Get More Candidates with an Inviting Job Description

By Catherine Lang-Cline

You have a role to fill and you know exactly what skill sets you need. You start your long line of bullet points and it covers every single detail of what you are looking for in a candidate; the amount of experience required, software knowledge, responsibilities…. Check! Check! Check! It's perfection. Or is it completely boring?

Sure, all of these details are incredibly important, but does it sound interesting or inviting? Think about when you receive an invitation to an event. The details are what, where, time, and maybe who it may benefit. Party invitations include all of that too but instead, there is a line about, “Come celebrate!” or “Join us!” or “Don’t miss this!” Exciting, right?

Now a job is not a party but in order to get people interested in what is making your job description stand out over the others? The job market is tight, what would make them choose to go to your party, um... company, over another job offer? What are you offering or should be offering that would make your company the place to be?

Here are a few examples of bullet points that you could add to your next job description that will really attract candidates:

  • You can help grow
  • Collaborative environment
  • You will own… (as in be responsible for)
  • We love self-starters
  • You will work with an amazing team
  • Freedom to create
  • Free coffee!
  • Looking for people that believe in our mission
  • Flexible hours

I am guessing that you see the difference between this and a typical job description. It is basically building some excitement around being a part of your companies team. If you have a lengthy description that you really want to stick to, you could also have this welcoming invitation in a nice intro. Notice that it has nothing to do with foosball tables or bean bag chairs.

Still struggling? Not only would we love to help you re-craft your job description, we would love to help you find “the one” for your company. We invite you to contact us if you need help with this or any other workforce issues. We would be excited to help — portfoliocreative.com

A Day in the Life: Q+A with Jackie Ayres

In the latest installment of our Columbus Creatives: A Day in the Life series, we talk with Jackie Ayres, the creative mind behind Dyetology. 

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Hi, I am Jackie Ayres the designer and founder of Dyetology. Dyetology is a line of unique, hand-dyed accessories and apparel using natural fibers. I live in Westerville with my husband, 12-year-old son, and 2 Boxers. We landed in Columbus in the late 1990’s when my husband got a job with the Columbus Police Department. I feel blessed to be living in such a wonderful city! It has a vibrant art scene, embraces and supports entrepreneurs, has many great colleges, amazing job opportunities. I could go on and on. I love being part of the community and giving back. In March of 2017, I started a mission program with our socks when I found out that socks are the most needed clothing item in homeless shelters.  I knew I could help since socks were already a part of the Dyetology line. We do a buy one, give one program with our socks. Last year we were able to donate over 500 pairs to Faith Mission and their sister organization, Choices. I hope to double that number this year. This has been one of the most rewarding things I have been able to to do with my business. (see pic of socks, see pic of me at Faith Mission dropping off, picture of my husband and son helping package up the socks, and a picture of myself and McKenzie Hopkins, the Manager of Volunteer Services at Faith Mission.  

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Morning

After getting my son off to camp (in the summer ) or to the bus stop during the school year, I love to grab a cup of coffee at Java Central in Uptown Westerville. They have the best espresso and coffee around. Try a Cortado which is shots of their rich, carmel-ly espresso with steamed half and half….you won’t regret it. In addition to the coffee, I start my day by reading a page out of a daily devotional. I find this ritual keeps me grounded and reminded of what is really important, especially when things are super busy and I am juggling a lot.

Afternoon

Dye time. After catching up in the morning on emails, blog posts, anything on the “business” side of things I go downstairs to dye. My dye studio is downstairs in our basement so I don’t have far to go!  I dye most days of the week to keep up with orders and stock for the 15- 20 art shows/festivals I do a year. Each piece is individually dyed and unique in its own way- no two are identical! 
Since I work from home and it can be really easy to not get much activity in, I take the dogs out at lunch for “our” daily walk to get some movement in our day! 


