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Creatives – why you can’t get a job

 Creatives – why you can’t get a job

Today it is really hard to find a job and it seems creatives repeat the same mistakes all the time when applying. I have dedicated today’s post to exposing those mistakes.


1 ) You’re dedicating your search to online only. What we often forget is that thousands of people have seen that very same advert online, making the competition almost impossible. I recently read an article in Forbes magazine where it was stated that in this day and age, when you apply for a job online, you are already too late. The unfortunate truth is that most of the time when jobs are posted online, the employer already knows who they are looking to hire and posts the position just to follow the protocol. Getting the job you really want will depend on your online and real-life connections.

2) Your portfolio is all wrong. Some months back, I did an article on preparing your portfolio. I’ll do a quick recap: Your porti should not have more than 12 to 15 pieces. The background should be clean (white or black) with no distractions.  If you can, create an online portfolio as it shows your handle of the digital world. (click here to read Creating The Perfect Portfolio)

3) If online is your only option, do not spray and pray. When sending out your CV, be sure to send it only where the position fits you perfectly. Before emailing, be sure to write out the CV as if it was made specifically for the job. Make a cover sheet ,be sure you add keywords from the actual advert, check the spelling and, last but not least, do not decorate your resume – we know you are creative.

4) Before submitting, check if any of your digital or real-life connections know anyone in the organisation you are applying for. This may sound strange, but it will give you the upper hand if someone in the organisation hands in your CV for you or recommends you.

5) Your social resume looks like a warzone. Before submitting a CV, clean up your Facebook and Twitter profiles and anything else that can pop up in a Google search. In fact, if you are serious about getting anywhere in this digital age, you’ll need to stop writing stupid nonsense on you social platforms. Think of it this way: your Twitter account is not yours, so stop using it to swear at you ex-girlfriend. Facebook won’t just disappear, so stop posting pictures of you getting sick on someone’s lap at a hectic baby shower.(click here to read The Social Media Survival Guide [part 1])

6) When you do get the interview, do not dress like a creative and also don’t dress like the CEO. Find an equal balance which represents the organisation and you.

If you have other tips to share, please let us know by leaving a comment. Happy hunting!

Artwell Nwaila

Creative Director. Founder of The SA Creatives. Designer, fine artist, writer, photographer & idea hunter. Arch enemy of Powerpoint. @artwelln