So here are my tips for applying to be on a creative design team (or media team as some call it)...
*Please note: Most of these are just things I thought of along the way, please don't think I am digging at any individual in particular, I am not. These are just generalisations to help you in the future.
Your Written Application:
- Always read the submission criteria carefully and use that as the basis for your application.
- Remember that the email that you send is your very first introduction to the company who may not know who you are. Introduce who you are with your name and where you are from in the first paragraph or opening sentenses. Believe me it is really nice to know who you are!
- When the company reads your email they will be thinking about how your email comes accross to them, if you are chosen to be on their design team you will be representing them and their products so they need to feel comfortable with that. Sentences and paragraphs are much nicer to read than bullet lists BUT check the submission criteria as some companies may want a list. I wanted to read about why you like planning and journalling, I didn't want one or two words.
- If you are worried about spelling or grammar etc, get a friend to read through it for you. Whilst you are there maybe they than can help you write a bit 'about you'. Writing stuff about yourself can be hard but a friend will always do it well and positively.
- Whilst we are on the subject of positivity, please don't start your application with "I doubt I will get picked but I thought I would try". Don't be so hard on yourself, for a start, why wouldn't you? You have as much chance as the next person and secondly it puts the reader on a downer before they have even read your application. Be positive, you want this so tell the company why you want it and why they should pick you. It's kinda like a job interview OK.
- If you have been asked to supply photographs of your work etc ensure that they are of a small enough size to send by email but not too large that they get clogged up. There are many online free editing software apps for you to be able to do this or if you can't use something like Dropbox and provide the links in your application. A resolution of 72 dpi is best and no more than 1000 px I would suggest.
- When it comes to photographs make sure that you are using and supplying your BEST images of your best work, or a project you are most pleased with. Your not expected to have the latest professional photographic kit by any means but you do need to supply the best photo possible. This means taking your photo in natural light or with as much white light as possible (household 'tungsten' bulbs produce yellow light and flourescent lights produce a blue light. Consider investing in a day light bulb which are not that expensive and will be great for when you are crafting anyway!). Try not to use flash as this blows parts of the photo out and often makes the photo look a bit naff. Yellowy dark photos aren't great and it doesn't make your work look its best nor does it make the companies products look great either. Remember you are also representing the brand when you post images on line and over and above your written application this is what they will be looking at the most. Are the photos any good! Use your online image editing to lighten the image and make tweaks so it looks great, you can do all this on your phone these days!
- Take your photos on a clean, clear surface. Patterned backgrounds are great as long as they compliment the subject of your photo and not clash. Add props to stylise your photo if you like but that is different to having your general desk (or other) clutter in the background.
- Not being rude but as much as your kid or cat is cute, if you are applying for a planner design team spot, send a pic of your planner on it's own without your cat on it. (no one did this, I am just saying as it popped into my head lol!)
- Remember that you have time to complete your application so if you work in the day and can't take photos in good natural light, wait until the weekend and submit your application then. It is better to wait and send in the best than rush it in one evening.
- Again talking of links, if you have been asked to supply links to your blog and other social media accounts don't just put "you can find me on Twitter at @MrsBrimbles" because then the reader has to copy your name, open a new browser, go to Twitter...see what I mean, it can be quite long winded especially for every social media platform for every application. Always provide the url in hyperlink so that the reader can just click and go. Like this: https://twitter.com/mrsbrimbles
- Bigger companies may have even more applications so you want to make it as easy as possible for them to find and read and see all your information. Use a 'regular' font and size for your text too and keep it to black. Believe me when you are reading loads on screen, it is little things like this that make it so much easier.
- Ensure you use the subject title in your email that they have asked for. Many people set 'rules' on their email that if an email comes in with the title 'DT Application' for example, it goes into one folder or gets forwarded to another person. If you have supplied a different subject to the one that they have asked for it may go astray and get missed.
- Be patient. I know it is hard as you want to know straight away but the company will have other jobs to be doing whilst waiting for applications and they make not even look at them until the deadline. There is nothing wrong in checking to make sure that your application has been recived but just be patient if it takes a couple of days for them to reply. Not all companies may be able to reply to every single application that wasn't successful so please bear that in mind and don't take it personally.
- As a last point, before you apply, make sure that you can commit to what they are asking. Each team is different with some requiring more commitment than others. There is nothing worse than selecting a team only to have someone drop out because they can't do however many posts a month etc.
I hope this has helped and encouraged you to just give it a try - remember you have nothing to loose!
Good Luck, and let me know how you get on!