Landing your first job is often a scary and exciting experience. Will your first job dictate the direction your career will go? What kind of benefits should you be considering? Have you already held several jobs and now want to transition into the creative world? What should you say during your interview? We’re sure you have many questions, so here are just a few important considerations to keep in mind when landing your first creative job.

Depending on the type of position you’re looking for, a portfolio will be a crucial part of your application process. Portfolio sites like Behance and CarbonMade are quick and easy to use. If you’re looking for design jobs, your portfolio must reflect your personality and skill-set. Does it show a broad range of work? Is it easy to navigate? If you haven’t had an opportunity to design, include mock-ups and sample work.

Mentorship and On the Job Training
We recommend that you read Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg which includes some perfect examples of how people go about finding mentorship and guidance. A mentor who has many years of experience will offer invaluable insight into careers and skills. If a mentor isn’t for you, find out if the company offers training. Some companies have an employee allowance to go on courses; others will let you train on the job.

Skill Sets and Marketability
Skill sets can be transferrable. If you’ve been managing clients at a corporate firm which involved extensive spreadsheets and budgets, you have the foundations and the base to move into account or even project management. With that in mind, how do you demonstrate that you should be hired to move into a creative role? General Assembly is often a go-to company for courses that quickly bring you up to speed and introduce new methods and skills. Volunteering with non-profts is also a wonderful way to give back while learning. Think about the skills required for your chosen career path and try to demonstrate how you’ve applied them to previous positions.

Everyone you meet is a potential resource for finding new leads or gaining introductions to companies. Networking increases your chance of landing a job tenfold so send out follow-up and thank you notes to people you meet. Joining industry-specific groups can be beneficial for learning and finding a mentor. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice and guidance. People love to share experiences and help, ask about their careers and take an interest.

Do you have any advice to share on finding your first creative role?

Laura Pell – Artisan Creative