After chatting with college seniors and recent grads about finding entry-level roles, I’m sharing my thoughts in this article! Hope you find it helpful & let me know what you think on Twitter.
1. Expand your search and cold email
Job boards are great for finding the latest opportunities from companies. interns.design curates these and adds exclusives to save time for students.
The first mistake that some make is to limit their search to “new grad” or “university grad” designer positions.
Tip: Expand your search to “associate,” “junior,” general “product designer” and “user experience designer” positions.
Even if a job description requires a minimum of 2+ years of experience, still apply! Hiring managers are flexible if you’re the right candidate.
Also note that just applying to roles won’t make you stand out in the job application process. I previously published a 3-min guide on how to cold email recruiters, design managers, and founders.
2. Reach out to startups
It’s not just big tech companies that are hiring new grad designers. There are many exciting startups that desperately need your design help! Startups are often also flexible with experience requirements. So how do you find them?
- Join Twitter and connect with the tech/design community where people share opportunities! Many credit their entire careers to Twitter. (It actually works — I’ve found jobs on it.) For instance, check out this Founding Designer role from Stir, a startup that recently raised $4M to grow the creator economy.
- Filter on AngelList by funding (Seed, Series A, and later) to make sure that they have cash to compensate you! I don’t recommend pursuing equity-only opportunities because startups often fail. See if the startup has open design positions or reach out to the founders and designers!
- Identify industry verticals (fintech, consumer, etc) that you are interested in and find startups in this space. Reach out to the teams using the cold email technique.