The B-Side: Death to the Resume

Courtesy of Gem Barton

Having been involved in the creative industries education for over decade now, one of the most common questions students ask in interviews (and parents ask on open days) is about ‘getting a job’ at the end of the course. As if a graduating student can simply go and trade in their degree certificate and swap it for a ‘good job’. If only employment was this easy.

‘Getting a job’ in the Arts has always been a difficult undertaking; with no boxes to tick it can be a complicated process finding an appropriate vacancy – and so ensues the hellish time of resume writing and job interviews.

A drastic [most revolutions are] but more appropriate approach to this situation is not to think of ‘getting a job’ as ‘getting’- the mere word suggests a degree of affordance, of being gifted employment – but rather as ‘creating a job’. ’Creating’ is about being pro-active and entrepreneurial; it involves going out, attending events, talking to people, doing internships and apprenticeships – essentially increasing your exposure. After all, how will employers know they need you in their firm if they only see your skills in a nice little list on a sheet of A4? You must make yourself indispensable, and for that you don’t need a resume. You need guts.

More after the break…

The B-Side: The Zaha/Gaga Divide

Gem Barton, based in Brighton, England, is a writer, academic lecturer, curator and designer. As a regular contributor to journals and magazines such as Mark, Blueprint, Design Bureau and Inhabitat she explores and share her passion for architecture and design. Gem’s column ‘’ will look at the alternatives to architectural traditions and explore what it means to be knee-deep in the 21st century design world. Follow her @gem_shandy

Allow me to make an unlikely comparison of two powerhouses: Zaha Hadid (62) and, bear with me now, Lady Gaga (26). Both are breaking the mold with their unique aesthetics; both are at the top of their respective industries; both are commercial successes. However, there is one undeniable difference: it only took the world a few years to recognize Lady Gaga and for her to skyrocket to fame. It has taken Dame Hadid the better part of three decades to receive a comparative level of acclaim.  Is it fair to compare successful architects and super songstresses? In an architectural world where we are faced daily by terms such as ‘celebrity’ and ‘starchitect’ it may well be time to look deeper into the matter.

Read more about what architecture could learn from the Music Industry, after the break…