What is a graphic designer?
A graphic designer communicates ideas through the use of multiple mediums such as words, images, videos and graphics. Graphic designers work with companies to deliver projects that align with company guidelines and echos the company’s values. Traditional graphic designers could do this through print work, branding, and publishing. There are 7 core types of graphic design projects:
- Product design
- Branding design
- Website design
- Print design
- Publishing design
- Environmental design
- Animation design
Why should you choose a graphic design job?
Working in graphic design can be an incredibly rewarding career path. Graphic design allows you to work on a variety of creative projects and opens you up to high-paying opportunities. Whilst it may help, you don’t need a degree to become a graphic designer. In fact, if you are able to build a solid portfolio of previous work, you can showcase your skills to employers or potential clients and easily get a foot in the industry.
Where can I find graphic design jobs?
Finding graphic design employment has never been easy. Now, there are loads of different websites offering a variety of graphic design jobs suited to different needs. Below we’re going to list some of the best job boards for graphic design, whether you’re looking for part-time, full-time, office-based or fully remote you’ll find the right thing for you here:
- Design Job Board
- The Design Kids
- We Work Remotely
- AngelList Talent
- LinkedIn Jobs
Is it hard to get a job in graphic design?
Finding your first graphic design job can seem daunting but if you continue to learn and develop your design skills, your design career will take off before you know it. Make sure to continue to develop your portfolio, whether that’s through designs you’ve made for practice or by offering free work.
Doing a job for free or very cheaply is a great way to get a foot in the door and grow your portfolio at the same time. You never know, that client you did free branding can easily turn into a paying client down the road. Or even better, bring you clients through word of mouth.
11 tips to get your foot in the door as a graphic designer
Like with any job, the design industry feels almost impossible to get into when you’re starting out. That’s why we spoke with our creative lead here at Regency (who use to also be a hiring manager) to discover 11 tips to help you get your foot in the door as a graphic designer.
Link your portfolio
Whilst this seems obvious, it’s something that a lot of people miss. Linking your portfolio will put you in the top 50% of applicants instantly (that’s how many people don’t do this). Whilst you can link your portfolio separately, to boost yourself even further, link your portfolio within your CV. Your portfolio is what hiring managers are looking at and, if it’s not there, they might just skip over you.
Don’t apply for any ‘design’ jobs
Just because the job says ‘designer’ doesn’t mean you need to be sending over your CV. Look for jobs that align with your experiences and industries in which you’ve had previous experience. This can give you a big advantage over others who have simply sent their CV in because they saw the word ‘designer’ in the job title.
Don’t cling to external recruiters
External recruiters are like estate agents, sure they don’t mind helping you find something but they’re mostly doing it for their own gain (not to benefit you). So don’t cling on to external recruiters expecting them to find you a job because a lot of opportunities will pass you by. Instead, get what you need from them and if it doesn’t work out, simply move on.
Create your personal brand
If you’re a graphic designer, you need a personal brand, and that starts with your digital signature. Purchasing a domain name can cost as little as £5 for the year. Here you can host your portfolio, elevate your personal brand, and (most importantly) set up an email address without an embarrassing name that you thought was funny when you were 13.
Avoid photos or illustrations on your CV
Whilst you might assume this makes your CV more personalised and creates a better connection, it’s probably doing the opposite. Humans make snap judgements about everything. You don’t want a hiring manager to see your photo at the top and discard you instantly before they’ve read about your talents, skills and experience.
Make your CV accessibility friendly
There’s a growing trend in the CV building community to include graphs, stats and other design elements that are essentially arbitrary. What’s 70% of 100? 70, easy right? How about 70% proficiency in Illustrator? If you can’t answer it, how are you expecting a hiring manager to? All this is doing is highlighting your weaknesses without properly displaying your strengths. So stop tilting the odds against you. Make your CV accessibility friendly.
Read the advert. Re-read the advert. Re-read the advert again.
Read the advert. Re-read the advert. Read the advert again. It’s not expected of you to adjust your CV to specifically target every job that you’re applying for but it doesn’t take much to adjust a few lines in your cover letter. If you do this, you’re showing that you’re not just clicking ‘Ctrl+V’. This will make you stand out massively.
Spell and grammar checks
Whether you’re a spelling bee master or you got a C in your English GCSE, spell and grammar check everything. A lot of designers are bad with words and that’s okay. Utilise tools like Grammarly to make sure you’re spelling and grammar are perfect on your CV and your cover letter. There is nothing as off-putting as noticing an applicant’s spelling mistake.
Practice presenting your projects
You might have multiple projects you’ve worked on or you might only have a few. Either way, having 2 or 3 core projects that you can speak about with confidence will help you stand out in an interview. Practice presenting these projects, answer common questions about what you did, what you achieved, how you worked in a team, how you’d improve and more. Having these core projects to fall back on makes things a lot easier in your interview.
*Disclaimer: just because you’re practising doesn’t mean you can add things to the project you didn’t do or take credit for someone else’s work. This will quickly become apparent when you’re asked further questions in the interview and will massively off-put interviewers.
When invited to an interview, research the company
If you’re invited to an interview, show interest. Take some time to look into the company. The companies they’ve worked with, the projects they’ve completed, the company history. Anything you can find that you can talk about in your interview. This will help you quickly build rapport with your interviewers and stop those awkward seconds of silence. It doesn’t take long to look through their website or search on LinkedIn for the company or your interviewers but it massively boosts your chances of getting hired.
Get a mentor
Get a mentor. A mentor can help review your portfolio and provide general career advice. Most people are happy to help, although always remain patient and friendly because a lot of people a very busy.