According to new research by The Creative Group, job seekers hoping to land creative gigs are up against stiff competition. Advertising and marketing executives surveyed said that on average, they receive 23 resumes for every open creative position. They then meet with six applicants, on average, before filling the role.
The national survey is based on more than 400 telephone interviews, approximately 200 with marketing executives randomly selected by from companies with 100 or more employees and 200 with advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.
The survey was developed by The Creative Group and conducted by an independent research firm. The Creative Group (TCG) specializes in placing a range of highly skilled interactive, design, marketing, advertising, and public relations professionals with a variety of firms on a project and full-time basis.
Additional research from The Creative Group shows an uptick in hiring in the last six months of 2014, but companies are being selective when adding to their creative teams. “Employers are looking for individuals with very specific skill sets who also will be a good fit with the team and work environment,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group. “Job seekers can get a leg up on the competition by being prepared for every stage of the hiring process.
The Creative Group offers five tips for standing out in the job search:
Study Up. Before applying for any position, review the firm’s website and social media feeds, search online for news articles and company reviews, and ask people in your network for insight. The data you gather will help you better communicate in interviews specific ways you can contribute to the organization’s success.
Avoid resume mistakes. The most common resume gaffe is including information that’s not targeted or job specific, according to advertising and marketing executives. Know your audience and tailor your application materials to their specific needs.
Get ready for interview curveballs. Hiring managers may ask tough interview questions to gauge your interpersonal and problem-solving skills. Prepare responses to common queries but also practice thinking on your feet. Consider situational examples that highlight your ability to work well with a team or where you helped your organization with a difficult objective.
Be yourself. Hiring managers want to get a sense of who you area, from your personality to your passions, to ensure a good fit. You’re going to make a stronger impression if you answer questions honestly instead of firing off cookie-cutting responses.
Follow up with finesse. Within 24 hours of an interview, send a personalized thank-you e-mail to each person you met with. Reinforce your interest in the position and your key qualifications. It’s a seemingly obvious, but often-overlooked step.
For more job search advice, download The Creative Group’s free guide: Your Definitive Guide to Getting Hired. It features tips for cultivating your professional network, building your personal brand, and nailing an interview.