So one of hottest topics of the year seems to be how Junior UX’ers and Designers can find a full-time job with minimal or zero experience? It’s a catch 22 situation really and always has been. We have hundreds of thousands of graduates who actively pursue a related degree and/or courses every single year and then we have people who quit their job to pursue a new career within UX or Design, both fuelled by an unmeasurable passion and enthusiasm for their chosen field. Whilst, on the other hand, we have clients who understandably often require candidates with commercial experience.
So how can we help junior level candidates have more success in being able to find a suitable career opportunity?
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been speaking to a lot of juniors to understand their challenges and frustrations, but more importantly what they are doing to market themselves in order to get their foot through the door. Below are a few tips and pointers from the juniors that have helped them on their way:
1) Build Relationships with Trusted Recruiters Who are Specialists Rather Than Generalists
Although they may not have active and live vacancies in abundance for juniors, a recruitment consultant immersed in the market can give you excellent insight and great portfolio advice, as well as connect you with industry experts.
2) Find Mentors and Senior Practitioners Who are on Top of their Game
Meet with as many as possible whether that be over a coffee or through workshops. It’s a valuable asset to have as they can provide you with direct UX or design advice and you can consult their expertise.
3) Events and Meet-Ups
Can be a great place to introduce yourself to like-minded people and build relationships with industry experts, as well as learn about new or up and coming topics and trends.
Even if it’s unpaid, it’s a fantastic way to gain some commercial experience and present to prospect companies as an introduction or during interviews.
5) Build a Portfolio
Tell a story of your UX journey as hiring managers love to see a story and it’s a great way to demonstrate your understanding of the UX process.
6) Attend a Hackathon
It’s a brilliant way to build your portfolio and solve real problems
7) Set Your Own Briefs and Learn to Prototype
Nothing gives you real user feedback than testing something that is tangible even with a low fidelity prototype. It’s also a great addition to your portfolio and demonstrates your hands-on skills.
Create a blog that can be linked to all of your social media platforms to make yourself known more in the market
Ultimately, there is no better way than being pro-active; both recruiters and companies LOVE this. It shows your relentless effort and drive to pursue a career that you are truly passionate about. So the best advice that I can share is, keep going, keep persevering, don’t give up and call the UX and Design Team on 0207 265 7800!