Portfolio Tip #3: Don’t write long emails in a job app.

I hate long emails in a job application. Resumes mean nothing to me. Include it but don’t expect me to read it, because your artwork says more about you than anything you put in a resume.

I also hate cover letters, although that’s more of a personal preference.

My time is valuable, so keep it short and keep it relevant and don’t waste my time trying to act more intelligent than you are, or trumpeting your accomplishments, or faking a self-confidence you don’t feel. All I want to do is 1) form a quick mental impression of you that separates you from other job applicants, and 2) see your art. Let’s stick to that.

If you’re applying for a job, keep it to two paragraphs or less. Don’t rattle on and on about your experience, the school you went to, or how great you are. Keep it as short as possible. Find the best way to differentiate yourself through words while using as few words as possible. Custom-write every job application email you can and include pertinent links (not attachments) to images that are similar to the art style of the company you’re applying for.

Sell yourself as the perfect fit for the position I’m looking to fill, in as few words as possible. Every word matters. Especially if there are too many. Make each one count and try to be as unique and relevant as possible without seeming annoying or desperate.

Custom tailoring a job application or faux art test is an unbelievably strong statement that puts you ahead of everyone else. Make it look like you’re already doing what you could do for me and try and prevent me from needing to use my imagination to decide if I can art direct you into doing what I want or not.

Yeah, that’s a tall order, but if you can come close to hitting the mark you’ll be in good shape and people like me will be more likely to give you a few extra moments of consideration. Respect me and my time and get to the point and make it simple for me to see your art and assess your skills and whether or not you’re appropriate for my project. Showing the slightest bit of understanding of the value of my time might make a difference.

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