Lately I’ve noticed a troubling trend: New design graduates are labeling themselves “junior designers.” They’re including that label in the first sentence of their cover letters, and it’s all over their portfolios.
If you’re applying for an entry level or junior designer position, the folks reviewing your application already know that you don’t have much experience. There’s no need to announce it again yourself.
I’ve talked to several managers who don’t even review the portfolios of designers who label themselves junior designers, because they feel it’s a sign of a lack of confidence in their skillset.“Drop the ‘junior designer’ label and let your portfolio speak for itself.”
When you’re applying for a job, you’re up against a slew of your peers. You need to do everything you can to make yourself stand out, while remaining honest.
Want to make it to the interview round? When you fill out your cover letter, you’re not a junior designer—you’re a designer looking for a job.
You aren’t looking for an entry-level position—you’re looking for a position that will allow for professional growth.
Cater your resume to match the position you’re applying for by adding an applicable experience section above your job history.
If the person reviewing your application and portfolio feels you’d be a good fit, you’ll move on to the next round based on what you’ve presented. No need to shoot yourself in the foot straight out of the gate by giving yourself a derogatory label.“You’re not a junior designer—you’re a designer.”
Don’t sell yourself short. Even if you’re brand new to the industry, you can demonstrate your talent with a strong portfolio. Every human on Earth experiences professional growth throughout their career. (If you’re not growing in your current position, you’re not in the right job.)
Give yourself a chance. Drop the ‘junior designer’ label and let your portfolio speak for itself.