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How do I get a job in the creative field with no experience?

I've been looking for a place to start. Also struggling to find connections. #job-search #internship #career #resume #artist #designer

You can start by seeing what industry you want to see yourself working in. IE creative content, design (software, fashion, etc). Once you've done that you can use your current work experience to see how you can translate that into a different career. I made that change to my career, from an executive assistant to a UX designer. From my experience, I took the concepts of organization and implementation, and even into human behavioral interaction. When I applied the logic behind the skills I learned and turned them into my new creative field I was more confidant when I went to school for a course in UX with no design background. It wasn't easy at first, but I supported myself by taking the time to learn the design world. Denise Jean

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Kimberly’s Answer

Are you looking to write or some other creative endeavor? If you are interested in being a writer, contact a local or neighborhood subscription newspaper. The companies that own these have very small budgets. Reach out to the editor and let him or her know you would volunteer to cover local news events. (Think high school sports, local theater, film reviews for whatever is showing in the local dollar cinema.) The more you write, the more you will develop your own writing voice, regardless of what you are writing about. Once you have some experience and serve the paper well, they might offer to pay you or you can grow that experience.

If you are interested in the creative arts or design and are in high school or university, find ways to use your talents where you are. For example, if a class project solicits a t-shirt design competition, enter! Even if your work is not chosen, just trying will give you an idea of what paid creative work might look like. You could design posters for school theater productions or other school programming like registering for standardized tests or a college night. The administrators involved would, most likely, welcome student participation. Finally, don't ignore the obvious. Take photos for your yearbook or newspaper or write copy for either one. All of this work counts as experience.

One other suggestion: now is a great time to grow your professional talents and experience using the skills you have already developed. For example, a former student interested in costume and fashion design supported our school's theater program designing and making costumes. She also acted as a dresser back stage, making repairs and helping with costume changes. Simultaneously, she developed her knitting and sewing skills by making scarves and hats for her friends. As she grew in proficiency, she created original patterns and designs. She sold her work (her art!) online through etsy or some comparable site. The money she earned was her spending money and paid for additional materials for new work. (Her parents could not afford a big allowance.)

When she applied to art school as a high school senior, all of her work provided most of the portfolio needed for those applications. She was admitted to several very prestigious programs. She is now working in fashion design, making a living wage, in her dream job!

Kimberly recommends the following next steps:

Decide what your most proficient skills/talents are and figure out how to monetize them, so you can legitimately claim to be a professional artist or writer..
Always be open to learning new skills. You never know how these might inform your work going forward.
Volunteer your skills in any way you can think of doing so. That volunteer work provides experience and paves the way toward connections and future employment.

I think this is an amazing answer. :) Dexter Arver

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Ari’s Answer

In the last couple of years I have used online sites like ZipRecruiter or Indeed to find jobs in a field that I might want to go into without having a ton of experience in the field. One of the things that I do on my resume is include some of the college classes that I have taken that I feel are relevant to the job that I am applying for or interviewing for so I recommend including some classes that you have taken over time. If not I would include some of the part time jobs that you have had to at least show that you can hold a job for a longer period of time.

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Shannon’s Answer

Internships are very important! They help you gain experience and can set you up to get a full-time job if you're lucky. When I was going through school, I did not have any connections in the field I wanted to work in. I networked and applied to a bunch of internships including ones I had two hours commutes to.

Internships are everywhere. You just have to be able to look and find them. There are so many things you can do like lookup companies you want to work for to see if they have an internship program, utilize your school's career center for networking events, and establish a relationship with your peers/professors (maybe they know someone!).

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Pamela’s Answer

If you have already completed college and are looking for a job with a degree, having a diverse portfolio that fits the needs of the job listing will be important. If you do not have specific skills that match with what they need, are you able to relate seemingly unrelated skills to what they are asking for? Or is there a way to show you have an understanding of what they are looking for, and are willing/able to be a fast learner to get up to speed?

If you need to build up your portfolio, you may need to do some personal projects that reflect the work you want to do. Portfolio pieces do not have to be only what you made in school for your design classes or what was done for a company who hired you.

Do you have online profiles on LinkedIn or other job recruiting/searching sites? If you have already completed a college degree, do they have some sort of alumni network/career development that you are able to utilize even after you have graduated?

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David’s Answer

Figure out what you want to do and go for it! When I was first beginning, I was good at finding a million things to create roadblocks. Knowing what I know now, I would just remove all dependencies, not listen to those who would enforce a strict set of rules for what you MUST do to get ahead, and just go ahead and create your own future. Good ways to do this?

David recommends the following next steps:

Find nonprofits or organizations that you are interested in. Repeat: INTERESTED IN. It's very easy to take anything available when you first start. My strongest advice is to hone in on what interests you, otherwise you might find yourself pigeon-holed in an area that doesn't excite you. Once you find them, start creating projects (see how you might improve their site, how might you rewrite their content, other?). And then just take it on as a project. I guarantee people will be impressed by your taking them on, all on your own. If they don't have anything for you, you now have a contact, and they may point you to others.
Refine your skills: Though it may not feel like it, this down time is a real luxury. Enjoy it by enhancing your skills, joining interest groups, taking classes. It will pay off in spades. When I first started, many designers had no interest in learning basic HTML / CSS. So I did it. Once I did, many doors opened. (be cautious of this approach, however... see remarks on getting pigeon-holed. If it's not your thing, I suggest staying away from it).
Network, network, network! Get involved with interest groups, start projects, get on Meetup.com. People in the industry are very helpful when you need them. If they can't help you directly, they will almost always point you to someone who can.

