Finding a graphic design job or any other job does not start with a simple search for the job. This is a major mistake that many make, and the job search might easily turn into a real depressing experience.
Because of the world economy crisis that increases by day it is much harder to find a job, especially when you are at the entry level, or looking for a high-level job in your career. Recruiters think of beginners as amateurs who are not professional enough.
On the other hand, people with long years of experience mean higher salary rates for the employers, which is something most companies try to avoid due to the recession.
These circumstances make it hard for most people to find a job because of the hard competition among the job applicants. However, applying for jobs also requires good preparation that starts way before the moment you push the submit button to send your resume or cover letter. In this brief article, we will try to go through the tips that every designer needs to know before searching for jobs. You can also check (What do you need to have before applying to a job?).
Tip 1: Become a graphic designer
Obviously, you need to be a graphic designer in order to be able to apply for the design job. Well, it is not that obvious for many people. Some people tend to lack sufficient experience or education history to be a graphic designer (How to Build a Self-training Plan).
The first thing that the employer checks in your resume is your experience, and whether it fits their needs. Graphic design is not only learning about Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. It is about learning the art and science of graphic design –this applies to other jobs as well, such as web design, animation…etc.
If you are going to work in the printing field, you will need to know printing concepts, technology and printing-related tools like Adobe Indesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.
Also, web designer need to have a basic web experience in building web sites, and you need to be familiar with tools like Dreamweaver, CSS and HTML.
Being prepared is the most important step, because you do not want to go on a job interview while you are not prepared. There are many methods for learning about the job requirements. You can search the Internet, ask a friend who has related experience, or ask your tutor or mentor.
Tip 2: Build a portfolio
The portfolio is your powerful marketing tool that you depend on in order to sell your practical experience to the employer. Your portfolio can be an attractive website that includes your work samples, a list of your skills, your resume, and contact information.
Many beginners find it hard to build a good portfolio because they do not have enough work examples to show to recruiters. This is not a problem at all, all you need to do is to upload your learn practice, samples you did for unreal clients, and your personal design work that you do for fun.
Tip 3: Good resume
While your portfolio markets your work experience through examples of our work, the resume markets your skills and experience to the employer. The resume summarizes your whole life, studies, skills, previous work and personal information in two PDF or MS Word pages (How to Build an Attractive Designer Resume).
In your resume, you need to focus on the most important information that your recruiter should see first. Also, pinpoint your best skills and keep it organized. There are many resources where you can learn cover letter and resume writing tips as below:
Tip 4: Search for jobs
Now you are ready to search for jobs. Thanks to the Internet it is easy to search for jobs through recruiter websites, instead of sending CVs via fax to every company, or having to follow the newspaper ads (How to Land Your First Offline Web Design Job).
It is a good idea to start creating good and complete profile and upload your resume to each website that offers recruiting services. Start by searching for jobs that exactly match your skills. Applying for non-related jobs may harm you more than they might help you, because some companies –especially the big ones– can mark your resume as not appropriate for the job.
When you apply for a job, make sure to write a good cover letter based on the job requirements. Generic cover letters and template cover letters may not get much attention from the employer.
Below are some good international job search sites that you may find useful:
Tip 5: List your service and skills
Having the recruiter contact you or invite you for the job is much more effective than applying for the job by yourself. When a recruiter calls you, it means the employer has already seen your skills and needs them, and this way you will have a better chance to get the job than other applicants.
Promoting your skills can be through your email signature by mentioning your title, which tells people what you specialize in. Also you can set your Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus accounts to show your skills and promote them. You may like to check (Using Twitter to Promote Your Designing Skills) and (How to Promote Your Business With a Facebook Page).
Overall, applying for jobs is not an easy process, and it does not start with clicking the submit button. In this article, we tried to sum up the most important tips that every graphic designer should consider before applying to the jobs.