construct your resume like a design project
The way you package yourself on paper/video/CD/thumb drive is just another way to demonstrate your skill and insight. Approach it like a design project! The great advantage of working within a creative industry is that designers can and do think outside the box. Video tips about thinking outside the box when demonstrating a professional resume are available on the IIDA website.
get involved in the industry
It is not just your grades or, for more experienced professionals, recent jobs that make you stand out, but your interests and what you do outside of school and work. If you have the time to get involved in a leadership position within an association or further your accreditation, it demonstrates that you are a multitasker and passionate about things outside of design. In other words, you won't just be a one-dimensional designer.
tell your story well
What helps you stand out to clients, prospective employers, colleagues and press is your story. What makes you unique? One of the most compelling elements that will gain you access is an interesting story—about how you got into the profession, what you've done, or what you stand for. These are the things that people remember, and the better your story, the more likely they are to remember you.
set flexible expectations and firm goals
When you have high expectations, there's a possibility you will be disappointed down the road. Not everything goes as planned, but that's okay. Many recent design undergraduates are taking the recession as a good time to further their education, like attending
grad school instead of jumping into a job right away. Goals keep you motivated and are part of the bigger picture, so always keep them in mind.
learn what you love
IIDA recently included this quote by Confucius on one of their NeoCon giveaways: "Do what you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life." If you truly enjoy this industry, which offers so many different directions for continued learning
and influence, you'll know you're in the right place. For me, education is a life-long process. I love learning something every day, and hope you'll join us at NeoCon or check our recap of what we learned online at www.iida.org.
IIDA President Viveca Bissonnette, FIIDA is vice president and design principal at Hollander Design Group in San Diego, Calif. You can reach IIDA at (312) 467-1950, or email@example.com. Learn more on the web at www.iida.org.