Welcome to my first blog post of the series, which will be talking you through the entire process of landing your dream job.
This is the first in a series, which will cover a ton of things, such as how to go after and get the job you really want, interview top tips (also covering how to interview employers as well as they interview you.) Design tasks (pros and cons and making sure you don’t get the ones that waste your time and protecting your ideas getting nicked!) How to juggle interviewing with lots of companies at the same time. Pitching your salary to hit the sweet spot of your experience. Negotiating a really good offer for yourself and red flags in employment contracts. Plus much, much more!
I wanted to make sure these posts were relevant and now is the time of the year people really start to think about a career change.
Plus there are a lot of redundancies at the moment, especially in the tech industry and I thought this might be as good a time as any to talk through the whole job searching process, from start to finish.
Most of you will have experience already working the job market and finding a role and these posts aren’t here to bang on about the obvious. But offer a bit more food for thought and a perspective from the employers point of view and how the whole recruitment thang works.
As a recruiter with 11 years experience, I’ve seen it all and over the years I’ve had a direct insight to the entire 360 recruitment processes, that companies go through when looking to hire people for their team. I’ve passed all this information on to my candidates over the years, but now I want to pass it onto you.
Because a huge part of what I’m trying to do these days in the industry, is replace doors with windows.
Being from a working class background and building my own career path knowing absolutely no one in the creative industry, I want to empower anyone out there, who wants to have an understanding of the creative industry and grow their own career, to do it without having to already have connections and a prior understanding of what it’s all about.
I’m also going to put all of this information into a new guide, to go with my CV, Portfolio, Cover Letter and Freelance ones. I just feel like this one will be a great addition to the set. And my brain keeps telling me to write it, so here we go.
So on with the blog post topic it’s self..!
Part 1, Searching For A Job.
I’m going to work with a few examples here of why you might currently be looking for a job:
- You’re new in the industry and you want to land your first job in the creative industry.
- You’ve just been made redundant and you’re keen to land another job soon.
- You’re currently employed, but you want to move on. Maybe you hate your boss, or you’re looking to work on more exciting projects, progress up the career ladder, better work life balance, higher salary..the list goes on!
But where do you start when you’re searching for a job? First off, do a bit of soul searching and find out your ‘Why?’ and then your ‘What.’
Your ‘Why’s’ are.. Why this company? Why this salary? Why this location? Why this sector? Because once you know ‘why’, you’ll apply all of this to your job application when reaching out to hiring managers.
The ‘What’s’ are.. What am I hoping to get out of this role? What can I offer this company that will make them hire me? What direction am I hoping it will steer me towards?
Whenever I start working with a creative, what I really want to know is what they are looking for and why. So if you’re representing yourself, you really need to ask yourself these questions.
Where a lot of job seekers go wrong, is they get a bit Gung ho about the whole job search thing. They will put together a standard CV and portfolio send their application to absolutely every job they see that relatively matches what they are looking for. This approach is pretty ‘spray and pray’ and it very rarely ends up opening the right doors.
Then people get disheartened when they start to receive rejection emails, or even worse, no reply’s. Then they go to their family and friends and complain that they didn’t hear back, even from the jobs they didn’t want!
So my advice is do yourself a really big favour and just slow down for a minute. And start with a 10-15 company wish list.
Then go on the companies websites and see if they have any jobs that match your experience, read through the job descriptions carefully and check all the things they are looking for match your experience.
If a job needs digital skills or someone from a branding background and you don’t have any of these skills, this might not be the right company for you (yet) but it’s one you can work towards having the right background for, by creating a side hustle/ passion project, that reflects the type of work they do and the skill sets they are looking for (I’ll get onto side hustles and passion projects later.)
Another good place to look is jobs boards, you can start here at www.graphicdesignjobs.co.uk or a good list to get you started is:
Once you see some jobs you like the look of, you need to take a look at your own cv and portfolio and think about how you can present yourself to appeal to these companies.
I’m going to get onto that next week, when we go through all the ways you can package yourself up and market yourself to the companies you really want to work for!
Until then, get looking and ask yourself ‘why’ and ‘what.’