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Susan’s Answer

Hi, I also joined the creative field with no experience before, below are some key point that I tried. Hope these helps.

Susan recommends the following next steps:

1. Find a related internship job, even with very low or just volunteer.
2. Try to make some friends in School who have some intension.
3. Join some creative group for some activities, if you don't have experience, you can start with a helper, I'm a lighting helper at last when I don't have experience in Video Production Industry.
4. Find some class to learn more technique.
5. Try to watch more YouTube, Vimeo or some online learning Classe like Skillshare, so you can get more tips from professionals.

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Melissa’s Answer

Getting into the design world can be overwhelming. The best thing you can do is start somewhere. If you’re able to, try an internship. Apply for creative contests (e.g. T-shirt design competition) or small tasks (e.g. layout for local newspaper). Do collaborative work with others to build your design communication skills. Keep developing and improving your portfolio. Apply wherever you can best use your skills and develop new ones.

Improve and develop your skills. Identify the skills you'd like to increase or learn and research how to get better. Research any resources that can help you develop your skills. Resources can be online certification programs, courses (online, community center, tutorials, high school classes, university), books, etc. Study design history. Understanding where ideas originated will help you use them strategically.

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Syed’s Answer

Well, search no more: We’ve compiled all the resume tips you need into one place. Read on for advice and tricks that’ll make sure you craft a winning resume—and help you land a job.

Telling Your Story

1. Don’t Put Everything on There
Your resume should not have every work experience you’ve ever had listed on it. Think of your resume not as a comprehensive list of your career history, but as a marketing document selling you as the perfect person for the job. For each resume you send out, you’ll want to highlight only the accomplishments and skills that are most relevant to the job at hand (even if that means you don’t include all of your experience). Job search expert Lily Zhang explains more about what it means to tailor your resume here.

2. But Keep a Master List of All Jobs
Since you’ll want to be swapping different information in and out depending on the job you’re applying to, keep a resume master list on your computer where you keep any information you’ve ever included on a resume: old positions, bullet points tailored for different applications, special projects that only sometimes make sense to include. Then, when you’re crafting each resume, it’s just a matter of cutting and pasting relevant information together. Think of this as your brag file.

3. Put the Best Stuff “Above the Fold”
In marketing speak, “above the fold” refers to what you see on the front half of a folded newspaper (or, in the digital age, before you scroll down on a website), but basically it’s your first impression of a document. In resume speak, it means you should make sure your best experiences and accomplishments are visible on the top third of your resume. This top section is what the hiring manager is going to see first—and what will serve as a hook for someone to keep on reading. So focus on putting your best, most relevant experiences first—and then check out these five other marketing tricks to get your resume noticed.

4. Ditch the Objective Statement
According to Zhang, the only occasion when an objective section makes sense is when you’re making a huge career change and need to explain from the get-go why your experience doesn’t match up with the position you’re applying to. In every other case? Consider whether a summary statement would be right for you—or just nix it altogether to save space and focus on making the rest of your resume stellar.

5. Keep it (Reverse) Chronological
There are lots of different ways to organize the information on your resume—like the functional resume or combination resume—but the good old reverse chronological (where your most recent experience is listed first) is still your best bet. Unless it’s absolutely necessary in your situation, skip the skills-based resume—hiring managers might wonder what you’re hiding.

6. Keep it to a Page
The two- (or more!) page resume is a hotly debated topic, but the bottom line is this—you want the information here to be concise, and making yourself keep it to one page is a good way to force yourself to do this. If you truly have enough relevant and important experience, training, and credentials to showcase on more than one page of your resume, then go for it. But if you can tell the same story in less space? Do. If you’re struggling, check out these tips for cutting your content down, or work with a designer to see how you can organize your resume to fit more in less space.

7. Consider an Online Supplement
Can’t figure out how to tell your whole story on one page, or want to be able to include some visual examples of your work? Instead of trying to have your resume cover everything, cover the most important details on that document, and then include a link to your personal website, where you can dive more into what makes you the ideal candidate.


8. Keep it Simple
We’ll talk about getting creative in order to stand out in a minute. But the most basic principle of good resume formatting and design? Keep it simple. Use a basic but modern font, like Helvetica, Arial, or Century Gothic. Make your resume easy on hiring managers’ eyes by using a font size between 10 and 12 and leaving a healthy amount of white space on the page. You can use a different font or typeface for your name, your resume headers, and the companies for which you’ve worked, but keep it simple and keep it consistent. No matter what resume format you choose, your main focus here should be on readability for the hiring manager. That being said, you should feel free to…

9. Carefully Stand Out
Really want your resume stand out from the sea of Times New Roman? Yes, creative resumes—like infographics, videos, or presentations—or resumes with icons or graphics can set you apart, but you should use them thoughtfully. If you’re applying through an ATS, keep to the standard formatting without any bells and whistles so the computer can read it effectively. If you’re applying to a more traditional company, don’t get too crazy, but feel free to add some tasteful design elements or a little color to make it pop. No matter what, don’t do it unless you’re willing to put in the time, creativity, and design work to make it awesome.

