What can an Interaction Design Graduate do to get hired?

Hi everyone, hope you are all doing great!

I am finishing up college and I am wondering what would you suggest I could do to get a role as a UX Designer? :grin:

I am currently floating along on what money I have saved up and have enough for about 4 months of rent and would like to be able to find something before I run out of savings. :sweat_smile:

Looking forward to hearing your replies and thank you in advance! :slight_smile:

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Hello @Flax!

Could you provide some more information so that I can help you out?

  1. What is your degree in?
  2. What’s your experience with UI design / user experience?
  3. Is there a specific area of UX that you’re interested in (user research, UI design, etc.)
  4. Do you have a portfolio?
  5. Have you applied to any roles? If yes, have you received any callbacks or had any interviews?

Thanks,
Grant

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Hi Grant! Thank you for replying.
I didn’t want to make the post too long so I omitted some delays but sure provide more info. :slight_smile:

  1. My degree is a BA in Interaction Design, which in my opinion is basically UX Design except not limited to screens (I understand UX isn’t either but that’s what most jobs are).

  2. 3 months at a ux design consultancy and 9 in a small company dealing with IoT kitchen appliances and a recipe app, I ran the usability tests there for the most part.

  3. UX Design!

  4. Staniukynas.com (Don’t open it on mobile as I haven’t finished making it mobile optimised)

  5. I have, albeit most of them say nothing back and the ones at do respond say I dont meet the experience required. I was applying for a graduate program recently, got through to the next round but they didn’t wish to pursue a career with me after I completed their design challenge.

Linas (Flax is online alias)

What’s the job market like for UX roles in your area? Here in the United States, many companies have paused hiring due to Covid-19. Those jobs that I have seen are targeting Senior levels.

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What do you think would be a good way to identify what the job market is like?

I am living in Dublin and I have heard that some people in my network have lost their job however one of my peers has been hired recently too and there does seem to be a relatively steady flow of UX Designer jobs (a few per week, sometimes its reposts by recruiters though).

I have not come across any titled “Junior”, all I’ve seen is either Senior or just plain UX/UI Designer (need to click in to see how many years they want).

I think your portfolio and CV are very good. The projects are well presented, the CV is clear and easy to read, and you’ve got decent real-world experience. I’d interview you if I was recruiting for an entry-level UX/UI person.

I don’t know the UX/UI job market in Dublin - I work in Brighton and London - but I suspect it’s not easy for graduates at the moment. Here are some things that might help:

  • Talk to recruiters. Phone them up, explain who you are, and ask if they’ve got 5 minutes for a quick chat about the current job market. You’re not applying for anything, you’re just networking and trying to get some useful information. Is it busy or quiet? Who’s hiring? What skills are they looking for? Where can you find work? What would they suggest a graduate should do? Recruiters know the job market better than anyone else and they’re usually happy to chat.

  • Research local design agencies and tech companies, reach out to their senior design leads and ask if you can chat to them. Most seniors are happy to offer help and advice - they were once where you are now. Again, you’re not trying to apply for a job, you’re just networking, collecting information and raising your profile.

  • Follow up on unsuccessful applications. If you can, try and get in-depth feedback on your applications that weren’t successful. Exactly why did they not choose you? Were there particular skills or experience that you didn’t have? Was there an issue with your design challenge or your interview? It often requires persistence to get people to give you detailed feedback, and it can be tough to get negative comments, but you often learn a lot about what you can improve for future applications.

  • Consider freelance work. If full-time jobs are not available, maybe paid freelance work is possible? It comes with its own challenges, but it might offer a quicker route into paid work, and some companies like to try people out as a freelancer then transition them into a full-time role.

  • Consider relocating? This might not be something that you want to do, and it might not be possible (particularly since - sigh! - Brexit), but I suspect there are many more UX/UI roles in London than in Dublin.

I hope that helps. Overall, I’d focus as much as you can on networking. Make loads of contacts, talk to lots of people, stay open to new opportunities, and eventually I’m sure that something will work out. Good luck!

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Hi Michael!

Thank you so much for your detailed reply, I really appreciate the effort and I am going to put your advice into practice.

I feel like there is more that I can do now besides apply to as many places as possible and update my portfolio.

Take a look here also other great vlogs https://youtu.be/04zpMqhKeME

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Cool! Was an interesting watch, although I need to get better at networking. It often feels very exhausting to reach out to people and keep up with them.

I’ll keep an eye out for any other vlogs I come across. :slight_smile:

@Flax Check out some free courses online to support you. You could also check out UX Academy who offer student rates

Thank you @Adrian_Daniels. I didn’t think of that, just assumed employers don’t put a lot of weight on free courses. Going to add this to my list :slight_smile:

@Flax You bet :wink:

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