Accelerate your UX design job hunting process with this guide.
The job-hunting process as a UX designer can be a long one, especially as a new designer. But don't fear we are here to help. Usually, the job hunt consists of 5 essential steps:
- Making Your Resume
- Creating your Portfolio
- Applying for UX Design Jobs
- Doing a Design Interview
- Starting on the job
Make important notes as you read our guide and make a projected schedule of when you want to start applying for jobs and interviewing as this is going to be extremely important.
Writing a resume can be tough, especially when you are not sure exactly what content to keep or write but fear no more. Make your Resume in less than an hour with these steps:
A great way to start learning the best tricks to making a resume is by reading resumes of designers in top companies. You can view these on websites such as BestFolios and CoFolios.
Yes it is okay to use a template. What matters more is the content. You can always make aesthetic changes later. Alternatively you can use this awesome Product Design resume template from Pathrise.
Ensure you give the document a name the following format:[FirstName]_[Second Name]_UX_Design_Resume_[Date]
- We recommend first quickly typing out as much as you can remember about your job experiences and then starting to refine each line.
- Ensure you mention which tools you used in your projects & job experiences. This is extremely important as recruiters are always scanning for these.
- When writing about each experience, remember to focus on impact & not grunt. For example, instead of saying ‘Designed X for Y’ say ‘Accomplished X by implementing Y, which led to Z’. (Credit: Pathrise)
- Try to quantify your work if possible. A great way to do this is by describing either the scale or results of the projects. (Credit: Pathrise)
- If your company is not well known, we recommend putting a small blurb about who they are, how big they are, & what they do.
We cannot stress the importance of this enough. Getting feedback from different people is extremely important to tweaking your resume and fixing any confusing statements.
If you do not have a college advisor then ask your design friends or on Facebook design groups or reach out to a design recruiter on Linkedin.
Getting started with making your portfolio can be difficult. This is why we have made this short crash-course of how to go ahead and make your portfolio website.
Start by exploring portfolios of established UX Designers on Bestfolios.com and Cofolios.com. By exploring these you will be able to start noticing common patterns as well as somethings you may want to do in your portfolio.
Some of our favorite UX portfolios are:
2. Read these guidelines from UX designers to learn the best practices for creating a portfolio website. This will help save you a lot of time later in the process.
We always recommend to start with content first so as to remain focused. In each case study you write ensure you:
- Mention your role, the project duration, and the team members
- Write descriptive headers such as "Adding a custom recipe is very frustrating" vs "UX Research or Stakeholder interviews". This is extremely important as recruiters will be scanning your case studies first and only then reading for more detail.
- Include Annotated Screenshots highlighting the design decisions you made. This helps to connect back to the written text.
- Include Results with Statistics on how the design impacted the users and the organization. If it is a redesign then you may showcase a before and after along with usability testing results. Common examples of this are increased sales, signups, customer retention, brand awareness or perception, engagement, total posts mades, or app reviews.
- Aggressively work on reducing word count. You do not need to write everything about your project. Focus on the important points.
- There are no spelling or grammatical errors. A great way to check for this is by putting your case study in Grammarly.
- Provide Testimonials if available. These can be from users or from your manager or from your class instructor or professor.
An awesome place to find case studies is Bestfolios.com's case study section. Some of our favorite case studies are:
If you need to make a few projects first we recommend subscribing to the Product Design Interview newsletter or attending a hackathon!
And if you are doing or documenting a redesign project, we recommend checking out this article:
This step is extremely important so that you don't stress later on the layout when using the portfolio building tool of your choice. We recommend designing for a layout with a maximum of 2 cards per row.
This is a great time to also start thinking about the copy of your website. We recommend keeping attractive project headers and using large visuals.
Ensure your navigation bar has the following tabs: About Me, Work, Resume, Linkedin, Email
There are many portfolio website builders out there. If you are looking to make a portfolio really quickly then we recommend using Squarespace or Adobe Portfolio or UXfolio.
Start to pull all your content together. Remember to include alt tags for your images and to ensure they are optimized for the web in terms of file size. The last thing you want is your website taking forever to load when a recruiter visits it.
We also recommend ensuring you provide metadata for each page to improve your search ranking. This is the stage at which you may also want to purchase a custom domain. Try using a domain ending with .com or .design or .io (if you coded it it yourself).
This is really important. Conduct a usability test of your website and at least two case studies with 5 users. It is key to see how quickly they are scrolling and at what points do they stop to read or observe more. Ask them if there are phrases or words which are confusing or if any graphic element could improve.
Pro Tip: Post your resume on the Designer's Guild Monthly Portfolio Feedback thread as you can get advice from the industry's leading designers free of cost! Isn't that awesome?
Using that feedback, improve your website & publish the changes.
Applying for jobs is a numbers game. The more you apply to the better your chances. The first step to applying for jobs is by visiting the company website's career page of the top tech companies and then shifting your focus to job boards.
For each position ensure you provide a customized resume and cover letter which caters exactly to the skills they are looking for.
The Pathrise company guides page has a curated list of 200+ top companies. Use this list to ensure you apply to UX design positions at each of these companies.
Below is a list of all the job boards you can use to apply for jobs.
In the article below you will get to learn some fantastic tips on how to ensure you have nailed each job application.
Design is a process of constant iteration. You got to keep doing user research and testing to improve your design. You need to treat preparing for a design interview in a similar way.
This is why we have written a short crash course of 3 steps you need to keep repeating in a cycle until you land that job!
We recommend purchasing the Solving Product Design Exercises book and practicing the listed exercises along with a design peer. In addition to this you can use the following website to generate design interview problems for practice:
Try and reach out to at least two UX designers in the field for feedback and to do a practice session with. Now repeat the entire cycle till you start to get offers!
A great resource for this is the Pathrise's Company Guides which lists the interview questions for more than 200+ companies. In addition to this you can find information on Blind, Glassdoor, and Subtle Asian Tech.
- Design Critique Coach is a great website to help you practice and prepare for random questions regarding design decisions which may be asked to you during interviews.
Make Your Portfolio