Toolbox Blog: resources, tips, tricks & info for creative professionals

Posts Tagged ‘jobs’

April 21st, 2009

How Can I Get a Job as a Web Designer?

It’s a question we hear all the time and one that doesn’t have a straight answer.  Here are a few of our favorite resources to point you in the right direction:

First, read Joe Gillespie’s post Web Design as a Career over at WPDFD, he takes a stab at why this particular phrasing of the question is so hard to answer and talks about the many jobs that fall under the broad term ‘Web Designer’.

WetFeet.com gives a more generic description of the career path, but it’s a great place to start out and is geared towards the student or recent grad.

As for actual resources to help you on your way, Design Mentor Training has a great resource page specifically for Graphic and Web Design.  A traditional career research tool is a ‘job outlook‘ – you can look at employment trends, how the industry is growing, and salary ranges.

For more reading, About.com has a great collection of articles on professional web careers.

Finally, experience is key and freelancing is a great way to build up your portfolio and continue to develop your skills.  Check out The Monster List of Freelance Job Sites (2009) for where to go to find jobs.  A few of our favorites: Freelance Switch, ELance, and Guru.

March 10th, 2009

Land a Job in the Web Industry

Today’s job market is competitive to say the least, and you need to be able to stand out from the stack of resumes to make overwhelmed interviewers sit up and take notice.  Here are a few resume and interview tips that can help you land a position in the web industry.

Resume Tips
  • Be Clear and Focused: Your resume is not the place to tell your life story.  Stick to experience that is relevant to the exact position you are applying for.  Furthermore – within each job or web project listing point out the activities that are relevant to the position you are applying for now and try to leave out the rest.  Also consider using a list format, it’s easier to scan and will force you to leave out superfluous details.  The idea is to strike a balance – make sure its as easy as possible for the people in charge of hiring to get the basics, but have enough information on there to make it clear you are qualified for the job.
  • Promote Yourself: Your resume should make it crystal clear why you deserve the position.  Include everything that adds value i.e. talk about whatever programming language you are an expert on, apps you’ve built, the projects you managed, what exactly you were responsible for and how everything ran smoothly.  Also make sure you keep your language professional, but don’t be afraid to put in a bit of your personality.  It will help you stand out from the stack of resumes you are competing with, and anyone can spot insincere business speak anyway.
  • Quality not Quantity: It’s important to include a portfolio – but it shouldn’t contain every single site you’ve ever worked on.  Pick out a reasonable number of your best sites and include links to the actual sites.  Screenshots are great but won’t cut it alone – most of the people responsible for hiring will want to check out your code, the site’s usability, etc.
Interview Tips
  • Be Professional: An interview is usually the first impression, and you won’t get another chance.  First of all you should dress appropriately.  In the web industry this can be a bit tricky as workplaces are generally more casual, with not much in way of a dress code.  However part of the first impression you make will be based on your appearance – so its best to look good, example: no need to wear a suit, but stay away from jeans and sneakers.
  • Be Informed and Interactive: The ideal interview is a 2-way conversation.  Sure the interviewer will ask questions, but if he doesn’t ask about something you are particularly proud of on your resume speak up and talk about it.  Do some research so that you are able to discuss the organization or website and actually know what you are talking about.  It’s also important to ask questions, remember you are trying to see if the position is a good fit for you, not just vice versa.  Research will also help you know which questions you should be asking.
  • Don’t show up empty-handed: While this is sometimes part of a resume, you should always bring a portfolio to your interview – and you should be prepared to leave it with the interviewer.  Make sure it is put together well (on nice paper, in color, maybe in a folder etc.) and that it serves as evidence of your best work.  This is standard procedure and expected, showing up to the interview empty-handed will imply you are unprepared and/or disorganized.
  • Follow Up: This is perhaps the most over-looked component of the interview process.  A few days after the interview make sure you follow up with the company to re-emphasize your interest and qualifications.  Realistically this won’t make a big difference if the interview didn’t go well, but if the interviewer is deciding between a few people the candidate that follows up will get the job 9 times out of 10.  So whatever you do, make sure you follow up – be it through a thank-you note, email or short phone call.

Once you land the job check out our post: 5 Great Pieces of Advice for Aspiring Web Designers

January 20th, 2009

9 Inspiring Interviews with Designers

A lot of design-related sites and blogs publish interviews with respected/well known people in the industry.  It’s a great way to gain insight and hear about others’ experiences and inspirations.  Plus a lot of these people are really really interesting…so here are a few interviews that are definitely worth a read through:

#1 – MarketingSherpa’s Interview with Steve Krug
A little older, but still relevant.  What works, what doesn’t, best practices…in audio and text format.

#2 – CrazyLeaf’s Interview with Lauren Marie
Interview with the creator of the successful graphic design blog CreativeCurio

#3 – SEO Blog, Marketmou and Aaron Wall
“Top SEO Expert Aaron Wall Speaks Out About SEO’s Bleeding Edge”

#4 – Fuel Your Creativity’s Interview with Fabio Sasso
Freelancing, inspiration, favorite tools and other random tidbits

#5 – Abduzeedo’s Interview with Chuck Anderson
Interview with Chuck Anderson, design mastermind behind NoPattern.com

#6 – Interview with Collis Ta’eed
Web Design and Print Design focused

#7 – Just Creative Design’s Interview with Jeff Fisher
Logo design, branding and blogging

#8 – OutlawDesignBlog Interview: Adii Rockstar of Woo Themes
Premium wordpress themes

#9 – FreelanceFolder’s Interview with Adrian Diaconescu
Freelancing, blogging, wordpress and more…

These are great places to start, if you’re looking for more head to Spicy Web Designers – they interview top designers from around the world constantly.  The actual interviews are usually short and sweet, great for random inspiration!

September 5th, 2008

Dashboard Updates

Newly added this week is an article describing 7 Essential Website Maintenance Strategies.  We also have another e-commerce processor to add to this new category, Authorize.net helps online merchants manage their transactions.

Another useful tool that was suggested is SiteUpTime, a website monitoring service that checks your site at regular intervals and notifies you if problems arise.

Finally, we’ve added oDesk – a site that brings together buyers of services and the service providers and enables them to find mutually beneficial working relationships without a middleman.

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ABOUT AGENCYTOOL At its core, AgencyTool exists to serve as a resource for creative agencies, whether they be into web design, print, advertising or anything else. Here on the AgencyTool Blog you'll find a mish-mosh of resources and thoughts that we think are worth sharing.

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