Vol. 024 - How are designers hired?

Hi designers,

Welcome to Vol. 023 of the UX Jetpack Newsletter, where I share job searching tips weekly. This week we are talking about:

  1. How are designers hired?
  2. Feeling overwhelmed trying to land a UX job?
  3. How do you offer value when connecting with others?
  4. Curated eCommerce storefront design

If you enjoy those tips, please consider sharing them with your friends. They can sign up at https://uxjetpack.com/newsletter

How designers are hired

Acing interviews is not about trying to impress the interviewers;

it's about building a relationship with them.

The interviews that got me an offer all shared a common theme:

I was able to share something personal that resonated with the hiring managers.

For my first job, I shared that I had just read the book "1984" and explained why I liked the book.

For my second job, I talked about my views on building a software business and my dream of being an indie developer.

For the third job, I mentioned my side projects and my interest in building communities.

None of them are directly related to design,

but they helped me build relationships.

I recently watched an interview with Luis von Ahn, the CEO of Duolingo.

He shared a story where he rejected a candidate for their CFO position.

The candidate had all the right experience and skills,

but because the candidate was not nice to the driver who drove him to the airport,

Luis rejected him.

Having the right skills and experience is only one piece of the puzzle.

What also matters is showing what kind of person you are

and having the interviewer be excited about working with you.

Feeling overwhelmed trying to land a UX job?

I get it. There are tons of things you need to work on:

📝 Resume

📂 Portfolio

🤝 Networking

🗣 Interview prep

🖥️ Portfolio presentation

⬜ Whiteboard challenges

📩 Applying to job postings

Now, let me show you some tips to help you navigate the chaos:

1️⃣ Don't wait for perfection!

↳ You don't need a perfect portfolio or resume to start applying. Get them out there and gradually improve them along the way.

2️⃣ Building connections is key, but remember, Rome wasn't built in a day.

↳ It takes time to see the return of your effort, so be patient and don't get discouraged if you don't get immediate feedback.

3️⃣ Practice makes perfect when it comes to interview prep.

↳ Do as many mock-up interviews as possible with your friends or other designers. Feedback helps you improve, even if they are coming from non-designers.

4️⃣ Don't get consumed by the workload.

↳ Spread it out! Apply to jobs on Mondays and Tuesdays, do coffee chats on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and dedicate Fridays to interview prep. This way, you balance it all and avoid burnout.

Keep this in mind: job searching in today's market is rough. It typically takes six months to a year to land a job.

You can't rush through it.

Take your time and show up every day.

How do you offer value when connecting with others?

Networking is a two-way street.

It’s never just about asking; you need to give as well.

If you are starting out in the design industry, you might feel you don’t have anything to give.

But there are always ways you can try.

  • Always ask if there’s anything you can do to help. Even though they may not have anything, it’s a nice gesture.
  • Follow their socials and engage with their posts.
  • Share anything you think might be interesting or relevant to them; send it over. Even if it’s something they might have already seen.
  • Always follow up with them, keeping them updated on your progress.

One trick I learned from @abelcak is that you can ask the person you want to connect with for advice on books or course suggestions, then you go read the book, follow up with them about what you learned from it. It feels good to know that someone is learning and growing with your advice.

Let them be involved in your journey as a mentor.

Curated eCommerce storefront design

If you are a designer working in eCommerce, this is a website you must know.

It has all the cool eCommerce websites. You wouldn't want to miss this.

Check out 👉🏼 storefront.design

If you enjoy my newsletter, please leave a testimonial. It would help me a lot to grow my audience.

Ryan Yao

Say hi 👋🏼 on LinkedIn and ☎️ Book a 1:1 with me

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