.

So, you didn’t get the job you really wanted… Now what should you do? First, realize that rejection is a part of life, especially if you’re on the job hunt. While your first instinct might be to delete that flashy company’s contact info and pretend like the interview never happened, that’s not the smartest move.

Instead, here are some things you should do (and one thing you definitely shouldn’t) if you want to make the best of a less-than-ideal situation.

1. Stay Positive

It’s hard not to take professional rejection personally, but realize there are a ton of factors that go into hiring decisions. Maybe you had the right skills but weren’t the best culture fit. Perhaps they were planning to hire internally from the beginning. Whatever the reason may be, it’s important that you don’t let the experience bring you down.

Give yourself some time to bounce back—call a friend, go for a walk, order a pity pizza—do whatever it takes to process your emotions. Also remember that while not getting this job may create some challenges for you financially or in your career, the situation is not permanent and not the absolute worst case scenario. As the saying goes, this too shall pass.

2. Learn From The Experience

Once the initial sting has subsided, try to take a step back and reflect on the situation. Start with the job itself – was the company looking for people with a specific qualification? Does your previous experience align with the position? Try to identify any potential skills gaps and work to overcome them. For example, if you’re looking for a web development position, taking a course in UI/UX Design could help your resume stand out to potential employers.

If you made it to the interview stage, think about what you did well and what you could improve upon for next time. For instance, if there were any questions that gave you pause, write them down and prepare some answers just in case you come across them again.

Additionally, finding a candidate who fits in with the culture of an organization is becoming increasingly important – some companies even prioritize this factor over a candidate’s competence. Before your next interview, do a trial run with a brutally honest friend. They might spot some body language quirks or less-than-ideal answers that you didn’t even realize you had.

3. Ask For Feedback

Some employers might give you an indication as to why they passed on you. It’s possible that you even know exactly what that reason is without even having to ask. However, there are those times where you’re left scratching your head in disbelief.

In these situations, it can be helpful to seek clarification on their decision-making process, but there are a few things to consider before you send your request. Firstly, you shouldn’t ask for feedback if you did not meet with the hiring manager in person. Additionally, keep in mind that you may not get the candid response you’re hoping for due to legal concerns.

However, if you feel it is appropriate, the best way to ask for constructive criticism is to start with a thank you letter, letting them know that you appreciate them taking the time to meet with you. After you have expressed your gratitude, conclude your email with a request for feedback. Also, be sure to frame your questions in a positive way and be specific. Ask “Do you have any advice for how I could improve my interviewing style?” instead of “Why didn’t you hire me?”

4. Don’t Hold A Grudge

While it’s normal to feel some animosity toward a company after getting rejected, it’s crucial that you don’t let your hurt feelings cloud your judgment. Always be gracious and thank your interviewer for their time and wish them the best.

If you’re still interested in working for the company, ask them to keep you in mind for future openings and maybe even connect with them on LinkedIn. Staying in touch with the company can help ensure you’re top-of-mind when a new position opens up.

Turn Rejection Into Resilience

Once you’ve followed the above steps, remember not to dwell on the situation. It’s important to get back on the horse and continue applying to jobs and learning new skills. While rejection is often painful, it’s also a huge learning opportunity – it forces you to look inside yourself and identify areas for improvement, both professionally and personally. Plus, it’ll feel even more rewarding when the right job is offered to you.


Ready to move on? Authentic Jobs has an opportunity waiting for you.

5 Resume Keywords to Borrow from Tech Leaders

5 Resume Keywords to Borrow from Tech Leaders

Writing a resume or cover letter for any job can be difficult, but applying to web development roles comes with its own set of challenges.

First, there’s the matter of translating all the technical jargon and complex terminology of your work into plain language that everybody on the hiring team can understand. Then there’s the issue of finding a balance between putting yourself in the best possible light, while also staying true to your experience and skillset.

Unfortunately, there is no real shortcut to putting together a quality application. However, to get some inspiration, we looked to some of the best and the brightest in the industry to see how they describe themselves.

Here are some keywords and phrases from industry pros that can help spice up your web developer resume or cover letter and stand out from the crowd.

“One-man team”

Working at a startup means you often have to wear many hats. As a result, if a founder is ready to expand their team, they want to ensure that whoever they bring on board has the same entrepreneurial spirit as they do, and would be excited to take on work that might fall outside of their job description.

If you’re a developer looking to work with a smaller company, using phrases like “one-man team” to describe yourself can certainly help attract the right kind of attention. In Tobias Ahlin’s case, his arsenal of skills includes programming, designing, and launching mobile applications – all useful skills in the startup space.

