As a Junior UX-er, getting that first job is going to be tough. How do you make yourself stand out from every other junior out there?
The majority of roles advertised require candidates with 1 year + experience. At the moment we have 30+ UX jobs mostly mid, senior, lead or head with just one junior position.
It won’t be easy, but stay positive; you need to be pro-active, forward thinking and up for the challenge!
Tips to get that job
You will be glad to know I’m not here just to tell you how hard it will be to get that first job, I’m here to offer advice and tips to help you get this important, first paid job!
- Have a CV and Portfolio ready.
Remember your CV is the first example the client will see of your UX experience. Simple things like how the CV looks, how it’s laid out, its content, personality, how easy it is to read, usability are vital. The amount of CV’s I’ve seen where people haven’t thought about this is incredible. Hiring managers and HR will skim the CV so make sure your personality, experience etc stands out.
Top Tip: UX your CV. Think of it like a website, who’s the end user etc.
Portfolios are key, every client asks to see a portfolio as they want to see your work. They don’t want to see an end product, they want to see your process: how you think, how you solve challenges etc. A good analogy to remember – a “portfolio is like a maths exam, you don’t just get marks for the end result you get points along the way for your working out.” It is key to walk the hiring manager through every stage of the process.
I know most courses allow you to come out with a portfolio which is great, but often this isn’t enough to set you apart, as again, everyone else who took the course has this.
Top Tip: go the extra mile, how can you add to your portfolio? To get that job you need most clients want to see your commercial experience, examples of your UX work.
- Look for pro-bono work
A colleague recently placed a very savvy candidate who, whilst doing her HCI course approached a tech heavy company and showed them how her User Research skills would benefit their company and improve the conversion rate. They took her on for 10 months part time whilst doing the course, pro bono, allowing her to gain industry experience. This in turn led to her securing an excellent job after her course as she had industry experience along with academic.
Top Tip: go to local businesses, restaurants, schools and offer your services as a UX Designer. That way you’ve got commercial experience to talk about in an interview, to show in your portfolio etc.
- Build relationships;
– Go to events, meet people, build relationships, build your network. You never know who you might meet!
– Identify key clients and approach hiring managers through Linkedin. Show your personality and passion for UX, if anything just see if they would meet for a coffee as you never know what could happen.
– Use your background to your advantage, for example Project Managers gain certain skills which are useful for UX.
Top Tip: Establish strong relationships with one or two recruiters you trust. They may not be able to find you a job straight away but they can help you with your CV and how to present yourself.
- Think outside the box
– Think outside the box. Don’t just contact people in London, as no doubt they will have been contacted before.
Top Tip: Think about companies outside London: Surrey, Hertfordshire and message them.
– Be pro-active, establish your brand and get yourself out there!
Should you need any extra advice then I am happy to help, get in touch on email@example.com or call 0207 729 4771.