Hiring by the Numbers: What Creative Job Seekers Need to Know

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Many design professionals are hoping to kick off the year with a promotion or new job. But a recent study from The Creative Group shows that despite steady demand for creative talent, there are still some hurdles to overcome as you look to advance your career.

To understand what you may be facing, here are some stats to keep in mind.

creative jobimage from Getty | CSA Images

Design Hiring by the Numbers

  • 32: Average number of resumes advertising and marketing executives receive for an open creative position (up from 23 in 2014)
  • 7: Average number of candidates interviewed before a creative job is filled (up from 6 in 2014)
  • 5: Number of weeks, on average, it takes to fill an open staff-level creative position (7 weeks for a management-level job)
  • 45: Percent of execs who are more willing now than three years ago to consider applicants from outside their city or state
  • 61: Percent of advertising and marketing executives who prefer communicating with job candidates via email (phone calls ranked second at 23%)
  • 23: Percent of executives who feel soft skills are more important than hard skills when evaluating candidates for creative roles (58% of executives consider both equally)
  • 57: Percent of execs who are willing to negotiate starting compensation to secure a top candidate

Job Search Tips: How to Up Your Game

Ready to land your dream design gig? Use the figures above and tips below to steer your job search in the right direction:

  1. Upgrade your text. Managers receive 30+ resumes for each creative job opening, which means you can’t afford to submit underwhelming applications. Hopefully, your materials look amazing — with tasteful typefaces and use of white space. But your words need to be as stunning as the visuals. Be sure to tailor your resume to each position. Use active verbs in your copy. Grab keywords from the job posting, assuming they accurately describe your skills and experience, and incorporate them organically. Emphasize qualities like collaboration and critical thinking, in addition to technical proficiencies. Then triple-check everything for typos. 
  2. Be a mover. Not all cities are created equal when it comes to design jobs. With hiring managers more willing to consider out-of-towners than in the past, 2018 could be a good year to widen your search. Use our City Comparison Tool to discover which metro areas would suit your professional and personal goals. To make it easier to land a job in an unfamiliar city, consider partnering with a specialized recruiter in your target region. 
  3. Persist and reach out. Creative executives interview about seven people for a job opening on their team. Improve your chances of being one of them by following up after submitting a resume. Our research shows email is the best way to contact hiring managers, so use that medium to send a short message reinforcing your interest in the role and willingness to supply additional information. 
  4. Negotiate starting pay. One of the best times to boost your compensation is not after you land a job, but just before. You don’t have much to lose by negotiating salary with grace. On the flip side, you risk leaving money on the table if you don’t, as the majority of executives we interviewed said they are open to adjusting starting pay in order to secure a stellar candidate.

Creative executives are picky about the people they hire, and rightly so. This means you need all the help you can get to grab their attention and land the job and salary you want. Pay attention to hiring trends and employers’ sentiments, and you’ll be that much further ahead in the game.


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