“I don’t do it all.”

While it might be a riskier move than presenting yourself as the ultimate all-in-one web development machine, being brutally honest about your shortcomings can also work to your advantage. Case in point: this job seeker’s “resume of failures” that was even more effective at getting callbacks than his regular version.

While you don’t need to go to such an extreme, you could use Dave Shea’s more subtle approach. On his professional website, he clearly states that while he does do a lot, he can’t be all things to all clients. While it’s certainly a bold technique, it also shows employers that you’re confident in your skills and can set clear expectations – two strong qualities to have in a web developer.

“Human side”

Sometimes, web developers can become disconnected from the people they’re developing for. To put it simply, a website is built for its end users, and their goals and needs matter more than yours.

This might seem like a basic point to make, but it’s pretty common for developers to lose sight of the big picture. Anyone can list off all of the programming languages they know, but by stating that you also understand the “human side of software development” a la Jeff Atwood, you’re telling potential employers that you are more than just a technician. They can trust you with the end users’ needs, which always leads to be a better product.

“Code with passion”

Employers want people with energy and drive; people who will actively contribute to the company, and not simply go through the motions. That’s why questions like “Why do you want to work here?” or “Why do you want to be a developer?” are so common in job interviews. Hiring managers want to know that you are sincerely interested in the job, and would be motivated to perform well if hired.

When developer Ben Taylor states that he “writes code with passion,” and “designs interactions with meaning,” he’s telling potential employers and clients not just what he does, but how he does them. It might seem small, but it’s not enough to be able to do the job – companies want to see how you set yourself apart from other candidates.

“Simple but innovative”

Good websites and applications shouldn’t be complicated. They should be purpose-driven and fulfill the specific need of your end users in the simplest way possible. At the same time, the final product should also be innovative and overcome challenges in an original way.

Adam Bard was the developer behind a pre-Bumble dating site where only women can browse profiles and send initial messages. By using those three words, ‘simple but innovative,’ to describe the project on his personal website, it shows employers that he has both the creativity to identify a problem and propose a solution, as well as a keen understanding that you don’t need to include a lot of technical bells and whistles to attract an audience to a website – it just needs to work.

Another example of this guiding principle at work? Adam’s “normal” and “nerd” site modes which present his portfolio in both plain language and tech-speak. Simple but innovative.

The Language You Use Matters

At the end of the day, it’s not about what you say but how you say it. While you might have all the skills necessary to succeed in a position, your choice of words can help you stand out and drive home to employers how you would fit into the company as a whole – and often that’s what matters the most.


Is your resume in tip-top shape?Authentic Jobs has a job for you.

Man and Woman Walk in Suits

Using Unrelated Experiences to Land a Programming Job

You’ve read the job description over and over again, but you’re still not sure if you should apply. Maybe you don’t check all of the required qualifications, or you’re a few years shy of the preferred years of experience. Either way, your resume makes it hard to explain exactly why you’re perfect for this role.

But consider that experience outside of programming and web development can actually give you a leg up against your competition. Follow these five tips for creative ways to leverage your non-developer skills in the job search.

Are you a problem solver?

Any job will teach you problem solving skills such as calming an anxious client, adjusting a timeline for a project, or taking on tasks that fall outside your responsibility. Figuring out how to fix a problem, regardless of whether it’s in your job description, is one of the most important aspects in any job role and one of the most attractive characteristics in a new employee.

Before interviews, think of ways that you could apply skills from previous jobs to this new role. These can include customer acquisition, social media, blogging, videography, or any area that’s presenting the biggest challenge for your employer.

Are you a natural leader?

Having experience as a manager can help you in an interview, regardless of whether or not the position includes managing a team. Being a great manager requires a long list of important skills that are crucial for successful candidates: having empathy for co-workers, learning to utilize individuals’ strengths, and most importantly, being organized.

Organization can make or break a developer: your team is relying on you to tie moving pieces together in a strict timeline. Management experience gives you the organizational and interpersonal skills to succeed in even the most difficult deadline-driven settings.

Can you take feedback?

Chances are you’ve worked a customer service job at least once in your life—whether it was at a grocery store, a restaurant, or somewhere else. Skills from these client-facing jobs transfer over into every aspect of a developer’s day. Depending on your role or company, you may not be dealing with outside clients directly, but you will always be dealing with some sort of internal customer.

