Designers helping designers
Entering the design field is intimidating and competitive. It can feel like everyone is only looking out for themselves, however, that is far from the case.
As I start my job search process, I am making sure that I not only tailor my application package for each position I apply to, but that I also reach out to the head of the department, or who I believe will be a part of the hiring decision.
Here are three things that I have already learned can have a positive impact from sending a personalized email to the head of the department you are applying for.
The head of the design department (Director, Lead UX Designer, Manager, etc.) could potentially push your resume forward and directly ask a recruiter to schedule a chat with you. When this happened to me, it was not only a confidence boost, but I felt like I had a bit of an "in," because the recruiter knew that the head of the department already liked something about my candidacy for the role.
You still might not get the job or even an interview, but you could have a new and valuable connection. There are plenty of emails I have sent that have gone unnoticed or without a reply. However, by sending a personalized email, I knew that they at least knew my name, and asking to connect via LinkedIn was that much easier.
They could offer you some great resume or portfolio advice. I had an instance where the individual I emailed told me upfront that he was not the person who the role I applied for would direct to, however, he still sent me advice on how I can improve my resume to help me with future applications. Not only did I revise my resume, but I sent it back to him so that he knew that I took his advice and applied it. He is continuing to provide further feedback, and his advice has helped me more than he probably realizes.
Designers who are already in the profession know the challenge junior designers face when trying to break their way into the field because they've been there themselves. In most cases, they want to lend a helping hand.
In an industry that is so difficult for new designers to get started in, all designers must support each other and encourage one another to keep on going.