Today we have a blog post from Shannon, one of our Graphic Designers. Keep reading for some great tips!

1. Learn and Design All You Can While In School
Want a job after you graduate? You’ll need a versatile portfolio.  The opportunity to learn (especially on your own) will be during your college years. Take all the creative courses you can! Even if you’re working while going to school, this is going to be the best time to study things you’re not learning in school.  Buy books, look at examples and be knowledgeable in programs and techniques that will boost your value. Make friends with your professors and bug them during none-class hours for help, references and how-to’s.  Don’t let “they didn’t teach me that” be an excuse for why you don’t know something. Learn it, make it and put it in your portfolio!

2. Take Advantage of Internships and Freelance opportunities.
Many employers are looking for SOME experience, even at entry level. On your résumé, school is listed as your education, not your experience. Make sure you’re taking advantage of opportunities to work in your field. Internships (paid and non-paid) will give you the experience you need to be an ideal job candidate. Landing a paid internship is a great form of income, but don’t pass up non-paid internships just because they don’t want to shell out the dough for a newbie. The employer you’re working FREE for will see you as being easy-going and dedicated, and that makes for a great reference in the future.

Freelancing is an opportunity to start a business and set your own hours and wages, while gaining experience.  Freelance is a great way to build up your portfolio, develop your communication skills and help you to be organized in a Project Manager type role. Plus, it’s a great filler position on your résumé when you’re between jobs.

3. Make Yourself Stand Out

Besides having totally awesome portfolio and résumé, you want to make sure you are showing people you are a talented individual.  Your business card is a quick preview to the quality of work you produce.  Standard business cards size is 2×3.5 inches but within those dimensions, the possibilities are endless.  Try doing a square business card that is 2×2 or even these very cool mini business cards.  You want your business card to reflect you and your work but not so “matchy matchy” that when you change your portfolio you’re not stuck with 450 outdated business cards. Always keep your cards on you. You never know who you will run into, who has connections and who will help you network with others.

For some eye-popping, “how-the-heck did they do that” business card inspiration, click here.

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