Advice on Landing Your First Animation Job

The last time my employer was hiring, I was tasked with going through the job applications. It gave me a handful of insights that should be helpful for those looking for their first job when graduating.

You’ve probably been told that “competition is fierce” in animation and that “hundreds of people” will be applying for the same job as you. This is true. But, there’s a few very easy things (and one less easy thing) you can do to set yourself apart.

1. Include a working link to your showreel.

Over half the applications I went through included either no link at all to a showreel or a broken link. If you applied for a job as an After Effects Animator the last time my employers were hiring, attaching a working link to your reel put you ahead of half the competition.

2. Make sure your work is relevant / that you apply for relevant jobs.

I saw a handful of reels which were full of excellent work. These people were destined for Disney. However, they did not feature any vector-based motion graphics work, the kind we produce. A glance at our website would have told them this.

3. Read the job application and respond to direct instructions.

The job ad said “in your application, please confirm you’re available to be interviewed on these dates”. Countless people did not mention they were free, implying they had not read the job ad fully.

4. Make sure your showreel is full of good work.

We don’t care where or if you got a degree. We looked at showreels and read your emails. We don’t particularly mind how you learned. Besides, if you stop learning after University you won’t go very far.