4 Tips for Getting a Job in Web Design and Collaborating with Non-Web Designers


In today’s shaky economy, outsourcing is in some sectors a better solution than keeping a team of on-site specialists. That kind of strategy will often work for hiring web designers. This essentially means that if you want to be able to choose from a larger number of projects and interesting professional opportunities, you simply must know how to work with non-web designers. Project managers, marketers, SEO specialists and PR experts – these are the folks you’re likely to work with once you launch your career as a web designer.

Here are 4 essential tips to help you get noticed and hired by people who have no clue about web design, but are looking for a competent candidate to help them realize a project.

1. The DNA question

Every company has its own cultural code. When hiring a web designer, recruiters often prioritize the question about work culture, sometimes it might be even more important than experience in the field. And they are right to do so – recruiters are aware of the fact that an experienced and brilliant web designer who previously worked for a large financial institution might not be the best fit for a lively startup.

In order to appeal to hiring managers, you’ll need to get a grasp on what kind of culture the company represents, decide whether your professional DNA can match it and proceed to express it in your resume and during the interview itself.

2. Be prepared for a trial

Companies don’t like to risk bringing in new people on their big projects, so it’s very likely that you’ll start collaborating with the organization on a small, non-critical assignment. When doing that, never let the size of the project blind your eyes to the fact that you’re being scrutinized for every aspect of your performance.

Employers won’t be impressed by your excellent command of Java – they’ll be looking into your efficiency in delivering the final product, checking how buggy it is and how long it takes to correct the mistakes. Companies like web designers who go beyond the delivered project and provide truly creative solutions.

3. Know how to communicate with non-web designers

This is probably the most important point in collaborating with professionals who have no clue about web design. As a web designer, you’ll need to be able to communicate your ideas and solutions to both your clients and your colleagues. Your trial will also unveil whether you’re able to work in a team composed of professionals with various backgrounds.

The first contact you’ll have with a prospective employer will most probably be a request for a quote. Make sure to have a full grasp of the client’s requirements, such as the website’s objectives, the message and feeling to be conveyed by the design, the estimated budget or possible special functionalities like contact forms or e-commerce tools.

4. Be flexible

It might sound surprising, but companies rarely hire for a set of skills – especially when recruiting for permanent positions. In this industry, skills are likely to become obsolete after 2 or 3 years, so what really counts is your aptitude for learning new things. Flexibility is a key characteristic appreciated by organizations looking for qualified web designers.

That’s why you’ll need to prepare for possible interview questions that recruiters will use to ascertain your learning drive. Expect questions like: What are your favorite resources for learning new technologies and tricks? What is the last programming language you learned? What technological conferences do you follow? Which industry experts do you find inspiring?

Collaborating with non-web designers isn’t always easy, but in the current economy it’s the ability to communicate and successfully explain complicated concepts and functionalities that is most likely to land you a great job on exciting projects.


Monique Rivers

Monique Rivers is an Australian tech blogger who also loves good food and fashion. She works at ninefold.com. Ninefold is a powerful Ruby on Rails platform, that allows you to deploy Rails apps quickly and easily.