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New Grad? Here’s 10 Spot-On Tips for Job Hunting via A Beautiful Mess

9 Jun



This article by Trey George from A Beautiful Mess has some wonderful advice for new grads and seasoned professionals considering new career moves. We’ve included highlights below, please click here to read the full article on their blog »

1. Identify your strengths, not just interests
First, you need a clear definition of yourself as a worker. Your interests are simply what you like to do, whereas your strengths are what you can offer an employer. A company only cares about your interests insomuch as it improves what you can offer them. Plus, if you start with your strengths, you open yourself up to positions you might’ve otherwise overlooked. Read More »

2. Keep the resume prioritized and concise
There could easily be a whole post about resumes. But above all else, lead with the most important information, and only make the resume as long as it needs to be.

3. Network, network, network
Where do your friends and family work? Find companies where you might fit and excel. Then, find a connection to someone with hiring power/influence. You have to find a way to get your resume to rise above those online forms they make you fill out, and nothing does that better than word of mouth within the company. Read More »

4. Informational interviews
Here’s a networking tool. Don’t overlook a company just because they’re not hiring. If you’re able to track down a valuable contact there, see if they’ll set up an informational interview to talk about their company and the kind of employee they’re looking for.

5. LinkedIn
Believe it or not, when it comes to job hunting, LinkedIn is far and away the most useful social network. It prioritizes sorting people by the company they work for. You can find a company you love and then find a person that could connect you to it. I’ve had several job recruiters find me because of it.  Read More »

6. Never overlook internships or any chance at experience
The more experience you have, the easier you make the job hunt. In general business, experience wins over education every single time. I’ve seen college dropouts with ample freelancing/contract experience get the job over people with their masters. So if you’re looking to break into a field, consider an internship. Or start freelancing for some of your friends’ small ventures or needs. Offer up free services. Employers aren’t going to ask how much you got paid to do it. They just want to see what you’ve done in a real-world situation.

7. Take any opportunity to show you care
Every piece of extra effort is noticed and appreciated. If you’re applying, definitely write a custom email (or cover letter) for each company. We can always tell when it’s copied and pasted generically. Dress up for an interview or meeting. Do your homework on the company. Learn about their values, culture, news, or just anything you can find online about them. Make it really clear you want the job. Read More »

8. Think of an interview like a conversation more than an audition
Yes, they need someone with the right skills, and the interview will mostly center on that. But more than hiring a functional set of skills, they’re hiring a friend—someone they’re going to have to be around for 40 hours a week. Ask a lot of questions about the job. As far as you’re concerned, they’re experts about the company. Make them feel like that, and be sure to show your interest in what they’re saying. Follow the rabbit trail down any tangents they want to go on. Make them laugh. I promise if they enjoy the conversation, they’ll remember you. Above all, be comfortable.

9. Follow up
This is an easy one. Again, you’re dealing with busy people. It’s very possible they didn’t get your email with your resume. Or if you’ve already interviewed, and it’s been a couple weeks, check in and see where they are in the decision-making process. Anything you can do to elevate your name a little helps. Read More »

10. Be patient and try not to get your heart set on one job
You will find several jobs that you think are the one, the kind that get you daydreaming. Most of them won’t be. You will not get the vast majority of the jobs you apply for. And don’t be discouraged by that. It’s just a game of numbers. Keep applying. Keep trying. I’ve applied for hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs in my life. It can take months, a year, or in some cases, years. You might have to take a lesser job while you continue to hunt. The only way you can guarantee you won’t get a job you love is to stop trying.

Read the full article from A Beautiful Mess right here »

Monday Notebook, Pen, & Ink Review Round-up

13 May

Notebook/Planner Reviews

Gourmet Pens: Review: @Exaclair G. Lalo Verge de France A5 Tablet – Blue

EdJelley: Clairefontaine Classic Notebook – Handwritten Review

These Beautiful Pens: More Paper Love: Le Typographe Writing Pad & Journal

Ink of me Fondly: Rhodia No.11 Notepad

Notebook Stories: Review: Piccadilly Softcover Notebook

Pens, Paper, Inks, Whatever: Clairefontaine Back to Basics 1951

Rants of the Archer: Review: Unlimited Notebook by Rhodia

Pen/Pencil Reviews

Comfortable Shoes Studio: Review: Palomino Blackwing Pencils

Well Appointed Desk: Ticonderoga Sensematic Mechanical Pencil  and Vintage Parker 21 Review

Ink of me Fondly: Lamy Raspberry Al-Star with J. Herbin Rouge Opera

Pencil Revolution: Review of Palomino Blackwing 602

Built from Ink and Tea: The Grand TWSBI Review – Part 2. A Review of the TWSBI Diamond 530 Fountain Pen

EdJelley: Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen – Handwritten Review

Pentorium: TWSBI VAC 700: Unboxing, First Impressions, and Writing Test! (Video) and TWSBI VAC 700 Long-term Review

On Fountain Pens: Review: Platinum Pocket Pen – from the 1970s!

