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– Today. I wanna give you some tips for landing your first design job. This video is sponsored by Squarespace. They are my favorite website building platform. And they’re really good for building portfolios, Which spoiler alert is something that you really need to have to land your first job. I honestly think that landing that first design job is the hardest one. Because many places call for experience, and it’s really hard to get experience when no one’s giving you experience. And so there’s a few things you can do to really increase your chances of landing that first job And getting that first piece of official professional experience on your CV (upbeat music). The first piece of advice I have for you for landing. Your first design job is actually about which roles you apply for. You wanna look for ones that have perhaps Junior or Internship in the title and you could also go for ones that have nothing. Maybe it just says graphic designer. Definitely don’t go for ones That. Say Midweight Middleweight Senior. Anything like that? Because you’re just not ready yet. You can set those ones aside and apply to them later on after you’ve had a bit of experience. Read the job description really carefully and make sure that the task that they’re talking about that you’d be working on would really suit you and is something that you’re actually interested in doing as well. You should be able to fulfill most of the job requirements listed in the job description. But don’t worry if you don’t have all of them. You can definitely do some learning on the job. So if perhaps, it say is one piece of software in particular that you don’t know yet, don’t let that put you off applying if you already meet most of the other requirements. One of the biggest factors, though, that goes into landing. Your first job is your portfolio. Firstly, you need to have work in it. That really demonstrates your skills. And what you’re capable of? For your very first job, this first entrance into the world of professional design, I would say it’s probably good to have more of a general portfolio showing skills and different areas in that. You are a person of many talents. Later, on down the line in your career, you’ll definitely want to specialize more and pick one sort of avenue of design to go down because that’s how you’re gonna be able to grow and get really strong in that one specific thing. For me, I chose Web design. But to start off with general is pretty good because it shows that you’re gonna be able to dive in and help out whichever area of design the company needs. Make sure every piece of work in. There is one that you’re really proud of. If you only have three projects that you’re really proud of, that’s fine. Just put three projects in your portfolio. It’s much better to have three super strong pieces than to have three strong ones, and then perhaps three you don’t like so much. And you think perhaps I’m that good, but you felt like you needed more on your portfolio. Those weaker pieces are really gonna bring the quality of those three strong ones down, And that’s not good. So it’s much better to have them in there on their own. If you’re in design school, especially, I would really advise you not to have all of your pieces in your portfolio. Be student work. They shouldn’t all be fake briefs. Student projects are great because they do show your skills and, of course. If they’re things that you’re proud of that, you’ve learned by doing then it’s awesome to include them, but having all student work is bad. Because those projects tend to have quite an unrealistic timeline in terms of the professional design world. For example, at design school, you might get six weeks to focus on designing a poster. That is never gonna happen on the job. A poster is more likely gonna have to be designed within a couple of days or a couple of hours. So having your portfolio filled with those pieces might not give them the confidence that you have the experience that you need. So it’s good to get some outside of school projects in there as well Now. Even if you don’t have any paid work. Surely there is a family member who needs a logo for their little side business or perhaps an invitation design. Just anything where you can work with another person To then be able to talk about the process of designing that thing in an interview And speaking of process, you should talk about it in your portfolio as well. Don’t just put up images of your work. Talk about the rationale behind things. Talk about what the brief actually was that you were trying to design. Those things are really important and give context to your projects. When you apply for a job, you’ll likely have to submit your portfolio a resume of some sort, and it’s okay. If there’s not much design work on there If it’s a junior role, That’s probably what they’re gonna expect, And you’re probably gonna have to submit a cover letter of some sort as well. This is your space to talk about why you want to work specifically at that company. I know you might be feeling desperate just to get any job at all, and you’ll just be happy for whoever wants to take you, but you absolutely cannot let that come across in the cover letter. Companies want to feel special and you’ll be a good fit for them in particular. So make sure you do some research into the company that you’re applying for And note some specific things that make you excited at the thought of working there in the cover letter. Talk about what special skills you have that might come in handy for them or might make you stand out from other candidates. For example, the first design job that I ever got. I talked about my little t-shirt company that I was running on the side. Even though it wasn’t related to what I’d been doing on the job like I wouldn’t be producing apparel at this design job at the electronics company. I was applying for, But the fact that I had this side project and had the dedication and the motivation to figure it all out and do it on my own was really impressive to them. And that made them be more interested in hiring me, So if your portfolio and your cover letter impresses them enough, the last final hurdle that you have to get over. Is the interview stage? Now, in an interview, you really want to show yourself to be super passionate and keen to learn at this stage of your career as well. They’re not expecting you to know everything. You don’t have to go in being completely confident and acting like you’re the best designer in the world. What’s more important is that you show yourself to be really interested in learning and getting better being really passionate and proactive as well. Talk about your process when you talk about your work, So they’re gonna wanna hear the story behind it. Which again is why it’s important not to just have student work in your portfolio because that doesn’t make for a very interesting story. When you’ve worked with an actual client, even if it is just a friend or a family member, you’ve got some background and some context to give them about the piece and how you worked on it. Lastly, you just can’t. Let yourself get too discouraged. I know it sucks to think you’ve nailed an interview to have really enjoyed it and really love the idea of working at that company. Only to have them turn you down. But that doesn’t mean you can never apply to that company again. Sometimes companies will say that they’re open to people with less experience, but actually, it turns out that they’re not, And that is just unfortunately, a fact of a design job hunting. They don’t quite realize what they’re looking for. Sometimes when they’re writing those descriptions. So just keep applying, keep hunting and stay passionate about it. And you’re gonna learn something eventually. That’ll be that first start to your career. And I promise you it will all get easier from there. I hope that advice is useful and it gives you something to work on when you go about applying for jobs. If your portfolio is the thing that you’re worried about most, then perhaps check out my Portfolio Review series. It’s where I take a look at portfolios that are submitted to me and give my feedback on them. And I think you can learn a lot. And if you need to create a portfolio, then Squarespace is a great way to do it. They’re the sponsor of this video. They’re a supporter of my channel, and I really appreciate that It’s an all-in-one platform, which means you never have to install or patch or upgrade or anything. Which is super handy. And your website is always gonna look good on any device. Because all of their themes are responsive, They’ve got lots to choose from. They’re all beautifully designed, And they’re really easy to customize as well. Which makes it ideal for us designers. They make it really easy to get a custom domain, which I think is really important for a portfolio. It just makes you look a lot more professional. And if you need any help they? They’ve got 24/7 support So. If you’re someone who doesn’t have a portfolio yet or perhaps needs to update it, then checkout squarespacecom for a free trial, And then when you’re ready to sign up and get your site live to the world Head to squarespacecom/charlimarietv. And you’ll get 10% off your first site or domain. Thanks for watching. Happy job hunting and I will see you in my next video. Bye (upbeat music).