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All you ever need to know about creative hiring, plus tips on digital portfolios, resumes, events, and trends.

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Vitamin of the Week: Courtney Burgwyn (Washington, DC)


Courtney Burgwyn

Courtney’s experience is the perfect mix for our clients and talent. With over 10 years of recruiting experience, she’s also been a project manager at an agency and a production artist at a healthcare think tank. Talk about the best of all worlds!

Read her answers to our 11 Quick Questions and find out how to make your first day as a freelancer successful and how to create a winning resume.

  1. Advice for freelancers to make their first day a successful one? Wake up early, have breakfast, and tell yourself, "Today is going to be a great day!" It will put you in a positive mood (as first days can sometimes be overwhelming.) Make sure you also arrive with a pad of paper and a pen to take notes about any projects you receive from your manager or coworkers. AND make sure to shake everyone's hand you meet and greet them with a smile!
  2. Any resume writing secrets to pass along? When writing out specific job responsibilities, always ask yourself "what" and "how". Meaning "what did I do there and how did I do it?" This will help you define those responsibilities for each position. Also, remember that hiring managers and HR people see a ton of resumes each day, so keep yours to two pages TOPS.
  3. Tips for making a compelling portfolio? Make sure that your portfolio is user friendly, that is, easy to find your contact information and get through your pieces. A word of advice: at this point, even print designers need to have an online portfolio, it’ll help you get more jobs.
  4. Best creative/digital event in your city? It's a tie between An Event Apart and UXCamp DC. I love An Event Apart as you have an opportunity to rub shoulders with well-known creatives from around the world. UXCamp DC is a little smaller, but is a great way to engage with your peers, as the sessions are set up to be more about discussing trends within the UX field.
  5. Favorite place to keep up with changes in the digital world? I follow a lot of sites such as Fast Company, Forbes, AdAge, on Twitter. I created a list so I can automatically see all their tweets when I get up in the morning.
  6. Best way for freelancers to market themselves on social media? Reach out to those people on social media that can help you find a job, such as recruiters, headhunters, and peers. Also, follow companies you’re interested in and retweet or respond to comments or status posts that employees make. The more you interact with those companies the more insight you’ll have how to can get a job there. (And maybe they’ll think of you when a position opens up!)
  7. Best advice to any manager conducting an interview? Ask about a candidate's successes, not their failures. There is a better chance of understanding what that person can do for you.
  8. What’s the BEST thing you can do when you’re looking for a job? Network, network, network. You NEVER know who you will meet if you just start talking to people. When I was unemployed I was on the commuter train headed to see my family and randomly started a conversation with the person who ended up getting me an interview at a very prestigious telecommunications company. Opportunities are everywhere.
  9. Favorite online quiz? (And your answer.) “What Dessert Matches Your Personality?” My answer: PIE!
  10. Favorite meme or parody? My favorite parody is "We're Not Young" a parody of "We are Young" by the band Fun.
  11. Guilty song pleasure? Come on Eileen” by Dexy's Midnight Runners. Would you believe that I thought the song was about boxer Muhammad Ali until I attended college and someone informed me that I had the entire song incorrect. Every time I hear it I laugh at the fact I thought it was something entirely different.

Looking for creative jobs in Washington, DC?

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