Ink Reviews

EdJelley: J. Herbin – Terre de Feu – Handwritten Review

Ink of me Fondly: Tchaikovsky – De Atramentis Ink Review

Inkdependence: De Atramentis Moss Green and Noodler’s Gruene Cactus Eel

Inked Up & Happy: Requested review: Iroshizuku´s Ku-Jaku

FPGeeks: Inkcyclopedia: Cross Blue

Built from Ink & Tea: Review of Noodler’s Nightshade Ink

PenInkCillin: Private Reserve Invincible Aqua Blue


Have a review you’d like included in the round-up? Post the link and title in the comments and we’ll add it here! Note that our comments are moderated, so if it doesn’t show immediately we’ll get to it soon.


How to Write: The Best Formula for a Blog Post People will Actually Read

4 Feb

How to Write: The Best Formula for a Blog Post People will Actually Read by Cole Imperi on

The average person takes in the equivalent of more than 174 newspapers worth of data each day, and your challenge is getting someone to not only read what you wrote on your blog, but maybe, also, to remember something about it.

Once you understand how much information the average person is bombarded with in a day, you can approach your own blog’s content with wiser eyes.

Do you know what one of the best formats for a blog post is?

A list.

People like lists. They understand them. They’re easy to read and remember.

Why do you think so many lists appear in top-selling magazines? Think about Real Simple for example. The cover generally advertises at least a few articles inside giving you 14 Ways to Clean Your Kitchen, or 48 Ways to Easily De-clutter Your Bedroom, right? The research has already been done on this, so make use of this knowledge and apply it to your blog.

Here’s how:

  1. Write a few words that describe your blog. If you already have a tagline, expand on that. If you haven’t branded yourself quite yet, briefly summarize what you normally blog about. Let’s say you write about your personal life, horses and baking.
  2. Pick one of those subjects and break it out. Take your personal life. What are things you have learned in the last year? What are some mistakes you’ll never make again and why? What have you purchased this year?
  3. Take the items you are most excited about and write the titles. Using the examples in #2 you could have:
    1. “8 Things I learned in 2012”
    2. “4 Mistakes I made as a Young Adult I’ll Never Make Again”
    3. “7 Things I Bought That Made My Life Easier”

Lists are great because once you have the title, they basically write themselves. They are also accessible to more potential readers; you can snag someone with a minuscule amount of time when you present a list. And most of all, lists are easy to share. People would rather share a list of something useful with friends rather than a very long diatribe about the happenings in your life the past week.

Lists help you package a lot of pieces together in a new way, and often, they make blogging more fun, too.

If you happen to be a journaler, packing your entries into list format is not only a good writing exercise—it also helps you gain a new perspective on whatever you may be writing about. Instead of just recording the happenings of last week, what if you called your entry “10 New Things I Discovered Last Week.” Your entry immediately becomes more than just a recall of events, and becomes something richer and deeper. If you are the type that hopes to pass your journals along to your descendants, reading list entries like the example above makes for some interesting reading.

Lists can be so much more than what you need to pick up at the grocery store or things you need to get done this week. Make use of this technique in your blogging (and writing).


Meet the Writer: Cole Imperi is a business owner and a proponent of the handwritten word. When not at Doth Brands, a Branding & Identity firm catering to the health, wellness & deathcare professions where Cole works as Owner and Creative Director, you might find her on her yoga mat teaching yoga or behind a laptop writing for Simplicity Embellished, a letter-writing and lifestyle blog.


