The national unemployment rate may be over 8 percent, but if you’re a Web designer, you’re among elevated company–only 3 percent of Web designers are unemployed, according to Workforce.com.
Donna Farrugia, executive director of staffing firm the Creative Group, told Workforce she has seen an “unreal” increase in the amount of job orders for Web designers. Demand for these professionals hit a 13-year high during the second quarter of 2012, she said. And according to the government’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, openings for Web designers are expected to increase another 13 percent through 2020.
To land one of these plum positions, assuming you’ve got the skills, you’ll need a killer portfolio. Lori Richmond, director of creative services for XO Group (formerly TheKnot), says she looks for portfolios that display not just professional work, but side businesses, “like if they have a craft business on the side or a photography blog. All of that gives us insight on their level of design sensibility. Their outside interest piques our interest.”
Richmond added that she likes to try out designers as freelancers before offering them a full-time gig. In fact, her two most recent hires were former freelancers. “I would much rather someone come in and freelance for us for a day or a couple of weeks and get a sense of what they can do,” she told Workforce. “Personality, professionalism and being responsive to feedback is really important.”