Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How To Find a Job in Interior Design

By Kerry Fletcher ASID

There are many places that people with interior design degrees can work. This article will help you find a job by listing a few places to search for employment.

Step 1 Look online for interior design and architecture firms in your area. Even if they do not say that they are hiring, send a resume anyways (preferably by email instead of fax so you are earth friendly and not wasting paper). You never know if they may call you for employment. Try to address it to a particular person instead of the general mailbox.

Step 2 Contact large commercial furniture dealers in your area about employment opportunities. The dealers hire designers as salesmen and as systems furniture layout designers. This job requires people who have a high attention to detail.

Step 3 Contact your university to see if they have any employment leads. Many graduates still keep in touch with their professors and ask for help when they have a job opening. Your professors might also have other tips for finding a job that have worked for other students.

Step 4 Contact large companies who have their own facilities department for employment opportunities. The facilities department works with architects, furniture manufacturers, and other people to create pleasing workplaces for their employees. This job allows you to work as a client of interior designers. You will get to know many people and expand your professional network which will help during your next job search.

Step 5 Contact large production home builders who have their own design department to see if they have any job openings. The design department helps people who are purchasing a new home select items such as flooring, countertops, and cabinets. This job will probably require you to work weekends.

Step 6 Look online at ASID, IFMA, NEWH, AIA, and IIDA websites. They may list employment opportunities. Also contact your local offices to ask about local companies who may have job openings and if you can leave your resume.

Step 7 Contact furniture, fabric, and kitchen & bath showrooms to see if they have any employment opportunities. They employ salesmen, product display professionals, and window dressers.

Step 8 Get a headhunter. Headhunters will meet with you to determine what you are looking for in a job and help find employment opportunities for you. Headhunters are paid by the company who hires you and they do not get paid unless you get a job.

Step 9 Contact a temp agency about getting temporary employment at an architecture or interior design firm. This will enable you to get your foot in the door and you will have something to put on your resume. Even if you are answering the phones instead of designing, it will help you get a feel for the environment and learn about the design business.

Step 10 Go to as many design related social events as possible. Tell EVERYONE that you are looking for a job. The best person to talk to at social events is the manufacturer's representatives (people who sell products that designers use, such as paint, carpet, wallpaper, etc) because they know almost everyone and can help by telling you if they hear that someone is hiring. Make sure you give them your information so they can get back to you if they hear about a job opening.

Step 11 Consider offering yourself for free as an intern for 6 weeks. This will help you get your foot in the door, give you something to put on your resume in the employment section, and enable you to learn about the design business. Interns are often hired on full time after their internship is over.

Step 12 Look online at as many employment websites as possible. You may find an employment opportunity on these sites and you should post your resume if that feature is offered. Don't forget to look for jobs that might not be in your area but may allow you to work from home.

Step 13 While looking for a job, this may be a perfect opportunity for you to get more schooling in interior design. Perhaps you want to finish your interior design degree or get a masters degree in order to teach at a college level. There are many options for schooling, including online courses.

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