You’re about to graduate from your Graphic Design Course—whoop! It may have been a steep learning curve with that bloody pen tool, but you’ll be surprised with how you can relate those design principles every where you go!
It’s now time to start that (dreaded) job hunt. Here are four tips to help you land your dream job.
#1 Stand out from the crowd
The competition out there is fierce, and you need to find new ways to set yourself apart from your peers.
When I graduated from design school and started applying for jobs, I knew everyone would be writing the same email subject over and over again—”Junior Graphic Designer”—and I wanted to change it up. When applying for a job at my all time favourite agency, I put “Expert Tea Maker” in my email subject. It stood out from the dozens of other applications straight off—and it made the Creative Director laugh. He opened my email, I got invited for an interview, and I landed my first job.
#2 Have the right attitude
Enthusiasm and a bit of patience goes a long way. You can think of your career like climbing a ladder. You probably won’t be working on the most exciting jobs straight off, but get stuck in to the work you have been given in any way you can, and you’ll work your way up. I started out doing mock-ups for almost six months, which I kind of hated, but it was fantastic experience because I got to see first-hand everything that went out of the studio.
#3 It’s a small world
If you don’t get your first job straight off, don’t get downhearted or feel defeated. I experienced a lot of rejection before I stepped foot into my first design studio—and that’s pretty common in this industry. If you get a rejection via email, reply back thanking them for their time and ask to be kept in mind should another opportunity arise. Try not to burn bridges. Every studio has connections and word can travel surprisingly fast. Move on to the next opportunity out there.
You could even offer to intern. At the right place, interning can offer valuable experience and get an insight into how different agencies work.
When I was a junior, I treated interning like dating—you get to scope out the agency, see what you like and don’t like before you commit to a long-term relationship.
#4 Attention to detail
It’s something we bang on about over and over again, but it’s so important. Don’t cross your fingers and hope that a small mistake will fly under the radar. Triple check your spelling and your typesetting. Do you have any widows in your blocks of text?
Lastly, treat the job hunt like any other brief you’ve tackled. Do your research, seek advice from your mentors and peers, and keep going till you crack it.
Best of luck with your search!
Jason Cooper is a full-time teacher at Shillington Sydney. He loves all things branding and has the same design philosophy with every job he does: to focus in on the core message and use creativity to ensure engaging results. He also loves finding smiles! Check them out at Smile A Day.