I'm giving a presentation to creative professionals in their 20's about the Do's and Don'ts of applying for creative jobs. Wondering if you have any tips on applying for and presenting oneself positively and how to get the most competitive job offers. Any ideas/tips welcome. Thanks so much!

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Interviews - do your research to understand the dress code. A creative Job dosnt mean a creative dress code.

Do not turn up looking like "London Fashion Week" or a "Beardy in Sandalls" if the dress code is suited n booted.

The same in reverse, dont turn up suited n booted if the enviroment is bean bags and ice cream machines.

I have known very talented people loose a job offer becouse of the clients re-action to their presentation. Always look smart, but reflect the enviroment you will be working in - becouse the client will always be picturing you sitting (or not) at your desk /beanbag and / or their own clients re-action to you.

However, never- ever- the "Beardy In Sandalls" look.  And never with white socks....

For creative jobs that involve showing your work, the portfolio presentation is key in the interview process.  I understand that most schools train their students on portfolio presentation, however I can't tell you how many times a "younger" just fresh out of school candidate blows it in this area.  They need to be prepared to talk about their work in regards to what was the objective, how did they approach and solve the design problem, what inspired their design/creative approach, etc.  They need to be fluid in their explaination and realize the work itself isn't enough, regardless of how talented they are.


The second point of portfolio presentation is to be honest about what they did if it's related to actual work done in a previous or current job.  I can't tell you how many times I've seen the same portfolio pieces from several candidates who claim they were the art director, which I know isn't true.  Someone concepted and directed it, someone else attended and directed the photo shoot (if that's the case) and someone did the production and layout for final review.  Tell me what role you played and don't think that I don't know that typically it's more than one person involved in the work.  A lot of candidates blow it here, or just show me the work and hope I think it's good.  Tell me what role you played in the work.  That's what I want to and need to know.


Glad you're investing time helping newbies just getting started.  The creative job market is typically more competitive than others, so your guidance should help them a lot.

Here are a few areas where we've seen younger creatives lack:

1. Dress code - know the company policy and cater to it

2. Have a strong portfolio - too many individuals try to go into a technical/creative interview without having a well designed portfolio. No portfolio is better than a weak portfolio (In my opinion).

3. If you develop - provide your GitHub profile

4. Your resume should display your creative design skills

5. Show enthusiasm and a passion to learn and take on challenges

Creative candidates need to dazzle. That means an impressive portfolio, both in its presentation and content. It also means that candidates need to prove its actually their own work by being able to converse in detail about any aspect of the portfolio, and about their background in general.

Thats a good, concise, list Travis

 - I would add one more to it if I may....

Have at least a "Career & Education" CV in a word format as well as the usual creative PDF. A lot of recruiters dont have the time to "Top and Tail" a PDF, and I am shamed to say I know many who dont know how.

Over here there is paraniod fear of clients cutting the recruiter out if full contacts included - "Top n Tailing" is a basic for most agencies.   

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