Yes, You Can Find A Design Job You’re Truly Thrilled to Work At - Here’s How.
Is it just me or does the start of fall still give you the “back to school” feelings? With summer soon coming to an end, there’s no time like the start of fall to tap into your ambition and seek out a job in the design world you truly love. As a creative recruiter, I wanted to share some tips to all the designers out there who are starting out in their career & want to work at a company they’re truly thrilled about. Here are 4 steps that entry-level designers can make to get closer to landing their dream job.
Put your own spin on your portfolio.
With social media at your fingertips, it can be hard to stay true to your own design style. I totally get it. When browsing through Instagram, Pinterest, and Dribble, it can start to feel like inspiration overload. When creating and updating your portfolio, it’s definitely helpful to sift through designers that are inspirational to you but be mindful of how many hours you spend doing that. I would recommend you take a few hours one day then work on your portfolio the following day with a fresh and inspired mind. Stay true to what makes you unique as a designer and be sure to illustrate your personal brand in your portfolio.
Don’t forget about your resume.
Resumes still exist? Yes! Although there tends to be less of a focus on your resume in the creative field, you should not forget about it. The resume is not totally dead – at least, not yet. If anything, having a resume that lists out your previous experience including internships, freelance gigs, and relevant school projects or awards, prepares you for your next interview.
In addition, having a resume that matches your portfolio further emphasizes your personal brand and style. When building your creative resume, it’s crucial that you triple check it’s grammatically correct and aesthetically balanced. Make sure that all the bullet points are aligned, that the fonts you use carry the same weight, and that line breaks and spaces are consistent throughout the document. Try to avoid a ton of different colors and fonts – I recommend sticking to two.
Work on impressing your future boss.
I sift through dozens of portfolios a day and even if someone has a ton of work experience, sometimes their portfolio only showcases a handful of their work. You may be thinking, what if your previous work doesn’t align with what you want to create in the future? Your first job or previous internships may not be what you totally dreamed of and that’s okay! You can be creative with how you showcase your previous work that you might not be fond of today, but it demonstrates that you’re a multidisciplinary designer.
Other ways to ramp up your portfolio are by spending some time creating your own projects that are similar to the type of design role you want to land. You can also pitch your experience for freelance opportunities. Be sure to include that work in your portfolio and share your thought process around the idea from beginning to end. Hiring managers want to understand how your idea came to life and what you did to get there. The more work you can show on your portfolio, the better.
Network as much as possible.
Needless to say, networking can go a very long way. You never know who you’ll meet when you’re at your next happy hour or conference so be sure to have an elevator pitch ready to go. You can also share your elevator pitch with hiring managers and creative recruiters (shameless plug) on LinkedIn, as they might have just the right job for you.
Lastly, even if you’re green, remember, you have something to offer (and something companies are looking for).