It can be daunting to apply for your first product designer job. From navigating the wide variety of roles in the industry, to mastering the awkward dance of the in-person interview, there’s a lot to learn in a short period of time.
Your search for the perfect position hinges critically on one thing: Your portfolio. You need to represent your work in a way that’s both memorable and accurate, so it’s important to be thoughtful about what you focus on, especially for newcomers.
I worked with Figma and Skillshare to build a free online class that will help you create your first portfolio and land that dream job.
Product design is a moving target — it’s often a hybrid of different areas including research, user-experience, prototyping, user testing and visual design, to name a few. At many organizations, especially smaller companies or lean startups, designers can wear many hats. At others — often large enterprises — the product design team is broken up into specialized roles.
It’s important to determine where your strengths and interests lie so you can determine which of these specialties best suits you. As a newcomer to design, it’s easy to feel like an imposter lacking confidence, but keep in mind: Smart employers want talent who can adapt, because the industry’s tools, techniques and needs constantly change.
We hope users taking this course will learn how to approach their portfolio confidently and learn to highlight projects’ processes, learnings and outcomes (not just the polished end result). Ultimately you want to showcase your willingness to learn and grow, in addition to your skills.
For those who take the video course, I encourage you to interact and share your thoughts with me and your classmates on Skillshare. I would love to see what you’re working on, and I’d encourage you to share links to your Figma projects for feedback in the community. I’m also happy to answer any questions (even technical Figma ones 😉.)
P.S. If you’d prefer a quick written primer on portfolio presentations instead of a video course, check out Figma designer Peter Barnaba’s guidance for new grads.