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How to make a career in creative Britain: think outside the job box

By Angela Haggerty | Reporter

August 26, 2013 | 4 min read

With over 10 million UK users, LinkedIn is an obvious first port of call for employers researching candidates. But the jostling for prominence is fierce, so how should jobseekers approach social media as part of their job hunt? And in a saturated market, are creative approaches more successful?

Advice: Lucy Simpson says presentation skills are sought after

Advice: Lucy Simpson says presentation skills are sought after

Creative applications are only appropriate for creative industries, according to October Recruitment managing director Lucy Simpson. “The viral nature of funny and original CVs makes them really popular but they are best suited to creative industry sectors,” Simpson advises.

“If you’re targeting specific companies or more business orientated sectors, the traditional two-page CV is still a great one-size-fits-all solution. Some employers can be put off by quirky approaches – if this is the case, you should ask yourself if it’s a company culture that suits your personality anyway.

“In our particular niche, we value the punchy, fact-based CV instead of, say, an infographic that needs to be deciphered. That being said, presentation skills are highly sought after, so a video CV can easily be the key to getting you one step closer to the job.”

Quirky examples of jobseeking creativity came this year from Adam Pacitti, who spent his last £500 on hiring a billboard with a poster saying: “I spent my last £500 on this billboard. Please give me a job.”

The gamble paid off for Pacitti, who landed a job as a viral producer at KEO Digital after his stunt captured the attention of that nation’s media. Pacitti’s idea was extravagant and the viral power of social media helped catapult him to attention. For an increasing number of creatives, that battle takes place solely on the screen and Simpson says it’s essential to highlight enthusiasm and up-to-date knowledge of the industry.

“Specifically in the digital media arena, technology is developing so fast that the demand for talent outstrips the number of quality candidates,” she says.

“Specific skills being requested regularly are statistical and analytical capabilities, a genuine and passionate interest in the future of digital and an ability to speak coherently about things such as RTB, DSPs, programmatic buying and mobile advertising.

“If you are passionate about the industry and you are on top of the latest digital news, this should feature prominently on your social profiles and CV. A powerful way to demonstrate this is to use your social profiles to regularly engage with the industry and share relevant news.”

A recent study by UM London revealed one in five 18-34 year-olds are now recruited on social networks

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