Applying for a Job
Note – Join NI Design Chat on Slack
What do you need when applying for a job?
- Cover Letter
What is this?
A concise, formal document that summarises your education, skills, and experience. It should be easily read and referenced and explain who you are.
What do you need to include?
- Contact details
- A short bio
- work Experience
- Awards and Additional Info
CVs should be as concise as possible. Use simple sentences. They are for conveying information as quickly and efficiently as possible. So, only relevant & vital info.
Your CV will likely be about a page or no more than two sides of an A4
Always spell check
Your most recent education / achievement / employment goes first and works back from there.
If you have A-Levels or equivalent, then list these as they are the most recent, GCSE’s can just be summarised by grade and a mention of the important ones. If you have A-Levels, then your previous education is less important. Plus, we have to stop somewhere.
Avoid obnoxious competency indicators
Example – ‘80% proficient in Adobe’ or something similar. Just say you are proficient in Figma, Adobe etc. and just leave it at that
Use a limited colour palette – 2 colours at most
White space – make your document easy to scan and space things out accordingly
Typography – Can be something that helps make your cv stand out. But it also should be readable
Keep it as its own document – don’t include it as part of your portfolio
Put a link to your online portfolio.
Tailor it for your job where possible – maybe you adapt your bio slightly or lead with certain skills. If there is an opportunity to adapt it to specific job role then do it. Read the job description carefully to know what they are looking for.
Be honest – lies are always found out
References – make sure you ask permission first
What is this?
An introduction for the person receiving your application and a chance to explain to them what has attracted you to their company specifically. It’s also an opportunity to summarise what you’re good at, your experience so far and your aspirations (that align with what the company can offer)
- Keep it sort
- Simple sentences
- Personalise it
- Spell check
- Match the style/design to your CV
Find out a name – find out to address it to, if in doubt, call the company and ask. If its impossible to track them down address it to their job title
Tone of Voice
Respectful and natural. Too formal will be a bit off putting but too informal is a definite mistake. If in doubt lean towards formal. And have someone read it for a second opinion.
Use active voice. If you’re not sure what that is, read this: https://bit. ly/2ZNAaIc
Show your passion and excitement from the first paragraph. Explain why you are a good fit for the company, how you found them and what you respect about them
Cover letters are extremely useful when approaching a firm that you admire but aren’t sure if they are hiring or not. They will make an impression and you could be surprised at how they pay off through networking opportunities or just down the line.
Note – Make sure all your info matches your LinkedIn profile and vice versa
Make an Impact
Consider a physical letter and CV posted into the firm. It will be more noticeable than another email (unless the job post requires a specific application process or portal – even then, you could follow it up with one).
You will each select a random post-it with a job title on it. Keep this secret. Your colleagues in the group must find out what you do in 20 questions or less without asking outright what you do.
You only get one go at guessing the job title. No cheating
Group = me, Emma G, Sophie
Job role – Virologist (medical doctor that oversees the diagnosis, management and prevention of infection
- No one got virologist
- Sophie had astronaut which was guessed right
Why did you do this?
It’s important to understand the most important qualities of a job and the skills that make up the role. This should get you in the right mindset to start assessing yourselves.
I found this week’s lecture and workshop interesting. I never knew what a cover letter was until this, I also never considered all the different aspects that go into both my CV and Cover Letter. I plan to take what I learnt today and apply it to when I plan and design them. I found the workshop useful today as well, as it helped me to understand what qualities and skills make up a job role, which will help in describing myself and my skills when writing my CV and Cover Letter
This Week’s Tasks
- Start writing your CVs and covering letters. Pick a job or company from last weeks research to get you started
- Also consider ways in which you will stand out or your delivery method
- Get LinkedIn and any other social platforms up to date
Leonie Smyth – include monogram
email and phone number
July 2017 – August 2017
Volunteered to help assist adults with learning disabilities. Helped
with art based projects such as sign painting and group art projects.
10/02/2019 – 24/02/2019
ERASMUS+ work placement situated in Bologna, Italy.
Week 01- Produced a 2/3 minute promotional video to showcase the
Week 02- Redesigned company brochure.
Counter Assistant at BG’S Limavady
June 2019- August 2019
Customer service, cleaning duties, handling of different quantities of
Interaction Design BA(Hons),
Ulster University, Belfast
September 2020- May 2023
UAL Foundation Diploma Art & Design,
North West Regional College, Limavady
September 2019- May 2020
7 GCSES grades A*-C
City & Guilds Level 2
Application in Number
City & Guilds Level 2 ICT
Skills and Software
Email Paul and email volunteer coordinator
REMEMBER – include link to portfolio link
Leonie Smyth – include monogram
UX Designer Placement
RE: UX Designer Placement Londonderry
Dear Hiring Manager,
Whilst researching placements for my next academic year, I was thrilled to find the UX Designer placement with FinTrU. As an ambitious student who is work driven and wanting to learn
more within the industry, I believe I would make a great addition to your team.
Innovative approaches and solutions to all challenges are aspects that drive and inspire me.
Like FinTrU, my goal is to advance and design solutions to help clients meet their needs
through day to day. I’m confident in problem solving, designing user interfaces, wireframing.
I also have great knowledge in the following tools, Photoshop, Illustrator, Figma and Microsoft
packages. As a team player, I am collaborative with others, consistently looking for valuable
insight from my peers. With these qualities I have confidence in my ability to provide positive
insight and effort to placement.
For any other information, please see my CV attached. I am eager to talk to you about a
placement opportunity and appreciate your consideration.
All the Best,
Get in Touch
email and phone number
- traditional a4 letter addressed to direct hiring manager
- postal tube
I’m going to sample doing an a4 letter for the module. I like the idea of a physical send off as it could leave an impact and have my CV/Cover Letter remembered. I like the idea of a postal tube but could be a bit bulky?. I had a bit of an odd idea to use a USB pen, have my CV and Cover Letter be the only thing saved onto the USB and send it into the company to review. I would consider having the USB designed to my brand colours, like a similar mock up I did last year for my brand physical touchpoints. I think I will stick mainly to pdf as must placements are looking to be applied through Handshake or through their own online portals.
Below is the USB pen mock up from last year. Just as a visual of what the product what look like if I used this method for my CV and Cover Letter