Top 10 Skills Employers Look For In A Graphic Designer

Thanks to the digital revolution, graphic designers are now more in demand than ever in 2013. From logo and banner creation to newsletter and app design, graphic design roles today can be extremely diverse and can vary wildly from employer to employer. Despite this, the sector still remains one of the most competitive in the digital sector as a whole when it comes to securing a new job – so it goes without saying that in order to beat the competition; you need to have a number of desirable skills on your CV/resume.


Remember how I just said that graphic design jobs can vary wildly depending on the employer? While this might be true, from looking at the last 100 or so graphic design jobs advertised on Bubble, it’s clear to see that, in spite of the role specifics, the majority of employers are looking for ten very specific skills from all their web design candidates. If you’re looking to make the move into graphic design or hoping to move up the career ladder, it’s definitely worth trying to get the following ten skills on your CV/resume!

Adobe CS Skills:

Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign were always going to feature in this ‘Top 10’ list –  but I was surprised at just how many employers call for these skills – in fact, it was pretty much a whitewash! Needless to say, if you don’t have experience in Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator, you could find it very difficult to get your foot in the graphic design door!

Cross-Browser/Platform Design Experience:

Tablets, mobiles, PCs, laptops – you name it, there are now more devices available to consume web content than ever before so it makes sense that employers are searching for design pros who can create a dynamic design across all available platforms and browsers.

Understanding & Experience Of Responsive Design:

On the back of the upsurge in mobile usage, a growing number of employers are employing responsive designs across all aspects of their website so when it comes to taking on new design employees, it’s little surprise they want candidates who already understand how responsive design works and how to implement it.


There might have been talk of DreamWeaver dying out a few years ago but employers today are still looking for candidates who have previous experience with the program.

Front-End Coding Skills:

When it comes to graphic design jobs these days, it’s not enough to just be proficient in Photoshop and Illustrator, employers also call for candidates to have great front-end coding skills in things like HTML (HTML5) and CSS too. OK, so not all employers call for these skills – but a growing number do so it might be worth jumping across to TreeHouse to brush up on your existing knowledge!


In addition to being a pro with all things CSS and HTML, a growing number of employers are also looking for graphic designers these days who are also experienced with JavaScript, particularly Object-Orientated JavaScript and jQuery.


In addition to JavaScript, CSS and HTML, it’s definitely worth having Flash listed on your CV/ resume. In terms of specifications, Flash ActionScript 2 and 3 are definitely the flavour of the day!

Newsletter/Email/App Design:

These days, it’s not enough to just be a pro at ‘web design’ – employers are looking for graphic designers with specific skills in a range of areas  – and right now graphic designers with newsletter, email and mobile app design experience are definitely in demand!

Experience In Pitching Briefs:

In terms of agency-side design jobs, employers want to hear from candidates who have experience in pitching design briefs to potential and existing clients and ones who have experience seeing a concept through from brief to artwork.

Management/Mentoring Experience:

When it comes to more senior graphic design jobs, employers look for candidates who have had previous experience in managing a small team and/or mentoring more junior members of the team.

Images provided by Shutterstock

FrontPage Image: Graphic designer using tablet via Shutterstock



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