How to Make a Great Impression

Take It From Me: Recap | Session 3

Do you have questions about what it takes to stand out in the competitive design field? Are you looking for tips on promoting yourself with your resume and portfolio, at interviews, and while networking?

Photo courtesy Ben Gebo

Photo courtesy Ben Gebo

 

For our third installment of our Take It From Me (#TiFM) series, AIGA Boston joined with MOO to host a panel discussion to help emerging creatives stand out to potential employers. MOO is an award-winning online print business that is passionate about great design and the impact it can make for its customers. Panelists provided a variety of perspectives to offer their insights on what they look for while hiring.

Our Panel

  • Brian Pope, Creative Circle

  •  Lisa Vaughan Gralnek, Head of Marketing — Creatives, MOO

  •  Tim Radville, Senior Brand Designer, Continuum

  •  John McHugh, Design Director, Arnold Worldwide

  •  Mat Budelman, Product Designer, EverTrue (and AIGA President)

  •  Laura Grey, Boston University (moderator and AIGA Board Member)

Photo courtesy Ben Gebo

Photo courtesy Ben Gebo

 

Through the course of the night the panel covered topics including, crafting a resume, the evolving role of cover letters, researching potential employers, and more.

Make sure to get your work your work online. Behancedribbble, and other established platforms are good places to start. If your target is a role in web development, create your website yourself as an example of your work. Your site is there to show the breath of your taste and skills — keep private pieces off of the resume. If you get the opportunity, only show them if the conversation goes that way.

When building your resume, leave out the infographics. A strong, typographic resume will present your design skills at disseminating information much better. Unless you’re pivoting your career, an objective isn’t necessary to include. Emails are starting to somewhat take the place of cover letters, depending on how where you’re applying handles applicants. Always cater your resume and cover letter for each job you apply for. Your resume is proof you can do the job. Your cover letter differentiates yourself. Typeset the letter.

At the interview, bring new stuff. Surprise them. Leverage your work. Show more depth. Make sure to show your process and thought as well. Show your current abilities and progress. Make your strongest piece first. Curate your work and show only your best pieces. Remember at an interview that employers are looking for a good cultural fit, not just strong work.

Following an interview, you should have something to leave behind. There are no rules what it is-make it cool and different-but make sure you have one. It’ll help keep you on top of their mind. A hand-signed thank-you is always good.

Photo courtesy Ben Gebo

Photo courtesy Ben Gebo

Following the discussion, we had a Q&A session and networking reception, with food and drink provided by out hosts at Moo and beer from Harpoon Brewery.

 
Centennial Prints (Image courtesy of MOO)

Centennial Prints (Image courtesy of MOO)

 

Moo also raffled off three sets of the AIGA 100 limited edition centennial print set. For our 100th anniversary, AIGA invited 100 designers and MOO’s help to make the set. Each designer produced an image to commemorate a specific year, and MOO compiled them to create a limited edition print collection that encompasses historic events over the last 100 years through beautiful design.

Along with the print collections, Moo also raffled two vouchers to AIGA members for getting work printed.

In case you’re already AIGA member, supporter level members and above always enjoy a 10% discount on all Moo orders. For more info on this discount, and other benefits of AIGA membership, go here.

If you’ve been following their work, you can put any tips you gained from the panel and apply for a job at Moo. They currently have three openings in their Boston office:

  • Lead Graphic Designer

  •  Senior Copywriter

  •  Junior Digital Production Artist

For more details on these openings, and for others outside of Boston, visit MOO’s career page.

Thanks again to Moo Boston team and Harpoon Brewery for all their support!

Follow AIGA Boston for news on our next installment, the return of the original, Take it From Me: Speed Dating, coming up in May. We’ll be hosting local designers and mentors for a unique chance for emerging designers to sit and talk with seasoned professionals.

Photo courtesy Ben Gebo

Photo courtesy Ben Gebo

 

About Take it From Me

Take it From Me is an event series organized by AIGA Boston giving students and emerging professionals the opportunity to interact with established professionals in the design field. This initiative will encourage engagement and discussion through a range of events — including workshops, panel discussions, roundtables, lectures, networking events, studio tours, online activities, etc. — that address different aspects of the design discipline.

These events will provide newer designers the opportunity to ask questions, seek advice, and participate in career development focused activities, while giving established designers the opportunity to support the emerging design community. The Take it From Me series will create a structure that is self-perpetuating, providing tools and support for younger designers to develop rewarding careers and become tomorrow’s leaders.

Read about our last session, Take it From Me: How to Work with Printers.


Originally published at boston.aiga.org

Nick Di Stefano