How To Get A Job In Creative

This is the single question I get asked the most. In person. When I speak on panels or workshops. When I’m out and about and someone asks what I do. Even here on linkedin. It’s the one thing folks seem to want to know the most about. While most in creative leadership will have different criteria on what they believe is effective, I made a small list below to help you get started.

Here is what I personally look for in a new hire applicant:


Your portfolio doesn’t have to be flashy or trendy – I simply want to see ideas and the thought process that you have put into them. Your videos don’t have to be broadcast quality either. Just show work that you are proud of and that you feel says something about the way that you think. Any perspective you have that shows a different way to look at the world will make you pop.


I want to know who you are just as much as I want to see good work. What are you interested in outside of the business that you borrow inspiration from? Are you an animator? Do you take photos? Do you knit your own scarves? Take a page out of your portfolio and showcase this.


I was on a panel recently at an Ad school. Lots of the students wanted to know how they can differentiate themselves from the sea of applicants that we look at. I challenged the students to figure this out on their own. What truly makes you special? I once got a book from a guy who interviewed his parents on camera and they gushed about what a terrific kid he was. In elementary school. It was funny and refreshing after looking at book after book. That being said…


Don’t send a clown to the office to announce your address or an edible arrangement to someone you have never met. You are a creative. Think more creatively. This is an opportunity for you to show how you can cut through the clutter.


I want to be able to see that you can write a decent email and tell me a bit about yourself that shows how in life you got to this point. Were you in the Military? Has your Mom/Dad/Sister been in this field for a while and you followed in their footsteps, etc.

These are just some basic principals I have acquired by hiring lots of creatives over the last 17 years. Hopefully it will help you land that next gig and at least give you a leg up on the competition.


Nir Bashan is an executive creative director with over 16 years of advertising, entertainment and business development experience.  He writes on topics coveringadvertising, media, creative solutions and workforce management. |

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