Design jobs can be competitive, so it's important to get the very best out of your creative process as a designer and improve your employability. Whether you're looking for a new digital design job, or are looking to move up in your current organisation - here are a few tips to make the most of your potential and hopefully achieve the success you deserve.
Feed your imagination
Stay inspired by keeping up-to-date with current trends in the market. Design is continually evolving, so check out what other work is out there that can inspire your own. Attend design events if possible and keep your eye out for great blogs, websites, magazines and exhibitions that can inject a fresh dose of creativity into your process. Not only can these things inspire you, they can also be great to talk about in an interview.
Check out: Behance.net for some ideas of what other designers are up to.
Effective brainstorming and collaboration with those around you can be one of the best ways of getting a fresh perspective on a brief. You must be able to combine your design ability with excellent communication skills to really make an impact. An objective pair of eyes on your work from time to time, accompanied by honest, constructive feedback could help you make improvements.
Check out: Dribbble.com to get some feedback and input on your designs.
Good networking is essential for success in any field, but none more so than in the digital industries. Those working in the online space should really be utilising all the opportunities that the web has to offer in terms of forging relationships. Make sure you have an up-to-date online portfolio and that this is linked up with any other professional profiles you have online. Take part in relevant online discussion boards and join groups and forums related to your area of interest.
Check out: Traditional professional networking sites like LinkedIn as well as more design-specific resources.
Know your strengths
Understand what makes you unique as a designer and stay true to your style and your passions. Trying to be a ‘jack of all trades' can sometimes make you a weaker proposition for an employer. Of course, diversity in your experience can be looked upon favourably - but strong, niche knowledge and finely tuned experience in a particular design area can really set you apart. Know your strengths and, more importantly, market them effectively.
Check out: Perfecting your HTML5 and CSS3 skills - knowledge of both is in high demand
Tools of the trade
Keep up-to-date with the latest software and tech advancements in your industry. If you feel you lack specialist knowledge about a certain programme, think of ways you could bridge this knowledge gap. Might one of your contacts give you some informal training? Could you undertake a short training course? Keep a proactive approach to learning and an inquisitive mind - employers are always impressed with candidates who are committed to ongoing development.
Check out: Lynda.com for some online training options.
See if any of the digital design jobs we're handling could make difference to your career, have a browse here.