The Denver web design community is strong and vibrant, so finding a good fit within an established design firm should not be difficult. As in most markets, during the recession a few of the big agencies have closed shop or consolidated during the recession. But the Denver metro area has experienced a recent influx of technical talent and a resurgence of small business growth – established corporations such as Google, Microsoft and Oracle all have offices in the region, and start-ups have dotted the metro corridor (Boulder to the Denver Tech Center). There are a number of Denver web design networking groups formed that help graphic designers, developers, content writers, advertisers and even print marketing folks get together to share ideas, best practices and referral opportunities.
Local design houses are constantly in the hunt for good talent. There are still a few large agencies in town with national clout, as well as smaller companies that fit well into the mid-size market. Evaluate what kind of company you want to work for – a large one with a very defined role and parameters, or a smaller one where you can participate in a number of aspects of creating websites. Do you like to sell? Or focus on pure design and development?
Don’t discount the possibility of working in a branding/marketing capacity from within a industry such as real estate, healthcare or advertising. Though the job responsibilities may be a bit narrower, you may find some of the ancillary perks – stability, insurance and retirement benefits to be more attractive. We have seen professionals in the creative space cut their teeth in small to mid-sized agencies, then get recruited to work inside Fortune level companies in Denver and Boulder.
Despite the recent recessionary effects, companies are looking for exceptional talent. Sure, one can go and search online at the usual sites for Denver web design jobs, but we still believe in the tried-and-true method of personal networking. Take a look at your colleague lists and start conversations about what you are looking to do. Oftentimes, they are your best sources for leads and referrals into the people who can create those hiring opportunities. It takes real effort and time, but we will argue that those referrals are far more satisfying and the job opportunities more in line with what you want to do. As mentioned above, seek out a design networking group in the area and attend a few. It may seem intimidating at first, not knowing anyone, but after a couple it will seem a lot easier to form connections. And you never know where those connections will lead you.
It goes without saying that your resume and skill sets should be exceptional and up-to-date. SHOW what you can do, in additional to what (and how) you say. The ability to think critically and demonstrate your energy, passions and commitment to the job speaks volumes. Even in this digital age, it matters on how you present yourself – your sincerity, your passions and your true goals. If you have always been a back-office coder, and not client-facing, it still matters that you convey confidence and are articulate to the people you work with, and work for. So brush up on those soft skills!
And following the interview, please remember to handwrite a thank you note!