Evening

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 I’m trying to get better balancing work and my family time which means not working into the night. It’s hard when you are a business owner and work from home- it can be challenging to have boundaries between work/home life.  I try to get in a work out most days of the week in the evening. I find my evening workout is a good stopping point for work and the start of family/personal time. We have everything thing we need to work out at home with a gym set up in the basement and the garage. I love to workout in the garage and will do so most of the year until the heater in the garage just can’t keep up with the Ohio cold.

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My husband and I don’t get out on a lot of dates, but when Pearl Jam is on tour, we follow them and do big dates! (see pic of us in front of Pearl Jam sign at Wrigley)  We are getting ready to go see them in August for 2 shows at Wrigley Field and we are taking our son this time to see Pearl Jam for his first time. Fun fact, my husband and I just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary this week and we saw Pearl Jam for the first time as a couple back in 1992 and that’s something we have continued to do! 

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Workplace Culture: It's a Reflection of Who You Are

By Kristen Harris 

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“Culture eats strategy for breakfast” (or lunch). 

This relatively common quote is often attributed to management guru, Peter Drucker, although it’s not really clear who actually said it. Really, it doesn’t matter who said it first, now people say it all the time. 

But what does it really mean?
What IS culture? 
And why is it so important?

While there are plenty, here is my definition of workplace culture: the set of norms your company and employees live by, otherwise known as “what happens when no one is looking”.

Culture is the standard of how things are done, how people treat customers and each other, the flow and pace of work. It’s all of the tiny (maybe seemingly insignificant) details that all add up to “this is how we do it here”. Culture is not what you do, it’s how you do it.

Every company and workplace has a culture, whether it’s been created intentionally or just happened over time. Cultures can be good, feel good, do good. Or they can be bad, feel bad, turn out bad. And, of course, there’s a lot of grey area in-between. 

In most cases, “good” or “bad” may be a judgment call of whether it feels right to you. If you like a laid-back vibe then a hard-charging, competitive culture won’t feel good. And, vice versa. Each culture may be right for that business, but rest assured that they are all different. Culture is a big part of what differentiates one business from another in the same industry.

Think about your favorite coffee shop. Is it a single location, down a side street, where only locals go? Or is it ultra-hip, in a trendy area, a place to network and be seen? Or is it a ubiquitous chain, found on every corner, consistent and easy to find? Each of these shops has its own culture–from the decor and how you’re greeted to what is offered, how it’s made and delivered to you. The way you feel receiving that coffee shop’s product and service is a reflection of their culture. And you probably feel more at home in one over the other. 

Culture reflects company values–what’s important to the people working there–and influences every part of your interaction. Which makes us feel more at home in one place over another.

At Portfolio Creative our culture has always been very important. Catherine and I set out to create the type of company where we’d want to work; we figured if it’s the kind of place we want to be, then our clients, talent and team members would too.

Here’s a taste of our culture:

  •  Fun – If we’re not having fun then we’re not doing it right! There’s a lot of laughter throughout the workday, even in meetings (yes, we’ve proven even meetings can be fun).
  • Friendly – We smile, say “Hi”, ask how you’re doing and actually listen to your answer. We act nice because we are nice.
  • Caring – We genuinely like each other, our clients, our talent, and all the other people we get to work with. When you really care, it shows.
  • Helpful – It’s our job to help people; we’re problem-solvers for our clients, talent and each other. If we can’t solve the problem, we try to share ideas or provide resources; no one walks away empty-handed. 

Culture isn’t about what you do–it’s how you do it and who you are. How everyone in the company behaves every day, even when no one’s looking. Especially when no one’s looking. 

Our Portfolio Creative culture reflects the values we live by every day. Want to see how it feels to work with people who are fun, friendly and caring? Reach out to let us know how we can help; you won’t leave empty-handed.

Why Clients (and Everyone) Deserves More Than a Text

By Catherine Lang-Cline

You know how when you read, hear, or see something that it can sometimes feel like that you have been hit like a thunderbolt? That occurred to me recently when I read that Nicole Kidman told Parade magazine that she has never sent her husband a text. "We talk all the time and we FaceTime but we just don't text because I feel like texting can be misrepresentative at times."

