Being a graphic designer these days can be tough. There are so many graphic designers out there that as a freelancer, you’ll probably struggle for work; it’s an extremely competitive market. However, if you’re looking to be employed as a graphic designer, things can be even more difficult.
Agencies likely receive hundreds of job applications and you need to make sure that you stand out from the crowd.
But how exactly do you land your dream graphic design job? Is it all about luck?
The truth is that there are a number of ways you can do to increase your chances of landing the graphic design job you really want; here are just a few of them:
Graphic design is one of those industries where you’ll need to prove your skills in order to have a hope of landing the job. The problem is, every graphic designer has a portfolio these days and therefore, employers will not only be presented with a tonne of CV’s but also, a tonne of graphic design portfolios showcasing the work of their applicants.
To be honest, this is one of the most important parts of landing your dream job as basically, the better you are at graphic design, the more chance you’re going to have of getting it. You need to make sure that you create a great portfolio for yourself and when I say great, I actually mean great.
You need to make sure that you include your best work and nothing else. You need to include projects that show the employer exactly what you’re capable of. Not only this, but your portfolio should represent your style of design and your particular skill set. If you’re great at using typography, show this in your portfolio.
If you’re great at minimalistic designs, show this. The bottom line is that your portfolio needs to be better than the rest of the applicants, so you need to be good at what you do.
Truthfully, this point doesn’t only apply to jobs within the graphic design industry but within any industry. I wouldn’t want someone working for my company who wasn’t passionate about what they did, especially when it comes to something as creative as graphic design, so you need to make sure that your passion shows through (and also that you have some!).
Clearly, it’s difficult to show this on a piece of paper but you can be clever about it. For example, you can do things to stand out from the crowd and show just how passionate about your job you are; you could create a well designed CV, a CV website (if web design is your thing) or even just write about how passionate you are in your covering letter.
Not only do you need to be passionate, but you also need to be determined. If the employer doesn’t feel that you’re as passionate or determined as the other applicants, it’s likely that you won’t be chosen.
So, don’t be afraid to call and check that they received your CV, and don’t be afraid to give them any extra information you feel might be necessary for the job. Remember, there’s a fine line between hassling and showing your determination.
These days, it’s more important than ever to know about the company you’re working for. Sure, you’ll get asked the usual bog-standard questions during the interview process such as “Why do you want to work for the company?” and “To you, what defines us as a company and why do you think you’d fit in?”.
Yes, you get asked these questions at a lot of job interviews and a lot of applicants give answers that aren’t particularly tailored to any one company. So, to stand out, you should make sure to research the company before you submit your CV or make it through to the interview process. The more you know about the company, the more tailored your answers can be and the more impressed the interviewer will be.
You can use a variety of methods to research a graphic design company. You can look on their website, their portfolio or even their clients. You could also use a site like LinkedIn to research the founders of the company, their current employees and tonnes more.
The more you do your homework, the more you’ll make a great impression.
Again, this is a point that is not particularly tailored to the graphic design industry but is certainly useful when it comes to landing your dream job. While you might be able to prove your talent through your portfolio, a lot of companies also like to see that you have experience working within the industry.
For example, your work might be fantastic but if you can’t complete the work according to deadlines then they aren’t going to employ you. If you have experience within the industry, you’ll be able to show the employer that you have experience in a commercial environment which will most definitely increase their faith in your abilities.
Companies aren’t looking for employees that need “mollycoddling” these days, they want people that can work to strict deadlines, produce great work and work independently as well as part of a team.
If you don’t have any experience, find a graphic design internship or at the very least, some work experience. It goes a long way within the industry.
Essentially, it doesn’t matter what job you’re applying for these days, you’re going to be one of many applicants and if you don’t stand out from the crowd, you won’t have a hope of getting the job. Make sure that your work is great, that you have more than enough experience and that you’re passionate about the industry.
Sure, you might only have a piece of paper (CV) to prove your worth in the early stages, but once you get through to the interview stage, you’ll need to “wow” the employer.