Before you apply to any company be it online, in person, at a career fair or over the phone, you must do the necessary research on it.
A. What does the company do?
B. How does the firm make money?
How are they funded?
C. Is their balance sheet in good standing and are they doing well?
Don't join a firm that is about to go bankrupt.
D. What jobs are least in demand as opposed to the ones that are most popular?
Look at your skill level because if you aren't exceptional you want to apply for the jobs that are least in demand if you ever want to get paid. The less popular the job is the more likely you will land it.
E. What kind of jobs are available, (Part time, full time, internships, Paid or unpaid?
What are you looking for? Don't apply to a company that does not have what you are looking for. Is there a base pay? Are there career advancement opportunities or is it a dead end job?
F. How many employees are currently on payroll and what is the turn around like for the
position you want? If you get hired how likely are you going to be able to stay in the role?
If you start up as part time or unpaid, what are the chances the position will become fulltime in the long run?
G. What are the projects that the firm is well known for and what are they currently working on?
H. Does the company provide any benefits or 401k?
I. Are the jobs in house, remote or require commuting?
J. What can you do to increase the firm's productivity?
K. What is it that you can bring to the table that is special and perhaps different compared to others that are currently being interviewed?
Using Google search, bloomberg , linked in, payscale and websites such as glassdoor.com is extremely useful.
All this information is readily available online for most companies worth working at.
If their official website does not have this information or you cannot find it online, chances are, the company is scam and not worth your time.
Never apply to any company or take an art test without having done the above research or you will most certainly waste your time and hurt your own chances of finding a job.
HRs are an incredible resource and if you impress them it is likely for them to want to help you land a job, even if it isn't at the particular firm that you applied to.
If however you show up unprepared to an interview without having done the mentioned research you will fall short or even if you do get the job it may end up not being what you wanted.
This is costly for any company that took the time to interview you and welcomed you into their office. HRs expect candidates to show up and be prepared for the work at hand.
Some companies choose to keep you on record so that if you messed up your interview they won't make the mistake of inviting you again for a second interview in future.
If you ever hear an HR say (we'll keep your info on file) that means you are being filtered and are unlikely to get a second shot.
Once you have done the required research you will be able to cater your resume' more effectively to the position you want to apply to. Research the key words that show up in the add and modify your resume' by providing your experience.
Show off your skills and use supporting information to express how you accomplished certain goals.
Once you have a good resume' a fantastic portfolio, a business card and are well prepared for your interview here are some steps you can take to help land you a job in the Art field.
1. Brute force method. Just show up at the company with your portfolio, resume' business card and find out how to get to the people who matter. This only works for small companies and you have to be willing to hear a lot of no's (rejections). Always be polite, appropriately dressed and never be too pushy when showing up at office or client sites. The large companies have security guards and getting in is impossible without an invitation. At some firms you will get a badge and get escorted in only if your name shows up on a list.
2.Get invited to visit the company. Find out the phone number or email of the company receptionist and get her/him to schedule you in for an appointment to see the firm.
Use the excuse that you are a student and want to see what it is like to work in the industry, even if you have 8 years or more experience.
You want to get your foot in the door. These days with the art industry being on it's last legs due to online piracy and Apple computers, getting in is far harder then in past.
3. Always bring in a business card because the HR managers can find it easier to look you up, compared to looking through a huge stack of resume's. The less work an HR needs to do for you, the more likely they are going to put you on top of their list as candidate to place. If they can find you online on (linked in) or find your name on the website of the company you are currently working for, that really speeds up the hiring process.
HRs who are overwhelmed by thousands of candidates will disregard people who have been out of work for a while or that are part time contractors because it is far easier to place a candidate that is currently working at another firm and has a good track record of being a good performer. It is just faster for them to sell a product, (You) that appears to be top notch and that an employer would have very little to object about.
Someone who has been out of work for a while looks to be out of practice or rusty even if they aren't. It is all about perception. How do HR's see you? Are you a perfectly packaged and top of the line quality product?
HRs love the chance to speak with someone you've worked with that has something to say about you.
4. Use career centers to help prepare you for interviews and go to job fairs. Bring your own laptop with your portfolio readily available and loaded. Make sure you don't waste HR time while fiddling and trying to get your portfolio to work on their dodgy computers. They may think you are a time waster or are unprepared if you keep having problems with your presentation.
Remember that HRs working for art companies are rarely ex artists or even have a clue about what you do, how you do it and what software or technical skills you have mastered.
Expect bewildered looks or expressions of boredom when you start going off on a tangent about anything too technical.
Keep it simple and use key words they may know;
A. Polycount B. How long it takes for you to perform a task C. Show off your ability to solve problems easily and quickly. D. Show that you are easy to coach, a team player and hard working. E. Show that you care and have taken interest in the company and it's accomplishments.
5. Always make it easy for HRs to see you are good at what you do but most important that you are easy to get along with, very polite and always have a positive attitude when problem solving.
