A graduate's journey to being represented by
Artisan Recruitment - creatives that work.
Artisan Recruitment partners with the national creative industry to source talent across permanent, temporary and contract roles within design, marketing & communications, digital, production and account service.
Due to the demand from our client base it is highly unlikely that Artisan will be able to present job opportunities to you until you have gained a minimum of 3 years commercial experience. On the rare occasion we get asked to source a graduate you'll hear about it as long as you've registered your CV and folio on our website.
It's important to update both your CV and folio regularly. What we see is assumed to be current no matter when you uploaded it.
We'd like to lend a hand in helping you achieve your 3 years experience by offering a few handy tips.
Make sure your CV does you justice
As a document, your CV is going to be the most important piece you have in order to get your foot in the door and you in front of your potential next employer. With this in mind, it is always important to make sure that your CV is as up to date as possible. However, you also need to be careful to ensure that your CV doesn't run too long. Keep in mind that, especially in an environment where an employer may get hundreds of CV's daily, they won't read ALL of your CV. The key details need to stand out - your achievements need to be highlighted - you need to ensure your CV sells what YOU can do for YOUR new role! Be specific. Don't try to oversell yourself. Bullet point the exact duties you have been involved in.
For example, if you say you're a graphic designer, what does that mean to the reader? The reader wants to know: Have you been working on concepts? Have you been working with established elements? Have you been doing the finished artwork? What programs have you been using and which versions?
It goes without saying that you should start with your most recent work and work backwards from there. Amazingly, people still seem to list their employment history from the beginning and working forward to the present. Start with what you've just completed and move backwards - it gives a stronger impression of your current level of work.
Some people do a one page summary to give a quick overview. Others tailor their CV based on the job that they're applying for.
When applying for jobs, it's important to remember that you, your CV and your folio, are all the product. Therefore, make sure they are presented in the way you would want any of your designs to be seen in the market.
Update your folio
As a creative, you need to ensure that your folio is up to date, containing examples of your recent work. Your folio is an opportunity, as a creative, to show how creatively you can present yourself. It also needs to exactly match the information you've put in your CV. If you wish to include something which isn't on your CV then this may be an indication your CV needs to be updated. In a corner of each page of your folio, write a brief description of your involvement with the final product eg. cover design and finished art of 100 page annual report.
As previously mentioned, what we see is assumed to be current, so always take a moment to update your folio on our database as you gain more experience. Ensure each folio is genre specific (eg corporate, advertising, illustration) and is in pdf format, up to 4mb.
If you've been working as a freelancer, updating your folio can prove to be a challenge. We've often explained to our clients that those who freelance full time frequently have folios that don't truly represent their work, however this often doesn't cut it with them. Therefore, where possible, we advise that you do what you can to always get permission from your workplace to include pieces of your work in your folio.
Applying for jobs
When applying for a job, make sure that you include a cover letter that presents why you think you're the best person for the role. Look through the job ad and match up your previous experience with what they're asking for. Once you've finished, make sure you've addressed each point from the job ad; this will give you an even greater chance of ensuring you get shortlisted to go in and meet with them.
Make sure you keep note of what jobs you've applied for and who with. We've often contacted people only to find that they don't recall even applying for a position with us. Placing yourself in an employers shoes, would you consider getting someone in if it feels like they've just applied to the world with no thought about their suitability for the role?
To avoid disappointment and the rejection emails in your inbox, only apply for roles where you have actually gained commercial experience doing the work outlined in the advertisement. Those who simply apply for everything get known for doing so and could be overlooked for the perfect opportunity.
How to conduct yourself at an interview
Know the company
Prior to your interview, make sure you’ve done some research into the company so that you’re aware of their history and what kind of clients they work with.
Employers are looking for people who have the desired skill set and who are going to fit into their company culture, so be sure to research the company and the type of work they do so you can explore this together. Knowing the company and expressing what you've learned, reinforces that you may be the right person for the role and it makes a great impression in the process.
Invest the time to practice
Some might think going into the interview and 'winging it' would be the best way, however this may not end up presenting you in the best light. You need to be prepared to answer any question they present eloquently and precisely; "Yes" and "No" responses just don’t cut it in job interviews.
The only way to achieve this is to preempt what questions might be asked and have responses ready to go. Chances are that the interview will revolve around two types of questioning; behavioural questions that focus on your prior experience to qualify your ability, and more traditional questioning such as, "what are your strengths and weaknesses?". Going for a response that highlights a past experience is the best way to respond; it allows you to keep the focus on your success as well as reinforce your capability.
Additionally, having your key responses ready and practiced is going to allow you the luxury of walking into your interview feeling even more confident. A quick search on your favourite internet search engine will provide several sites with a list of questions for you to consider and practice with.
Before the interview
- Make sure you arrive 5-10 minutes early.
- Make sure you're dressed appropriately for the occasion.
- Turn off your mobile phone.
- Make sure you smell nice and that your breathe is fresh – no gum!
- Be professional and polite to everybody – you don’t know who the employer may be getting opinions from and it could just be the receptionist or the people you pass as you’re walking to the interview room.
During the interview
Listen carefully to the questions and take a moment to consider your response before replying. If you don’t understand the question, make sure you ask for clarification. Don’t waffle on with your responses either – keep them precise, to the point and always positive. Smile too – this will help to cover any nervousness you may be feeling.
Don’t talk negatively about previous employers, no matter what the situation. Speaking negatively and bitterly about a previous employer or workplace in your interview may ring alarm bells for your potential employer. Despite your previous experiences, finding something positive to draw from your previous employer is always a winner.
Be aware of your ‘non-verbal communication’; sit up straight, make eye contact, maintain a smile and don’t fidget.
Most importantly, be confident, enthusiastic and be yourself – after all, an interview is as much an interview for the employer to the employee as it is for the employee to the employer. Having said that, don’t be too confident as this may come across as cocky, arrogant and egotistical. You want to ensure that you remain positive, professional and calm the whole time whilst you present why you’re the best person for the job.
Remember - a skill set may get you through the door however it's often your personality that seals the deal.
Send a quick thank you email to the interviewer letting them know you’ve appreciated their time and that you’re still eager for the role.
What happens once you have the required 3 years experience and a current CV and Folio uploaded to the Artisan Website?
As a Creative your experience will, at this point, fall into one of the following 5 areas:
- Design - you've gained experience working in design studios
- Advertising - you've gained experience working in advertising and/or marketing
- Corporate - you've gained experience working within an in-house studio of a company
- New Media - you've gained experience working on digital design projects rather than print
- Government - you've gained experience working in local, state and/or federal government, education, not-for-profits and/or health
Let us know which industry the majority of your experience has been gained from and we will put you in touch with the appropriate consultant. After a brief conversation you will be asked to come in and personally meet with us to present your CV and folio.
Everyone here at Artisan is really excited for you and we look forward to assisting you to source your ideal role some time in the near future.