Design Skills Employers Want You To Have

Blogpost by Bejan Douraghy.  He is the founder of Artisan Talent, an award winning staffing agency that has been inspiring better lives and matching talent since 1988, with offices in Chicago, New York City, Indianapolis, Washington D.C., Denver, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Whether you’re a designer focusing on graphics, emails, front end, etc., there are common skills all employers want you to have. Yes, you need to have a killer portfolio, but that’s not all recruiters and hiring managers want to see. Don’t forget to highlight your proficiency in software and design skills on your resume and job application.

Want to make yourself the most desirable candidate for an upcoming project or new job opportunity? This is what employers want to see.


Top Software Skills Employers Want to See on Your Resume

  • Software program proficiency in the Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, InDesign, etc.)
  • Content management platforms you can use (i.e., Drupal and WordPress)
  • Programming languages you know (CSS, HTML, or JavaScript)
  • Development applications
  • Video and animation tools you are experienced in
  • PowerPoint presentation experience

Non-Software Skills Employers Want to See

While software skills often take the #1 spot for deciding to pursue a candidate further, there are a host of other things that can move you to the top of the list.

  • Attention to Detail:  Typos are your worst enemy
  • Conceptual Ability:  It’s so important to have good conceptual skills to keep ideas fresh
  • Time Management:  You’re working on a million projects at once and need to be able to manage them efficiently
  • Broad Best Practices:  A good designer needs to understand digital as well as print marketing tactics and best practices
  • Infographics and Icons:  This trend is here to stay and clients will want to know if you have experience creating them
  • Typography: Are new fonts, combinations, and typefaces your jam?

Keep in mind potential employers are just as interested in culture skills too. Chicago-based Artisan Talent Account Manager Karen Smith explains, “Companies want to know if talent has worked in and done well in similar environments; be it polished corporate, or agency cool, start-up, tech, etc. Can they blend well with the skills of a company’s existing talent? Have they and can they fit in with the rest of the team?”

The Bottom Line: Keep Polishing and Adding Skills

It’s important to always be learning when you’re in a digital career. The Brandford Hall Career Institute offers this advice: “In this age of rapidly-improving technology, there are always new tools to help Graphic Designers stay on the cutting edge of design. Throughout your career, it’s a good idea to keep up with the newest technologies, be willing to try new things, and to keep learning about your career field.”

Don’t forget your resume and portfolio are living, breathing documents, so always be updating them. It’s important to keep growing, and if you’ve learned a new skill, show it off. It could make the difference between landing that next role or having to continue combing through job boards.