If you have a flair and the skills for designing, a graphic designer job might suit you well. In that case, you’ve probably tried online courses, like this free design course by HubSpot Academy, but to make that change and launch your career in this field you need to take things to the next level.
First Job as a Graphic Designer
1 Before You Start
Consider the following things before finding a job. It’s better to write these things down while preparing yourself for employment:
- Understand yourself by knowing your strengths and weaknesses.
- Know the nature of the graphic design job.
- Research about the job market. Know which companies and businesses need graphic designers.
2 Create a Portfolio
Take advantage of courses that help in creating your portfolio and presenting yourself well. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
- Choose only your best works that showcase your skills, those you can proudly discuss to other people.
- Show your portfolio to others by going to portfolio reviews.
- Openly listen to feedback that others leave for your work.
- Know the characteristics or special interests that you can bring to any job.
- Determine what you would want to learn on your first job.
- Ensure that you demonstrate your interest to learn more throughout your career.
3 Design Your Résumé
In creating your résumé, ensure that you carefully showcase your skills in design.
On your résumé, write the facts that employers want to know, including your address and telephone number.
Create and print your own business cards and stationery. These can also give you a chance to show your design statement.
4 Identify Where You Want to Work
After preparing your portfolio and résumé, it’s finally time to choose companies, people or offices where you’d like to be interviewed. Here are some places to find work opportunities.
- Design and trade magazines in the school library may present viable employment positions.
- Your school’s placement offices may also have job listings. They usually cover many organizations in need of design positions.
- If you plan to work in a specific location, you might want to look at wanted listings for that place.
- Review your school’s list of recent graduates in a location you’re interested in. Give them a call to discuss your interests; they might point you to the right job.
5 Land an Interview
Potential employers will only commit to an interview after receiving your cover letter and résumé. Write the cover letter to demonstrate your interest in a job position or the company’s expertise. Craft your letter so that the reader will get a grasp of your personality.
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get a call after sending your application as the person in charge may always be busy. You can also try calling the organization to arrange an appointment.
Sometimes, a company may still schedule an interview even if they currently don’t have an opening. It’s still a good idea to take this interview as it can serve as an excellent practice or help in making other connections.
6 Ace the Interview
If it’s going to be your first interview, you may feel slightly uncomfortable. Practice by arranging mock interviews with your friends and get feedback. During the real interview, relax by taking deep breaths before the interview starts.
- Show interest in the organization and its projects by asking questions.
- Explain the ways you plan to help the organization’s needs.
- Don’t just focus on yourself but be sensitive to the interviewer’s body language and verbal responses.
- After each interview you attend, reflect on your impressions. Send a note of thanks as a courtesy.
7 When You Get Your First Job Offer
While you may be swept away with surprise when you get a job offer, take your time in thinking about the employment conditions set before you. This is your chance to establish your career as a designer.
- Know how much it costs to live decently in your city of employment and think about your educational loans.
- Check out the average entry-level design salaries in your location and your strength as a professional designer.
- Consider benefits and incentives and don’t just focus on the salary. Check out the health benefits, unpaid leave days, paid vacations, working hours and its flexibility, starting date and possibility of a raise.
- Ensure that everything is clear about the offer and don’t hesitate to ask questions if you have any.
Achieving your first job as a graphic designer is matching your skills and creativity with a company’s real needs. The first job you get will also serve as an important learning experience. While searching for the job, you are also learning about different ways design is used. In each step of the process, ensure that you remain courteous and honest while communicating well with the people around you.