Use this as a strength in interviews by thinking of times you went out of your way to please a client (internal or external). Narrow in on their challenge, your process for solving it, and ultimately, the final outcome. Explaining how you got to the solution shows you can connect with your client and find something that works for everyone involved.

Are you a communicator?

If you’ve ever worked in marketing or communications, you know how to work with a strong focus on storytelling. But chances are any past job has required storytelling skills: whether it was selling a product, writing reports, or designing a website.

Use this background to your advantage by framing your approach to development as storytelling without as many words. Take the lessons you’ve learned about tone, delivery, and messaging and apply them to your work. Having a background in a communication position gives you the skills to think of new ways to tell the same story and narrow in on which one will tell it best.

Are you an independent worker?

Have any experience freelancing? Had a job that left you on your own to get the work done? Being able to manage yourself confidently and deliver outstanding work is an underrated skill to pitch in a job interview.

Whether the company wants to give you free reign or have you checking in almost daily, knowing you’re able to accomplish tasks independently is a weight lifted off management’s shoulders. It means you’ll be the first person they call to save the day at the last minute, and you’ll quickly become popular because they know they can trust you to get the job done.

Finding the lesson in anything

Every experience you’ve ever had has a hidden lesson that can be applied to your next job. Running a marathon can demonstrate perseverance or strength, getting your diploma can show dedication and focus, and working a customer service job can show empathy and drive.

Whether your past experience is developer-related or not, find the narrative in each experience you’ve had. Interpersonal skills are how we connect and operate on a daily basis: prove you have what it takes to succeed and your work ethic will do the rest.


Whatever your background, Authentic Jobs has a job for you.

A designer's desk

Kill Your Darlings: How to Make Ruthless Edits to Your Design Portfolio

A portfolio is a designer’s secret weapon when it comes to job applications. It’s your opportunity to shout from the roof, “Check it out, I’m your perfect candidate!” without actually saying anything.

This makes it extremely tempting to overload it with examples of your past work, but there’s value in narrowing it down to the most impactful samples. Here are five strategies for creating a design portfolio that makes potential employers get back to you in no time.

1. Create a list of goals in advance

When creating a portfolio for your design work, it’s common to start by going through your past work and pulling your favorites. This can vary from projects you loved, projects you learned from, and projects you feel are relevant to the job you’re applying to.

But try this instead: before opening up any past work, sit down and create a list of things you want to showcase. The list might include some pieces for pure aesthetics, some pieces that let you discuss your creative process, and some pieces from relevant industries or projects.

Revisit your list as you go to stay on track. Make sure you don’t have too many samples serving the same purpose or pieces of work you’re holding onto without a strategic reason.

2. Evaluate yourself as an employer would

Once you’ve curated a portfolio based on the goals, take a step back and review it as if you’re an employer looking to hire. Remove your name from your portfolio and any sentimentalism, and evaluate it as if it’s not your own.

Ask yourself if you would honestly be impressed by the work and if you would be their candidate of choice. Were any sections too lengthy? Did you feel something was lacking or repetitive?

Think of the critical questions on an employer’s mind when they’re looking for the perfect candidate. 99designs does a great job of explaining how companies should evaluate graphic design portfolios, while June UX explained how hiring managers rank UX ones.

3. Ask a third-party to weigh in

Once you’ve evaluated your own portfolio, have someone else step in to critique. No matter how critical you are of yourself, having someone else review it will give you a different perspective and bring new questions to light.

This person can be another designer, someone working in a hiring position, or even family and friends. If possible, try to have two to three people review it from different categories of your life. A peer will point out small details, while a family member may notice something off with a vibe or a specific piece included.

4. “Would you put it on your first billboard?”

Not every project will be a masterpiece, but your portfolio should only capture your proudest moments whether it’s because of the final result or the process behind it. Look at each individual aspect of your portfolio and ask yourself if you would want to see it on a billboard in New York’s Time Square.

Realistically, not all work in your portfolio has been designed for a billboard, but if you wouldn’t want millions of people to see your name next to it, it doesn’t deserve a place in your portfolio.

5. Know when to walk away

It can be exciting to sit down and build your portfolio after a few morning coffees, but take the time to space it out. Once you’re happy with it, walk away and let it settle. Come back to it and see if anything stands out as unusual or if you see opportunities for improvement popping out. Try to do this twice before submitting your final portfolio with your application.

Once you start using your portfolio to apply for new work, remember it is not set in stone and should be considered a work in progress. Make sure you’re putting out something you’re happy with, but continue to re-evaluate it as your experience grows and your roles shift.


