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5 Things to avoid when applying for a design job

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

Words by Erin, Digital Design Media Manager.

We receive about 120 job applications per year (and that’s when we’re not actively hiring!) so I think we can safely say, we’ve seen it all. Here, creative director, Bec reveals the most common mistakes designers make when vying for a role. So save yourself some time and some heartache and take notes, now!

1. Composing your CV in Word

Your CV is your most important piece of self-advertising, and the first impression you create. And if it’s unpolished or unimpressive, it very well may be the last. As a creative person, the biggest mistake you can make is putting this key communicator into a word processing document. “Word is a clunky program,” Bec says.“Even though we aren’t graphic designers, we look for good presentation in a CV.” So make it very visual. Switch to Photoshop, a program you are probably more comfortable with, anyway!

2. Including too much information

Keep your work history and job skills to the bare minimum. Include only the most important facts about you, and those most relevant to the job you are applying for. Use dot points, breathing space, and scannable headlines.

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3. Offering your CV and portfolio on request

You have but two seconds to make a good impression. If you don’t include a CV and portfolio on first contact then it won’t ever get a look in.  The recruiter will skip past you, straight to the next applicant (who has included their work and a summary of their work history). If you’re worried about the potential size of the file, compress them or email the link to your portfolio.

4. Showing only school work in your folio

It’s okay to include some of the projects you completed in school. But mix it up with designs you did in your downtime.“We want to see what you do when you have complete creative freedom,” Be says. “It says a lot more about you and your skills.

5. Getting company details wrong

Double check all spelling, address information and contact names before shooting your application across. Research the company history, what service it provides and it’s key clients before entering an interview. Are you pronouncing the company name correctly?  Ours is easy to trip up on. It’s pronounced “Long-gee-na Phillips.” ‘Gee’ as in geese. These mistakes are so easy to make but unfortunately, they can really stand out to a recruiter. Do your best to be accurate but if you happen to trip up, just smile and forgive yourself. A sweet apology will be even more memorable!

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