Last week, I had the pleasure of seeing the interior design portfolio of students here in San Diego. It was refreshing to see the talent coming from school but I will be honest and pass on the following tips to these graduates and the others throughout the United States.
- If an Interior Designer talks to you and is interested in your portfolio, have the courtesy of sending them a handwritten thank you note for looking at your work. That handwritten note will put you at the top of the pile. Do not forget to hand write the address! Otherwise, the possible employer might think its junk mail!
- If someone takes an interest in your work and sends you an email, please send a reply. I saw someone’s work that I was impressed by and I sent an email two days ago and I have yet to receive a reply.
- Take any design work that is available if offered by a possible employer, even if it is an internship. What you learn from someone more experienced will take you far in life and open up your portfolio to other possible clients.
- Be realistic! Right now there is 10% unemployment in California and homeowners do not have money to spend on home improvement. It is important to watch the trends going on. When credit is easier and people do not feel that they might lose their jobs, interior design will come back.
- I was disappointed to see how much the students were taught at this particular school to have so many giveaways. The trade shows I attend do not have this kind or quality of giveaways! I am lucky to get a pen or two at a trade show. Spend your time and effort working on your presentation skills. That means going to toastmasters to learn to public speaking, volunteer and expand your network and most of all, be nice to everyone you meet! They made know someone who might or could use your skills as a designer!