Fannish Skills On The Job Search – Art

I write a lot about using your fannish and hobby skills on the job.  It's sort of a big thing, what with this whole "Fan To Pro" title putting pressure on me.  But there's more to using the skills from your recreation in your profession – you can use them in other "professional areas", which I'm going to talk about in the weeks to come.

Namely, I'll be writing about how your fannish, geeky, and otaku skills can also be used in your job search.  It's even possible you have some skills you don't want to or can't use in your chosen career that are great to use on your job search.  You probably have a lot of unappreciated talents anyway (or at least ones that you may not be great at but you can leverage)

It's easy to miss how your many skills and talents, your hobbies and hobbyist abilities, can be used on your job search.  Why?  I think frankly because we all freaking hate searching for a job.  It's annoying enough as it is to have to look for work without doing a deep, psychological excavation of yourself to see just what else you can be doing.  In some cases, it's just easier not to think about it.

However, the truth is you've got all these talents and abilities acquired through hard, geeky work.  You might as well use them in the job search as well.  In fact, it might make it fun and entertaining.  Or tolerable.  Or at least make you better at the search so you can get it the hell over with.

So with that said, let's dive into a common fannish skill that you yourself may be good enough at to help your job search.


Art seems like an obvious skill to use in a job search, right?  You do a portfolio of your works and show them off.  Then you . . . well, actually, that's about the only thing that usually comes to mind when people try to use their art skills in a job search.  If your fanart, web graphics, etc. aren't exactly professional, you probably don't seem them as relevant to your career.

Whether you're the next Boris Vallejo or not, if you have some artistic skill, then that ability gives you many ways to improve your job search:

  • Design better personal business cards.  Whether you plan to be a pro artist or not, having some artistic skill is going to let you design a better business card.  The ability to draw, use graphics, etc. is a quick way to take that standard card and make something to sell you.
  • Design a better personal website, Twitter page, or other online media used in your job search.  The right piece of art, a good sense of color, etc. is going to be what you need to take your online presence to the next level.  The level that gets you that job.
  • Resume design.  Resumes are too often dull and boring.  Maybe your artistic flair can jazz yours up with the right layout, font design, artistic design, and so on.  GO on, make it a piece of art – it'll make it less boring.
  • Getting creative.  Maybe there's peripheral materials you can use in your job search – handouts, flyers, mockups.  Go on and use those artistic skills to make them – or make them better.

If you really think about it, a lot of the job search and job search material can be improved by artistic skill – even if it's just a good sense of color and design expressed through premade web templates or resume designs.  So why not use that artistic skill, even if it's not "professional" enough.

It might just make the job search less boring and more interesting.  It'll also make it more effective.

Steven Savage