Advice From Our Search for a Junior Web Designer

Delphic Digital has a new Junior Web Designer!

When we started looking for a junior web designer this past month, for the first time in my young career, I was tasked with reviewing the incoming applications and handing out the esteemed interview invitations.

The honor of an interview only went to a select few. Since every designer has the potential to be good, how do we scope out a GREAT designer (and a great hire)? Here are some tips I’ve compiled during our hiring journey, that can help anyone interested in becoming a Junior Designer get his or her application noticed.

1. Cover Letter

Ah the dreaded cover letter. I fondly remember reading many examples online before rewording the best parts into my own cover letter (shame on me). I saw many of these “standard” letters from our applicants. I’m sure you’re hardworking and you will make a great asset to our team. What I really want to see is some personality! I’m trying to figure out what kind of person you are just by reading this letter, after all. A resume isn’t going to tell me that you have a fondness for illustration or that you love cats. Remember, you’re not applying to be a lawyer, you don’t have to impress me with your extensive vocabulary by using words like “synergy” and “interpersonal”. If you’ve researched our company, you’ll know that we’re a fun-loving bunch. Know your audience! Our job posting was light-hearted, so aim to match its tone. And please, keep it short and sweet. A 4 paragraph essay is going to make me want to leave my standing desk in pursuit of a chair.

2. Resume

Microsoft Word resumes make me sad. You’re a designer, show off your skills with a beautifully designed resume!

3. Online Portfolio

If I can’t easily find a link to your portfolio in your cover letter and/or resume, you better believe I’m not going to go hunting for it. Broken links or broken images don’t make you look good either; where’s that attention to detail you mentioned in your cover letter?

If you don’t have any web work in your portfolio it’s not a deal breaker (it’s a Junior position after all). But at least let us know that it’s something you’re passionate about. Too many times we hear someone say they “could” or “wouldn’t mind” doing just web work. Sorry, but we’d rather hire the guy who looks at rollover animations in his free time.

As far as the content of your portfolio goes, we’re looking for 3 big things: fundamental design knowledge, creativity, and style.

  • Fundamental Design Knowledge: We simply don’t have time to teach you the basics of typography or the color theory. You should already know that faking small caps is a sin.

  • Creativity: We want someone who’s bursting with it! We can and will guide you to a stunning design, but you need to have a great idea as a base.

  • Style: If all of your work is done in the same style it leaves us questioning if you can adapt to different clients. Your textural and grungy websites may be great, but can you also do a clean, white design?

4. The Interview.

You made it to the final step! Remember, we hand selected you so we already like you. Our favorite candidates always end up showing a lot of enthusiasm and energy during the interview. If you can’t wait to work here, show it! It’s a huge compliment to us and we’ll want to hire the person who can’t wait to get started.

Mention what you like about our company–any work you admire (perhaps our award-winning Holiday Card?) or blog posts you enjoyed reading (like this one!). But don’t do it if it’s not genuine, trust me we can tell when someone’s faking it.

The in person interview is also a great chance for you to interview us. We want you to want to work with us. If you don’t like what we do or how we do it, it’s essential to find that out before we both commit.

Thank you to all who applied!


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