I’m desperate for employment in creative digital media

Jim has plenty of media skills but lacks a degree

Having been unemployed and desperate for employment in Creative Digital Media for almost a year, I am now trying to find a way back in to an industry I was forced out of due to the recession back in 2008.

I send countless spontaneous applications to countless companies seeking employment to no avail. I'm lucky if, or when, I actually get an email response! I already have an array of media skills from digital photography/video, graphics to, more recently, 3D modelling, but just lack the degree and 2-3 years worth of recent work experience.

I have kicked myself for years about not continuing my college education further to university and have struggled a lot because of this.

My question is, where really do I go from here? I have thought a lot about maybe finding an apprenticeship within the industry, but even that seems to have it own pitfuls for someone of 36 years old who is desperate to edge his way back into a very cut throat industry that seems to favour and focus more on those aged 18-24!

I have read many articles about the rise of 'Tech City' and/ or 'Here East' in east London, and the 6,500 jobs apparently out there for people with my current skills, I'm yet finding it more and more difficult to find  a way in. Please advise. Thanks - Jim

— James Grant


Expert answers

Amy Edwards's reply:

Hi Jim,

Just out of interest; what kind of creative digital media jobs have you been applying for? 

If you're applying for a creative design job, I'd definitely urge you to create both an online and offline portfolio which you can link to from your CV. Also be sure to send in some examples of your work with your CV when applying for jobs, even if they don't ask you to - because something in your work might just catch their eye. While it would obviously be great to have commercial experience in this, if you don't have any - include projects which you've completed in your own time. 

In terms of qualfications, if you're looking at the creative industry, I'd be inclined to say qualifications aren't as important as experience - so it might be worth volunteering to do some free creative/digital media work for a local small business or charity - it's all about showing off your skills and having something to put on your CV. As I just said, paid experience counts for a lot - but so does non-paid experience because it shows you've taken the initiative to get this in your own time. 

Regards apprenticeships, sadly the way the funding works means unfortunately anyone aged 24+ doesn't get a look-in because there's no funding available to candidates aged 24 and above. With that in mind, I'd say you have nothing to lose in contacting the company who's looking for an apprentice to explain your situation and see if there's anything else available.

In terms of CV skills, I actually wrote a blog on the top skills employers look for in graphic designers (I work for the jobs board Bubble Jobs - and analysed the adverts companies had posted on our site) so it might be worth adding some of these to your CV if you have the opportunity: http://designrfix.com/graphic-design/top-10-skills-employers-graphic-designer

I hope this helps smile

Thanks

Amy


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