There is no guarantee how your next job turns out, but the interview process can be optimized for a better experience. This better experience starts with looking further than the general job portals like Indeed, Monster, Monday and Reed.
The main reason I highly encourage discovering more specialised job portals is that these general sites have quite low-quality posts for tech and design positions. Companies that advertise there are commonly not operating in tech, and so don’t know the tech ecosystem. They notoriously mismanage and underpay the positions, because they evaluate them in comparison to their ‘other’ administrative functions. Their interview process is also unusually long, more demanding and less respectful.
The odd ball
I will mention LinkedIn here separately, because even though it’s a quite generic platform, specialised tech and design recruiters use it extensively. LinkedIn works very well to connect with agents. Since most of the jobs are posted by an agency of some sort, simply applying to those ads puts you in contact with the agency. It is a very comfortable way to build an agent network and has served me very well over the years. You can read more about it in Effective job search to get your first or next UX/UI job – Step 1 – setting up the opportunities.
But the best job seeking experience comes from job sites that serve the tech and design industry specifically. From the browsing experience to the average salary, they are just way above the generic sites. I began compiling a list of them quite early in my career.
The best job sites for tech and design
I had two lists, one for permanent jobs and one for freelance gigs, for those occasions I had bandwidth to take on side projects as well. The lists constantly change over time, so I will keep this post updated as new portals come and go.
Tech / design job sites:
Tech / design freelance sites:
If you know of other sites that worked for you, please do send me the link and I’ll add them to these lists with a credit to you.
Keep track of your applications
Keeping your application process manageable by using only that 2-3 sites that worked for you is very important for tracking your applications. There is nothing more embarrassing than getting an interview invite but not finding your application or the job description, resulting in trying to blindly navigate the interview without knowing who the heck you’re talking to.
Also, at a later stage of you career, you probably will have several versions of your CV targeting several different types of positions often set up with different salary expectation.
The other very important aspect of being able to track your application is the ability to objectively measure the response rate. From this, you can gain an overview on what type of companies/roles responded to your application. It gives an insight to the external interpretation of your CV. If you’re not happy with the responses, you can shift the tone to attract other kind of offers. You can read more about it in Effective job search to get your first or next UX/UI job – Step 1 – setting up the opportunities.
I have had to change my CV and even my portfolio several times based on the responses I was receiving from agents and companies. When I was mainly getting interview request for visual design and design system type of roles, I had to add more sketches to my portfolio and some extra research terms to my CV. When I got responses from a lot of fintech companies (not my favourite industry), I had to push the finance and data-heavy projects lower in my portfolio.
In order to land where you want to be, it is imperative to finetune your self-presentation according to the opportunities it attracts. Tracking the applications, at least loosely, is super important for building your career. I hope this summary helps to guide you through the process and get you where you want to be. To be emotionally prepared for the interview process, you can find guidance in Effective job search to get your first or next UX/UI job – Step 2 – Interviewing