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June 2013

Looking for a JOB - Step 8 - Join Organizations, Mentoring & Network

Looking for a job is a full time job -- plus overtime. Cold contacting local businesses is really ... uhhh ... character building.  So mix it up a little.

JoinJoin any and all craft and professional organizations to network and gain access to job boards and job listings.

Look at organizations related to your field.  Join at both the local and national levels that represent your field. I think students and others new to the field think that joining a professional organization is premature in their career. Wrong! Joining organizations will connect you to the job boards, mentoring and networking you need.

ROAD-2-SuccessSome organizations may have opportunities for students or emerging artists. I know that SNAG is organizing a program called "Road2Success".  "Road2Success will connect experienced SNAG members in our field with upcoming and mid-career talent. The focus of this program is on business and career skills. Through SNAG you will connect to the right people who can answer your questions about entrepreneurship and business and career development in a variety of industry sectors." "All SNAG members will be eligible to participate, but this pilot program will be limited to 200 on a first-come, first-served basis."

This is not the only mentoring program that I've discovered recently. For example, Michele Plante at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is organizing a mentoring program for their alumni. So it makes me wonder, have you contacted your alumni office? Do they have a professional development, alumni program or mentoring program you can tap into?

SNAG also has what they call SPRINGBOARD that includes employment listings in addition to internships, residencies, call for entries, workshops and more.  

NetworkCrafthaus also has a "Job Listings" which also goes out in its weekly job listing. You do need to be a member to access the information, but the annual dues are modest, however, this is a juried site. Great photos are your key to success here. Network, comment, join discussions.

Online forums like Orchid/Ganoskin may also have job listings, or you could network as you become more familiar with the discussions. Reach out with a personal email.

Our local San Francisco Metal Arts Guild frequently has jobs posted in the newsletter. This is how I found several  people that worked for me in my studio over the years.

Life-Green-walk-in6.24.13.72 cu
These are just a few examples from the metals community,
but every media has similar possibilities. I also noticed that LinkedIN sends a list of jobs related to your contacts and job skills every week in an email. Just another way to search for jobs.

Joining local, national and online organizations for your field or media will put you in contact with a variety of resources. This is where your pennies and dollars need to be wisely spent. JOIN. You will also find many new friends of all ages.
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Looking for a JOB - Step 7 - Walk In

Looking for a JOB - Step 6 OLD FASHIONED PAPER Produces Amazing Results

Looking for a JOB - Step 5 CUSTOMIZE Your Resume

LOOKING for a JOB - Step 4: Innovative Resume

Looking for a Job - Step 3 Work on Your Resume

LOOKING for a JOB - Step 2: Facebook Privacy, Join LinkedIN

LOOKING for a JOB - The Year After School Step 1: Take a digital class.

Looking for a JOB - Step 7 - Walk In

WalkiNWhile looking for a job.....and a place to post your paper sign....there is something amazing in the age of the internet with the super personal one-on-one approach....walk in.  Yes, I found all of my jobs in the past walking into jewelry stores and a plating firm. I walked in and inquired whether they were looking for a jeweler or silversmith. Every time, I got a job.

It was the hardest thing I ever did.

Get dressed up in your job prospecting clothes.  Bring examples of your art or craft with you. Sure....bring images on a laptop, but there is no substitute for one or two real life examples.

Do you understand that in the age of the internet "walking in" makes your extraordinary?  A person  or even a personal note is remarkable.

In my case, I had a few examples of my jewelry and metalwork (ready to show) and a one page resume and a card. I walked in, introduced myself, and said I was looking for a job. I had work ready to show them.

It's a little old fashioned but that is what I did. AND IT WORKED.

Do you have a dream job?

Who or where do you want to work?

Get dressed up and get ready to go.

If this is really hard for you to do....take a friend with you...but the friend has to wait in the car....they can not come in with you.

Another option is to go to every place that offers classes in your medium.  Arriving in person, walking in and introducing yourself to the director or teacher will have more traction than just mailing in a resume, but still... be prepared with your resume. (Who knows?  The teacher may be looking for help in their studio.)

Even in the age of the internet when anyone and everyone can be your virtual "friend", it is amazing that a real live personal approach can be a real winner.


Cash Cow, Sacred Cow, Purple Cow - Intro

Purple cow in your faceEach Monday for the next five weeks the original PowerPoint presentations with recorded audio from the 2013 SNAG Professional Development Seminar will be posted on line. The program organized by Andy Cooperman, Brigitte Martin and myself, Harriete Estel Berman, was a great success with insightful and provocative observations.

