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What employers look for in design grads!


Katedesign

Well-Known Member
#3
Capable - I have met about-to-be graduates who aren't sure what crops and bleeds are. . . or Pantone colours. . . or what programme to 'do drawings' in. . .

Motivated - especially important if they are like the above - a willingness to learn

Fit - don't throw sickies ever, employers are not stupid - they will remember when they write your reference. (Unless they want you to go in which case they will say how wonderful you are - whether you are or not - just to get rid of you!)
 
#5
I completely agree Kate.

I think so many design graduates don't have a real passion for design and this is reflected in their work and attitude to getting a design job. I rarely receive a CV from a design graduate that doesn't contain glaring spelling mistakes or doubles spaces or some typographical no-no. Even when I visit end of year design shows, the standard of basic things such as mounting work is really bad.

There are so many resources on the internet that there shouldn't be any excuses from design graduates that they don't know how to do the basics.

As well as the things already mentioned by other posters, my advice to any design graduate is that you must:
1. Know how to use Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.
2. Be able to create clipping paths, masks, etc
3. Have a good understanding of how website are created
4. Have a decent understanding of creating print-ready artwork
5. Be able to spell
6. Be willing to learn
7. Have a good attitude
8. Be prepared to work long hours
9. Have pride in your work
10. Be able to work without constant supervision

It's a really difficult transition from the leaving the safe cocoon of the final year of a design degree to having to look for a design job in the real world. The graduates who can do all of the basics will hopefully progress, the other graduates who don't want to learn and put in the effort won't be able to make it in the design industry.
 
#6
I completely agree Kate.

I think so many design graduates don't have a real passion for design and this is reflected in their work and attitude to getting a design job. I rarely receive a CV from a design graduate that doesn't contain glaring spelling mistakes or doubles spaces or some typographical no-no. Even when I visit end of year design shows, the standard of basic things such as mounting work is really bad.

There are so many resources on the internet that there shouldn't be any excuses from design graduates that they don't know how to do the basics.

As well as the things already mentioned by other posters, my advice to any design graduate is that you must:
1. Know how to use Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.
2. Be able to create clipping paths, masks, etc
3. Have a good understanding of how website are created
4. Have a decent understanding of creating print-ready artwork
5. Be able to spell
6. Be willing to learn
7. Have a good attitude
8. Be prepared to work long hours
9. Have pride in your work
10. Be able to work without constant supervision

It's a really difficult transition from the leaving the safe cocoon of the final year of a design degree to having to look for a design job in the real world. The graduates who can do all of the basics will hopefully progress, the other graduates who don't want to learn and put in the effort won't be able to make it in the design industry.
I agree with all points except number 8 - if less people were willing to work long hours then it wouldn;t have become the "norm" and we'd all be able to spend more time in our homes that we spend so much time at work to pay for to not spend in time in, and with our loved ones that we see less than our work colleagues. It's one part of the design industry that really gets my goat, if designers agree to deadlines they can't meet, and do it often, then maybe they should re-think their deadlines when speaking with their next client and stop letting people think things can be done quicker than they can be - the end client doesn't care that you worked til daft o clock, you'll get no thanks for it (rarely, anyway), and then they'll expect things to always be done that quickly so the cycle continues. Grr.

Sorry, slightly off the point of the OP there.

Just to add something - one of the main reasons i got my in-house graphic design job is my personality and how well they thought i would fit in with the team. Personality is a MASSIVE factor when getting a job and one factor that is pretty damn difficult to change, but something you should be very aware of - if you appear to have an ego too big to fit through the door, you won't be liked. :icon_tongue_smilie:
 
#7
I admit that while the whole design industry 'working late' thing is not good, unfortunately it still does happen. I just think that design graduates need to be prepared that they can't automatically expect to leave work at 5.30pm if, and when they get their first design job.

Apart from lots of design agencies expecting designers to work late to get work finished, there are also occasions when deadlines have to be met by clients that are based abroad. I've worked in agencies where an important client based in California makes a last-minute change at 11.00am (US time) which means that the designer in the UK is still working on the job at 7.00pm.

I think that as long as design graduates are flexible and are willing to put in the occasional long hours to get work finished then the majority of design agencies would appreciate that. However, if working late is something that always happens, then it's probably the right time to find a new design job.
 
#8
I completely agree Kate.

I think so many design graduates don't have a real passion for design and this is reflected in their work and attitude to getting a design job. I rarely receive a CV from a design graduate that doesn't contain glaring spelling mistakes or doubles spaces or some typographical no-no. Even when I visit end of year design shows, the standard of basic things such as mounting work is really bad.

There are so many resources on the internet that there shouldn't be any excuses from design graduates that they don't know how to do the basics.

As well as the things already mentioned by other posters, my advice to any design graduate is that you must:
1. Know how to use Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.
2. Be able to create clipping paths, masks, etc
3. Have a good understanding of how website are created
4. Have a decent understanding of creating print-ready artwork
5. Be able to spell
6. Be willing to learn
7. Have a good attitude
8. Be prepared to work long hours
9. Have pride in your work
10. Be able to work without constant supervision

It's a really difficult transition from the leaving the safe cocoon of the final year of a design degree to having to look for a design job in the real world. The graduates who can do all of the basics will hopefully progress, the other graduates who don't want to learn and put in the effort won't be able to make it in the design industry.
I have to say a big thank you for this post. Im nearing the end of my final year and will be sending CV's and portfolios to different design agencies around my area. I have everything you mentioned above )and a good personality) apart from number 4. We have never been taught about bleeding etc in uni, well we did once but it was never really expanded upon. Do you know any good websites where I could learn about bleeds etc?

thanks.
 
#12
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#13
Digital Storms is a bespoke website design company. What separates us from the rest of the website company’s is that all of our designs are unique and personal to your business.
Bespoke Website Design
Custom Artwork
Development
Search Engine Optimization
Corporate Logos
Print Service
Professional Photography
Marketing
E-Mail campaigns
Hosting
Domain Names
So visit our site and see how we can help you!
Website Design & Development - Essex & London - Digital Storms


What relevance does your ad have to this thread?
 
#15
Its not always the employee's fault really...

I agree with most of what has been said yet in my experience some employers have had, really unbelievable expectations of employees. Asking for projects which would take a programmer weeks to complete and wanting them like yesterday what I am trying to say is when you work for people who have non realistic expectations it can be murder. I have in my experience also worked with degree Honours artsy designers who honestly didn't know his, X-height from his elbow and I left Uni before my Honours even started.

Many universities are not providing any real training, this guy has done what 4 years training and was asking me about layout, X-heights, kerning, so please educators start working for your wages please.