Ready to show off your portfolio? Find your dream job on Authentic Jobs.

The Next Silicon Valley? 4 Alternatives to San Francisco for Tech Workers

The Next Silicon Valley? 4 Alternatives to San Francisco for Tech Workers

Predictions of the next Silicon Valley are like the weather: every day there’s a new forecast.

There’s no denying that the Bay Area is the beating heart of America’s tech industry. Over half of all tech jobs in San Francisco pay above $100,000 per year to meet the high cost of living in the area.

San Francisco might seem unachievable for those just starting out in tech. Fortunately, several tech hubs are growing in the United States, offering more manageable real estate costs with the same job security.

Austin, Texas

Austin is no stranger to developers and designers. As the headquarters of SXSW, tech folk flock to the Texan capital every year to learn about the latest, greatest, and weirdest things that tech has to offer.

Austin’s sunny weather is a stark contract to San Francisco’s infamous fog. What’s more, it has a similarly low level of unemployment – something which tends to influence industry growth.

Like San Francisco, Austin’s growing economic power equates to higher living costs across the board. That’s likely why most of its postings reflect higher-salary job titles.

If BBQ and country music seem like the perfect after-work entertainment, check out developer and design jobs in Austin.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle trades SF’s fog for rain. It should come as no surprise that tech jobs are booming in Seattle, as it’s a popular headquarters for established giants including Amazon and Microsoft. This contributes to Seattle offering a slightly higher percentage of high-paying jobs than San Francisco.

Startups are starting to find more ground in Seattle, too. Zillow and Moz are popular success stories offering plenty of hiring growth over the next few years.

For now, Seattle offers a lower cost of living than the Bay Area. If you want to feel like you’re living in a forested city, check out web creator jobs in Seattle.

Boulder, Colorado and Portland, Oregon

If you’re looking to move to a truly up-and-coming tech hub, look no further than Boulder or Portland. Both offer a similar quality of work as tech centres like Austin, but on a much smaller, more affordable scale.

These cities hire for the same lucrative, highly specialized positions as San Francisco and Seattle. But what they lack in recognition for their tech industries is more than made up for in lower costs of living, steady growth, and lifestyle.

Portland is famous for its walkability and bicycle community, as well as its extensive network of public parks. If you want to help keep Portland weird, check out open jobs for on Authentic.

Boulder on the other hand offers both a steady supply of craft beer and rock-solid mountaineering. See any open listings on our website.

Finding a New Home

Deciding where to target a job search is only the first step. The hardest part is finding a position which fits your career goals. There are a few things you can do regardless of whether your destination.

  • Check LinkedIn for shared connections in your dream city
  • Explore job boards like Authentic for the perfect position
  • Reach out to the specific organizations you’d like to work with regardless of whether they’re advertising positions

This last point puts you on the map for potential employers. Expressing interest before a position is even available can make the hiring process easier.

Staying in Touch

It’s unlikely that Silicon Valley will be replaced by another tech hub any time soon. But San Francisco isn’t the only option for talented designers, developers, and business leaders looking for job security and community.

Look beyond the Bay Area, and you might just find the perfect locale — and a dream job to go with it.


Wherever you roam, Authentic Jobs has a job for you.

Man uses smartphone

Social Media 101 for Job Hunting Graphic Designers

In the digital age, social media blurs the lines between our professional and personal selves. These networks provide a useful space for keeping in touch with friends and family, but they are also places to forge new connections.

Social media presents a powerful opportunity to market yourself and your work to recruiters and potential colleagues. This is particularly true for graphic designers, given the overwhelming power of visuals and images on online platforms.

Take advantage of the professional potential of each platform using these tips.

Twitter

Hashtags

Hashtags are what make Twitter such a powerful networking tool for professional use. By including hashtags relevant to your medium, style and niche, you are more likely to come up in searches for these terms and to grow your follower base with individuals that are interested in your work and your professional insight.

Include hashtags in your bio and account description as well as your posts to hone the power of Twitter search. But be careful not to overuse hashtags — a good rule of thumb is that your hashtags shouldn’t outweigh your post itself. In most cases, limit yourself to one or two hashtags per post.

Some of the top trending hashtags for graphic designers include: #design, #art, #graphicdesign, #graphicart, #artoftheday, #artofinstagram, #branding, #brandidentity, #cartoon, #creative, #digitalart, #flatdesign, #typedesign, #typespire, #illustrator, #vector, #vectorart, #photoshop, #UX, #logo, #logodesign and more.

