Liverpool's centre for the contemporary arts

Donate now

Who's blogging?

Latest post

Bluecoat Exhibitions, Residencies & Events in 2021

published by The Bluecoat

After the challenges of 2020, we’re delighted to be reopening this week with an exciting programme of exhibitions, alongside ...

Topics
Search

Book Tickets

Tickets & Information

0151 702 5324 | info@thebluecoat.org.uk

Stay up to date

Applying for a job in the arts? Read our top tips for success.

At Bluecoat we’re committed to working with new talent and building a diverse team that can serve our local communities. As we carry out recruitment for a series of new roles, our Chief Executive Mary Cloake and Artist Facilitator & Project Coordinator Gina Tsang have put together a few of our top tips to help you as you apply for jobs in and out of the arts sector. 

Take your time

Don’t rush your application. At the Bluecoat, to ensure fairness, we consider applications using a scoring points system based on how your experience matches the job description and person specification. It’s a system lots of organisations use and means you need to take some time to look at how your knowledge and skills match what we’re looking for. If you’ve got lots of ideas and work best getting them down on paper quickly, put a rough draft together and then check it carefully against the job description and person specification. 

Structure your response 

It’s important to organise your response in the most compelling way, so it’s easy to see why you would be a good fit for the role. Make a list of the selection criteria – all the skills and experience we’re looking for – and then for each one think of an example you can include. To help you plan your answers it can be helpful to make a table with the criteria on one side and your skills and experience on the other. Where possible show hard evidence and be explicit with the detail. Don’t assume the reader will make connections, if you have a degree in an arts subject don’t presume they will know you are passionate about the arts – tell them.

Use the STAR model

A good way to structure your examples is the STAR model. ‘STAR’ (Situation, Task, Action and Result) can help you provide a concise and persuasive answer to questions about your experience. 

Situation

Provide brief details about the situation you were in so the reader can understand what was involved e.g. ‘I was working in a café when a customer complained.’

Task/Target 

Outline what your objective or purpose was to give your answer context e.g. ‘This was a regular customer and I wanted to ensure we retained their custom...’ 

Action

Describe what you did in the situation and how you approached it e.g. ‘I calmly listened to the problem, assured them it was unusual and told them we valued their custom…’

Result  

State the outcome – did you succeed?  What did you learn/gain from being in that situation? e.g. ‘After speaking with my manager we offered a refund and replacement, the customer was happy and continued to return to the café…’

Think laterally 

There are many skills that are transferrable from one job or situation to another. If you don’t have directly relevant job experience you might be able to use examples from other parts of your life. Caring for a relative, home-schooling, volunteering or running a local sports team can all illustrate key skills.  

Don’t let technology defeat you

If you are struggling to complete your application because of a technical or IT issue there will usually be a solution. Some candidates were unable to access Microsoft Word in our recent application process as libraries were closed due to the Covid lockdown. Google Docs is a free and flexible alternative that can be used for many applications. 

The next time you’re applying for a role try to keep these five tips in mind. But most importantly keep going, keep trying and keep applying. The arts sector needs new people and fresh ideas to shake it up and broaden perspectives.

Sign up to our jobs newsletter or keep an eye on our careers page for future opportunities.

Tags:What's Happening?

Related posts you may like

Comments

Be the first to leave a comment below...

Leave a comment

Welcome, Guest. Please or to have your say.

About the Bluecoat

Bluecoat is Liverpool’s centre for the contemporary arts, the oldest in the UK. Our landmark building, located in the ...

Opening hours

View our current opening hours

Tickets & Information

0151 702 5324 | info@thebluecoat.org.uk

Tweets from @theBluecoat

Feedback

Please use this form to tell us about your experience of our website.

There was an error with your details, please try entering them again.

Stay up to date

Subscribe to the Bluecoat free mailing list and we'll send you all the details of our new events

Log In

There was an error with your details, please try entering them again.