Creative Staffing Tips

When it comes to Creative Staffing, we've been there, done that, now serving 130 tips in 14 categories ranging from Art and Creative Director Careers to Writing and Editing Careers.

How can I be sure my Web based training program is a good one?

Creating A Web Based Training Program: Step 4

The final step in creating a Web based training program is the review and revision process. Once people have gone through the training you can begin to address any issues that arose as the program was used. Sometimes these may simply not be apparent until the training is underway--or finished. Once identified, these issues can be adjusted and it will strengthen the training program overall. It can help to think of any revisions as a positive step.

There are many ways to review a Web based training program. User feedback is one tool that you can use to uncover any problems that may have come up along the way. You may also want to sit down and have a discussion with the web design training professional that set up the system to see what their thoughts are. They can often pinpoint any issues or see any potential problems that may be coming up down the line.

   
What are some options for a freelance writer in terms of work?

Freelance Writing Options

There's a wide variety of options if you want to work as a freelance writer. Besides print publications such as books and magazines, freelancers also have the opportunity to do things such as write press releases, do business writing, or even become a content writer for the Web.

  • Business writers: These writers do things such as write copy for catalogs or create brochures and fliers.
  • Technical writers: These writers do things like create manuals for products.
  • Textbook writers: Textbook writers work on books for all levels of school, from elementary to college level.
  • Press release writers: Writers who write press releases also typically write other marketing materials, including position statements, press kits, and other collateral.
  • Content writers: Content writers often write for the internet, including content for websites and articles.
  • Print writers. These writers pen pieces for magazines, newspapers, and books.
  • Medical writers. This type of writer often works for a hospital or medical association.

   
What happens after the Web based training program is created and tested?

Creating A Web Based Training Program: Step 3

Once you have come up with an idea for a Web based training program and created the design for it, it's time to roll it out for people to use. If you have done all of the preparation, this step should be a fairly smooth one.

Based on the information you came up with in step two, you'll know if everyone will be doing the training at the same time, or if you will do so in stages. You can split people up by department, do it alphabetically, or in any other way that is convenient. If possible, try to choose a slow time for the training so that it won't overload anyone with extra work.

Sometimes not everyone in the company may need to complete the particular training program you have created. For example, Web developer training will probably not be extended to those in the sales department, unless it relates to their job as well. This type of specialized training may be a bit easier to implement, as it won't require a large-scale effort.

   
What should I ask at an interview with a talent agency?

Interviewing an Agency

If you're thinking about using a talent agency to help you get one of the coveted Los Angeles design jobs or to find freelance work near where you live, it's smart to think about interviewing them. After all, not all career agencies are created equal, and you'll want to make sure you're aligning yourself with one that will work hard to get you a job. Instead of being nervous for that first meeting, remember that you're trying to determine whether they're a good fit for you.

In order to find out if it's a match, try asking some questions when you sit down with the agent. Some smart things to check into include:

  • What type of clients they typically handle.
  • Some examples of the companies they've placed talent with.
  • How large their agency is and how many people they represent.
  • How long they've been in business.
  • What you can expect from them in terms of service.

   
How should I present a Web based training program?

Creating A Web Based Training Program: Step 2

The second step in creating a Web based training program is to actually create the material as it will be used on-line. This step will be implemented by your Web professional, although you will undoubtedly want to review and approve the final content. It is during this portion of the process that you will need to address issues such as bandwidth demand, ease of access to the material and storage.

At the beginning of the Web programming training issues may arise, such as overall speed and loading times. You may need to adjust the materials to fix these problems, and the best time to do it is during this phase. Once the training program is live, it will be more difficult to change.

Be sure and communicate with your Web professional and make any tweaks to the overall picture before you begin using it with employees. You may want to run through the finished program yourself to review it, or have a few select employees test it before you sign off on the final product.

   
Is there a lot of competition in big cities for work in graphic design?

Big Cities, Big Competition?

If you want to be a Los Angeles graphic designer or are trying to get a job in the field in Chicago, New York, or other major cities, aligning yourself with a career agency is a smart move. The competition in these big cities is extremely stiff, and talent agencies are a tool that can be used to help you connect with work quickly. They can also assist you in finding a position that pays well and has the potential to turn into a full-time job. The bottom line is, if you're going to throw your hat in the ring in a place that has lots of competition, it's a great perk to have someone else helping you look for work.

Even if you're not a freelancer, a talent agency can be a good way to get started on your career in a large city. Unless you have a job lined up, the search for work can be overwhelming. Traditional methods, such as job boards or looking through the paper may not bring immediate results or connect you with work that pays well. Even if you choose to look on your own, it doesn't hurt to have professionals who are familiar with the big city searching for you at the same time.

   
What is the first step in creating a Web based training program?

Creating A Web Based Training Program: Step 1

If you are thinking about using some type of Web based training for your employees, the very first step is to come up with any information that you will want to include. This step is the same regardless of whether you are working on a Web page design training program or a grammar review for writers. It can help to write out the idea and your objectives for the training as well.

Once you have an idea and direction, you will need content for the training program. You may choose to hire a content writer to pull this all together, or you can always have someone in-house write the material. Content writers generally have expertise in writing for the Web, which can be an advantage in this type of situation. They may be able to package the material in a way that is more user-friendly than someone who hasn't done much writing for the Web.

Once this step is complete, it is time to talk to your Web designer about where to put the information and how to present it to your employees.

   
How can I best understand my client's needs?

What Does Your Client Need?

Whether you're one of the top Chicago designers or a brand new freelancer, there's one rule that applies to all levels of experience: you need to listen to your client. In order to create the visual design your client is looking (and paying you) for, you'll have to get some specifics. Things such as color, illustration, font, and photography all play crucial roles in the creation of a layout for visual appeal. Spend time with your client discussing their tastes, the impact they would like to make, and who the target audience is.

Once you have an understanding of your client's needs, the next step begins: communicating the brand to the customer. Whether this means creating a magazine ad that will appeal to 20-year-olds or working on packaging that stands out in the supermarket, it takes time and skill to get this part right. Matching all of this up together—the things your client wants and the things that will reach the audience—is the foundation for everything a graphic designer does. It all begins with listening to your client.

   
What is a content writer and how can they help in Web based training?

Hiring A Content Writer

A content writer is someone you may want to consider bringing on board if you are putting together a Web based training program. These writing professionals are experts in packaging writing for the Web and can help make the process of developing a training program on-line much easier.

The content writer may be willing to sit down with the Web developer and talk about design. They can help in areas such as phrasing questions well, keeping a consistent pattern or theme and making sure instructions are easy to understand. They can also help keep things concise by using bullet points, numbered items and other "Web friendly" tools.

There are many different types of content writers out there, so when hiring, make sure the person you select is right for the job. Ask if they have had any prior experience writing training materials, and see if they are willing to work with you on revisions down the line if needed.

   
What are some ways to know if a Web training program is a good quality one?

Quality Training

If you're going through the time and trouble to set up a Web based training program, you'll want to be sure it is a quality offering. There are some factors that you can take into consideration that will help you stay on-target for this. Here are some questions you can ask about the program to see if it measures up:

  • Is the program centered on the learner and not the content?
  • Is the material interesting?
  • Is the training interactive?
  • Does the training address different learning styles?
  • Is the training easy to access?
  • Is the material that is being presented organized well?
  • Does the material help people apply what they have learned?
  • Is the training user-friendly?
These are just some examples of the questions you can ask about any Web based training program. It doesn't matter if you are trying to come up with a new Web development training program or simply see if a current refresher program is meeting your needs; assessing the quality is a good idea.

   
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Linda Handiak