Often lacking workplace experience and facing tough competition, many students can struggle to find the job of their dreams when leaving university. In fact, one in three graduates find their degrees “mismatched” to the jobs they take on, and 31% are not employed in graduate level or high skilled jobs.
So when up against stats like that, how can students go about finding their dream jobs?
Well, part of the trick might be standing out – which is exactly what recent graphic design graduate Keighley Hand did.
In May 2017, Keighley entered Quinnstheprinters.com’s new competition, which offered students the chance to win a billboard to showcase their talents to potential employers. To enter, they had to create a unique design which would best explain why they should be hired, and Quinnstheprinters.com would choose just 5 finalists to go forward to a public vote on Facebook.
“I think Quinn’s hit it on the head”
It was finally Keighley’s design to win over both Quinns and the online community – and get the super-sized treatment in January this year.
Keighley first discovered the competition on Facebook and decided to enter in order to raise her professional profile.
“The biggest challenge for any designer [is] getting yourself noticed,” she said. “I think Quinn’s hit it on the head. A billboard is the ultimate way of getting noticed.”
Keighley lives in Birmingham, where she says white there are some opportunities for graphic designers, it isn’t quite the same large pool one might find in London or Manchester, despite a slowly up and coming design scene.
Besides limited opportunities, Keighley ran into other problems with some employers.
“A lot of the junior designer positions I applied for when I first graduated usually asked for experience- how can graduates be expected to gain experience when only just graduating?”
Since having her design, an illustrated metaphor for her progress as an artist, published in [this area] in Birmingham, things might be finally turning around for Keighley.
“I’ve had a lot of positive feedback from my former classmates and tutors,” she said.
“I’ve [also] had some interest through social media, with art directors and agencies retweeting it, and some have reached out to me through LinkedIn asking about freelancing and other employment opportunities.
“I’ve also noticed the analytics on my website have tripled in views, so it’s been a very positive reaction all around.”
Peter Bradley from Quinnstheprinters said, “It’s tough for students to find the jobs they really want, which is exactly why we wanted to run this competition to show employers just how talented and ambitious they really are. We’re very pleased with our winner, Keighley, and hope that this is just the start of a long, successful career for.