COVID-19 had an unprecedented impact on the workplace and how we treat jobs. Meanwhile, the IT sector has proven to be an oasis in the middle of chaos. We saw the rise of remote work, new challenges, and growing online retail and healthcare demand by 30% and 912%, respectively. The pandemic forced many businesses to expand their IT and tech teams to cover all the digitized aspects.
Many companies scale up their interest in artificial intelligence and software development. The most popular roles in tech across the UK are software developers, data analysts, and web designers. Only in 2021, more than 10,000 positions for software developers were open. So, it’s definitely a sector that is not slowing down anytime soon.
As a design student, you can expect bigger competition. You have to start gaining experience to get the job you dream of. It means finding a reliable essay writing service like EssayPro to help you manage your homework and focus on other tasks. It may seem like extra pressure on you, but you can count on being employed after graduating right away.
Apply for competitions
Who doesn’t like good competition? Awards and competitions are designed to pave the way for professionals of all kinds. You get to know more about the people in the community, get a boost of inspiration, and maybe start a new trend in the world of web design. It is one of the best ways for newcomers to stand in the spotlight and let their work speak for them.
Here are a few awards and contests for your consideration:
- The Shorty Awards;
- The Spotify Commerce Awards;
- Apple Design Awards;
Also, pay attention to your university contests or local initiatives. Maybe it’s your time to shine.
Expand your network
You may think that some positions are more prestigious and significant in web development. In reality, every team member contributes to the project’s excellence. Networking with web designers is good, but you also want to know people in all areas of this sector.
It is a good way to expand your network by meeting students from other programs. Try to visit different events and learn more about the industry in general. Being in the right place and the right time is also a skill you need to master to be able to find a good position in London.
Know what is relevant
You do you; everyone knows that. However, you should know what sells best in this day and age. Many companies want to see a specialist that adapts to the current trends.
Following trends makes you ahead of time. You will be able to predict the future trends and prepare for changes. What’s in demand? What works best? What can be improved?
All these questions encourage you to be the one to figure them out. Sometimes it’s hard to stay updated and scroll through news your entire day. An hour a day to read magazines like awwwards, Time, and Wired should be enough to get all the info you need.
In the same way, you get to learn first about the hot positions that can be discussed in these magazines or be the first to propose your services to a company. Fortune favors the brave.
Score your first job while at college
Many companies are interested in applicants who have at least two years of experience in the field. It’s quite a catch-22 for any student who already has a workload of two full-time working people. On the other hand, you can score a job that has entry-level requirements and allows you to combine a part-time schedule with your studies. It gives you an official track record of your working in the field of your interest.
Freelancing is the most realistic way to fill your portfolio with real cases you had and not starve to death. It is a good start to learn how to estimate your prices and deadlines. It’s a perfect way to connect with different companies and people and establish yourself as a reliable professional on the market. Even if some of your projects won’t see the world, you can still save them for future display.
Here are some most popular freelance platforms you might want to explore:
Always read terms and conditions before joining the platform. Also, create a specific list of what you can and cannot do.
Get involved in volunteering
Many awesome projects, local events or even colleges are in dire need of professional help with their promotional materials and web design. If you feel you can sign up for such a project, you should take it as an opportunity to be proactive and gain valuable experience. Many companies appreciate people who can work with different projects and know how to promote them with their designs.
Contribute to an open-source project
Open-source projects are a perfect possibility for beginners in the world of web development. It’s also a practical way to help others and master skills like coding, which is a good add-on to your resume.
As a designer, you can contribute by sharing unused design templates and helping other designers. Sharing templates is not only an act of benevolence. It is an acceptable practice in the community. In such a way, you draw more attention to your design portfolio.
Pick a specialty
As a web designer, you are a multidisciplinary professional. In other words, many web designers can successfully launch a website, adapt it to a mobile version or app, and overall make something work.
Some professionals advise focusing and mastering one area to perfection. For instance, you can be a real pro at pages for e-Commerce or apps. At the end of the day, your potential employer is looking for a person to fit into the team and close the gap in the area you might be a pro.
Have an up-to-date portfolio
Your portfolio is the key to success. It is a hand-picked collection of the best works you launched and completed case studies. It also shows that you can and are willing to adapt to different tasks and clients’ demands.
What to include in your portfolio:
- Pay attention to your portfolio design and navigation for potential clients. A homepage tells your employer everything they need to know about you, and only then do they proceed to look at the examples.
- Always include your relevant contacts and your openness to new projects.
- Focus on three to five projects that showcase your journey in web design. You can go chronologically and show how you evolved. Include different projects because you don’t want to appear as someone who can create only one type of them.
- Additionally, you can try to foreground your ability to work with all major design tools and different platforms.
- Make your portfolio interactive and functional.
If you experience a creative block, you can always look for inspiration at Behance or other platforms for designers.
Looking for a job is always a stress, whether you are a twenty-plus years industry titan or a freshly graduated newbie. You need to accept that some positions will slip through your fingers, while some companies will go out of their way to hire you.
Always look for a bright side, and don’t let the melancholy get you like in Malady’s song. London is not always bringing you down, after all.