Here is what Rebecca Rose had  say about the Professional Development Seminar:
"The conference segment that I heard the most pre-game talk and anticipation from attendees was for "Purple Cow, Sacred Cow, Cash Cow.  I imagine from the stage it may have looked like people were playing with their cell phones, but really it was a sea of people sitting to the left, right, and in front of me that were fervently typing notes into their iPhone's "Notes" app. It was easy to notice because I was doing the same."

"The true testimonial was the line of people I saw waiting for their turn at the mic to ask questions. Questions about SEO and responsive design for websites, how and where to find affordable emerging models for photos shoots, I realized, wow, not only were they paying attention, but they want to learn more. And for good reason, because the information presented is the type of info that gives us a running start ahead of the pack. Especially in terms of learning about magazine editors and how to pass through gatekeepers to get your work noticed. Great topics, great presenters, and great real-world info." Rebecca Rose

There will be five presentations with ideas for how everyone can reach new markets for their work. Topics covered will include "Pop-up shops", using video & photography, the "experience economy", optimizing for cell phones and mobile platforms, and reaching fashion editors with images of your work.

The goal when organizing this PDS was to tap into the Toronto scene seeking out innovators in jewelry, design, and the web. We were aiming to find the unique talent that Toronto had to offer with “purple cows” who consistently create truly unique experiences for their customers. We did! Stay tuned each Monday.


White Tents or Remarkable Purple Cows

Looking for a JOB - Step 6 OLD FASHIONED PAPER Produces Amazing Results

Time for a radical and a most effective approach to finding a job -- plain old fashioned paper.

Make an 8.5” x 11”  piece of paper poster. Eye catching, attractive, and simple. Show it to friends and family for review.


Tech Shop Hire a Designer sign-Aryn Shelander
Sign created by Aryn Shelander.


  • Use a few eye catching images or text that relates to your job search, job skills or past projects.
  • List your job skills.
  • Include contact information including name, phone and email. Get a separate email for this if you are concerned about where you are posting this paper "sign."
  • Keep it simple and eye catching.
  • Photo paper makes a great "poster" with a quality finish.


Post your poster at art centers, coffee shops, craft stores, any and all places that you frequent in your area.

For example, if there is a Tech Shop in your area post it on the bulletin board. This is how both of my children found jobs! Seriously, despite all their social media skills, they found jobs with 8.5” x 11” pieces of paper on bulletin boards. I suggested it to a friend of theirs….he also got a job. This low tech method really works.

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Looking for a JOB - Step 5 CUSTOMIZE Your Resume

One-size resume does not fit all. No matter what level of your career, it is best to adjust your resume for each audience.  You don't have to start from scratch every time, but slight modifications to your resume are worth some attention to the details or key highlights.

As a professional artist, you will constantly improve and update. 

Customize-Your-ResumeFor the job search, CUSTOMIZE YOUR RESUME...
Remember the previous post about the SlideShare resume where the examples customized his resume presentation for each prospective job?  Have two or three main versions and tweak them here and there. One might feature particular skills or professional opportunities, or delete irrelevant content. Review your resume and adapt it to maximize relevance to that particular job.

Include keywords from the job posting in your resume if possible. Resumes online and submitted electronically are scanned for keywords (usually not a real person).

Life-Blue-Learn-IT-Game726.18.13cu For the job search, look for job boards....
Look at companies that you want to work for in the future. Most larger companies have pages dedicated to employment positions they want to fill.

Bookmark the job pages so you can check them every morning.

Collect bookmarks to job board.

While I think that online job boards are the longest of long shots for getting a is one possible approach. But you never know.  My daughter got a job through a recruiter looking at a job board where she had posted her resume.



LOOKING for a JOB - Step 4: Innovative Resume

Looking for a Job - Step 3 Work on Your Resume

LOOKING for a JOB - Step 2: Facebook Privacy, Join LinkedIN

LOOKING for a JOB - The Year After School Step 1: Take a digital class.


"Make Like the Masters" Manufacturing Insight

There has been a lot of discussion these days about using modern manufacturing methods to create production jewelry or design objects.  Laser cutting, CAD/CAM, water jet and 3-D printing all come to mind.

AND they are wonderful, dazzling, and enabling technologies.  Throughout history, jewelry fabrication (whether high end Tiffany's and Cartier or costume jewelry) has used the latest available manufacturing methods with impressive results in both new capabilities and improved productivity. Jewelers, going back much further than we may realize, have constantly been exploiting the latest technologies to make their work both novel and affordable.  It is  fascinating that the same financial issues and "handmade debate" are not new struggles.

