Top CV tips for design professionals seeking employment

Posted by Design & Construct on 19-Nov-2015 02:17:40

If you are a design professional seeking employment, now is the perfect time to reach out to a recruitment firm such as Design & Construct. Across all areas of design including architecture, interior design, urban design, landscaping and drafting, we are finding that prospects

moving forward are excellent.

Salaries are up, candidates are in-demand and some clients are looking to sponsor people through 457 visas. The design industry has certainly bounced back well after the global financial crisis and candidates now have the opportunity to move into their dream role.

As such, CVs and portfolios are back in the spotlight.

The importance of CVs and portfolios

Although it is old-fashioned, everyone must have an up-to-date CV.

Although it is old-fashioned, everyone must have an up-to-date CV. For design professionals wanting to make a visual mark on a potential employer, a portfolio is vital as well - illustrating achievements and technical skills.

At Design & Construct, we understand that it is very rare for candidates to get an interview without a resume and portfolio. In fact, few of our clients will act on the sole advice of a recruiter - highlighting the value of a CV and portfolio.

With more than a decade of experience in this field, we have seen CV trends and practices change over recent years. Here are four that are vital for design professionals to consider.

1) Achievements and responsibilities

A number of design professionals only list projects and the relevant details. However, for a prospective employer, this doesn't give enough insight to make a positive hiring decision.

As such, it is important for candidates to describe what they actually did on the project and achieved throughout the process. From a responsibility point of view, a CV also needs to explain where candidates fitted into the hierarchy. This could cover who reported to them, who they reported to and what specific tasks they were in charge of during the project.

2) Balance the size of the portfolio

There is a fragile balance when it comes to the size of portfolio. Employers are very time-poor so taking this into consideration when creating your portfolio is critical. The optimal size of a design portfolio is 5MB. However, some candidates have submitted files as large as 37MB in the past which is simply unacceptable when time is of the essence.

Employers would prefer to see selective examples of projects in a higher-resolution file than masses of projects at a lower-resolution.

In our experience, portfolios should highlight at least one project through the different stages, for instance, hand-drawn, sketch design and concept design, contract documentation and the professionally photographed end-design.

The important point for candidates to remember is that employers don't want to see someone else's CGI images, they want to view your work which shows what you can bring to the table.

A CV should highlight key points of your career.
A CV should highlight key points of your career.

3) Linking to personal websites

A number of design professionals now have personalised websites and this can provide potential employers will a much greater insight into candidates. This avenue of promotion doesn't work on its own though and will need to be supplemented with a link from a CV and design portfolio.

Many candidates believe in having a personal brand, but this can't be at the expense of their professional work experience and job history.

4) List relevant referees

While stating 'referees provided on request' is more common on CVs these days, it isn't always the best approach.

By listing your referees from the outset, this shows confidence in what you have achieved in the past and illustrates your commitment to a new role. If the very first impression to an employer is 'Here are my referees, they are prepared to back me and what I'm saying about myself', this will set you apart from the crowd.

All listed referees need a full name, contact details, relationship description and responsibilities.

If you are seeking employment in the design sector, feel free to contact the expert team at Design & Construct for more information.