how long is too long to be unemployed?

and would being unemployed “too long” be of some concern?

It’s more a question of what was happening during that period. I’ve interviewed a few people that traveled the world for a year after graduation. Nothing wrong with that as long as you are ready to settle down and give me a couple years of great work now. I also know a designer who would work for 2-3 years and then travel for 6-12 months at a time. He did that for at least a decade and always managed to find a job when he was ready.

Basically, have a great portfolio and don’t worry about this until the interview. Then, have a better answer ready than, “I’m a horrible designer”.

If your story makes sense, I would not judge time off as a huge issue. Often times people need to take time off to help out with personal/family issues and that’s fine.

Likewise you can always tell people you were “freelancing” if your actual story had to do more with just inability or lack of desire to work.

If your portfolio and skills are still up to date and relevant that will be important. Do a couple projects on your own to keep your skills and material up to date and weave that into your story when you start to interview. IE “I took time off to recover from being a heroin addict, but I designed this great thing while I had that free time”

makes sense, if the work is good enough everything should take care of itself (provided the fit is right with company/team)…but it would be right to assume that it would be something that would need to be addressed??

that sounds rough! what was the conversation around that when you did get interviews, if any?

#YIKES! appreciate the candor of your experience, so no need to apologize! i can see how that can grind on a person, and i wish you a much easier time with the job search this time out!!

If you’re going that long without work I think you have to question a couple things:

-Are you in the right location? Some areas simply do not have design work, and at that point unless you can freelance long distance finding a job will be hard (because there aren’t any to be found).

-Are you maximizing your networks? Design conferences, meet ups, all provide opportunities to get your name out there and meet new people who might be able to help you.

-Are you actively pushing your design work in your free time, or waiting for work.

The recession in 2008-2011 was pretty rough for all jobs in general, but coming from the position of someone who looks for hires there are two possibilities:

-Your resume was blocked by an automatic filter or internal recruiter, and a real designer never saw it. That is especially common for large corporations.

-Your resume made it through, but your portfolio didn’t match the level of expectation so there was no callback

Ultimately you need to be in a market that has design work available - if you are then the next piece you really need to focus on is your portfolio. Once you’ve got a portfolio you’re really proud of and feel is competitive you can start to make contacts and work on getting your foot in the door.

…definitely not a networker- though i have had more than a few people look out for me, as such i don’t meet or stay in contact with a lot of new people and i have to admit that linkedin remains a complete mystery to me…i only recently found out that only paid membership allows for any messaging beyond requesting to join someone’s professional network…curious how/why would one’s resume be blocked or filtered out?

Certain organizations use software to hunt for key words and only bubble up those that end up with matches.

So if your resume doesn’t hit enough of those terms IE you have expertise in Creo but not “Pro-E” then you get a 0 for those terms.

I’ve seen it first hand from both internal and external recruiters who don’t have the complete picture of understanding but are meant to look for certain terms/skills or more importantly, big named companies as an indicator of skills, experience or fit.