Seeking employment in the field of graphic design? When you’re looking for a new start, LinkedIn, Indeed, Simply Hired, Glassdoor, and Monster aren’t your only options. There are several sites that can connect you to your next freelance gig or running into the arms of an agency that will appreciate your talents. But where do you start looking? We are here to help!
Here are some sites you may find helpful:
AIGA Design Jobs: Professional Jobs and Internships courtesy of our friends at AIGA.
AngelList: Positions offered by Tech and StartUp Companies
Authentic Jobs: Design opportunities for graphic designers, developers and other creative professionals
Behance: Design Jobs, Internships and Freelance Work
Coroflot: Jobs in the areas of Graphic Design, Product Design, Creative Direction and more
Creative Hotlist: A creative job-board featuring categories like design, illustration, art direction and more
Design Milk: Design, Art and Architecture positions
Dribbble: Jobs for Designers
Higher Ed: Graphic Design Faculty Positions
If You Could: A site covering a myriad of creative jobs
Krop: A multitude of creative positions
Media Bistro: Creative Jobs in areas like Graphic Design, UX & UI, Video, Web Production and more
Smashing Magazine: Jobs for Designers and Developers
The Dots: Creative jobs covering a range of roles. Some prestigious companies list here.
The Drum: Jobs in Marketing, Design and Creative Position, as well as a range of others associated with this field.
For Freelancers Specifically:
DesignCrowd: Freelance Design Jobs in areas including logo & branding, web design, print design, graphic design, product & merchandise, art & illustration
Freelancer.com: Post your skills/capabilities and get hired.
The Creative Loft: A premium job listing website for jobseekers and professionals of creative industries.
Upwork: The largest & most trusted freelancer site. Post your skills and clients will find you.
Make sure to check out our other posts related to job hunting!
Good luck everyone!
Graphic Design Portfolio Tips by Go Media –
Hello Go Media Faithful! Hunting for your dream job? The last two weeks we’ve been discussing the resources you need to submit in order to gain the attention of your dream design firm. If you missed part one and two of this series, please go back and read them before proceeding:
Now that you’re a pro at cover letters and resumes, let’s move on to part three of your submission to the graphic design studio of your dreams – the portfolio.
Here are three graphic design portfolio tips we need you to learn and embrace now (from the boss, Bill Beachy, himself):
Slow down and nail your presentation. Many young designers do good design work… then spend very little effort putting it together into a BEAUTIFUL portfolio post. The project is done, you’re eager to move on – so you throw a few images online for the portfolio. STOP. SLOW DOWN. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF LANDING A JOB – a B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L portfolio. Take the extra time to write about, mock-up and present the work you’ve done in the most flattering way possible. You SHOULD find yourself doing EXTRA design work as you prepare your portfolio post. Once you have a project that’s moving in a pretty direction that you’re happy with – KEEP GOING… don’t stop until you have all the pieces and parts to present a beautiful portfolio post.
Consider this… you may have just spent several weeks designing something. Now… you should spend at least several days preparing it as beautifully as possible to show off.
You must have an online portfolio. This does not mean that you have to be a web developer. You can use SquareSpace, Wix, Coroflot, a WordPress Template – really anything. An employer just needs to know you’re living in the 21st century. If you have the dev skills to build your own website, that would be best – HOWEVER don’t post your beautiful portfolio on an ugly website! If you’re going to post your portfolio onto a website you built – it better be as beautiful as the items IN the portfolio. The last thing you want to do is distract your potential employer by putting good portfolio work onto an ugly website. Make sure wherever you put your portfolio – it’s not distracting. If you want to show off your dev skills, but they’re not portfolio worthy – just do that somewhere else.
Your online portfolio must be a match set to your resume and cover letter – and must be GOOD. I would err on the side of good over self-built. If your web dev skills are not portfolio worthy yet, then don’t rely on them to show off your work.
Show a variety of work types. It’s important that your portfolio demonstrates your ability to do a variety of things. Obviously, you’ll want to show your ability to do the type of work that matches up with the work the firm you’re applying to does. In Go Media’s case, that would be: branding (logo design), print design and web design. I recommend including your 3 best samples of work in each design category. You don’t need to have a huge portfolio, but whatever is in there needs to be your very best work! Err on the side of showing less work of higher quality than having a big portfolio where some of the pieces are only so-so. An employer is going to pick out the worst thing in your portfolio and assume all your work will be that bad. So, it’s kind of like the saying: “A chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link.” So, if you have doubts about anything in your portfolio, get it out of there.
Side note: If you think you can only show one style of design and tell clients: “take it or leave it…” I’m telling you right now – 99% of clients and employers will leave it. You need to be more adaptable than that. When a client hires you, you need to be making designs that are appropriate to that client, not just designs that you like. When I come across candidates that have extremely homogeneous portfolios I give them two radical jobs: Design branding and promotional materials for Metallica (sponsored by Monster Energy Beverage) and design branding, signage and promotional materials for a cupcake shop that is owned by Hello Kitty. These two hypothetical projects will force a designer to push their style to extreme ends of the style spectrum. You can invent your own projects, the point is to demonstrate a wide range of styles in your portfolio.
