When applying for a design or agency creative job as a new graduate? Here are ten tips which might help you along.
1| Recruitment consultants are possibly a necessary evil. But if you apply in person it shows that you are actually interested in the company you’re applying for – plus, you’ll be cheaper to them, so they can give you more money.
2| The only thing that matters on your c.v. – the ONLY thing – is the link to your portfolio. Your qualifications are all very interesting, but count for nothing if you can’t show that you can design / code / build / make / organise / think.
3| On that note I’d hope to see a lot more on your c.v. than the results of your university modules. The last thing you need is a c.v. full of the same bits of guided work that took you 6 months to put together at university. Uni is such a false world – real deadlines are hard, fast and unforgiving. Your portfolio should be AT LEAST 50% personal work and paid work! Yes, we want to see the flyers from the club night your friend ran. Yes, we want to see the website you made for your uncle’s garage. Yes, we want to see the tattoo you designed for your boyfriend. We want to hire people for whom creativity and design is a vocation.
4| That said, the current culture of internships winds me up. If you can afford to travel all over Europe, working for amazing companies for zero pay for a year and a half, then good on you and I’m sure you’ll learn loads. But it makes for a very unfair playing ground. If you can’t afford to do that – then just get applying for agency creative jobs. Raw talent counts for more than the size of mummy and daddy’s bank account.
5| Fancy c.v.s – a personal, handwritten brown envelope will always get opened. After that the fanciness is fairly unimportant – sometimes it just shows that you’re willing to spend too much on stock and printing. It’s the contents that count – see point 3 above.
6| We don’t care what you wear!
7| But we do care how you present and how prepared you are. When you do finally get a chance to meet someone (whether it’s a cup of tea or an interview) be absolutely prepared. Whether you put together a presentation with visual aids, or you’re talking someone through your book, you need to know what you’re saying, how you’re saying it and why you’re saying it. You need to be clear about what you are interested in (what you LOVE!) and articulate about how you work and what you love to work on. At this point YOU are the product; you’re selling yourself. Don’t be arrogant, but don’t be shy. This is professionalism, and it goes a long way.
8| Know who you’re talking to. Do more than take a cursory glance at the website. Understand the company and their work. What is it about them that makes you want to work there as an agency creative? Is it the clients? Is it the style of work? Is it the reputation or what you’ve heard from other people? What do you hope to achieve when you get there? The more personal you can be about the company you’re talking to, the more they will feel that you want to work for THEM. Again, this counts for a lot.
9| Be punctual. Punctual means turning up for a meeting 15 minutes early. This is true for us going to see clients, so it’s true for you coming to see us.
10| SMILE! People want to work with people who are fun to work with. Always remember that you’re looking to find people who you like too – no one wants to spend all day, every day, with people they don’t like.
After all that, if you think you have what it takes to make your mark in the world of marketing creativity as an agency creative, send us your cv at: email@example.com and if you make an impact, we might just get in touch!