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  1. #1
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    My biggest challenge right now is not getting another freelance project..it is employment! I got a certificate in web design back in 2000, however I retained my skills because I had a passion for doing graphic design for the web. But I didn't go to school specificially for online media design and I don't have a Bachelors Degree. On the flip side I have gained invaluable experience as a freelancer and I'm hoping that I work for a design studio as a production artist or some kind of entry-level position. The reason why is because I want to get into the door and gain plenty of company experience while I get a BA in Communications or Marketing.

    So how in the world do I sell my expertise and talents to a design studio without having an actual degree or 5-10 years of experience to back me up? I've got my resume ready, my references, my coverletter, and soon my portfolio website will be done. The only thing I don't have is a :angry: :angry: degree. My friend is an uneducated Flash artist working for big clients (or so he says) and he's never told me how he got over.

    I would love to hear some tips from you guys. Thanks!

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  3. #2
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    Have you already run into trouble trying? If not, what makes you think your resume and references won't speak for themselves? Other peoples' experiences?

  4. #3
    Senior Member raspberryh's Avatar
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    I didn't have a degree or anything, and I didn't have 5-10 years experience - I had just taken some classes in graphic design and programming. I found some crappy job off of Careerbuilder.com - all I did was show them my portfolio and they were like "You're hired."
    Then I decided, no more low-quality jobs, so I went to my school's internship and placement office, and they faxed my resume to some companies. There were a LOT of cool jobs available. I think sometimes the good companies look to the colleges and DON'T advertise in Careerbuidler or the newspaper or anything - because they don't want losers contacting them... Anyways, I got an awesome job. And, they told me later that the reason they called me in for an interview was because of the LAYOUT of my resume. It wasn't just some plain blah resume - it had style, design, etc.
    So anyways all I'm saying is I think that if you have an awesome portfolio and an awesome looking resume, then that is a good start, because it's what gets them interested. Heck, it worked for me.
    And try going to your college's placement office. They may have some really nice jobs there.
    choosy developers choose gif!
    website | paintings | blog

  5. #4
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    It's great that you're bringing up resume design because I recently did a revamp on my res that lists my skills in a highly organized way, (and everything is still on one page) and what I've also done is listed admin and museum tech jobs that aren't directly related to web design but I have gained teamwork, communication, and project related skills.

    College placement only offers unpaid internships. I have done two major internships..one was with a commercial production studio who only hired people from a select group of art colleges, since the staff and founders of this studio were alumni. You know how that goes.. My second internship was great, although it was unpaid and I was told by the art director that I need to work on my skills more until they hire me for temporary projects. Projects are OK, but it doesn't compare to a steady entry-level job. RaspberryH, do you know where on the web I can find a huge majority of entry-level web/design jobs? I've explored Careerbuilder and I agree that there are no results there.

    And as for the coverletter..I want to convince employers that even though I don't have a BA in Graphic Design or Marketing, (yet) I can still rise to the occasion, learn from and assist the big dogs.

  6. #5
    Senior Member raspberryh's Avatar
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    Hmmm, that's weird - w/ my college, most of the internships they get you are paid... I don't even know if they have any unpaid ones. The students just expect them to be paid...
    Well I don't know where on the web you can find a nice job then, because that's not where I found mine... Maybe you should just send your resume and cover letter to a bunch of web design companies, because if they are looking for people, I would think that they'd do it through word of mouth rather than the classifieds or Careerbuilder, so I don't think you'd find them in there. Or, maybe even walk in, in person, and hand them your resume. Oooh, WITH a few printed portfolio samples - like print out some of your website designs on some nice photo paper and hand that in with your resume. That way you'd catch their eye.
    I think the most important part is the presentation. Nice looking resume, and nice portfolio...
    choosy developers choose gif!
    website | paintings | blog

  7. #6
    Senior Member planetgman's Avatar
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    If you don't have a great portfolio, you won't get looked at. Every job you apply for has dozens and dozens (if not hundreds) of people applying for it.
    Your portfolio needs to stand out.
    Plus, you had an internship tell you that you needed to work on your skills. On top of that, you don't have an online portfolio up yet.......you just aren't ready to go out and compete with the degrees and 5-10 years experience.
    You can, but you need to do everything you can to market yourself BETTER than the next person. You don't seem to be doing that.
    I have a degree, but it is in business mgmt. It has nothing to do with design/development. I have never lost a gig because I didn't have a degree. I lost them because somebody else was better prepared than I was.

    You need to quit comparing yourself to the designers with a degree. Plus, if you have anything referencing that you don't have a degree in your cover letter, you are just drawing attention to it yourself.
    Forget it, quit dwelling on it, and execute. When you are "interviewing" remember the 5 P's:
    Preparation (have everything ready to be shown)
    Practice (take some test interviews with a friend)
    Pitch (make your pitch, make it flow, don't stutter or hesitate)
    Projects (projects you've worked on and your expertise)
    Portfolio (print and online, look professional)

    I almost want to say get off your @ss and go make something happen. If you need some projects for your portfolio, go out and do some for free or make your own.
    Forget the degree. You can have 10 degrees and you know who is going to get hired? The person with the best work/portfolio.

    For entry level stuff (jobs and temp gigs) go to craigslist. I use it all the time when I am looking for a project for my portfolio or when I hire a new designer.

    Good luck........
    GMan


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