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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: Shannon Benton (DC & Northern Virginia)


Shannon Benton

With more than 19 years experience in staffing, Shannon’s helped clients throughout the marketing, creative, and non-profit worlds.

Whether she’s in the office or on the dance floor (above), when she starts giving advice about succeeding in the digital creative world, people listen.

Check out her answers to our 11 Quick Questions and discover the best way for freelancers to market themselves on social media and the best creative/digital event in DC!

  1. Best way for freelancers to market themselves on social media? Talk about interesting professional activities, such as a new project or an exciting industry event. Anything that tells a compelling story will generate engagement. Remember to post regularly, especially on Twitter and LinkedIn. Don't just be a registered lurker!
  2. What’s the BEST thing you can do when you’re looking for a job? Network. Network. Network. Market yourself!
  3. Favorite social network & why? LinkedIn has always been a valuable professional resource for me because it has allowed me to connect with client contacts as they have grown within their careers or switched companies. However, on the personal side, Facebook is the best way for me to stay in touch with old and new friends, receive updates on the latest and greatest in digital (as well as pop) culture, as well as keep track of upcoming events.
  4. Advice for freelancers to make their first day a successful one? Show up early. Be inquisitive, bright and friendly. Complete tasks in a timely matter. Exceed expectations!
  5. As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Definitely a Rock Star who later successfully crossed over to become brilliant, triple-threat stage and film actress!
  6. Number one mistake people make when hiring a creative? Neglecting to look at the cultural fit of the individual within the company or department. A candidate’s portfolio can be killer, but they need to gel with the team in order to be successful.
  7. Favorite online quiz? (And your answer.) That would be Buzzfeed’s “Which Decade Do You Actually Belong In?” My answer: “You belong in the ‘20s! Ugh, what you would give to live in the golden age of jazz, flapper fashion, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and all-around sexy ambiances.” (Figures. Love my Gatsby.)
  8. Best creative/digital event in your city? An Event Apart. Amazing event for designers, content specialists, and developers. Excellent topics and passionate speakers.
  9. Biggest mistake people make on their resumes? I can forgive a slightly wacky resume format or the placement of certain subject areas, but spelling and grammar errors are absolute deal-breakers for me.... and are for most clients.
  10. Who rocks your world on Twitter? Maria Popova (@brainpicker): She is an "Interestingness hunter-gatherer obsessed with combinatorial creativity." Great items on all things inspirationally creative. I especially love her pieces and quotes spanning art, design, science, technology, philosophy, and psychology.
  11. Guilty song pleasure? Wow. So many from which to choose. However, I have to go with my touchstone theme song: "Dreaming" by the utterly amazing Blondie.

Looking for a partner to find you great freelancers in the Washington, DC or Northern Virginia areas?

Connect with Shannon!

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