Applying for Jobs in Animation

Digital media graduates will be expected to produce a well-designed CV. However, it is important to strike a balance between creativity and professionalism. The primary purpose of a CV is to demonstrate how your skills, knowledge and experience match the qualities that the potential employer is looking for. This can be best achieved by giving clear examples of how your skills and experience make you the ideal candidate. 

Please note: The general rule for CVs is that it should be no more two pages long, but the majority of employers in the creative / media industry prefer a one page CV. Employers will be more interested in your portfolio as a means of deciding whether to invite you for interview or not. 

Portfolio Advice (hard or digital copy) 

Portfolios showcase your work and demonstrate your innovative and creative skills.

When appropriate, do not forget to include a portfolio link on your CV. You will be offered freelance work or a job based on the strength of your creative ability all of which will be evidenced in your portfolio of work.

Key points to remember:

  • Whenever possible try to provide information on the conception, development and realisation of your project.
  • Research the company before sending your portfolio - identify their main area of work and ensure that your portfolio is relevant and highlights your strengths.
  • Organise your work in a coherent and logical manner: show the progression.
  • Quality not quantity - present your best and most relevant work at the beginning and at the end of your portfolio for the greatest impact
  • Remember to add the link to your CV or cover letter (email).

Cool Infographics (portfolio)                  Artsthread  online portfolio service           

Portfolios from Brighton University        Portfolios: what employers look for


They showcase your work and demonstrate your innovative and creative skills.

  • Whenever possible try to provide information on the conception, development and realisation of your project.
  • If possible, contact the company and get some assurance that your reel will be looked at.
  • Research the company before sending your showreel - identify their main area of work and ensure that your showreel is relevant and highlights your strengths.
  • Keep your showreel short (no more than 2 minutes). However, remember that employers will usually make a decision on your application based on the first 30 seconds!
  • Make it available online e.g. vimeo, facebook or youtube and as a CD or DVD
  • Remember to add the link to your CV or cover letter (email).

Speculative applications

A speculative application involves approaching an organisation about the possibility of working for them rather than applying to an advertised vacancy. Employers from the creative media/arts industry receive so many speculative applications that it makes advertising vacancies in the conventional manner almost unnecessary.

Top tips 

  • Research the company you wish to approach.
  • Tailor your CV/portfolio to reflect the company’s work.
  • Contact the company to ask for the name of the most appropriate person to email your application to – this demonstrates initiative!
  • Ensure that your email (cover letter) is well written, articulate, demonstrates your knowledge of the company and your desire to work for them.
  • Follow-up your email within a reasonable delay with a phone call if no response is forthcoming.


There is no such thing as a standard interview. All companies will have developed their own interviewing techniques which best meet their criteria for recruitment. For some, interviews will take the form of a one-to-one informal chat with the main focus being placed on your portfolio. Others will involve a more formal panel interview and a requirement for you the interviewee, to deliver a presentation. However, whatever style of interviewing is adopted it is likely that you will be asked a mixture of generic and job specific questions all tailored to examine your suitability for the position for which you are applying. It is also likely that you will be asked to explain the context for your portfolio: your ideas and influences, and how you see your work developing in the future.

Typical interview questions may include:


  • What do you know about this company?
  • What are you looking for in a company?
  • Why are you interested in this post?
  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • Can you give an example of when you have dealt successfully with a conflict of interests?
  • How well are you able to prioritise tasks – can you provide an example?
  • What personal qualities can you bring to this role and the wider company?

Creative industry specific

  • Can you provide an example of when you have successfully followed through a creative/innovative idea from its original concept until its successful launch/exhibition?
  • Give an example when you have presented your work to others and have had to deal with critical questioning from your audience. How did you approach your responses, and how successful were you in arguing your case?
  • How is your work influenced? / What are the main influences in your work?
  • How do you measure your own creative/design success?
  • What major issues are currently affecting the creative industry?

A recent interview question asked by a local Sheffield creative media company:

"How many people do you estimate attended your local cinema last week? What would you do to double the footfall in the following week”?

Current issues in the creative industry

The best way to keep abreast of the latest factors influencing or affecting the creative industries is to read regularly, specific trade newsletters and publications, and consult related professional organisations/associations. Employers will expect graduates to be aware of relevant current issues as well as the latest and forthcoming sector exhibitions and events. They are likely to assess your knowledge and understanding at an interview. In addition to area-specific skills it is very important that you are able to demonstrate a clear understanding of the commercial aspects of the work you are or will be involved in.

The suggested links will help you keep up to date with the latest industry news/trends/events.


Last modified: 
Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 15:44