Applying for a Job at Cloth Cat Animation

Since Cloth Cat Animation opened its doors in 2013, we’ve had thousands of job applications sent in to us, and while some applications have been a delight to receive, others… well, not so much.

From emails that contain less than 10 words (‘hello’ not being one of them), and applications that forget to include any creative work, to the ones just plain misspelling our name (no, we’re not called Cloth Cap…) we’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to applications.

To help you avoid some common faux pas and make the best first impression possible, we’ve put together some tips to guide you through each stage of the application process.

Direct from the horse’s mouth (or should that be cat’s?), here’s our list of top DOs and DON’Ts for applying for a job at Cloth Cat Animation.

THE JOB / YOUR EXPERIENCE

  • DO read the job description carefully. Is this a job that suits your specific experience and skillset? Is it an an in-house role only? The specifics of the job advert are important, so make sure it’s a good fit for what you can offer.  
  • DO try and learn the required software if you don’t already have experience in it. For 2D projects, we mostly work with CelAction, Toom Boom Harmony, TV Paint and Animate. For CG it’s Maya, Cinema 4D and Houdini, and Storyboard Pro for our boards!
  • DO be open to working in alternative roles. If an opportunity in production or layout comes up for example, it could be the perfect fit for an animator or artist looking to get experience in a studio.
  • DON’T speak negatively about your education or university. You’d be surprised how many applicants are keen to talk about how little they learned on their course – it comes across as unprofessional and derisive.
  • DO wait for the right moment to apply. If you’re a second or third year student without the required experience, please don’t apply for our lead animator or director roles! Remember first impressions matter – be realistic about your experience and skillset.

 

YOUR EMAIL

  • DO write a short, succinct email when applying. Introduce yourself and give a very brief summary of your skills and experience.
  • DO be amiable and professional.
  • DON’T write an essay. Make sure we can see the most important information right at the start – namely, your experience and skills.
  • DON’T attach a cover letter. Your email acts as your cover letter.
  • DO send all job applications to: jobs@clothcatanimation.com 
  • DO include the role you’re applying for in your subject line.
  • DO your research, and make sure you spell the names of software, shows, and our company correctly!

 

YOUR CV

  • DO keep CVs concise – 1 page should be enough, 2 will definitely do!
  • DO make your experience the most important and prominent section, arranged in reverse chronological order so we can see your most recent experience at the top of the page.
  • DON’T clutter the page with a complicated layout. Keep things simple and clearly formatted so the most important information can be seen at a glance.
  • DO show off your most advanced skills. If you are rating your skills in a chart or telling us your competency in a particular software, leave areas you are less confident with off the list – rather than rate yourself one star out of ten for After Effects, for example.

 

SHOWREELS AND PORTFOLIOS

  • DO always have your best, most current work on your showreel.
  • DO demonstrate the relevant skills for the job. If you’re applying for an animator role, show us good character acting skills, comedy, emotion, and show us anything you’re a particular expert in, for example, animating dragons, animals, water, hair, etc. If you’re applying for a storyboard role, make sure to include storyboards in your portfolio!
  • DO include work from any series you have worked on.
  • DO keep your showreel tight and concise – 2 minutes maximum.
  • DON’T cut corners on areas you are less confident on. If your walk cycles could be stronger for example, work on them until you feel proud to include them.
  • DON’T send us physical copies of your showreel (DVD/USB) as we will not view them for legal and safety reasons 
  • DO make sure that links to your website / portfolio / showreel are working correctly, and include a password if it’s a private showreel.

 

SPECULATIVE EMAILS

  • DO write a short, succinct email when applying. Introduce yourself and give a very brief summary of your skills and experience.
  • DO include a CV, and a portfolio and/or showreel where necessary.
  • DO only send one speculative email. If you have a significant update to your experience, skills and/or portfolio to share after some time, feel free to keep us updated.
  • DO include ‘Speculative Application’ in the subject line along with your area of expertise eg. 2D Animation
  • DON’T phone us 3 minutes after sending your email. Give us time to reply!
  • DON’T ask if you can shadow us. It’s far more beneficial for both parties for you to have a valuable work experience here rather than watching creepily over our shoulders…!

 

AFTER APPLYING

  • DO be patient. We are always inundated with emails after posting a job advert, and we endeavour to get through them all as soon as we can.
  • DON’T keep emailing / phoning up. If you send an email to us every week, it’s only going to make our inbox fuller and our workload bigger (and nobody wants that!) so please be professional.
  • DO get in touch once every few months if you have a significant update to your experience and/or skills that you’d like to let us know about.

 

 

It is always a joy to receive a well-structured job application that gives us a top first impression. As well as the exciting projects we have on the go, we have a great community of people here at the studio, plus art challenges, games nights, yoga lunchtimes and more! We always welcome the chance to add to the Cloth Cat family – who knows where your application could lead you?

14 June 2017