On Tuesday, I was flying high and feeling pretty grateful at the experiences I was having. And I still am. I followed up with the CEO of Yoo and he forwarded me on to the Head of Design, as promised. Still no word back from the Head of Design. Although, it has only been less than 24 hours. All you creative types out there – I need your assistance. What can I do to stand out from the crowd and get his attention? Is there something I could mail perhaps? Something creative and outside the box? I’m sure they get resumes and applicants all the time, particularly after the talk I listened to yesterday, but more on that later. I’d love some ideas on how to show them that I am the right person for their company. Here’s their website in case that helps spark any creative juices: www.yoo.com
So yesterday, I attended the Clerkenwell Design Week. Apparently, Clerkenwell has more architecture firms per square metre than anywhere else in the UK. There are so many amazing resources and suppliers in the area. I was in design heaven wandering around.
I attended one talk that was geared towards recent graduates who are looking for work. I have one word to summarize the discussion – grim. I was actually laughing at the end at the shear lack of compassion that the panel of “experts” had towards these young people who are following their dreams. I found myself wanting to intervene and inspire them rather than knock them down a few notches. I understand that reality is what it is – economy, blah, blah, blah. So why not tell them how to stand out, how to differentiate themselves, how to target a niche area of the market, how to be creative, how to start their own practice? Anything is better than the hopelessness that most of them left with. I found myself being included in this group. The panel unanimously agreed that it was a bad time for graduates and a time of incredible competitiveness for a general lack of jobs. The recruiter from a big firm, Gensler, said that they had 800 applicants for 12 positions for graduates. By the way, don’t bother applying if you aren’t a new graduate. They will simply toss your resume if you have any experience.
I asked the question about the recruitment process through agencies, since there was one agency recruiter on the panel. I find it tricky to stand out when you’re applying for jobs and you don’t know what company you’re specifically targeting. How can you tailor your resume, cover letter and portfolio to such a generic job description? He said it didn’t matter for me. Since I’m Canadian and have no UK experience, they (meaning: agencies) won’t look at my resume anyways. Thanks! I had no idea that Interior Design is Rocket Science. I’m pretty sure I can get a handle on the whole imperial to metric conversion, and that I can start to get an idea of where to source from without too much inconvenience to an employer. In fact, what if my lack of pre-conceived ideas actually assists me in more creative solutions or finding different materials to work with? What if my experience in another country was seen as a benefit and not a hindrance? I’m up for the challenge and willing to go above and beyond.
In summary, I kind of wish I didn’t attend the session yesterday. Although, at least now I have more insight into the hiring process. I don’t want the advice to pigeon hole me and stop me from trying different tactics. Sometimes ignorance is bliss and a lack of knowledge pushes you to try things rather than just take one person’s word for the way things are. I won’t be stopped in my pursuit of my dream job!