Join Cory Lebson for an in-depth discussion in this video UX branding and your job search, part of Planning a Career in User Experience.
- Resumes and portfolios are extremely important. But they are not the only way that you can brand yourself as a UX professional to future employers. You also need to use your UX skills to brand yourself on social media. And more generally, on the web. Let's first consider LinkedIn. At the most basic level it's important that you not only create a LinkedIn profile that explains who you are as a UX professional, but you also need to evaluate your profile in light of your intended audience groups. Have you used the key words to represent the UX skills that future employers may be searching for? Have you explained your prior work history succinctly and in a way that is easily skimmed to tell to your UX story? Expand your network.
With a goal that any employer that is interested in you will be no more than a third degree connection from you. Your network can thus help to demonstrate that you are part of the UX community. Which implicitly adds value to you being a UX professional yourself. On Twitter you can easily demonstrate that you think regularly about UX by tweeting UX thoughts. My favorite UX hashtag is simply UX. Search for UX as a hashtag and engage in UX conversations. Add your own UX value by reading UX blogs and then tweeting some of the most salient points with a link back to the original post.
Follow interesting people who tweet using the UX hashtag too. Employers may look at your tweets and will appreciate seeing how you are willing to engage in UX discussions outside of work hours. Of course, make sure that your Twitter description brands you as a UX professional, as well. And don't discount Facebook either for your UX brand. While Facebook is more apt to be friends and family, than work colleagues, consider friending work colleagues and those you know professionally through your UX activities. And consider periodic posts that help explain to your friends and family the kinds of work that you do.
You never know who may be the one helping you locate your next employer. As for those work colleagues, I'd encourage you to let them see your pets and your kids too. Letting them know you as a real person outside of work can further enhance your UX workplace bonds. Another way to engage in UX thought leadership is by blogging. Think about your work experiences, and when something intrigues you, write about it. Post it on LinkedIn Pulse and on your own blog which can be created quite easily. Outside of social media consider going to a local UX events. You may have a local chapter of an organization like UXPA, IxDA, IAI, or others in your city.
Or you may be able to find something on Meetup.com or just by searching on the web for events in your geographic area. By going to these events, you are forming stronger in person bonds with other UX professionals. If you're willing to, and I'd certainly encourage you to do so, offer to give a talk for one of these organizations. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, but this helps demonstrate to future employers that you are a thought leader. If you're able to, go to some national or international conferences too where you can both network and offer to speak. You'll be making your UX brand even stronger.
Taken as a whole, by leveraging social media and in person opportunities you'll start to build up a mighty web presence. A Google of your name will yield lots of UX results and help employers know beyond a doubt that you are a UX professional. You may be in a job you love and decide that you will just wait to create this strong web presence for yourself until you are ready to actually look for a new job. But by then, it's too late. None of us know what the future will bring so start now and build yourself up online as a UX professional. Then, when you need it most, your online UX brand will shine brightly.
In this course, UX expert Cory Lebson breaks down the sub-disciplines of user experience (the trifecta of design, research, and strategy), so you can learn about the different jobs that align with your strengths and passions. Cory helps you understand job responsibilities as well as the benefits of working full-time for a company vs. consulting or freelancing. With his guidance, you can create a more compelling resume and portfolio package and make sure that you properly brand yourself as a UX professional.
This course offers focused career advice for job seekers, tips for recruiters and employers who want to better understand UX, and a necessary framework for grad/undergrad students exploring the next step in their career. Along the way, Cory highlights training in the library to build specific UX skills.
- What is UX?
- Should you be a UX generalist or a specialist?
- Available UX career types: design, research, and strategy
- Working in-house, consulting, or freelancing
- Telling a story with a portfolio and resume
- Working with recruiters