Adam Perlis - UX Recruitment Strategies: Top Tips for Designers


Are you interested in learning what it takes to get recruited by top companies? Adam shares his unique approach to recruiting product design talent. He also provides strategies for applying to different types of companies and explains why now may be a great time to enter the industry. By taking his advice and putting forth a targeted effort toward your goal, you will have the opportunity to change your career trajectory.

👏 Make yourself stand out!

Embracing a growth mindset, being an exceptional problem-solver, and honing your storytelling abilities are essential skills and traits for any UX Designer. Learn how to showcase them all to stand out from other UX designers vying for the same job.

💡 Strategy for getting a foot in the door.

Select a company and job you genuinely want to apply for, then pinpoint a flaw in their product or a new feature that can add value. Build the solution and clearly document your process in a case study. This will demonstrate your ability to identify and address problems, showcasing your value to the organization.

🔥 Bonus tip!

Find the hiring manager on LinkedIn. Send them a personalized message introducing yourself and informing them about the case study you created. Request their feedback to initiate a conversation. For added impact, record a 3-minute Loom video introducing yourself and highlighting the key points of your case study.

UX Recruitment Strategies: Top Tips for Designers

In episode 55 of The Product Design Podcast, Seth Coelen interviews Adam Perlis, CEO and Founder of Academy, which offers UX recruitment and staffing. He has had a fascinating design journey that led him to where he is today.

During our talk, Adam shares the career lows that launched him into his career highs, his unique approach to UX recruitment, and what he looks for in product design talent. Adam also gives excellent strategies for applying to different companies, regardless of how long you have been in the industry.

Adam Perlis and Seth Coelen on The Product Design Podcast

This article will focus on Adam's take on what he looks for in product design talent and his strategies for landing the job you want!

Skills and Traits Adam Looks for During UX Recruitment

Have you worked with a UX recruitment agency before? Did you get direction on making the best impression with the desirable skills and traits a hiring manager seeks? Adam gave his take on the most valuable skills and traits he looks for when looking for design talent.

🧠 Growth mindset.

Have a constant curiosity to learn new things. You will stand out from other candidates by acquiring new skills and exposing yourself to new technology. Continue to add new tools to your tool belt to show that you can be a valuable asset to the organization you want to work for.

🤔 Problem-solving skills.

Do you know how to ask the right questions and efficiently move through the design process? Make sure that skill is well documented because it is crucial! The best way to showcase your problem-solving skills is through your case study work and sharing collaborative exercises.

“Storytelling is an underdeveloped skill for a lot of talent who don't realize that they need to be able to tell a great story.”

🔥 Storytelling.

If storytelling is not your strength, read the book Building a Brand Story by Donald Miller (linked below.) He does a fantastic job of breaking down the classic structures of storytelling. When you are trying to land the role of your dreams, you must show off your storytelling abilities when presenting yourself and your work.

Strategies to Land The Job You Want

You want to land the job of your dreams but need an edge to stand out from the sea of other qualified applicants. During our chat, Adam shared with us the strategy he suggests to the UX Designers that work with his UX recruitment agency, Academy. Putting in this extra targeted effort will demonstrate your abilities and give you a great chance at securing the job you want.

💡 Find the flaw.

First, find the company and job you really want to apply for. Then identify a flaw in the company's product or a new feature to suggest. Then build that for the company to show them how much value you can bring to their organization.

💻 Build a case study.

Now, take the time to build a case study around your solution to the flaw or the new feature you would like to suggest to the company. Get user feedback to support your ideas and showcase your UX abilities in a way that will impress your next potential employer. Walk them through your process so they know how you approach problems.

📧 Get noticed through targeted communication.

Next, find the hiring manager on LinkedIn. You can either find this person listed as the hiring manager on the job post, or you can figure it out based on the structure of most companies. It will most likely be the product design manager or director, head of design, or VP of design.

Finally, send them a message on LinkedIn, tell them you created a case study around a solution or new feature for their company, and ask for their feedback. Get bonus points by recording a 3-minute (or less) Loom video to introduce yourself and give the top highlights of your case study!

Adam Perlis, CEO and Founder of Academy
"You gotta make time. I'm not a big proponent of hustle culture, but I do think that putting in the extra effort on very strategic, targeted things can yield high results."

Thank you so much, Adam!

Thank you, Adam, for sharing your insights and top strategies from a UX recruitment perspective. The traits and skills you described are definitely something every UX designer should focus on, and the key strategy for landing the job you want was perfect. We are sure that anyone that follows this advice will find their way to launching their product design career to a new level!

Listen to the complete episode on The Product Design Podcast, which includes Adam’s exciting journey into design and UX, and his take on if it is a good time to get into the industry. Don't forget to follow Adam on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and check out his advisory work website! You can also check out the Academy blog, website, YouTube, and Spotify to gain even more insights from Adam.

Where to find Adam Perlis

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