How to Get a Job in Animation
In certain industries, networking and marketing are just as important as the right skills, and animation is one of those.
Whether you’ve gained the appropriate qualifications as an illustrator, animator or creative director, or you intend to enter the industry without prior training, you will need to work your socks off to make yourself stand out.
Market Yourself Creatively
When applying for a job in the animation sector, try to express your creativity not just in your CV but also in interview. Employers will be keen to see some imagination and ingenuity when it comes to marketing yourself.
Don’t wait for the interviewer to ask a question, but decide what you want him/her to know about you and present this in a captivating way. This will show assurance and personality as well as knowledge of the industry. It’s also a good idea to research the company website prior to interview and repeat the information in interview to show that you did your homework and understand what would be expected of you in the role.
A professional and impressive approach is to prepare an original showreel or Powerpoint presentation for your interview which includes some of your most artistic and striking work. Make that employer remember you and want you on his/her team.
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Demonstrate Your Networking Skills
Employers will also be looking for evidence that you can work well in a team, so showing you have strong interpersonal skills is important.
Illustrating your networking skills not only indicates you have good people skills but it can help you to create useful contacts and find jobs that might otherwise go under the radar. Many employers choose to offer vacant jobs to people they have met within the industry who have to good reputation and merit. They may not advertise the job through normal channels at all, but seek out suitable candidates themselves through their social networks or via email.
This is why it’s so valuable to create an intriguing and comprehensive profile and CV for yourself on a variety of job portals and networking sites such as Linkedin and Google Plus.
But this in itself is not enough. To get yourself noticed by employers, networking needs to be proactive. Send out emails speculatively, go and meet your dream employers at events or even at their offices. They will applaud your enthusiasm and tenacity. It may not get you a job right there and then, but you can maintain contact with them and may be considered for a job opening of theirs in the future.
Patience is a virtue you will need to learn in the animation industry.
It can take a few years to build up a good reputation for yourself and finally land your ideal job, so you may need to stick out a few less appealing positions. It will be worth it in the end though.
Get Work Experience
All of us in the arts and writing industries hate the fact that even with top qualifications we’re expected to do unpaid internships before we’re considered for paid positions. Why should we? Teachers, lawyers, accountants and mechanics aren’t expected to work for free, so why should we? It’s unfair, but unfortunately it’s the way the industry is, and it looks unlikely to change anytime soon. So the best you can do is respond to it in the most efficient possible way so that you soon build up a great reputation and employers are falling over their heels offering you appealing paid positions.
If you make a name for yourself and employers are competing to get you on their team, then you can attain great bargaining power and set yourself up for a good salary too.
Find an Apprenticeship
If you don’t have a degree – because in the animation industry many would say it’s not really necessary – then an apprenticeship can be a great foot in the door. You can learn on the job whilst you study at college, and a training allowance will be provided that should cover your living costs. Animator and illustrator apprenticeships can be found in animated film, TV, games and VFX, with placements lasting anywhere between a few weeks to many months.
If you can secure yourself a place in a top animated film production company then you could be set for your entire career. For these schemes, however, some prior work experience is usually necessary.
Exude Confidence and Interest
Finally, belief in your own abilities is always attractive, so long as you don’t come across too egotistic and try to tell your interviewer how to do his job.
Sit up straight, look your potential employer in the eyes, don’t fidget, and express your experience with enthusiasm.
A well rehearsed speech which shows genuine passion and competence for the job is bound to attract interest. Remember that even if you don’t get the job you’re applying for, your interviewer may find another suitable position for you.
Whether you love traditional stop motion or the most modern 3D motion graphics, there will be many companies of all kinds advertising positions and you’ll have a few chances at making applications and even attending interview. Over time you will learn more about what they expect and what a typical interview entails. You will improve and feel more and more confident every time.
A great type of company in which to progress your animation career is through an animated video production company such as Qudos Animations, which make diverse content from explainer videos to music videos.
I hope this advice helps you to tailor your CV and application approach to the animation sector so that you soon get your foot in the door or even land your perfect job.
Stay positive, use your initiative and keep on making those applications.