Many students are drawn to the field of graphic design because they want to enjoy independent creativity and flexible careers. Before graphic designers begin their job search, they need to understand themselves and their strengths, weaknesses and motivations. Next, they must understand current corporate demands for graphic design style and variety. Finally, graphic designers must research the corporate job market to understand how to present themselves and their work in a portfolio. Below are additional tips for finding your first corporate job.
Redesign Your Resume
All job hunters need a well-designed and well-formatted resume, but graphic designers must have a resume that visually showcases their skills and abilities. Some of the most successful resumes of all job hunters are found among graphic designers who use their professional skills to create innovative and entertaining resume formats. When it comes to regular resumes, HR managers expect conservative styles and formats. When it comes to graphic designers, the resume itself is an artistic portfolio example of the designers’ talents. Graphic design resumes can include creative styles, fonts, pictures, formatting and backgrounds. It is a good idea to design and hand out personal stationery and business cards with your resume. Identify special interests, experiences and characteristics that you bring to the job. Be sure to expound on major school and employment projects.
Create a Unique Portfolio
All graphic design job hunters will have a portfolio that showcases their best work and accomplishments. It’s important to have a unique portfolio that demonstrates your various talents and potential for greater things. People naturally remember what they see first and last in a sequence, so strategically place your best work there. It’s important to showcase your strengths through excellent work, but it’s even more important to showcase your weaknesses and developing talents. Graphic design is involved in business areas like advertising, marketing, web design, copywriting and public relations. Be sure to include simple works that show you have non-technical skills and understanding of business acumen. Always ask experienced graphic designers to critique your portfolio if possible. Find successful graphic designers who want to be a mentor in order to solicit their help.
Use Social Media
A social media account is a great way to showcase your talents. Graphic designers can create an eye-catching design and format for their Facebook profile. Even more important, LinkedIn allows you to establish and enhance your professional presence through connecting with relevant people in your area and industry. LinkedIn will help you connect with professional groups that you may use to ask questions, start discussions and network with other professionals. When filling out a LinkedIn profile, remember that quality content is more important than content length. LinkedIn’s algorithms focus on industry key words and buzzwords, so use them in your bio, headline and experience areas. Your LinkedIn resume should focus on graphic design and technical areas, so avoid adding irrelevant entry-level jobs. Write personal recommendations for people so you can invite them to write recommendations for you.
After you secure an interview at a large company, carefully research the company, their design direction and current projects. Prepare in-depth questions about the organization’s needs and competitors in order to explain how you can specifically help them.
Related Resource: Top 20 Best Affordable Graphic Design Degree Programs