I know Woody Holliman from FlyWheel Design in Durham, NC. Truth be told, I’d sent him some letters back in the day trying to get hired. At the time, his firm was looking for a torn-paper look to their designs, and that didn’t interest me in the least. Today, Woody came to talk to us as a representative of Meredith College, and to discuss ways of getting our students hired.
This even really turned out well. We had several classes show, and he spoke not so much about him, as much as he talked about what our students could do to succeed. Two excellent points:
Send them a Love Letter. The feeling is, you should throw out as many letters to as many people at as many companies as possible. This will not work. Your best bet is to find a few companies you like and send them a love letter. Let them know what you like about their work, what you like about their business, stalk them a bit through social media and find out what things you might have in common. Then craft your letter and spellcheck it. Then spellcheck it again and spellcheck it again. Then have someone else proof it. Send the letter in the mail with a nice resume and a link to your online portfolio. After 4 mailing days, consider calling them and simply inquire if they happened to receive the letter. Offer to take them for an iced coffee and ask if they might consider looking at your print portfolio and possibly suggesting another location if they aren’t hiring.
Look Like You Already Work There. When hiring a new employee, most agencies don’t want to have to train someone. Secondly, they have a brand with a solid look and feel and they don’t want to have to get you up to speed for too long. If you’re already about to send a love letter, consider adding some pieces to your portfolio which are similar to the kind of work that they do. If you already look like you belong there, it might be a no-brainer for them to hire you. Alternately, if it looks like you went on their website and copied their designs, it will look really bad. Get an idea of the kind of work they do, and feel free to take inspiration from it, but don’t plagiarize.
We were very pleased with the materials shown and the presentation skills.