How to Prepare for a Job in Creative Industries

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Mon May 03 2021

So you love being creative and know you don’t want a conventional job but aren't sure where to start. Whether you’re an art major or you love making creative projects on the side, there is a place for you in the creative industry. You just have to know where to look and how to prepare. Many people think the only jobs for creative people are in the visual arts, but that’s not true. More jobs are popping up in creative advertising, marketing, and fashion industries that require a love of art and a creative mindset. 

How do you prepare for these industries now? 

Establish a Network

While it might sound obvious, who you know can be very important in many creative industries, especially if you are looking into the music and entertainment industries. The first place to establish a connection is by tapping into your school's alumni network. If you have a designated alumni portal, then definitely start there. However if your school does not provide a specific alumni portal, the next best place to look is Linkedin. Search your school then go to alumni, and then filter by profession and location. 

It can be scary to direct message and connect with people you have never met. However, most alumni are super willing to help out! Here’s a sample script of what you can say: 

“Hi _____ My name is ______ and I am a current __________ (class year) at _________ (school). I see that you work at _________ as a ________. If you have 15 minutes, I would love to hop on a call to learn more about your career path and experiences in __________ industry.”

Connecting with alumni can be extremely illuminating to learn how how someone can go from your school to that particular industry. More often than not, alums will go out of their way to help you either at their company, or will refer you to a company or person that they have connections with (but never lead with asking for this because you will not come across as genuinely interested!).

Build A Portfolio 

Even if you don’t think you have much to present or display in terms of work, build a portfolio anyway! Throwing together a simple site that you can attach to your job applications and emails goes a long way. Maybe you’re really proud of the work you did for your last internship. Or you made a cool video for class that you want to share. Even the smallest of projects and designs can give potential employers a good idea of who you are and how you might fit into their company! “Taking the time to write and illustrate even one experience shows how invested you could be in their company

Sites to try: 


If you have an Adobe account, they provide you with your own portfolio website! 

Do Things! 

Again, this one sounds obvious but is so important. Applying to the creative industries can be extremely daunting as they are so highly sought after, but neglecting to start the process won’t get you anywhere. One of the biggest pieces of advice I’ve ever received has been to just “make shit.” Like all the time. 

If you’re passionate about making and editing videos then start a YouTube channel. Maybe you’re a photographer and you get your friends to help you create a project you’ve been wanting to do for a while. If you’re super into graphic design, make a zine! Collaborating with people at school, (even if you go to a school in a remote place or a school that may not have a focus in the arts) can be a really good way to figure out what kinds of creative work you like to do. Once you know what you like doing, it will make looking for jobs a lot easier. 

Know Where to Look

Okay so you’re at the point where you know what you want to do but are not sure where to look. Hopefully these sites can help. 

Best site for jobs in the entertainment industry:

Best site for jobs in Media/ Other creative industries:

Best site for jobs at startups:

Other common job platforms: 

Linkedin, Glassdoor, Indeed, Google, Twitter

Go Easy on Yourself

Having a really hard time figuring out where to apply? Tired of getting rejected from different jobs? Don’t beat yourself up over it. The creative industries are incredibly hard to break into, so you’re not in this alone. Just keep creating and keep pushing for what you want. Even the largest of names started small!

Olivia Wandres • Colby '21
Hi! I’m Olivia and I’m from NYC, the greatest city in the world. I hate the cold, love sushi, and have the best Spotify you’ll ever see. When I’m at school you’ll usually find me hiking, organizing co... Read More on Olivia's Cubby
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