So you want to get a job as a graphic designer or illustrator? I’m going to explain how I got my job as a graphic designer at a promotional company that do work for Google, Disney, Microsoft, Ferrari, Toyota, yadda yadda yadda, and how you can and WILL get it too if you use these general helpful tips. This can also apply for photographers, artists and freelancers. If you follow the steps below I guarantee it will help you get your first graphic design job straight out of college or university and catapult you towards your stunning career path.
“Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement.” – Marv Levy
1. Make sure you have a Resume that looks clean, gets to the point clearly and demonstrates your passion towards the industry. (Top tip, try not to use Word document if you are applying for some kick ass design studios – use InDesign or any program that you can export as a PDF, but I’ll get to that later.)
2. If you are currently unemployed, treat your job search as an actual job. Stop being lazy ya shmuck! This takes dedication but I guarantee if you do not stop, you will get there. Start early in the morning and get out of your pyjamas and into something that makes you feel confident, able and ready to conquer any challenges that face you. You are a predator stalking prey in the job market!
3. Go to Google, and type in “List of graphic design studios (insert town/city name you want)”
4. Gather all of the email addresses, mail address and phone numbers from the results and paste them in a notepad or word doc (or scribble them on paper) any way that you think looks easy to understand later on when you do your follow-ups.
5. Type up a quick email template to send out to all of these emails you’ve gathered. Copy and paste to all emails. For reference I think I had hundreds of emails that I contacted when I was searching. Never stop until someone says yes! (I’ll have an email template that you can use soon and I’ll link it here for reference. Alternatively ask me for it at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to help.)
6. Have your resume printed and mailed out with a short and concise cover letter explaining your skills and passion towards the industry to each of the emails you sent.
7. Wait 24 hours for your emails to receive a reply – send a follow up email to the ones that didn’t reply. (This shows you are super keen).
8. Wait 2-3 days for your resume to arrive, and give each of the studios a follow up call asking if they have received it okay. If not, that you will give them a call same time tomorrow. Try to get their name and write it next to the studio info so that you have a name to drop. “I was talking to Jan earlier about my design services…”
9. Use this same tactic to land an internship to go to 1-2 days per week. I GUARANTEE this is invaluable and once you are in a studio environment you can name drop the studio (even if it is a small collective of people) to show employers you are getting studio experience.
10. Be sure to also apply to listed openings on the internet and follow the above steps to run rings around the competition. The golden rule is to follow up on every job.
11. Rinse and repeat until you have an internship somewhere and are getting interviews for listed and unlisted positions. By doing the above steps you are opening up hundreds of extra opportunities than the average joe, and you will be winning the numbers game. I wish you all the best in landing your Graphic Design or creative job in this cut throat and often competitive industry!