Getting to the interview stage for entry level creative jobs?

Obviously the corona pandemic has really affected the creative job market and it’s extremely difficult to find work and as a result I’m struggling to get any responses from employers, let alone interviews. I’ve been applying for jobs from The Dots, LinkedIn, directly from employers websites and cold emailing/ applying. I graduated last year (July 2019) with a 1st class Honours degree in Photography and have a lot of internship / work experience including PR manager intern and Social Media manager intern. I tailor my CV and cover letter to each application (each application taking 2-3 hours) and I’ve even added a creative layout to both to make them more interesting to for the employer. I also attach my portfolio and examples of my work. I know it’s very competitive right now and I’m applying for jobs both in Germany and the U.K. but not having much success. Any tips or advise would be wonderful or any creative graduation scheme suggestions would also be great! Thank you!


  • So, two things: 1) the industry is in a right state currently. Internships are the new entry-level job while entry-level creative jobs (junior roles) now require experience despite the fact that they are positions in which an employee should expect to be trained. Instead, it's become a way for poorly-run studios to underpay employees. It's bad, it's gross, and it's hard. It appears the old qualification of "a degree OR experience" is now being conflated into impossible standards that most graduates cannot meet.

    2) To get to interviews, respond to the application. They will likely give you a list of all the things they're looking for - often copy-pasted from other postings - and arbitrary and vague though these may be, don't hesitate to copy them and then respond to them directly. For instance, a candidate should be able to "work independently or part as a team - I can do this because..." that kind of thing. On one hand, you're actively demonstrating that you can do what they want, on the other if they're searching applications for buzzwords because they're lazy - and A LOT of employers do this - they're going to end up at your application. It's something I've been doing for years and it works surprisingly well.

    What I will say is this: do not be afraid of interviews and conversations with these folks. Remember it's about them selling themselves to you, and not just the other way round. Plenty of employers forget this and you end up with the baffling job postings we're starting to see. They have to make an effort too.

    In terms of demonstrating experience, self-initiate work. When I worked in studio and would have to look at applications we loved to see what people came up with without the interference of a client, the places their brain could go. It was way more interesting than whether someone has completed a bunch of internships. Make sure you're not just putting out the same stuff, either. A lot of graduates who have failed to specialise end up latching onto a style and not deviating. The amount of applications creatives will receive that are someone that's obsessed with Helvetica is probably incalculable. Show adaptability and diversity in your portfolio because, certainly in entry-level jobs, your specific creative voice is unlikely to be as important as your ability to work in a range of styles - one of which will hopefully encapsulate what your senior creatives is handing down to you.

    In terms of what you actually send, do not snazz up your CV and supporting documents. We don't care. The last thing we want is anything that makes the process of reading this stuff more complicated. A simple, well laid out CV is far more attractive than an over-designed mess. It also has a bit more value in terms of showing you can work in a simple, informative manner.

  • Same for me. I’ve been trying out many many platforms and applying for remote jobs all around Europe/traditional ones in my hometown and the other big cities here but I’ve yet to see solid results – got one interview out of it but before it even took place the agency found someone else. I’d love to hear some tips.
  • I’m in the same boat just minus the degree. I think the state the market is in, employers are looking for experienced people who can hit the ground running (I’m sure you can) but the CV needs to demonstrate you can. I also need help with this

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