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Along with passion and enthusiasm for their specific sector, ‘creativity’ is one of the most common personal attributes we hear clients requesting when we take the brief for a new role.
It’s that perfect mixture of the general and the specific. It means something different to our specialist e-learning team, where creativity means being able to put together a learning experience that’s both effective and original, and our ecommerce team, where creativity might be about coming up with a spectacular new idea for an online promotion.
Digital industries are generally fast-paced and dynamic, varied and complex – it’s no surprise that creativity is needed to succeed within them.
But there’s no A Level or degree course in ‘Creativity’ – so how do you go about demonstrating it?
Here are some ideas.
If you work in a design-related field, this is the most obvious first step. Online portfolios are easy to set up, convenient for hiring managers and the best way of showcasing your design credentials in a contextualised way. There are countless websites, apps and articles out there to help you put together a knockout online portfolio if you’re unsure of where to start – so have a Google!
HIGHLIGHT THE UNUSUAL
CVs should always include top-line references to your key achievements – your impact on website traffic for example, or how you successfully managed a major project through to completion. But don’t forget about the quirkier stories. They might not demonstrate concretely how you affected the business bottom line, but they do say something about you. It could be a fresh idea you came up with that a client took on – but it could also be a company event or charitable endeavour that you helped organise.
RESEARCH THEIR BEST PRACTICE
You should always extensively research the company in question before you head along for an interview, if only to be able to field the ‘why do you want to work here?’ question with panache. But if you can pull out some examples of when they’ve demonstrated fantastic, admirable creativity, so much the better. Bring it up at interview. Explain what you admired. Demonstrate your own eye for and understanding of creative practice, whether it’s a brilliant advertising campaign or a clever piece of product development.
HOBBIES AND INTERESTS
Hiring managers do look at the extra-curricular details on CVs and LinkedIn. Don’t panic if you don’t play a musical instrument or spend your spare time painting – creativity is found in many places. Do you visit art galleries or museums, go to gigs or concerts, visit the theatre or cinema? Have you worked on a creative DIY project? There are plenty of ways of showing how creativity is part of your life – and this avoids the ubiquitous ‘I enjoy socialising with friends’ CV line too.
THE COVER OF THE BOOK
Yes, yes – we know you should never judge a book by its cover. But we also know that personal appearance is a key part of interview performance. And if creativity is a key attribute for the role, you should think carefully about how your personal appearance demonstrates it. That’s not to say you should wear five of your favourite multi-coloured scarves at once, but choosing the same navy suit as everybody else might take you too far in the opposite direction. Interesting shoes and accessories can be the way to go.
And something to avoid…
Ok, actual designers can get away with this one. But for everyone else – messing around with fancy fonts, photography and graphics, colours and more on your CV is usually a fast ticket to looking unprofessional, unskilled – and giving recruiters or hiring managers an extra half hour’s work simply to undo all your handiwork.
Want more advice on how to demonstrate your creative flair? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 0161 714 0600 for a no-strings chat.