It's also getting to the time of year when students begin preparing their portfolios and job applications for work after their courses end. As someone who has been there I can attest to the fact that it is a daunting prospect, and any advice in that area is always appreciated!
So I asked Thea Powell and Tanya Ruxton at Shillington what they suggest students (and indeed anyone looking for a new position or career change) do to increase their chances of landing that dream role. "Getting that dream job can be hard." says Thea, "and to be honest, there's not one single thing that alone will ensure you get that job you've always wanted. But we do have a few tips for design graduates that'll help get a foot in the door."
Here's what Thea and Tanya recommend:
1. Read the job description. Carefully. Don't presume you know what your potential employer wants. What they really want to see is that you can follow direction. What file type are they after? How many samples of your work do they want to see? They might specify you put "Happy Green Tree-Frog" as the email subject. Who knows. Check and double check what's required.
2. Personalise your application. Your grandma might have told you a fair few times how important it is to make a good first impression. And your grandma would be right. Your application is the first thing an employer sees, and it should make an impact. Don't hold back - remember, studios want to see your personality.
3. Sweat the small stuff. A spelling or grammar error can make or break an application. Sure, you're not being hired to be a copywriter. But you are being hired as a designer who has excellent attention to detail.
4. Know your portfolio inside out. You've won that prized first interview. Congratulations! Now to talk through your portfolio. Employers love seeing what you can do, but what they really want to hear is your reasoning behind each project. If it would make you feel more prepared, write down key points about each piece, and read over them the night before your interview.
5. Be passionate. Show them who you are. Let's face it - you'll spend a lot of time with your co-workers. They'll be looking for someone who will work well in their studio. Be friendly, be passionate - and at the risk of sounding like Oprah, be you.
Tanya adds, "Overall, the most important thing is to never, ever give up. If you really want to work with a certain studio, keep trying. Determination pays off."
Great advice, thanks ladies!
If you'd like to chat to Tanya and Thea a bit more about folio preparation, they will be at our talk on Saturday. Or you can find out more about Shillington at their website.