What’s Hot and What’s Not on the Hunt for the Perfect Job in the Creative Arts

As a recent graduate, hopefully you are excited to begin your career in the creative arts! Advancements in technology and the impact of social networking have undeniably affected our society and culture, changing the way we receive information, conduct business, communicate, and hunt for jobs. New trends are emerging in the job-hunting process, not only in how you search for a job, but how you present yourself in your portfolio and resume also.Luckily, the skills you’ve learned in the countless hours of online socializing on Facebook and Twitter can actually be helpful to connect with potential employers, and build yourself an online presence in your hunt for the perfect design job.

In March, 2009, How Magazine published a great article on “what’s in” and “what’s out” in job hunting based on research conducted by The Creative Group. Check out the tips below from Julie Sims and FIDM to make yourself stand out in the crowd:

What’s Out: Overly detailed resumes
What’s In: Streamlined resumes that list specific accomplishments

In today’s fast-paced era of immediate information, a job-hiring manager should be able to quickly identify and understand the information in your resume. As a designer, it is important to show off your ability to communicate quickly and effectively.

What’s Out: Using an unusual resume format to hide employment gaps
What’s In: Filling potential gaps through volunteer, freelance or internship work

Make the most of the experience that you do have, but don’t exaggerate. Like your employment experience, list specific accomplishments that you’ve achieved through freelance work and internships rather than general job duties.

What’s Out: A cover letter that lists the reasons why you are a good fit for the job
What’s In: A cover letter that talks about the company for which you are applying and why hiring you would be mutually beneficial

Take some time to research what makes the company you are applying for special. Comment on how hiring you would benefit the company, and how working at their organization would be rewarding to you. Your hiring manager wants to know, “what’s in it” for them.

What’s Out: General elevator pitches
What’s In: Pitching your contacts so they’ll provide you with recommendations on LinkedIn

Revamp your online personality and go beyond using sites like Twitter and Facebook simply for socializing. It’s time to grow up by using professional sites like LinkedIn and Xing to build a professional resume and upload a professional headshot. You can also join groups specific to your industry of interest, and ask teachers, former employers and friends to write recommendations.

What’s Out: Networking Occasionally
What’s In: Networking constantly using tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter

Kate Forgach at The LA Times also provides some great insight into the positive aspects of using  social media to land a job. Forgach suggests using Twitter, which provides you with “unprecedented access” to executives, recruiters and employees of the companies to which you are applying.  She suggests using Twitter to demonstrate knowledge of your industry, share newsworthy links and connect with friends to become part of conversations with people talking about your area of interest. Use Twitter to impress potential employers by demonstrating that you have a passion for the industry you are hoping to work in.

What’s Out: Ending the interview by asking when they’ll be contacting you
What’s In: Ending the interview by asking for the job on a trial basis

Working at your company of interest on a trial basis allows both you and your potential employer to decide whether or not you and your prospective company are a match made in heaven. It’s a chance for you to prove your worth and dive into the everyday duties that your job would entail to give you an idea if it’s really what you want to do.

What’s Out: Sending a post-interview thank-you note that tells the interviewer how much your want the job
What’s In: Sending a post-interview thank-you note that provides more insight into why you are the best person for the job

Be brief and bright in an impactful, hand-written thank-you note. Make your thank-you note count by thanking your interviewer for their time, briefly reminding your potential employer of your most pertinent job skills in one sentence, and closing with a positive statement about their company. We bet you’re one of the few takes the time to send a thank-you, setting yourself apart from your competitors.

What’s Out: Leaving a copy of your branded resume
What’s In: Leaving a copy a fully branded leave-behind packet

There’s no question that your leave-behind packet should have a personality that is reflective of who you are as a designer. It’s a perfect way for employers to see that you understand how to create a consistent campaign and for you to exhibit your best skills as a designer.

What’s Out: Using the internet to blog for fun
What’s In: Using the internet to blog in order to promote yourself and build an online resume

The LA Times suggests that blogging is an updated way to network by showcasing your talent and ability to connect with the right employer. Blogging helps you to demonstrate your writing and analytical skills, show potential employers that you are up-to-date in your industry of interest, and that you have an edge in the world of online media. The LA Times suggests WordPress as a free and easy to use blog-builder. Even if you haven’t created a full-blown Website for yourself, you can easily build an online resume using tools like VisualCV, and ResumeSocial.

To check out the original articles by Julie Sims at How Magazine, and Kate Forgach at LA Times, click below:

What’s in/out on the Job Hunt, How Magazine

Landing a Job Uing Social Media, LA Times

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Questions/comments? Email the editor, Mani O’Brien at mo’brien@fidm.edu

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Author: Mani O'Brien

Mani O’Brien is the Online Editor for the FIDMDigitalArts Blog and the Social Media Marketing Manager for FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in print journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communications at Arizona State University in 2006, and Associate of Arts degree in Graphic Design (Professional Designation) at FIDM in 2010. When she’s not brainstorming social media marketing ideas or writing about the graphic design and digital media, she enjoys practicing yoga, reading magazines, and hanging out with friends and family in Los Angeles.

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