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.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

FAQ: How should I write my resume if I've never had a design job before and I'm looking for an internship/entry level position?

I would make sure you design the resume, don't just lay it out in Word. Use your design skills to make it stand out, and give it some of your personality. In the objective, state that you are looking for an entry level or internship position and that you are very motivated to learn.

Sending out hundreds of resumes is one way to find a job. Another is to network. Get involved in your design community and get to know other local designers in your area. They may be the key to getting you into their company when a position becomes available.

Also, I mention this a lot, but volunteer to do some design work at your favorite non-profit. Non-profits have tons of print and web work that they need help with. This will help you get some real world experience that you can put on your resume. In addition, this really exemplifies your motivation!

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

FAQ: I would like to make a career change to graphic design. What is the best way of doing this?

Making a career change is always a challenge. My best recommendation to start would be to make sure you know the following software programs: Photoshop, Illustrator and Quark (or InDesign - very similar to Quark). These are the basic tools that every graphic designer needs to have in their tool box.

Your next step would be to build a portfolio. A great way to start is to offer to do pro-bono work (which means free) for local charities or non-profits that could really use the help. Most non-profits have tons of print work available such as invitations, brochures, direct mail, etc. In return for your design work, request a few of the final printed samples for your portfolio. This is real world work, and is perfectly acceptable to put in a portfolio. (plus it makes you look good too - for a good cause).

On your resume, I would suggest highlighting skills from your job that could apply to a graphic designer such as project management, time management, multi-tasking abilities, detail oriented, etc.

Lastly, when switching careers, you may have to start at the bottom as a junior designer. This is the hardest part, especially if you have worked for a couple of years and are used to a nice salary. But in the end, if you love what you do, you'll be happier in the long run!

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