Aaron McLeod
over 4 years ago
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Graphic Design Position

I have a question, my name is Aaron McLeod, and I'm a college graduate with an Associate's Degree for Graphic Arts. I have been going out and sending out resumes to various companies whether if it's online or face to face, most of them throwing that word "experience" in my face like for example: "Do you have the experience to work at a sign shop, or the experience to install a sign," and ect. Now I may not have the experience on what they're looking for, but I do have the10+ years experience of freelancing as a Graphic Designer, and just because I've never worked at a sign shop in my entire life doesn't give them the right to hold that against me like that. My first job that I ever worked at for seventeen years since high school is McDonald's. I've done the follow up more than three times, and I was trying to get in contact with the people I suppose to talk to numerous times and I've been getting stuff like "It's being reviewed by the boss", or, I have left them a voicemail, but nothing happened. All I'm getting is promises but no one delivered.

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Mik Vance
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Hey Aaron,

Thanks for sharing and welcome to Jobcase. My name is Mik and I've been an interactive designer since 1999. I can imagine your frustration considering your experience and your desire to prove you can do the job. Let's see if we can win this "war" by breaking down your issue into smaller "battles."

First, off, congrats on your Associates Degree in Graphic Arts. That should be proof enough to employers that you are knowledgeable to handle the job. Now you stated that some companies you spoke with demanded a specific set of skills to be hired there. For example, "Do you have the experience to work at a sign shop?" Well, that's good feedback. What can we do with it? How about trying an internship? Internships are a common way of finding work and building up experience, networking with contacts and building up your portfolio. The design world is actually quite small and agencies/shops will recommend interns who have impressed them, or contact them if there are suitable opportunities in the future. Heck, if they love you that much, they may just extend you a full-time offer! Even while doing that, you gotta make a name for yourself. Enter relevant competitions and exhibitions to help promote yourself and build up your network of contacts.

Also, one bit of advice I have to make about your reaction to the sign shop rejection. You have to understand from their perspective that they work in certain way and having a newbie around that they have to teach from scratch only slows things down. So cut them some slack. However, you might even get your foot in the door by offering to intern, like I suggested above.

Next, let's talk about the frustration of not getting feedback from places. It sucks. And I admire your persistence, but know when you aren't getting anywhere. I assume you are trying other places as well. Even so, don't let your degree pigeonhole you into thinking you can only work for one type of company (not one company) in the design industry. Businesses are always looking for freelancers, logo designs, branding specialists. So look at your set of skills and see what else you can offer to other businesses who may not just be design shops. You can do design anywhere. Corporations, design offices, and the wide variety of other businesses employ graphic designers.

Here are some other insightful tips from a pro: http://bit.ly/1W2WP9i Also be sure to use our job search to find graphic design positions near you.

I wish you the best of luck, and I'll always be here if you have any further questions to just need to talk. Mik

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