Advice from the trenches
Securing a graphic design job right now is a daunting feat. There have been countless layoffs lately between tech, finance, and healthcare. As these and other industries face downsizing and layoffs, it doesn’t help that marketing and design jobs always seem to bear the brunt of these cutbacks. With more and more jobs in our industry being slashed, the market for available positions has become super competitive.
When our small agency recently posted a job listing for a senior graphic designer, we received over 500 applications in just seven days. While we had fully intended on leaving the posting up longer, we were quickly overwhelmed with possibilities and the review process. Our recent hiring experience inspired me to shed some light on the do’s and don’ts of applying for a graphic design job. After reviewing hundreds of applicants, I’ve narrowed down my top tips for landing the graphic design job of your dreams!
1. Your resume is a portfolio piece
2. Make your portfolio link easy to find
3. PDF is king
4. Diversify your portfolio
5. Use keywords from the job posting to your advantage
6. Follow directions
7. Your portfolio needs to be online
8. Use spell check
9. Tap into your network
10. Go above and beyond
To sum up my best advice for applying to graphic design jobs, in order to come out on top in today’s tough job market you’re going to need to make smart moves and take a proactive approach. You can position yourself as a standout candidate by making sure you craft a flawless resume that showcases who you are as a designer and a portfolio that is diverse and well-curated. Both should be tailored specifically to the job you are applying for and free of error–it’s this attention to detail that can set you apart. Of course, having a jaw-dropping resume and portfolio are great but there’s more to landing your dream position. With hundreds of applications coming in for a single job opening, reaching out personally to the hiring manager shows that you are a go-getter who is willing to go the extra mile. Trust me, this is what we are looking for! So don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, set yourself apart from the crowd, and make your graphic design dreams a reality. You’ve got this!