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Striking out with my young career already. Need words of wisdom/advice, please...

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  • Striking out with my young career already. Need words of wisdom/advice, please...

    Hi everyone,

    I am currently an unemployed Graphic Designer and am making zero progress in my job hunt for the last 3 months. Here is a run-down of my experience, situation, and the job market I'm in:

    I live in the Phoenix Metro area and have been successfully operating as a freelance graphic designer for 3 years and have 1 and 1/2 years of in-house design experience (marketing collateral designs, email marketing, CMS, product photography, some copywriting... and a lot more). I graduated last Spring 2015 with an Associate of Applied Science in Visual Communication. Although I've had the fortune of working as an in-house designer while still going to school, I also had the misfortune of not being in those jobs longer than 1 year... my first design job to was a paid internship from 2014 until just last spring and my latest job lasting only about 6 months (summer 2015 until March 2016) that led to me getting laid off due to downsizing.

    I have been applying to roughly 10 jobs/week for the last 2 months, and not only am I not getting a single interview, I'm not even getting a reply email or phone call back when I follow up. At this point, I'm feeling massively discouraged and am starting to think I need to go back to school and change my career path. I'm reminding myself that I still have a young career, but I am concerned about the stability of my job history being a deterrent for future opportunities. Recently, I've even applied to a couple of design internships and I haven't heard back from them.

    I've attached a link to my portfolio if it serves as a better gauge for your feedback... I've also attached my resume just to show you how I'm presenting myself. *I've even created a .txt resume for online application readers to hit keywords for job descriptions - no luck.

    Thanks in advance for any feedback you may have. I'm more than receptive to any and all suggestions.

    LP
    Attached Files
    Last edited by SunDevil86; 06-30-2016, 04:20 PM.

  • #2
    I think as a junior designer your skills are pretty reasonable. But in general the job market, and the design field in general is saturated at the moment. I feel your pain, a few years back I was part of a lay off at my company, and despite having 15+ years experience, it took 9 months for me to finally get another position, and the match was not ideal. 5 months ago I got a lead with a former colleague and now I'm working somewhere that's a much better fit.

    The bottom line is 3 months may feel like a long time, but you have to keep pushing on. During my 9 month gap I (like you) would send out 5+ applications a week and I'd maybe hear back from 1 every few months. It's just the nature of the business at the moment.

    What sort of positions have you been applying to? As in, what sort of titles?
    __________________________________________________
    I like to beat up pacifists, because they don't fight back ...

    N.A.N.K.A. "We Kick Because We Care."

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Craig B View Post
      I think as a junior designer your skills are pretty reasonable. But in general the job market, and the design field in general is saturated at the moment. I feel your pain, a few years back I was part of a lay off at my company, and despite having 15+ years experience, it took 9 months for me to finally get another position, and the match was not ideal. 5 months ago I got a lead with a former colleague and now I'm working somewhere that's a much better fit.

      The bottom line is 3 months may feel like a long time, but you have to keep pushing on. During my 9 month gap I (like you) would send out 5+ applications a week and I'd maybe hear back from 1 every few months. It's just the nature of the business at the moment.

      What sort of positions have you been applying to? As in, what sort of titles?

      Thanks, Craig. Your story certainly puts my situation under a new light. I appreciate the feedback. I have applied to Graphic Designer positions that normally require a minimum of 3 years experience (which is not totally out of my range by any means), as well as multiple JR Designer openings. Content Manager positions are also ones I've applied to (I have a lot of CMS experience), and like I mentioned in my original post - Graphic Design Internships (paid). Many of these companies are either corporate or small agencies.

      With that being said, am I applying to the wrong job settings? I'm also never requesting higher than Mid-level designer salary for the Phoenix Metro area when prompted in applications.

