March 27th, 2008
We are looking for talent. High-caliber senior level design talent, and it is not an easy task. We spent over $500 on posting the job to some of the best industry sites and have received over 200 replies within 48 hours. I took on the task of reviewing the replies myself, I wanted to get a feel for the market. I taught a Portfolio class at Art Center College of Design last term, and I hold lectures to soon-to-be graduates about the ‘real world’, so I wanted to feel that world and also see if it has changed given the current economy crisis.
The shocking truth is that I had to delete 95% of all applicants based on everything BUT their talent. E-mails had crazy large attachments (28MB files anyone?), they started with the greeting of ‘Hey’, some did not have a url or any samples attached so there was not even a way to review work, but most had too many typos for comfort. One even managed to put in a ‘competitor’s’ company name in front of ours – he must have sent mass mailings out and screwed up when trying to personalize it.
How can professional designers who are in the market of creating corporate identities, not be aware that they themselves are a brand. And in these 95%, the brand loyalty has been lost even before there was a chance given to gain it. Take a job market that is extremely competetive, an economy that is in the slump, a profession that seeks extreme perfectionists and pair it with the design generation that is applying and I start questioning not only the public school system, but some of the most respected, and pricey, private colleges. Change is needed, and I will be voicing it in every single class i will teach, and I will tell soon-to-be design graduates what they can NOT expect with such behaviour: A job.