Sandstorm Student Center

Sandstorm Design launched the Sandstorm Student Center (SSC) in 2003 for students and working adults interested in learning more about marketing and web design firms and a career in the design industry. A totally free service, we invite you to ask us a question, review FAQs from students, and get advice on landing a job, internship or freelance assignment.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Graphic Design Job

The graphic design job search. Yuck. Because there are tons of books, articles, newsletters and publications out there for "how to find a graphic design job," I've decided to post the "do nots" which are real world mistakes that designers have made in their job search. There is no one way to get a job in graphic or web design. Industries are always changing, demands change, qualifications change, life changes.

This is my list of what NOT to do when you find your dream design job or dream design firm. A few simple rules may prevent your resume from going straight into a file, or worse, immediately into the trash. The follow DO NOTs really do happen...

What NOT TO DO when looking for a design job:

DO NOT email attachments of your design work if you are not asked to.
This means NO list of 10+ JPEGs of your work, no multipage PDF files of your work, and no attachments that are close to 1 meg or more. I got 5 MB worth of attachments from a student designer, and he sent it twice to make sure I got them all. What a job search mistake!

DO NOT email your resume every week. If a company or design firm is interested and has a design job available, they will call you. Sending your resume every week for a month or two will not help you ever.

DO NOT email your resume to every email address you find listed on the company web site.
This isn't a lottery. If a company is interested in accepting resumes or has a design job open, they will generally have an email set aside for it.

DO NOT email your resume without a note or cover letter in the message portion of the email. I won't ever open an attachment if I am not expecting one, let alone one from a random designer who didn't take the time to write me a personal message or tell me anything about themselves.

DO NOT call without having an idea what you want to say. We understand you are nervous, and it is tough to make the call, but practice first. You need to sound professional, this is our first impression of you. Also, don't demand a call back, if you leave a message, leave a time when YOU will call back. Most companies don't have time to call back designers, let alone take down your phone number, and your name, etc...

DO NOT email a resume that is 1 MB or more.
You'll clog up mailboxes. Better yet, your resume should be 250K or so... bonus points if it's smaller.

DO NOT call and just leave your name and phone number.
You won't fool most of us into calling you back, and even if you did, we wouldn't trust you anymore anyway!

DO NOT give up. Your dream design job may only be a resume away.

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