Posts Tagged ‘interviews’
How can you get a job without an interview? It's easy, if you have a solid network and a good reputation.
Most people prefer to work with freelancers they already know. If you've built a strong network of people who know you and like your work, you may find that they call you or refer others to you when it's time to hire a freelancer.
Develop a sense of professionalism in your clothes, how you present yourself, and your conversation. It may help to work up a 30-second "elevator speech" that describes what you do and hits your top selling points. Any encounter — even a chance meeting at a pub — can be the interview that's not an interview, putting you in touch with the person who's going to bring you the next great job.
If you're not getting interviews when you know you have the experience and talent to do the freelance job, it may be that you're getting tripped up by simple cover-letter mistakes. Wading through piles of resumes, an employer is likely to reject any that have cover-letter problems. Go over this checklist before you send a cover letter:
- Address the hiring manager by name. You can often find the person's name on the organization's website. If not, call the company and see if the receptionist will give you the correct name. (Ask him or her to spell it for you!) If you're not sure of the person's gender, use the Internet or the phone to confirm that as well.
- Get the company's name right. Spell it the same way it is spelled in the ad. (While you're at it, spell everything else right.) If you're sending versions of the same letter to multiple companies, triple-check to be sure your letter to ABC doesn't get sent to CBS or NBC.
- Yes, you really do need to write a separate cover letter — or at least modify your template — for each job. Employers want to know that you want to work specifically for them. Use your cover letter to demonstrate your communication skills and your knowledge of their work. Bonus points if you can name specific things the company does and why you'd like to work with them.
- Use one or two brief examples to illustrate the qualities you describe.
- Write well. If you don't do this naturally, have a writer friend help you craft letters that are engaging and highlight your best qualities.
An "elevator speech" is the answer to the question "What do you do?",
boiled down into a short, engaging speech that lasts about as long as
an elevator ride. It's useful to practice this regularly so that it
springs readily to your lips in meeting new people. The trick for a
successful elevator speech is that it's about what you do rather than
what you are. So instead of "I'm a multimedia designer" you might say
"I design user-friendly, attention-getting graphics for business
websites to update my customers' corporate images and attract targeted
audiences." That's a very short elevator speech — an expanded version
might include an example of a successful job you did, an award you won,
or the well-known venture capitalist who's invested in your business.
Focus on the benefit to the customer, the positive result of your work,
rather than the process or your credentials. Of course, you don't need
to spend all your time in elevators! Deliver this speech any time you
have a networking opportunity, and follow up by offering a business
card or getting their e-mail address and permission to send more
Usability experts are perceived as Interface Designers that focus on user-centered design websites that stress simplicity. That is not an undesired perception, but it overlooks the complexity of arriving at a creation that emphasizes user Interface Design principles that increase client revenue and net profit. Usability Designer tips are incomplete if these critical interface components are not stressed as strongly as you feature your portfolio.
Display, on paper and during interviews, that you have developed a wonderfully efficient process and technique that helps you design the impressive websites shown in your portfolio. Convince prospective clients that, as aesthetically pleasing as your designs are, they also employ usability engineering tools that feature the following.
- Simple and consistent navigation functions for users.
- User-familiar icons and other conventions.
- Information organization that makes it simple for users to retrieve information quickly, often in three clicks or less.
- Minimum of user scrolling necessities to find answers.
- No overuse of graphical design to distract users.
Stressing your process and technique in this manner reinforces your expertise and makes prospective clients more comfortable with and confident in your ability. Consider using only the top sources for a usability professional, like ArtisanTalent.com, as they can introduce you to the best clients with the best projects.