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How to Get Hired as a Front-End Design Engineer

What does it take to join the Revelry design team? After seven years of hiring front-end designers, VP of Design Laura Eble shares her advice for putting your best foot forward. If you’d like to learn more about what it’s like to work here, read this article explaining what Revelry designers do.

The Application Process for a Front-End Designer

We’ve streamlined the designer application process at Revelry a bit over time. Here are the steps right now:

  1. Submit a resume (cover letter optional)
  2. A member of our People Ops team reviews resume
  3. Interview with the designated hiring manager
  4. VP of Design reviews resume
  5. 1-2 interviews with the Design Team

What We Look for in a Resume

When reviewing a resume, we are evaluating two things: your skills and your portfolio.

There are five skills we’re looking for:

  • CSS
  • HTML
  • Sass is recommended because it saves you so much time. You’ll pick up Sass quickly if you know CSS because it’s faster.
  • Experience using a framework such as Bootstrap, Foundation, Materialize, or Tailwind (our preferred tool). That’s important.
  • Experience designing using a program like Adobe Creative Suite, Figma, or Sketch. You don’t need to know all of them.

We don’t require you to have specific knowledge in JavaScript, Elixir, WordPress, or anything else. We change our tools all the time. For example, our department just decided to stop using Sketch and start using Figma. Being open to learning new things is more important than knowing all the different languages and capabilities.

Every great resume includes a link to a portfolio. Your portfolio should have visual examples of your work and a way to look at your code.

  • Most people use a website builder for their portfolio, which is fine. Be sure to add links so we can inspect your code, such as links to sites you built for other companies.
  • A Github profile is a good sign that you are familiar with coding and on the right path to being a front-end designer.
  • Building a personal site is awesome because we can use it to evaluate your visual design skills and inspect your code. But it’s not necessary.

It’s great if someone applies with a design degree, but that’s not required. Your formal education is not as important as the quality of the work that you’ve done.

Tips for a Strong Interview

When I interview a designer, I really love to hear them talk about their work. In a great interview, a designer will describe the process of creating their designs, explain why they did it that way, and even share some frustrations they ran into along the way. We’re looking for someone confident in their creativity and ready to use design skills in any medium.

Share stories of when you tried something new. Because we work on a wide variety of projects with partner companies, I hire people who are comfortable embracing new things. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve started a project knowing nothing about the programming language or the business. I start with zero ideas about accomplishing it, but I feel comfortable in that vulnerable space of not knowing what to do. If you are open to exploring solutions, the design is usually way more straightforward than you thought it would be.

It’s also interesting to hear what inspires you. Everyone has favorite sources of inspiration. When you’re a front-end designer, you need to stay relevant. I look at Dribble and read a lot to keep up with changes in web accessibility standards.

Advice for Designers Who Can’t Code (Yet)

There aren’t many people out there who can code and design to the level we’re looking for. I think it’s unfair that so many talented people come out of design programs without front-end development skills. And I know front-end developers are also interested in doing more design work.

I learned to code on the job after graduating from art school. I think Revelry is missing out on some potential hires because we don’t have a program to help bridge that gap between front-end and design skills. We are working on building a design apprentice program, but it’s not ready yet. There are many free tutorials for learning HTML, CSS, and Tailwind. I would suggest starting there and building your own projects.

Enjoy your journey to front-end design!

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