Today I want to touch on a few tips and pieces of advice for junior designers.
Good afternoon designers, fellow recruiters, and everyone else!
As mentioned previously for anyone not aware, the market is quite difficult currently for junior designers. With a growing emphasis on the importance of tech and having an online presence, but businesses want designers that are already fairly experienced from the jump, it is hard for juniors to get their first opportunity.
So here are some tips! I'll keep it short and keep it to 3 today. 😊
TIP NO.1 – DON'T NEGLECT YOUR PORTFOLIO 😏
A lot of companies are looking for mid-weight designers, designers they know for sure have the experience and can deliver. However, it is being recognised more and more that there are so many talented and knowledgeable junior designers that KNOW what they're talking about. But they need to see that!
There is almost a sort of urgency where companies would rather see the evidence there and then, rather than take the time to speak to every single person who applies. Which is understandable. I've mentioned previously the influx of designers in the industry so how do you narrow down who actually knows and understands what they're talking about?
A portfolio sets you apart. It tells a story and shows who you are. Personalities of designers seep into their portfolio and it makes them very interesting to go through. Show you know what you're talking about and who you are! What can you bring to a team? Case studies in which you talk about your role and contribution are very useful too to demonstrate your knowledge.
Take a look at this advice developed by our team and the team at leading Fintech Bank regarding portfolios – it is really helpful!
TIP NO.2 – GET THE KNOWLEDGE…FOR FREE! 😲
We've all heard it before, time and time again – you can learn anything on the internet! For free at that! Though it can get tedious, you can only develop your skills from doing research and doing courses (there are lots of good free ones out there!) Doing this in your free time develops the wealth of your knowledge and skillset. In a society where things are constantly developing and innovative methods are coming out, this will again set you apart and demonstrate your willingness to learn and develop in the industry.
Here are some good free courses online for junior designers to look at –
Some interesting podcasts and blogs. This will be great to keep up with the latest developments in the industry –
TIP NO.3 – LET YOUR CREATIVE JUICES FLOW, DON'T WAIT AROUND! WORK ON A FUN PROJECT IN YOUR SPARE TIME 🤩
As I've expressed previously, I empathise with the frustration and difficulties that junior designers experience. I may not understand the feeling, but I do empathise with how hard it can be. It can likely be very discouraging.
That's why my final tip is to work on fun, innovative projects when you have the free time to do so. Alongside helping you develop your skills and ability to innovate, this will remind you why you want to be a designer. The limits are boundless, and you can really show your talent with these projects. Think outside the box! Or think within the box but make it exciting and different! Again, this will set you apart.
There are many ways to get involved with self-led projects. Besides the obvious, picking random websites and apps and adapting/redesigning their platforms – you can create groups of junior designers where you all share ideas and pick projects to work on alone and together. Reviewing and advising each other. This also feeds into networking but that's for another day!
Another fun idea is joining an actual challenge such as the 100 Days - Daily UI/UX challenge which pushes designers outside of their comfort zone, forcing them to consider different aspects and avenues of designs. To add, how many times have you seen designs online, whether Twitter/Instagram/LinkedIn that steamed from challenges such as this? They really push designers to create fun and innovative designs, impressing so many people on a daily basis.
These designs push companies to consider that it's not always the amount of experience a designer has, speaking in terms of years but rather their innovation and ability to come up with innovative designs. I touched on the new wave of designers being innovative and bringing in a fresh perspective to companies.
I hope these tips helped a little. Most of you will be aware of these already, but I did want to expand from a recruiter's point of view on why these may be vital for you to consider.
To junior designers – please feel free to drop me a message talking about topics you may want to be discussed or even events that would be helpful for juniors!
As promised, here are some junior design roles for you all to look at 😊
As always, wishing you all a positive week and remember to do something for yourself!