Peter-DiCristofaro-SNAG-2013This lecture (below) by Peter DiCristofaro from the Providence Jewelry Museum reveals some background and offers insight into these ongoing issues about manufacturing methods for jewelry and metalwork.

No matter what your medium, it is worthwhile to consider the potential that advancing manufacturing methods offer the designer/maker to create or improve productivity.

Think about how you could use modern manufacturing to reduce your labor, lower your price point, increase your market, and become more profitable -- or to avoid repetitive stress injuries.

Photo courtesy of Angela Grace

tely, what we miss with this online presentation is the impressive samples that Peter DiCristofaro laid out on the stage during the 2013 SNAG Conference. The audience buzz was electric! Next time I am near Providence, the Providence Jewelry Museum will be on my destination list.


PeterDiCristofaro-Elsa- Peretti-sterling-mesh-scarf
Photo Courtesy of Angela Grace

This photo (left) shows conference attendees touching the Elsa Peretti chain mail scarf mentioned during the Peter DiCristofaro lecture.  







Watch this video (below) of one of the Janvier - C&W Steel Stamp machines mentioned in the DiCristofaro's SlideShare PowerPoint.

PS. This SlideShare presentation "Make Like the Masters" was originally given during the 2013 SNAG Conference in Toronto. It is posted with permission from the speaker Peter DiCristofaro from the Providence Jewelry Museum and SNAG.

You are welcome to share the link to this lecture "Make Like the Masters" . It is also posted on the SNAG website,

Your comments are welcome.

LOOKING for a JOB - Step 4: Innovative Resume

InnovativeRESUMEConsider creating an innovative resume "live on line" with Prezi or SlideShare for an eye catching and job catching approach. This might work for a graduate school application, residency application, internship, apprenticeship, or even as a studio assistant at a teaching program. It should reflect your creativity, innovation, digital skills, and willingness to try new technologies effectively.


Here are two eye catching examples.
A Prezi resume made by my daughter. Yes, she did get a job. No I didn't help her with this, but I definitely need to learn how to do Prezi, too.



Here is a sample resume on SlideShare.




LOOKING for a JOB - The Year After School Step 1: Take a digital class.

LOOKING for a JOB - Step 2: Facebook Privacy, Join LinkedIN

Looking for a Job - Step 3 Work on Your Resume

LOOKING for a JOB - Step 3 WORK on Your RESUME

Work on your resume. That sounds so simple, but it takes some time and repeated reviews. Ask your friends and parents to proof read and critique each edit. Improve, edit, improve, edit, improve.

ResumeBadgeThis is true for seasoned professionals, too.
Your resume is the foundation for grant applications, social network profiles, and opportunities. It never fails that the request for your resume happens on the busiest days. Be prepared!!!!!!!!!!!
  ResumeOne "speling eror" on your resume raises a red flag about your abilities and attention to detail; two errors and your job prospects diminish considerably. Obviously, if you don't care what your own resume looks like, employers will think this sloppy attitude will carry over to your job performance. You won't get hired.


Make sure your resume includes the keywords for the job you are looking to find.
Posted on a job board or sent to a online job posting, it will most likely be scanned electronically for a keyword search. Use the "lingo" for your field and future job.

Use the free resume websites that are available online for formatting. Many fields have customary styles that do not translate to other media.

Your resume should be no more than one page.
Start on this today.
Take a couple of days to keep reviewing and improving.

Consider adding the fact that you are taking a digital skills class to your resume. Taking a class will look really good. Sorry to say, but do not include "workshops" on your resume. It looks like filler.



Resume - Ready, Set, Go!

Ingredients for success - your resume.

Posted Job Opening - What a Successful Response looks like!

Resumes - How much is too much info?



LOOKING for a JOB - Step 2: Facebook Privacy, Join LinkedIN


If you are looking for a job, internship, residency, applying for graduate school,. . . clean up your Facebook profile immediately. If you want to save those photos of you drinking, hanging out with friends, Conga line dancing, etc. or photos of destination evenings, cats, or poodle pictures -- then change your privacy setting on every photo to Private.

This isn't just the advice of a mother or mentor, a recent article in Business Week came out after my I added it here for further validation.
The article says,"Yet despite all the advice and warnings to be cautious with social media, job applicants continue to get burned by their online profiles." 

