I love this time of year. Late April and early May remind me of finishing exams and having the summer free to work part-time and go to music festivals. Then one year, final year was over and college was finished.
In light of the possibility there are a new batch of designers out there ready to look for their first job, I’ve compiled a list of the sort of thing I look for when I’m hiring designers.
1. The CV.
There are many collections of gorgeous CV designs all over the internet. Use them as inspiration and make yours stand out as a beautifully laid out PDF (and not as a word doc unless specified by the company!) If someone is looking to hire a designer, your CV should reflect that you’re a designer. It’s a chance to catch the senior designers attention.
Resume Design Layouts on Pinterest
2. The Links.
I’m busy, so if I get sent an email with CV’s from our HR Department, most likely I’ll scan through looking for links so I can see what you’ve done. The cover letter is important, but you’ve got to include a link, even if it’s just to a Behance page with a few of your best pieces on it.
3. The Work.
If this is your first job, you need something to show in your portfolio. If your college work isn’t up to scratch, make up a few clients! Design a newsletter for a bakery, or a homepage for coffee shop. Show the senior designer you at least have the skills, even if you don’t have the experience.
4. No Politics.
None. Whatsoever. Unless you’re Shepard Fairey or Jim Fitzpatrick, it’s a dangerous place to go. Keep it neutral.
A few lines on who you are and what you like can make a big difference, but don’t go overboard. Are you interested in film? Music? Photography? Just a few lines to give me an idea about your personality is all I need to know if you’ll fit in with the culture of the workplace.
6. Spelling & Grammar.
I know it’s not technically the duty of graphic designer to be a proof reader, but it definitely helps if you can spot silly mistakes and fix them as you go along. If English is not your first language and you are applying for a job in a country where English is spoken, just have a friend look over your CV and check the grammar.
7. Show The Process.
Maybe show some of the rejected logos, or what the website looked like before you redesigned it, or how your arrived from point *A* to point *B* when working on a college project. As a designer I’m looking for a design process, someone who can iterate and improve something until it’s close to perfect. If you created a logo as part of a college project, I would be more interested in seeing the 9 rejected designs than the finished article.
If they’re not relevant to the place you’re applying for, leave them off. If this is your first job, and you’re worried about the gaping hole below the heading “Experience”, change it to “Main Projects” and give me a few lines about the website you made for your cousins yoga class or your neighbours dog-walking service. That’s the experience I’m interested in, not your summer job in Lidl when you were 17 (unless you’re applying for a job as a designer at Lidl).
That’s it for now. If I think of any more I’ll keep adding to this list.
Happy job hunting!