How and where are you looking for a design job? Chances are, you could be doing a lot more to improve your chances of landing a great position. Check out these three tips to make sure your search is the most efficient it can be!
1. Search Everywhere
As you look for a job, keep this in mind: every company utilizes design in some capacity.
A recent article published by eCollegeFinder, a resource for online colleges, explains
that inventing your own assignments, for example, redesigning a restaurant’s menu, is
sometimes a great way to get your foot in the door as a paid freelancer.
In addition to working on self-initiated projects, send your portfolio to any company
you’d like to work at – even if they haven’t listed that they are hiring. Include a cover
letter asking if they have an open position and suggest that the company keep you in
mind for future positions. Search through job listings as well, perusing both general sites
like monster.com and design-specific job forums like Coroflot, AIGA, and design:related.
2. Make Friends
No designer is an island. Networking with other creative professionals can help you
advance both your design skill and your career. First, make sure you are discoverable
and approachable. Refine your online portfolio, blog about your passion, and go crazy
promoting your work on professional social media accounts. Next, talk to your friends
and family to find out who they know in the field, contact your favorite design bloggers
for advice, and attend community design events in your area.
For more ideas, check out Red Lemon Club, a blog authored by illustrator Alex Mathers.
The blog is an excellent resource for learning how to network and self-promote as a
creative professional working towards designing profitably.
3. Try New Things
Your ability to experiment in your designs is important to your growth as a designer.
Similarly, to find employment in design, it’s vital to keep an open mind about your
search. Not every position will be your dream job, but don’t discount the thought that
you may actually reach your goal faster (or discover a better goal) if you stray a little
from your planned path. Search job listings for positions you may not have thought
to seek out. For example, don’t just look for “graphic designer” positions, but also
for “illustrator” or “web designer” positions; they may all be more similar than you
Expand your search outlets, your network, and your scope and you’ll be well on your way to
becoming a more employable designer!
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Ruan Smit started Pixelsmithstudios with the vision of creating a new design orientated environment of sharing, learning and expertise development amongst local Animators,Illustrators,Game Developers and VFX artists in South Africa.