6. Tell them what you are good at and how you can help their company achieve goals by doing ample research on who they are and how they make their money.
What problems is the company facing? What are the challenges? Can you bring them solutions? Are you motivated and exceptional artist?
7. If you can help the company make more money or help them achieve their goals then you are hired especially when it comes to sales positions.
8. If you don't look confident in yourself or in what you can bring to the table, HRs will spot it a mile away and may not give you the opportunity to shine.
9. Remove yourself from all job search websites except for Linked in (Cal Jobs and USA JOBS. (Awn.com maybe).
Remove yourself from Career Builder, Monster and any other similar websites.
Those websites are designed to;
A. Frustrate you to the point of going back to school.
B. Sell your information to companies that will then scam, spam your address mailbox, email and call your phone trying to sell you stuff.
C. Try to get you signed up to school programs you don't need.
D. Are full of scam adds for companies that have available jobs that no one in their right mind would ever want to do.
10. Make yourself look professional and less arty. You are a business man first and an artist after.
11. Mentioning your art degrees is not a great way of improving your chances at getting the job. In the art field no one cares about your school degree, job experience is king.
12. There is no place for candidates that show potential in this field. Either you are already able to perform the work at the standard the company is looking for or you will be excluded. Art companies are always cutting costs and only very few of them have in house training programs.
13. If you are applying to companies like EA, Capcom, Sony it is essential to have at least one model, animation or (whatever the position you are applying to) art piece created in their specific art style and of the same level of quality as what they are currently selling.
If you fail to show them that you are able to work in their style and at their level of quality then you have no chance of getting in.
14. Expect to ask questions at the end of your interview.
Ask appropriate questions based on the research you have done.
15.Never ask a question that just comes to you and that is inappropriate because it will hurt your chances.
16. Never reply no to this question (Do you have any questions for us?). It shows you have done no research on the company and that you are just another time waster who showed up and applied blindly to their add.
17. Unlike other industries where being average (skill wise) and picky about where you want to work is ok, in the art field this kind of attitude doesn't fly.
18. Artists are the most replaceable employees (commodity) and if you try to negotiate your salary or are unwilling to start off as a rookie, even when you have 8 years or more experience you won't get in.
19. Always see yourself as a tool, a product and try to sell yourself appropriately to the specific position.
20. Nobody cares about what you think, tell the HRs what they want to hear so that they can help get you there.
21. HRs are always on your side and want to help you if you'll let them. If you are not prepared then they won't want to work with you because they are highly driven efficient people who work at a numbers game.
The HR is a combination between a salesman, a customer service representative and a doctor.
HRs need to sell you to companies, assist you and their other clients while helping to heal the economy.
22. In the art field when you apply to a job online, that same job is being applied to by thousands of other candidates many of which are overseas.
This makes it really difficult for a Hiring manager to find you, out of this ridiculously huge pile of resume's.
23. When HRs are on the hunt they have thousands of numbers they can call and if they find even the slightest thing wrong with your profile, they'll just say something like; we'll get back to you soon, and just call the next person on the list.
24. HRs have very little time to place the best possible candidate in the role. They also have a huge pool of people to choose from and don't really know enough about what they do to be able to pick candidates based on their skills. Most of the time they base their decision on their 5 minute call with you and on the online portfolio you provide them with. They are under tremendous pressure to find exceptional candidates because their income depends on it.
25. If they can't place you in the job, they don't get paid so it is a loose, loose situation for both you and them.
26. The order of how Art companies hire is as follows;
A. Firm hires from within first or by internal referrals from other employees who could be awarded up to 4000 dollars, (depends on the company) if you or the people they promote get hired.
B. Rely on paper resume's and business cards received during meetings or career fairs.
C. Paid agencies or third party HR connections.
D. Online resume's.
If you are only sending out online resume's you may never get a job because you are starting at the very bottom of the pile. Networking, peer to peer social media and meeting people in person is the only way to make it.
27. The entertainment field is 100 percent about social activity and communication.
Who you know, how you are connected and how you connect with people is what will get you jobs.
28. The art industry is all about looking for new work while working. Most jobs are seasonal or only last about six months. After 6 months you may be forced to work at a different company and even change country or state just to find something that pays similarly to your previous gig.
29. Very few art companies pay employees what they are worth because they are so easily replaced that they don't really care if you quit. Someone else will replace you in a heart beat the next day.
30. Just the large corporations have benefit packages and pension programs. Most artists are forced to work until their last breath without ever making it into the Pixars and Disneys of the world.
31. Just a handful of artists ever makes enough money to buy a house or live a regular peaceful and stable life. The best way to get your lucky break is to work two jobs.
The one that pays the bills and the art job.
32. Be very careful of what info is out there about you on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. People get fired or miss out on opportunities all the time because of inappropriate content.
I hope that these techniques may help those of you crazy enough to want to continue pursuing this field, to land better jobs and make it big!