Job search / Portfolio Advice


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Hey all,

I've recently been looking for work as a designer in London. I'm based in the Midlands currently but intend to relocate. Wanted to do it for a while, 29 now and not getting any younger, seems like as good a time as any.

So, I'm looking at Junior Designer/Artworker jobs because my background is far too mixed across all manner of disciplines that I don't think I have strong enough skills and experience to go in at midweight anything. I don't want to attach a label of mediocrity to myself since I typically dislike a self-defeatist attitude but I fear my (possibly foolish) prior refusal to specialise has resulted in me being a bit of a jack of all trades, master of none.

But, there's a problem. I've applied to almost 30 jobs over the past 6 weeks or so. I've also contacted three creative agencies. I've heard back from one... which was an auto-generated email that said I'd been unsuccessful.

Now, I'm thinking that there's clearly a glaring problem with my portfolio and/or CV. The problem is, without any feedback, I'm just firing off the same old potential rubbish to every employer without really knowing what it is that's missing the mark.

With that said, I'm opening it up to you guys. If anyone has a minute to quickly look over my folio and CV (which, as I said, are very very mixed in types of work) and make some suggestions, I'd be very very grateful.

I'm not averse to getting my head down and actually putting together some new work to strengthen my case, but it'd be nice to know which way I should be heading.


CV: Ellis Curriculum Vitae 2013.pdf

Examples of Work: Ellis Examples of
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Hi Thomas, I'll get straight to the point: Your CV is pretty dull.

If you're applying for a creative position in a creative studio, you need to have a creative CV. What you currently have is unlikely to get you noticed any where that you'd probably want to work. Similarly, your work is unlikely to peek their interest. It's not bad by any stretch of the imagination, it's just that 3D visualisations are rather different to the sort of work graphic design studios will be looking for.

Saying that though, I've been freelancing at an agency that specialises in events, and they do need visuals doing for pretty much every project to show clients and to eventually pass onto builders who will put the venue together. Of course, they also need to produce identities and printed material for the events, perhaps even a website (I've been working on an iPad app recently), so there's lots of opportunity to design standard graphic design elements.

Perhaps look into a small to mid-sized events agency as a way in? The work isn't always the sort of thing you'll want to do (think big, cheesy corporate events with lost of glittery turds splashed about the place), but it's a possible foot in the door, and you never know where it will lead.
Thanks Paul, much appreciated.

Having reflected on this for a few days, spoken to a few others and looked around the web at designers in a similar position, I think you're totally right.

I think my next step is to build out a proper design portfolio website stocked with actual design work and show some kind of specialisation rather than a broad mix, as I have now.

A suggestion I received was to flesh out some of the existing work I have with additional projects, such as a menu, packaging design etc for the bakery I'd done the logo form, and then present them collated as projects on a web 'folio.

I'm actually going to take a step back for a month or so and put together a much much better presentation package for myself (including a fresher CV), and then start firing out the applications again, hopefully with more success!

Thanks again
A suggestion I received was to flesh out some of the existing work I have with additional projects, such as a menu, packaging design etc for the bakery I'd done the logo for

This is good advice. Studios don't just want to see identities, they want to see brands. Flesh out your bakery project with some additional applications of your design. Using your 3D skills I'm sure you'd be able to mock up some packaging or even a shop front/interior to show how you've thought about how the brand is applied consistently.