Here are some handy, practical guides to finding, applying, and interviewing for UX positions.
Most likely you’re taking this course because you want to move into a UX career. The courses in this section are taught by people who regularly take part in the hiring process, so you know the information is relevant.
Finding a Job in User Experience (Chris Nodder)
After recapping the different job roles within UX, this course talks about building your reputation, cleaning up your online profile, getting the experience you need, and building a resume and portfolio.
Remote Interviewing Techniques for Creative Roles (Chris Nodder)
These days it’s most likely that at least part of your interview process will be conducted remotely. Get tips for phone and video interviews, possible interview formats and questions, and how to follow up after the interview.
Job Interview Strategies for UX Designers (Diane Cronenwett)
UX design job interviews often contain elements like whiteboarding exercises and portfolio reviews. Learn what to expect in your next UX design job interview and how to approach each stage with confidence. Review common interview questions, and learn about the key elements of a UX design exercise.
Building and Maintaining your UX Design Portfolio (Diane Cronenwett)
Diane offers real-world advice to make your portfolio stand out from the crowd. Learn how to create a portfolio … even if you’ve never worked in a UX job before. Understand the elements of a strong UX portfolio. Find out what happens during a portfolio review—and get tips for incorporating storytelling into a presentation.
Freelancing and Consulting in User Experience (Cory Lebson)
Starting out on your own isn’t an ideal route to take when you have limited real-world experience with UX practices, but if the idea of freelancing is interesting to you, check out Cory’s course for some great tips on how to set yourself up for success.
Both courses contain some good advice for UX professionals and really anyone in a creative role.
Get a job in design (Bonnie Siegler)
This includes sections on resumes and interviewing, and is told by someone who has hired many designers.
Revisit the homework you did for Part 1, where you did a LinkedIn job search.
- Run the search again, for entry-level jobs in the area that interests you.
- Check that your list of the type of skills companies are asking for is accurate.
- See how many of the skill areas you can check off now, and which ones you feel you still need to work on.
Create an initial plan for how you might gain those additional skills. It may involve running another group project, or working individually or with a mentor outside the group. It may involve watching more course videos, or getting an internship so that you can learn with and from others in the industry.
Discuss the areas you want to work on with your group. Share your plan, and get suggestions and feedback from the group.
Build your reputation. Your reputation comes from the value you add. By this stage, you have knowledge, opinions, and something you can share with others. You can summarize topics, write posts, and analyze events.
Think about a UX article you read recently. What was thought-provoking about it? What did you agree with? What did you disagree with? What questions did it leave unanswered for you? Answering those four questions is enough to generate a whole new article of original content – YOUR original content.
Put your answers together in a short-form or long-form post on LinkedIn. Now keep doing it! You can talk about things you learned in different parts of this syllabus, UX books you’ve read, the projects you’ve undertaken, and things you learn about the job search process as you look for work.
Create or update your resume. Use the information you learned in the courses in this section to make your resume concrete and outcome-based with clear descriptions of what you did and what impact you had. Share with others in your study group for feedback.
Pull all your projects together into a portfolio, and then share that with others in your study group for feedback. Portfolios only used to be necessary for visual designers. Now, pretty much anyone in UX needs one.
Unless you’re applying for visual design jobs, your portfolio doesn’t have to be visually stunning. What it does have to be is information-rich. Include high level summaries of each of the projects you completed during this course. Include visuals wherever you can – the flow map and wireframes you created, the content re-write you performed, slides from the survey results presentation you created, photos of your experience map and ideation output, your storyboards, and so on.
I strongly suggest having an online portfolio. Although you can create your portfolio in a presentation tool like PowerPoint, Keynote, or Google Slides, it’s easier to share a URL with recruiters. Unfortunately this will mean learning the interface to the tool you choose, but there are longer term benefits.
Popular free tools are Behance, Dribbble, Coroflot, and Adobe Portfolio (free with Creative Cloud). You can also create portfolio-themed sites on WordPress.com. Of all the options, Behance probably offers the best mix of features and is also probably the best-known for recruiters.
You’ve done it! You’ve made it through the taught portion of this course. Well done. Let us know by posting on LinkedIn using the #uxsyllabus hashtag so we can congratulate you too!
Now you should be applying for jobs so that you can put your new-found skills to work for you!
If you think it would help, we do offer an (entirely optional) certificate. The certificate assessment process takes the form of a portfolio review and interview so you get real-world experience and we get to test your knowledge in a real-world situation.
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