6 ways to successfully enter the creative industries

 14 March 2017

So you want to enter a creative industry? This sector is notoriously difficult to enter, but the Government has made creative industries a pillar of post-Brexit growth plan, so believe us, it’s not impossible and now is the best time to do so!

"You have your whole career to aim for the high flyers, and so it’s best to start looking for the role that suits you on a smaller scale"

At some point, you have probably been advised to get some work experience under your belt in order to successfully enter the industry.

Realistically, though, chasing some art director around for eight hours a day asking if he wants a cuppa, and all for free, is a waste of your valuable time and talent.

Therefore, here are our tips on entering creative industries which will showcase your talent and are much more enjoyable than going on a tea run.

1. Showcase your portfolio and knowledge

If you’ve got talent to market, you need to make sure you showcase it the right way.

No doubt you have a collection of your creative skills tucked away somewhere, whether that’s photography or film projects you’ve completed over the course of your degree, or even a selection of graphic designs and technical drawings you’ve sketched in your spare time.

 National conferences are a goldmine if you’re trying to enter a creative industry

But in order to successfully enter creative industries, you can’t leave your impressive collections tucked away.

We recommend creating high-quality, professional portfolios online to broadcast your talent to the world.

While you might have hard copies of your work somewhere in the form of scrapbooks, an online presence is going to give you the competitive edge.

So, create a personal website and document your projects, blog about your experiences, and comment on industry trends, and you’ll slowly start to see your professional presence grow.

Plus, this will give you a major talking point in your first job interview.

2. Engage with professionals and influencers

Once you’ve been proactive by setting up your online portfolio, you need to get out there and share your content.

Using Twitter and Instagram to share photos of your work or latest blog posts is the perfect way to increase your exposure. But there are some secrets to kicking your publicity up a notch.

Instead of just sharing your work through social media posts, jump on industry-related hashtags, follow industry influencers and local businesses, and actively engage in trending conversations.

Not only will this boost your portfolio’s exposure, but you’ll also impress potential employers with your professionalism, enthusiasm, and influence.

3. Join a media society

Media societies offer great leverage for entering creative industries. If you’re still studying, it’s likely your university will have some creative societies for you to get involved with, such as film, journalism, or radio.

Make the most of the societal opportunities available at university.

As not only will you get the chance to enhance and develop your creative talent and work on some unique projects, you’ll also meet a great group of like-minded people that could help start your professional career.

4. Attend national conferences and events

National conferences are a goldmine if you’re trying to enter a creative industry.

At these events there are the opportunities to network with industry-leading professionals, gain expert insights through talks and workshops, and explore career opportunities you never knew existed.

And if you’re a student, they’re normally free!

5. Research job descriptions

The best way to successfully enter a creative industry is by researching the skills employers are looking for.

Create a personal website and document your projects and blog about your experiences

The easiest way to do this is by looking at job descriptions that resemble your dream role.

When you find a position you like the look of, skim through the skills and experience listed to see if you have what it takes to be hired for the position.

If you find you’re lacking in a few areas, this should be music to your ears: you now know exactly how you should spend the next few months preparing for your job application.

Researching job descriptions doesn’t just help you become a better candidate. By sifting through vacancies, you might stumble upon a role you’ve never considered before, opening up a whole new world of possibilities.

6. Think small scale

By building your portfolio, engaging with professionals, and networking, you’re going to give your talent and ability the biggest voice possible in order to enter a creative industry.

But even if you’re doing this successfully, you shouldn’t expect to be hired by famous corporate companies like Warner Brothers or Mercury Records just yet.

You have your whole career to aim for the high flyers, and so it’s best to start looking for the role that suits you on a smaller scale.

Think about jobs in small independent companies or local businesses first as your talent and potential is more likely to be taken seriously. Working for a large corporation might not be your cup of tea anyway.