Getting a job...

I’ve been trying to get into design since I graduated last year. I’ve got a degree in industrial design and a diploma in consumer product and transport design. I’ve accumulated a list of about 50 design companies with email and postal addresses and I’m sure I could get more phone numbers. I’ve decided that I’m going to send out a cover letter, CV and sample portfolio to the majority of them via snail mail.
As I really would like to start a career in design, I’m tempted to offer to work for them at a very cheap rate just to get my foot in the door. Is this recommended or would it make me just sound desperate (which I am…)?

I would greatly appreciate any feedback or suggestions (or job offers)

read this for a starter:

http://www.coroflot.com/public/help_first_job.asp

also my tip would be to prioritise your list of firms, and contact them with a phone call first. You will get a good indicator of what they are currently looking for. Work experience helps allot so you might have to work your way up in small steps.

As for advertised jobs in the UK try:

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (http://www.ktponline.org.uk/) are also pretty good but can be hard to come by. You get a job with a long project along with some training budget to improve your skills.

oh, have you put your portfolio on http://www.coroflot.com/ yet? You can use this to see what your up against.

good luck

Do you have any contacts you made during school that could help you? A huge part of getting your foot in the door is who you know. Professors, classmates, random strangers from the internet, etc. Cold calling/mailing places that aren’t looking to hire should be a bit of a last resort.

You want to sound legitimately interested in a position. Lots of designers will take a job in a field they hate because they need the money, but that won’t be hugely advantageous to your career. You also don’t want to sell yourself short. Saying “I’ll work for $5 an hour” may appeal to some employers, but those aren’t the people you want to be working for. You want to show you’re a good designer, and have confidence in your work, not show up as someone elses whipping boy.

keep at it bud, and don’t be disheartened. Sometimes, as I found out, you just have to be in the right place at the right time.