Give-and-Take A Revolutionary Approach to SuccessHere is another quote, this time from the book Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success by Adam Grant. The quote is from Howard Lee, the former head of South China at Groupon and "one of a growing number of people who use social media to catch takers."

"Nowadays, I don't need to call in to a company to find out about someone's reputation. Everyone is incredibly connected. Once they make it past the technical rounds, I check their LinkedIn or Facebook. Sometimes we have mutual friends, or went to the same school, or the people on my team will have a link to them." Lee explains, "You can understand someone's reputation at a peer level pretty quickly."

Any photo that reveals less than professional behavior, "TMI" , too much skin, drinking, etc. has got to go, go, go. NOW. Immediately.

Edit your profile picture to an interesting appearance of a professional character. Consider that everything may be viewed by your potential employer whether you want them to or not.

Edit your personal information to represent a more professional identity with current information. Consider including your internship experience and volunteer work.

Life-Blue-Learn-IT-Game726.11.14CUNEXT: Join LinkedIn. Use the free option. Don't spend one penny. Construct your professional profile. ADD your work experience,  internship experience and volunteer work. Make every part time job or educational experience sound good. Even unrelated job experience shows responsibility. For example: A lifeguard job shows responsibility and reliability, etc.

Did you double check your spelling?

BTW -- Did you find a digital class yet?
If you don't have a job, take two classes.

Books listed on blog are often affiliate links. Clicking on the link or purchasing a book may provide this blog with revenue to support this information.


LOOKING for a JOB - The Year After School Step 1: Take a digital class.

If you just graduated from college, and your local community college is starting it's summer session . . . 

Take a class especially a class in digital skills.  EVERY employer wants new employees to know the latest in digital skills.

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If there is no community college near you, take an online class or find a free class. Don't wait. Your future employer will be impressed that you just graduated but you are learning new skills.

Every EMPLOYER out there will be looking for a person to be well versed in current technologies. They want and need people to do the things they can't do themselves because they haven't had time to learn. A diversity of skill sets in a tough economy makes you a more appealing candidate for employment. Small business will want help with their websites, social media presences and more. This opens the door for opportunity and may give you that slight competitive edge.

Life-Blue-Learn-IT-Game726.11.13 copyCUWhat are YOUR digital skills? This is what a prospective employer will want to know for every job.  Every new job out there seems to leverage some digital skills. If you aren't capable to proficient in several software applications related to your field, learn them now. Become more versatile or become an expert.

Do you know more than one of these applications?  CAD, Solid Works, Inventor, Auto Cad, Rhino, T-Splines, Z- Brush, PhotoShop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, In Design, WordPress,Web Design, HTML, CSS, accounting, Excel, PowerPoint, and many others.

I can hear the excuses now. You don't need to take a digital class because you want to work in the studio of a jeweler, sculptor, or artist. Well, guess what? Every single job skill you bring with you is a plus.

I wouldn't even consider hiring a person these days without multiple digital skills in Dreamweaver, PhotoShop, Dreamweaver, video editing and a CAD program. That is my minimum, my voice of experience, and what I hear from local employers. This is the future.

P.S.Check out for online digital software class. I have used them a lot. You can work at your own pace, and on your own schedule, 24 hours a day. They offer a free trial which is how I started so many years ago. online training tutorials online training tutorials
These are affiliate links.

PPS. Taking a workshop is not the same as taking a class. It isn't the same on your resume either. And in the current economy, I am specifically recommending a digital skill learning a software program.

LOOKING for a JOB - The Year After School

Recently, I have heard from a number of young people looking for a job.  They are all recent graduates. It sounds like a familiar story as my own children both recently graduated from college. They were also looking for jobs and found them!


So with this issue in mind,
I thought I'd run a series of short posts with my recommendations, tips, and advice. The posts will be short and frequent. Finding a job is a situation that is difficult to overwhelming....even in the best of circumstances.

First clarification before I begin is that I think there are two issues.  

1)Looking for a job.

2) The first year after college.


The topics do get mixed up. 
After four or more years of college students graduate with the anticipation of finding a job and simultaneously a direction for life,  but with the tough economy the mythical "yellow brick road" clearly dictating a direction isn't clear.

Am I kidding? I think it is more like hiking through the wilderness and there are absolutely no trail markers at all.


It doesn't help that your education actually doesn't provide job skills. Looking at this realistically, no matter what your major, or interests, very few students graduate with  marketable skills or much work experience. Art students,  engineers, or cognitive science degree...?  All you really have for sure is youth, inexperience and character.

