I need advice


Piluka

Piluka

New Member
#1
Hi,

I recently moved to UK (Cambridge) and I'm looking for my first graphic design job. I am applying for several junior job offers but I don't know why I won't have been successful. Also, I have a master degree in Editorial design, so I thought it would be a plus, but not. Related to job experience I started to run a magazine three years ago and it lasted until last December. And after that I did several projects for clients as a freelance in my country.

I thought with that and my portfolio ( https://laiaftolos.cargocollective.com ) I could get a junior position. Could you give me any advice, please? I am willing to relocate and I always write that in my cover letters. I don't know what to do else.

Thanks for your help.
 
Paul Murray

Paul Murray

Moderator
Staff member
#2
It could be any number of things, though I highly doubt it's the quality of your work. Do you get through to interviews or do you just not here back from applications?

It could be that your seen as over-qualified for a junior position – you have a masters degree and have 3 years experience running a magazine – you should probably at least be aiming for a mid-weight position.

It could also just be that there's a hell of a lot of competition, especially for junior design positions in the South of England.

Or perhaps you're applying for positions that already have been filled. This is a common problem in the UK, any job available has to be advertised, even if someone has already been offered that job, perhaps from another position in the company. It's a legal requirement to advertise it publicly and really just wastes everybody's time. Junior design positions tend to be given to graduates that have worked at a studio before, or were referred by a contact, so it may just be that you're a complete stranger to these studios and they would rather hire someone they know.
 
Piluka

Piluka

New Member
#3
Thank you for your fast reply. :)

The case is that I haven't had any chance to get to the interview step. I've been always turned down when they (senior designers) reviewed my portfolio and told me that there were candidates that 'suit' better for the job or had stronger skills that mine (and I'm talking about junior positions) that surprised me a lot. Others just turned me down because I wasn't living nearby. I told them I could move there by my own expenses upon hiring, though. I cannot move constantly around the country just to get the change of an interview.

I guess you're right in almost everything you said. I'm looking for a junior position because I want to know how it's working in a studio environment and learn step by step. Plus as I am from other country I don't want to mess up and be fired straight away due to my lack of English level (specially regarding to technical vocabulary) so, I thought starting in a junior position I will feel more comfortable, less stress and capable of managing all the issues. Plus, if they've turned me down for junior positions I don't dare to apply for a higher position.
 
Paul Murray

Paul Murray

Moderator
Staff member
#4
It might be worth trying recruitment agencies, it's not a common way of getting a design job but I did meet someone once who used them and had luck finding work in more corporate companies.
 
Minuteman Press

Minuteman Press

Active Member
#5
Approach the reviewers and ask to sit with them so that you can understand the skills and results they advise you are lacking. Make it clear you are not making a further approach, rather that you are genuinely trying to understand your gaps in order to have a route forward. If you don't ask, you'll never know. Be constructive with the feedback and take action (eg additional studies, research, mock-ups).

We advertised a position back-end of last year; 60 applications received in less than three days; many very strong.

Hope this helps.
 
scotty

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
#6
I had a quick look through your folio and about page in the same way as a potential employer might trying to put myself in their shoes.

First thing that struck me was the high quality of your work.
It just doesn't look like a graduate's work or someone who is looking for a junior role.
This would confuse me as I'd be asking myself why you're applying.

To me it looks like mid-level and a very good one at that.

The other thing was this in your 'about':

- Art director designer since 2016
- Graphic designer since 2015


"Art director designer" is not the kind of thing I'd expect to be seeing from a junior/grad.
Seems to me that you appear to be WAY higher than a junior role from that and from the replies you've had, the word I would be taking on board is "suit" rather than "stronger skills" as the latter sounds totally bull sh@t.

If you're intent on going in a junior level for the experience then I'd alter your about/resume to reflect this and try to appear like a very gifted and enthusiastic graduate.

The alternative would be to apply for roles at a higher level but then you're going to have to be a lot more confident in yourself and your skills and step that side of things up a bit.

Getting your foot in the door is the most difficult thing.
As Paul says, jobs aren't always what they seem.

Some don't even really exist.
Many are from recruiters fishing for their talent pool which is something I've seen a lot and had experience of.

It's easy to get into the mind set that you are in competition with 'the best of the best' but that's not always the case either.
For every really good Designer out there, there are very many bad ones and to me you look like a good one.
 
Piluka

Piluka

New Member
#7
Thanks guys!!! After all your words I see that it wasn't directly my work the one who interfere with the process. I'll try to take action and make some changes to look like more 'gifted and enthusiastic' junior as scotty said, rather to apply for something higher. A bit foolish from my part, I know, but for now on it's the only thing I feel brave enough to do.

I'll try through recruiter agencies as Paul suggested and next one who will decline me I'll ask for advice to improve what I'm lacking.

I'd like to express my gratitude for all your advice. If I could I'll treat all you to a ever or whatever you fancy. ;)
 
scotty

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
#8
I personally feel you should have a little more faith and confidence in your skills but it does pay to get a good understanding from the bottom up.
I've done this twice.
Once after leaving college and once again after returning to the industry.
The things I learned I am still using.

I'd like to express my gratitude for all your advice. If I could I'll treat all you to a ever or whatever you fancy. ;)
I think the only thing anyone would like in return for their advice is for you to come back and let us know when you get that first job.

It WILL happen! :D

Just don't undersell or underestimate yourself.
 
Levi

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
#9
OK.. first let me state this isn't meant to come across in any offensive way, this is purely a possibility and something that hasn't been mentioned in any other posts.

Now you openly state you've just moved to the UK, you also say that you may have issues with understanding 'English technical terms', so it could be something as simple as the companies are concerned about communication, something that is VERY important in design, or something a lot more complicated such as this thing called brexit. No one fully knows how brexit will truely affect british companies who have hired people from the EU so some may be more cautious of hiring from outside of the UK.
 
Piluka

Piluka

New Member
#10
Now you openly state you've just moved to the UK, you also say that you may have issues with understanding 'English technical terms'
Ok, I see what you mean. However, I told you that, not to anyone of them, of course not. :D I've been here since last July and I'm working in a retail store for 5 months facing and talking with customers everyday. I mean I can talk English and understand it. It's not a native level but, as I've also said that it was a reason why I was looking for a Junior position. Because it's supposed that you are less in contact with customers and more supervised by seniors.

Secondly, I haven't had any interview directly with companies so, I don't know if that was the problem (usually I've been turned down before the interview step, so they couldn't know it), and with recruiters almost always told me that I had good match and never mentioned anything related to my English level and moved me to the next step.

Finally, if we talk about brexit you have your points and I cannot say anything about that.

Thank you for your reply! :)
 
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