Job Hunting Tips from Christiane

Tips by Christiane, who was privileged to have worked with both a certified career coach and an industry professional as her mentor during her UX bootcamp.

Though the field is massive and still booming, it’s still competitive out there. Show your future dream company that you have the skills and mindset to serve them! You’ll want to:

BEFORE YOU DIVE IN: please acknowledge that this will all take time, and not all steps are for everyone in every career. Start with baby steps, and reach out to your communities for accountability, feedback, and support along the way.

Make connections

Referrals are huge! In the US, referrals increase the likelihood of you getting a job by 40% in the US.

Start with LinkedIn

  1. Make sure your profile is up to date and highlights your intent to work in the field you’re currently pursuing. Google the latest articles for how to use your LinkedIn to your advantage!
  2. Find a company your interested in.
  3. Click on “People” and find someone who has something in common with your goal career, your personal history, or both!
  4. Send them a message along these lines: “Hi, [name]! I’m a [profession/__student] pursuing [career] [at __ company, if applicable]. I noticed your experience [with/in/at something relevant to both of you], and I’d love to connect and learn from you.”
    • Use this process to reach out to 10-20 new connections on LinkedIn per week (mostly from different companies), and try to book an informational interview every one to two weeks.
  5. Two days after someone accept your connect request, send them another message: “Hi [name], thank you so much for connecting. Do you happen to have about 20 minutes sometime in the next two weeks to share a bit about your experience? I’m specifically curious about ___”
  6. Set up an informational interview.
    • Google articles about informational interview tips before your session!
    • Respect their time! Never talk longer than the appointment time without their permission. They are choosing to serve you.
    • If you can offer them some service as a thank-you, do so! If you happen to meet in person, buy their coffee.
    • They may offer to refer you for a position, but DON’T ASK. Your intention is to build a connection and get some questions answered, not guilt them into referring you.
    • Try to set up an info interview with a new connection every 1 to 2 weeks.
  7. If you get an interview at the company that your connection works for, update them how it went! Thank them again for connecting you.

Find mentors

My bootcamp gave me one. Use sites like or to find industry professionals. See if you can get on a routine schedule with them.

If you can’t find a mentor, or it’s taking too long, then your peers are your mentors! Everyone has the ability to give feedback.

Even if you do find a mentor, get feedback from a variety of perspectives whenever you can - and not just when your project is already finished. Your family and friends count, even on advanced topics! Your ability to explain complex ideas in a simple way is key for interviews. Also, your less knowledgeable loved ones may provide really unique insight into a problem you’ve been tackling, or force you to really explain the core “why” behind your process - another invaluable skill.

Build your skills/portfolio

Create a portfolio of work you’ve done either in jobs, internships, or side projects. All are valid.

You do not have to have a bunch of projects set to go before you build your portfolio. In fact, PLEASE start building your portfolio as you work on your projects! It’s so much easier to explain your process while you’re working on it than months or years later.

Again, Google around for some tips on how to build a portfolio for your specific job. I’ll list some highlights from my learnings here.

Don’t just list “I did this, then I did that, then I did that.” Tell a story. Explain the why of your process. If applicable, look into “insights-first reporting” a

  • Don’t create in a vacuum. Start by mimicking products, tasks, code, documents, etc. of others first. Look at literally dozens of examples to gain inspiration and/or guide your process. If there’s a template, use it. If there’s a pre-made framework for a research plan, use it. If there’s an equation that analyzes the data for you, use it. Just show how you made educated, intentional choices.
  • Use LOTS of visuals. Recruiters hardly ever read more than a few words. Be to the point with your words, and give the reader
  • Don’t skimp on soft skills. Put yourself in collaborative settings. Learn how to get and give feedback productively.
  • Stay in the know. Read up on what interests you! Consume through articles, books, podcasts, social media pages, etc.
  • Create accountability with a friend! (Just know that one of you will get a job before the other. Promise you’ll continue to support each other.)

Apply for jobs

You’ll of course need to apply. But how many? And how much effort do you put into them?

My career coach encouraged me to apply to 20 jobs per week. This sounded like A LOT to me - but it ended up being totally doable after I created multiple versions of my resume and cover letter. For example, I had a resume and cover letter to highlight UX design, another set for UX research, and another for UX Operations. They were generic enough to work for most companies, so I just picked one of the three sets to upload.

However, my career coach also recommended spending more effort on 2-4 of the 20 jobs per week - whatever jobs/companies I’m more excited about. This means tailoring the corresponding cover letter (and maybe even the resume) to match the mission, expectations, or needs of the company of interest.

For example, if there were a position that combined my love of education and Japan into their product, and they had a job listing for a User Research Associate, I would take my generic UX research resume and cover letter and tweak them to highlight my passions for education and Japan.

Of course, Google around to find relevant articles for guidance on resumes and cover letters in your field! And, as always, have at least a couple people look over your docs and provide feedback.

Prep for interviews

Interviews in the tech world usually involve both behavioral and technical interviews, and they sometimes also include a case study or project presentation.

You’ll of course want to research common tech challenges and behavioral interview questions for your field.

Practice BOTH kinds by yourself AND in front of friends. Think out loud. Talk slowly. Time yourself.

A few quick universal tips for each:

Behavioral interviews

  • Spend about 1 - 2 minutes per question.
  • Use the STAR method for your stories (Situation, Task, Action and Results).

Technical interviews

  • Use a whiteboard to practice (unless you know the interview will take place in some program. Feel free to reach out to the hiring manager to ask).
  • Think out loud. Show them your process.
  • It’s OK to change your mind mid-way through. In fact, if you show why you made the decision to change course and what you would do next if you had more time, that’s awesome!


  • For a 30-min interview, slides should be about 10-20 minutes so that there’s time for discussion. Time yourself talking out loud (we talk a lot faster in our heads).
  • Tell a story where you can. There are lots of articles about this, if you’re unsure!
  • Think about what your interviewers would be interested to see/hear, rather than trying to show off literally all your skills. You’ll want to demonstrate that you would be a valuable asset in a collaborative environment - which most jobs involve.

Keep track

You’ll ideally be applying to dozens of jobs and reaching out to loads of potential connections. Keep a log of all your connections, dream companies, and applications. Feel free to check out my Notion for inspiration.


I am bad at this. Pls Google for tips. 😅

Good luck!!! Believe in yourself, be yourself (professionally), and show ‘em what you’ve got ❤️