We know how hard it is to find work placements, but there are lots of other things you can be doing which reflect your passion even if you haven’t got concrete experience under your belt.
We’ve come up with our top ten tips for preparing for a role in the creative industries; what you can be doing whilst you’re still at school or college to give you a flying start…
1. Write a blog
Set up a blog, which you update regularly. This might be about books you’ve read, your favourite adverts, trips to the theatre, commentary on industry trends or a guide to what’s on in your area. Whatever it is you, make sure you post regularly. Add images and make sure it’s spell-checked before it goes live.
2. Organise an event
Join a committee at your a local school, church, sports team or charity – or set one up yourself. You can demonstrate your fundraising, teamwork, finance and organisational skills by helping to run comedy, music or social event (wherever your interest lies).
3. Develop your portfolio
Employers will want to see evidence of your creativity if you’re applying for a creative role. If you like film, animation, special effects or even presenting, get lots of practice creating your own content. Begin to build up a body of your work; be that in design, art or writing. Hard copies are great, but better to upload digital versions and create your own personal website or YouTube channel and start building an audience.
4. Join in with as many extra-curricular activities as you can
This will help you to build up your portfolio and show your enthusiasm. This can give you skills, knowledge and experience and it will look great on your CV too. It could also be a great way to meet like-minded creatives and share ideas or meet or hear of potential employers. And make sure you stay in touch with your fellow creative peers, as they could prove invaluable in the future. Keep on thinking of ideas for content and you’ll soon be asked to contribute on a regular basis. If you want to get into radio, consider getting involved with your local hospital radio. Or if you want to be a journalist, write for your school, college, university or even local newspaper.
5. Social Media
This is a great way to keep up to date with what’s happening in the industry. On Twitter and Instagram, follow influencers in the sectors in which you’re interested, as well as journalists and trade publications. Join relevant industry groups on LinkedIn and jump on industry-related hashtags. When you build up confidence you can actively engage in trending conversations.
A word of caution … Prospective employers often look at social media to check on future employees. Never post aggressive or inappropriate content.
Make sure you reflect the interests you say you have; if you claim to like news and current affairs, but only post about your social life, companies won’t be impressed. As a general rule make sure your social media accounts are set to private.
6. Approach people for advice
Most people like talking about themselves. If you have a genuine interest in a company or an industry, send a polite email asking if you can come in for a quick chat or to look around to learn more about the sector or that individual. Even if they say no, you’ve still shown willing and made a connection, and best-case scenario, it might lead to some work experience.
7. Learn to drive
Sounds strange, but many roles do require a driving license. It’s worth the expense and effort in the long run and will give you an advantage over other applicants.
8. Research, research, research!
Do your homework about industry leaders, sector trends and new initiatives. Look at the sorts of roles on offer in the sector you are interested in. Most trade bodies have excellent resources for you to access. When you read a book, check who published it; or if you’re a fan of a particular TV show, make a note of which production company made it. You can also research the skills employers are looking for. The easiest way to do this is by looking at job descriptions that resemble your dream role.
When you find a position you like the look of, skim through the skills and experience listed to see if you have what it takes to be hired for the position – and if not, how you can go about building up the missing bits.
By sifting through vacancies, you might also stumble upon a role you’ve never considered before which might be just the thing for you.
9. Prepare your CV
Your CV should be a maximum two sides of an A4 page, ideally one. Always bullet point so you are short and concise. Proof read; yourself first and then get someone else to. Add a short intro about yourself at the top.
The most important thing for any career, is to show that you’re interested in what you are aiming to do, so make sure this reflects that.
10. Stay in touch
If you want more advice about entering the media or creative industries, stay in touch with Creative Access. We are here to support you. You can reach us on any of the following ways:
LinkedIn: Creative Access
Facebook: Creative Access
Register with us at: www.creativeaccess.org.uk
Good luck & stay social!