Throwback: Advice for Aspiring Designers

Monday, March 4th 2013

Preface:

I'm posting this because, at one time before the move, it was posted on ThreeTwelves blog BEFORE I was hired. It was actually pretty popular! This was written about a year ago. It's actually pretty cool to see how far I've grown in a year. :D Anyways here is the post!

Hi there, ThreeTwelve Creative Sandbox readers! My name is Robert Deluca, and I’m an aspiring (and inspiring!) young designer that would like to offer up some tips for other young designers. When you’re under 20 and don’t have much experience when it comes to working with clients, it can be very difficult to even get your foot in the door. Below I will detail ways that can help you actually land work.

Stay Hungry, Stay Ambitious, Be Persistent

Don’t ever give up. Always keep going and keep contacting companies about work. See if they can fit you in anywhere. The more persistent you are, the more that firm will get to know you. More importantly, if an opening does happen to come up, they will already know your name! This could be one of the most important things for a designer. The more you are known by firms, the more likely they will contact you for their next job opening. Stay ambitious. It will show that you want the job.

Build A Resume And Portfolio

As a young designer you most likely won’t have a resume OR a portfolio. That can be your biggest pitfall. When someone goes to hire you, you have three seconds to impress them, wow them, and show them who you are with your resume. If you fail to impress that employer within those three seconds, you’re most likely missing out on a job. Having a designed resume to show off is VERY valuable when looking for a job, young or old.

Another thing that is important to have is a portfolio. If you have it online AND in print you are golden. Employers want to see your work. What have you done? I know, when you’re young you don’t have much; but I can assure you, you have enough to build something to give that employer an idea of what you can do.

Do Charity Work

Don’t have enough work in your portfolio, or want to keep your skills sharp? Do some charity work! Find a local charity site or foundation that looks like they could use some design work, and offer it to them for free or community service hours. This is something amazing you can do when you’re searching for a job because it keeps those skills sharp, and builds that portfolio! This is also amazing exposure for you, and that design you just slaved over creating. It also means you build a great reference. If you need someone to put down as a reference, those charities can be used — but be sure to ask them first if it’s okay!

Be Active in Social Media

One of the last — and most important — tips I can give you is to stay active in social media. Join Twitter if you haven’t and market yourself. Tweet about things that are related to your field. Tweet designer tips. Tweet anything! Start a blog and write tutorials showcasing your skills. Start a Facebook fan page and ask all your friends to like it. As I mentioned before, getting your name known is important, and this is a great way to help build it! All it takes is for one person to stumble across your fan page/twitter tweets/blog and pick you as their designer.

Conclusion

This blog post is aimed at helping young designers out and getting their foot into a client’s or a firm’s door. I hope it helped in some way! My name is Robert DeLuca, and I am currently a 17-year-old designer. You can find me on Twitter @Robdel12!