Looking for guidance on job search and career development

Hi all, I have been trying to get a job since graduate in 2019. It’s been two years and I have not successfully got a full-time position yet, and I also rarely get any interviews or positive feedback from my previous interviews. I keep updating my portfolio and resume, also revising my cover letter for each different position I applied to, but everything I have done seems to be useless and doesn’t help me with my job search. So I want to get some guidance on job search or my portfolio, and if there is any advice to increase my chance to get an interview, or if I am not the right person to be a designer....anything works please, thank you!

Apr 1, 21 3:02 pm

What's been the issue with the temp positions? It's a little weird looking on a resume to have a bunch of short term jobs like that. 

Apr 1, 21 3:10 pm  · 
1  · 

Is office-hopping unusual for newly-minted grads? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Apr 1, 21 3:24 pm  · 

To the degree that his page indicates, yes. I would look at that on a resume and have one of a few thoughts. He's either having bad luck with temporary employment. He's an awful employee and keeps getting fired for something or series of things. Or he's not committed to the opportunities he's given and will move on from my company as soon as he gets a chance.

If I realistically thought it was the latter two I'd probably pretty reluctant to hire him... so I'd probably ask the same thing if i had him in an interview. Though with the other 50+ applicants it might be enough reason to not even bother. 

Apr 5, 21 6:17 pm  · 

1. Taylor your resume for a company. Your experience is mostly apartment renovation, residential and schools, right? Make different resumes to highlight certain experience relevant to the company of your interest. For example if you worked for a company for 3 months and worked on 6 projects it looks like you did nothing but if you worked on 1 project it looks like you completed a cd set.

2. I would write in resume smth like this: company x, dates you worked for them, project - city, sqft, structural details (if not interiors, obv) and then your duties 

3. Bring cd sets and real job renderings to the interview.

4. Apply apply apply. How many jobs have you applied to? Just curious 

Apr 1, 21 4:03 pm  · 

I would use a temp agency to get your foot in the door.

There is a lot of concern in medium and small firms (2-25 people) with the added complexity of visa sponsorship, if you are already naturalized or have a work permit that does not require the employer to do anything I would mention that up front in the cover letter and your resume, your foreign work experiences and undergraduate degree would scare off some firms that don't have the resources to process the paperwork for a visa or other work permits. If you do need sponsorship then I would focus on larger firms and temp agencies like Aeroteck who can handle these things as they have the trained HR staff.

We are also in a recession so jobs are not easy to find.

The portfolio is nice, the residential interiors are very nice but some of the larger projects are interesting but seem to be more of a concept sketch then a more fleshed out design.  I did like "The Flow" the renderings are good. For the larger projects consider adding a light color to the plans to delineate the interior from the exterior and if there are different apartment types or uses those can be color coded in very light subtle colors.

Is the bridge on the cover something you designed? if not I would maybe consider using a rendering from "the Flow" or some other projects that have your design imprinted in them.

A job offer will happen but some other things you can do to speed that along:

Reach out to the career services at the university and the department and try to be know to them by checking in and doing what you can to be helpful if they want to do a career fair or social networking events.

Do informational interviews where you ask people who are one or two steps above where you would want to be for advice, not a job.

Continue to do small projects and or sketches and use those things as reasons to update people you are in contact with.

Linked in profile is good but you can flesh out the "about" section a little more, treat this as a mini cover letter. I think you should make a post or two each month to be a highlight of a project in your portfolio or of a sketch or small design that you did recently.

Profile photo,there is nothing wrong with the way you look, but it is a little bit stoic and it does not read well, it seems a little bit like a pass port photo. If you have a friend have them take a few photos of you out in the world and with a smile or something that is going to give us a clue about your personality. and by a few I mean 20-150 over the course of a day preferably outside then chose the best one. 

I hope this helps

Over and OUT

Peter Normand

Apr 5, 21 6:02 pm  · 
1  · 

As an international graduate, you have to keep in mind that your cost as an employee could potentially be higher than that of American applicants. At the end of your OPT/STEM OPT, the firm could either let you go (And forgo all the investment they put into your training) or commit to a H1B application (An additional burden to a small firm). There is also the risk that after a H1B and green card, you will leave the firm - yet another potential loss in the horizon. Most smaller practices thus do not hire international graduates, unless the principals know them personally as former students. The unfortunate trade off is that some international students are happy to work for below market wages to make up for the employers' financial risk.

May 18, 21 10:53 am  · 

I was in a similar situation in 14', too many temp jobs. I then went to Craigslist, there is less competition there. too many candidates with Linkedin and Indeed

May 18, 21 11:30 am  · 

Hi Guangyu, I am sorry to hear that you are having a hard time finding a long-term job. 2020 was a challenging year for job hunting. 

I flipped through your portfolio; your school projects are very nice, but would there be a more exciting way to present your professional work? It wasn't clear what was your scope of work for the parapet projects. When employers look at your portfolio, they are not only learning your past work; they also want to know your ability to communicate through graphics and writing. I noticed a couple of typos in project descriptions (I am a terrible writer myself~~); please run spell-check and maybe get a second pair of eyes to read through your text? 

There is no denying that the language barrier and Visa issue will put you at a disadvantage, and even when you got a good job, it might take longer for your career to take off. So, are you prepared for all these tradeoffs to stay in New York? 

Best luck! 

Jul 18, 21 7:24 pm  · 

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