The creative industry is fiercely competitive and pursuing graphic designer jobs can feel like a battle. While you may see various people online applying for the same job as you, it’s still comforting to know that many companies need graphic designers.
When it comes to creating logos and designing professional websites, there’s no shortage of work. Though job seeking can feel overwhelming as you start out, it won’t be as stressful as you think once you arm yourself with the right tools.
To help you get your foot in the door, here is the best advice you can apply when landing graphic designer jobs.
1. Bulk Up Your Graphic Designer Portfolio
Whether you have a website or profile on a job board, these should reflect your personality and who you are as a graphic designer. Consider filling your portfolio with details about your experience, education and other relevant information.
You could also consider creating a resume to showcase your best qualities. Many potential employers find that experience isn’t everything. They also want to know your capabilities.
Therefore, consider including case studies and personal projects in your portfolio. You can choose an industry you’re passionate about and focus on proving your worth by fitting it into your profile.
By building your portfolio, you show potential employers that you can make the perfect fit for the job opening.
2. Gain Experience
Gaining real-world experience is a good way to get started in the graphic design industry. Most creatives begin by finding a paid internship. Internships are invaluable to your career since they can help you learn and build connections with those in your industry.
However, the best internships to work in are the ones that are more long-term. This gives you substantial work and enough experience to impress hiring managers.
Another approach is to offer pro bono work or find freelance work on sites like Fiverr or Upwork. While many of the jobs listed on these platforms don’t pay well, it still gives you the experience you need to showcase your skills.
3. Connect With Other Professionals
Networking might not be on your list of priorities, but it certainly does help. Knowing like-minded professionals is a great way to spread the word about yourself.
Fortunately, social media makes it easy to network with other creatives. However, it helps if you get strategic about using these platforms.
Suppose you start using LinkedIn for networking. Consider filling your profile with keywords relevant to your industry and start making connections by engaging with other users’ content. In addition, you can look forward to networking with recruiters and hiring managers to get background information about the jobs they need to fill.
You could also join Facebook groups and start conversations or respond to users’ questions to show your willingness to help.
Moreover, networking in person is crucial. Ensure you introduce yourself to others when you join networking events or conferences for graphic designers.
4. Personalize Your Pitch
No one likes to receive job applications with generic information. Sifting through one application after another requires much work. Therefore, it’s best not to waste their time with general information.
To give yourself a more serious edge, consider creating a pitch or two for each industry and fulfilling them with creative details. You can start with templates and fill in the most important information by customizing them specifically to a project.
If you’re unsure how to get started, it will help if you review the company’s website. Then you can note which elements they could improve in their design or what you like best.
Ensure you keep your responses short and thoughtful to stand out significantly in your job applications.
5. Prepare for Your Interview
If you’ve applied for your dream job and got a call-back for an interview, it’s time to make serious preparations.
The first key to winning an interview is always to be yourself. Showing a hint of your personality in a professional manner goes a long way when connecting to the interviewer.
It also helps to look your best for the day of the interview. While agencies don’t expect you to wear formal business attire, you won’t want to show up in ripped jeans and sweats, either.
Consider presenting yourself in a fashion that shows you’re competent for the role.
Additionally, it would help if you prepared yourself by gathering materials for the big day. Though the interviewer has already seen your portfolio, you still have the chance to add to what you’ve given them.
Most agencies will provide you with a creative brief to work on before they interview you. But if that’s not the case, you can still work on something that will help make a good impression. For example, you can show off your skills by creating a small project related to the agency’s brand.
6. Enhance Your Communication Skills
No matter what industry you specialize in, communication is a highly-valued skill for every job. Therefore, it’s important to know when to ask questions if you’re unsure about an assignment.
The same goes for when you receive constructive criticism. You can effectively communicate their thoughts by implementing their feedback into an assignment.
Another example is when you have a bright idea for your company’s design. As a successful graphic designer, you must know how to communicate or present those ideas to your manager or team.
Interpersonal skills are essential for connecting with people at all levels of the organization. So here are a few tips you can work on in communication:
- Be clear and concise with your word choice. Less is always more.
- Match your tone with the person you are communicating with to emphasize your message.
- Provide your undivided attention and clear your mind to show you’re actively listening.
- Follow the same communication style that the potential workplace uses.
7. Find a Mentor
While pursuing graphic designer jobs, finding a mentor is a good way to get your foot in the graphic design industry.
Mentors can essentially enhance your quality of work because you can receive valuable feedback on your techniques.
To find a mentor, consider joining a reputable member-based organization. Graphic design groups are full of experienced people willing to work with others. They can often advise you on mistakes they’ve made and what you can do to enhance your graphic design skills.
One problem many professionals face is the belief that their work is perfectly fine, despite receiving feedback from others.
However, this information is crucial to improving your abilities, allowing you to create a better version of your professional self.
8. Study the Company
Many candidates often fail in the first interview because they don’t research any background information about the company. Therefore, you can look better in an interview by studying the organization’s goals, values, accomplishments and challenges.
Consider visiting the company’s website, social media accounts and media mentioning the company. Using these resources can help you address interview questions effectively. In addition, you can ask more thoughtful questions of your own when you get to the interview.
Land Your First Graphic Designer Job
The road to establishing your career might not be that simple. Yet, you can follow this advice to give you a good start to your future.
When applying for graphic designer jobs, consider putting yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes. Ask yourself what type of person would be the best fit for this role and consider embodying yourself as that someone.
Chances are, the interviewer has considered many for the job. Therefore, you need to find a way to make yourself stand out, even if it goes outside of your comfort zone.
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