Editor’s Note: This article is part of the How to Write series. Read the others here:

How to Write: Sympathy Notes

How to Write: Ideal Business Correspondence Notes

How to Write: Friendship / Appreciation Notes

How to Write: Thank You Notes

How to Write: With a Fountain Pen

How to Write: To a New Penpal

How to Maintain Your Pen Collection

How to Write: Improving Your Cursive Skills

How to Write: A Letter of Resignation

How to Write: A Letter of Recommendation

Monday Notebook, Pen, & Ink Review Round-up

28 Jan

Notebook/Planner Reviews

Well Appointed Desk: Clairefontaine Crok Book Plain Notebook

Leigh Reyes: Moleskine Evernote Smart Notebook

Office Supplies Junkie: Mara-Mi 12 Month Notebook Set

Life Imitates Doodles: Part II-Review of the Leuchtturm Pocket Hard Cover Ruled Notebook 

Ethereal Voices: Quo Vadis Scholar Basic Calendar

Ink Of Me Fondly: Moleskine Green Lego Pocket Plain Notebook

FPGeeks: Clairefontaine Classic Side Wirebound Review

EdJelley: Rhodia No. 16 Graph Notepad

Pen/Pencil Reviews

Palimpsest: The Flying Scotsman Pen  and TomBow Oceanic Mechanical Pencil

From the Pen Cup: Faber-Castell e-motion Fountain Pen and Lamy Safari Apple Green 2012 Limited Edition

FPGeeks: Delta Fusion 82 Fountain Pen – The Awesome Review

Built From Ink & Tea: A Review of the Lamy Safari

FPQuest: Sailor Pro Gear Imperial Black Pen

Inktronics: Sheaffer Intensity Carbon Fiber Fountain Pen

Pentorium: Pelikan Souveran M400 Review

Well Appointed Desk: Pilot Varsity Fountain Pen

Economy Pens: Pilot Razor Point II

East, West, Everywhere: Sailor Clear Candy

Does This Pen Make Me Look Fat: Edison Herald: the pen I hated to love

A Penchant for Paper: Sakura Gelly Rolls Gold Shadow & Silver Shadow

Ink Reviews

Inkdependence: Noodler’s Antietam InkDe Atramentis Steel Blue, and De Atramentis Gandhi

Peaceable Writer: Revisiting Namiki Blue

Built From Ink & Tea: Noodler’s Baystate Blue Ink

EdJelley: Diamine Majestic Purple

FPQuest: Noodler’s Walnut

Misc. Reviews

Simplicity Embellished: Kuretake Little Red Gift Set

Recording Thoughts: Drawing versus writing pencils


Have a review you’d like included in the round-up? Post the link and title in the comments and we’ll add it here! Note that our comments are moderated, so if it doesn’t show immediately we’ll get to it soon.


‘Best of 2012′ Pen & Paper Community Link Love Edition

14 Jan

Image Sourced via Creative Commons User MaxxTraffic - click the image for more of his work2012 was such an amazing year for and we want to thank all of YOU, our readers and customers, who helped get us to where we are today.

  • We added multiple brands to the website that included Field Notes, Blackwing and Palomino, Lamy, Whitelines, and Stillman & Birn, among others.
  • Rhodia and Moleskine continued to lead the pack as our top selling brands, and we revamped our website toward the end of the year with easy-to-search product filters, integrated brand stories, and so much more!
  • Not to mention we added over 200 new blog posts throughout 2012, and our busiest day on the blog culminated in 1,500+ blog views!

And that’s just a taste of what’s to come in 2013 on! To start, we’ve got tons of blog posts with productivity tips to get your year started on the right foot, new brands and new offerings from current brands, and plenty of fun giveaways and contests to keep you delighted. We’ll keep you updated as we go, and if you ever have comments, requests, or questions, you can always leave a comment on our blog or email (and if you want to guest blog with us, email specifically).

Cheers to a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2013 for everyone! And have some fun perusing the below ‘Best of 2012′ Pen & Paper Community Link Love Edition we pulled together.


Inkophile: A Simple 2013 Fountain Pen Resolution
A Bunch Of Links Including Your Favorites And My Lists

A Penchant for Paper: Best of the Blog 2012

Kaizen Journaling: What I read in 2012 & KJ Book Awards

Leigh Reyes: 2012 Top Ten Pens & 2013 Fountain Pen Wallpaper

Plannerisms: Goal, Resolution, Project, Task: Definitions and Examples

52 Letters Project: Happy New Year from The 52 Letters Project!

Well Appointed Desk: Top Ten Most Popular Posts for 2012

Papered Thoughts: The Resolution

On Fountain Pens: Top 10 pens of 2012

Ink Circles: End of the World Remix

Letters from a (Someday) Editor: 30 Lessons 2012 Taught Me


Did we miss your Best of 2012 blog post? Leave the link in a comment below and we’ll add it!

