Resources / Design
Know your designers. Become familiar with the type of projects each firm specialises in and make personal contact with the principal or senior in a firm that interests you. Designers are generally very approachable, although often busy, and appreciate it if you have a good understanding of their practice.
You need to be able to explain succinctly what you have done and why you are approaching a particular firm. Many opportunities arise through word-of-mouth referrals, so expand your network by attending industry forums and events, and more importantly – social gatherings.
Make sure you have a good e-folio you can use to show your work to prospective employers. Your field is very competitive, particularly with the advent of sites such as ‘fiver’ at the bottom end of the market. You may need to be prepared to do some work for free for a month or so just to get some local experience. Paid employment should be your priority of course, but keep an open mind.