Engage With Other Accounts

A great way to build your professional network on Twitter is to engage with other designers. Showing your appreciation for others’ work is actually a way to boost interest and followers on your own account.

By tweeting interesting industry news or artwork and tagging your colleagues in relevant tweets, you are increasing your chances of getting retweets and likes, which then boosts your account’s reach to new audiences. Each interaction could be an opportunity for a recruiter or a potential colleague to see your work.

Check out Owen Gildersleeve on Twitter for inspiration on how to incorporate the promotion of your artwork, hashtags, social engagement, original posts and commentary — all in one powerful profile.

LinkedIn

Cover Photo and Profile Image

As a graphic designer, the aesthetic of all of your online profiles is a representation of your work and artistic abilities. While many designers’ first instinct is to take to Instagram to present their artistic talents, LinkedIn should also be a focus for any designer looking to build their professional reputation. Put your creative talents on display by creating an original cover photo and investing in a professional profile image that shows your personality and style.

Promote Your Work

LinkedIn is the prime social platform to be promoting your professional work, so don’t be shy. LinkedIn is essentially an online resume and its digital format provides even more opportunities to “sell” your experience, abilities and talents than a traditional resume or job application. Once your projects have been finalized and made public, post about them. Share images in an original way and take ownership of your hard work and creativity.

Facebook

Promoting Fun Work Projects and Office Life

Facebook is definitely a more casual platform; more of a tool to keep in touch with friends and family than to grow and nurture business relationships. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t also post about your professional life and your work from time to time. Just make sure there’s an appropriate balance.

Your friends and family likely don’t care to hear about every small detail of your work life or scroll through a full digital portfolio. However, posting fun, interesting things that happen in the office, big news about your latest completed projects or sharing professional milestones and accomplishments is perfectly acceptable. More importantly, these posts could be seen by recruiters or future colleagues through your friends’ interactions with your posts. Always be aware that your posts could be seen by anyone, so put your best foot forward.

Create a Company Page

If you are looking to boost the professional power of Facebook to help build your personal brand as a graphic designer, consider creating a company page. A company page is free and easy to set up and will give you a focused account to display your work and your abilities. Whether you are looking to freelance or you simply want to share your work, a company page allows you to market your Facebook presence to a more targeted audience, versus only your friends and family. This professional account also offers the opportunity to advertise and run “Like” campaigns to boost the followers on your account.

Instagram

Display Your Work

Instagram is a powerful visual medium, which makes it the perfect platform for graphic designers to present their work in an interesting way. But be sure that displaying your work makes sense in the context of your profile.

The most effective Instagram accounts have a clear and consistent focus. Whether you’re displaying art, fashion, food, travel, etc., you will gain the strongest and most meaningful follower base with a profile that has a dedicated focus. If you’re the type of person that also wants to post about your other daily dealings, consider creating two accounts; one for your personal friends and one for your professional network.

Then, think about creating a consistent look and feel for your account. Many Instagrammers will create this consistency through the colours, filters and different types of photography and imagery styles. Figure out what type of aesthetic best portrays and compliments your personality and artistic style and keep it consistent.

Check out the talented Steven Harrington on Instagram for inspiration on how to incorporate design posts as well as snapshots of daily life in an artistic way.

Long Beach. #lbc

A post shared by Steven Harrington (@s_harrington) on

Hashtags

Draw more people to your posts using relevant and trending hashtags in your posts. While it is definitely helpful to include the more general hashtags like #art, #designer, #graphicdesign, etc., it is also good to dig a bit deeper and tap into your niche and what you are presenting. For example, include more specialized hashtags like: #animation, #motiongraphics, #3D, #typography, #calligraphy, etc.

On Instagram, you have the ability to add your hashtags in a comment below your caption. This allows you to add more hashtags and gather more power from the search tool without distracting from your message or making your post look spammy.

Dribbble

Upload Portfolio

If you’re not already on Dribbble, create an account now and build a portfolio featuring your favorite creations.

Be sure to also include relevant tags on your uploaded pieces to make them show up in search. Tags could pertain to the style of your art, like “3D” or “sketch”, or they could pertain to the audience or potential clients you are looking to attract, like “logo” or “branding”.

Check out Creative Mints on Dribbble for an example of how to create a consistent and cohesive profile. This account is focused heavily around one artistic niche, however remains interesting throughout. You can see how an account like this would gather a strong and engaged following of individuals that are drawn to this style.

