As a new graduate, looking for an interior decorating job can seem like a daunting task. You may be self-conscious about your lack of experience, and intimidated by the thought of working with successful interior decorators. Don’t worry—all design professionals need to start somewhere, and searching for a local interior decorating job is a great way to begin your career.
Read on for our tips to getting started in your home design career!
Organize Your Portfolio
When beginning your job search, it is vital to identify the skills you possess as an interior decorator. The design industry is incredibly visual, so having a portfolio of work samples (specifically, before and after photos) will allow potential employers to envision how you can transfer those skills to their business. While it can be challenging to build a strong design portfolio without job experience, designing and staging your own home, as well as using your course work, are great ways to illustrate your style and skills.
Along with your portfolio, be sure to update your resume to reflect the skills you possess as a decorator (including what you learned during your interior decorator training and any natural flairs you have for home décor).
Make a List
A great way to start your search for local interior decorating jobs is by making a list of designers and architects in your area. In addition to using search engines to find firms, look to online forums and social networks in order to find professionals who may need interior decorating services. During this process, take the time to think about which type of firm you would ideally like to work for by looking at websites and biographies of potential employers.
As you research local designers, architects, and decorating businesses, also look into conferences that may be taking place nearby—these will allow you to network and meet potential employers in person. Creating a list of local interior decorating businesses will allow you to see the many options available to you as a newly certified interior decorator, and will motivate you to begin applying!
Take it Offline
The convenience of the internet has made job-searching easier and faster, but nothing beats face-to-face interaction and a great first impression. As mentioned above, local design conferences will allow you to mingle with other decorators, professional organizers, and home stagers, which could potentially open a door to an exciting job that you may not have found otherwise. Demonstrating your confidence and professionalism through networking can kick-start your job search in a highly effective way.
Create the Perfect Website
Whether you’re searching online for interior decorating jobs or meeting potential employers, having a professional website is absolutely critical. Your website is a showcase of your abilities and services, demonstrating to potential employers that you have the skills, knowledge, and talent to be successful in the industry. In your search for local interior decorating jobs, be sure to include where you are located—starting a blog is a great way to do this, as it shows off your work to potential clients and gives a personal connection to you.
Social media goes hand-in-hand with your website and overall brand, as you can share your blog posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and catch the attention of local designers and firms who may be hiring interior decorators.
Don’t Get Discouraged
It’s important to be patient during the process of searching for an interior decorating job. Not hearing back from potential employers is no reason to become discouraged and stop applying! Taking temporary contracts, becoming an assistant, or working as a brand rep are options that will increase your experience and allow you to meet industry professionals (who could provide you with referrals in the future!).
During your first year in the industry, it’s important to keep submitting resumes, going on interviews, and meeting professionals as much as possible. It will be way more impressive to potential employers if you continue to build your brand and increase your experience between jobs.