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Creative Gaga: Getting ‘on hire’

How do you land up with a job, and more importantly, how do you find the right job? The two are distinctly different. The right job must ideally balance what you are capable of doing and your future ambitions. It all comes down to how you approach job-seeking.

Getting a job is an anxious business, let alone getting the right one. The first and foremost step is to do a self-strengths and capabilities analysis, giving yourself marks for both tangible skills and non-tangible abilities. Aside of looking at your skills, strengths and conceptual abilities, an interview panel will evaluate your portfolio based on how you showcase your work. Never try to mislead the interviewer. Title your entries, and present only your best, avoiding elementary work. Your portfolio should clearly demonstrate your strengths.

Based on your self-assessment and portfolio, start to evaluate the type of job you would be interested in, and which you’d be fit for. Start short-listing firms, and study them carefully. In the case of Graphic Design or Visual Communication, there are many types of firms you can join: advertising, design studios or corporates. Every one of these will open up different roles requiring different strengths.

Decide your path, based on what will be the right for both you and the firm. Start writing individual mails to each firm. The best way is to draft a master letter, which you can modify to suit your pitch to each firm.

Finally, here are a few tips that summarise the key points to finding the right job.

Believe in yourself. Be confident about who you are and what you are capable of.

Present who you are honestly, and be yourself. Show positivity, and ensure it is demonstrated in every attempt throughout the process.

Every firm has its own personality and character; See if there is a match, and write them individual mails. It is not very different from locating your desired home and the right landlord! I often tell my future clients that we need to check each other out to see if we are the right match. This is a good step to maintain.

Your portfolio showcases not only your capabilities, but your personality – craft it well, and ensure you clearly communicate exactly what it is you are showcasing.

Connect the project to your role, contribution and impact it had. Most importantly, let your hiring panel know the context and the purpose.

Never try to fit into a job you are not made for. It is best to be in a position of adding value, and being an asset to your firm and team. Any false attempt will take you down the snake instead of up the ladder.

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