Engage With Your Peers’ Work

Once you’ve shared your own portfolio, take a look around to get inspired and share your thoughts. Feel free to ask questions if you see an artist using a new technique that you’d like to try in your own work. By leaving a comment or liking someone’s post, you are spreading awareness for your own profile and building an online community of like-minded professionals.

Social Media: Networking in a Digital World

Social media is not simply a casual, socializing tool anymore. In the digital world, social media is one of the leading ways recruiters discover new talent. It allows recruiters to learn more about you and get a feel for your consistency before reaching out.

You never know who could be watching, so be mindful of what you post online and how you present it. As a graphic designer, everything you post on these platforms can be used to promote yourself and your abilities, so be creative in your approach and make every post count.


Follow Authentic Jobs on Twitter for all of our latest job postings.

5 Skills to Power-Up Your Developer Resume

5 Skills to Power-Up Your Developer Resume

It’s hard to imagine a world where we don’t do everything via the internet. From ordering food to buying clothes to booking vacations, technology has taken over our lives in a huge way. Today, almost every single industry requires people who know who to code.

However, as the industry grows, and the number of web developers along with it, it’s only natural that the field is getting increasingly competitive. In order to stay relevant, developers have to move beyond the basics of JavaScript and HTML. Whether you’re looking to get your big break in the tech world or move up into a management position, adding one of the following skills to your toolbox can help set you apart from the crowd.

UI/UX Design

From an employer’s perspective, hiring a developer who can design is like scoring the ultimate 2-for-1 deal. However, there’s much more to gain from adding this skill to your arsenal than just making yourself a more attractive candidate.

Simply put, website and app users don’t interact with lines of code, they interact with design. By learning to design, you’ll gain a better understanding of the customer and be able to build more user-friendly products. Additionally, even if you don’t become a pro designer, learning more about concepts like wireframing and user flow can help you collaborate better with designers in the future.

You can start by taking an online course – for example, SitePoint has tons of design and UX courses, most of which can completed in under three hours.

Data Analytics

As companies find new ways to capture and store large amounts of information about their customers, products, and services, many of these same businesses are also left scrambling to figure out what to do with it. That’s why it’s no surprise that a recent study named data science as the technical skill with the biggest increase in demand in the last few years.

As a web developer, learning how to work with large sets of data and use it to generate insights and validate ideas can be invaluable to your career. However, data science is an enormous field that can take years to master.

You can learn the basics with tools like Dataquest, which focuses on practicing your skills and building a portfolio. If you’re looking to learn more advanced data science concepts, this in-depth guide offers a variety of learning paths. On a budget? MIT offers courses on data mining, free of charge.

Mobile Development

We’re not just talking about making responsive websites and smartphone apps. With mobile technology use rising at an incredible rate, and its scope expanding beyond the realm of smartphones and tablets to include platforms like Smart TVs and IoT-enabled devices, web developers need to upgrade their skills in order to remain competitive.

For instance, many are calling Progressive Web Apps the “new Responsive Web Design,” as they offer the end user a more mobile-optimized, app-like experience, instead of simply changing the layout of a website to fit different screen sizes. Additionally, incorporating beacons into app development allows businesses to collect in-store data and use hyperlocal marketing to better engage its customers.

Fortunately, Google offers some great overviews about many of these new mobile development trends.

Writing

So you can write code, but can you write… period? You might not think that your writing matters as much as your technical skills, but communication is an important part of any workplace. Writing plays an essential role whether you’re communicating with team members and clients, creating an online portfolio to showcase your work, or updating your resume.

For a quick fix, apps like Grammarly can act like a second pair of eyes on your work, highlighting both common and complex grammatical errors in your writing. If you want to really grow as a writer, taking an online course in business writing or web content writing can help you fine tune your skills with lessons and tips that can be easily applied to a professional setting.

Project Management

No matter where you are in your career, knowing how to manage a web development project from beginning to end can be extremely helpful. Since most companies use the Agile method, learning the ins and outs of being a Scrum Master would be more useful than general project management training.

To get a solid grasp on the fundamentals, this Agile Project Management course is a good place to start. Once you understand the basics, beginner and advanced scrum courses will give you the tools you need to solve problems using the Agile method and fine tune your leadership style so you can better manage your team.

Web Development 3.0?

Before you start panicking, we are not suggesting that every web developer needs to have every skill in order to get a job. Web development is still a highly attractive and lucrative field. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 27% growth in available Web Developer jobs from 2014 to 2024.

However, if you have an interest in any one of the above areas, it certainly can’t hurt to explore it further and diversify your skillset.


