There are two types of skill set categories employers are looking for when hiring a graphic designer. In the following three part series we’ll delve into what these qualities are and also offer advice on how to prepare for a career as a graphic designer.
Two Skill Sets: Hard and Soft
No matter what job you are applying for there are certain job prerequisites that are usually common to all job position openings.
The “hard” skills have to do with your career training, proficiency, and expertise in your field. The “soft” skill sets have to do with personality traits such as working well under pressure, teamwork, attitude, etc.
Graphic Design: The “Hard” Skills
So what are employers looking for when they are filling spots for graphic designer positions? Here is a short list of the “hard skills” you need to qualify for most graphic design jobs.
You should be familiar with producing graphic design projects related to:
- Web sites
- Post cards
- Web banners
- E-mail blasts
- Web banner ads
Each design firm has its own set of specific requirements and needs but this list of basic project skills should be in every graphic designer’s arsenal of abilities.
* Computer Design Skills - Graphic design has experienced a great deal of change in the last decade with the advent of computer graphic assisted design. A good working knowledge of graphic design software and hardware is essential to any graphic designer’s creativity and production skills.
* Good Communication Skills - Graphic designers should be able to communicate effectively and clearly through writing or speech in order to present ideas, ask pertinent questions about their projects, and keep everyone in the loop about the progress of the project. Without good communications skills, a graphic designer is limited in scope.
* Education - In most cases a bachelor’s degree is required for entry level positions in graphic design. For jobs as an assistant to graphic designers or for graphic design work that is more technical in nature a 2-year degree at a community college or certificate of completion is needed. There are many graphic design schools and colleges that can give you the graphic design education and career training needed to pursue a career as a graphic designer.
What are the “soft” job skills employers are looking for in their graphic designers? Next time we’ll cover these skills and discover that possessing these attributes may increase your chances of getting a graphic design job.
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