Finding a job as a Graphic Designer can be difficult, not because there are few jobs, but because the market is so disparate and varied that it can be difficult finding the job that suits your own needs and desires. There are a large array of tools and resources available to help connect prospective employers with candidates. However, these tools can be difficult to use and navigate and they only cover the first step of the job application process. Below are a few tips and things to keep in the back of your mind while you are applying for jobs.

Introduce the reader to the subject of this article. You might describe how future Graphic Designers want to maximize their opportunities and attractiveness as a candidate by attending to details and learning how the job search process works in Graphic Design.

Tip #1: Finding Job Openings

The first step in the job application process is to find job openings and places to apply to. A common strategy is to visit websites like Indeed, Monster, or GlassDoor. These websites are excellent places to find local and distance job offerings, and they help users aggregate and organize this information into understandable chunks. These sites aren’t without their limits, though. Since they are aggregation tools, some jobs simply won’t show up under certain searches because they aren’t properly tagged by the poster. This means that you’ll want to have multiple different search terms, such as Graphic Designer, Visual Designer, Graphic Artist, or Artist, in mind when you start looking for jobs. In addition, these sites tend to be awash with mass posted, temporary openings or cyclical offers that have long since expired. You’ll need to be on the lookout for these positions since it isn’t a good use of your time to apply for a job that was posted in June of 2021.

Tip #2: Narrowing Your Search

After you’ve started your job search, the next step will be to reduce the number of jobs you are looking at to a manageable number. First, you’ll want to look at the offerings you’ve found and quickly cross off any that seem to be overly specific, mislabeled, or otherwise unrelated to graphic design. In an effort to get their offerings seen, many public listings will include references to or include metadata linking them to commonly searched-for terms, even if the job is far more specific than might be desirable. Beyond this, you’ll want to check the job titles in the listing since some of the more advanced openings, like those for senior creative designers, will come up in a search. Finally, you’ll want to check for the job’s posting date, since oftentimes, job listings aren’t successfully taken down once a job is filled. If the job was posted several months ago, there is a good chance that it has already been filled.

Once you’ve narrowed down the job offerings of old links, irrelevant offerings, and jobs you don’t qualify for, you’ll want to do another pass on the job offerings with slightly more focused attention. A focused job search can take a lot of time since every job you apply for is more work you’ll have to do to produce solid, competitive materials. Thus, you’ll want to honestly self-assess how many jobs you think you can handle applying to at a given time. Then, you’ll want to begin culling jobs from the list until you reach such a point that you are comfortable giving them all the attention that you need. Some good ways to do this include cutting old job listings, since even a job posted a month ago may have already received hundreds of applications and yours is among the last that doesn’t bode well. You may also consider only focusing on jobs that you feel your unique application offers you an advantage, so if you have a particular skill set or background, you’ll want to prioritize job applications that allow you to leverage that background. Finally, if you still need to cull listings, you can simply ask yourself which job or company looks the most appealing and prioritize those offerings.

Tip #3: Do your Research

A good job application is a personalized job application that is attentive to the specific job listing that it is responding to. While it is important to have generic material s that you can include in any application, you’ll want to tailor your resume, cover letter, and portfolio to the specific job listing that you are answering. This means that you’ll want to dedicate some amount of time to do outside research on the company you are applying to. Most design companies have a large online presence for potential clients to view and most companies hiring a Graphic Designer will still have a visual style of existing iconography to view. This research process will help you understand the kinds of projects that a designer may be asked to work on or what kinds of clients the company takes on. Looking over this material can greatly help set you apart since you can customize your job materials to suit the individual application.

Once you’ve done this research, you’ll want to fine-tune your cover letter, resume, and portfolio to align with the research you’ve done. This can be as simple as changing the order of items in your resume to highlight application-specific elements of your work history or as complex as reworking your portfolio to demonstrate your design skills that most align with the style or iconography of the company that is hiring. To learn more about ways to customize your resume, portfolio, and cover letter, please visit the Graphic Designer career hub pages that emphasize those skills.

Tip #4: Prepare for the Interview

Once you’ve customized your materials and begun applying for jobs, the next important step is to prepare yourself for the interview process and start considering how you are going to discuss more intricate details with potential employers. An important part of getting hired is nailing an interview and the best way to get comfortable with the interview process is to practice interviews with sample questions. You’ll also want to take the research you have done and prepare to include this in your interview answers. You don’t want to sound too specific or focused, but it is important to demonstrate to hiring managers that you are applying to this job, notany job.

Once the interview is out of the way, you’ll want to consider how you intend to negotiate with a potential employer as they are considering an offer. A really important part of the process, particularly for higher-level employees, is negotiating starting salary and benefits, since it both provides you with added perks to taking the job and indicates to the hiring manager that you are taking the offer seriously. This is a minor point, but you should be prepared to have serious discussions with your prospective employer about these things once the interview process begins to conclude.

Tip #5: Get Feedback

During the entire process, you’ll want to be in touch with professionals, educators, and other experts who can give your feedback and advice on the application process. Finding a job can be a great deal of work, and there are a ton of materials you’ll need to prepare for hiring managers. Since they are all important, it is key that you aren’t ignoring important aspects of the process. Professional feedback can help you shape your cover letter, customize your portfolio to a specific listing, or build a resume that tells the story you want to tell.

One great place to get this kind of feedback is in a professional development course, such as the certificate programs offered through Noble Desktop. In these courses, students will receive expert instruction in graphic design skills, and they will spend time working on important professional development training. Among these professionalization services are one-on-one career mentorship meetings. During these meetings, students can ask professional Graphic Designers questions about the job application process and receive feedback on their materials and approaches. This is invaluable for setting your application apart from other potential employees.

Learn the Skills to Become a Graphic Designer at Noble Desktop

If you want to start a career in graphic design, the graphic design classes offered by Noble Desktop are an excellent place to start. Students can take all their classes remotely or in-person at their Manhattan campus. For students who want to start slow by just learning one popular design program, Noble offers an Adobe Photoshop Bootcamp, an Adobe InDesign Bootcamp, and an Adobe Illustrator Bootcamp. These beginner-friendly courses take just a few days to complete and will provide students with foundational design skills.

For those who feel ready to dive into a more comprehensive program, Noble Desktop’s Graphic Design Certificate might be a better fit. Students will complete hands-on assignments using popular design programs, including Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. This program is ideal for those hoping to start a career as a Graphic Designer. Certificate students at Noble Desktop receive individual career mentorship, where experts in the design industry help craft resumes and portfolios and provide helpful tips for finding lucrative employment. 

If a class isn’t feasible for your current schedule, Noble Desktop has a host of resources on its website to help start your graphic design career. You can browse their collection of articles about Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign if you’re curious about how each program works. You can also review information about other design tools to see if another field might interest you more.

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