Question by : Any tips for finding an interior design job after graduation?
I am a recent graduate in the field of interior design in the twin cities area. I have sent letters, resumes and work samples to what seems like fifty different design firms and companies with no luck. It seems like nobody is hiring right now. Does anybody have any insight to share that might help me get my foot in the door somewhere? Please help!
Answer by DianaS
First of all, it is great that you are reaching out for help. As a fellow interior designer, I know it is an incredibly tough market out there. A few recommendations from my own job searching experience.
1) Reach out to the sales reps( for furniture, carpet, fabrics, etc.) They often have the best insights on which firms are hiring and which have had layoffs. If you don’t know any reps, call the manufacturers and find out who they are in your area.
2)Stay active. Attend every interior design related event you possibly can and introduce yourself to at least 5 new people each time. Get business cards printed up so that you can easily exchange your contact information with people. IIDA, ASID, and IFMA are all great organizations to connect with and they have events frequently. For most events you do not have to be a member of their organization but you may have to pay a small fee. Trust me though, the fees are worth it. The best way to get a job is through a contact.
3)Volunteer. Call the professional organizations, furniture showrooms and design firms and offer to volunteer. A few hours a week helping with admin work or helping update a firms library could end up landing you a job. Also, calling local non profits and asking if they are in need of design help is a great way to stay active and add things to your portfolio.
4) Follow Up. After you make a contact with anyone, follow up with them via phone or email. Don’t ask for a job, but ask for advice. People are always happy to meet with you and offer suggestions if they know you are not going to hound them for a job. And they will keep you in mind if they are ever in the position to hire and if they hear of anything. Make sure to send thank you notes to anyone who has provided you with information or guidance.
5) Stay positive. It is a really tough market out there. There are lots of people in the same boat and it may be awhile before things get back to where they used to be. Reach out to others in your school’s alumni group who may be in a similar situation and get together to share ideas and resources.
Best of Luck!
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