How Talent in the Creative Space Can Cope with Unemployment Now


Bloomberg “U.S. Jobless Claims Jump to 3.28 Million, Quadruple Prior Record” by Reade Pickert

The coronavirus pandemic has led to the highest unemployment insurance claims in the United States since 1967, totaling 3.28 million persons as of March 21, 2020. The three states with the largest number of one-week surges, and they are: Pennsylvania at 363.5 K, Ohio at 180.7 K and New Jersey at 147.0 K.

With the number of unemployed growing during the crisis, I am invested in sharing insight from hiring professionals, business owners and thought leaders on how we can keep positive, productive and prepare for what lies ahead.

Here is my first article with a recruiter covering the NYC-Tri state area.

Partner with Recruiters Like Rachel Ramos Who Have Their Pulse on the Creative Space Job Market 

Rachel Ramos, VP of Creative Services at thinkTPG, has over 20 years’ experience partnering with companies in the New York tri-state area and matching them with the best talent for positions in the creative space – advertising, marketing and public relations – on a freelance, freelance to hire and direct-hire basis.

In 2007, Rachel helped me secure a contract as a web content specialist for AIG Corporate eBusiness. And when the Great Recession hit 18 months later, she was once again there for me, and so many others, this time helping me with emotional support and with temporary employment opportunities during the economic crisis.

For many of us, the financial downturn of that period was gutting. Now, we are facing an unprecedented health and economic global crisis because of COVID-19.

So, I’ve asked Rachel to share her guidance, especially for contract talent in creative and marketing positions, during this unprecedented time when her proactive approach and a positive attitude can serve to encourage all with her best practices to see the light.

She is genuinely invested in the well-being of talent, taking the time to get to know you the person, not just your skill set and professional experience.

Rachel’s Recommendations:

Rachel notes the business world is going to change and we have to be able to change with it. However, it is going to get tougher before it gets better. And the first step she recommends is for both employers-clients and job applicants to partner with recruiters.  She explains that employers, who are still able to hire, partner with good recruiters who have the pulse on the market and have been in touch with applicants that have recently been laid off.

Flexibility is key to working through this period, she says:

For employers, trust that we vet the top talent out there and are here to partner with you to help your business to keep moving forward. Many of our candidates are accustomed to working from home and have full setups, and they even can probably help your team to set up.

Know that we are still working for you, by interviewing candidates, checking references and taking the time to know the people we represent. We have helped many of them in the past.

For applicants, this is probably not the best time to ask for that $10k increase. As of a matter of fact, some companies have asked their staff to take a pay cut. During this time applicants may need to readjust their hourly rates and annual salary expectations.

Keep Your Skills Fresh by:

  • Taking that online course you’ve been meaning to take; take advantage of tutorials, etc.
  • Being flexible and open to hearing about all opportunities and compensation -companies and employers will remember
  • Networking when possible
  • Offering your services to help out when you can

Applicants Should Be Proactive by: 

  • Updating your resumes and portfolios
  • Taking this time to figure out what you want to do
  • Being realistic and flexible

People that are not employed at this time need to take this time to be productive. Rachel started ‘Applicant of the Day’ on her LinkedIn account, where she features a recently laid-off person’s skill set with the hope that a hiring manager will see it and be interested in that person or may reach out to discuss a different skill set. Also, the hope is that her network will share the post so it can reach as many people as possible. Maybe that out-of-state client needs an AMA editor.

If you are a professional in the Creative Space, you can email her your resume and a few sentences regarding your background. She will choose one person a day.

If you are in a position to hire someone in any capacity, or if you just want to know who is out there, you can email her directly.

Some of the positions Rachel Ramos recruits for across all industries (agency and client side) include:  

Art Side: Art Directors, Creative Directors, Designers, Production Artists, Illustrators, Package Designers, Photo retouchers, Pre-press Specialists, Presentation Specialists, Product Designers, Studio Managers, Studio Artist, Print Production Specialists, etc.

Account Side: Traffic Managers and Coordinators, Project Coordinators and Managers, Account Execs, Account Sups, Account directors, etc.

Interactive: Web Designers, Production Artist, User Interface Designer, User Experience Specialists, Interactive PMs, Digital Art Directors, etc.

Copy Side: Editors, Proofreaders, Content Writers, Copywriters, etc.

Marketing and P.R.: Brand & Product Managers, Email Marketing Managers, Event & Trade Show Manager and Coordinators, MarCom Managers and Coordinators, Marketing Directors, Public Relations & Communications, SEO/SEM Specialists, Social Media Professionals, Bloggers & Web Analytics.


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