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How to Land Your First Job in Graphic Design

A wise man once said that if there is something that you’re passionate about and you can find a way to make a living from doing it, then you definitely should pursue it. When it comes to career paths such as graphic design, sometimes people who have an interest in it are hesitant because they don’t really know the steps that they need to take in order to land a job in the field.

That’s why we’re here. To provide you with five solid tips that will have you working as a graphic designer in no time:

Have the requirements. Although there are some companies that may hire you just on raw talent alone, in order to be a confident competitor, it’s a good idea to have either your associates degree or bachelor’s in graphic design. Aside from that, you need to be creative, flexible, organized, a great communicator (with both verbal and written skills) and also have a knack for problem solving.

Study the field. Believe it or not, graphic design is actually a pretty competitive field. Therefore, it’s important to do your research when it comes to checking out the kinds of corporations, design firms and other companies that would employ a graphic designer or graphic design team. In other words, don’t just look through job listings. Contact businesses that you have a personal interest in to see if they would be open to you submitting your resume for them to keep on file. School placement offices, trade magazines and design annuals can all assist you with your search.

Build a portfolio. No matter who you interview with, they are going to ask to see a portfolio of your work. It should include what you consider to be the best representation of the talent that you have to offer. If you did go to college for design, then you probably took a class or two on how to properly assemble a portfolio. If you didn’t, make sure to ask a few people who you trust to look through your work as well. They may be able to provide a different (and beneficial) perspective.

Create your resume. We know what you’re thinking. Everyone job requires a resume, right? That’s true; however, being that you’re applying to be a graphic designer, this means that the pressure is a bit higher when it comes to what your prospective employer expects. A plain sheet of paper with some black bullet points of your education and work history is pretty bland. Use your resume as another opportunity to showcase your skills by using creative fonts, infographics and more.

Dazzle during the interview. When you do get the opportunity to meet with an employer, as you well know, landing the interview is only half of the battle. In order to get the job, make sure that you appear professional, but that you represent your personal style in your interview; be honest about your strengths as well as you weaknesses and be prepared to share your “design vision” for hypothetical assignments that may be presented to you. The more innovative and prepared you are, the more of a real contender for the job that you’ll be perceived to be.

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