Like many job hunting ventures in the world, landing UX designer jobs is also filled with failures and rejections. I went through the same journey when I was just starting out. So, I completely understand your struggles. But you shouldn’t dwell too much on these negative outcomes. Instead, you should focus on how you can work around these challenges and end up being successful by the end. To help you out, here are some reasons why junior designers are struggling to land UX designer jobs and how to fix them.
1. Not Getting Noticed
Here’s the thing, there are tons of UX designer jobs in the world. But at the same time, there are also hundreds of designers vying for the same job. All in all, you have a lot of competition. So, the question now is, how do you get your ideal company to notice you?
While having a great portfolio is a top eye-catcher for hiring managers, it’s safe to assume that they won’t notice or even skip yours from the many others that they have to sift through. My recommendation is to connect with them through their website directly.
Or, you can also find someone from their company on LinkedIn and spark a conversation. You can talk about your interest in their new projects and maybe hint at your interest in taking a role. Try to keep the conversation naturally, and don’t go straight into suspecting you get a return. What’s important here, after all, is to get noticed.
2. You Think You Need To Be Perfect
No, you don’t need to be perfect to land UX designer jobs. Companies and agencies do not expect that junior designers are already well versed in the job. In fact, they are hiring junior designers for work that is catered for them, or they do not have the budget for a senior designer.
Generally, these companies have a skill gap in their team or their projects, and they need to fill this gap with your fairly new and beginner skills. Instead of perfect designers, they expect you to grow into your skills and your job and become better along the way.
What you need to do is to identify your strengths and find a specific job that can cater for them so you’re confident when applying. However, you need to remember that you’ll have to grow and learn more skills to have more opportunities in the future.
3. Having No Experiences is Stopping You
As junior designers, having no experience is natural, but this shouldn’t stop you. Many successful designers today started their UX designer jobs with little to no experience and credentials.
What you can do instead is to do a side project like a website that you can dedicate your time and passion for creating. One example is George Hatzis’ Product Hunt side project, Checklist Design, that has garnered the attention of the design community.
Start with a design, then build it in Webflow, which requires no code at all. This begins your experience that you can share as your case study. This is something that you can talk passionately about during your interview, so your future employer knows exactly the interest and motivation you have in UX design.
For some inspiration and ideas for your real projects, check out Product Hunt.
4. You Are Not Passionate
If you don’t come off as passionate to your interviewers, they’ll most likely not consider you for the job.
UX design is not for everyone. In order to be successful in the industry, you need to be passionate about UX design. You’ll have to continuously learn and share your knowledge. Become active in the design community, launch websites, and more. Overall, build more than your design portfolio and stand out from the rest. This goes to show that you are genuinely interested in a role and that you can bring something to the table even as a junior designer.
In a nutshell, if you don’t have an eye-catching portfolio showcasing your skills and your passion for UX design, you might not be ideal for employers. Remember, you are facing numerous competition. This means that you have to stand out from the rest, and having the best design portfolio can do just the trick.
To do this, you’ll have to spend much of your time creating a portfolio with due consideration to its quality so it can speak for itself when seen by potential employers. After all, your design portfolio is your first touchpoint with them. If you have a portfolio ready, maybe it’s time to redesign it to make it the best that it is.