Are you finishing a design degree or about to take the leap into your first internship? Stay tuned! We have compiled a handy blog post just for you, with hints and tips (please remember these are personal opinions and other studios/individuals may think differently)! We will delve into four topics Portfolio/CV, Email, Interview and Internship.
Print or digital? Our advice is to go for digital and have a website. Keep your portfolio clean and minimal. Make it all about the projects with well composed images of your top work. Avoid unnecessary graphics that distract from the work you’re trying to show off. We recommend between 6–8 projects. If you don’t have enough projects or aren’t happy with your portfolio then create more projects with your own brief.
Remember potential employers won’t just look at the images in your folio, they’ll look at the typography/structure/grids etc too. For example they may scan the text for consistency as it demonstrates if you have a good eye (i.e. consistent spacing/tracking/leading, capital letters where appropriate, grammar, spelling).
You are 10x more likely to get a response from a studio if you make your job application personal (use the name of the studio and the individual you’re approaching, say specifically why you are reaching out to that particular studio and provide them with a link to a digital portfolio and/or website). A custom email signature is also great idea and will make you look more professional.
Give studios time to write back (they may not get around to your application for a week or more) and don’t be disheartened if they don’t reply at all (unfortunately, a lot probably won’t). If they do write back with a yes or no, make sure to say thank you! This really makes a difference and will more likely result in them keeping you on file and potentially reaching out down the track. Make sure you spell the studio/individuals name correctly! Mistakes in this part happen way to frequently and are an instant delete. Aim high! Don’t shy away from approaching top companies (getting a foot in the door at these companies will be very beneficial and will open more doors).
Be prompt, but not too prompt (don’t show up too early for an interview, but 100% don’t be late. Just be on time). Always be positive and enthusiastic about the company and your work and don’t speak negatively about your work or say what you can’t/didn’t do. Don’t show work that you know you can’t talk confidently about (it will look like you didn’t do it).
Always take on advice and feedback (there is nothing worse than an intern that thinks they know better). Never feel like you can’t ask questions or for help. It is way better to ask questions up front or as you’re stuck then to sit on your worries and waste time. You will learn more in an internship than you ever did at uni (don’t tell your uni). Lastly, if your employer isn’t giving you enough responsibility or experience, speak up! Some internships will be better than others (make sure you’re happy with the one you’re in and that they aren’t taking you for a ride).