How to Kick-Start Your Career in Web Design Right After Graduation

How to Kick-Start Your Career in Web Design Right After Graduation

The weight of becoming an adult is heavy and finally, having to come to terms with your new career is stressful and very demanding..

Most young people feel completely lost after graduating. No matter how organized someone is, kick-starting their career after graduation is going to be challenging, but there are ways to make it easier.

Starting a career in Web Design allows new graduates to look for jobs that do not require their physical presence in an office. This can prove very useful and can aid their new beginning in this career. More specifically, here are some tips to help you kick-start your career in Web Design immediately after your graduation.

Look for jobs online

While you might want to start looking for physical jobs immediately, it might be better for you to work online to gain experience. The biggest benefit of freelance jobs is that your commitment to your client is not permanent, and you can easily drop a project after completion. Working online allows you to:

  • Start with minor projects.
  • Gain significant experience.
  • Explore your options.
  • Develop your style on the go.

That means that you can easily try different projects and see which ones you enjoy the most. You can work on different projects simultaneously and explore different types of job opportunities that you come across.

Websites such as Upwork and Freelancer can help you find the right projects for your needs and skills. You might come to find new things you like, and you might even enjoy the flexibility of working online. In any case, this is a new working experience which can grant you with work opportunities as soon as you graduate.

Set up a LinkedIn Account

Setting up a LinkedIn account is a great idea when you're looking for employment as a recent graduate. This platform is the best business social media platform for professional topics out there, and can help you advance in your career. Here’s what you can do, on LinkedIn:

  • Connect to other professionals from your industry.
  • Reach out to companies looking for employees.
  • Learn from the experts and professionals.
  • Read and acquire new knowledge.
  • Learn about events, workshops, and training you could attend.

Not to mention, LinkedIn is a great place to find customers for startups. All of this will help you build yourself further and continue to improve even after graduation. Consider building a great LinkedIn profile and looking for a job through active engagement on this platform.

Use your network to find projects

If working online is not something you are interested in doing, the best way to look for jobs is to use your current network. Friends and family can provide you with contacts which might be able to offer you work through a project. Think about the connections you have:

  • College professors.
  • Peers.
  • Web designers with more experience.

Think about the people you know who might be able to connect you with their superiors, clients, or partners. There's nothing wrong with showing that you want to work hard and are looking for employment.

Now, this might not be as effective as landing a job online, but it can be a more secure form of employment for some people. In addition to this, the responsibility of working for someone you know can motivate you to work harder.

Write a Killer Resume

Your resume is the ice-breaker you need to nail that job interview and prove your value. Without a great resume, you can't get very far and most likely won't be able to find a job. This is why you have to master the art of writing a killer resume. Here are my top tips:

  • Write unique resumes for each job opening.
  • Include parts of the job description into your resume.
  • Don’t include unrelated job/volunteer experiences.
  • Write concisely.
  • Avoid fluff words, redundancy, or unimportant information.

After you finish writing a resume that shows your professionalism and passion for the job, start sending it to companies. Don’t hesitate and be ready to spend days in front of the screen, sending out hundreds of resumes.

Also, don’t just send them to companies with job openings. Send them to everyone you’d like to work for, since you never know what their reaction could be.

Work on Your Portfolio

Every potential employee will like to see your portfolio. And, just because you didn’t have as many jobs so far doesn’t mean you should stick with a poor portfolio. Instead, actively work on building it:

  • Design for imaginary brands.
  • Create something new every week.
  • Actively build your portfolio.

This way, when the right opportunity comes, you’ll have something to show them and to impress them with.

Promote your specialization

While many clients might expect you to do everything at the beginning of your career, you must stick to your specialization. Each element of a job can be different, and you need to be able to know what you are capable of doing. Also, nobody likes an employee who can "do it all". It's always a better idea to focus on a single area of expertise and be the best in it. If you don't, you'll just be average in everything else. Therefore, make sure that you clearly state:

  • What is your specialization?
  • How skilled and experienced in it you are.
  • What contribution can you bring to a project, based on those skills?

Web Design is not just about designing whole pages and websites. You might be more interested in coding pages or optimizing them for mobile devices, and you should specify this when looking for a job. The more you specialize, the easier it will be for you to fit in a niche and attract a particular client base.

Understand the needs of your customers

When working with clients for the first time, things might be confusing. If you don’t know how to communicate with them properly, you might end up losing jobs for various reasons. One of the things you need to remember is that working with people can be tough. People oftentimes expect too much for too little in return, and you need to be able to stand up for your work on any project.

However, you still need to understand how to properly communicate with clients. Here’s what I suggest:

  • Clearly state what type of services you offer.
  • Explain what your services imply and include.
  • Be precise and clear about your prices.
  • Don’t leave any room for ambiguity or misunderstandings.
  • Be a good listener and ask as many questions as you need to understand your client’s needs.

If you conduct proper communication, you will leave little or no room for conflict and arguments. Understanding the needs of the people you work for will require some time, but it will also help you determine your niche. This is the best way for you to better promote your skillset and services you can provide a client with. The more you understand their needs, the easier it will be for you to complete projects without any issues.

Don’t work for free

Last but not least, it is important to view every project as a working opportunity and a way to gain experience. Working for free for anyone is not a good idea, and it will not help you take your profession seriously. Doing a favor for a close friend or a family member in need is okay, but you should not make it a habit.

"Asking for even the smallest payment will show people you take your job and the services you provide them with seriously. Therefore, you should never feel bad about asking for money in return for your hard work” advises Donald James, digital content manager for Trustmypaper.

Naturally, you can’t expect to earn any serious money in the first couple of months of your active employment. Be prepared to:

  • Work more for less money.
  • Prove your value.
  • Gradually increase your pricing rate.
  • Build your credibility.

The more experience you have, the more you’ll be able to charge for your services. Do it gradually, and earn your credibility through your best work.

Starting your career effectively

While this might be a strenuous task at first, you will come to get used to the new situation quickly. Most people feel strange after graduation, and the responsibility of earning their income is high. As long as you love your profession and are devoted to working hard, you will manage to make a good start in your field.

Networking with people in your close environment and working with clients online are your best options before diving into big company positions. This way, you will gain experience and become competitive in your field. The harder you work, the easier it will be for you to land your dream job in the future.

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Millennial Moderator Author

Daniela McVicker

Daniela McVicker is a guest author for Millennial Moderator