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Creatives frequently asked questions

Whether your a Junior looking for your first design job or an experienced Senior looking for a new creative challenge we strongly advise you to take a quick look below.

Testimonials

Carl Freelove, Marketing Manager, Big fish Recruitment

"As a niche recruitment consultancy, we have been using Viewcreatives for the last 12 months as a key recruitment channel to source our creative candidates.
The service and support we have received from the Viewcreatives team with posting vacancies, tracking responses and maximising applications has been excellent.
The CV database and ability to view a candidate's creative portfolio in particular has been highly useful for our business. We hope our successful relationship will continue in the future".

Clifford White, Managing Director, 21newmedia

"We were in a bit of a bind and needed a freelancer at short notice. We came across the site on the web and after buying a weeks access we made a few calls. I was delighted that we found someone who could do the work!".

Rob Coates, Marketing Director, Positive Effects

"I found your info on the web and the site just looked like what I needed - thank you - I have had a very good response."

Nicki Hayward, Managing Director, Toucanblue

"Thanks to a colleague we were recommended Viewcreatives - it has made my life so much easier and hassle free. Not only were we getting a high level of candidates that was required, its simple to use and it took the stress out of replying to the many candidates we received! Thanks to Viewcreatives we filled the position successfully!"

John Davison, Interactive designer

"Adding my portfolio to viewcreatives.com has been a great promotional tool having boosted work offers and hits to my portfolio site. As a creative, with a small advertising budget, exposure of this kind is invaluable."

Tips for displaying your CV and work on viewcreatives

How best to present your CV

10 ways to create a good first impression at interview

10 typical questions you may be asked at interview

Looking to go freelance?

Current freelancer? 5 ways to get more work

Design portfolio advice - selecting your work examples

10 things that put potential employers off

5 questions you could ask at interview

Tips for displaying your CV and work on viewcreatives


Obviously we wouln't presume to give you advice how to do your job but since we launched the site back in 1999 we've had a lot of feedback from all the major recruiters in the industry on what they like and what puts them off when it comes to contacting potential employees on our site:

What the recruiters DO like
- A CV uploaded as a word or PDF file essential when applying for jobs
- 3 good work examples that really encapsulate the type of work you do
- Relevent work examples to the core discipline(s) you are under
- Key skills and relevant experience to the jobs you apply for
- A concise but brief cover note when you apply for the job
- Concise information on your profile page (not too much copy)
- No spelling mistakes!! - (even seniors have had some over the years)

What the recruiters DO NOT like:
- CVs that are not 'clean', with too much (or missing) key information
- No portfolio uploaded (unlikely to be shortlisted)
- Irrelevant work to the discipline they are under (e.g. they appear under the Web designers category but show no web site screen shots etc.)
- Applying for every job they put up - very confusing they get their CV 10 times don't know what job they're really after. If you're suitable they will upload your CV on file for future positions
- Applying for too Senior roles without the necessary industry experience to back them up (i.e. Creative Director roles)
-When an application comes through with no cover note
- Too high a salary expectation compared to other creatives of a similar experience level and employment history
- Spelling mistakes not only on the profile but also in the uploaded CV
- Overall candidates who have not given due care and attention to profile, uploaded CV and work uploaded to the site is immediately evident compared to those that have
- Links to websites with poor navigation (or a flash movie) taking too much time to get to the relevant information.

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How best to present your CV


On viewcreatives you have 2 different representations which you will be judged on by potential recruiters:

Your basic profile page
This contains basic information for the recruiter to do a search and match with your criteria (location, experience level, skills etc) and details on this page you may also have added additional text fields about your interests, work experience, introduction etc It is vital that you keep this information very concise and brief without lengthy information. This is basically a quick profile page for recruiters to skim through before looking at your portfolio and downloading your uploaded CV.

Your uploaded CV as PDF or word file
This is going to be key here, as it is what the recruiter will download and keep on their system for future reference. It is not available on the public viewing site only paying recruiters can gain access to it. Some creatives supply their CVs in word others as PDFs, you can upload yours as it is if its in one of these formats just so long as its 1mb or less in size.
The key thing is to make sure that you have the relevant key skills and experience for the job(s) you are applying for. And that these are evident at a glance from looking over your CV.

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10 ways to create a good first impression at interview


So you've been shortlisted - well done! Its obvious at this point that you're one of the few people they consider worth the time to sit down and consider coming to work for them. You're CV and work is of the standard they are looking for so please consider the following 10 points carefully when you go in to meet them:

