5 essential job search tips for web designers
Being a web designer is about many things – an in-depth technical knowledge, a flair for great aesthetics and excellent communication skills. Even if it sounds complex (and perhaps precisely because it does), the job can be immensely rewarding and creatively stimulating. How to break in and go straight for success in this profession? Here are 5 essential tips for getting lots of web design work.
1. Develop technical skills that matter
Before you enter the job market, you'll need to have a firm grasp on the technical side of web design. Become proficient in different web design systems, platforms and media. Web design is obviously about graphic design as well – make sure to know more than standardized elements and templates.
It's important not to get stuck in one environment. Clients will expect you to know your way around various areas of web design. Try to diversify your capabilities as much as possible. In order to stay competitive, delve into different programming languages and design apps. Nobody said web design is an easy job.
2. Become referable
Referrals are your best friend if you're a freelance web designer. When taking up a job, be aware of the fact that if your performance is excellent, you'll become referable – leaving your competition behind.
Become a person people like to work with – as a professional, you should be reliable. When asking you to solve a problem, clients will look for a permanent solution. Delivering something that really works will only spread the word about your skill.
3. Follow industry trends
Web design fashions change really quickly. That's why it's important to be familiar with all the current, as well as upcoming, trends in the industry. Sticking to outdated solutions, materials and applications, you'll only be communicating to everyone – your clients, fellow designers and the whole industry – that you're not up to date with your profession. And that's something you don't want to be known for.
4. Make a relevant portfolio
When creating your portfolio, always do it with an audience in mind. Showing edgy and alternative designs to corporate clients won't work in your favor – people usually want to see what they buy. Define your target market – the kind of clients you'd like to work for. Go through a few job offerings to see what the clients and employers expect. Jobs on Gumtree might be a good start. On this basis compile a great portfolio that will showcase all your skills.
When it comes to portfolio-making, there's another thing you should be aware of. You're making your portfolio for clients, not other designers – use a clear language to communicate your expertise and choose examples of your work that will be understandable to your customers. Being cryptic won't make you seem more sophisticated.
5. Work on your communication skills
Working with various clients operating in different industries, you should always stick to this one basic rule – be flexible and client-oriented. Even if you think your client has bad taste, doesn't know what they are talking about or demands changes that in your opinion ruin the design, you'll be able to overcome all these difficulties with open communication.
Great web designers know how to manage their clients – work on your communication skills to meet their requirements and gain the ability to clearly explain why some things work and other don't.
Web design is a demanding profession because of a highly competitive job market, but once you develop a profile for yourself as a developer with killer skills, you can be sure to land lots of exciting jobs.