Ask Esther // 60


Esther, I finished university, worked for an in-house studio for 2 years. I then left to work in hospitality managing a cafe in the CBD for 4 years and doing the occasional freelance work.

I am afraid that leaving and working in hospitality for so long has affected my chances or returning to the industry. Do you agree? Is experience/job history just as important as a strong folio?

I’ve attached my folio, resume and reference letter. Any feedback/advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Best is yet to come

Dear Best is yet to come,

You’re talented. You appear to have gotten sidetracked for quite a while though. Maybe you didn’t feel ready for full time, or you were put off somehow during your earlier forays into the job market. Think about the reasons you have been on a career sabbatical, it will be helpful for you to understand your journey.

I would word your cv slightly differently for future employers. Say that you have been a Freelance Designer for the past four years while also managing a cafe part time.

You have enough work to pull together a FRESH portfolio and it should be in the form of a website, rather than a PDF. If you need additional work, find some clients or mates who need a Designer, so your portfolio is chock-full of recent work.

Highlight your skills. Not only would you (presumably) have photoshop, illustrator, in-design etc, but also you can balance a ledger, read a spread sheet, supervise a work roster, order supplies. You have the skills to move up quickly into a studio management role once you find the right place.

It’s all in the way you package the story. Highlight the positives, show off your best and most recent work, and don’t draw attention to the lengthy sojourn into hospitality. As long as you feel ready and you are capable of producing the work, you should be able to find a fresh start back into design full time.

Good luck

You can ask Esther Clerehan anything about putting your book together, getting a job, what salary to ask for or what to do when someone steals your ideas. Go on, Ask Esther. There is no other creative recruiter with more experience to educate us on the art of the job hunt. You can email her here at junior at (wtf null@null lifeatthebottom

Written by Junior
Originally posted on: 20/11/2014
Category: Ask Esther
Tagged: .