By Paulina “Polaris” Thai, Contributing Writer

12178043_10205905543583757_837521676_nDuring my college years, I only had set my goals on graduating and working at Victoria’s Secret. I reached my goals and am now working for the company as a freelance designer.

Setting goals for yourself is important to your journey to success. Making smaller goals to achieve the bigger goal are what makes one successful. Hard work does pay off. My college’s programs, and the sorority helped me grow professionally over the years.

We have co-ops that are similar to internships. Co-ops taught me to professionally make our resume and cover letters. Attending extra leadership events and resume workshops definitely do help! Even if you think you already know everything, there are a few professional take-aways you learn from the workshops.

A designer’s resume is definitely different from other occupations’ resumes. Design comes in a different format, so it takes another canvas for employers to look through your design skills. A designer’s resume appears different, but information hierarchy and the language delivered in a resume are important things to learn.

Now-a-days, LinkedIn has become a very powerful influence on job searching. LinkedIn is also widely used by prospective employers searching for workers. I personally have been contacted by talent agents through LinkedIn numerous times, and that’s how I got my job for Victoria’s Secret.

My tips for getting these prospective employers to look at your profile are not much different from building your resume.

Landing a job is about utilizing your experiences during college. I was fortunate enough that my program requires you to do a total of four to five co-ops within a handful of semesters. I was blessed to have had great companies to work for.

After my first year of a five-year program, I never had a summer break. All three of my semesters were either in classes or with a co-op (internship). My tip to everyone is if your school doesn’t provide such a program as University of Cincinnati’s, then create your own! Don’t waste your summer on taking a break. Fill it with internships and experiences that will benefit you after your college career.

Graphic design is becoming such a competitive career that you would need to be on your “A” game and rack up those experiences. This edge will make you a stronger candidate to employers. Collect contact info and network. Networking is how you gain strong references and relationships that could help you in your career down the road (especially on LinkedIn).

Continuing to work on your portfolio is super important as well. Designers should create online and print portfolios. You can easily use a template from www.squarespace.com, and make it look professional if you don’t know how to expertly code.

Going into a interview, employers love to see real work that you have created (the finished product). Go ahead and take out that great T-shirt you designed or the package that you mocked up and designed. It’s your time to shine! Employers usually look at your portfolio before they meet you. They are looking for an overview of your portfolio during your interview, any interesting facts that you didn’t mention in your online or print portfolio and your personality. Prior to meeting you, likely they’ve seen your work, and they liked your work enough to contact you. Be confident! As they meet with you, they are seeing if your personality works well the team that you may have the chance to work with. Just go in there, be yourself, be social (but professional) and be confident.

For the first day of work, be excited and take notes. Try to learn and take in as much as you can! Just enjoy it, you made it!

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I will always be happy to answer any questions or help sisters with career goals in the design field. Anyone is free to contact me via email at paulinathaidesign@gmail.com or through Facebook.

 


Featured Image: WestportWiki

Article Images: Paulina Thai