How to land your first UX job?
Here’s a selection of fairly straightforward steps that can often be missed, or not considered when trying to get that first step on the ladder to your new UX career. These are great at any stage and if you follow them, we’re sure that you’ll be landing your first UX job in no time! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ping us a comment below!
Hi guys, and welcome to UX Clicks, a channel dedicated to UX designers and run by UX designers living and working in London. And our job is to land you a UX job, or just improve your everyday skills of UX work that you do. And today’s episode is all about how to land your first UX job. Now, that’s a really big question, isn’t it, Simon?
Isn’t it just.
So whether you just finished uni, or you’re planning to change your career the process is pretty much the same. It can be painful and sometimes confusing, hence we decided to prepare a couple of steps that you can follow that will help you easier get that UX job.
And first on the list is pretty straightforward, but not many people do that these days, is finishing a course. And Simon has finished an amazing course with General Assembly, so can you share with us your sort of experience of that course?
Yeah, that course was great. Definitely go and do a course, if you can do one in person as part of a bigger group with experienced instructors, which is exactly General Assembly do, it’s a really great time. There is a really solid process and kind of methodology to user experience design, and it’s very important so you get a solid understanding, a foundation of that. I mean, I was in design and advertising before going into user experience design, and when I went and did that course with, I started looking into things a bit beforehand, but when I went into that course it just completely opened my eyes. It’s like a whole new ballgame, there’s so much to learn, so many different avenues, some things you might want to kind of delve deeper into. But definitely go and finish a course, that should be your first port of call for landing a UX job.
Yeah, there’s so many to choose from as well these days. You have General Assembly, CareerFoundry, you name it, just you can Google it and I’m sure you’ll find a place-
Yeah, there’s tons.
For yourself. You can do it in person or online, so it’s a lot of options to look at.
Now, after the course, usually, you get, what, a couple of projects you can put in your portfolio, but might not be enough? How was your experience with that, with the projects from the course?
Yeah, really good. Most courses should or will encourage you to do your own project. So I would advise definitely starting a personal project, you need to do that, you’ve got to put some time in outside of work to develop your own projects to kind of learn the process, and the methodology, you’ll find sticky pieces. Definitely don’t get too precious about the work that you’re doing on the courses, the more you can do the better, but it’s never a kind of finished piece of work.
So when you finish your course, maybe you might want to start another project when you come out, and kind of run through the process again. The more you do it, the more ingrained it will become, and so personal projects are definitely a key thing to helping you land that first job.
Yeah, definitely. So either find a friend who needs a website or application, or just think about the ideas of what applications you would like to create, and basically just follows the process you just finished on your UX course.
Right, the next bit is very tricky, it’s a big step. It’s creating your portfolio. Now that’s a big job, and I think most UX designers would agree, it’s never finished, and it’s always sort of ongoing process.
It’s a bit like design itself…
Yes, It’s never done.
So, getting a portfolio is one of the most important things because it’s sort of like your front, or like front window of your store, and these just advertise how good you are or how bad you are. So get a template, WordPress, or any other template you’re familiar with, and get your personal projects and projects from the course in that portfolio, and that is sort of the ideal beginning of your personal design portfolio, right?
We’ve got a couple of other videos going more into detail about that but definitely keep that, that’s part of your flow.
Next thing is your CV. Keep it short. It’s so easy to blab on for ages in your CV about your interest, and hobbies, but I’ve got to be honest, no one really cares. Keep it down, two pages, make it relevant and whatever experience you have, kind of try and bring it round to how it kind of makes sense to the user experience.
So, yeah, two pages ideally. You don’t want to go any longer than that. Think about the people that are going to be picking these up, might be companies, and they’re hiring, and they’re going through hundreds of CVs, they haven’t got time to go through three, four, five, six pages. Likewise, if it’s a recruitment firm, same thing, hundreds of CVs every day, they really haven’t got time, they want to be able to scan something, two pages is ideal.
Yeah, definitely. So always ask yourself a question, does this information say, “I am a UX designer.” If it doesn’t, don’t include that in your portfolio, don’t include it in your CV, basically.
Next point is to create your LinkedIn profile, and this is really important because me and yourself as well on a daily basis get contacted by recruiters, it’s very easy to be noticed there. So just make sure you do … that you do a good job with creating that profile, pick a nice photo. You can also add some pictures of your projects there in a LinkedIn profile, so it’s a great place to be found and discovered, and you can also connect with people from the industry, not just recruiters, but also other UX designers, and follow also industry’s latest news.
Yeah, we’re on that.
We’re on it, just find us if you can.
Another bit is setting up your profiles, not just on LinkedIn but also job boards. So there is plenty of websites that you can register with, job sites, Monster and so on. It’s just very important to be out there and having profiles as many places as you can. Set up your email notifications so you receive the latest jobs every day to your inbox, and that is really useful and this is what we do … those we do like personally as well.
And the last and final tip is to keep applying for roles daily. The industry is so fast-moving, and changing constantly, just keep your eye on the job boards, LinkedIn, and apply for roles as and when they come up.
Yeah, that’s true, like don’t wait … don’t make applying for a job once a week, just do it every day. Apply for any job you can, even if you don’t like 100%. It’s a very great experience to just apply for a job and have fun interviewing, have face to face interviews, it’s very important to just get out there. Never give up and stay positive, and enjoy exploring the world of UX.
Yeah. So that, just to quickly round up, there’s six things. Go do a course, get some personal projects under your belt, get yourself an online portfolio, keep your CV short, have a LinkedIn profile, get that setup and running, look at job boards, and apply, apply, apply, on a daily. Good luck!
Cool. That’s it from us today guys, thanks for watching and please subscribe to our channel and comment below if you have any questions, and we’ll hopefully see you again shortly.