1.Dress and look sharp. It may be the Creative industry with a relaxed dress code in the studio once you start there but the first impression they get of you must be of professionalism. So men always get suited up and wear a shirt and tie, clean shaven and hair not so it looks like you've just got up. Women similar, dress smart and conservative as if you were going for a job at a bank. Don't forget the right shoes - clean and smart.
2. A firm handshake is essential and creates a great first impression – but don't overdo it and crush their hand!
2.Arrive well in time - at least 15 minutes early so you look eager.
3. Bring a copy of your CV and your portfolio. Keep the portfolio folder to A3 (largest) and don't have everything falling out when you open it. A Black portfolio is ideal with clear sleeves for your work and proper printed industry samples are best.
4. Do your research about the company before you arrive - its one of the best things at interview if you've looked on the web and have questions about the company you're going to work for. To the potential employer it looks like you're really interested in being the new addition to the team.
5. Try to maintain good eye contact during the interview. Looking at the floor, your shoes or the desk all the time is discouraging for the employer.
6. Have confidence in anwering questions about your work. Go through a dummy run of talking through each peice before your interview - you may not be asked to go through all of it but remember 'failure to prepare prepare to fail'.
7. Speak slowly and clearly rather than talking too quickly (common when people are nervous). Also try to let the employer do most of the talking - people love to talk about themselves and what they have achieved running an agency. Also do not interrupt them mid-sentence.
8. Have a glass of water. When going into the interview you are most likely to be asked if you'd like a tea or coffee unless you really need the caffine fix I would recommend a glass of water as its less hassle for the employer to get you and you can take a sip if your mouth goes dry giving you a pause for thought.
9. Turn your mobile phone off before you go into your interview. Its not the end of the world if you have to reach into your pocket and turn it off but it could distract you in ther middle of an important conversation point.
10. Try to think of something that will exceed the employers expectation of you. When an employers key client comes in for a boardroom meeting they may expect coffee and biscuits but not necessarily a posh lunch with all the trimmings. So be creative!

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10 typical questions you may be asked at interview


1. Can you summarise a bit about yourself and your experience?
2. Which has been your favourite job and why?
3. Which has been your worst job and why?
4. What motivates and excites you at work?
5. What bores you at work?
6. Who was your best boss and why?
7. Who was your worst boss and why?
8. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
9. Why do you want to work here?
10. Why are you great for this job?

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Looking to go freelance?

You may be an established designer with a wealth of industry experience under your belt or a recent graduate trying to get some work before your first permanent job.

Whatever your situation it's a very competitve business within the Creative freelance sector as you may well know. So here's a few points from what we've learned from employers looking for freelancers on our site:

1. Have an eye catching thumbnail that isn't a reduced down version of one of your work examples - remember it's the first impression an employer gets of you.
2. Upload a CV in PDF format with your work examples in it, you can do this without it going over 1mb. It means the recruiter will have all they need to hand if they print it out or keep it on file when they need someone in a hurry.
3. Your Rates - put an hourly AND a day rate. Have a browse around the site and see what other freelancers in your region are charging if you're charging way above what they are then you may not be contacted by potential employers. Obviously you don't want to sell yourself short but its good to know the market rate.
4. Your portfolio images. This is key - you MUST have a portfolio uploaded of your BEST 3 work examples. They must also be completely relevant to your category, i.e. if you are a Web Designer you must show screen grabs. Potential employers looking for freelancers judge them quickly by the standard of their work.

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Current freelancer? 5 ways to get more work


There are several ways to ensure that you are getting the best possible chance of work for yourself on viewcreatives:

1. Make sure you have uploaded a CV as PDF or word file, some freelancers don't bother and just direct recruiters to their website.
2. Consider your thumbnail image carefully - it is the first thing a potential recruiter will see when they are borwsing the gallery page. Does yours stand out?
3. Upload a portfolio with 3 of your very BEST peices of work that really show off what you can do in your field
4. Be competitve in your day and hourly rates - check out what other good designers are charging. If you are way over you may lose out. We're not suggesting you work for nothing but be mindful of how fierce the competition is for freelance work
5. Upgrade to a Priorty listing. It's is just a fiver a month and for what you're getting its a real bargain. It will give you a better position and allow you to put more work up as well as giving you stats to see how many unique visits your getting and how many times your CV is being downloaded..

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Design portfolio advice - selecting your work examples


When you are chosing which pieces of work to upload as your portfolio images please consider the following 3 points cafefully:

1. RELEVANCE - are your images reflective of your chosen discipline?, i.e. if you are a web designer you must have images uploaded of web sites not print work
2. VARIETY - have you shown examples of the range of your talents and core skills, i.e. if you said you're great with retouching and brochures have you shown these?
3. BEST - obvious I know but please upload your finest work.

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10 things that put potential employers off


Feedback from our recruiters as to the top 10 things most likely to put them off contacting potential candidates:

1. CVs that are not 'clean', too much (or missing) key information
2. No portfolio uploaded (unlikely to be shortlisted)
3. Irrelevant work to the discipline they are under (e.g. they appear under the Web designers category but show no web site screen shots etc.)
4. Applying for every job they put up - very confusing they get their CV 10 times don't know what job they're really after. If you're suitable they will upload your CV on file for future positions
5. Applying for too Senior roles without the necessary industry experience to back them up (i.e. Creative Director roles)
6.When an application comes through with no cover note
7. Too high a salary expectation compared to other creatives of a similar experience level and employment history
8. Spelling mistakes not only on the profile but also in the uploaded CV
9. Overall candidates who have not given due care and attention to profile, uploaded CV and work uploaded to the site is immediately evident compared to those that have
10. Links to websites with poor navigation (or a flash movie) taking too much time to get to the relevant information.

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5 questions you could ask at interview


1. How did your company start out? How many people where there then?
2. How many clients have you had for more than 2 years?
3. How often do you pitch and win new business?
4. What things have helped make this company what it is now?
5. Where do you think the company will be in 5 years?

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