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15 Dec 2015

Graphic Design Agencies: Standing Out

Are you applying for jobs at graphic design agencies? There are some things you need to stand out and give you a better shot at getting the job. Below, we discuss five things that will help you secure the graphic designer job you want.

  • Show of progression

What is your story with design? When did you start designing? Who taught you? Do you have any certificates or professional training in design?

These are all simple but important questions that you need to answer to have a better shot at a job. You were not born with the skill and you did not get to where you are overnight. Sharing your progression with potential employers will allow them to see you are not a rookie pretending to be who you are not.

Sometimes, the people who have taught you can be an advantage to you. If you have learned design from someone considered a legend in the field, you are more likely to be trusted. It is the same reason why law firms prefer to hire from Harvard Law than some local law school.

If you’ve not had the privilege of training with “Ivy League” designers or you don’t have the best certificates, a display of previous work will help. A track record of good work will often beat a certificate from the best school.

  • Unique Design

You are not going to reinvent the wheel. That’s true. Thank goodness Design is not the wheel. Every day when you design, you get a chance to make something new and different. There are some designs that you may need to learn the process and find yourself but soon you will need to do something different.

Employers have seen several designs, most of them the same. They are always looking for something new; a breath of fresh air.

When applying for jobs, it is good to include your ‘safe’ and conventional designs. This lets the employer know that you’ve got the basics covered. It is also a safety net in case you meet an employer who doesn’t your unique design.

No two designers are the same. It is that difference that makes your art appreciated. It is also important to note that the organization you are applying to will influence how ‘unique’ your designs will be. A good understanding of the organization and what they value will help you. It is still a good idea that you include something that is not exactly their type. They may not know they love your type design simply because they have never seen it.

  • Project Management

Graphic design agencies want to know that you can handle several tasks at once. Hence the need for knowledge of Project Management.

Project Management is usually divided into five phases. These five phases can also help your design work, and this is why graphic design agencies may be interested in you knowing them.

  1. Project Initiation

This is where you measure the value and feasibility of a project. This is the phase where decide if you would take a project based on its merits and demerits.

  1. Project Planning

This is the phase where you determine what happens when, where and who makes it happen. Especially if you have more than one design in a project or you are working with a group of designers. It is important to plan your time before you start a project.

  1. Project Execution

This is where the main work is done. Things will be smoother if the Planning Phase is done properly. This is where you allocate resources and keep team members – if applicable, focused on your deliverables.

  1. Project Monitoring and Control

This usually works simultaneously with the execution phase. You track variations in allocated time and resources and adjust so that the project can still end successfully.

  1. Project Closure

A project is successful closed when you have delivered the finished product to the client and they have signed off.

Project management may be complex but a solid knowledge of it will aid you when being considered by an employer.

  • Work under Pressure

There are several times when you will have to work on tight schedules and approaching deadlines. Graphic design agencies want to know that you will be able to deliver when you have limited time.

Effective time management is a skill that employers will like you to have. But even with good time management, sometimes deadlines creep up on you. Your ability to deliver under pressure can be the separation between you and other applicants.

Another factor to deadlines is demanding clients. Your reaction to clients when pressure is on you is another factor an employer will judge you on. Do you remain calm when they are shouting at you or do you snap?

  • Different Styles

Graphic design agencies want people who are versatile. If your designs are stereotyped, you will hurt your own chances. There is a chance that there is a way you like your design to look. Maybe this is even the reason you clients come back. It may be so great it is enough even for the employer but graphic design agencies will still want to know that you can do something else.  Make sure your portfolio has a number of design styles and types.