No matter how long you’ve studied and worked on perfecting your design skills, these things won’t guarantee that you’ll land your first job easily. Even though graphic designers are needed and there are more and more companies looking for these kinds of employees, the competition is fierce.
This means that it might be difficult for you to get noticed and, ultimately, get chosen for the job. You might think that you’ve learned a lot about online graphic design, but chances are you still have a lot more to learn. This is the point where you need to think from a business perspective and “handle” yourself the right way to get your first chance.
I know from my experience that landing that first “gig” is very difficult and important, but don’t be discouraged. Today I will give you some advice on how to go through this process and finally start working in the field you love.
Created my first portfolio
No matter how slim it might be, you need to make a portfolio that you can present to potential employers. Gather all of your work and include only the best things you’ve done so far. Don’t be subjective because employers won’t have the sentimentality that you might have towards some of your work.
Include sketches and the complete designs you did and show off your versatility, no matter how narrow it might be at this point. If you’ve found something unique or interesting about your work while studying, make sure to mention that in your portfolio.
Turned my resume into another example of my design skill
Having a great resume is especially important if you are a designer. This is because it offers a lot of opportunity to showcase your ability and skills. Apart from including all the standard information a resume should have, such as your telephone number, name and address, you can design the typography within it to make it more interesting.
You can include your education, interests, objectives, experience, skills, and so on. If you don’t have any experience, first make sure to get some. For example, there are many online design contest and you can include those in your resume. Through all of these things, you can showcase your design skills in a creative way. Still, remember that it is a resume and it needs to look professional.
Pinpointed my goals and motivations before starting the job hunt
To get a certain job you need to really want it, it’s as simple as that. Potential employers will notice that you are motivated and determined to work and respect you for it. Just make sure that you understand what your goals and motivations are before chasing any job.
Through these things you can find positions that you will like, and going after them will simply feel more natural. Getting that confidence boost is essential to present yourself in the best light possible.
Aggregated a list of companies I’d like to work for
After pinpointing my goals and motivations, I reflected on them to create a list of companies that I would like to work at, within limits, of course. If you don’t meet someone’s requirements, you won’t be able to get a job there, no matter how much you want it.
Think about the past work you’ve done, what you enjoyed, what you hated and look to recognize job positions with similar elements to determine where you would like to work and where you wouldn’t. Still, be realistic and understand that we are talking about your first job and that you can’t look for an ideal job position.
Got those interviews
When you’re finished putting your wish list together, it’s time to start looking for interviews. Start of by sending out your resume and a brief letter where you express your interests in a job position, or you simply let organizations know that you are at their disposal.
Make sure to introduce yourself and be professional. Bear in mind that most professionals don’t have a lot of time and some of them want to make rookies wait to see what they are made of. You might need to write back several times before you get an interview, so be persistent.
My first job was an internship at a small graphic design company that outsourced its services. After a couple of interviews I got an email that I even forgot about. They instantly informed me about the interview date, and even though I felt discouraged at that point I prepared myself for it as best as I could.
A week later they offered me a job. My internship lasted three months and once I had proven myself, I got my first paycheck as a designer.
This is how I got my first job. Nothing special about it really, I just tried hard and tried to bring everything I possibly could to the table. Remember that your learning doesn’t stop after finishing your formal education and always look to improve your skills as a designer.