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Re: Portfolio Review

PostPosted: May 4th, 2015, 4:12 pm
by Sketchgrad
bepster wrote:Hey David,

As stated before, your portfolio is really strong. And you have also demonstrated tenacity in the way you have continuously polished it.
That being said, I think there are still details that can be tightened up.

What you are experiencing is very frustrating.
I know, as I have had almost a year of travels across Europe and to both US coasts and then crickets.
All of a sudden however, the most amazing opportunity opened up and kick started my career.

Obviously it's hard to make any comments or assumptions as to how you carry yourself in interviews but you seem self aware and contemplative so if there would be anything that might trigger a negative impression, I would believe that you can identify and correct this.

You ask if another internship is the answer. That of course depends on the situation but for me, this was definitely the right decision.
Though the trainee position in SF was much more of a jr designer role than a classic internship, with a clear goal to convert to fulltime and a salary that reflected this.

Are you only answering postings or are you also cold calling firms and studios?

So there isn't much more advice I could give then to keep at it and not give up.

Thanks for the reply Bengt, yes there are a couple of things I'm aware need to be addressed but as it stands I believe I'm a decent candidate so all this rejection is starting to wear thin. It's like I've finally got to a point that my work turns heads the right way, now I've got to learn how to give a good interview!

My job search has been a bit of a mix ranging from answering job postings on external sites, answering job postings on the companies site, cold emailing, and through recruiters. The recruiter positions have been decent but some have been vanished in to thin air, for example I had a Skype interview with your current employer for the Ireland office and didn't hear anything back and had no contact info as it was through the recruiter.

I've also reached out to individuals in firms and I can pretty quickly knock together an eloquent email to introduce myself, some success here but usually its to inform me there is nothing open. I haven't needed to cold call much to date although maybe I should start getting some voice time with the studios/people that aren't answering emails.

One thing that has happened twice and left me quite flustered is I've been rejected for a position I've interviewed for and then a few days later see the positions advertised on various job boards. This happened this week for a position I was very eager to get and even had to do a 10 day tester project to present on a second interview. I was informed "other candidates are more suited to our needs", yet five days later theres a fresh post asking for new applicants.

On the one hand I can understand I've not demonstrated what they were looking for, but as this is my future and involved a significant investment of time and money from myself it leaves me very frustrated.

It's also a catch 22 regarding internships/gaining more experience. I'm not opposed to the idea of being full-time freelance or even an intern with a decent amount of responsibility but it is difficult to lay those cards on the table if this one might just be the one that is offering a full-time junior position if that makes sense?

Re: Portfolio Review

PostPosted: May 5th, 2015, 8:15 am
by enjey_w
Given your past experience and high quality work, I'm wondering if what's letting you down is how you present yourself during interviews (rather than *what* you present). It's unfortunate because we can't really critique it over the boards.

However..... One of the most valuable things my university offered me was the opportunity to mock interviews with HR managers and Project Leaders from real firms, where they'd give you really frank advice immediately after, or even during the interview - I found out a whole heap of things I was doing wrong that I'd never have picked otherwise.

In Australia at least, there's several firms that offer a similar service (for a small fee of course), and I can't imagine it'd be different in other countries. While you might have trouble finding a firm that specifically covers ID interviews, getting good critique might be really valuable.

Re: Portfolio Review

PostPosted: May 5th, 2015, 9:14 am
by bepster
That my current employer hasn't been more responsive to you as to why you weren't selected isn't great.
All I can say is that we are interviewing and hiring a lot of people right now during this time of re-structuring.

While this is not an excuse, it might be an explanation.

I think Nick's suggestion in the previous post isn't a bad suggestion.
Find people in the business that have no connection or bias towards you and conduct a mock interview. It might very well be quite telling.

