Tips for Graduates
Entering the Interior
WhaT EmPloyErs arE lookInG For
Prepared by the Center for Career Services, Syracuse University
and the American Society of Interior Designers
Even the most talented interior design students need
assistance in making the transition from the classroom
to the workplace. This guide provides practical advice
to assist recent graduates in their search for that first
interior design job. It covers three major areas: portfo-
lio preparation, resume and cover letter composition,
and the interview process.
The information contained in this guide is based on the
results of a survey of more than 500 practicing interior
designers conducted by syracuse University and the
american society of Interior Designers in may 005.
The respondents, most of whom were owners or prin-
cipals in their firms with responsibility for hiring new
designers, answered a detailed and lengthy question-
naire concerning their expectations and preferences
when considering new graduates for positions in their
firms. some of their comments, along with the most fre-
quently provided responses, are included.
Thanks to contributors michael Cahill, lynn Capirsello,
rosemarie Crisalli and susan Filkins at syracuse University;
and Cindy Burke, asID, and michael Berens at asID.
“We sell style in this business.”
WhaT maTTErs mosT
The BoTToM lIne
Interior design firms are in the business of getting work and getting the work out.
They want to know how you are going to help them do that if they hire you.
They know you have a degree in interior design and want to work as an interior
designer. They want to find out
Will you make a good employee for their firm?
How do you stand apart from all the other new designers?
Here’s what they say are their top considerations when hiring a new designer
(in order of most frequently mentioned).
Positive, outgoing personality
Communication skills (written, verbal, grammar, spelling, presentation)
Technical design sk