We’ve been on a recruitment drive recently – on the hunt for a new motion designer and looking for talent for our summer internship. Having spent some time sifting through a huge amount of emails, CV’s and portfolio’s we’ve noticed lots of common mistakes. Here’s our top tips for anyone reaching out to a new agency, with some easy wins to help your applications for work stand out and help you get in the door.
This might seem obvious, but a nice email goes a long way. When looking at applications we’re looking for people who are not only amazing at what they do but also fit in with our culture, so show us some personality! It doesn’t need to be formal or corporate – Hi Team Flow or just Hey Karl is fine, you don’t need any To Whom it May Concern / Dear Hiring Manager nonsense. Keep is short and sweet too, with hundreds to get through believe me it’ll be appreciated. Just a few lines about yourself is fine, and show some enthusiasm for the job! Tell us why you do it and why you love it.
Another good idea when contacting a new agency is to show some interest in us and what we do. Taking the time to have a look through the portfolio of the studio you’re applying to will go a long way to helping us to see how you might fit in. Maybe tell us your favourite project of ours and what you like about it. This will help to show your enthusiasm and that you’re excited about the potential of working with the team. Actively following our socials is also a good way to show your interest, you might think people don’t notice it, but it goes much further than you think.
If you’re applying for a design or animation position with us the thing we are going to look at the most is your work – an online portfolio or showreel usually, and a CV is a distant second. If you think there’s relevant information in there – like courses you’ve done or places you’ve worked, include one, if not don’t. Don’t send one for the sake of it. If you do send one keep it simple, it should be easy to read with well-labelled sections.
You don’t need to include a selfie, it doesn’t matter what you look like, we just need to see your work. And ditch the graphs! When you get a student CV with a 100% skill rating in Photoshop it’s just not credible. Tell us what software you can use and don’t worry about rating your abilities with it, we can tell from your work, let that do the talking.
This might seem like a really obvious piece of advice but for some reason, so many people get it wrong. We get a lot of applications and going through them takes a long time, so hunting through pdfs and incorrect links becomes frustrating. Make it easy for us to find the information we need. Include any links to portfolios and reels in the email not just in your CV or covering letter (if you send one). Make it clickable or at the least copy and pastable.
Try to avoid sending a onefile/wetransfer/google link as they can be a pain if you have to log in to access them, and they can get lost easily. Some good free options are a Behance page / an Instagram profile (keep it to work though, no selfies) / a Vimeo profile / Adobe Portfolio is also a great option that comes with your adobe subscription if you have one. You don’t need to spend loads of time or money building your own site, just something simple to display your work.
Don’t worry about ‘padding out’ a portfolio, just show us your best work that you’re most proud of. If that’s 3 pieces of work that’s fine. If your showreel is 20 seconds long that’s ok if it’s got some good stuff in. We get sent some reels that are 6 or 7 minutes long and just don’t have time to go through them all. If you have worked in a range of styles then include them to show what you can do – but only if you’re happy that they represent your abilities – a bad piece of work will stand out and do more harm than good. Include a brief description with each piece of work too so we can easily see what the brief was / the client and target audience for it.