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15 top tips for applying for CDIT (Creative, Digital & IT) jobs

Earlier this year we launched an Intern Placement Programme to help the companies we work with in Sussex and beyond, access skilled job seekers.  Here's some hints and tips from Project Coordinator, Rachel McNultyon how to enhance your internship application and gain that all important first foot in the door.  

Lets face it, making job application after job application can be tiresome. (Especially when it feels like your 10th application of the week!) As like many of the agencies we work with, we've seen hundreds of CV's.  Whilst they're all unique, CV's can sometimes run the risk of being cold, white and boring.

This is an industry governed by creativity and digital technology. If you think about how you want people to feel when they've finished reading your application... do you think you've demonstrated your passion and Creative, Digital or Technical flair?

Is your CV enticing?

A well crafted, well presented CV, should engage prospective employers and tell them (most) of what they initially need to know.  In most cases, it's this, coupled with an enticing cover letter that will help you to gain that first foot in the door!


1. Make a good first impression

Sounds obvious but it's not always easy to accomplish. Try to think of it like a (Creative, Digital or Technical) brief.

* If you’re a graphic designer then why not try to make something as visual as you can?!

* If you’re an illustrator then why not pick up a pen and paper and turn your CV  into something that represents your style?!

* If you're skilled in motion graphics, why not produce a show-reel outlining your skills and experience?!

Here's a fab QR Code CV idea from a Communication applicant, Victor Petit.  He realised during his job search, that he needed to inject something a little more captivating into his application. Shortly after submitting this CV, he was snaffled up by the company he had applied to!

2. Recent History first

Employers will want to know what you've most recently been up to and will scour your CV for this information.  Try to make you CV as user friendly as possible. (It's all about the UX ;)). Think about why you are applying to transition into their company and role.  It's this type of approach that demonstrates pro-activity and drive.

3. Be focused

Clearly define your role in any previous job or work experience.  Explain any value you added (concisely)!  Try to draw out relevant examples of creativity, problem-solving or entrepreneurialism.

4. Give a rounded impression

Make sure agencies know there’s more to you than just work. They look for awesome people, not just a list of qualifications and work experience. You’re an individual,  and most importantly, you’re you. This also provides great talking points for a potential interview!

5. Check, check and check again...

Then give it to somebody else to check!  Silly mistakes can easily be overlooked and are really unfortunate when you've projected so much energy into the rest of your application. Check for grammar, flow, construction and layout.  This is an industry where content, design and layout all matter.

CV dont's 

1. Don't 'embellish' your credentials

Be honest.  Get found out and you may be out of a job before you’ve even started one.  If there's something that you've not done before and your eager to learn, highlight this.  A willingness to learn can be a pretty desirable quality in an applicant!

2. Don't waffle on

This can detract from key information that's relevant to your application. You want to keep your reader captivated. Try to keep your CV as concise and relevant to the company and role as possible.

Does your cover letter cover the right things?

Your CV is a chance to sell your credentials, but your cover letter is an opportunity to sell you!

Think of your cover letter as  a press release, advert, or a piece of direct mail.  You’ve only a short time to engage your reader. Try to avoid cliche's statements.  Think about what sets you apart from other applicants and head up your top selling points!  You can always direct your reader to your CV or portfolio links for more details.

Cover letter do's

1. Communicate why you’re suited to the role

If you were thinking ‘I’ve done this before’ when reading the job specification, make sure you tell us about it!  You might feel that this is the most relevant job application you've ever made, but your potential employer won't; unless you tell them.

2. Communicate your passion for the company in question

This is frequently left out of applications and can be so vital in the application process.  Think about what attracted you to apply to a role with their company... do they have a dream client base of yours? Have you met with them at an event? Is there anything that might link you closer and ensure you stand out from other applicants?

3. Keep things brief  (but not solely a sentence)

Communicating too much can detract from what’s relevant, communicating too little can appear disengaged.   You don't need to write an essay but you need to ensure that you are covering key things that the company in question is looking for.  Try to go through the job specification and match your experience to the key requirements of the role.  Is there anything you have previous experience doing?  Is there anything you would know how to approach? Write. Then edit. And edit again.

4. Check, check and check again

Careless mistakes can be unforgivable. You want to work in a business where perfection can be everything.

Cover letter don'ts

1. Oversell yourself.

Confidence is one thing, but arrogance quite another. It’s a big turn-off. Your cover letter is almost like the company's first conversation with you.  Try to make sure that your personality shines though.

2. Don’t get too personal.

Try to be professional yet friendly.  Including details of why you didn't get on with previous employers will only raise concerns.

Love your Digital self!

With Digital forever growing a lot of what we do is becoming more transparent. The result is the trace we leave online.

Managed effectively your Digital-Self can be a powerful force in your pursuit for Creative, Digital and Technical greatness. Try to make sure that the image you project online makes a positive impact on your employment prospects.  For instance, if you've noticed a role that you're eager to apply to, why not Tweet about it or engage with the company via their social media channels.

Managed ineffectively it will be fairly easy to dig up what you don’t want to be seen.  It's worth making a special effort to ensure nothing you don't want to be seen is on display.

Useful links for your application

30 inventive CV's 

Adam Pacatti and the employ Adam campaign

* Improve your odds of getting a creative job [infographic]

* 10 things your interviewer wants to know

* TED talks: Graduation... now what

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