Getting any job can be tough- but in the interior design field most of us look for “some” sort of experience- there are specific skills that are important but we are willing to teach- if the right mind set and personality is present. But- you gotta be able to tell us how your existing experience can help US. Because just like in our firm our focus is on solving our client’s problems- you should be focused on how you can help us solve ours.
PSA before we dig in though- Please do not send unprofessional photos of your home with faux finishes you created in the bathroom and word signs above the bed, your friends home you decorated for Christmas with burlap and a hot glue gun, a wedding reception your designed with mason jars and vintage spoon mobiles, or anything you would not put on the internet in a professional portfolio. Please and thank you.
I am kidding. Mostly.
Not really though.
Promise me RIGHT NOW you will not. not. not send pictures of any work unless asked and it is good stuff. OK? Whew. Glad that is out.
1. Writing a resume and— please please send a cover letter-
(especially when the ad requests one for love of all things beautiful- egads)
- *****Write your resume with an emphasis to the skills that will translate to the new position- do not fabricate but you can surely pull out the skills you used to manage a busy Dentist’ office to managing projects in a design firm or managing customers or managing tasks. Absolutely. But key to be sure you actually relate your skills to the job you are interviewing to get. ***** And we rarely even look at a resume without a cover letter- because we ask for it- if you cannot follow directions then why would we think you would when hired?
2. AT THE INTERVIEW-
(no chewing gum please- just don’t)
- Show up on time to any interviews and is ok to dress creatively but IMO would cover any loud or super obvious tattoos- come on being real here- if you have a full sleeve you probably are not going to want to show it off to Mr and Mrs Gottrocks right off the bath you know? Tatoos are part of main stream society now- but be cognizant where you are and what type of work the firm does.
3. HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY-
(think of good questions to ask us!)
- Be engaging in the interview please- we want personality and this is key. You would be surprised how many people come in and have nothing to say. On the phone too- some never make it past this stage because they do not have a single thing to talk about it. We are in sales folks like it or not and you must be able to converse.
4. HOW DO YOUR SKILLS TRANSLATE?
(think ahead on this)
- Talk about how YOUR SKILLS can be used to do the tasks and assignments in this job description. We genuinely want to hear this and can make the difference in getting the job or not. Write it out before the interview. Best advice I can give.
(we check them so no tomfoolery)
- Bring references and send letters via email but please make them germane to again HOW YOU CAN HELP US SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS.
6. RESEARCH THE FIRM-
(you can google us for days and most design firms are the same)
- I find many we interview do this- but mostly to see if they want to work for us- not for a research into how we work or to be able to translate their skills to our firm. We want to know you have done this. You cannot seem to eager- unless you show up or call unannounced. We are busy- and do not like calls or drop ins until we can schedule time to focus on the conversation!
7. BE ENERGETIC AND FRIENDLY-
(no need for jumping jacks but even if you HATE US ON SIGHT, put on a friendly face as this industry is super small folks- do not understimate who knows whom)
- Drink some coffee or something because we are looking for energy and most of us employers are – you need to fake it if not a super outgoing person until you feel comfortable- this is a social field- no need for craziness but need to have a smattering of social skills.
8. BE REALISTIC ABOUT PAY-
( this means know what you are worth with your skills and in your market – for the job at hand)
- Do not expect to make millions right off the bat- know the typical wages for the area you live and for what you are wanting to do- and if you are making good money now and want to switch careers be prepared to take two steps back in order to take a step forward.
9. FOLLOW UP-
(shocking how many do not do this even later to call and say oh hey are you still looking? come on surely your momma taught you this right??)
- We had a nice woman apply a few weeks ago and she seemed very interested and did follow up at all- major bummer. This will lose you the job with us- and I bet with many. And no excuse to not send an email for petes sake!! If you want to stand out- send a note. If you want to be a super star- send a little clever something or another that reinforces your skills or personality or energy.
True story- I sent a dozen pizzas to get my first job in radio with zero experience- a big job and hard to get. I said on the note – ” for late night deliberations” because the two men I interviewed with mentioned jokingly would be a long night considering the candidates and they might get hungry- just in passing- This showed them that I could sell shit – how? Because I was paying attention to what they said, acted on it, and followed up. All key to any sales position.
Save the infographic below or share with a friend. You just never know!
10. Design is a creative business. Be creative! 🙂