10. Make Your Contact Info Prominent
You don’t need to include your address on your resume anymore (really!), but you do need to make sure to include a phone number and professional email address (not your work address!) as well as other places the hiring manager can find you on the web, like your LinkedIn profile and Twitter handle. (Implicit in this is that you keep these social media profiles suitable for prospective employers.)

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Kellen’s Answer

I broke into the technology field by building things. And then I'd write about the things I'd build.

Any creative career needs expertise, and you get those through practising your creations.

Build a portfolio and keep polishing it as you proceed through life.

One day you'll look at it and your life's work will be staring back at you.

Kellen recommends the following next steps:

Do a thing.
Do another thing.
Do a third thing.
Do many more things.
Assemble into a portfolio and polish it.

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Cameron’s Answer

Good question. Getting started in a field before you've had a chance to build experience can be frustrating. When reviewing entry level resumes and portfolios, I look for ways they have practiced their craft (regardless of if it was a paying gig). Offer to build people websites or design brochures or whatever your skill is, for free. This not only gives you a chance to practice, but can also potentially help build your portfolio. You can even post that offer on Facebook or Craigslist or other similar sites or let friends know you are looking for opportunities to build your portfolio and practice your craft and ask them to spread the word.

Do your research and find companies you are interested in working at or those that have inspired you. Reach out to anyone you can on LinkedIn or through any distant connection and ask for an informational interview. This is a time for you to talk about what they do, what entry level roles look like at their company and basically just make connections with people in the field. Sometimes these turn into roles down the line and sometimes the don't. Either way, it is great practice for you and a chance for you to see what different companies are like. Most people are happy to do these informational interviews with folks just starting out. It makes people feel good to share their expertise and help someone else. Just know that everyone gets busy, so if they say yes to meeting up and then you have trouble booking a specific time, don't give up. Try a few times. You likely aren't bothering them if they have already said yes, they just have a lot on their plate.

Make sure you have a thoughtful LinkedIn presence and include any clubs, internships, relevant classes in your profile.

Good luck!

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Kristina’s Answer

To get started—do exactly what you're doing. Get CURIOUS, do your RESEARCH, and make time for PLAY and CREATIVITY. Use your other interests (such as animals, people and relationships, reading, nature etc.) to see how those can be combined into a creative career.

Kristina recommends the following next steps:

Look up people who have jobs in creative fields and look at their resumes, websites, and experience (search graphic design, product design, experience design, art direction, interior design, art therapy etc). Pursue what you get curious about.
Ask for informational interviews at creative agencies or in creative departments at companies you find online or that someone you know may be connected too with creative jobs (this can be done remotely with zoom!). Be open minded—sometime you may get an informational interview or connected somewhere you think you'd never want to work at but GO anyways and ask great questions. This is a crucial part of exploration and learning—you're not going to have it all figured out and you're going to learn as you go. Some of this involved learning what you don't want to do, even in jobs you think you would've loved!
Reach out on Linkedin, via email, social media to ask for 15 minutes to do an informational interview and come prepared with questions both specific to that person and open-ended.

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Tracy’s Answer

Being open to internships, apprenticeships and job shadowing are all great ways to get experience in fields that interest you. This shows the companies or individuals that you work with that you're a self-starter and are interested in putting in the work and time needed to learn your desired craft. Internships have been so incredibly helpful for me getting to where I'm at in my career because I've learned a lot because of them and have also built relationships that led to future job and networking opportunities. This will help catapult you into whatever creative field you're interested in.

Training is another huge component to learning creative fields. Raw talent is amazing and helps really get you started, but training is what takes you from good to great. If you love painting, take a class at a local college or online. If you want to learn graphic design, sign up for a class or watch YouTube videos. There are incredible (and mostly free) resources on the internet that will help you get to the next level as long as you're willing to put in the effort.

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Lyndsey J’s Answer

It is difficult to start a new career especially during this time however joining Facebook groups and social media in general is a good place to start to build relationships with other people in your field. You can also start a blog and follow others blogs. The main point is to stay focused and enjoy the process. Good things never happen overnight they take time and that’s the one thing right now we have a lot of is time. Everything happens for a reason and sometimes we try to hurry through things and with that we don’t get to experience everything that we could experience we just want to get to the end we want it to happen fast. Take your time enjoy the process meet people in anyway that you can you will find the right contacts, you will need the right people when the time is right. Timing is everything we’re going through this quarantine period for a reason. I think it is to slow us all down so we can enjoy the process of becoming what we want to become. If being an artist is what you want then go for it however enjoy it breathe it marinade over it and do it right.

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I’m sorry I didn’t know that. Lyndsey J Strand