Want to launch your UX career and get your first professional job?
Are you launching your career and looking for a job in UX?
We’ve helped UX professionals advance their career and get hired at top companies including IBM, Intel, American Express, Royal Bank, Microsoft, and more.
Hired as an Associate UX Designer at IBM after graduating from Designlab
“I presented my revised slide deck for the IBM interview (after working through CSL), and they told me that they were ‘blown away’ by my presentation.
The recruiter called me less than 2 hours later with an offer because the panel told her to immediately get me on the phone.”
As someone who wants to launch your UX career, you have a lot of questions … and you’re in the right place!
We’ve helped UX Researchers, UX Writers, Content Strategists, Product Designers and everyone in between get their first UX jobs.
Looking for help with your career switch into UX? Look no further.
We offer a hands-on UX career coaching program for Career Launchers.
Get no-nonsense answers to questions related to launching UX career.
Stop drowning in vague advice you find through all your Googling!
We’ve curated some of our best articles, and videos for Career Launchers.
Hear directly from hiring managers what you should do stand out.
Brand new to UX? Check out the online UX courses from Interaction Design Foundation.
Get 3-months free when you use the link below.
Answers to questions from Career Launchers about portfolios, resumes, and the UX job search.
So many of the job say 3 – 5 years experience, can I still apply?
Though many job descriptions will say 3 – 5 years experience, don’t fret about this, apply regardless. Through our research with people involved in UX hiring we can confidently say that these requirements are not hard requirements. “So why do they put that on the job description if it’s not really a requirement?” We wish it was different, but that’s how it is!
Read this Twitter thread about UX why you should apply to roles even if you don’t have 3 – 5 years of experience.
What skills do UX hiring managers want to see from career launchers?
If you are just starting out in your UX career, you need to demonstrate that you know how to do the job. This means you must show examples of your work and go beyond just showing deliverables. You will stand out from other candidates when you explain not just what you did but why you did it.
The best way to stand out is to have a portfolio that’s focused on telling the story of not just what you did but why and how you did it. Bonus points if you also communicate the outcome or result of what you did.
If you do a great job at articulating your skills in a strong portfolio, you can even stand out from more senior candidates as discussed in this Twitter thread and in these interviews with hiring managers from Gusto, IBM, Meta, and Shopify
I’m tired of applying to roles and not getting interviews, what I am doing wrong?
As someone launching their career, it’s crucial to create a strong first impression. It’s not just enough to have a degree or a certificate. You will stand out if you demonstrate that you also have the soft skills companies are looking for in candidates.
To create a strong first impression, you have to look at all your career materials – your resume, portfolio, LinkedIn, cover letters, etc. You don’t know what HR person or manager will look at first. So you must ensure all of your career materials tell an accurate and consistent story about your skills and experience.
Want to know what mistakes entry level candidates make, according to UX hiring managers? Read this Twitter thread with over 70 comments!
How long will it take me to get hired in UX as a career launcher?
On average, people who work with us inside Career Strategy Lab get hired 3.5 – 4 months after they join. These people dedicate an average of 8 – 10 hours a week to everything that’s involved in getting hired (eg. portfolio, resume, LinkedIn, job search, preparing for interviews).
We’ve worked with many, many UX candidates who were previously applying to roles and not getting interviews or, who applied to 200+ roles and didn’t get more than 5 interviews. However, after working with us, people get hired faster and without applying the numbers game.
Our candidates are able to get hired faster because in their job search they prioritize people over platforms and they tailor their materials (ever so slightly) to the roles they’re applying to.
Hired as a UX Designer after doing the Springboard course
“I got hired after applying to only 7 jobs and getting 2 interviews!
It’s a junior position on a big team so there will be a lot of mentorship which is what I was looking for. I also like the mission of the company and feel passionate about the product.”
Featured podcasts, videos, and courses related to launching your UX career
In this episode of the Ironhack podcast, our founder, Sarah Doody, discusses strategies for creating a UX portfolio if you are at the beginning of your UX career.
She also shares job search tips to help you avoid applying to hundreds of roles.
The process of landing your next UX role, no matter what career stage you’re at, does not have to be overwhelming and involve applying to hundreds of roles.In this article you’ll learn how you can stand out from other boot camp graduates
Learn UX 101 & Get 3-months Free
Brand new to the world of UX? Want to learn the basics? Check out the online UX courses from Interaction Design Foundation. They’re a cost-friendly option to learn UX without going to an expensive UX boot camp.
Get 3-months free → Sign up for any Interaction Design Foundation UX course.
In this video, Sarah Doody interviews McLean Donnelly the Director of UX at Shopify to discuss UX hiring. They discuss topics including:
- How to find UX roles
- What you can to do stand out
- Why cover letters still matter
In this episode of the User Defenders podcast, our founder, Sarah Doody, discusses actionable tips for creating a UX portfolio including:
- How many projects to include
- What UX recruiters are looking for
- What “show your process” really means
In this video, Sarah Doody answers questions about the UX job search related to what types of projects to include in a portfolio, how to create an effective resume, the importance of authentic relationships, and why the “numbers game” is a bad idea in your job search.
career strategy lab
Career Strategy Lab is the UX industry’s most advanced program to help you design your career and get hired without applying to hundreds of jobs.
We give you everything you need to help you create an effective resume and portfolio and conduct a strategic job search so you can stand out and get interviews faster.
Critiques of your work
You can submit your resume, portfolio, etc for review, and we’ll send you back a video critique.
Detailed templates, tutorials, and scripts
Creating your resume, portfolio, cover letters, and LinkedIn profile will be a breeze when you use our templates and scripts as a starting point.
Weekly group Q&A calls
In our weekly group calls, you can talk through questions and get answers from our coaches as well as your peers in the CSL program.
Weekly group co-working sessions
Join us for an hour each week for a co-working session to help you stay accountable, motivated, and have an opportunity to ask questions live.
Private community (not on Facebook)
Connect with other people in CSL in our private community. Share stories about interviews, learn about job opportunities, and have thoughtful, not surface-level, discussions about your UX career.
People from all educational backgrounds have trusted Career Strategy Lab to give them an edge over other UX candidates.
Students and graduates of undergrad and post-grad programs, as well as many UX bootcamps, have enrolled in Career Strategy Lab.