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Students ask the experts at Design Careers Day

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DSC00817 copy

Written by
Josh De Souza Crook
Published date
06 April 2017

The latest Design Careers Day, hosted by LCF’s Careers Team, happened in March and drew large crowds with a chance to network and learn from international industry experts. With representatives from designer brands LVMH, Kering Group, Vivienne Westwood, and Jimmy Choo to high street giants Inditex, Urban Outfitters, Karen Millen, and Hobbs, offering an unmissable chance to ask the experts about all things careers.

As well as a Careers Fair in RHS West from 11am-3pm, the Day also featured talks covering Effective Networking and Public Speaking from broadcaster and LCF lecturer Kath Melandri, Selling Successfully with the Student Enterprise Team and bespoke portfolio advice drop-ins with Eyes on Talent too. All three schools were invited to the event, which saw students queuing to speak to with the speakers and representatives.

In case you missed out, we asked the employers for top tips on what they like to see from applicants – what makes a good application stand out, what skills you should be looking to gain now ready for the workplace, and just how to make your portfolio impress.

  • Get to know the brand

Want to make your applications successful? Get up close and personal with the company you’re applying for. What do they believe in, what is their position in the market, what is their aesthetic? In your cover letters, CVs and portfolios, make sure you reflect the brand you’re applying for, share their mindset and show your knowledge for them specifically. Many companies preferred speaking to students with questions already prepared – it shows direction.

  • Your CV speaks for you

We’ve heard it time and time again, one page CVs please – any longer, and they probably won’t be read! If you’re applying for a creative role, be creative with your one page. It’s as much part of your application as your portfolio so make sure it’s showcasing your skills and your own style.

  • Scale up your skills

Key skills for the future were highlighted as languages (think about where the company is looking to grow), and technical experience with software as well as more traditional artistic skills (Adobe Creative Suite being highly sought after too). It’s important to show you’re an ‘all-rounder’ – commercially savvy as well as creative.

Companies including Hobbs, Urban Outfitters, and Karen Millen highlighted portfolios as particularly crucial in showing not only your technique but your style too, so we asked Lauren from My Folio for advice how to create that all-important collection:

• Use the white space – it’s important to let your work ‘breathe’ and not cram images into every corner!
• Think about where you’re applying and how your work fits with them – ‘zoom out’ and see it from the employers’ perspective as a whole collection
• Quality not quantity – around 20 pages are fine, and it’s best to have both a print and online version. Some companies suggested bringing an example of your work to an interview to show your skills in real life too

Take a look at the LCF Careers for details on upcoming events, appointments, CV help, interview prep and more! Or pop into the Student Hub on Wednesdays in JPS 145.

Words and images by Olivia Sleet, LCF Careers Officer.