Tips for junior graphic designers applying for jobs

5th March 2024/0/0

We’ve recently been on the hunt for new talent to join our busy team over here in Queen’s Park. We put an advert on LinkedIn and Instagram and the flood­gates open with potential appli­cants getting in touch. So we’ve been looking at a LOT of CVs recently, so here are 10 top tips that will help you get ahead and give you the best chance of getting a response.

Your CV serves as the initial showcase of your graphic design prowess to potential employers, so make it count. Whether it’s intrigu­ing and uncon­ven­tion­al or sleek and min­i­mal­ist, ensure it reflects your cre­ativ­i­ty. If it’s badly laid out in Word we often don’t bother to look at your portfolio. Good designers shouldn’t need to use Canva templates – we can spot them a mile off.

No portfolio, no interview. Your portfolio is more important than your CV.

Use hyper­links. Hyperlink your email and phone number. Have a hyperlink to your portfolio or website if you haven’t sent it sep­a­rate­ly, and double check they work.

Make it easy for your prospec­tive employers – don’t send messy Dropbox links or huge PDF files. Password pro­tec­tion is fine, but make sure they can cut and paste the password. If they have to work to view your stuff they’ll probably give up.

Stop with the QR codes. Do you want people to view your portfolio on their phones?

When I see pie charts or graphs on CVs showing your ability out of ten, I tend to focus on what you are not so good at. Better to just list the pro­grammes you have a working knowledge of.

If applying through LinkedIn, also send an email directly. Do some research and tailor your covering letter — comment on a project the studio or agency you are applying to has done and why you like it, or comment on the culture or style of work and why you think you would fit in.

DON’T set your portfolio PDF open in full-screen mode.

Show your per­son­al­i­ty — write with your tone of voice. You are applying for a creative role so you don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly need to be super formal (although this does depend on where you are applying to, but this rule works for us at Run For The Hills).

Use Grammarly (the free version is fine) to make sure you don’t have any obvious spelling or gram­mat­i­cal mistakes.