Every so often (okay, 10 times a day), we get résumés from hopeful designers. Less often, we get asked something along the lines of, “what do you look for in a designer?” So, we thought we’d shed some light on what can help make you appealing, and us very happy.

Q: What do you look for in graduates?

First, let’s assume you’re a descent designer. Check.

After that, the first thing that comes to mind: details, details, details! When you’re just startin’ out, trust me, you’ll get burned by the details. But, after you’ve cut your teeth a bit, you’ll come to love the details! The reality is, if you fail to figure this one out, you’ll not only piss off the client (yikes), but your boss, too (double yikes). Being able to manage your projects and pay attention to all the wee-little details, without someone holding your hand, is crucial for holding a fancy, grown-up job.

Beyond that, we also look for fresh, vibrant talent that not only has a good eye for design, but has the ability to think creatively. It’s not enough to be a designer capable of cranking out cute stuff, you gotta be able to develop fresh and unique ideas to problems or challenges that clients have. Without good ideas behind your work, you’ll end up with “beautiful pieces of shit” (thanks, Brad Frost).

Lastly, you gotta be cool! Personality goes a long way. Top 3 personality traits: funny, hard-working, kind. Don’t be a jerk! Conan says, and we agree wholeheartedly, “work hard and be kind, and good things will happen.”

Q: What skills would a student/graduate need?

Skills we look for (in everyone) include: attention to detail, broad knowledge of typography and color theory, good sense of hierarchy and overall layout, and a very strong knowledge of Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign, along with a basic knowledge of HTML and CSS. And if you wanna get fancy, get familiar with Sketch.

We recommend doing internships your entire way through school so you can get a feel for agency life, and what you’ll need when you leave the school-nest. Nothing beats experience. And we’ll say it again, don’t be a punk. We look for big personalities with small egos. If you don’t know something, don’t fake it. You’ll come off kinda douchey.

Now get out there, and good luck!

—The fine folks at Morgan Branding.