Have you ever seen a job posting that reads “We are hiring UX writers with no experience at all as full-time workers for our organization”? Well, if you ever see such, that would be one in a thousand, and that would imply that the organization intends to train you first. The best offer you will see for those without experience is internship positions.
Job specifications that require some years of experience have been the barrier for most people landing their first job in their new career. In a conversation with John, a young UX writer, he recounted his struggling days in his UX writing career. He had just completed a series of online tutorials and it was time to launch into the field.
According to him, everywhere he turned, there were job postings that required years of experience, and this seemed like a hurdle that was too high to cross. But he got through with it. Now, I will share some proven tips from conversing with him and strategies that have worked for others.
Before sharing these tips, it is important to note that the UX design field is becoming more in demand, and UX writing is a major part of the UX design process. So, an increase in the demand for UX designers is an opportunity to have more UX writers for UX design projects.
Thus, there are more people getting into the UX writing field, and this implies that there are more people aspiring to get a UX writing job.
So, the question beckons, in the midst of this high demand for UX writers, how can you get a UX writing job without any prior experience as a UX writer? Well, you need to start by learning to become a UX writer first, then you can build your way up from there and get a UX writing job.
In this article, I will share tips on how to become a UX writer without any prior experience and how to get a UX writing job as a beginner with no practical experience in the field.
How to become a UX writer without experience
1. Learn basic writing skills
This advice is the most fundamental but also the most crucial. You cannot learn to write user experiences (UX) if you don't have fundamental writing and communication skills.
UX writing demands a solid command of English grammar and the ability to employ straightforward language. Many writers think that using difficult words in their writing indicates their experience. However, in this case, that is not the case. As UX writing is user-centered and focuses on improving the user experience, such approaches are not needed.
2. Learn the fundamentals of UX writing
It's always preferable to start with the fundamentals of UX writing. The approach requires understanding what the user experience comprises, creating UX copy, and going through the entire UX writing process.
You must first understand the way a user would think while using a product. Getting a customer's point of view is crucial because it will help you understand the current user experience. For that, decide on a single persona and specify the issue they have. Remember that for better targeting, it's essential to link a problem with a persona.
The next step is to determine how the product addresses that persona's issue. The user's whole experience during that process should then be noted.
Also, you need to know how to create microcopies when learning UX writing. You can do this by paying attention to the brief text on your mobile apps that directs you through the entire app, the description on the microwave's buttons that instructs you on how to use it, or a description similar to that on digital products.
Write a microcopy for each digital product you come across and do some research on the UX writers whose work you have seen in your environment.
Writing compelling text is essential to producing effective UX writing. Even if you have a fantastic idea to enhance the user experience, you can't put it into action without compelling text. Producing UX copy, however, differs from writing content or marketing copy. UX copy is to provide a smooth experience for each and every one of your consumers.
It involves selecting terms that would stimulate greater involvement from a business perspective.
3. Learn the basics of UX design
Learning UX design is one of the most fundamental skills needed to master UX writing. A skilled UX writer should be fully knowledgeable about UX design.
A skilled UX writer understands how to write in a way that strengthens the brand's voice, gains the user's trust, and aids in guiding them through the entire application. This is only possible through knowledge of the UX design of the product and the technicalities underlying its use.
You can only guide users through a product after you are familiar with the layout and functionality. In UX writing, this is accomplished by using clear and straightforward words.
UX writers collaborate with UX designers and product designers on the documentation and UX design of a product. Therefore, it is advisable that you start interacting with the product design team while you are still developing this ability. You might enquire about how they collaborate with writers to attain the desired results.
You can sign up for the GoCreate Bootcamp to learn the fundamentals of UX design. The Bootcamp will train you with what you need to start working with UX designers on product design projects.
4. Take a UX writing course
The best alternative for you is to enroll in an online teaching course for UX writing if you are new to the field or are changing careers entirely.
A certificate that you can show off to prospective clients and hiring managers is another benefit of enrolling in an online course.
All the fundamentals of this talent can be learned through a UX writing course. The fundamentals of UX authoring and design tools are teachable. Additionally, the online course instructors offer a thorough manual on how to create portfolios and examples.
How to get a UX writing job as a beginner with no experience
Remember the story in the introduction. Let’s get to it. Now, to be real with you, if you want to break into UX writing without experience, you have to be brave enough to take the bull by the horns. You need to take deliberate steps. Let’s examine some of the ways to break into the UX writing industry as a beginner with no experience
1. Cold mail recruiters on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a great platform for meeting recruiters and getting jobs. The LinkedIn Jobs platform claims that there are about 5000 UX writer jobs in the USA posted on LinkedIn. This seemed like a good opportunity to reach out to recruiters yourself and sell your skills to them.
