Sorry, We Want Someone With Experience

I deal with résumés and interviews from time to time.

Hopeful graphic designers, fresh out of design school.

They don’t stand a chance.

I’ve hired enough newbies to know it’s very risky. Chances are you’ll have trouble dealing with the workload. If that doesn’t get you, the deadlines will. Can you be creative eight hours a day, 5 days a week? Have you tried it? It’s tougher than you think. Will you break down in tears if I dump 4 hours worth of work on your desk at 4PM on a Friday?

Your degree does not impress me either. I lectured at a design school for long enough to know how out of touch those guys are. All schools are not the same, but I am yet to find one that truly prepares its students for the reality of design work.

No, I want experience. A designer who’s been there, done that and who came out the other side wanting more.

But how do you gain experience if experience is a standard job requirement in graphic design?

Look, I know it seems unfair to you, but the design firm needs to turn a profit. I have a responsibility towards myself, my family and my employees. I feel sorry for you. I would like to hire you, but hiring you might sink the ship. If you can’t carry your load, everyone around you will feel it. We’re all at capacity already. I’m not risking it.

What’s that? You can carry your load?

You’ll prove it if someone will give you a shot?

No, see, we all start out thinking that. You need to prove it first.

On your own time.

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