Our friends at the Creative Group (a firm that specializes in placing interactive, design, marketing, and PR professionals), have released a report on how to get hired for a creative job. It looks like the competition for these coveted positions can be stiff.

By the numbers

According to the Creative Group’s survey of advertising and marketing executives, these companies receive an average of 23 resumes for every open creative position. Of these applicants, they choose to interview six people before selecting one to hire.

On the bright side for creative types, most firms say that they foresee increased hiring throughout the rest of 2014. [View Arts, Entertainment and Media jobs on Workopolis.]

However, companies are quite selective when adding to their creative teams. “With such a strong demand for individuals who have the right combination of technical and soft skills, job seekers must take every opportunity they can to impress hiring managers,” said Deborah Bottineau of The Creative Group.

“The best way to demonstrate that you’re a good fit for the role, team and work environment is to be well-prepared for every step of the hiring process, starting with the initial application.”

Show me, don’t tell me

The key message for candidates seems to be, “Show don’t tell.” Have a portfolio of your work ready. Don’t just say that you’re a fantastic copywriter, be prepared to show samples of your work. If you haven’t produced any relevant material – create some. Find out who your potential employer’s clients are and write some winning samples of what you could do for them.

The same goes for graphics, design or PR positions. To stand out from the competition, candidates need to demonstrate that they understand the specific role, have the skills to do it, and are prepared to go the extra mile.

The biggest mistake on a creative resume

It’s that specific focus on the job at hand that seems to matter most. According to the marketing and PR executives surveyed, this single biggest mistake on creative resumes is including irrelevant information that doesn’t apply to the desired job.

Next on the list of employer turn-offs are inaccurate information, typos and grammar mistakes. Especially if the position you’re applying for is as a writer, don’t make these. They’ll absolutely kill your credibility.

The Creative Group has also produced this infographic for the creative job seach:

Click to view the full report.

Peter Harris
Peter Harris on Twitter