Find a job or internship


ArtS Career will assist ArtS trainees and other professionals to find a job, an internship or only move to work in a different EU country. This section covers a general procedure to find a job or an internship in the EU.

Today’s world has become so massively online that anybody who is not on the Internet risks to become extinct. Start by updating your resume and your LinkedIn profile. Then come up with a brief pitch, highlighting what you think makes you special. Do so in a way that you will be able to adapt your speech to your potential contacts. Here and here you can find some useful information on how to update your LinkedIn profile and how to prepare your elevator speech.

Some more useful advices are:

1. Exploit your network. Everybody knows somebody. Within your existing network there are probably three jobs that would be appropriate for you, but the people who could help open doors to those jobs just haven’t thought of you. Make a list of everyone you know. Set a goal to touch base with three people you have not talked to for a year or more. Meet one of them for coffee or lunch. Identify the 25 most influential people in your network and brainstorm ways to strengthen your relationships with each.

2. Connect with alumni: We generally like people who have something in common with us; who share the same values or hobbies; or have gone to the same school. Call the alumni in your region, go to meetings and grow your network. Adding three new alumni per week (through alumni directories or LinkedIn) is a solid approach–even better if these are in your industry.

3. Attend events: These include ones hosted by charities and professional organizations. Talk to at least one person at every meeting who you haven’t met yet. If you can get the list of attendees beforehand, identify at least one person who you would like to meet and make arrangements to connect there in person. Without imposing, look for an excuse to follow up—by meeting again, or getting a referral to someone else.

4. Use LinkedIn to maximum effect: LinkedIn is a powerful tool to easily connect with the right people. Search your target market based on your industry, qualifications, university and interests, and connect with the people who interest you. For example, if you work in the insurance sector, you could aim to connect with all potential bosses and human resource departments in this industry and in your market.

5. Check job boards: Many companies and recruiters use them to find the right candidate. Define the top job boards for your skill set and put your resume there. Choose a catchy, succinct headline that encourages the reader to open the attachment. Many show when your resume was last updated. To avoid getting shifted deeper into the pile of applicants, update it weekly.

6. Contact headhunters: Senior-level professionals are recruited almost exclusively though recommendation or by headhunters. We know about jobs that will never be advertised and we have experience finding openings. If you work with a headhunter, choose carefully. Identify several (but no more than five) whom you trust and be prepared to follow-up. Here you can find some further information on how to use a headhunter.

The CCS is not like any other sector in the job market. You need to think in terms of two types of possible employment. One is all the possible careers paths linked to your particular field of fine arts. For an actor, that could mean working for a casting director or as a booking agent. For a visual artist, there is design work. And of course, all types of artists also teach their skills.

The other type of jobs is arts administration. Those are jobs where you need to manage others artists or their products, such as museum managers, audience development associates at theatres, etc.

Sophie Macpherson, the owner of a leading art recruitment agency, with a London office and representatives in Paris, New York, and soon, East Asia, shares with us some pieces of wonderful advice:

1. Research. Any job, whether in contemporary art or working with Old Master paintings, requires a great deal of research. To be able to show you can research works of art or the market itself is very useful and will make you a more desirable candidate. We recommend keeping a portfolio of work you have done, reporting on exhibitions you visit and conducting small market research projects in your own time. Taking this with you to interview will impress any employer, showing you work hard in your spare time and have a keen interest in your chosen field.

2. Social Media. Being able to navigate social media platforms is an increasingly desired skill. Create a blog where you can publish your own research projects, talk about trips to galleries with photographs of your favourite pieces, post links to other sites of interest and your Twitter account. Showing you can be creative online will really help you move ahead.

3. Internships. It is almost expected that you will take a few internships before being offered a full-time job. The experience can be essential to understanding the mechanisms of the industry whilst building up your CV. It will also help you learn which areas you enjoy and which you don’t, and therefore be able to run a more targeted search when applying for permanent roles.

4. Art Calendar. Know the seasonal art world inside out. Make sure you are aware of all the important monthly auctions, fairs, and exhibitions and try and get to a many of them as you can. Asian Art Week in London in November, Old Master’s Week in London in June, auctions of Impressionist art in New York in May, and the contemporary auctions and Frieze Art Fair in London in October are must-sees and should be followed from afar even if you cannot attend them.

5. CV. Keep it to two pages if you can! Employers don’t have time to read through lengthy CVs and will therefore only skim read. Make sure you put only relevant working experience on there and have the most recent at the top.

