Graduating out of college is exciting and fun. It’s that time to shine and prove that you finally belong in the design industry, the real deal. All the hard work that you’ve done on the projects, the all nighters… it is now going to pay off. If only getting a job was that simple…
Here are a few tips to help you land the job you want. I can’t promise you that it will be easy, but I can promise you that it’ll be worth it .
1. First things first – Your CV
When you’re looking for a job, it is essential that you have a CV. Having a structured layout and colour scheme is a good way of showing consistency throughout your work. Your CV should be easy to read and beautifully presented (you are trying to get into the design industry after all). Don’t clutter it with too much information. They probably don’t want to know that you used to do paper runs when you were 12.
Applying for a design job means that you need to showcase your work in a portfolio. Show only up to 10 pieces of your best work. It’s best if you have work that is relevant to the industry you are applying for, but remember that the industry LOVES well rounded designers that are capable of doing everything. So if you can show a good range of design, it can work to your favour.
3. Write a Winning Cover Letter
Even though a cover letter may not be required, it is a good habit to write one anyway. It shows the company that you are an enthusiastic person and is really trying to get this position. It doesn’t have to be long. Keep it short and simple. Explain to them why you would make a great addition to their team. Address the cover letter to the relevant person such as their Creative Director or Lead Designer, and for the love of cake, don’t spell their name incorrectly!
4. Research the Company
Always do a little bit of research on the company before you apply for the job. Find out if they have a website or a Facebook page. Therefore, you have an idea on who they are and what they do as a company. Have a look at the sort of work they’ve done before, the clients they may be involved with and the direction to where the company are heading. If they’re not doing the work that interest you, then perhaps it’s better to apply for a job that really get your juices flowing.
5. Proofread it!
Get into the habit of proofing everything before you send it. ALWAYS check your spelling. Spelling and grammar mistakes are a BIG no no in the design industry. Attention to detail is a great skill to have. And really, it’s not that hard. You can even ask your computer to spell check for you! Or if you’re lucky enough, get your super smart brainy friend that is really good at spelling to check it for you.
6. Bring Your Personality
Be yourself. Lets face it, you’re probably going to spend roughly 40 hours a week with these people, so it’s important for you and it’s important to them that you’ll both get along.
7. Cold Calling
Cold calling is a great way of putting yourself out there. Remember to always ring up the company and make an appointment with them. NEVER just show up! There’s nothing worse than being ambushed, especially during the busy hours. Respect their time and they will respect yours.
8. Look Your Best
Make a great first impression and dress up. Don’t look like you’ve just come from the beach, but then again don’t dress like an uptight lawyer either. Look smart and casual. And don’t forget the best accessory… CONFIDENCE.
9. For the Interview
Be on time! Or even better, show up five minutes earlier. That way, they won’t be waiting around for you to show up and it’s basically a wee test of basic deadline. Can you make it on time? Be prepared to ask a few questions. There will be a time during the interview when they will ask you if you have any questions for them, and trust me… it’s good to prepare yourself with a few questions up your sleeve.
10. Don’t Give Up!
If you didn’t get the job, yes it sucks. But that doesn’t mean that you should give up! Based on my experience, I went through so many applications and plenty of interviews before I landed my dream job. Ask the company for some feedback on why you didn’t get the job and what ways you can improve. Just because you didn’t get it this time, you should push yourself for the next one. Be even better.
Hope these tips will help you in any way possible. Good luck!