this is what i did…
i’m applying for jobs out of state; i find out the names of design/hiring manager; send them a CD of my sample portfolio, with resume and cover letter; i wait about a week before contacting them to see if they’ve received the package (unless they call me first); i plan on emailing them instead of phone calls.
does that sound right to you guys?
i dont apply to every consultancy/corp i can find in that city, just ones i like (based on their work); and i’m sending them samples on CD format because its too expensive to send laser printed material for every place u apply to.
yeah that should work, I always contact the design director / manager and completely bypass the HR department. Typically if you are talking to the HR manager of the company for anything other than signing paperwork and getting your benefits package you are wasting your time. They don’t get it.
One thing to do (if you aren’t already) is since you are studying their work make comments about how their work influenced you to write to them. The more personal and less “form letter” your contacts seem, the better responses you should get.
As a design manager, you would not believe the number of form letters I have received. They usually go immediately into the round file. The typical thought is “You spend no time talking to me directly, I spend no time on you”. It sounds harsh, but you are being judged on your personality and attention to others just as much as you resume or portfolio, at least in my experience. Other may have different opinions.
…if you really admire a project the firm has done, then you could approach a first contact as one id to another kind of thing and keep up a dialog via e-mail on their process and the design decisions they made along the way…yadda, yadda, yadda…cultivate a personal relationship at any level the other person is willing to permit and go from there…
in my experience e-mails are too easy to miss, ignore, blow off, etc. if you are going to e-mail follow up with a phone call (this ofcourse means you have to be ready to talk)
A small piece of advice I received while still in school was that many firms/designers dont take the time or effort to slide in a c.d. and view it, it is much more convenient for them to flip through something that tangible such as a book or cards.
definately do a follow up call, i know of some designers that get upwards of 200-300 emails a day.
If you decide to send a c.d. a nice little preview of what they may view via hard copy would be nice.
also, be “professionally” persistent with follow up calls, avoid being annoying.
Many places don’t even want CDs. If you are just sending a sample, send a hard copy. Make it compact and neat, no need to be fancy, so that they can pass it around in the studio.
just send an email with a link to your online portfolio (u should have an online sample). I never want phone calls, its more disturbing than helpful. For me if I see somethimng I like I email back, you cant shoehorn your way in the door. I have had that happen and it always leaves a bad taste in my mouth, either you pop or you dont, so just make sure you pop with that initial contact. also in that email, it better be written for me, some people just send a blank mail with a link to their coroflot site, no way.