Finding Your First Job in the Animation Industry

Animation School, Career

As Walt Disney once said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” Being the dream chaser that you are, you’ve taken the first step towards your dream by graduating with an animation degree. But now what? The road to snagging your dream job will not be easy. As with any other dream, you have to work hard and smart to get what you want.

As an animation graduate, your only limit is your imagination when it comes to creativity,  but how do you land your first job in the industry anyway? While there’s no foolproof formula for you to get the job you’ve always wanted, there are ways for you to inch closer to your goal. In this article, we’ll be discussing 8 rules for you to follow to help bag an animation job in an increasingly competitive market. 

1. Work on your craft

First of all, you need to be really good at what you do. This may sound obvious, but as previously mentioned, the industry is super competitive. That’s why you need to hone your craft, and improve as an animator. 

College life can be slow at times, but the fact of the matters is that you’ll have to deal with a world of deadlines once you’re an employee or freelancer. That’s why you need to be on top of your craft, and work on your personal edge over the competition. Make your work entertaining and fun to watch. 

2. Come up with a great demo reel

a demo reel will essentially showcase your talent as an animation expert

Once you’ve worked on honing your craft, you need to be able to present it to the world through an awesome demo reel. Your employer or client won’t be focusing on your grades. Your demo reel will essentially showcase your talent as an animation expert. 

That’s why it’s absolutely imperative that your demo reel is completely free from mistakes. A lot of studios and clients get a ton of demo reels, and that’s why you need to ensure yours is flawless. On one hand, there’s a huge chance your potential employer or client will check out your video, but on the other hand, they might only watch it for about 10 seconds. Hence, you should make that short amount of time count. Work on refining your demo reel so it’s absolutely resplendent, reflecting your talents and potential for greatness. 

3. Make your work accessible

Set up a blog or website that showcases your portfolio or past work. Nowadays, clients and employers want their search for a good animator to be as easy as possible. Thus, it would be best for you to upload your demo reel and other best work on the internet.

While setting up your own website will cost you, it’s a great investment because it can serve as an online gallery for your work. If you’re not keen on shelling out some money, there are a lot of free platforms to start a blog. You just need to set aside some time and effort to carefully curate your page to reflect your personal style and talent. It should be a reflection of your value as an animation artist. 

4. Polish your resume

make your CV short and easy to read

Like any other job-hunting individual, you need to have a formidable resume that reflects your skills, experience and past training. It’s important that your CV is short and easy to read.

The truth is that recruiters usually scan a lot of resumes on a daily basis. That’s why you need to make yours short yet strong. About one to two pages would suffice. If you’re clueless on how to make a resume, there are a lot of tutorials online on how to make a good resume. 

5. Do your research

There are literally hundreds of possible employers or clients for you to apply to. While you can opt to send your resumes to companies or organizations that have job listings on job portals, some companies have their own independent job portal or job listings. 

To keep yourself organized during your job hunt, you can come up with a spreadsheet with all the companies or organizations you’ve applied to. Despite the ongoing pandemic, there are still a lot of job openings in the market. That’s why you should be on the lookout for job postings on job forums, recruitment websites and even Facebook pages. You can even sign up for job alerts so you’re aware of new listings. 

6. Make every job application count

make every application count when applying for a job in animation

The application process can be really tough. There will be a lot of rejection and there’s no definite time as to how long it would take for you to actually get contacted for an interview. That’s why you need to write strong cover letters that reflect your value as an animator. You should make every application count. 

You should also do your homework about the company you’re applying for. This will give you an idea on what to expect or even what to mention in your cover letter. Companies appreciate people who do their homework. It shows that you’re genuinely interested about the job you’re applying for. 

7. Prepare for your job interview

So you’ve been invited to an interview. Congratulations! You need to prepare yourself with possible questions your employer or client will be asking. Again, it’s best if you research the company or client you’re applying for. This shows how important it is for you to get that job in the first place.

While it may be your dream to direct a Hollywood film or even win an Oscar, you need to be realistic in order to earn the respect of your interview. You need your interviewer to understand your goals and value as a possible employee in their company. 

8. Network

building your network will help you get a job in animation

As the old saying goes, your network is your net worth. Thus, you need to cultivate good relationships inside and outside the industry. Employers want to work with someone they’re compatible with, and if they see you’re easy to get along with, they’ll be encouraged to hire you.

While it’s not recommended to gather in big crowds as of now, you can opt to network online. Join Facebook groups related to the local or international animation or entertainment industry. Make friends and strengthen your bonds even in the virtual space. You never know who you might meet. That person might help you land the job you’ve always wanted. 

Before you start hunting for the animation job of your dreams (or at least, the stepping stone towards your goal, you need to equip yourself with the skillsets of a competent animator. A great institution to learn more about animation is CIIT Philippines

A learning institution that promotes high quality, industry-based teaching, CIIT Philippines is your doorway to the wonderful world of the animation industry. Learn more about CIIT’s animation course to get started on chasing your dreams today.

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