Landing your first junior graphic design job in 2021 is an important turning point in your career as a graphic designer. Most of us know the industry can be tough when you’re just starting out. Finding your first job in graphic design is important, not only because it’s your first “real” job, but because it’s a great continuation of the learning process that begins even after you graduate. Looking for that “big break” might not be so difficult if you put in the effort.
Doing your research before you begin your journey will be very beneficial in solidifying your goals as a junior graphic designer. If you do the right research, you can find yourself in a better position to catch the attention of sough-after employers.
Before you start searching for a position, you’re going to want to do some soul-searching.
Ask yourself the following questions:
– What are your strengths, weaknesses and motivations? (What will make you perform at your best?)
– What kind of projects do you want to work on most? (Visual identity design, logo design, UI/UX design, etc.)
– Is your job in high demand? Is there lots of competition for your spot? (What sets you apart if there is a high level of competition?)
Find agencies you want to work for
By making a list of graphic design agencies you’d like to work for, you can use the process of elimination and finalize which agencies you’re going to contact.
If you rank them based on the above criteria, it will be easier to make a decision about where you’d like to work. The size of the design agency is an important factor you’re going to want to consider.
Normally, larger agencies will have you working on more “intern-like” duties or small jobs such as editing photos, colors, etc. but you will have access to understanding how a large agency functions as well as the feedback and support of many other seasoned co-workers.
A smaller agency will be able to provide you with more responsibility on tasks and projects because of the smaller size. Although this is great, you may receive smaller compensation compared to a larger firm.
As a junior graphic designer, the skills you learn at your first job will prove to be invaluable – it teaches you how the graphic design industry really works in the real world, it will sharpen and build confidence in your skills and improve your ability to communicate with other designers and clients.
If you choose the agency that allows you to work at your full potential, you’re more likely to have complete job satisfaction.
Your resume will give your possible employer an idea of whether or not you are worth looking at further. It is important to make your resume clear and easy to read with appropriate typography choices. Your resume should reflect your design style and skill. Along with your resume, you’re also going to want to make sure you have a proper email or cover letter that formally introduces yourself.
Free resume template:
Your portfolio is very important for landing your first job. If you are attending design school, you should have some work pieces you can place in your portfolio. Remember to only select your best work to display – this will show your true potential and abilities. Any generic portfolios will usually not even be glanced at. The best platforms to showcase your work and promote your services are Bēhance and Dribbble.
Engage on Behance and Dribbble
Following creatives you admire is important because it can be a constant source of inspiration. Behance and Dribbble are great platforms for graphic designers where they can easily engage with all the “leaders” in the graphic designer industry.
You got this!
Getting a job right out of school as a junior designer is very doable if you do your homework and research before you start applying. Don’t lose the drive and passion you have when searching for a job. If you get turned down, don’t worry and keep applying at other places. Put a lot of effort into your portfolio and resume and you’ll reap the benefits in your first graphic design job!