      Comment


      • #4
        Keep in mind that a lot of employers run resumes through scanners before a human ever sees them. If the company is looking for someone with a BFA and those letters aren't on your resume, it'll get rejected without being seen by a person. Even if you have a comparable degree. So a percentage of your resumes aren't even being read, not really. Not very helpful, but at least you know it's not always your work or experience. Sometimes it's just stupid rigid job descriptions.
        Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

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        • #5
          Did you try posting your resumes online like inelance and upwork and other related online jobs site? Create a cool graphic designer portfolio and I'm sure, sooner or later you will be hired.

          If I were you, I won't focus on graphic designer jobs. Do web designer and programming jobs as well as tech support and hardwair repair jobs. Be competitive. What employers want to see now is a multi talented employees which can do a lot.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by 3wCorner View Post
            Did you try posting your resumes online like inelance and upwork and other related online jobs site? Create a cool graphic designer portfolio and I'm sure, sooner or later you will be hired.

            I think this is terrible advice -those online bidding sites are a waste of time, unless your looking to make pennies on the dollar.
            Sketching not only helps you work out good ideas, it helps you get past the bad ones.

            Comment


            • PrintDriver
              PrintDriver commented
              Editing a comment
              I agree.

          • #7
            I can offer some advice that was given to me. I'm not sure if it truly helped me or not, but I think it was worth the exercise. One of the biggest bits of advice that I was given was to look through 10-12 job listings that you feel are good matches and to somewhat scour through them for keywords that are most common among them.

            For example, if you notice that the majority of the job listings you feel you are well-matched for use the term "industrious" or "well-rounded" or even to take note of how they list the software experience you may need ... then you should revise your resume to try to use those terms a best you can (as long as it's not "forced").

            I also noticed that you don't have an intro overview 4-5 sentences at the beginning of your resume to give a top-level overview People read less and less through entire resumes these days unless they are baited by a strong introduction.

            That may or may not help. Just my 2 cents.
            __________________________________________________
            I like to beat up pacifists, because they don't fight back ...

            N.A.N.K.A. "We Kick Because We Care."

            Comment


            • #8
              Try to look for graphic designer jobs outside Phoenex. Think global. A lot of individuals and companies are looking for graphic designers. Do have a portfolio where they find view your work? Perhaps an Instagram account that showcases your work? Use social media. Post your sample works in your FB, FB page, Twitter, IG and Pinterest. IF they like your work, they will follow and like your post. Hopefully, you can find some clients.

              Comment


              • PanToshi
                PanToshi commented
                Editing a comment
                I believe the OP is looking for a job, not for freelance clients.

              • 3wCorner
                3wCorner commented
                Editing a comment
                According to his resume, he is the owner of LP Creative so I'm assuming that he is also looking for clients.

            • #9
              Originally posted by 3wCorner View Post
              According to his resume, he is the owner of LP Creative so I'm assuming that he is also looking for clients.
              Originally posted by SunDevil86 View Post
              I am currently an unemployed Graphic Designer and am making zero progress in my job hunt for the last 3 months.
              Right, I'll just ignore the what the OP said then.
              Sketching not only helps you work out good ideas, it helps you get past the bad ones.

              Comment


              • #10
                I feel you. I'm in my 30's and have been experiencing cyclical unemployment since I was 25 or so. I've currently been unemployed since May 2017. Best thing I can tell you is that your job has nothing to do with you as a person. Keep in mind your integrity. If you can get into 3D that will boost your chances of being more valuable to a company. You can always start your own business, move to another state for work, switch to something else, etc. There's always an option. Don't beat yourself up too much. Your finances are not a representation of your skills or accomplishments. These are things I tell myself every day. Keep your head up Lorenzo! BTW is your screen name based of Arizona State? I love Sparky!

                Comment


                • #11
                  Hi Heyitsmichael and welcome to GDF.

                  We ask all new members to read very important links here and here. These explain the rules, how the forum runs and a few inside jokes. No, you haven't done anything wrong, we ask every new member to read them. Your first few posts will be moderated, so don't panic if they don't show up immediately. Enjoy your stay.
                  Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

                  Comment

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