Category Archives: Social Trends

Hooked on Salon

When we hear the word salon, most of us think of this:

cartoon salon

However, our aim here does not concern perms, blowouts, or conditioning treatments. It’s about starting your own interior design salon.

Another definition of salon is a gathering of people. Specifically, a gathering to discuss, titillate, amuse, and exchange ideas. Most often, a salon focuses on a single topic or discipline, and brings together people sharing a thread between them – a group of writers, theorists, scientists, etc. However, the more diverse and eclectic a group is, often the more stimulating the conversation.

Salon gatherings began in the 16th century when upper-class intellectuals met formerly within large reception halls or personal mansions to exchange opinions about history, literature, and cultural issues. Over time, salons evolved from upper crust decorum in favor of spontaneity and free-flowing conversation.


Yet, the founding principles of salons are extended to today where idealistic, honest, radical, and unique conversations and debates form through gathering like or unlike minds in the egalitarian purpose of developing new ideas out a discipline, or out of an immediate or worldly issue.

Whether it is hosted by a specific person or held in a specific location, think about how YOU can start your own salon with friends, friends of friends, classmates, instructors, and professionals. This can plug you into a unique and fun social group, and provide you with innovative, collaborative ideas for your interior design mind and career. Make sure to think about using your IIDA Campus Center for help with organizing, creating, and scheduling a salon. Email us at if you do organize a salon, we’d love to promote it!

One of the more historically famous salons featured Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, and Pablo Picasso (think Midnight in Paris) gathering under one roof, sharing thoughts and influencing each other’s work – all in the name of expanding and bettering their professional and personal goals. You can start on that path too by starting your own salon; just make sure people know it isn’t a curl-up and color treatment opportunity.

Images Sources:


Make Your Design Network Work

Any student – undergrad or graduate – greatly benefits from getting involved in their school and surrounding community. It places you in touch with people who can be valuable resources for your design education and career, and exposes you to new and inspiring places and things that can stimulate your design mind.

One great way to get involved is through the development of social committees to boost networking opportunities and help build professional and personal friendships.

If your design school does not currently have a social committee or social board in charge of creating, planning, and sometimes hosting social events for students than I strongly encourage you to push your school to start one, or help form one on your own or with a group.

As a former social committee member, it was extremely beneficial to play a role in planning social engagements for fellow students (undergrad, graduate, or otherwise). As a committee member, you are able to gain access to students in the same program, or other related programs, and develop close ties with faculty and teachers who often attend events. A great example of this is IIDA Campus Centers that provide an environment where students, educators, administration, and design professionals work together to develop programs and events for their school. Click here to learn more.

From personal experience, merely attending school social events is a great opportunity too, especially when you’re able to meet other students further along in your respective design program. With them, you are able to discuss and share school experiences, learn about helpful classes and teachers, and gain insights into professional opportunities you could potentially pursue.

When a social committee has gained a foothold on campus, try to think of innovative and unique ideas for social events and how they could be conducted. It’s an effective mode of promotion to funnel most of your events through social media, and even live promote during the event through a conduit like Twitter. Make the event inspiring (like going on a tour of local architecture and design), or think about serving the community by incorporating service projects into the social calendar.

To be a part of a social committee or attend social events through your school only helps you as you become more acquainted with the design field, and get to know the people within your future profession. Get out there, and make it happen!

Pain Free Ways to Stay Productive Over the Summer

I know. I get it.  It’s July and the last thing on our minds is probably school or our future career—or at least we pretend that it’s not in our thoughts.  But there are plenty of painless ways to stay productive over the summer!

  • Work on Your Online Portfolio-  Whether your studying Interior Design, business management, a combination of the two or almost anything really, an online portfolio is now an essential part of the rat race.  Sure, you may not yet be asked for it at every interview, but wouldn’t you rather say you have it?  Having one comprehensive place that displays your best work in one easy to access place is invaluable. Check out Wix, they offer creative templates for easy to make online portfolios.  Bonus: Most of it’s free!
  • Make a Job Hunt Routine- Whether you’re seeking full-time employment or an internship opportunity, make it a habit to check your resources regularly.  Resources include your schools’ internship database and checking in with your local IIDA chapter for leads.  It doesn’t have to be on a daily basis, but make it a habit to check every Tuesday and  Thursday—as long as you have a schedule that works for you. Letting time slip away and not checking for new opportunities could easily set you up for missed connections
  • Learn the Ins and Outs of LinkedIn- Or even just make one if you haven’t done so yet.  LinkedIn is a vast land that can be learned over time, a lot of times by simply using it, other times by typing in “How to use LinkedIn…” on google.  One thing is simple: Connect with those you know, especially if they are in your industry.  Start there and run with it.  Make sure to keep in touch with the connections you make, otherwise, what’s the point?
  • Get Inspired- Simple enough, right?  There are a ton of little things around us daily that can inspire us.  There are entire blogs dedicated to getting you off the couch and into your dreams.  Just take a moment to breath it all in and to smell the flowers.  It is still summer after all!

