A freelance production designer sent me an email earlier this month. We’ve employed Katie on a couple of projects, and she’s a pleasure to work with. She’s helped design sets and sorted out costume for two of our films. The email she sent was a great example of asking for work without, well, trying too hard.

Hello Gavin,

I finish working in Wardrobe on Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake Jan 27th 2010-and so am available if you need assistance with sets, props or costumes.

I work as a designer, buyer, supervisor and dresser. I have the six male Principals to look after on ‘Swan Lake’ and 13 quick changes a show-five over the weekend – but it’s fun despite all the running up and down stairs! And repeated ripping/popping buttons of dancers costumes on stage!

Great crew & cast, London wrap party on the stage this week. Head of Wardrobe gave us sparkly swan xmas tree decorations with chocolate attached with ribbons, sweet.

I look forward to hearing about any projects/positions you have coming up.

All the best,


The trick to asking for work

Katie writes the perfect ‘I’m looking for a job’ emails. She’s told me she’s available, but then told some me a little about the work she’s been up to in a funny, insightful way. There’s no hard sell, simply, I’m here, I’m available.

Katie has stayed in touch even though we haven’t worked together for over a year. I know the next time I need someone with a design/costume skillset, she’s the first person I’ll call.

Clearly Creative Tip

Stay in touch with potential employers or referrers with simple, polite emails like this. Tell them a story where they can see you at work. Don’t worry if people don’t reply, they’ll probably give your email a quick glance and then delete. Keep this practice up, and when they do have the right piece of work for you, they’re more likely to remember you and get in touch.

I break down in detail how to stay in touch with in employers in my Creative Career Builder course. If you want more tips on how to become a trusted collaborator, the kind of people that producer’s call first when they need your kind of skills, then sign up and start winning more work!

If you want to make sure the CV you attach to these emails is up to scratch, then join my CV Writing Course. This detailed course will go through each section of the CV. I’ve done the hard work for you, creating a template that will get your CV on to the interview pile.

asking for work

Gavin Ricketts is a Producer/Director with over twenty year's experience. His courses on finding work in the creative industries has helped hundreds of Film and TV Crew win more work.

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  1. Brilliant. I wish I could describe my work in this funny way. Even though I always enjoy and have fun at work I’m not a good storyteller.

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