Let’s be real — breaking into UX writing is hard stuff.
Ya gotta learn one of the most unique forms of writing (because it’s actually designing) *and* communicate your knowledge of this very-new discipline, all while every UX writer job description says you need 3 – 5 years of UX writing experience.
That’s the negative. The positive is you can 100% become a UX writer this year. And there’s one special tip for how to get into UX writing… Perseverance.
Why perseverance, Slater?
Ima be honest — landing a UX writing job can be cutthroat. You have to really stand out from the crowd in a field many people want to break into.
- Just go through the motions of applying for UX writing jobs
- Don’t use the UX writer job description to your advantage
- Don’t customize your UX writer resume
- Dismiss your UX writer cover letter
- Don’t make your UX writing portfolio stupid simple…
You’re not going to land a UX writing job.
To land a UX writing job in today’s environment, you have to go the extra mile. That means persevering, pushing boundaries, and not being afraid to ask.
Story time 📖
I have a dear internet friend. Let’s call them Fabio.
Fabio was approached on LinkedIn by a talent partner at a global company for a UX writing job.
Fabio was interested in applying for the role, but noticed the company wanted a native Swede, and Fabio doesn’t have that linguistic ability. The talent partner confirmed the company needed a native Swedish writer, so Fabio never applied.
Months passed, and the other day, a design manager from that company looked at Fabio’s LinkedIn profile. Fabio could have done one of two things:
- Said, “Hey, that’s cool,” and hoped the design manager would contact them
- Sent the design manager a personalized connection request about that role
Fabio, being the BAMF they are, decided to connect with the hiring manager.
In the personalized connection request, Fabio briefly asked the design manager how the recruitment was going and said they were keen on applying but couldn’t because Swedish. The design manager accepted Fabio’s request without a reply.
The next morning, the same talent partner messaged Fabio on LinkedIn saying, “Hey, me again. So, the hiring manager has re-thought the role and no longer thinks native Swedish language is a prerequisite, so I thought of you. Can we meet?”
What’s the lesson here?
There are a few:
1. Don’t sit back and let life happen to you
Fabio took the reins on this situation without fear, and because of it, Fabio is now in the running for an opportunity they thought wasn’t possible.
If someone views your LinkedIn profile, be proactive — message them. Heck, if you see an opportunity with an asterisk, go proactively message the hiring manager right now. You’re in the driver’s seat of your life.
2. UX writing job descriptions aren’t written in stone
If you take the UX writing job description at face value, you’re gonna miss out on opportunities that could be a good fit. For good talent, companies are willing to be flexible.
Whether you don’t live in one of the states listed in the UX writing job description or you aren’t bilingual, don’t accept “requirements” as law, and don’t be afraid to ask. Speaking of not being afraid to ask…
3. Don’t be afraid to ask
If you don’t ask, you’ll never know. It may seem like there’s a downside to asking questions, but there’s really no downside (most of the time.) At best, you get what you’re asking about. At worst, you made a connection with someone.
You’re not bothering people by asking — you’re actually helping them, because you could be an excellent fit for a UX writing job minus one artificial “requirement.”
4. Always personalize your LinkedIn message
Had Fabio sent a non-personalized LinkedIn message, their story would have gone pretty differently.
Be proactive, and be a human. Even though it’s the internet, we’re all just people behind screens. The more we can bring out the friendliness in humanity in our digital world, the warmer it’ll feel.
Personalizing your LinkedIn connection request gives someone a reason to accept your request. You shouldn’t assume someone will accept your request just because you’re you.
If you need a hand personalizing your LinkedIn connection requests, LinkedIn itself has a handy tutorial for you.
5. It’s too soon to throw in the towel
Fabio’s story happened over the span of months. Don’t expect overnight success. Turns of events take time to unfold.
As long as you’re putting yourself out there and persevering, things will go your way eventually. Just don’t throw in the towel just yet — keep iterating, keep learning, keep persevering.
What to do today to land a UX writing job tomorrow
This is a call-to action to:
- Message that hiring manager for that job you’re drooling over
- Follow up with that recruiter who you never heard back from
- Network with fellow UX writers and content designers at your dream company
- Network with the UX writing community
- Ask for feedback every time you get rejected
- Ask for feedback every time something goes well
- Iterate on your resume, cover letter, and portfolio based on that feedback
- Practice interviewing with someone you know
- Not give up
You’re doing something really hard. And when the going gets tough, the winners persevere.
Start today — tomorrow’s too late.
Happy UX writing 🖖