After four years of studying, working on projects, and taking tests, you’ve finally graduated! So, what’s next? How do you find a job? Finding work as a designer straight out of college can be very overwhelming. It’s not only the pressure of finding an opportunity and proving you are qualified, but it is also about showing potential employers that you are creative and skilled.
Below are some tips to help you get started on your job search:
Tips For Finding A Design Job After College
Create A Portfolio
As a recent graduate, you might not have many work samples. Start by using your best school projects. Include any internship work you collaborated on or any designs you’ve done that might have won an award. If you still don’t feel like you have enough pieces, then design new stuff! Create a logo for an imaginary company or redesign an existing brand for fun. Do pro bono work for friends and family or donate your services to a local nonprofit.
Design Your Resume
If you are asking for a position as a designer, your resume should reflect that. Don’t use a template or a basic format like everybody else. Your resume can be another tool to help showcase your talent. Get creative with layout, color, and medium.
Highlight Your Interests and Strengths
Be clear about the kind of design you want to focus on. Whether your interest is in logo design, editorial design, package design, or web design, be sure that your work samples and your resume communicate that. Don’t forget about other attributes that are not design related. Do you speak another language? Are you a people person? How many design and non-design programs do you master? Are you a problem solver? Can you work under high-pressure deadlines?
Get Up From Your Computer
Filling out online applications is a good start, but try other things as well. Find out if your school offers work placement programs. Reach out to your teachers to see if they know of possible job opportunities. Attend local meet-ups or workshops where you can meet other designers or potential employers. Stop by local design agencies to drop off your resume in person and ask if you can quickly introduce yourself to the person in charge.
Make sure you have a reliable computer that you can work from with the design software you need. Keep your portfolio and resume up to date and have both digital and printed copies of both. Prepare a few professional and presentable work outfits. Practice your pitch!
Join design communities on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Dribbble, etc. Some designers in these groups may share job opportunities with you. Others may offer critiques, helping you polish your design work in order to have a stronger portfolio. Design communities are also an excellent source of inspiration and self-education.