From my own experience, I can say that establishing a personal connection instantly is oh so important.
For my first gig in SF, I was grossly under-qualified. To the point where I was wondering if they messed up and hired the wrong guy.
I was later told that it was indeed the way I came across in the interviews and what I had to say about my philosophy towards design, that won them over.
Later I just had to catch up as quickly as I could to stay afloat and repay the faith. But that is of course the fun part :wink:

Re: Portfolio Review

PostPosted: May 5th, 2015, 3:17 pm
by Sketchgrad
Apologies Bengt, it wasn't meant as a jab at your current employer but more so an example of dealing with recruiters. As I'm not directly dealing with the employer it is left down to a third party to keep up communication and all the usual chasing up/thank you's get cut. Also when I spoke with the Ireland office my portfolio was in a bit of a sorry state so it wasn't surprising!

I also agree with Nick though and must admit presentations mixed with talking about myself is one of my weaknesses. Even during crits in school I dreaded my turn to show this weeks work to my tutor and a small group of peers. It'd be more of a "well I did this, and looked in to that but what do you think, is it any good?" rather than being more confident and saying "I went down this path, which took me to here and this is where I'm currently going"

I'll look in to some sort of interview technique professional, I've been meaning to take an improv class too in order to enhance my public speaking but unfortunately its the chicken and the egg situation - I need a job to pay for this stuff but without it I can't get the job!

Re: Portfolio Review

PostPosted: May 7th, 2015, 11:16 am
Sketchgrad wrote: It'd be more of a "well I did this, and looked in to that but what do you think, is it any good?" rather than being more confident and saying "I went down this path, which took me to here and this is where I'm currently going"

I'll look in to some sort of interview technique professional, I've been meaning to take an improv class too in order to enhance my public speaking but unfortunately its the chicken and the egg situation - I need a job to pay for this stuff but without it I can't get the job!

That's quite important, it isn't only the work you do, but how you explain it the design and the process to others. Back your design intentions with logic, explanations and facts; give them a reason to be that way, how did you find out that was the best solution. You could practice with some friends, we used to do that at uni, I don't see why you couldn't do the same now.

I'd also recommend you to ask friends from uni or previous jobs whether their company is looking for someone, that's how I got my current position. Having a good network is quite important as well.

I would like to give you some feedback on the portfolio, but internet is quite slow at the moment here. I'll if I can take a look during the weekend.

Cheers and good luck!


Re: Portfolio Review

PostPosted: March 14th, 2017, 7:57 am
by lucky96
Sketchgrad wrote:So I thought it was time I got some much needed feedback on my current portfolio that I have been working on and using in my job search.

I've had a couple of incredible interviews recently and whilst I wait for feedback/job offers I would like to get the esteemed opinion of the board.

The first iteration of my portfolio I did when I graduated and went on the job hunt never really got the reception I wanted, it was too wordy and lacked important skills such as sketching, CAD, rendering and model making etc.

This time I've tried to keep it as clean as possible with minimal text and showcasing as many different skill sets that I've either picked up or enhanced in my time in the professional world.

Personally and being self critical I feel it's missing a "clever" project of Event Photography Companies that involves a bit more research. Also, I know the sketching still needs to be improved by developing a style and becoming a bit "looser" in what I showcase (trust me its a lot better than what it was two years ago).

I'm working on adding new projects, redoing a few old ones (such as the Harley Camera recently). But as it stands I'd love to get everyones opinion on things I'm doing right, and on things I'm not.

I send it out as a PDF but for the sake of everyone here I hope that a link to my Behance suffices:

Thanks in advance!

I can see your style shinning through in your work. Personally, I can't critique your art, because I don't feel qualified to give you feedback on abstract. In your photography I can see your artistic style. You have vision, and great ideas.

Re: Portfolio Review

PostPosted: April 16th, 2017, 4:48 pm
by Sketchgrad

I actually had forgotten this was still up here until it popped into the top whatever threads.

The one posted originally was from backend of 2014 and into 2015.

I did redo my portfolio to reflect a more mature style which can be viewed on Behance here:

I also finally got round to doing a website after many years of not having one: