15 Tips for Design Graduates in 2021
If you’re reading this, we’re assuming that you’ve just graduated in fashion designing and are on the lookout for the way forward. Well, most people will define the way forward here with ‘Get a job.’ But, is that it? We don’t think so. The time between your graduation and your job is valuable and open to many other possibilities and many small steps. Here is a rundown of tips and actionable steps to commit to right after you graduate in fashion designing.
1. Resume and CV
This goes without saying. The first thing you do as soon as you’re out of school is build your resume and/or CV. But before you go ahead and make them, you must know the difference between the two. A resume is a concise summary of your educational and professional background along with a few important mentions like your projects and goals. On the other hand, a CV is a more detailed account of your education, professional experience, projects, and more. If you’re just starting, you just need to have an easy to read and crisp resume, highlighting your fashion background.
2. Network offline and online
Never underestimate the power of networking, whether it is online or offline. Engage in making connections, talk to peers in your industry or established professionals in your niche. Whether it is on social media, a networking group, or events, network your heart out. Learn, flaunt your learnings, and grow. Trust us, no connection ever goes to waste.
Source: Our Planetary
A platform all professionals swear by, LinkedIn is a magic tool when used wisely. Be active on the platform and update your profile regularly. Comment on relevant posts on your industry, reach out to established individuals for some advice or a lead into your desired company. Don’t beat around the bush and get straight to the point, politely and professionally.
4. Share meaningful content
Use your learnings in design school to your advantage now. Combine that with your personal opinions and values and craft meaningful and useful content. Post them on your social media and let your knowledge shine out. And, who knows? Maybe this will get you a job lead.
5. Other job finding platforms
Another obvious thing to do after you graduate! Make your profiles on job-finding platforms like LinkedIn of course, Indeed, and other options available. Keep updating your profiles there regularly and be active and alert for job updates. Keep an eye out for relevant jobs and keep connecting with people.
6. Cold emails to desired companies
This tip may be underestimated for many reasons, ineffectiveness being one, but it does work wonders! If you shoot a cold email to 10 different companies or fashion houses, you’ll surely receive reverts from at least 2 or 3 people. All you got to do is draft a simple yet engaging, to-the-point and clear email to the options researched by you. Do some research, make a list, track their respective email addresses on their websites, and shoot that cold email to them.
7. Customize your email
While you send a cold email to companies or apply for an open position, make sure you tailor your email and your resume if needed. Customize both to fit the content to the particular receiver and the exact position. Refrain from shooting one email to everyone together. When you customize your email to match the needs of the brand/business you’re applying to, your effort certainly reflects through it.
8. Build your portfolio
This one also goes almost unsaid. When you have the gift of time between your graduation and your official industry experience, use that time to work on your portfolio. Yes, you may already have one, but can you make it better? Is there scope for improvement? Can you add more character or that defining factor to it? You totally can!
On the other hand, if you don’t have a portfolio at all or have one that is not up to the mark, then it is time to build a new one. There is always room for better and while you have the time, you can certainly do that.
9. Upgrade yourself
There is never a good time to upgrade yourself, hone your skills, and learn new ones. The time for that is right now and it is always the right time, as long as you’re ready and you acknowledge the room for this upgrade. There are always some skills that you have never learnt and can adapt even if they aren’t exactly fashion related. Use this time to learn those skills and upgrade yourself. There are countless platforms available on the internet that offer free courses or paid ones with a very minimal fee. Enroll yourself and work on your existing or new skill sets. Trust us, it will never go to waste.
10. Evolve and be agile to experience
As you get ready to dive into the real world of fashion out there, you need to remember that you won’t reach the top immediately. Your journey to success, no matter what profession you’re a part of, will have some odd jobs, some difficult learnings, and some failures too. So, when you enter the professional world in fashion, do so with an open mind. Be open to jobs that may not seem as fulfilling or may not immediately attend to your professional needs. You have a long way to go and it all begins with some hustle.
11. Help to get help
Let others shine along the way, and someday, someone will help you shine out too. Well, karma is real and even if you don’t believe in it, there is no harm in helping out others reach closer to their goals. Say, if a job opportunity comes to you and you don’t think it is the right calling for you, but it deems as perfect for a friend in design. You can easily pass it on to that friend. Someday, someone else would do the same for you. And, that is how you can help others shine out to shine yourself.
12. Don’t stop learning
Learning never stops and it never should. Even if you have just graduated, you can still upgrade yourself a lot more. Education is not the only way to do so. Yes, you’ve attained formal education in fashion, but there are other mediums of learning you can engage in too. Say, books, inspiring podcasts, workshops, online courses, and more. You can not only re-educate yourself in the same niche of fashion designing but also explore other subjects in it too.
Source: Fashion Digital Marketing Agency
13. Own your uniqueness
The most important tip that is not only applicable for the current times but also in the future is this. Own your uniqueness. You are made of some qualities that everyone has but you’re also made of qualities that no one has in the world. These are the things that set you apart and make you ‘You.’ In a creative profession like fashion designing, it is your creativity that defines you and your work. And, we believe that you come with your own distinctive set of creative features too.
Identify them, understand what it is that makes you and your work so different. Understand what you do differently and own that. Let that distinctness and your unique personality shine through your work at all times. Own your uniqueness and let it also guide everything that you do and in every work that you produce.
14. Be open to failures
Again, your professional journey is not going to be a smooth ride. It is bound to come with some bumps and falls. You’ve heard enough that failures are a part of success and it may sound redundant to you at times. But, guess what? That phrase holds so much truth that it can change your entire perception of failure.
So, what if you failed at your first fashion business? So, what if you are still looking for a job? So, what if your fashion portfolio didn’t get a 100%? These things will happen at every point in your life and this doesn’t indicate failure for life. It simply means that you are still learning and there is something that you could improve to be a better person, a better designer.
15. Be patient and take it step by step
Lastly, remember that patience is key. You got to take it step by step and not look at leaping to the top sooner than you’re supposed to. Carve out a realistic and attainable goal for your designing career and don’t forget to set small goals along the way.
Nevertheless, don’t forget to seek guidance from other professionals if you feel that’s what you need. Some words of wisdom by someone who has been there can be a great catalyst for your career.