Updated: Jun 10, 2020
I was asked for tips on getting a foot in the door in the design industry. Here are my top tips for opening doors, nailing interviews and getting noticed.
In my video I expand a little more but below are my ten tips for starting a successful career in Print Design...
Know your strengths. Look at how you work best and what kind of print style you’re best at rather than what you find attractive in other designers work..
Make sure your portfolio showcases you to your best. Less is more. One weak design could put off a potential employer. Make the portfolio amazing, accessible online and paste three images to any emails rather than attachments. If you\re really keen on the company emulate a design in their 'handwriting' and mock it up in a similar way to their product shots.
Find companies that are in alignment to your skill set, personality & values.
Finding employers is about quality not quantity. Research & target 5 companies really well. Stalk them, know them inside out. There’s nothing worse than getting a general bland email from someone who hasn’t even bothered to find out what your name is with a CV attached! This knowledge will also come in useful at an interview.
Look for ways to open the door. Ask for a dummy brief. Intern for a week or 2 ( then make yourself indispensable!) call as well as email, and keep emails short and sweet, I switch off after the first paragraph if there is a biblical email!
Knock 3 times. People are busy & may have the Intention to get back in touch with you but other priorities take over, a week goes by...Wait until you get a definite no before you give up.
You will stand out if you’re self-motivated, employers are looking for other interests, other motivations such as courses that you’ve done projects you’ve set up experience you have that indicate your wider values, motivations and energy.
Stay humble, don’t over inflate your skills and keep your ego in check. On the other hand don’t undersell yourself, quiet relaxed confidence and warmth is everything.
Make sure your setting is on receive as well as transmit. Make sure you listen and ask considered questions. Absorb information, answer questions & emails properly.
Knock backs are inevitable. If the job is not for you then it’s not the right fit. If you’ve had lots of knock backs, stop and Analyse what’s going on. Are you punching above your weight? Are there other avenues? Are you chasing a job that’s about who you want to be rather than who you authentically are. Employers can sense inauthenticity, if a person doesn’t ring true then trust becomes an issue.
Lastly remember to tell yourself, 'Someone has to make it, why not you?' and GO FOR IT, you have nothing to loose but your pride, what's the worse that can happen? Somebody say's no...big deal!
Hopefully you found this useful, ask me any questions in the comments below or share any tips you might have found that work for you.