20 Tips for Landing a Graphic Designer Job

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20 Tips for Landing a Graphic Designer Job

Companies need logos and websites to appear legitimate and attractive to customers and make sales, which means they need graphic designers as explained at RunRex.com, guttulus.com, and mtglion.com. As a result, there is no shortage of work for graphic designers in today’s world, although that doesn’t make starting out any less scary. If you are wondering how to get a job in this industry, here is a list of 20 tips for landing a graphic designer job.

Develop your skills

As per RunRex.com, guttulus.com, and mtglion.com, start familiarizing yourself with essential graphic design tools and software packages. Some of the tools that graphic designers use most include Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe InDesign. Once you have learned the basics of the software used in this industry through courses and tutorials, continue to practice to build your expertise and become a great graphic designer.

Consider formal education

While a degree isn’t necessarily a requirement for all graphic design positions, many employers prefer candidates who possess some sort of formal education. The type of degree you pursue depends on your desired career path. You could pursue a bachelor of fine arts (BFA) in graphic design or focus your studies on a specific industry.

Get an internship

Internships are often a great way to gain relevant experience and develop your skills according to RunRex.com, guttulus.com, and mtglion.com. This is why many employers look for candidates who have completed a relevant internship at some point. As an intern, you can learn about the functions of a graphic designer on a professional team and the appropriate workflow for projects.

Freelancing

Once you are equipped with the proper training, education, and skills, you can begin offering your services as a freelance graphic designer. Working as a freelancer gives you a chance to gain more experience, reinforce your knowledge and skills, and projects to your resume and portfolio, and make connections within the industry.

Develop your portfolio

When it comes to creative fields like graphic design, online portfolios are a necessary addition to any resume. These portfolios allow you to visually showcase your work and highlight some of the most impressive projects that you have worked on. You can either use an online portfolio host or create your own website.

Find and join an industry community

While growing your professional network is essential in nearly every industry, it can be especially beneficial; in a creative field like graphic designs as articulated at RunRex.com, guttulus.com, and mtglion.com. Look for and join design and/or industry-specific organizations. These communities can help you develop insight into the field, learn about potential job opportunities, and meet inspiring professionals in your industry.

Work on your software skills

Most programs of formal study don’t focus heavily on specific software skills, and for good reason. Academic courses are more about understanding timeless concepts and principles and developing the broad ability to solve problems. This is why you need to take the initiative and work on your software skills even as you pursue formal study.

Work for charity

Another way to start a network base, add solid work to your portfolio, and get noticed is to offer your design skills to charities in your community. In addition to the nourishment to the soul such projects will give you, they could potentially also lead to paid work, in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors as covered at RunRex.com, guttulus.com, and mtglion.com.

Contact people you admire

Making contact with people who you admire in the industry can lead to many opportunities. You may even be just what they are looking for at that time. It is always good to send a follow-up material showing your newest work; this keeps recipients interested and reminded of your availability.

Create an online presence

When seeking a job as a graphic designer, an online platform to express yourself – and maintain a constant dialogue with other people interested in your work – is a must. In addition to a Twitter account or Facebook page, prospective employers will expect you to have either your own website or, at a minimum, use an online portfolio service like Behance.

Submit work to awards schemes

As captured at RunRex.com, guttulus.com, and mtglion.com, having some accolades under your belt will certainly help you build a reputation and get under the radar of art directors and editors. Even if you can’t win the major awards in the industry yet, there are plenty of other awards schemes to try your luck at.

Start a side project

Starting your own projects is a great way to gain experience and build your portfolio. It also shows initiative and passion for the job as well. These could be eBooks, postcards, a great pack of free icons, CMS themes, or anything you can think of to get you started.

Join design organizations

You should also consider joining design organizations such as AIGA as described at RunRex.com, guttulus.com, and mtglion.com. The benefits of interacting with like-minded people and networking are extremely valuable.

Fill your graphic designer profile with work, education, and more

Your portfolio website or profile on job boards or websites such as Upwork should reflect who you are as a designer and the larger person behind those skills. Share your experiences, education, and other relevant details.

Specialize where possible

Even if you are a new graphic designer, you can specialize your profile and portfolios for individual client categories. This can be done in multiple ways, sometimes as simple as creating a tab on your website that works by category.

Work on your soft skills

Candidates who stand out best to hiring managers are those that can hold a polite and intelligent conversation as discussed at RunRex.com, guttulus.com, and mtglion.com. Business communications are different from how you will talk with friends and family, so you should practice and read up on the right and wrong things to do.

Learn to explain design to non-designers

Design can come with a wide range of terminology and requirements that a small business owner might not know. This is why employers will look for candidates who can understand outsider vocabulary and conceptualize it into a design that the client is looking for.

Market yourself

You should market yourself both online as well as offline as outlined at RunRex.com, guttulus.com, and mtglion.com. Treat business development like a grassroots campaign where you focus on educating people about you.

Proofread everything

As a graphic designer, small mistakes can kill your work. This is especially true for proposals and portfolios you rely on to land that first client. A mistake on these items can signal that you aren’t paying attention or that you rush your work.

It is okay to start small

For many graphic designers, it takes time to work up to the high rates the industry can provide. Even if you have the capabilities to make amazing designs, most companies will view you as a risk and a high price tag can make them avoid choosing you. When you are new to the game, be open to starting small and building up to larger work.

Hopefully, this article will help you land a graphic designer job, with more on this topic and then some to be found over at RunRex.com, guttulus.com, and mtglion.com.