The hardest career step is often the first. There are three key things all graduates should remember:

  1. Companies are looking for potential, not the finished product.
  2. Companies are looking for a good fit – people with similar interests and ethics.
  3. Companies are looking for a good attitude – someone who is interested in them, and keen to learn.

CV writing

One page is enough. Keep it concise and clear, and remember that this is an introduction – not a full life story!

Two key tips:

  1. Write a 3- or 4-line introduction, or a few bullet points. Talk about your landscape interests, your general skills, and the role you are looking for. Sell yourself.
  2. Always include your IT and digital skills, and grade your ability for each: novice, intermediate, advanced or expert. Be honest.

Sample folio

Your sample folio should be 10-14 pages long and less than 10mb in size. Try to show different types of project, different skills, and a range of scales.

Again, this is an introduction document – it should showcase a diverse selection of your strongest work. (You can present your full folio at interview.)

Approaching companies

You have a great CV and sample folio. The next step is critical: target companies that interest you, and make sure you email decision makers – not generic ‘mail@’ or ‘contact@’ addresses. (Target company owners, HR Managers, associates – those under more pressure to hire new staff.)

If you don’t get a response, don’t be surprised. Just keep trying. Persistence shows interest – in my experience, you can’t be too keen. Review job boards and company webpages, create your own shortlist of target companies, and above all, be tenacious!