Looking for a job in UX design can be difficult. Especially in the difficult times we live in today. Yet, you can do a lot to improve your chances of getting that one UX design job you have your eyes on.
In this post, we are going to cover the fundamental elements of job hunting in the world of UX. You will learn everything you need to know in regards to preparing for interviews, sending in applications, and building your UX portfolio.
We are going to focus on some frequently asked questions first snd provide you with some tips and tricks after that.
Table of Contents
How to land a job in UX
In a perfect world, the road to UX jobs follows a certain amount of steps. This guide will help you go from step to step until you reach your UX job. Here are the steps.
- Understanding what UX jobs are available and where you can find them
- Sending out your cover letter
- Acing the job interview.
Is your UX portfolio ready?
When looking for a UX job, you will need a UX portfolio. I wrote a step-by-step guide on how to create a UX portfolio that gets you the job.
What job titles can UX designers have?
First things first. Let’s talk about what kind of job titles you can have as a UX designer. There are quite a few. Even though UX designer is already quite specific. Here’s a list to help you get started.
- UX designer
- UX researcher
- UX consultant
- UX/UI designer
- Interaction designer
- UX writer
That is quite a list as you can see. These UX jobs and titles are very common. Yet, there are more. The list goes on as companies can create their job titles as they see fit.
Where can I find UX design jobs?
You can find UX job listings on a number of great spots. These include job market boards, social media groups, and your personal network. Here’s a list to help you get started.
How many UX jobs should I be applying to every day?
Applying for a job is a numbers game. This isn’t only the case when you are looking for a job in UX design. This applies to any type of job you might be looking for. Yet, the question remains of how many jobs you should apply for daily.
We would recommend a slightly different approach. Don’t see your UX job hunt as a daily occurrence but as a number of currently active job applications. Don’t go below two active applications. Whenever one UX job application goes south, make sure you always have at least one option as a backup.
The benefits are clear for this approach. It will save you time, the impact on your motivation and mental health will be less, and you can use multiple job offers as a part of your job negotiations.
How to write a UX cover letter
Once you have identified a number of UX job openings you like it is time to apply for these jobs. You can do this by sending the company your cover letter. This cover letter is also known as your job application.
We have an extensive post in regards to your UX portfolio, how you can create one, and what it must contain. Check it out if you want to know more.
Back to the UX cover letter. When writing your letter, focus on selling yourself. This is your first (and sometimes only) chance to make a great impression. You will have to make sure you stand out from the other applications. Here’s how you do just that.
- Create a clear structure within your letter. This structure consists of three parts. An introduction, the middle content, and a closing statement.
- For the introduction, you state who you are, what you do, and which UX job you are applying for. Don’t beat around the bush. Keep it straight and simple.
- The middle content is key. This is the largest part of your UX cover letter and will focus on what you have done in the past and, most importantly, what you can bring to the table. Sell your added value. Try and make this part of the letter personal. That is how you stand out.
- Finally, the closing statement. This is also quite a short bit. You will share your contact information, as well as any attachments that you might provide (like a resume or portfolio). Finish by stating that you look forward to the company’s response and that you hope to hear from them soon.
We wrote a post on how to write a great UX cover letter. This post takes a closer look at cover letter and what impact they can make when applying for a job in UX.
How to ace your UX interview
It can take some time before you get a reply to your UX cover letter. In some cases, you do not get a reply at all. There is no set amount of time it takes a company to reply.
Please don’t get your hopes up. This is another reason why it is better to have multiple applications running at the same time. The chances of getting a reply get better. Once you get a positive reply it might be the case that you are invited for an interview to talk about the UX job you applied for. Most companies have a three-step structure to the interview process.
- At first, you will have an interview to meet the company. The goal of this meeting is to get to know each other and to see if there could be a fit. This interview is more about you as a person than you as a UX designer.
- The second meeting is about your skills as a UX designer. This in-depth interview can also be a task, test, or UX case study that you have to complete.
- If you manage to get through the first two interviews you will have a final meeting to discuss salary, hourly rates, and that kind of stuff.
Keep in mind that this is a general approach to the interview process. It can differ from company to company. This post focuses on the first two interviews.
Let’s start with the biggest cliché in the book. Always come prepared. There are a number of typical UX interview questions that will come up in every interview. These include questions like your view on UX, who you are as a designer, and what you bring to the table.
One question that always gets asked is if you have questions yourself. By preparing a few questions of your own you show that you are interested in the company. This scores you big points.
Finally, your portfolio. Always bring your portfolio. You can bring it digitally. However, you score extra points if you do something extra like printing your portfolio. It shows commitment.
For more tips and tricks, check out my post on preparing your UX job interview.
Frequently asked questions
Here’s a long list of frequently asked questions in regards to getting a job in UX.
Can UX designers work from home?
Yes! UX designers can work from home. Many already do. In fact, I’ve been working from home for months now. Working from home has been more popular than ever. Tools such as Figma, Zoom, and Teams make it easier than ever to work from home.
Check out my guide on working from home as a UX designer for more.
How much do UX designers make?
Salary is important. It is not different for a UX designer. The field of UX is a good field to be in if you look at salary. It is partially the case because UX is a part of the tech world.
Are there more jobs in UX or UI?
Your chances of getting a job in UX increase if there are more jobs available. It means that more people are looking for someone to hire.
But do you want to work in UX? Or maybe UI? That depends. Are there more jobs in UX or UI?
Is it hard to get a job in UX?
It is hard for entry-level UX designers to get a job in UX. There are less job openings than there are designers looking for jobs.
The more senior you become, the easier it will be. This is the hard truth. However, that doesn’t mean it is impossible! I wrote more about how hard it is to get a job in UX. Check it out to read more!
Is UX design a good career?
UX is a good career. However, it comes with challenges. One challenge I’ve had a lot of experience with is selling UX to stakeholders. Chances are you’ll have to fight to real research, for example.
It is challenging but comes with great rewards once you succeed. I wrote extensively about it in my post on how good of a career UX is.
Do UI and UX designers need to code?
One of the most common questions from the field of UX is about programming. Do UI and UX designers need to code? Here’s your answer.
No, you do not have to code. You can learn to code to learn another skill and it helps in understanding technical requirements you might face, but you are not required to do so.
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