We all know that to be true but I am willing to take that thought one step further by saying that too much texting or email will simply erode any relationship. Speaking in terms of personal relationships first, my husband and I are very busy, there is a lot of travel, too. Therefore for speed, we text a lot. Typical, right? Just a long string of notes like:
“What’s for dinner?”
“I found my keys.”
“I love you xoxo”

Informative and sometimes sweet but after a while, it is just words, just information without feeling. The feeling comes in the face-to-face. The expression your husband makes when he sees you enter the room, the actual laugh vs the “LOL”, and sometimes it is no words and it is just holding hands. Awesome. The idea of that kind of communication makes me want to not use texting as a form of communication with my husband anymore.

Now let’s move this all to a professional arena. Clients are busy, we are busy and a client relationship can turn into a long string of quick notes, updates, and questions. Sometimes the client won’t get back to you in over a week. Ask yourself if your client relationship has dwindled to a bunch of unfeeling data. Your clients need to know you and we need to know them. We need to shake hands, let them see our faces when we are so excited to be working with them, and get to know them as people with feelings and challenges. What if you chose to cut your electronic communication with clients in half? What if you called, left voice messages, went out for lunch or coffee? Clients may still email return responses and not accept your lunch invitation but the seed about elevating this relationship has been planted. Sometimes you have to wait for it.

It might take a sliver more time to do this, you may not want to talk because you prefer the safety of a nicely constructed email, but if the result is a better relationship with your client..so worth it! Ultimately, we will all like each other. And who doesn't like working with people that we like? Let’s try it again this time with feeling.

Want to be treated like a person? You might want to contact us at portfoliocreative.com. Open, honest, helpful people work here.
 

Sharpen Up Your Search

By Kristen Harris 

Shark Week has become such a big deal, it’s practically a national holiday! (Nice work, Discovery Channel.)

We’re always picking up new ideas about careers and job search. So, in the spirit of the almost-holiday, here are a few lessons learned from the sharks. Happy hunting!

  1. Never Stop Moving. Sharks have to keep swimming to avoid sinking to the bottom. They are basically always moving, even if it’s ever-so-slightly. Whether you’re building a career, starting a business, or searching for your next opportunity, never stop moving. Do something, even if it’s small, every day. Read an article, learn a skill, send out a resume, contact a potential client–small actions add up over time to keep you moving forward (and prevent sinking to the bottom).

  2. Adjust to the Situation. If there is no food, sharks move on to a location with more options. This is the same with searching for a job, new business, or career growth. If the opportunities aren’t available where you are, adjust and focus on where the opportunities are. This could mean changing tactics, finding new connections, redesigning your marketing pieces, changing your area of focus, or literally relocating.

  3. Choose Your Surroundings. As predators, the feeding behavior of sharks changes according to the presence of prey and competition. They (literally and figuratively) feed off of the energy of the group. Remember that the energy of the people you surround yourself with has a strong impact on your mood and motivation. Spend time in positive situations with people who are encouraging, helpful, and supportive.

  4. Remember and Learn From the Past. Sharks have very good memories. They migrate to follow food sources and remember the (often complex) migratory patterns of their prey. Reflect on where you were successful and not-so-successful in the past. How can you repeat some of the patterns that worked, perhaps in a new and updated way? And remember what didn’t work, avoid it, and try something new?

  5. Socialize with Your Kind. We think of sharks as solitary, but some species are very social, hanging out and hunting in “schools”. As fierce predators, they do not need special protection so this grouping is thought to be purely social. We gain a lot by spending time with others as well. Seek out individuals and groups related to your industry, interests, or a new topic you want to learn. The connections you build can extend way beyond the one meeting or event, leading to long-term relationships and valuable career connections.

The waters can be rough out there! If you have questions about your career or job search, we’re here to help. And we don’t bite, promise.

A Day in the Life: Q+A with Laura Roccaforte

In the latest installment of our Columbus Creatives: A Day in the Life series, we talk with Laura Roccaforte, a baker and cookie decorator extraordinaire of some of the coolest and most adorable cookies we've ever seen! 

