‘Tis the season of graduation! For the young, bright-eyed and fresh-out-of-school designer, job applications and interviews can be daunting. Not to mention dealing with the initial questions of where to start, who to talk to, and how to actually articulate all that you can bring to an agency as a creative professional.
To help sort through the unknowns and nuances of the job search, we corralled our VP HR and one of our VP Creative Directors and asked them to share their insights for new grads.
What’s the number one skill a creative can possess?
Ideas! Ideas fuel the creative process. Coming up with diverse ideas and new ways of looking at things is really at the heart of great design work.
What is the ideal match for an agency and a creative? What can a new grad bring to the table?
There are three key things we look for in new grads: passion for design, idea generation and the ability to talk through your rationale. Raw creative talent can get you in the door, but design is a lifestyle – it doesn’t turn off at 5pm. True passion for the work is critical to a young grad’s success and his/her ability to present the work and concept is key to getting those great ideas across.
Is youth an asset or a liability?
Definitely an asset. Young grads bring a fresh perspective and energy that impacts the whole studio. They’re trendsetters, which is incredibly relevant to design work.
What’s the most important part of a creative’s resume?
The portfolio is really the important part. If we focus on the resume, for new grads, education, skill-set, hobbies, interests and volunteer work are key. When you’re just starting out, you’re not selling us your work experience; you’re selling your knowledge, skills, and passion.
How can new grads showcase their creativity in an interview?
Be creative in the way you present your work! Consider using different media, video or online tools. Our work is essentially thoughts that result in visual expression – so create a stimulating way to show and tell.
What’s the best way to make a good impression on your first day?
Be eager and inquisitive. Don’t hesitate to ask questions – you’re here to learn.
Any final advice for new grads?
Job searches are daunting even for experienced job seekers. Be true to yourself, showcase your best work and stay open to possibilities. Doors will open and may take you on incredible journeys. Take advantage of every opportunity to learn and you’ll find your way.