Link Love: Sandra of Life Imitates Doodles Reviews the Leuchtturm Pocket Notebook

20 Dec

Leuchtturm Pocket Hard Cover Ruled Notebook in purple at

The Leuchtturm Pocket Hard Cover Ruled Notebook in purple! (Available at

Sandra (a wonderful artist, zentangler, and notebook aficionado) did a wonderful review on her blog, Life Imitates Doodles, of the Leuchtturm Pocket Ruled Notebook she just won in our Leuchtturm giveaway! (That was quick!)

Read the review on her blog by clicking here!

Sandra was very sweet and said, “I want to thank the European Paper company for a fantastic giveaway and for the chance to try out this wonderful notebook!”

Book Lover’s Day + Staff Faves

9 Aug

Today is Book Lover’s Day! Let’s celebrate with a new book, an old classic, or perhaps even your own book in process. We’ve snagged a few people in the office for their favorite book title (below) and would love to hear what you’re reading, too! With just a few weeks left in the summer, and before all the holiday hullabaloo starts, enjoy a few moments to yourself with a good book for a great start to the rest of the year!



A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

Mike, EPC’s Buyer: ”I love this book because it is a fun, easy read that has moments of great humor by the author.”


The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Courtney, EPC’s Creative Director: “This book is super inspiring for anyone in the process of change. it takes you through a beautiful journey of enlightened resilience, connection to the soul and the allure of nature’s power.”



Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins

Sarah, EPC’s Finance Director: “I love the wacky characters, the witty writing, and, most of all, the lighthearted yet meaningful perspective that he brings. Tom Robbins can really knock your seriousness down a few notches and alter your outlook in a happy, iconoclastic way.”


Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Leah, EPC’s Content Manager: “I’ve read this book almost every year for a decade, and each time I find something new hidden in Tolstoy’s writings. I love that he brought the simplest daily actions to such a heightened sense so as to truly appreciate that the small things matter.”


Have a perennial favorite you’d like to share? How about a fantastic book you’re reading now? Share them in the comments and spread the book love today!

Reconnect on Friendship Day

3 Aug

Happy Friendship Day (which is this Sunday, August 5th)!  Where would we be without our friends?  I know that I, for one, would be lost without them.  My friends mean the world to me, and I try to make sure that they know!  In this day of social networks, texting and emails, a handwritten letter can be a light on a dark day.

See all Stationery, Note Cards, and Post Cards on EuropeanPaper.comSometimes life can take over and a cherished friendship falls to the wayside.  So how do you get back in touch? Personally, I send them a postcard.  I love art postcards, and every museum I have ever been to, I always pick up a handful of postcards.  I find one that speaks to me and I fill it out – telling them that I miss them, and hope they contact me back.  A postcard is small enough so it doesn’t get awkward trying to think of things to write about, but long enough to get your point across – that you miss them and want them to know it.

Showing your current friends how you appreciate them can be an exercise in creativity!  You can send them a homemade card – take a blank folded note card and draw, paint or make a collage on the outside, fill out the inside, and send it off.

Or you can do something really different and send them a book letter.  My best friend, J, lives in New York City.  We have known each other for over a decade, and we always write letters to each other.  For Christmas last year, I decided to send her a book letter instead of just a letter.  We were at a gallery earlier that year and she remarked how she loved this one particular blank notebook, so while she was perusing one section of the gift store, I bought the notebook.

My friend is an artist – a phenomenal painter and I have a lot of her work in my house.  And I am a writer.  So I thought about doing something a little different: I was going to write her a poem and in this notebook, I was going to document HOW I was writing it.  And then the last page of the book would be the finished product, the poem itself.  It was something different; something she could keep that would be personal and just for her.

Sending a note to an old friend is always fun as you have so many ways to get your message across. Create your own collage card, send a quick and personal postcard, or opt to write a traditional letter. Consider sending your friend an inspirational quote, or introducing them to a new poem.

Celebrate your friends this Friendship Day and every day. Let them know you care about them and think about them by sending them a note. I know they will appreciate it!