Now, as a beginner, you must be willing to show them how you are efficient with your skills. That is why it is important that you have created your portfolio before reaching out to them. Tell recruiters how you will be of benefit to the organization, and the services you are willing to offer. Sell yourself!
2. Apply for internship positions
Internship roles are a good way to break into any industry. Most internship positions do not require expertise before you start. So, you don’t need to have lofty projects in your portfolio before applying to be an intern.
Also, an intern position affords you the opportunity to learn on the job. That way you get to sharpen your skills more and gain more experience in the field.
You can look for internships at companies you respect or wish to land a more permanent position. All of the open roles are listed on the Careers page of the majority of business websites. Applying directly from the employer's website can help demonstrate your interest in the business and your familiarity with its operations.
i. Join a UX community
UX communities can connect you with UX mentors, employers, and other opportunities. Meetups are also fantastic for meeting colleagues who can provide feedback on your work, staying current with the UX field, and of course mixing with employers.
Also, online design communities may be just as helpful as in-person networking events, which are fantastic on Twitter, YouTube, Medium, and other social media sites that follow influencers, design studios, agencies, and other UX writers.
Also checking out local UX writers' Facebook groups in your area might be a good method to network from home. You might be able to find an internship through this, in addition to learning about fresh UX writing concepts and trends.
ii. Participate in UX career events
Participating in regional UX career fairs is also a quick approach to meeting hiring managers from businesses or studios searching for interns. A resume sent online frequently does not make as much of an impact as speaking with various hiring managers in person. Additionally, you can look into a variety of internship options and get an opportunity to directly ask questions about the employment.
The size of your network itself is less significant; instead, concentrate on and develop real engagement-building skills. How many people in your field do you regularly communicate with? Over the course of a few months, how many of your colleagues’ writers do you routinely meet with?
Actively using your network is considerably more crucial than just looking at the size when it comes to making it truly function for you. People in your network who work for the company where you're looking for work may be able to email you job openings they've spotted or alert you to chances even before they're advertised.
4. Apply for jobs on freelancing sites.
Freelancing is becoming increasingly popular every day. It is now easy to build a professional career by freelancing for organizations and individuals. Thus, instead of waiting for a job from an organization, you can register on two to three freelancing sites.
Create a profile, upload samples of your work, and start applying to the job postings on the group. Freelancing sites like Upwork, Fiverr, and freelancer.com have lots of job postings that you can leverage to get your first job as a UX writer.
Once you are able to get your first job, you can build on the review, to gain prominence on those sites. You might even decide not to work for an organization and just build a career around freelancing.
5. Re-write microcopy for companies of your choice
Another way to land a job without experience is to recreate the microcopy of existing products for specific companies. Choose a company you would love to work with and go through their websites and digital products.
Look for something to fix or a better way to write their copy. You can choose to rewrite their onboarding instruction or offer an idea on how to improve their website copy to be more user-centered. Such gestures go a long way to create an impression on the management of the company. There is a popular story of a certain lady on Twitter, sometime around 2019, who redesigned and rewrote the copy of a travel website. She got invited by the CEO and got hired a few weeks later. there are several stories like this, and yours can be the next.
Reach out to the company with your solution and explain how you can be of help to improve the user experience of their products through your UX writing skills. Once you are able to get them to reply to you, you stand a chance of getting hired.
The gesture not only shows your skills, it also shows your interest in the organization, your passion to help them get better, and your ability to spot problems and come up with creative solutions. All these are attributes that any company would love their workers to have.
Another fast way to get a UX writing job is to volunteer to do free projects for friends, families, and colleagues. This might not get you the big break you seek, but it will definitely fill that gap of no experience. It is much better than waiting for a job that requires some years of experience when you have none.
When you volunteer, do not do the job shabbily, because these are the projects that will be in your portfolio. Volunteering breaks the phase of not having experience for you, and you can leverage those projects you have worked on to get your first paid job in the UX writing industry.
7. Build your portfolio
For a prospective employer or project manager, your portfolio will likely serve as the best representation of who you are and what you can do as a UX writer.
Here, they will consider how well you match the team's culture, your prior experience, and your potential contributions. Even while you want your portfolio to be distinctive and reflect your personal style, hiring managers may look for certain things, such as three case studies that demonstrate your proficiency in writing microscopy.
How to Build an Impressive UX Portfolio Without Experience
Getting a job without any experience is not impossible. After all, no one starts their career with years of experience. There is a starting phase for everybody and we all need that phase to get our first job.
So, if you are presently in that phase of landing your first job, you can take advantage of the tips in this article. Act on them, and stay consistent. Wondering how to start? You can sign up for the GoCreate Bootcamp, learn some fundamentals on UX design, connect with mentors and colleagues and launch your career.