Getting that first graduate job...

Hi, I’m looking for advice on what you guys think is the best way to get my first major product design job (in the UK). It seems pretty competitive right now and my course didn’t have the best ties with industry to help get experience. How did you make the big step?

Should I be sending specualtive applications straight to consultancies, scouring the Internet for listed jobs (not many for graduates!), trying to network and ask to hang around studios to get known, or maybe get my work noticed online to get an internship or try to get any short term unpaid work experience for a while to bulk out my portfolio?

I guess I shoud be trying all of these but I’d like to find what the most effective use of my time would be right now- should I be concentrating on improving/building my existing portfolio for the best possible applcation, work on my own new projects or maybe try to get exposure on blogs, build a website and hope they come to me? Or should I just spend time hunting for as many available jobs to apply for and send out ‘hopeful’ CVs and my current portfolio? It’s not bad but could be better!

I feel like I’ve been wasting my time so far looking for jobs when they nearly all want years of experience. I did a 4 year degree with plenty of research, learning about materials and a little bit of work experience but I’m lacking a bit on proven experience of designing for manufacture. I’m ideally looking to eventually work in a small consultancy or in-house on electronics/home appliances.

Any input would be appreciated, thanks.


When i graduated i was having similar issues finding work. While searching for full time work I also looked for internships and would enter online design competitions. I eventually landed an internship which opened a lot of doors for me. Ultimately it was recognition from online competitions and work posted here that got me my first full time job.

Good luck

Oh and post a link to your work. with out it no one can see how good you are or offer advice so you can get better.