How to apply for a creative job role

With GRIN currently on the search for 3 new people to join our team, we thought what better time to write up a blog on what we think makes a stand out application and our top 5 tips for making the right impression when applying for a new role in the creative industry.

1. Do your research

Why are you applying for this role and why this agency in particular? Do your research on the agency and make sure you think it’s a good fit for you as well as you being a good fit for them.

Try to make your application personal to that particular business. If you know the name of the person receiving the application, then include it. If you’ve seen work of theirs that resonates with you or interests you, then mention it. It’s good to let that employer know how you think you’ll be able to fit into their current team.

2. Stand out from the crowd

What makes you different? How can you make yourself stand out? If the application has asked you to “Submit your CV” then you can be certain that there will be loads of other eager applicants submitting their CVs too. If you’re applying to a Creative Agency, then why not think of a creative way to submit your CV. Try to avoid the regular, monotonous ways of applying for a job and be creative!

But always remember, quality over quantity. Don’t ‘fluff up’ everything you send over with unnecessary information, stand out from the crowd with the essence of what makes you the perfect candidate. If you’re going to describe yourself as a particular type of designer, then make sure you can back it up.

3. Make sure your portfolio represents you

If you’re a web designer then there’s no point sending in a PDF portfolio, your portfolio should be a website! Show off your skill set and be proud of your work. If you are into illustration, then instead of sending in a Word doc CV (which we’d advise against regardless, ewww), why not send in a beautifully illustrated CV that encompasses your skills and personality? Bear in mind that you should keep some consistency in everything you send over, if you design your CV then your portfolio should match.

Don’t fill your portfolio with everything you’ve ever done. Your portfolio should highlight your best work and who you are. This will give the employer an insight into what they should expect if they employed you. If you’ve got a nice testimonial from a previous employer or client, then there is no harm in throwing that in too!

4. Make their job as easy as possible

Before you hit SEND, read over the job ad. Make sure you include everything you’ve been asked for and everything you think is relevant. If you’ve been asked to supply specific examples or details, then make sure you’ve included it. Try to avoid asking questions about the job role if they’ve already stated it in the ad.

If you’ve included external links to anything then make sure those links work! If the person receiving your application gets a 404 error, chances are they’re not going to spend time hunting down the correct link.

5. Double check, then check again

This goes without saying, but spell-check everything! Check your grammar and look out for any inconsistencies. There is nothing more off-putting than a gleaming CV and portfolio but with layout errors and typos everywhere. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so double check your work and your CV, and get some feedback from someone you trust.


If you’re interested in joining team GRIN, then click here to find out about our new job opportunities.