Rejection Emails from companies

Maybe I just respect honesty more than the corporate “thanks but not at this time” line… but why don’t companies just tell you why they won’t consider you for a job (i.e…your portfolio sucks or you don’t know X software etc…). This is a question discussed among people I know and I just wanted to bring it here also.

Because it is easier and cheaper to get a secretary to send out a standard rejection email over personalised emails from the interviewer?

Also, if you reeealllly didn’t like the interviewee, I guess it would be a little harsh to say so directly.

Sometimes people don’t want to burn bridges. And portfolios don’t tell everything so it would be bad to make a complete judgement. They may have a need in the future, even if it’s monkey work and they just need a body. Portfolios and young designers are constantly changing. So you may have a crappy one now, but in 3 months what you show them could impress them. They’re looking for potential a lot of the times. So depending on your skill level, you won’t even get considered until they see a couple of portfolios from you, to see your growth.

From your corefolio, I would stay away from so much 3-d modelling unless you want to end up in the monkey seat. You have to develop your ideas more if you want to be hired to come up with ideas.

Just to illustrate what I mean, here’s a little improptu project critique. I’m sorry because this wasn’t asked for but this type of thinking will improve your portfolio:

-The lighted skateboard, cool initial idea, gotta see the road, avoid obstacles, seeing the rail you’re sliding on at sunset, etc…that’s all good. But the execution isn’t refined. Think about this, who is the client, who is going to manufacture this? Will it be Burton or Gravis or whoever it is that makes skateboards (excuse my ignorance of the market) or will it be Black+Decker who makes lights?
-Now the skateboard guys who specialize mostly in wheels and axels, do I trust them with ELECTRICITY and lights with something that may very well get wet? It’s just perceptual from a consumer p.o.v., but I’d rather trust Black+Decker to have an electrical thing that could withstand water. But do I want to putt around on a Black+Decker skateboard? Don’t think so unless I want to get beat up by the other skaters.

-What you have is a hybrid that aims but doesn’t hit any targets. Who’s using it? Is it the hardcore boarders that do the tricks? Will they buy another board just for the lighting aspect while the design of it keeps them from doing all those tricks the do unless they risk getting their foot caught on that hook thingy?
Or is it just for transport, if so I wouldn’t think it would fly because skateboards are such an inefficient means of transport. I’d rather get a bike so I don’t end up with only one toned buttcheek. So it looks like the market would be the more intense “skateboard 4 lifers” cult guys. They live on the board, optimising it for them would be your best bet and biggest consumer that would pay extra for that.

-So now the question is, how do you get light on the road while not interfering with what they do already with the flips and pole sliding, etc…? And would someone buy a new board just for the purpose of light? I don’t think so, I would think in this market, board performance is key.
So what would I say this needed to evolve to conceptually? Something that can attach to any existing skateboard without major modifications and that doesn’t in any way change how the user has to skate. No humps or hooks on the platform for the feet, just asking for trouble. They flip the boards and slide down railings, etc… and they have their techniques, whatever you design shouldn’t increase risk of tripping and falling or add a new risk of getting electrocuted.

So your challenge would be to find the sweetspot that isn’t in danger for a light attachment. One that could go on easily without modifying the boards shape and that would stay rock solid secure wherever it went. That’s open ended enough for you to take it a couple of ways. Whether the light is built into the same form somehow or is attached in an unobtrusive place like on the axel or whatever cool way you come up with to do it. All the while keeping in mind the abuse these things get and the hardcore boarders and how they use them. You want to add a cool factor not a geek factor.

That’s the next level it could’ve gone to during the time it took to make the computer rendering, that’s the main reason I bring it up. Don’t do 3-d models of unresolved designs unless you only want to show your modelling ability.

-Same kinda goes for the device for the blind. First thing I say is why are the buttons colored for a blind person? Granted that could just be for standout purposes for the portfolio, hard to see the details in a big black box that just relies on shape + texture (for the blind). Then you have a new challenge of how to effectively show that in a portfolio, if that’s even possible. But having those colors detracts from your idea. Might make someone flip past it just because they don’t like the look without even finding out what it’s for.

The only thing I see is that you know 3-d programs. But I don’t see good judgement calls on some key design issues. When you do your next iteration of your portfolio, for the new projects, try to keep all of the “big picture” issues in mind from who the “imaginary client” is and how it’ll satisfy them, down to how the end user is going to realistically interact with the product and how their issues are solved. It’ll GREATLY increase your odds of getting call backs, much more than the 3-d models unless you just want to model other peoples ideas.
Sorry for the tangent, just thought some comments would help. I’d imagine if the companies were to give you a “why” it would be similar to these things I brought up.

Places won’t generally tell you why they won’t consider you unless it’s something they already think you can improve on with just a little motivation. That, and if they really like something else you’re good at, so then you just need that “one key thing” to make you a good buy. Hopefully what I said can be of some help to you. Keep on pushing and keep doing projects on your own for the portfolio. I have 7 yrs exp and still redid my portfolio 3 times last year. If something isn’t working, dont’ be afraid to scrap it and do something new. Every new iteration is probably going to be better than the last, then they’ll call you. Good luck

Because we don’t have time to reply to the hundereds of applications individually. We’re already overworked, that’s why we’re hiring.

Now if you get the form-letter treatment after an actual interview, that’s a bit rude.

There is no incentive for companies and firms to critique each portfolio submitted to them. If they don’t like it, they will move on to the next one until they find something they like. Reviewing portfolio takes time, and it is not a part of their job to educate each submitters, unless they have close tie with schools, or training organization, where they might see that as an investment.

Your school should be reviewing your work. If you want feedbacks from someone outside, try contacting someone from IDSA. Also, Skinny spent some time reviewing your work, and that is rare. I think he made many good points for you to improve your work.

Good luck.

Thanx matt. My views were strictly my own, some may agree, some may not. I’ve actually been contacted by mfd, clarifying some of his design objectives. But I’ll also have to agree, you won’t find to many firms to take the time to give you a critiq unless there’s already a personal connection. They have no reason to, it takes time, etc… It’s really hard when you get out of school, no crit network like in school. That’s where core can be very helpful, as long as it doesn’t turn into a bashing party. Hopefully more people here will take time to give honest critics, help make the world a better place, all that hand-holdin singin in harmony mush. Keep pushin, don’t give up, adapt and survive.