In my downtime I’m working on my portfolio in preparation for the rush for internships next spring, but even if my work ends up being perfect (which I am in no way claiming), it won’t help me if no one knows I’m out there. So what methods do you guys recommend when it comes to getting your name out in the design world? I’m currently refining my Coroflot account, I have a Behance account, and I’m following all of the design firms I could find on twitter. Are there more ways that you recommend to gain exposure? Does anyone have a good place to look for design competitions? Or do you guys think that this does not really matter as I head out pounding the pavement looking for internships next spring?
Competitions are a good way to take on more projects for your porftolio and explore designing things your program might not otherwise expose you to. You will get limited exposure to whoever is judging the submissions and if you win will usually get some good press and something to put on your resume, but that’s about it.
Coroflot portfolios are great, but along they don’t do a ton for your exposure unless you also use Coroflot’s social networking tools. So, if you want to get known there it’s good to give people likeys and follow others. What’s nice is that Coroflot allows you to track your portfolio’s traffic stats so you can see if you’re getting hits. I started being more active on there and my traffic skyrocketed.
If you have the means it’s also good to go to conferences like IDSA to network and meet more professionals, take advantage of portfolio reviews, etc.
Post your stuff up onto the interwebs, like on Core77. Post projects, in progress stuff, join the discussions and say smart things. Be active and participate!
Don’t just follow people on Twitter… tweet your own stuff (not random stuff… interesting stuff people will want to read). Blog about design and your thoughts…
While we’re on the subject, what about for design engineers? I’ve been looking for a design engineering job or internship in New York for 5 months now and I can’t even get an interview. It seems like designers can get viral appeal, etc., but how do you make yourself stand out as an engineer? It seems most jobs go by experience, but how the hell do I get experience if no one will even interview me for an internship? I’m not some hack, either, I have a year and a half of experience working for a heavy industry engineering firm, I had good grades in college, and am a member in a number of honor societies (though none that seem like they can help me network with product design engineers). I’m not a shut in, either, but of everyone I’ve met, not a SINGLE person seems to know any engineers.
Post it in this thread. Let’s see it. No better way to show your work than in a form of over 10,000 members.
As suggested above, you can take part in design competitions.
The other way, you can create your own design concepts, up to a certain level and post them to design portals.
Have a look at Yanko Design, Tuvie … a huge amount of the designs there are concepts. These portals give you some exposure, if the product you created and send to Yanko, Tuvie … has “hit the nerve of the time”, your product will be published on numerous blogs, websites … around the world in just a vew hours/ days. This way you would have a world wide exposure!
Talk about yourself in the third person at design parties.
I would also suggest getting out to - or volunteering at - as many design related events as possible.
An online presence and portfolio are valuable, but face to face contact and familiarity still goes a long way.