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My name is Laura and I am the face behind Bakes by Lo, a cottage home bakery that specializes in custom decorated sugar cookies. I grew up in Cleveland in a small suburban city where my high school days consisted of multiple art classes and my home life included watching and helping Mom bake whenever we could. My love for both of these carried into college, where I took more art classes for fun and “procrastibaked”, AKA baked when I should have been studying. After graduating, I thought: Why not combine both of the things I love so much? Eventually, Bakes by Lo was born and I spent every minute outside of my day job baking up cookies for friends, family, and soon enough, actual customers.
Today, my husband and I reside in Hilliard, just blocks from our local Whit’s to satisfy our daily ice cream cravings. :) 

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Morning

My best days start with a workout. My favorite: an early-morning run with the sunrise. It’s the best kind of meditation; it’s quiet, I can release my thoughts, breathe deep, and wake up with the world. It’s the best way to clear my head before the day really begins and it becomes filled with cookie ideas and to-dos.

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Afternoon

I try to keep my workday as routinely as possible. Early in the week, my day consists of standing in front of my trusty blue Kitchenaid, Tiffany, while she mixes batches and batches of dough to be made. Later in the week, my day consists of decorating the baked cookies. I like to think of my cookie as my blank canvas, and my icing as my medium. The cookie that takes 30 seconds to eat may have taken 3 minutes to decorate. A lot of love goes into each one! 

Evening


Did I mention I love ice cream? Any chance we get, AKA almost every night, my husband and I are biking, walking, driving to support our local ice cream parlors. Whit’s, Handel’s, Graeter’s, you name it, we’ve enjoyed it. In the midst of this great city, Columbus also has great metro parks that I love exploring. It’s the perfect way to escape from the bustle of the day (and work off that ice cream). I’ve lived here for 7 years now and there is so much to see and I never get sick of seeing it!
 

Follow Bakes by Lo!

To see more of her amazing cookies, including some she made for us! 

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Networking Like a Shark

By Catherine Lang-Cline

People think that you need to be very aggressive to properly network. What networking really is, is building relationships, but there are some characteristics we could adopt from one of the most aggressive creatures on the planet to produce some very effective networking, I am talking about the great white shark. In honor of “Shark Week,” here is what we can learn from these bold creatures:

Sharks work alone. 
This is almost always true, but sometimes they work in teams. Networking works the same way, you throw yourself into a room full of people, alone or with a partner and start “swimming” around the room, looking for prey or comparing yourself to other sharks. With this in mind, walk in and take a quick pass around the room. Greet those you know and ask them if they know other people in the room, have them introduce you. Work in teams to change a conversation from a cold introduction to a warm one.

Sharks are intelligent, curious, and learn quickly.
Always have intelligent conversation when meeting people, first impressions are key. Then put yourself on hold for a bit and ask your new friend some questions. Ask about where they work, how they like it, what is their biggest struggle? Listen and learn quickly how you or your company could be of help. People love helpers and they will be more receptive to continue a conversation with you if they know it will be of some benefit to them.

Sharks have 500-pound livers.
Yes, the great white shark typically has a liver that weighs around 500 pounds, allowing it to go months without eating. Worth mentioning that networking events have alcohol and rather than always accepting the alcohol, you can preserve your liver and have water. Sharks like water. Also, keep in mind that you might also go extended periods of time without getting a “bite.” I would recommend really being strategic when it comes to the events you go to. Think about where your potential clients might be AND the events that have the people that know the people you want to meet. Chambers and rotaries have events that cover a wide range of businesses for a more broad reach, but you may find events that host people in the field you wish to target, just keep going and don’t get discouraged.

Sharks are relentless.
Definitely not saying to grab onto a potential client and shake them until they will work with you, that is a bad thing. Being relentless, when you know you can help someone, is not a bad thing. In most cases, the person you are connecting with does not have an immediate need. What you can do while you are patiently waiting, is to see if they know anyone else that could need their help. Think if there is another way to help them, a person you can connect them with, a book or restaurant you could recommend, be more than “the taker.” Be the “giver.” Join a board or committee in your area of expertise. Not only will it make you feel good, but people will remember you. Also, keep at it. Timing is everything and you want to be there when they need you.