6. Cover Letter. Make sure you take the time to find the correct person to address it to, and that you fully understand the role and what the employer is looking for. Bring to their attention any language skills, any work experience that you feel is particularly relevant to the role, and even your availability for interview.

7. Languages. This is increasingly important as the art market grows and diversifies. If you have the option of taking extra courses to perfect any basic languages you have, then do. We are often asked to send only candidates with at least one foreign language, so any work you do to brush up your skills would be an asset.

8. Reading. This sounds obvious but there is so much that you are not taught at university about the art market and it is important that you educate yourself. Reading arts newspapers, publications, magazines, blogs, forums, and market reports is highly recommended so you understand all about every aspect of the industry. Gaining an insight into what is showing where, what is being sold to whom, and which shows are doing well will prove very beneficial at interview.

9. Networking. It is an old adage that who you know in the art world really matters, and whilst it is not the only way to get ahead it certainly does help. Attending private views, fairs, talks, and events, and meeting as many people as you can will help you gain further reach when looking for a job. The more people know you are looking, the better.

10. Interviews. There are simple rules to interviewing but it’s amazing how many people get it wrong. The obvious first point is Be On Time. Be sure to really research the person who is be carrying out the interview, as well as the company. Have good questions to ask — an interview should be a two-way dialogue not just a quick-fire question-and-answer session. If you have got to interview stage you have already got far, so keep calm and be yourself.


Some websites to look for jobs in the Cultural and Creative Sector can be found here:

This list will successively expanded and updated.

Internships are very popular in Europe, often way too popular. Official bodies refer to internships such as apprenticeships, traineeships and stages, but all the terms mean basically the same.

The Erasmus+ programme has standardized an option to go on a traineeship during or after your higher education studies.

How long can students go abroad?
Students may go abroad from 2 to 12 months. The same student may receive grants for studying or being trained abroad totalling up to 12 months maximum per cycle of study.

What are the conditions?
Students must be registered in a higher education institution and enrolled in studies leading to a recognised degree or other recognised tertiary level qualification (up to and including the level of doctorate). Erasmus students are selected by their sending higher education institution in a fair and transparent way.

Where do traineeships take place?
Receiving organisations for traineeships can be any public or private organisations active in the labour market.

What arrangements are made?
Prior to the departure the Erasmus+ student is provided with:

  • A grant agreement covering the mobility period and signed between the student and his or her sending higher education institution;
  • A “Learning Agreement” regarding the specific programme for the traineeship, approved by the student, the sending institution and the enterprise;
  • The “Erasmus+ Student Charter” setting out the student’s rights and obligations with respect to his/her period of training/work experience abroad.

At the end of the period abroad:

  • For a traineeship which is an integral part of the curriculum, the sending institution must give full academic recognition for the period spent abroad, by using ECTS credits or an equivalent system. Recognition shall be based on the Learning Agreement approved by all parties before the period of mobility starts;
  • In the particular case of a traineeship that is not part of the curriculum of the student, the sending institution shall provide recognition at least by recording this period in the Diploma Supplement or, in the case of recent graduates, by providing a traineeship certificate.

Will financial support be provided or fees charged?
Students may be awarded an Erasmus+ EU grant to help cover the travel and subsistence costs incurred in connection with their traineeship abroad.

The payment of any national grant or loan to outgoing students should be maintained during the traineeship abroad.

How to apply?
Interested students should apply to the international office and/or Erasmus+ office of their sending higher education institution. The office will provide information on the possibilities of a traineeship abroad as well as the modalities to apply for and receive an Erasmus+ EU grant.

Frequently asked questions
Students with further questions about taking part in Erasmus+ should check the frequently asked questions. Choose translations of the previous link before contacting their institution, their Erasmus+ National Agency or their National Office.
Official sources of information at EU level can be found here.

The difference between a traineeship (internship or stage) and a regular job depends very much on the country. Generally, a traineeship implies a period of time when you are studying (at university, arts school etc.) and you spend some of your time training at an external private or public institution. Thus, it requires no labour contract but a study or training contract, which is usually validated by your learning institution, you, and your external training institution. You can have a look at the Erasmus+ traineeships which are very common in Europe.

However, some countries also have traineeship labour contracts. These are jobs typically aimed for early graduates who are getting in touch with the labour market for the first time.

Spain changed its labour legal system not long ago. Nowadays, there are four types of contracts:

Further official information can be found here.

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