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How to be the designer every agency wants to hire

Amplify the message that you’re good and that hiring you is worthwhile with this expert advice.

Creativity is an obvious quality to showcase; the cornerstone of every good graphic designer. But how do you showcase it when you’re just starting out your career journey? 

And with a lack of experience under your designer tool belt, what other skills or attributes can you highlight and – more importantly – what other qualities are companies looking for when they hire? 

Here we’ve got the inside scoop on what modern companies wants to see when they send out that elusive call for candidates:

Training 

You may begin thinking about a career in graphic design before you’ve even chosen a course of further study. Or for some people, it’s an industry they move into from another field, having found a love for creativity and design in another role. So do you need a degree in the subject, or another qualification altogether? Or can you be self-taught? 

You may be glad to hear that there is no set path that will guarantee entry and each company will be looking for a particular set of skills and qualities in a candidate. 

There is no set path that will guarantee entry to the design industry

It depends on the individual, but as a general rule, you can miss out on a lot of things that are gained in an educational setting. Experiences such as taking constructive criticism on board, working in a team environment, or mentoring for example. Once you have gained some level of training or experience then, the key is to keep your skills and knowledge up-to-date. 

Everyone is different, because their areas of expertise differ but generally, magazines like Computer Arts are good at covering a lot of areas. Across the board, inspiration websites such as Pinterest, The Dieline (for packaging) and Behance (for design portfolios) are popular. Blogs like howdesign.com are also a great source of inspiration and industry news and analysis. When it comes to books, we would recommend Branding in 5 and a Half Steps by Michael Johnson, Know Your Onionsby Drew de Soto and Why Fonts Matter by Sarah Hyndman

Portfolio 

Be productive. A library of work is one of the key indicators of a natural designer; someone with genuine flair and passion for what they do, regardless of whether there’s a pay packet or deadline attached to it. That’s why so many young graphic designers are running their own portfolios online like industry blogs.  

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The WebRecital is a dedicated User Interface/User Experience professionals who come together to provide design and research workshops, portfolio reviews, and educational outreach to the greater Seattle area.
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