The job hunting can be a tedious task despite the field in which everyone of us performs, but in my opinion, we designers have a great advantage in front of other professionals at the time of do the search, we can attract the attention of the employers, more easily, even making them ask us to work for them (this applies if you’re good at what you do).
Create a good design portfolio
Make sure you only include your best work, it’s better to put quality over quantity. Please don’t fill up with work from your first semester at college or your exercises in Art class. It’s not bad to include college work, as long as they have an approach towards something you can do in the business world. If you still don’t have your portfolio ready, read the next article that will come handy to help you create yours: Design portfolio, best sites to showcase your work.
Design a brilliant designer résumé
Along with your portfolio, the curriculum is your cover letter when meeting potential employers, so make sure you create a VERY GOOD résumé, please take a look at our article ‘Graphic designer resume, best tips and examples‘ where we share useful tips, also, in case you need some inspiration to help you design your curriculum, then you should check our roundup featuring some nice graphic design résumé examples.
Leverage Social Media
If you’re a designer that uses Twitter to insult your leaders, tweets as many cr@p as you can think of such as “I love doing nothing!” or if you just publish pictures of your “spectacular” meals, or if your Pinterest is filled with naked women pictures, the clothes you like or nerdy jokes that no one will get, don’t even think about giving your Social Media links to your employers, don’t include them in your portfolio or résumé, don’t even consider it!. On the contrary, a proper use of Social Media can be an excellent cover letter.
Use Twitter to show that you’re an active person in the Design field, use it to share tips, useful links, concepts, whatever you want that’s design-related. People don’t want to know if you woke up wanting to do nothing, but they may be interested in following you if you’re a person that’s constantly sharing good contents, or your portfolio! Twitter is a great tool, but you’ve got to learn how to use it.
Picture this scene: You have sent your portfolio to a major company and your future boss liked your work, but he wants to know more about how you act on your everyday life. You didn’t put links to your Social Media accounts in your portfolio, so you’re relax, but he starts googling your name and finds a picture of you on Facebook smoking a joint, a Twitter filled with insulting messages and a Pinterest that resembles a pornographic website, but still, he still likes your portfolio! However, there’s another designer that’s competing for the position that you’re applying for, the difference is that his Pinterest only features Web Design, Photography and Illustration boards, his Twitter is dedicated to share useful design links and his Facebook profile is family-friendly, so what image is he projecting? That he’s an active person that’s constantly looking for new ideas and that’s aware of the latest design trends. Just by staring at that you can tell if you have a good taste in design and how involved are you in the field.
Make yourself known as a designer
It’s not enough with just creating a personal portfolio if you want to get contacted by a major company. The best way to see job start raining above you is by showing how good you are to the world. Share your work on Behance, Dribbble, social networks, send your portfolio to design blogs so they can write about you (we receive links everyday from very talented people that want to get featured in our site, and of course we do!). Make a name and have people to follow you; start a design blog, what better way to share your expertise and stories than through a blog? (You can find some good reasons to start a blog here). Get involved in contests, this a great way to make yourself known in the world of design (don’t confuse contest with silly competitions)
Reach the companies you want to work for
Whatever your dream is, whether it’s working for Google, a video games company or a startup, contact them! Visit their websites and check if they have any job offers, and if they don’t, that’s OK, don’t give up and join LinkedIn, then try to reach the chief of the Department where you want to be. It’s more effective to look for who’s going to be your future boss and send him a message introducing yourself and offering your services, let him/her know about your interest in joining the company and that you’re willing to wait until they have an offer for you, also make sure you attach a link to your portfolio, I can assure you that if you do it correctly, you will get the person’s attention.
That strategy can be much more effective than sending your résumé to HR departments where they will stack it next to a list of candidates and where you will be contacted in the future if you’re a lucky person.
Don’t limit yourself to common places, the best companies don’t even bother in publishing the job offers online. Look for job offers in Twitter, make use of hashtags and visit their Facebook pages to see if they have any job positions available.
I hope that these tips can be helpful when you start looking for a new job, however, this guide will only help if you’re a good designer and have a powerful portfolio, so start making top-notch designs and look for the job of your dreams!. If you receive a call and make it to an interview after reading this, please let us know in the comments section!