10 Tips for Animators at Job Fairs

Top Ten Tips for Animation Job Fairs

Written by Crystal Fernandez, Art and Animation Facilitator at Every1Games.

 

keyframe studios at job fair

I had the pleasure of going to TAAFI’s Animation Job Fair last week to represent George Brown College in partnership with the one and only Sarah Anne Drew from Every1Games who supplied a Printing Station for attendees to edit and re-print resumes on the spot. I’ve never been to a job fair before and I was lucky enough to find the time join the lines of aspiring students and grads for a chance to meet some studios attending the event. Since this was my first job fair and I had no idea what to expect. I felt the lines went fairly quick (I chose smaller lines since I had to get back to my booth) and so did the interviews, which were more like introducing yourself, finding what positions are open and being lead to apply online. I’ve had some people tell me they were disappointed that they had lined up for almost an hour to just be told to “apply online”, then what’s the point of attending the job fair? While I did see some truth to this, I also thought about how over 900 guests attended this amazing event! So it’s obvious you’re probably not going to get a 30 minute interview with someone. It’s like speed dating. You come in talk about yourself and exchange a few pointers about you and them. But you’re going to have to stick out of all the other bachelors and bachelorettes if you want your date to want to talk to you more.

CASO Job Fair

How are you going to get the studios to want to talk to you for longer? How are you going to get them to remember you out of all the candidates attending the job fair? I went ahead to asked some students about their experience and what they would do differently on their next job fair.  To celebrate today’s the Computer Animation Studios of Ontario’s 3rd Annual Digital Marketplace Meetup, a job fair taking place at Corus Entertainment , here are Every1Games’ Top Ten Tips for Animation Job Fairs:

  1. Bring resumes and business cards if you have them.
    • Studios will often write notes about their experience with you directly on the printed resume you’ve handed them. This will help your resume stand out when they are filing them later.

  2. Carry a print portfolio or have a tablet ready to show your work (Modelers: make sure to include wireframe renders)
  • Some companies find it unprofessional to present your portfolio or demo reel on your phone. If possible use a tablet or laptop
  • Have renders in Maya (if you’re applying for TV/Film). If you don’t know what this means, you are not ready for the job fair anyways.
  1. Prepare a summary of yourself for introduction
  • You are selling yourself, be prepared to tell companies the skills you have and what you want so that they can better imagine where you fit on their team.
  1. Dress appropriately
  • Dress like you would in an interview. You want to make a good impression and look presentable. No need for a suit and tie, but make sure you don’t have any ripped or wrinkled clothing. If you can, reflect the culture of the studio.
  • Depending on how long the event is you might want to make sure you wear comfortable shoes.
  1. Research companies ahead of time
  • What should you know about a company ahead time? Current Projects? People on the team? What positions they are hiring for?
  • Why is this important saves you time at the event so you don’t wait in line for companies? Shows the company you are prepared and interested in them.
  • With that said, choose the companies you are most interested in and line up for them first.
  1. Ask questions! (What positions are open, what are your core hours?)

  2. Come early
  • Lines are long, arrive early and take breaks so that you are at your best when you meet the company.
  1. Have specific reels instead of a general one
  • If there is a certain position or department you are interested in, make sure to only show work that is relevant. Ie. If you want to be a rigger, show off your rigs and some animation to demonstrate how it works. But you don’t need an acting piece.
  • Remember to show only your best work! Don’t show works in progress. A company will instantly recognize the missing pieces of your work and will fail in comparison to the great finished work others are presenting.
  1. Don’t only have an online portfolio.
  • In case wi-fi is not reliable, either bring a printed portfolio or make sure to have your work on your tablet downloaded on your laptop or tablet.
  1. Don’t be afraid!
    • Meeting with potential employers can bring anxiety, but don’t be afraid of not getting the job because no matter what happens your experience at the job fair will help you learn what to do better next time.