Could This Be The New Frontier of Job Hunting?

In our last post, we talked about how to make your resume better.  We told you that most recruiters only spend 6 seconds on your resume!  Kind of discouraging isn’t it?  Well, it may even be possible that in the near future you may not even need a resume anymore—at least not in the traditional sense. 

What you’re doing online this very second could be the key to job success!  A new start-up based out of Jacksonville, Florida called Path.To is pioneering the movement to not only match you up with your best job, but employers to their best candidates—all by your internet activity.  On their own blog, they call themselves the “e-harmony for jobs.”  The company stresses the benefits that you, the job-seeker, get from using their service.  This includes even small details such as your workplace dress code preference, and what sorts of benefits you expect a job to provide for you.      

Users of social media sites such as GitHub and Dribble, which are aimed at the design industry, will find this especially helpful, as the site aims at specifically incorporating these sites.  However, your Facebook and Twitter accounts won’t go unnoticed.  Path.To uses your public updates to determine how well known you may be, and how much passion you could bring to the industry in which you may be hired for. 

Path.To stresses once again to us the importance of maintaining our cyber footprints.  Depending on the success of Path.To, job hunting techniques like this may become the new norm.   

How to Make Your Resume Stand Out

Would you want to look at your own resume?  If the answer is no, then it may be time to update your layout.  A new study from TheLadders has found that the average recruiter will only spend 6 second looking at your resume.  6 seconds.  You may not even have blinked once in that open time. 

 Eyetracker technology was used to record exactly what a recruiter looked at in a resume.  So how do you make your resume stand out above the rest?  The key is to grab your potential employers attention span. 

  • Take note of what the job description is seeking and tailor your resume to attract the most attention to those particular spots.   
  • Use the right typography and white space in order for the eye to be drawn to those parts of your resume. 
  • Big blocks of texts were shown to be completely glossed over. 

 Need more tips? Check out the resources at your schools’ career center that will have resources available to help you create the right design to fit your career experience.  But we’re fans of the creative approach like this student’s resume. However, don’t just build your resume around the first template you find.  For example, a resume layout that has been used by a senior executive who graduated 25 years ago may not be your best choice.  Make sure to scour through a variety of options before picking the one right for you.

So want to stand out in six seconds?  Learn more here:.

HOW TO: Spruce Up a Boring Resume

Infographic via Mashable

A Lesson in Social Media for Emerging Professionals

Like many of my peers and readers of this blog, I am a part of the Facebook generation and quite simply, Twitter just wasn’t evasive enough to hold our attention for very long. Twitter was for that generation between us and our parents who wrote blogs and self-started second careers. Hashtags and retweets were a new gibberish that we had never heard or cared to hear more about.

But as our graduation dates quickly approached, everything changed.

Now we are LinkedIn, digging, thumbs upping, retweeting, following, posting,  commenting, RSSing, subscribing, promoting, marketing, networking, #hashtagging, flickring, linking and linking back. This interaction and information sharing is a good way to get inspired, gain knowledge and share resources! You should strive to share some of yourself with this cyber world to gain feedback and possibly some recognition for your ideas!  If you are in a creative industry, you may have taken it one step further and streamlined the entire process with a website.

Here come the possible consequences to online transparency

  • if you update your Flickr it shows up in your digital portfolio
  • if you blog someone can ‘like’ it on Facebook
  • if you buy new scarf you can update everyone on every social platform.

Awesome BUT then you mistakenly tweet something that you meant to text message to your friend about a coworker and it updates on your professional LinkedIn profile …and let’s just say, now things are a little awkward.

While cross interaction is the key to success in social media, your mistakes could also end up  broadcasted across them all.

Yes you can link all of these networks together, but do you really want to? Not every social network should share information with the other, especially if one of those has been set up to get you your dream job while the other dives into the explicit details of your weekend. Your audiences are very different across platforms and this is something that everyone should be VERY aware of. Professional sites probably shouldn’t connect to social sites and vice versa. No matter what social platform you use,  you are giving someone the chance to judge you on more than just your resume but without a face-to-face first impression.

So, when is it appropriate or inappropriate to advertise to the cyber world what you are doing/thinking/eating? When it comes down to it, we would recommend you to be smart and think twice. We can guarantee that every time you send a resume, someone is Googling you. Maybe take an extra scroll through all those pictures that you have tagged of yourself from your college days.

Are you putting your best foot forward?