Do I want a Job in the Arts? Or a Creative Career?

Do I want a Job in the Arts? Or a Creative Career?

Let’s talk Job vs Career. Jobs are easier to get than careers. A job sometimes can take five minutes to get ( even in this economy- say it with me: you want fries with that?), but laying the foundation to a creative career can take five years and / or more. To go from paying tuition to paying your dues, there’s one major thing you’ve got to realize: Getting a job IS a job – a full time job. You may think pay sucks and the hours are lame. Please, let’s lose that over inflated sense of entitlement. We all know your mama told you that you’re special, but it’s time to fill out an application and write a resume that rocks.

Check out our amazing job board/creative career site:

Maybe you’ve already filled out an application, created your resume and clicked “Submit.” on a site or two. Hours, days or weeks pass, you never receive an email, a phone call or email from the employer. What gives? When creating your resume, think from THEIR perspective. Hiring managers want to understand who you are and what type of worker you’d be if they they hired you. If you lack real work history related to your creative career goals, include internships in your experience section. Give examples of actual projects, challenges you faced, your contributions, and the results and benefits gained to the employer as if they were paid work experiences.

Nowadays, most resumes aren’t even seen by human eyes. ATS ( or applicant tracking systems) is tracking software is used by many company HR departments ( that means Human Resources guys). These programs parse ( that means scan and gather) information on your resume doc and organize it into a database The ATS system will score you according to how well you match the job description and rank the candidates. High score wins y’all.

Sucks, right?

How do you beat the system? Tailor your resume to each gig you apply for! Different job ads always contain different keywords and phrases. To get your resume to be top rated for each position, you must customize your skills and experience to each opportunity. Be a KEYWORD king or queen! Use actual language from the job description itself and toss in some buzzwords around that ATS is sure to recognize.

Speaking of recognition ( which you so truly deserve, oh wait, I said to lose the sense of entitlement, my bad-), make sure you stick to easy to read font like Helvetica, Arial, etc- God help you if I see any zapf- freekin’ chancery out there!

Most employers use ATS to search by skill-set. Make sure your resume includes any special skills you’ve attained, such as computer programs, strengths, competencies and ninja skills if you’ve got em. Use industry-specific abbreviations and/or acronyms when appropriate.

Spell check the heck out of that puppy and don’t forget to include contact information, such as your phone number and email address. check your spam folder religiously to ensure you don’t an email. Lose the Graphics and cute images. The ATS scans for words only. I know that avatar based logo looks a lot like you, but the ATS wont recognize it at all.

Unless you know FOR SURE that your highly stylized, groovy graphics-driven resume will be seen by a real live human, it’s best to save it for your follow up in-person interview and upload a .doc or PDF online instead.

And when describing jobs unrelated to your goals, keep it to to a minimum. For example, if you waited tables to help pay tuition, or worked as a bouncer, but your goal is web design, you don’t need to provide a description of the daily special was, or who was on the list to get in the club. Simply type up your employer’s name, location, job title and dates worked. You can briefly include special recognition (such as Employee of the Month) or any extra responsibilities to help demonstrate your super strong work ethic.

Oh yeah… Follow up.

But don’t be a pest 🙂

1 Comment

  1. Sounds like sage advice!

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