Lately I've been applying for every junior and graduate position that pops up but it seems that a fair portion of these job ads are after skillsets that aren't exactly 'junior'.
Stuff like: expert knowledge of creative suite/prepress/retouching etc, the use of adjectives like 'flawless' or 'finely honed', any mention of the word 'guru'...
Now I'm not saying there aren't highly skilled juniors and graduates out there, but I certainly can't tick all these boxes. I'm curious to see your thoughts on this; are these sorts of criteria seen as merely a wishlist? Do others exaggerate/lie when addressing these areas in your application?
Might have to clarify a little. I would hope any "qualified" graduate has an excellent knowledge of the relevant creative suite for the position, and can demonstrate a level of design ability in their work that is very high, which some may choose to describe as "flawless" or "finely honed".
Remember that for those entering the industry it's an extremely competitive market, and I guess an employer is aiming to get the best that they can.
But your work looks great, I think you just need to persevere, while always revising how and what you're communicating to prospective employers both in your applications and your interviews. Often a less talented designer may land the role due to being a better salesperson.
This is just employers trying to get intermediate or advanced folk on junior wages. The same as those who advertise for a graphic designer with web development skill list as long as your arm. Juniors with little or no experience are not suppose to be an expert in anything. Steer clear of anything unrealistic.
I'd apply for anything that strikes your fancy and not let it put you off, as these are all terms that mean different things to different people. Unless they seem like total dicks of course, in which case why would you want to work for them?
You have consistently good quality work for a graduate so I am sure you'll find something.
Unrealistic expectations isn't something new. It's been like this for ages.
Being excellent at graduate level and excellent in the industry are two different measurements. I wouldn't expect a graduate to be at the same level of excellence as one who has plenty of experience in the industry. To expect this is just plain stupid.
It's employers being unrealistic and recruitment agents stupid enough to go ahead and push these job requirements through.
Stuffee, while I would go for roles that looks worth your while, I'd agree with Dan, not to go for totally unrealistic jobs. I would say it says something about the company - you know, like those that expect you to work for free as a trial kind of thing? Alarm bells. No decent company or senior creative at a company should expect a junior to have flawless pre-press skills let alone flawless anything.
These skills take time to develop and accrue, not something that just magically develops in 2/3 years at college level.
And as mentioned above adapting your portfolio and applications to the employer are key.
Just out of curiosity, what areas and kind of companies are you applying for if you don't mind me asking?
Also, remember not to take not getting a job to heart. I had a period a few years ago where I had around 6 years experience at some "big end of town" studios, got made redundant from a company, thought I'd walk into a new job so wasn't too worried... 8 months later I was still looking. Shows luck and timing play a big part, whatever experience you do or don't have.
Thanks guys, I'm not too worried about it, but was starting to get a little concerned that I'd overestimated my own skillset with some of these requirements.
So the general consensus is to not worry about the more unrealistic expectations and focus on writing an application that targets each individual role. And I could definitely write more of a 'sales pitch' with my application too.
@Timbug, I've been applying for any and all junior/grad positions that aren't after too much web experience. Most of these are interstate as Brisbane's pretty quiet. Haven't been going for any mid-weight positions but maybe they're worth going for too.
And I really appreciate the folio feedback too, The only feedback I get from employers is something like "we found someone who we feel suits the role better", which is the most generic response ever lol.
Remember that many employers may be getting heaps of applications, and probably trying to fit that within their normal project workload, so even a short, generic response should be appreciated in my view. Better than none at all.