I don’t know about you but when my alarm clock went off yesterday, (as I stumbled out of bed and wiped the mince pies from my eyes), I suddenly realised that quicker than a flashing fairy light, the festivities of 2014 were well and truly over and it was business as usual or in our case – business as unusual.
So if your New Years Resolution for 2015 is to find yourself a fabulous new graphic design, digital or account management job, it’s time to wipe down your Wacom, pump up your portfolio, practice your pitch and get yourself fighting fit for the job market.
Easier said than done? Naaah! With a bit of careful planning and fine-tuning, you can have those creative muscles flexed and ready to go in no time at all!
Create a winning CV
First things first – make sure your CV is up-to-date and tailored perfectly to the job you are applying for. Read our top tips.
Is your portfolio in tip-top shape?
If not, it might be time to give it an early Spring clean. For some handy hints and tips read our blog.
Energise your mind
If like me you’ve spent the best part of the festive period in wind-down mode, it can be tough to suddenly spring back in to action but exercising the old grey matter and getting out in the fresh air can help no end. Perhaps start by researching cool design stuff that inspires you. At least if you’re asked the question at interview “so what inspires you?”, you’ll have a few answers up your sleeve.
The job market can be really competitive especially in the creative and marketing sectors so make yourself as attractive as possible to future employers. Build on your existing skills. Don’t feel you have to be all things to everyone – know your area of expertise and exploit it.
Align yourself with other industry professionals and present yourself as an expert in your field by commenting on social media posts, blogs or groups.
Build up your network
Keep growing your networks with likeminded individuals both face-to-face and via your social networks. It’s a great way to build your reputation and trust. However be mindful of the content used in your posts if you want to portray a professional image.
Perfect your pitch
You know how the saying goes “practice makes perfect”. Even if you’re no good at selling yourself, it’s time to take that big fat bull by the horns and give it good shake. Even if you haven’t been invited for an interview yet, there’s no time like the present to start preparing your answers for those general interview questions like “where do you see yourself in five years time?” or “what are your strengths and weaknesses?”
Devil in the detail
Where the job market’s concerned it can be the smallest of things that can trip you up at the last hurdle so make sure you’ve checked the detail:
- Ask someone else read your CV thoroughly. It’s so easy to miss a spelling error especially if you’ve been working so close to it.
- Does your mobile phone message sound professional? “Yo – dude, I’m chillin’ so leave a message” might not give the best impression.
- Check your social media posts. That doesn’t mean to say you can’t be human and the odd traffic cone on one’s head probably won’t hurt – but check what you’ve said about others and the language you’ve used. Employers do check you out!
- Smile! Sounds really obvious but if you get nervous at interview, it’s easy to forget to smile. Not that you want to look like an extra for a toothpaste ad but friendly smile now and then can really win you brownie points.
Hopefully there’s enough there to be get you warmed up and ready to go but if you have some knockout tips that work for you, we’d love to hear them.
Ta ta for now.