Learn what goes into a successful internship/job search strategy for students and professionals.
Refine Your Materials
Update your resume, cover letter, and portfolio with current work and experiences. Target your information to specific opportunities or industries, and consider developing multiple versions of your materials to fit your different interests. Pay special attention to the description of your abilities and emphasize transferable skills that appeal to markets.
Be sure to create an online portfolio that you can easily share. Consider creating a personal website and posting your work to multiple places online. If you aren't ready for your own website, you can still share your work online through easy to use platforms like Behance. Through Adobe, RISD students have easy access to Behance .
Are you struggling with how to effectively craft your materials (resume, portfolio, etc.)? We have plenty of advice to help guide you in the Career Prep section of our website!
Find Available Opportunities
As a starting point, check out RISD ArtWorks to find a wide range of opportunities for artists and designers. You can search by major, industry, location, and more. Even better, you can set up an automatic email to be sent to you with relevant new postings to aid your search.
Take it to the next level and extend your search beyond ArtWorks to other art and design specific job boards. Check out some of the key resources we recommend below.
Do Your Research
Broaden your knowledge of potential employers. Sometimes, people can get too locked in to only searching online internship/job postings. While helpful, this isn't the only way to find opportunities. Think beyond job listings and find companies where you could work by using industry directories, databases, and magazines. There is a wealth of resources out there to explore all kinds of art and design industries. In fact, we've created a curated list of resources for each major to help!
Also, don't forget that RISD ArtWorks has an employer database with over 10,000 organizations interested in hiring from RISD. This searchable database has huge value in finding employers that fit your interests and your geographic preferences. Find employers that align with your passions and skills, and consider reaching out to explore potential opportunities with them. In ArtWorks, simply click on 'Employers' in the navigation to get started.
Network To Find Work
Statistics show that the majority of jobs are found through networking. So, it's smart to find ways to incorporate relationship building into your search. Also keep in mind, this type of outreach can be a great way to develop your creative community for your life after RISD.
You should join RISD’s largest alumni group on LinkedIn to connect with 9,000+ alumni across art and design. Use LinkedIn to search by name, region, industry, and even company. Approach alumni as mentors, ask questions about markets, and seek suggestions for contacts.
RISD also has deep alumni networks in regions across the world. The RISD Alumni Association sponsors Regional Clubs that provide support and networking opportunities to alumni based in numerous cities. You can use these group to find connections in regions you are interested in living and working in.
Lastly, consider joining professional organizations like AIA, AIGA, POWArts, IDSA, CAA, and many others to connect with others in your field. Attend online and (if possible) in-person events like trade shows, conferences, panel conversations, portfolio reviews, and art fairs to meet with professionals directly and collect business cards and materials, to use for future follow-up.
Need more help with networking? Check out our further advice and resources on the topic.
Be Persistent and Organized
Develop a plan to contact and follow-up on job leads. Maintain a personal database and track people, contact information, dates and responses. Make initial contact with an email; check in with another email in two weeks; and perhaps follow-up with a call after another two weeks.
Try establishing connections with people in the organization – Design Directors, Assistant Directors, Curators, Program Managers, Human Resources, and others. Request an informational interview if opportunities are not currently available, as this can be a chance to impress a future employer.
Above all, stay positive and be persistent. Being proactive during an internship or job search leads to positive results. If you need more help, don't hesitate to reach out to our office to speak with a career advisor.