Anatoliy Gromov

How to land the design gig of your dreams?

A great portfolio is crucial. But it takes you only so far.

When you are starting out in your career as a designer, it can feel difficult to get your foot in the right doors. How do you find and land a job that feels like you? How do you present your work in the best possible way to help you get the assignment of your dreams? What does it take to become successful at what you’d love to do in the future?

We attempted to answer these questions at the annual Behance Reviews designers’ gathering, which took place at Fjord Stockholm recently. During this session we were looking at the chemistry between individual designers, the agencies, and the interplay of the various elements of design.

We invited nine design directors from fellow studios in Stockholm to provide feedback to more than 80 participants. This amazing group of professionals dedicated their time, energy and passion to these promising designers, and we were especially happy to have Tobias Van Schneider join us from NYC to exchange thoughts with all of us.

So, how do you land the design gig of your dreams as an up-and-coming designer? Drawing on all the talks and discussions we had, I would boil it down to these six points. Besides a beautiful portfolio you should…

1) Show your personality. We work in teams. We want to get to know you.

2) Be open and honest. Let us know where you want to go in your life. What are your current strengths and weaknesses? If you don’t tell us, we can’t help you get there.

3) Show your passion. What is most important for you here and now in your life? If there is something that really energizes you? Whatever it is, that energy will take you a long way.

4) Show your craft. Website screenshots can only tell us so much. Share the journey you went on and the choices you made along the way.

5) Come prepared. What questions do you think you’ll be asked? Have answers ready. If you are strong in visual storytelling, do formulate your thinking into words too; be ready for a conversation that flows both ways.

6) Remember the obvious. Sometimes the most amazing portfolios don’t have the essential things, such as your contact details.

We care about design culture and sharing those aspects – expertise, feelings and thoughts about design – that construct the daily chemistry both behind the process, between people and in the performance of the design act. Therefore, this occasion was a perfect platform for building up a productive forum on the topic. It provided us with an amazing opportunity to talk with young professionals from fellow design schools and collectively share inspiration with each other.

Thanks all for coming. Come again.

Anatoliy Gromov

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