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Now this is a lesson that’s close to my own heart. I can honestly say that the proudest moments of my career have been mentoring junior designers. The feeling of nausea when seeing your website finally go live, hearing someone give you a rave review or even the proud moment of showing your friends and family your latest project, nothing comes close to the feeling of helping someone else. This is the main reason why i’m putting this course together, to help you.
One of the catalysts for this course is over the past few years the industry has been through such an explosive growth stage there is more and more competition right now for junior roles. It’s harder than ever to get your career started. If you have come to this course because this is you or you are thinking about starting a career in UX/UI then you have come to the right place. What we are going to look at now is a few techniques to help you stand out from the crowd.
Attached to this lesson is a document I put together with the not so unique title of “How To Make Your Portfolio Stand Out”. Make sure you download this, it’s straight to the point and gives you a few tips to make sure you are maximising your potential and standing out to clients when job hunting. I’ve been hiring designers for over a decade and seen lots of good and bad examples of portfolios. Let’s get this straight, your portfolio is the most important asset as a designer you possess so it needs to be right.
When researching for this course I found out some cool insights into the industry that after 10 years even I didn’t know. Simple things like the terminology you use is important, 63% of hiring manager use the job title UX/UI Designer, that’s how the name of this course came about. I’m pretty sure over the years I’ve heard at least 20 different job titles ranging from web designer, UX developer, Information Architect and many more. Just to make it simple, if you're just starting out stick to UX/UI unless you are a specialist in either one. I’ve even been a senior digital application designer in my time so let’s just make things easy for everyone.
When starting out as a junior designer I was very keen on getting an internship. Luckily I managed to get one designing magazines, well more like getting the coffee at British Vogue. This kickstarted my career and led to other internships around that company and eventually a job in Wired magazine. This really is a great way to stand out from the crowd, and no matter what anyone says it’s always an advantage to be inside the company when applying for a job.
It’s important to remember that your portfolio isn’t just a dump of all your work. It’s a platform to shine and tell stories of each project, explain your thought process and really bring the hiring manager into your world for a few minutes. If you can achieve this then you will stand out. Not all of your work needs to be in here, it should be tailored and time should be taken to treat it with respect. Make sure that you have an online version as well as a PDF for offline viewing as many managers still print out your portfolio.
The main thing that managers are looking for nowadays is that you have a great understanding of UX tools. With so many on the market it’s not vital that you’re an expert in each one but you should have a solid understanding of the main ones. Sketch seems to be the industry standard at the moment so make sure you're up to speed in this. Don’t worry if you're not yet, if you check out our premium course UX/UI Design Fundamentals we cover this in detail and you will be a pro in no time. You can find this over at antony-conboy.teachable.com/courses.
When looking for jobs out there make sure that your linkedin profile is up to date. This is where most of the industry hang out and there are lots of specialist recruiters out there looking for UX/UI designers to place with their clients. When you start to grow into your career you will start to receive job offers through linkedin so make sure if you haven't got a profile you sign up now, it’s free and don’ forget to add me as a connection, just search for Antony Conboy and drop me a message.