Sharks like tropical and subtropical temperatures.
Who doesn’t? Vacation is the payoff for all of this hard work.

Networking like a shark may help you feel a little more powerful in the room. It may help you not give up on that client you know that you can help. It may make you feel pretty cool, too.
Keep refilling that business card holder, shake a lot of hands, and happy hunting!

#sharkweek

Meet Our Team Series: Co-Creator, Kristen Harris

In the latest installment of our Meet Our Team series, we talk with Kristen Harris, one of our Co-Creators. Kristen, a CCAD alum, enjoys listening to podcasts, knitting, and of course spending time with her two dogs. 

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Hey there! I’m one of the founders of Portfolio Creative. Back in 2005 Catherine and I had this great idea to connect creative talent and companies who needed them and decided we were the people to do it. I’ve had a couple of different careers (so far) but always seem drawn to work that involves creativity and solving problems.

Where am I from? Here. I grew up just outside of Columbus; my family is originally from Van Wert in northwest Ohio. I came to CCAD for college and, despite big plans to move “somewhere exciting”, never left. I’ve watched Columbus become that “exciting” place to live. It has been really fun to see our city change over the years–I remember when people called it a “cowtown” but now we’re on every “cool city” list imaginable.

Morning:

My mornings usually start with a dog snuggled in bed, unless he’s whining for food because my husband is not already up. We have two dogs; Rusty’s a lab mix and Holly is a greyhound. I’m sure that you can see Rusty is not underfed, but he must have food before anything else can happen. After that, I get going with a little breakfast. I’ve been into matcha lattes lately or, when I’m feeling really ambitious, a scrambled egg and some fruit. If I’m meeting someone for breakfast that’s another story–bring on the yummy omelet or a Bizmark donut from DK Diner.

Afternoon: 

At work, every day is different which is part of what I love about my job. On any given day I might be meeting with internal team members, helping a client or one of our talent, connecting with someone in the community, or working on a new idea to make Portfolio Creative even better. I’m all about constant improvement and believe there’s always something we can make better! In general, I focus on the internal operations of our business; I love a good spreadsheet and get oddly excited about processes.

I’m mostly a tea drinker but do like to have a cup of coffee in the afternoon. I’ve been adding coconut milk instead of cream lately–it’s so delicious! When I need a brain break I put in earbuds and take a quick walk around Grandview Yard while listening to a podcast. Favorites include How I Built This, Revisionist History, Beautiful Anonymous, Balanced Bites, Boss Files, So Here’s My Story...okay, I listen to a LOT of podcasts.

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Evening: 

Unless I have the occasional work event, at the end of the day I head home to Clintonville and catch up with my hubby and aforementioned dogs. The dogs take us for a couple of walks every evening; they treat getting us outside like it’s their job. Beyond that, downtime is spent reading, crafty things like knitting, other creative projects, or conjuring up new ways to help our clients and talent. I seem to get the best ideas when I’m thinking about something else!
 

The Black Hole: You Aren't Alone

By Derik Abbott

One of the most common pain points we hear from candidates that come into our office is their inability to get responses to their resume submittals for openings online. While this might seem like something that is only affecting you, rest assured, it’s an epidemic that plagues all job searches out there. 

We, as recruiters, actually see this happen with a lot of hiring managers we work directly with (most we’ve met in person and have some level of relationship with). It’s something that everyone from job seekers to recruiters has been trying to solve for years now and with the current employment climate, it doesn’t see to be something that will quickly rectify its self. The good news is that there are some ways to try to get more visibility with clients. 

I am a firm believer that regardless of the outcome, people should remain steadfast in applying to roles that are in their area of expertise and interest. Once one or two interviews are requested it’s only a matter of momentum before something sticks. In order to try and help with that momentum, I think trying various tactics to get your name/face in front of people will really help make you stand out. 

