When I graduated from college, I had student work in one have and a Word resume in the other. I was so ready for that big paying job. In my mind, I would graduate and walk right into $50,000 a year.
Interview after interview and nothing. I was a little confused so I did my research bought a few books and realize there were a few things holding me back.
After a few tweaks, I was hired as a graphic designer. No need for you to make the same mistakes I did. Here are 6 things I wish I knew before going out on job interviews.
1. Design the resume
Take every opportunity you can to showcase your design skills. You do not have to get all fancy shmancy. Just design a simple resume that shows you understand design.
2. Create leave behinds
This is a great way to leave an impression on a potential employer. Leave a well-designed item with your information. For example, if you are applying for a package design position it would be nice to design a bottle label with your information on the label.
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3. How to use Linkedin
Linkedin is becoming the new resume. It took me a while to figure out how to use Linkedin. It is the most professional social platform. Treat it as you would a resume. Take the time to fill out the profile in a way the employer could get insight to who you are.
4. Have both a printed and digital portfolio
Be prepared to show your work printed and digitally. Most of the online application will ask for a portfolio link and you should bring some printed pieces to the interview to present. It is nice to see things like brochures printed to show you have print knowledge as well.
5. How to present my work
Do not just slap a logo on a document and walk away. Put some thought and time into the presentation. You have to design your portfolio. If you do not have the equipment or time to take photos of the work, you can use mockup templates. Here are my two favorite places to find mockups.
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6. Send a follow-up email
Chances are you will not be the only candidate interviewing for a particular position. You should send an email after the interview thanking the individual for their time. Include a quick recap and keep the message short.
If I could go back in time I would go about the job interview process a little differently. You live and you learn right? Learn from my mistakes and get out there and land that job.