Meet the Writer: Akhila Jagdish is a writer and editor in the process of starting her own editorial services company, The Crafted Word. She loves making lists, collecting journals, reading, drinking wine and cooking. 


Calling all Bloggers! Want to Guest Post With Us?

7 Jun

Ever wanted to write a guest post, but too shy to ask? Here’s a little prodding then – email with a short introduction of yourself and perhaps what you’d like to write about (if you already have ideas). If you have your own blog, include the link!

Anyone enthusiastic about pens, notebooks, stationery, and paper products in general is encouraged to get in touch with us! We can’t wait to hear from you …

This Saturday Switch Off with Earth Hour

30 Mar

Being “eco” is a daily choice, and one of the best things about creating a greener lifestyle (and better world), is that it can be made in the smallest choices.  Buying alternative fiber journals, keeping an eye out for eco paper features,  and using stationery created from sustainable practices are just a few examples.

But one of the absolute easiest things you can do is flick the switch … off, that is, in support of Earth Hour. Join millions of others around the world who will turn off the lights this Saturday, March 31 at 8.30pm-9.30pm (wherever you are in the world). Earth Hour is an annual global event (since 2006) organized by the World Wildlife Fund and made possible by teams in 135 countries.

It can be quite inspirational to see your city go dark knowing the intention behind each flick of the switch. Will you participate? Whether you do or don’t, we’d love to know your thoughts.


“Do We Know Who We Are?”

26 Mar

“The more we write, the more we need to define who we are. Does it get murkier, or is it becoming clearer the more we evaluate ourselves, our stories, and our internal struggles?” MJ Monaghan

MJ is one of our favorite writers/bloggers to follow and we love to share his work! (In our opinion, MJ is at the level of Seth Godin‘s style.)

His post today “Do We Know Who We Are?” popped up for us at a very auspicious time. We’re actively working to communicate our passion for paper, connect with the larger community, and provide insightful tips and interesting reads for you every day. But while we blog, we’re an online retailer at the same time. So we’re constantly defining European Paper Company to best serve YOU!

Let us know if you have comments, questions, or feedback in general. You can post up a comment here or email us at

Carnival of Pen, Pencil & Paper

6 Mar

Welcome to the March 6, 2012 edition of the Carnival of Pen, Pencil, and Paper! We’re thrilled to host this month’s Carnival and we hope you enjoy the selection!


Nifty Notebook presents Early 1980s “Comp” Pocket Memo Notebooks posted at Notebook Stories, saying, “Some gems from my collection: 1908s spiral notebooks that look like composition books!”

Alex Witte presents (Most of) My Notebook Collection posted at Economy Pens.

Sandra Strait presents Bleedthrumanade in Moleskine & Review of the Moleskine Squared Notebook posted at Life Imitates Doodles, saying, “A review of Moleskine’s Squared notebook showing how it holds up to the alcohol marker.”

Sandra Strait presents New Tangle Pattern Malacca & Review of the Moleskine Volant Journal posted at Life Imitates Doodles, saying, “This could be considered for the art genre as well as notebook because I always do artwork to use in my reviews.”

Sandra Strait presents New tangle pattern Twining & Review of the Rhodia Unlimited Pocket size Notebook posted at Life Imitates Doodles.

@EuroPaper presents The Birth of the Book Letter posted at European Paper Company.

Office Supplies

Charles Chua C K presents All About Living With Life: 10 Office Efficiency Tips posted at All About Living with Life.

Liz Shaw presents You Can’t Make This Stuff Up posted at Liz Andra Shaw, saying, “How the lust for office supplies led one woman into a funny situation.”


Cheryl from Writer’s Bloc presents STAEDTLER Mars Draft 924 Technical Ballpoint Pen Review posted at Writer’s Bloc Blog.

Okami0731 presents Featured Pen – Waterman 42 Safety posted at Whatever.

Heather presents Pentel EnerGel 0.7mm Black posted at A Penchant for Paper.


Tiger Pens presents The Fountain Pen Rest Stop posted at Tiger Pens’ Blog.

Charles Chua C K presents All About Living With Life: Office Feng Shui – 5 Great Tips posted at All About Living with Life.

Clement Dionglay presents Ink Review: J. Herbin Ambre de Birmanie posted at Rants of the Archer.


Thanks so much for joining us! Use this shortlink to share this post:

Submit your blog article to the next edition of Carnival of pen, pencil and paper using the carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on the blog carnival index page.