I know it sounds so cliche, but the first time is always the hardest! Once you can manage your first time, there will be the 2nd, 3rd and so on. Perhaps, you might be thinking about whether a graphic design is still in demand or relevant nowadays? But I can assure you that graphic design is a very competitive field, so getting your first job might need you to apply for countless jobs just to be rejected before you get your first graphic design job. It seems that it would be much easier to get the job if you have a few years’ experience rather than just starting. However, never give up and let’s figure out why is it so hard to get a graphic design job to improve our chances of getting hired as a graphic designer.
Lack of experience among junior graphic designers
As I mentioned earlier, a graphic designer with a few years of experience has the advantage of getting hired as they already proved their skills and abilities with their past clients over a few years. Meanwhile, the juniors who have just started lack experiences and have less to prove to their future clients. Unfortunately, this led to why the demand for a junior graphic designer is relatively low. However, you can still improve the chance of getting hired by having the right skills or knowledge.
Lack of sufficient knowledge and skills
Of course, we need to have basic knowledge or skills in everything we do. For example, if you want to cook prawn linguine, you need to know all the ingredients, ways of cooking them, the cooking steps and the process to get the perfect prawn linguine. The same goes for graphic design! If a graphic designer has a basic knowledge and follows the method of the design theory besides practising them together, rest assured the designer will quickly land a job or started their career in graphic design. Or even worse, you don’t even have a background in graphic design and yet, decided to pursue a job as a graphic designer. Here are some of the designs with a combination of sufficient basic knowledge while following the method of the design theory:
Bad portfolio and poor presentation
To win a competition or race, we must have a strategy and define our best weapons? As a graphic designer, what is your best weapon to win a job or a project? Undoubtedly, it would be a portfolio that can showcase and prove your skills, versatility, case studies from your past clients or employers, contact information and even your abilities to communicate and cooperate with the clients. Therefore, having a weak portfolio and poor presentation with crowded layouts and too much work or perhaps too little work or information can send a wrong message to your future clients. If you don’t know how to present them properly though your skills are excellent, you might still lose the chance of getting hired as no one can see your skills. Always remember that it is quality over quantity!
Poor attitude and not open to any feedback
Though you have all the best skills in the whole world, a poor attitude won’t get you anywhere. So, by having a poor attitude, you would only decrease your chances of getting a graphic design job, although your portfolio is excellent and presenting your best work. We all aware that every individual is different and unique, so are their preferences. Not everyone might like your work, and this is where a good attitude might be a great advantage. I know some comments might be hurtful, but it is just how they see the product. Instead of being defensive and thinking that it is a personal attack, you should be open to any feedback, learn to accept them, listen to the suggestions, available to any discussions and try to find solutions to improve them.
Giving up and not being persistent
Since it is a tough competition to win a job, giving up is not an option! You can’t win without sweat, persistence and consistency. At first, we might not get a job, but keep on trying until we get it. If your portfolio is not strong enough and not representing who you are as a graphic designer, change the way you craft your portfolio and include all those necessary elements. If we don’t have sufficient skills, take a quality course and learn from books or other designers. As time goes by, you finally getting a sense of what makes a great design and what we should avoid. However, keep on learning, practising and figuring out problems. Try to improve everything we can to increase the chances of getting hired.
Promote your work in one place
While it is a great idea to promote your work, having more places to share and showcase your skills would be a much better idea. Instead of sharing your designs on a website with a custom URL, you can explore other options such as Dribble, Behance, and even on your social media so that your work will get more exposure. Indirectly, building a prominent online presence and personal branding. By sticking only to one place, the possibilities of getting hired by potential clients are relatively low compared to when you have more platforms to expose your work.
Choosing only a standard job
Well, getting a full-time contract with staff benefits might be hard in the gig economy. Why not try bidding for a graphic design job on freelancing platforms like Freelancer or UpWork? Although you might come across a small job, why not take the opportunity and go for it? By working case by case would allow testing your skills and increasing your portfolio versatility. Other than making you feel better and boost your confidence, you can keep your portfolio up to date with the latest skills and supplement your income while continuing to look for a full-time job.