The art of the perfect fit

Guidance for Junior Candidates

Posted by Emma Restall in Case Studies · August 2019

Here we look at some helpful guidance for junior candidates starting out in the art and auction world.

Our Consultant Vania gives us some helpful guidance for junior candidates. Vania specialises in junior and mid-level searches.

We’ve all been there. As final university deadlines loom, the worry of what happens next begins to sink in.

Looking at endless job descriptions, thinking ‘I could do this’, and then applying without much thought. Thinking, ‘There are so many things going and I really should be doing something in the next month or so’.

It’s like a sort of FOMO that tends to become more and more acute the closer you get to that dissertation deadline. Again, we’ve all been there and most people at that stage don’t have a clear plan on what they’d like to do next – and it’s possibly a great idea to keep your options open at that point in your career anyway.

Should you conjure up a strategic plan? Possibly, but time is of the essence and applications are incredibly time consuming, getting more and more complex by the day (especially in the public sector).

So what should you do?

Using agencies is a good idea to cut down on time devoted to cover letters or filling multiple page forms that many places use now. Of course most agencies don’t really have many entry level roles in the first place (except those specialised in temporary recruitment) so it’s still worth mixing and matching independent and agency applications.

But what’s good practice?

Well, we could open a chapter on this, but the major faux pas you can commit are:

  • Applying for every job (or thereabout) listed on a recruiter’s job page. Yes, all of us have been culprits of some random applications in our youth, but when it becomes systematic it’s beyond counterproductive. You can apply for multiple jobs indeed, but if you put your name forward for Paid Sales Intern, Registrar and PR Director at the same time there must be some critical misunderstanding of how the job market works (and what all these jobs actually mean!).
  • Which brings us to point number 2, which is do your research. Do you want to work in the public or commercial side of the art market? What are the career prospects of either side and what are the things you enjoy the most? We are here to help, but recruiters are not job centres so a certain degree of ‘knowing what you’re in for’ is definitely welcome.
  • People work in the art sector mainly for passion (certainly, at least initially, not for any financial reward!) so try to get into what interests you the most – you have plenty of time to get out of it should the dream backfire.
  • Do remember that any job at any level requires certain elements of admin, so expressing thoughts like ‘admin is dreary’ and ‘I want to do something creative’, to a prospective employer might result in a premature sight of the exit door.

If using an agency, when possible they will meet with you so as you can discuss your previous experience, to understand your goals and offer further guidance.

Having a clear CV is very helpful and here at D.R.A.W we have some guidelines that we can send you if you are getting baffled by everyone’s CV advice. Please email if you would like to receive our ‘8 Step guide to getting your dream job’, this includes a section on CV advice.

We all know finding a job is a job in itself and it can be frustrating at times, but following some common sense practices and instincts, combined with some research does always pay out in the end.

Happy job hunting!

Notes from DRAW · 16.08.2019

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