Union (formerly Studiobanks) receives tons of email from young designers looking for entry-level design positions. However, the majority of the emails we receive I delete immediately. Having your email deleted is the worst thing that could happen. Even if the firm isn’t currently hiring, you should want them to save your information for when the time comes that they do need to hire someone.
To that end, here are my top five things to never do when inquiring about a graphic design position. While these will not ensure that your information is saved, it will at least ensure it is not deleted immediately. 1. Never send a resume in Word format.
When applying for a design position, a resume should be treated first as a representation of your layout and typography skills and then as a representation of your experiences – in that order. As a designer, you should know that Word is not a layout program. I have never read a resume that was submitted in Word. A well-designed PDF will say a lot.
2. Never send any questionable work samples.
If you think one of your portfolio pieces isn’t that strong, it probably isn’t. Do not include it. Think of the weakest link metaphor: To a creative director a designer is as strong as their weakest portfolio sample.
3. Never send more than one file that contains your work samples.
One of the most annoying things a job inquirer can do is send their work samples as individual files. Designers should create a well-designed, multi-page PDF portfolio of their work that creative directors can save and browse through with ease.
4. Never send work samples in their native format.
If a creative director ever wanted to look at your raw Photoshop files he or she will ask. Sending your work samples in their native format shows a glaring lack of attention to detail and professionalism. Again, a well-designed, multi-page PDF portfolio is your best chance to have your information saved.
5. Never call yourself a company.
In a strange and recent trend, graduating design students are creating pseudo company names for themselves (ie: Graphiz House, Mike’s Creative, Smith Designs). This is confusing and tacky. If you are starting your own company, great! But, if that’s the case why would a design firm want to hire you?