Design is an inspiring profession that can and often does change the quality of life within our society. IDSA, the Industrial Designers Society of America, is the professional society for designers who shape our daily experiences. We are your advocate and we are here to help you in your career—right from the beginning.
If you are already a designer and looking for an industrial design job, click here to see our jobs listings.
As a gesture of our commitment, please download a copy of Getting An Industrial Design Job by RitaSue Siegel, IDSA attached to this article. As a renowned industrial design recruiter, RitaSue's advice will be invaluable in your pursuit of any new job—especially the first one. This version of RitaSue's book was completed in early 2008.
In addition to this booklet, we encourage you to check out the online Student Mentor Directory. This directory contains over 350 IDSA members who have volunteered to help you with career-building advice. They represent professionals from a full array of design disciplines, working in product, packaging, environments and interaction design and more.
We recommend a second resource, www.coroflot.com this site contains thousands of designers portfolios. Take a look around. Get to know what sort of talent you are going to be competing with. See how people present their talents, skills and abilities. Ask yourself if you can see what a particular person you are looking at is good at, or do you just see a body of work there. Too many students go into their first interviews with a poor understanding of the level of work they are competing against. Managers and recruiters are looking at work all the time so your's is not the first portfolio they will be seeing. Make sure that you have done your benchmarking and understand what level you need to be, to be competitive. If there is any advice to give, it would be to know yourself and be capable of articulating that to a recruiter. Try to understand clearly what it is about you that is unique and make sure that in your presentation and the way that you show work in your portfolio, this uniqueness is very clear to the recruiter. Standing out from the crowd will be the first positive sign that you are employable!
These resources are intended to provide useful information for establishing your design career. Many other resources are also available to you through IDSA. To give you better access to them, we have the most competitive student membership dues and deeply discounted membership dues for recent graduates. IDSA is here to help you get started in the design profession. You can also receive information through subscriptions to the organization's communications, which include the weekly designBytes (e-newsletter) and the quarterly Innovation journal.
Of course, timing may be critical in finding that first job. It can all come down to good fortune: being the right person, at the right place, at the right time. But we can help good fortune come our way. Many designers will tell you that good fortune is really just another way of saying being well prepared and contstantly on the look out for good opportunities. You can find that kind of help within the pages of this book and from the peers and colleagues among IDSA's membership. Remember, the network that you establish early in your career will serve you throughout a lifetime.
Design is an exciting and fast-moving profession. There couldn't be a better time to be a designer. The boundaries and definitions of the traditional role of the designer are blurring and have created new and unlimited opportunities in the profession. Many businesses see design as one of the important ways to create a competitive advantage, which has elevated the role of design more rapidly than any previous time in history.
Naturally, these new opportunities translate into increased responsibility as well as competition. IDSA, as your professional association, offers you the information and tools needed to compete in this fast-paced, rigorous climate. Please accept this guide as a first example of our commitment to you, and consider IDSA when you need to be at the forefront of the profession.
Download Getting an ID Job