How to impress a potential employer

If you’re job hunting or interning to build your industry experience as a graphic design student or graduate, you’ll know it’s a tough slog. You might have only half an hour in an interview, or a couple of weeks as an intern – so how do you impress a potential employer in the short time you have with them? How do you stand out from the crowd?

  1. Don’t reject or turn your nose up at any work they give you. When they value you and your time, you’ll get much better work and opportunities – but they need time to recognise your value first.
  2. Come up with ideas or share links to new findings. This is part of creating more value for you – if it’s something they haven’t seen before, they’ll be impressed that you found it first!
  3. Think of the long term, not the short term. Today, you might feel annoyed that they’ve asked you do the coffee run or batch process some images. But it’s only by doing these things and doing them well, that you’ll get an upgrade.
  4. No matter how much you settle into your role, don’t forget that you are replaceable. It sounds terribly harsh, but make yourself awesome. Design is a field which is FLOODED with talent. So you need to give them more than that. Give them great design, a rad personality, a thinking brain, and a well connected person! Make yourself more than just a good designer.
  5. Use it. An internship is a great opportunity to get connected, to get feedback, to fill up the gaps in your folio. All you have to do is ask. Shyness gets you nowhere. Be humble and gentle, but always try. If you don’t try for yourself, no one is going to try for you. Like Sheryl Sandberg says, ‘Don’t have a tiara syndrome’.
  6. Support the company you work for. Tell people about them. Think about ways that they can grow. Like them on Facebook. It’s an old-school attitude. If you want a loving place to work for, then you should show them some lovin’ back!
  7. If you work really hard and they don’t hire you – don’t be upset. Chances are, they don’t have enough work or cash coming in. Ask them for a reference letter and use it to get your next gig. People’s attitudes matter more than talent – especially in this industry.

A good work ethic and an awesome attitude can get you a lot further than you might think. Some helpful tips will help you maximise your interview or internship opportunity. As important as it is to impress a potential employer, bringing a can-do approach will help you get more out of the experience as well!

Good luck and be awesome!

Feature image by Samantha Ciccia.

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Karishma KasabiaHow to impress a potential employer