2011-02-25

Use the Internet to get a design job

There are many tools on the Internet that can help you find and get design jobs. Nothing beats real life networking and knocking on doors with the CV and Portfolio but using this in combination with the Internet will help your efforts.

Many employers will Google your name. Try this yourself and if the results are not flattering then consider increasing your digital footprint on good websites and increasing the privacy settings on your personal life related accounts (such as Facebook). If you have a portfolio website and it is not coming up highly in the search results then ensure that the site follows basic SEO principles and submit it to Google.

A personal portfolio website can be a good tool – but it must be kept up to date. Make sure that your name and employment status is up to date. Make your work the focus of the website and avoid long runs of text. Keep the navigation simple and straight forward. Go for flair on these websites because you want to make a memorable impression. Traffic will not magically find your website – they will discover a link to your site in other places like business cards and places you have gone online.

Portfolio websites such as Behance and DeviantArt are excellent for getting work online quickly but the community nature of these things means that attention is taken off you and your work very easily. Interacting with these communities is good but remember that most of the people there are also competing for the same work that you are.

LinkedIn is a great website for professional networking. Update your profile with a resume of your experience and add a small portfolio of work. Link people to your personal website. Join Design related groups and get involved in the discussions there. These groups often have job postings and the members are usually helpful if you are prepared to fully engage with the community instead of drive-by spamming.

Twitter is another great tool for job-seekers. Follow as many local studios as possible because often job openings will go out via their twitter feed first. The same applies for Facebook pages – follow as many studios as possible. It also helps in getting an inside look into a studio that you can leverage if you get an interview there.

Do not underestimate the power of old-fashioned networking. The more people you know and converse with, then more likely one of them knows of a job or has freelance job that needs doing. Widen your circle beyond design friends because they only pass things on to you that they do not want. Make contacts in the wider business community. Ask people you know (even relatives) for introductions. Ask to be taken to social occasions where possible – just get out there.

Always try to contact potential employers by phone or in person. Email is just too easy for them to ignore. A voice on a phone makes you a real person and allows your personality to come through in ways that email cannot.

Good luck it is tough out there.