To the newly graduated creative

You have your degree and your head is full of dreams of conquering the creative industry but you’re not exactly sure how to go about it. 

Here are a few tips to help you get your foot in the door of your dream agency:

Sell yourself without experience

You have no woke experience and you’re worried that it makes you unemployable.  Embrace your inexperience – you’re applying for an entry level position and the person looking at your CV isn’t expecting a recent graduate to have 5 years industry experience.

Apply for that job, with an amazing portfolio that shows off your skills, how you think and the value that you could bring to the agency.

Be sure to tailor your portfolio to the agency that you’re applying to – do your research. Familiarise yourself with the kind of work that the agency produces and their clients.

There aren’t a lot of jobs in South Africa, the youth unemployment rate is high and there aren’t a lot of branding agencies either. Which means there’s a lot of competition for the jobs that are available; so be proactive and brave – send your stuff to agencies (even if there are no positions advertised). You don’t know who’s on the other end of your email.

 

Compiling your CV

You’re probably wondering what to put in your CV since you have no experience

A few general CV rules, with or without experience if your CV is more than 2 pages, it’s too long. Recruiters have hundreds, sometimes thousands, of CVs to get through. Imagine if everyone’s CV was three pages long? Keep it concise and to the point; recruiters don’t want to know about the babysitting job you had when you were 12 years old.

Avoid spelling and grammatical errors, they make you look sloppy and you come across as a poor communicator.

 

Internships

A lot of agencies recruit junior staff from internships; in a way, an internship is an extended interview. It’s an opportunity for you and the agency to see if you’re a good fit for one another.

Internships are your chance to prove that you deserve to be there and deserve to be kept on once the internship is over. So make great work, use every opportunity that comes your way to learn and be open to feedback.

Have fun, get to know the people that you’re working with and be pleasant to be around, as well as work with. And if you finish a task, ask another team member if they need help. It’s not just about the work – it’s also about your personality and how you make people feel. Leave your ego at home and respect those around you.

Have goals that are measurable – what do you want to achieve during your internship? Having a goal will make waking up in the morning easier because you’ll be working towards something more than the needs of a client.

Make the most of your time by collaborating with other artists, honing your craft and learning more about the industry.

Cole Ndelu graduated from the Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography with a degree in Visual Communication. She is an internationally awarded photographer and is part of this years class of Design Indaba Emerging Creatives. She is a content producer at HKLM, specializing in social media management, PR and strategy.

Cole Ndelu

Cole Ndelu graduated from the Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography with a degree in Visual Communication. She is an internationally awarded photographer and is part of this years class of Design Indaba Emerging Creatives. She is a content producer at HKLM, specializing in social media management, PR and strategy.

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