Because of the economic impact of the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic, many employees and self-employed had lost their jobs or projects. If they are lucky to keep them, their salaries could be reduced, which may affect their basic living needs. Hence, many are eager to look for a new or second job.
But clearly, getting a job (or project) is difficult these times because businesses and employers are also saving up their finances to keep their business intact. If getting a job or finding a client to work with is hard before the pandemic, expect that it will be harder now.
However, just because the economy is struggling does not mean it is not working – it is still working! Businesses still need to operate, and to operate, they will need to hire workers – including UX/UI designers, of course.
So, if you’re struggling to find a new or second job, how can you find it? And more importantly, how can you win it – or at least, have the best chances of winning it? Here 4 useful tips you can use for your next job hunt.
Note: We are talking about online or freelance jobs because, first of all, work-from-home becomes mandatory nowadays. Secondly, finding a “real job” is simply way harder compared to finding one online, even if there is no pandemic. Also, this applies for full-time, part-time or project-based jobs.
1) Look to industries with high-demand
As mentioned above, the pandemic did not kill the economy. In fact, inasmuch as it weakened some industries, it actually strengthened some industries as well – mostly, those that serves our basic needs like food and health. Here are some examples of those industries:
- Delivery services
- Banking and other financial services
- Utility services
- Entertainment and media (because Netflix, Facebook and YouTube will have higher demand as more and more people are getting bored)
Because these industries are in high demand, they will need to hire people to keep performing their operations. As a UX/UI designer, you can, for example, help a local food store improve their website to enhance their online delivery system since more and more people are ordering online due to lockdowns. Or you can help medical websites improve their UI design.
Another tip: anything about coronavirus is mostly in-demand: be it a website dedicated to informing people about coronavirus facts, coronavirus app games (yes, these app games are starting to occur) or some business guru who needs help in creating a landing page for his 50-page eBook on how to make money during the coronavirus pandemic that costs $9.97 (from $99.97)
The point is: look for where the demand is. If the industry is strong during this pandemic, then most likely, you’ll have a job there. And since many things are online nowadays, as a UX/UI designer, you’ll have a relatively abundant opportunities.
For more about this, check out our article: How UX/UI Designers Can Survive the Economic Downturn During the Coronavirus Pandemic
2) Find a fresh job ad (with little or no applicants yet)
The best way to be first seen is when you’re literally the first one to come. Inasmuch as possible, find a “fresh job ad” (or job ads with little or no applicants at the moment) so you’ll be the first one to be seen by your potential employer or client.
This, of course, usually applies only to freelancing websites like Upwork. If you’re looking for jobs on such a website, be sure to check how many applicants have already applied on a given job ad. Of course, new job ads have no or little applicants, so simply filter and find the “newest” job ads.
Lastly, you don’t need to skip job ads with high applicants. In the same way, a “fresh job ad” does not guarantee you’ll be hired for the job. It’s just that, applying on job ads with few or no applicant will mostly make you visible to the client.
In the end, it’s best if you spread yourself on both “fresh job ads” and job ads with high applicants.
3) Offer value first and focus on helping your client
When it comes to sending a proposal letter (or whatever you call it), there are two common problems made by applicants:
Their proposal is all about themselves (and little for the prospecting client)
They start off with how great they are, what their achievements are, what skills they have. These are all great and dandy, but nobody would apply for that job if they don’t have those skills and achievements. Right?
To make things worse, consider the second problem.
Their proposal is generic
Mostly, these generic proposal have a common pattern (hence they’re generic). Above all, they keep committing problem number one – it’s always about the freelancer’s grandeur.
So, what’s the problem with these? First, the prospecting client does not care about your background as long as you can help them. In fact, it’s all what they look for. They don’t care primarily about your skills; they think about if you can help them.
Now, if you’re proposal is generic, these will only make the matters worse. You will never stand out if you sent a proposal about the same things the first 29 applicants before you had already sent.
So, what’s the solution? Offer value.
Show to your client how you can help them. Maybe, you can give them some tips on their problems. Or you can simply lay out your basic plan of action if they hire you for the project.
And please, take them individually – don’t be generic! It may take time to write down proposal after proposal, but it’s worth it if you can get some results afterwards. Besides, you can be sure that these prospecting clients are already veteran on spotting who’s serious and who just copy-pasted a generic format.
So, offer them value first. In the process, your skills and experience will shine – don’t worry, you will shine too! And of course, if asked for your skills and samples, show them. The only point is, offer them value first because they’re already tired of reading the same proposal pattern:
I am X. I am a graduate of X. I have the skills on X, Y and Z. …”
4) Keep looking for a job
Just as the normal, you’ll mostly not win on the first job, so just keep looking. It’s best if you can look for a job that you care about, but when things are rough, you may want to explore on other jobs or projects.
Either way, keep looking for a job – until you, hopefully, find one!
For more job hunting article, check out: Tips on Getting UI Jobs in Upwork and Career Building 101: How to Start a Career in UX/UI Design