10 Tips for Landing a Creative Job

10 Tips for Landing a Creative Job

Today we live in a world of technology – everywhere you look, you cannot go three feet without finding someone buried in his or her smart phone or tablet. Something new and exciting is always around the corner and no one wants to be the last to find out.

The same goes for the working world.  The more the world adapts to the ever-changing technology landscape, the more opportunities there are.  Read on to learn how to use technology and traditional job-hunting methods to land your dream creative job.

1. A Portfolio is a Must

It is a wonderful thing to land a job right out of college but are you working towards your dream? Collecting work and putting it together into a comprehensive & defining portfolio is what will one day lead you to your true calling. It’s important to stand out with your personal projects and be proud of your work.  There is no room for modesty in this industry – strut your stuff!

2. Promote Yourself

It’s normal, during that first post-college job, to get caught up in working for someone else and going “through the motions”. Punching the timecard and doing whatever is needed to get that paycheck every two weeks.  While that is necessary, most of the time young professionals are getting farther away from their true passions, and instead, falling into a corporate rut. Do not forget about your own talents and promoting that portfolio you have spent so much time on. Promote yourself and your skills.  Create a website or blog, and social pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Behance, etc) for your work.  And then make sure to share with your colleagues and friends to connect with potential creative peers.

3. Be Different

Get out and invent something new, something your passionate about, and start making it immediately. Grab attention from the ordinary and make them want to invest as much time and energy in it as you do. If you are driven, odds are you will find yourself drawn to those who have the same energy and passion as you do.

4. Network, Network, Network

Landing that creative job is not going to happen by laying on the couch, eating potato chips and catching the next episode of ‘Breaking Bad’. You need to get out there!  Attend events, workshops, gallery openings. Take your new, hot-off-the-press business cards, and interact with anyone and everyone. There is nothing like a great first impression – networking is your best opportunity to make it.  You never know, that casual handshake with the next stranger could end up being your next colleague, partner, or future boss!

5. Start Applying!

Just like networking, applying for those intriguing creative roles, is not going to happen on its own. Use everything you have been working so passionately on and apply them to your next interview process. Internships are another great avenue to get your feet wet and help direct yourself into the career path that makes the most sense for you.  You can’t land your dream job if you don’t apply for it.

6. Resume & Cover Letter

In order to land that interview, land that job…first thing first: updating your resume and creating a solid cover letter.  Resumes and cover letters may seem like small, standard components of the job-hunting process – but they actually hold a lot more weight behind them. Your resume & cover letter can either get you, or keep you from getting, that elusive interview. They are the first glimpses into who you are, and what you can bring, to that position.  You want to make yourself stand out.  Remember – first impressions are key.  Make sure your information is up to date, and that your roles & responsibilities are clearly defined from previous positions. Sell yourself and land that interview.

7.  Do Your Homework

Thought research and studying was behind you once you grabbed that college degree and took your last steps on campus ground?  Wrong!  It is imperative to do your due diligence and study up on the companies you are interested in applying for jobs within.  Don’t just skim the company’s website – research articles, make sure to know the CEO’s name, the company’s background, any latest relating news.  Having this background information in your pocket during your interview could be the one thing that puts you above your competitor in the eyes of the interviewer.

8.  Ask Away

Make sure to come prepared to every interview with a handful of thoughtful questions to ask your interviewer.  You don’t need to be the Riddler, but be prepared to ask insightful questions relating to the company, position or industry.  This will not only show that you did your research we talked about, but it will also show the level of interest you have for the company & position you are working towards.  Ask about the opportunities for growth in the company, what drew the interviewer to work there, what are the greatest challenges he or she has faced there.  Be cordial and make sure to listen carefully to their responses.

9.  Follow Up

Nailing your interview may seem like the last step before landing your dream job – but not so fast.  You can’t forget about the last, crucial task on your end – following up with your interviewer.  It may seem like a small gesture, but it can go a very long way.  It does not have to be a long letter, even a simple hand written note or thoughtful email can stand out to the person considering you for their open position.  Thank them for taking the time out of their day to meet with you and again, express your interest in the role.  This is also an opportunity to state anything you may have either forgotten to mention during the interview, or something you may want to clarify.

10.  There Is Only One YOU

You can do all of the job research, networking, portfolio-making you want – but at the end of the day, none of that matters unless you are portraying the real you and going after the job YOU want and can succeed in!  Be confident in your abilities, your strengths (and even weaknesses), your passions and your goals.  Let those shine through your interactions and applications.  And when you do finally get that dream job of yours – don’t stop there!  Continue to find ways for your talents to push you to the next level.  Remember what got you to where you are – YOU!

About the author

Sarah Bals is a 2011 John Carroll University graduate. Sarah has extensive experience in social media marketing and event planning. Sarah was named one of Ashtabula County's Top 5 under 45 for 2015, as well as one of the top 3 candidates for the Ashtabula County Growth Partnership, Community Vitality Award.

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