So you have decided you want to join the ranks of the digital creative world. You’ve done a course/degree and now it’s time to find some work. You also know a number of recruitment agencies that are qualified to help.
You call the first recruiter. Nothing comes of it and you keep asking yourself why.
Here are my tips for catching the eye of a recruiter and keeping them engaged.
A course is not enough. You would have graduated from your course with countless others across the state and country, all making the same call you are making. What separates you from the rest?
There are three things that show us you are serious about a career. They also give us something to work with when we are showcasing you to our clients.
1. How can I create a portfolio without having a role?
Typically the first thing a recruiter will ask you over the phone is how many years experience you have and ask whether you have a portfolio. The problem is that you don’t have any commercial experience. IT IS TIME TO THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX.
- Volunteer/Unpaid Internship: If you want to get into Content (for example) look for small businesses and ask to write some copy or create content for their next promotion, website, or eDM. Even easier, start your own blog/Vlog, which will showcase your content ability. This can also be applied to design and UX.
- Mock projects: This is great for UXers but again can be applied across the board. Pick two or three sites where you can perform your desired UX discipline on or run the full lifecycle. This will give us the opportunity to see how you work and where you would fit within a UX team.
2. Demonstrate your knowledge
This seems like it should be standard, but on so many occasions a real deep understanding of the field is not portrayed.
Give us examples of where you have extended your learning, how you are networking in the field, and what you want to specialise in. For us “I will do anything” really doesn’t show a passion in your specialisation and is not something we want to represent to our clients. Having a real passion in specific Content, UX, and Design means we can use that enthusiasm when representing you.
3. Be realistic
The toughest thing we deal with day in and day out is managing your expectations. Things to be realistic about:
- Organisations you will work in: Ambition is great, we want all of that, and having a 5 year plan to work for your ideal company is brilliant. Unfortunately, we are not going to be able to get you there straight away. Understand your initial projects are likely to be with smaller organisations, honing in your skills and expertise with the ultimate aim of working in your dream role.
- Money: We understand that you have done your market research and have seen roles paying a certain amount of money. Usually these roles are for experienced professionals who have been in the game for a number of years. The biggest turn off for us is demanding a $100p/h freelance rate when you have had no commercial experience. We are happy to help you get to that rate, but for us to market you as a junior, we need your help in being realistic about your expectations.
Our ultimate aim is to see you succeed — we just need your help and patience. Do this well and we will fight tooth and nail to find you a suitable role. Make the same mistakes everyone else makes and it’s likely you’ll fall by the wayside.
The key is separating yourself from the crowd and showing us, our clients, and the digital creative world that you mean business.