How to land a career in design
In an increasingly growing industry such as design, finding a job within the field is not as hard as you’d think. Taking into account the number of iGaming companies and design studios on the island, the vast number of opportunities should come as no surprise. It’s never been easier to take up a career in design with all the tools, tutorials and inspiration widely available. To help along the way, we’ve compiled a guide that will help you boost the chances of landing your dream job.
1. Know your tools.
This sounds like an obvious point, but it is of key importance to know all the necessary tools. When going to war, you need all the weapons you can take (okay, that might be slightly dramatic!), so knowing as many tools as possible will help you in your job hunt. In short, never stop learning! For example, if you’re a graphic designer then it doesn’t hurt to know the basics of code. At Catena Media, we believe in constantly improving yourself, and encourage everyone within the company to learn new things by providing courses and the necessary time to complete them.
2. Build a portfolio and presence.
It’s not enough to just know the tools, as companies look for talent and creativity beyond toolbars. Once you know your stuff, it’s important to start putting together a portfolio — and the easiest way to do this is through passion projects. Find something you love and build a project around it — examples range from a rebrand, a new website, packaging etc. The possibilities are endless. Something that goes hand-in-hand with your portfolio is an online presence, and keep in mind that the only way people can see your work is if you put it on show. This does not mean you need to place everything you do online. Instead, choose your best projects and upload them to one of the available platforms such as Behance or Dribbble. This can also open doors for future collaboration with other designers.
3. Engage yourself in pro bono work.
This point is valid for both experienced designers and those starting out. While passion projects will help develop your own unique style, pro bono work will teach you how to work with others. You will learn how to deal with feedback, communicate with clients and, most importantly, work to deadlines. When doing pro bono work, you get the opportunity to see a project from start to finish while also experiencing it come to life — be it print or digital. Nothing beats people interacting with your creation!
There’s never been a better time to network, with so many events happening all over the island (and the world, for that matter!). Attending events, even if they don’t necessarily relate to your field of design, will help grow your network and inform about possible opportunities and collaborations. Furthermore, networking can tap into the hidden job market where plenty of positions arise — but are not necessarily advertised online. At Catena, we believe networking and development are at the core of what we do, and this is why we attend conferences relevant to our field. This ensures we acquire knowledge and contacts that will help us develop both as individuals and as a team.
5. Participate in internships
Internships are golden opportunities for a designer — granting them first-hand experience on what it feels like to work in the industry. View it as a learning experience and the first step to kick-start your career. Speaking of these openings, if you think you have what it takes to join our team for an internship, feel free to send us an email and come over for a coffee — or visit our Careers page
6. Create a resume that is personal and relevant
Recruiters see hundreds of resumes on a weekly basis, so you need to make sure yours stands out. It’s key to tailor your resume to the post, so make sure to show that you’ve done research while highlighting what’s most important. Here’s a tip from our manager: “Keep it short and sweet, two pages max. I want to know about your experience and education. You can tell me about your collection of Star Wars cat posters during the interview. And save the fonts and gradients for your portfolio — some of the best CVs I’ve seen were set in Arial. True story”.
7. Interview tips
There is so much interview advice to offer here, the only problem is that they all sound a bit cliché! The usual suspects are: do your research, ask insightful questions, arrive 15 minutes early, relax and be yourself, make a good first impression, and so on. Instead of a tip at this point, I’ll give a reminder. The fact that you made it to the interview stage is a sign that the employer thinks your work is good enough and that you have all the necessary talent to join the team. Stay as authentic and candid as possible but remain focused and concise. If you really want a tip, mine would be to stay away from caffeine before an interview… At Catena Media, we have our own barista, though, so you might be tempted!
8. Follow up
Following up demonstrates your eagerness and desire for the position. It doesn’t need to be pushy, rather just a simple thank you to show your appreciation for the time, opportunity and consideration. Mentioning a little detail that was discussed during the interview can go a long way, as this proves you were paying attention.
9. Love what you do and stay curious
The number one rule for being a designer is to be passionate, to constantly stay inspired, to continually learn and never stop creating!
At Catena Media, we believe the driving force behind our success is our people. We’re a diverse, creative and innovative workforce that thinks outside the box to deliver the best solutions for our clients — and we’re constantly on the lookout for like-minded people to join our ever-growing presence across Europe.