I need some career advice


New Member

I want to become a graphic designer, mainly for printed material, and I have been struggling to find a paid job for quite a while now. I'm starting to doubt that I have what it takes or even if I can compete with other candidates so I would like some advice on how I could improve my chances to fulfil my ambition.
I would like some feedback on my CV (form and content), which is attached to this message, and my portfolio (bathuly's library) and if you think I stand a chance to find full time employment as a designer. Maybe I need more qualifications or more training?

I am not sure if the text on my cv is clearly visible so here is a summary of my background so far
I got interested in graphic design after taking an introduction course on photoshop and illustrator a few years ago and really enjoyed it so I decided to go for a BA. I did an art and design foundation course but circumstances in my private life made that I couldn't complete it to the end and I couldn't then enrol for the BA. I had to work so I took some part time courses at London College of Communications to obtain some qualifications. In the past 2 years I have been through 3 different internships:
The first one was an Office Admin internship, and I proposed to design a poster, program and tickets for an up-coming charity event they were organising and was then asked to create various flyers and leaflets for them. Not long after I started another internship, editing and updating information for a graduates’ career guide and finally found a work placement with Shape as they were re-branding the company. I got involved in the development and implementation of their new logo and image and worked alongside the communication team to design their visual identity guidelines, stationery and other communication materials.
Lately I have been working on my own range of placement prints for t-shirts and other apparels.


  • Bathuly Sidimeh cv.jpg
    Bathuly Sidimeh cv.jpg
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You have a number of issues..

1) As you have no previous employment experience (by which I mean a permanent paid job lasting for 1-3 years) you can only really go for Junior/trainee Designer positions which are very fiercely contested (even by designers with experience).

2) We have a quite a few members of the forum who are still students and who's work is really top notch! It won't be long before they're applying for the same jobs as you so you need to be sure you're as well presented and prepared as they are! Have a look at Paul Murray's portfolio site Paul Murray, if your portfolio site was put side by side with his, would it stand up? What about the content of the site? (Sorry for picking on Paul here, but he's bloody good!)

2) The print industry is in rapid decline! This means that jobs are few and far between and many of the the big print firms are now branching out in to other areas to try and survive so will not consider designers who only do print.

I can't tell you what to do but if you're an illustrator why not stick to being an illustrator and work on those skills?
2) The print industry is in rapid decline! This means that jobs are few and far between and many of the the big print firms are now branching out in to other areas to try and survive so will not consider designers who only do print.

You have to be able to offer more than just print design... perhaps marketing (as you have some knowledge of that) or focus (as Dave says) on the illustration.

Don't want to put you off but design for print is tough at the moment.
I am the in-house designer/pre press operative for a digital and wideformat print company.

I happened into the job, and over the last 3 years I've learned so much. If I was to go self-employed tomorrow I would simply stay at my desk where I am now, and just do the design work (which at the moment is about 20% of the job). I think at the moment I would be able to bill for a good amount of design ££ a month (and that's at £30 per hour). So that's several hours a month of easy, well paid work that I wouldn't have to hunt for each and every month, and then I could make up the rest with other work.

I am NOT a wonderful designer by any means - but I can turn around a good design very very quickly.

It makes me wonder why others wouldn't try a similar track? There can't be much work out there for a £100 logo, but there are thousands of leaflets, menus, posters and flyers that are being printed each and every day. We get the work because we do the print, and design comes as an add-on to that.

So get a job at a printers, learn how to impose and solve print problems (which is the rarer skill - it seems everyone is a designer these days), pick up the in-house work, and chase the high-art work in your spare time.

Just a thought.