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4 ways to get noticed by an agency

A foot in the door can be a very useful thing when you're looking for your first design job, just as long as you make the most of the opportunity. You might know how to draw and be an expert on the golden ratio (opens in new tab), but if you want that job you're going to have to pull out all the stops to get noticed.

Junior designers Erik Brattested and Evelin Toledano both started at The Partners (opens in new tab) on one-month placements and managed to impress enough to be offered full-time jobs; here they share some anecdotes about how they did it.

01. Do something memorable

Brattested was lucky to have his placement period coincide with the agency Christmas party, and he made the most of it: "Everyone was doing these elaborate costumes – the theme was 1920s speakeasy," he recalls. "I wore a spinning newspaper, like in a gangster movie. People noticed. I'm pretty sure that's one of the reasons I'm here now."

02. Go above and beyond

Meanwhile, Toledano found herself in a position to throw herself into a project, assisting marketing/account executive Meghan Hagerty on a public installation for London Design Festival, highlighting the mundane design that's all around us. "We set up instructions for things, such as a bollard, or a dartboard, and stuck them all around the city," she says. Toledano proved indispensable, and the rest was history.

03. Embrace studio culture

The Partners regularly runs little games and challenges, and when a competition called Like For Like arose – encouraging staff to post to the agency's Instagram feed, and compete for likes – both Brattested and Toledano got stuck in. Toledano's travel photos eventually won, but in close second (extra points for effort) was Brattested's Doppelgingers, in which he dressed up as red-headed characters such as Tintin, Chucky from Rugrats and Ron Weasley.

04. Believe in your ideas

Brattested and Toledano agree one of the best things new juniors can do is contribute ideas. "Don't think it's a bad idea. Just say it, write it, put it on the wall," urges Toledano. It's something Brattested admits he still struggles with: "If we're brainstorming I may think: 'That's a silly idea,' but if you don't get it out loud it'll never go anywhere," he adds. "Don't be shy – ironic, coming from me."

This article originally appeared in Computer Arts issue 257; buy it here (opens in new tab)! You can see more video interviews with The Partners here (opens in new tab).

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Nick is a content strategist and copywriter. He has worked with world-class agencies including Superunion, Wolff Olins and Vault49 on brand storytelling, tone of voice and verbal strategy for global brands such as Virgin, Pepsi and TikTok. Nick launched the Brand Impact Awards (opens in new tab) in 2013 while editor of Computer Arts, and remains chair of judges. He's written for Creative Bloq on design and branding matters since the site's launch.