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Beyond the Portfolio

Being a part of AIGA gives me the best opportunities to expand my horizons in the professional world. With events like this, the learning never ends, and I love it! AIGA’s Beyond the Portfolio event at ADG Creative allowed me to hear from a panel of professionals about the details of hiring in the creative workplace. The panel split up common questions and concerns into four different topics that they discussed: resumes, the hiring process, federal work opportunities and a miscellaneous category, which focused a lot on social media presence.

Here are just a few of the things I learned:

You will be judged by the worst thing you submit. If it’s not worthy, leave it out.

It is important to keep resumes simple since the information will need to be digested at a glance. That being said, say no to infographics! Nobody has time to decipher them. Keep things clean, simple and straightforward and remember that every word is a conscious decision you make. Even if you don’t have a lot of design experience, the way you describe other jobs or opportunities can almost always relate back to the job you’re applying for.

One of the most important things to do to prepare for an interview is to research the company and bring your own notes and questions along. This shows your interest in the company and that you are eager to understand everything as best you can. Talk about your nondesign side as well to help the interviewers learn who you are as a person beyond your portfolio. A thank you is necessary after an interview either through email or a written note (as long as you get it in the mail the same day)!

This event as a whole was helpful in giving advice on things to do to help us when we are applying for jobs in the future. I enjoyed hearing from professionals who deal with applications, interviews, portfolios, and new employees on a daily basis. It made everything they said feel very relevant and accurate, even when their opinions differed slightly. Questions that have been floating around in my head finally got answered. Hearing reassurance from professionals at this event boosted my confidence and made me feel more secure about entering the real world after graduation. The date is fast approaching!

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