Are you a hard worker? Time to prove it. Finding a job is hard work perhaps the hardest job you will ever have.  The first year after college is difficult. Developing a direction for life is a process, but it helps to get started.

Each day the post will take a topic
and create some focus for finding a job & transitioning in the first year after school to a direction. 

Here is a list which I will expand on in future posts.

  • Social media
  • Web presence
  • Resume
  • Finding a job the high tech
  • Finding a job low tech (my favorite since I have ample evidence it works.)
  • Networking old and new
  • Building skill sets that employers want.
  • Interviews.
  • Money
  • Mentors
  • Much and more...

What are you questions?

Share the topics you are looking for in the comments or write to me directly.

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To let your work "speak for itself," someone needs to be "listening."

"If a tree falls in a forest, and no one hears it,  . .  ?"

If you held an exhibition for your artwork and no one came, how can your work "speak for itself?"  So of course, invitations, announcements, and other promotion efforts are necessary.

Similarly, if your art or craft work is simply posted online, does it automatically speak for itself?
How can the work speak for itself if no one can find it?


Google+ profile for Harriete Estel BermanThe potential audience out there on the Internet is just a crowd speeding past your website. How would they know to come to your website?   


FACEBOOKprofileThis is where social networking can play a larger role. Not only can people find your website by meeting you online, but social networking is now playing a significant role in SEO.

Search algorithms are looking at traffic and links from social networks as an indication of authority.

Thinking about joining a few social media sites is no longer an option.
Action is required.


GoogleimageOn the Internet, your images can't "speak for itself" until viewers come to see it.  Search engines have no vision. This is why your images also need:

CLICK on the links above if you don't know what I am talking about here. I continue to see images without the information required to attract anyone from that huge potential audience.  They need some choice words to make the connection.


"Purple Cow" Visibility . . . Yes, Yes, Yes,

Holstein-cows-on-fields.purpleStanding out from the herd, or "Purple Cow" visibility, is about finding and developing an audience outside your familiar pasture. By this I mean outside your comfort zone or outside your normal audience. It could be anything or anyplace but it is reaching beyond your usual audience to find visibility.

For me building purple cow visibility is an adventure...and being willing to take a few risks.  I can try just about anything for visibility once to see what happens (as long as it doesn't cost money). This is about finding those guerrilla marketing opportunities that are not obvious but might work.

In this post, I will share a recent "purple cow" example that I tried.

Colored Pencil Magazine featured a post about shipping (based on an archived ASK Harriete post). The article gave visibility to my name, website, blog, along with all the shipping information on ASK Harriete (not just the one post).

Colored-Pencil-cover-shipping-article ColoredPencilShippingColored Pencil Magazine was new to me, but the article included a link to my website and blog. This increased traffic.  And more traffic = higher search ranking for my site.

The next step is to leverage that first opportunity into another opportunity.

When the editor of "Colored Pencil" Magazine approached me about the shipping article,
I realized that he might also be interested in my installation from Pencils.  In subsequent communications, I reminded them again and included an image and a link to my website. This sculpture fabricated from pencils was a perfect purple cow for the magazine.  Magazines are always searching for interesting content for their readers.

Pick UP YOur Pencils, Begin is an installation from 1000's of pencils about the impact of standardized testing on education
They jumped on the suggestion and now the installation Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin will be a featured article in an upcoming issue of Colored Pencil Magazine.

Will this generate an exhibition opportunity? Who knows, but it might.  It sometimes takes years for exhibition opportunities to develop.

Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin an installation about standardized testing and its impact on education

If I have learned anything in years of experience,
it is to stretch for every opportunity. Have your photos ready because publishers always want them yesterday.

Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin is 28' wide and 15' tall constructed entirely from pencils.

Will the article result in sales? or money? One never knows, but this was not my priority.

Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin in progress
In my opinion, a purple cow opportunity can not be developed with a set expectation.
Having a fixed idea for the outcome does not work? The possibility is your objective.

How can you make this work for you?
Approaching Colored Pencil  Magazine would be a great opportunity for all those makers working in metal that use Prismacolor pencils for a surface finish. Or what if you use work with colored pencils as your medium in a sculpture, as an image in your ceramics, or in your prints.

If you study your work, what kind of "purple cow" visibility would fit your work? What is your new pasture for opportunity and visibility.

P.S. In case you want to purchase a copy of Colored Pencil Magazine CLICK HERE.