Nowadays, finding a job in web design can be daunting; especially if you’re a new grad or are transitioning from another field. Luckily though, it’s easy to get up to speed if you take advantage of a wealth of resources available to you. Here are some tips that you should keep in mind when you’re searching for design work to make the process a little easier:
First and foremost: Have a website!
As an aspiring web designer you must have a website on a logical domain name which encompasses your best work and personality. If you don’t have a ton of web design experience, that’s perfectly ok. Now is the time to start learning by doing. There are a ton of valuable resources online to help teach you how to code like codeschool.com, codeavengers.com (free), or lynda.com. You must have a foundation in how the technology works if you want to design and develop sites.
Keep your resume simple.
The main point of your resume is to communicate relevant experience. Choose an easy-to-read font, adjust kerning where necessary and add an appropriate amount of creative flair if you’d like (but avoid any embellishments that take away from legibility). Employers and HR professionals will toss your resume if they can’t find that information quickly enough. If you’re worried about getting your personality across, leave that mainly to your website.
Don’t get stuck on trendy.
There are a lot of trends out there for design resumes, but don’t be that person that tailors their resume to a trend. Do not create an infographic resume only because you think it’s cool. If you want to express your style in a quirkier way consider your audience: an insurance company may not appreciate an out-of -the-box resume as much as a small web design shop.
Don’t be picky.
As a recent grad, I know what it’s like to graduate and not have a ton of relevant work experience or work samples. When you graduate, you are competing for positions with people who have been in the field for much longer. Until you have more experience–don’t be picky –any experience is good experience. Keep putting yourself out there. Can you build a friend’s business website? Can you find an internship where you will learn and gain valuable skills? Don’t turn down a valuable learning experience. It might even lead to more clients or a full time job.
Be open to learning new things.
In your cover letter and interview, let the employer know that you’re willing to learn and help their business grow. Many aspects of web design and development can be taught on the job. Because the trends in web technology move quickly, it’s important to learn and keep up. Absorb all the knowledge you can from podcasts, professionals you follow on twitter and networking events. There is an abundance of knowledge and inspiration on the internet.
Think about culture.
When you send your resume and portfolio to a prospective employer make sure you are a good fit for the company’s culture. For many positions (especially at smaller agencies) in addition to your skills, one of the main requirements is being able to mesh well with your coworkers. It was also important for me to have coworkers who are helpful and fun to be around. At Roundpeg, work is balanced with fun activities like “Cheese Day” (our monthly cheese meeting) and lunch outings to Chipotle. Make sure you’re the kind of employee who is open to collaboration and also a good fit for a company’s personality.
Want to see some of the awesome web design work we’re proud of here at Roundpeg? Make sure to check out our digital web design portfolio.