Not quite sure if this belongs here but I'm not sure where else to post. Apologies if this sounds kinda stupid.
Anyway, my questions is; when apply for art/design jobs does your previous employment history have any effect on your prospects of success, epecially when that previous employment is not art related. For example, I have a day job which I've had for the past 4 1/2 years as well as other jobs prior to that, whilst doing art on the side. During these 5 years I've gained experience in what I think employers call 'soft skills' or 'tranferable skills', like people skills, organizational skills and the like. Obviously a strong portfoilio and previous experience in the art field are what is mostly going to looked at but I was wondering if employers in the art/design industry look at these things too? Or are they going to be thinking "well what exactly have you been doing in these last 5 years?".
This question is more out of curiosity more than anything else, as I'm not quite sure where I'd like my art to take me yet. But, I was wondering if the art industry operates similar to everywhere else.
Primarily, more than resumé and even portfolio, it helps who you know.
If you have people vouching for you, you can easily override resumé requirements.
Obviously a strong portfolio will get your foot in the door.
From personal experience I think only art related experience is looked at. I never list anything other than field related experience in my resumé.
Listing 'soft skills' only helps with HR people, if you're dealing with art directors and visual people they matter less and will figure out with in-person interviews wether they can work with you or not.
Your portfolio is all that matters. I got a few jobs without any resume at all.
When I was in college and high school and stuff I was a dishwasher, working at Staples, was a short-order cook,etc but I don't put any of that on there. I worked as a web designer for a few years and I'll include that sometimes if I feel it applies to the job a little bit, but for pure illustration work I don't bother. People just want to see the work.