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LinkedIn Level Up: 7 Ways to Improve Your Social Presence

LinkedIn Level Up: 7 Ways to Improve Your Social Presence

Over the past decade, it’s become a natural part of the hiring process to look up candidates on LinkedIn. For developers, having a weak or untouched LinkedIn profile can be worse than not being on the platform at all.

Want to make sure you shine when a recruiter or hiring manager lands on your profile? Follow these six steps.

Create a top-notch profile summary

Your profile summary is the first piece of content people see when they visit your profile. Take the time to fill it out properly with all of the information someone needs to know about you on first glance.

When writing your summary, think of the common hiring request, “Tell me a bit about yourself.” In an interview scenario, you would probably touch on your past jobs, specific skillsets, applications used, languages spoken, and career goals. It’s also a good practice to inject a bit of personality to give people an idea of who you are outside of work.

Quantify your job descriptions

Lots of developers make the mistake of providing company names and employment periods and nothing else. You should see this section as an opportunity to share everything that’s already on your resume plus anything that couldn’t fit.

Keep a focus on what you actually accomplished while working at each place, and quantify if whenever possible. Make it explicitly clear what the result of the work was, not just a description of the task. This means replacing bullet points like “Rewrote front-end code” with “Served as lead for code overhaul of website, leading to 75% faster page load.” These metrics prove that you influenced the company’s success instead of clocking in and out each day.

Ask for recommendations

When you’re moving on from a project or workplace, it’s quite common for a manager to offer a letter of recommendation. By the time you end up needing it, it’s usually awkward to reach out since it’s been too long since you worked with them or they’ve also moved on from the company.

Instead, ask for a recommendation on LinkedIn before you move on. These endorsements appear on your public profile, showing future employers that past managers liked you enough to recommend you to others. If possible, ask people to focus on soft skills, which are harder to describe through resumes and job descriptions.

LinkedIn has a handy guide on requesting recommendations. And, don’t feel limited to just managers. Ask team members for kind words as well.

Link to portfolio projects

If your work is available live on websites, link directly to these under your accomplishments section. If you’ve completed projects that aren’t easily linkable, create your own portfolio website or use a platform like Slideshare to showcase your work. This is also a great place to include hackathon and personal projects, if you have any of those.

Including samples of your work on your profile is a great way to attract the right contacts based on your capabilities. It can weed out offers from industries you’re not interested in or help narrow in on the ones you are.

Be sure to ask permission from past employers to avoid posting anything confidential.

Don’t underestimate volunteer work

As a developer, you probably have friends and family asking for favors all the time. While it’s nice to be able to say ‘no’, consider using these opportunities as a way to build the volunteer section of your LinkedIn profile.

You don’t have to be doing development work for charities to volunteer your time. Revamping your friend’s business website or contributing to an open source project are just a few examples of work that can fall into this volunteer category without long-term commitments.

Splurge for a professional photo

If you’re a developer, chances are you know someone who has a DSLR handy. Utilize your connections or do a quick online search and find someone who can give you a headshot that captures your personality in a professional way. Whether it’s a conscious decision or not, seeing a high-quality photo gives the impression that you’re more professional, experienced, and even qualified for a particular job.

Better yet, use your profile photo as an opportunity to showcase your ability by creating a cartoon version of yourself or showing off web design trends in a smart way. Get creative and use it as another opportunity for your profile to shine.

Optimize for search engines

Using keywords wisely throughout your LinkedIn profile can help you be easily found through Google and internal search. Terms like “Austin front-end developer” or “javascript web developer” are two examples of keywords that narrow in on a tactical level.

Keep these in mind as you build your profile. Mention them in your biography, past jobs, volunteer section, skills, hobbies, and anywhere else you can squeeze them in. Once you feel you’ve completed your LinkedIn makeover, revisit all text and evaluate your keyword inclusion.

Also, get your connections to endorse you for skills relevant to these keywords by endorsing them first. This sends a notification suggesting they reciprocate the nicety. The more endorsements you get, the more chances you have of ranking for those skills.

Your profile is never “complete”

Taking these steps to improve your LinkedIn profile is a great way to step up your game, but it doesn’t mean you’ve crossed a finish line.

You should be jumping on LinkedIn at least three times a week to connect with familiar faces and engage in industry groups. Take the time once a month to revisit your profile and see if anything needs updating or if any links need replacing.

Consider your profile a work in progress, and always tweak it whether you’re looking for work or not. This guarantees that recruiters and future managers stumbling on your profile will be impressed with what they find.


What will your next opportunity be? Find it on Authentic Jobs.

