"50 Things I wish I'd known in Art School" by Johanna Basford.
Number one is particularly important:
"Employers and clients don't care about grades or distinctions. They care about your portfolio, your attitude and your previous experience"
Something I'm finding very true because my First isn't helping me get any jobs! Although I've been told by several different design studios that I have a strong portfolio, so clearly it's the experience which is most fundamental, but sadly that's incredibly difficult to come by :(
Also, number two:
"Do as many internships as you possibly can"
Kind of links in to what I previously said, but it's a lot easier said than done to do internships, unless you have enough savings to fund working for free. My parents don't personally agree with internships, as they think it's slave labour (which I can see their reasoning for) but it's pretty much the only way to get yourself noticed and build the experience which is so necessary even for a junior design role.
So my personal plan for starting my career in design, or at least my plan B because plan A hasn't been working out so far, is to work for a year in a non design job, save some money so that next summer I can do some more internships and be able to afford it. Plus hopefully the job market will have picked up a bit by then and there'll be more jobs available for juniors.
I do however still have my mailer to send out so you never know, maybe something will come of that! Fingers crossed!