Job Hunting Tips for Web Design Graduates

College is a fun time in life, but students who enter web design school with a clear understanding of their goals will have an easier time of it on the job market. The following is the second installment in a two-part series on twenty tips for students enrolled in a web design program.

1. Set up a LinkedIn profile.

Set yourself a goal of having twenty, thirty, forty industry connections on LinkedIn by the time you graduate from web design school. (Tip: use a professional network like LinkedIn to manage your professional contacts. There's no need for potential employers to ever see those Facebook photos of you partying with a lampshade on your head. The faster you learn to distinguish between personal and professional, the smoother your transition to your new career will be.)

2. Constantly update your CV.

There's a funny thing that happens after web design school: as our careers progress, we sometimes get so focused on what we are doing now, that we forget all the projects that came before. Start keeping a record of your accomplishments while you are still in web design school by maintaining a long version of your CV. Update it each time you finish a project or acquire a new responsibility. When a job is posted, you will be able to quickly edit and apply.

3. Attend information sessions on job interviews.

The career placement service at your web design school may offer free training sessions for students on interviewing skills.

4. Build up an interview wardrobe.

Don't go overboard. Just make sure that you have something interview-appropriate in your closet so that you could be interview-ready at a moment's notice. (Tip: when you do land a job, build up your working wardrobe slowly. Take your time to figure out the culture of the organization first. And only spend within your means, even if you have to be patient.)

5. Create an email for your professional correspondence.

Some web design school students still have whimsical email addresses featuring nicknames or in-jokes from their high school days. Take a look at your email.

Is it:
  • simple
  • informative
  • neutral
  • If not, change it!
6. Gather letters of recommendation.

Chances are that you are going to need reference letters from the teachers in your web design program. Do your teachers a favour and ask them (politely!) for these letters ahead of time. Web design school professors can feel overwhelmed at the end of the session when all of their students ask for recommendations at the same time, especially when it is on short notice. Foster good relations with your teachers - they could be your future colleagues.

7. Find a mentor.

Do you have a favourite lecturer in your web design program? Ask him or her to be your mentor in the first year after graduation from website design school.

8. Print up business cards.

This may be the age of smart phones, but prospective clients will still ask you for your card. Make sure that you have one to give.

9. Attend networking events.

Look for business meet-ups in your area. Set yourself a goal of attending one or two events a month in your final year of website design school.

10. Practice stress reduction skills.

When the going gets tough at work, will you have a strategy for dealing with it? Look into meditation, yoga, or an outdoor sport that will clear your mind. (Tip: relaxation techniques may come in handy as you finish your final projects in your web design program.)

Happy studying! And good luck on the job market after finishing your web design program.

Contact the Academy of Learning Toronto for more information on their Web Design Programs.

Percey Evans is a freelance writer who works for Higher Education Marketing, a leading Web marketing firm specializing in Google Analytics, Education Lead Generation, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Mobile SMS Alerts, Social Media Marketing and Pay Per Click Marketing, among other Web marketing services and tools.

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