How to Get a Job at a Design Agency Part Two
Today’s post on How to Get a Job at a Design Agency is about professional internet etiquette and how to properly follow-up after an interview with a design agency. This is a continuation of our Advice for Design Students Series. You can find Part One here – How to Get a Job as a Graphic Designer Part One.
How to Get a Job at a Design Agency
One very important factor to consider as you are submitting your resume to different agencies is what’s NOT on your resume. You need to be aware that many creative directors and human resource professionals WILL GOOGLE YOU. It is crucial that you keep your online persona professional at all times. Regardless of your own personal opinions, politics, or tastes; the internet is public domain and your online life is a fish bowl.
1. Google yourself
See what comes up, if there are things that you don’t want your future employer to know about, it’s best to get rid of them before you apply for jobs or change your privacy filters. Questionable photos from college? Take them down ASAP.
2. Make sure that you have not written anything on your website or blog that would be construed as inappropriate or unprofessional.
A few years ago, as we were reviewing online portfolios, we came across a designer that had written a blog post on her homepage about an experience she just had interviewing with another agency. She was being publicly critical of them because they had not called her back for a second interview. Ask yourself, is this something I should be discussing in the public forum?!?
This same kind of scrutiny should be applied to any of the social media platforms you participate in. Remember that your comments, likes and photos can be seen for the most part if people haven’t set up their privacy settings properly.
The Follow Up
1. Follow up within 48 hours of your interview
It doesn’t matter if you liked the agency or not, follow up. Either by e-mail or a handwritten note, let the agency know you appreciated their time. And, if they asked something of you like tweaking something in your portfolio or working on a small freelance project, do it. They should know you have intentions for doing what they ask and when you think they will see it from you.
If you want the job DO IT, and if you don’t want the job, respectfully decline by e-mail. If you don’t follow up, it is unprofessional and may lead the firm to think you’re not interested. Creative directors and designers talk with one another and they definitely share résumés and recommendations of the talented and professional people they’ve interviewed. Leave an impression by following up.
2. Know that interviewing is a process
Finding the right fit for an agency is a process. Be patient with the process. It is common to be asked to freelance on a project or two before you are hired full-time. The agency wants to get a feel for how you work and if you meet deadlines. A second interview also is common as they let you meet the staff and get to know you better. It may take several weeks before you are offered the job. Don’t see it as pulling your chain, but as the agency caring about you and their employees enough to take the time to get to know you.
3. Have a good attitude and be honest
If you really want the job, go with the flow and invest the time the agency is asking from you. Even if you don’t get the job right away, they know who you are and hopefully you’ve learned several things from the process. Also, when asked direct questions about your skill set, be honest. A creative director needs to know what your strengths and weaknesses are, so they can help you polish your skills while trusting in your talents.