Simple things like adding the Recruiter or HR Manager that is listed on the LinkedIn job postings is a good way to get your name in the back of their mind without causing too much interruption in their day. Sending them a note on LinkedIn often times could go 50/50 so I think going that far is something you have to individually weight your options on but adding someone is a pretty standard practice and could only increase your chances of at least getting them to think about you. 

Networking is also the number one way people still get jobs. Whether asking someone you know to pass along your resume to the right person within a company of interest or going to various local group’s networking events. There are a ton of people that you could get in front of or make contacts with that doesn’t require you to go out of your way. Remember, people, go to networking events for the Programming aspects but wouldn’t be there if they weren’t open to networking so it’s an open floor to get in front of people who may be able to introduce you to others. 

I think the best piece of advice we can give is to remain positive and diligent. Everyone else is having the same struggles as you, you aren’t alone. While searching and networking, it could be good practice to continue to work on at-home pieces for your portfolio or hone your skills because any extra things you can add to your resume/portfolio could be what helps tip the scales in your favor on that next submittal! 

Meet Our Team Series: Co-Creator, Catherine Lang-Cline

In the latest installment of our Meet Our Team series, we talk with one of our Co-Creators, Catherine Lang-Cline. Catherine is one of our fearless leaders who enjoys karaoke sessions in the car with her daughter, traveling, and being involved in the Columbus community.

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Hi, I’m Catherine Lang-Cline and I am President and Co-Creator of Portfolio Creative. My journey into this business starts with a fine arts degree from Northern Illinois University. Illinois was where I grew up and started my career as a graphic artist. The fates delivered me to Columbus, Ohio, where my first job here was as a freelancer with Bath & Body Works. This is where I eventually met Kristen Harris, my business partner. After a number of years of working with LBrands, and in my case, freelancing around town, we conjured up the idea to help the creative community find creative people easier and from people that understood the business. Currently, I live in Upper Arlington with my husband and daughter, mostly because I found a post-modern ranch that desperately needed me to save it.

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Morning:  

I’d love to say that my mornings start out very leisurely, but it is typically a march of packing lunches, getting dressed, and getting hair done. My daughter and I have a lot of hair. Amp that up even more if I need to get to a board meeting or client meeting first thing in the morning. In the background at my house, you can either hear NPR or The Amazing World of Gumball, because my daughter is obsessed with Gumball. Car rides to camp or school can sometimes be impromptu karaoke sessions. Everything typically runs fairly smooth because I have it timed pretty well but if one thing upsets the schedule, we have a scramble on our hands. Weekends are much more leisurely, as I get to sleep in and then exercise my past-life experience of working at a pancake house to whip up something special.


Afternoon:

My work day is all day because it is life, not life balance, you piece together all of it in any way that works. Some of that discipline comes from owning a business. Some of that comes from me loving what I do. Sometimes you leave work at 4 PM knowing that you will be back on the computer after homework is done and everyone is tucked in. I love keeping it flexible and attacking things when you are up for the task, it’s just more effective. I also love jamming as much as I can in my day then getting home exhausted. It feels like I have accomplished something.

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Evening:  

My hobbies are working on boards. I know that sounds weird but that is where I spend a lot of my spare time and I love it. I love that Columbus has accepted this business so openly and with that, I want to give back in return. I serve on the board for the Greater Columbus Arts Council so evenings involve attending events that support artists in the community. I also serve as the Past-President of the National Association of Women Business Owners, Columbus Chapter, because mentoring and supporting peers is very important to me. Then I also serve on the board for the Columbus Chamber of Commerce because if you want to get things done, you have to know the right people. With that said, every single one of these groups are amazing to work with. They all feed my soul and hopefully, I can help the community in return.

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Other hobbies include a range of things including raising an awesome daughter, painting, travel, and reading. I used to have a full-on motorcycle that I rode all over the country but stopped riding when texting and driving became popular, so traded that in for a Vespa, which is still fun, but at much slower speeds. I treasure experiences over things, so the more I do for the community, my family, and myself, the happier I am.