By Jacquelyn Heidegger Hamilton, Coordinator Senior, Career and Professional Development Services
Interested in pursuing a creative career? Thinking about what you can do as a Sun Devil to prepare yourself for a career pathway in the Arts, Design, and Performance Career Interest Community?
Here are five quick tips to help you prepare for a creative career:
1. Tailor your application materials to your creative professional path and the opportunities to which you are applying.
Consider creating a creative resume a traditional resume, and a hybrid of the two on hand that can be utilized depending on the organization, position, or industry to which you are applying. to make sure documents are aesthetically pleasing, be sure to check that all application materials have a cohesive design that illustrates your personal brand.
As you build your creative or creative-hybrid resume, keep in mind template off of the internet or microsoft word can be a little tricky . creating your own template in In-Design or Photoshop allows you to express your personal brand and is an example of your art in professional form . For both creative and creative-hybrid resumes, ensure you are effectively communicating about the experiences and projects that you list to showcase technical and transferable skills. As a creative, feel free to have color on your resumes and cover letters to give it that extra flare.
2. Get involved
Immerse yourself into a community of art & culture to collaborate, learn, network, and gain experience. By connecting with academic organizations, professional associations, classmates, and peers Utilize each others talent to see how your craft can support their projects and events.
Seek out faculty, alumni, and industry professionals who are also creatives. Go to galleries, exhibitions, screenings, etc… As a creative, networking is crucial to stay connected about opportunities for collaboration or for work. Building your creative network will also help you seek-out industry relevant advice, portfolio reviews, etc…
3. Build technical skills related to your industry of interest, don’t undersell your competencies & personal attributes.
As you practice your craft to become an expert, also pay attention to how you have developed your career competencies and transferable skills in all areas of your life. Make sure you are including all relevant technical skills on your resume and showcase them in your portfolio. Also be sure to utilize accomplishment statements for experiences that helped you build your career competencies.
While it is okay to list exhibitions, films, shows, performances, etc… on your resume; you will want to describe any experience that you are putting on your resume to showcase career competencies & transferable skills.
Also, you may want to include personal attributes or interests on your resume/cover letter/ portfolio if you feel they are relevant to your field. For instance, are you an actor who can juggle? While juggling may not seem related to acting, this personal attribute/interest might help you get a part in a show that may have an opportunity for you to juggle.
4. There are many ways to gain relevant experience!
Consider academic/personal projects, internships, volunteering, job shadowing, apprenticeships, freelancing, contests, research, and calls for art, - then highlight these experiences on your resume.
As a creative professional, you want to ensure you are getting experience that is relevant to your future goals; but you also want to ensure you are showcasing these experiences effectively on your career-related documents. You do not need to only highlight paid work experience on your resume. Consider including academic projects, freelance work, exhibitions/shows/screenings, etc… that are related to what you will be applying for.
5. Curate your best work and ensure you can effectively present your portfolio to an audience.
Consider a print and digital portfolio and work with peers, faculty, alumni, and industry professionals in order to benchmark your portfolio formatting and content. Ensure you are curating your best work but also providing context with your work within the portfolio. Ensure you can present your portfolio effectively…practice talking about your work, your process, your skills, and how the project relates to your future opportunity.
Looking for more support or advice on how to prepare for a creative career? Join the Arts, Design, and Performance Career Interest Community group on the ASU Mentor Network.