Are you looking to get some graphic design experience? Whether you’re a student or recent graduate, or you’re just starting out in your career, it can be tough to break into the industry. But don’t worry – we’ve got some tips for you! In this post, we’ll share ways to find freelance work and internships, as well as how to build your portfolio. So read on and get started today!
Freelance Work and Internships: Get Some Experience
A good way to find some graphic design work before you get a job is by applying for internships or freelance jobs. If you’re worried about your lack of experience, don’t be – it’s not impossible to get a foot in the door with an internship. Here are some ways to find some short-term work that will help your career.
Start by looking at professional organizations in your area. You can also contact companies directly and ask if they have any opportunities available. If you’re not sure what types of positions are out there, look for jobs on websites like Monster, Craigslist or CareerBuilder. A quick Google search will also turn up vacancies, so try looking for keyphrases such as “graphic design internships” or “graphic design opportunities.” You may be able to find positions posted directly on the company’s own website.
You can also look at places like your university careers service and online job sites like Craigslist and CareerBuilder for opportunities . LinkedIn is another good place to look; companies often post internships there.
If you do find some work, before you start be sure to write a letter of introduction and include your resume. Make sure that your CV includes all the relevant skills and experience that qualifies you for the position that you’re applying for. Check out our article on How To Write A Resume for more tips.
Finally, you could try contacting design studios directly; they may have short-term or freelance opportunities available. While it can be difficult to break into the business without experience, many agencies will accept applications for junior positions if your portfolio is strong enough. Just send your details and show how you’re qualified to do the job.
Take part in design challenges.
You can find these online or even in your local newspaper. They are a great way to get some experience because the briefs are usually quite well-defined, and there’s always a prize on offer!
Do work for friends and family.
I did a lot of logos, business cards, brochures etc for friends and family members who were starting up their own businesses or wanted stationery made. These projects don’t pay well (or at all), but you get good experience and can add the logo/stationery to your portfolio.
You could also design flyers and leaflets for local events such as garage sales. Or you could design business cards for your friends who are starting up their own businesses.
Another way to get experience is by getting involved with local events or groups in your area, such as the Rotary Club or a student society. If there’s no branch of an organization near you, why not start one?
Offer to do free work for charities. Again, this is an excellent way of building your portfolio and gaining valuable experience! Just make sure you agree on a contract beforehand that states how much work you’ll be doing, when it will be finished, and what the end product will be (e.g., flyers, logos, etc.).
Don’t forget about your old employers. They may have something leftover that needs updating or changing.
Building a Portfolio: Great Examples and Tips
When you’re just starting out, building up your portfolio can be difficult; it’s hard to get good examples of work when you don’t have any clients yet! How do you show potential employers that you’ve got what it takes? Here are some tips to build a great portfolio.
Try to show your best work. If you’ve only got one or two examples of completed projects, stick with them – they should be your best work. You can include different samples in your portfolio but make sure the overall quality is high so that potential employers will take notice.
If you can find a client willing to give testimonials, include them. This is a good way to give potential employers more reasons to hire you. You could also ask for feedback after completing a project so that you can include it in your portfolio.
Keep your portfolio up-to-date. Make sure any website or online profiles are regularly updated with new work samples, as well as testimonials and feedback. You can include your best projects as samples in your portfolio, but always try to keep it up-to-date so that potential employers know you’re serious about the industry and will think of you when they have work available.
Finally, make sure you promote yourself. If you’re active on social media, use this as a platform for promoting your work. There are great communities of designers on various social media platforms, join and be active in these communities to improve your career. Also, promote yourself by having a website and be sure to tell everyone about it! Put the URL everywhere – on paper, business cards, resumes – you want people to see what you have to offer.
Good luck with getting the experience you need! And remember, it’s never too early to start building a portfolio or applying for opportunities.