Tips for Getting a Job in Graphic Design / Web Design
written by Kenny Harper
Posted May 28th, 2010
One of the first things you should do before setting out to find a job in graphic design or web design is figure out:
- your strengths, weaknesses, interests and talents
- what separates you from everybody else
- what type of work you’re looking for
- what’s available in your area / industry
Defining who you are and where you want to go will help you take the right steps towards getting there. You shouldn’t apply to all the possible jobs around; focus on the ones you’d really want, and let them know why they should hire you.
Where would you like to work?
Identify the design offices, corporations, or individuals with whom you’d like to interview. Contact some of these businesses that sound good to you and make arrangements to visit them. During your visit, ask if you can intern or volunteer your services for a tester project.
Before visiting, do your homework; find out more about the places you think you might like, and perhaps even pitch an idea or solution that could serve one of their clients. If you go above and beyond just being another visitor, it WILL get noticed (OR you wouldn’t want to work for a place like that anyway).
Network, Socialize and be Vocal
Networking and getting involved in different organizations such as AIGA and JAMA will definitely give you the opportunity to increase your connections in business. You can also get involved with group of people in your local area with similar business interests; a quick search on Meetup.com or Google could get you started. Don’t be shy, there are a lot of unknown talented people out there.
Create a great portfolio
Organize and revise your portfolio to show your strongest work, and make sure you practice presenting it. Employers don’t want to see everything you ever done, and if you aren’t excited about your work they wont be either.
You should create a resume that lists your education, skill sets, and experience. You can create a hard copy and feature a digital copy online, and on sites like LinkedIn. If you don’t think you have enough experience yet to create a resume, take another look at what you have been doing, because you must have gained some experience while you were getting the skills that you will use in your graphic design or web design job.
Be real & be professional
Be yourself when meeting and talking with prospective employers, but also make sure to follow professional protocols when getting the interview or job offer. Be sure to research any offers you get to make sure you understand the salary, benefits, and conditions for employment that you’ve been offered before accepting. After the interview, a “Thank You” acknowledgment is always a plus for you.
It may take some time to get your foot in the door and start your first job in graphic design or web design, but persistence will pay off.