Alrighty, so some of you may have a lot of work to do before submitting your cover letter, resume and portfolio to your dream job. These may include things like –
- Researching your dream design firm inside and out, outside and in
- Scratching that Word doc in favor of a beautifully designed resume and cover letter
- Designing your own personal brand
- Improving upon your website (online portfolio), carrying your personal branding over to that
- Thinking strategically about what you need in your portfolio and working toward those goals
- Adding more work to your portfolio
Yes, this may seem overwhelming, but when you take all of these tasks step by step, you’ll be happy you did. And believe us, so will your future employer. Best of luck, everyone!
Creative Job Interview Tips
Whether you’re out there, seeking a job in a creative field, or just want to keep your ninja interview skills sharp as knives, read on as we receive advice from interview expert Ann Walter.
Having interviewed hundreds of people over the years, Ann knows her stuff. Cleveland native and Kent State University School of Fashion Design Merchandising alumni, Ann is a retail consultant and college instructor specializing in professional development/job search coursework for the creative fields. She spent the last eighteen years as a fashion designer and creative leader in the apparel industry at companies including Liz Claiborne, Gap, Walmart, Sears Holdings, Dots, and Justice managing design teams of fashion designers, graphic designers, and CAD designers. She currently serves as adjunct college instructor at KSU Studio in New York City.
Take it away, Ann!
– Heather, Go Media’s Zine Editor
Interview Do’s and Dont’s
We’re all pretty familiar with the basics involved in an interview. Let’s talk about some important specifics and details regarding the three parts of the interview process including:
As you review the following do’s and don’ts, here’s something important thing to keep in mind – just because we may be “creatives” doesn’t mean the interview process is any easier or less serious.
And remember, you don’t have to be nervous – you just have to be prepared!
Ready? Let’s go!
The Pre-Interview: “Do your homework!”
DON’T forget this often overlooked yet critical part of the interview process.
DO keep detailed notes/an interview journal (digital or notebook). This could include your thoughts on the company, important dates, and location of interview. Also a great place to keep your answers to top interview questions.
DO research the company!
Google them for news articles, earnings, new business ventures, etc. If this company has a retail component – visit the store and take notes! If they sell online or business-to-business spend time on their website and be familiar with their product, designs, campaigns, etc. It’s a deal-breaker in a creative industry to not have an opinion on the product/aesthetic of the company you are interviewing for. They will ask your opinion, what looked good and what opportunities you see for them. They’ll want to know what you think of their competition, etc.
DON’T be afraid to do a little ‘light stalking!’
Research the interviewer themselves if you can. If you are working with HR and have already met the HR team, ask them for what to expect from the interviewers. Ask your friends who work there. I like to see the interviewer’s picture on LinkedIn if I can! The more information you have the better and the more comfortable you’ll be when you arrive at the interview!
DON’T show up in the wrong outfit! Research the culture and dress code. Be prepared in an appropriate way.
DO be prepared by practicing your answers to typical interview questions.
DO a dry run to the location of interview!
Literally dry run the commute/walk etc. to know how long it will take you. Know where the building is, etc. You will feel more comfortable the day of.
DO allow yourself time to walk in the door of the reception area/lobby 10 minutes early!
If you get to the building too early kill time at a Starbucks or hang out in your car! Remember, you may have to park far away or go through building security and sign in. In these cases, make sure to allow extra time. Being late is a big no-no. If you do run late, let the interviewer know in advance and apologize when you arrive without going overboard.
During The Interview: “Bring Your A Game!”
DO introduce yourself professionally with a strong and self-confident voice, good eye contact, and a firm handshake! This is not the time to be shy or girly. Be assertive and confident!
DON’T forget that first impressions are KEY! The interviewer probably reaches some sort of decision about you in the first 2 – 5 minutes.
DON’T forget to have 10 copies of your resume with you. Use good quality paper!
DO keep your answers to 2 minutes or under! Don’t ramble.
DON’T use slang.
Creative folks can get away with slightly more casual language and behavior, but it even if you’re meeting at the local coffee house, it is still a job interview where they are assessing whether or not to hire you at their company. Be very careful of the top offenders UMM, LIKE, YOU KNOW. If you find you use slang, a good way to catch yourself is to just pause instead of saying your usual filler.
DON’T bad mouth a previous employer!
The creative fields are small industries and people are very connected. Plus, it makes you look like a small-minded person who gossips and is unprofessional – if you are forced by a direct question to give an example of a tough relationship you’ve had in the past – take a negative situation and describe it as a challenge and how you overcame it, keep things proactive.
DO have a few questions prepared for the interviewer.
These could be about the company, about the position
“What are you looking for in this “assistant graphic designer” role?”
“How long have you been with the company”
“What keeps you excited to be here?”
DO be prepared to be flexible.
If an interview goes well, they might have you stay and meet more of their colleagues.
After the Interview: “Leave A Good Impression!”
DO stand up, thanks the interviewer for her time, look her in the eye and shake her hand again!
DON’T be afraid to ask about next steps in the interview process or when they will be making their decision on the position.
Reiterate that you are very interested in the position.
DON’T forget to send a thank you note within 12 – 24 hours!
Handwritten, not email. Don’t use a card covered with glittery butterflys from Papyrus. This is not a thank you note for your grandmother! Use simple, chic, cool stationery.
DO follow up.
Assess the best form of contact. This is usually email so it’s less invasive. Check in if you haven’t heard anything in the timeline that was mentioned. Again, an appropriate level of assertive follow-up (light stalking!) here shows your interest in the position.
And that’s it!
Best of luck with your interviews and stay tuned to Part Two of How to Ace Your Next Creative Job Interview, “Tough Interview Questions and How to Answer Them”