Your Guide to Non-Awkward Networking

Your Guide to Non-Awkward Networking

Everyone dreads them: the cringe-worthy networking events. You’re never quite in the mood for it, and it’s always (unfortunately) just what you expected.

But networking is critical to the job search—a recent survey showed 85% of jobs are filled by networking efforts.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to network without attending events that make you want to crawl under the table. Below are six options for designers and developers to grow their communities.

Engage with your peers

The more you engage with your peers, the more your network grows. This can include current co-workers, casual acquaintances from university, or new friends you make in the industry. Connect with them on different channels to make it easier to re-engage regularly. Follow them on Twitter, add them on AngelList, and connect with them on LinkedIn. And don’t be afraid to ask for their personal contact information to stay in touch.

Spending time with peers is a win-win. You can extend your network, and they get a chance to expand theirs. And who knows – your peer may come across a contact or a job opening that may not be right for them, but they’d be willing to put in a good word to get your foot in the door.

Connect regularly with mentors

We’re all familiar with the expression “time flies”, and there’s certainly truth behind it. It can feel like just yesterday you went for lunch with a mentor, but in reality, you’re long overdue to reconnect.

If you’re thinking of changing jobs, now is a good time to reach out. Mentors are often well-connected in a different way, and they can act as the bridge between you and your dream job by introducing you to their connections or recommending different skills to level up.

Every time you see your mentor, show them how eager you are to learn and the steps you’ve taken to grow since last speaking. Growing this relationship and a solid reputation will go a long way when their CEO buddies are looking to hire.

Not sure where to find a mentor? The best way is to let the relationship develop naturally. Try reaching out to a teacher you really enjoyed or someone in a career position you’d like to have one day.

Attend industry events

No, not awkward networking events. Keep your eye out for local happenings that relate to your industry. Meetup and Startup Grind are a great place to start. Poke around Twitter, agency websites, or coworking spaces to make sure you’re not stuck hearing about events after they happen.

Participating in conferences, hackathons, and workshops are another great way to meet a targeted group of individuals without the uncomfortable atmosphere of “we’re supposed to be networking right now.” You’ll get to know leaders and peers in your industry, discover new roles you never knew existed, and even learn a thing or two.

Make sure you take the time to trade contact information, so you can connect on different platforms once the event ends. The great thing about industry events is it’s not limited to new graduates or interns. You’ll find yourself connecting with designers, developers, managers, or even executives who can help you get a seat at the table.

Join online communities

Joining online communities allows you to connect with influencers on a global level, and discover new opportunities you didn’t know existed. As a designer or developer, the world of freelance and remote working provides endless options for employment.

Finding industry groups on LinkedIn, Reddit, Slack, Facebook, or other online forums is a way to engage with potential employers and peers on a daily basis. Explore Dribbble, Hacker News, and Twitter for new opportunities to shine. Don’t be afraid to engage in the group; you never know who’s watching and willing to hire.

Reach out for a one-on-one

Networking events can be intimidating with so many people to meet and so little time. Instead, try browsing through industry contacts online and narrow in on a few key people to connect with. Reach out to them with a personalized, thoughtful message and see if they’d be open to meeting for coffee or lunch. Taking the time to reach out on a more personal level can catch their attention more than a handshake in a room full of noise.

Don’t limit yourself to those who are hiring in the community. Connect with anyone who’s of interest: someone who has taken a career path you envy, a fellow graduate who landed a huge opportunity right out of school, or a team manager at the company you admire. Getting one on one develops a more personal relationship and allows you to connect on a deeper level. You can understand their role, what skills they value, and what steps they think you should be taking.

Build your personal brand

Building your personal brand in a visual field is an important element. Pick the social networks that you think you can excel at, and create a personal brand more than a personal profile. Showcase your portfolio work, connect with others in the industry, and let your personality shine through. By having an active online presence, you open up doors without realizing it.

Note that creating a personal brand isn’t a free pass to leave behind other networking opportunities, but it shows future employers your past work, your dedication, and your willingness to put in work. The more you grow your channels, the more you’ll have opportunities knocking.

Getting out there

You could argue one method over another all day long, but when it comes down to it, it’s all about putting yourself out there.

Find ways that feel comfortable for you, and do your best to use them to your advantage. If you’re introverted in a group setting but excel one-on-one, don’t try to force huge events that will make you crumble. Alternatively, if you in front of a large group, try to find industry events that give you those opportunities.

Regardless, networking comes down to connecting with other like-minded individuals. Always be yourself, and you’ll find what works best for you.


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