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UX Writer Jobs: Casper, Rally Health & ABC

UX Writer Jobs: Casper, Rally Health & ABC
By Gordon Macrae • Issue #37 • View online

via Austin Kleon
via Austin Kleon
A letter came in from a reader:
In an upcoming issue, could you address readers like me who have valuable, related experience, are looking to pivot to UX Writing, and could use some pointers on how to create a portfolio out of very little direct UX writing work?
We’d be happy to oblige. Some initial thoughts. Firstly, you should go away and read the infinitely more talented Andrea Drugay who covered everything you need to know about portfolios in her “How to Create a UX Writing Portfolio” article. She wrote the article in 2017 - which is only two years ago but feels like a lifetime (we were so young, our skin was so smooth) - but her advice stands strong.
Also, this article is worth a read for balancing that tension of not having design experience but having the writing chops.
Now, I know this doesn’t directly answer your question. The nuance to what you asked is in the last sentence: how to create a portfolio out of very little direct UX writing work? I agree, this is a tough one. If you don’t have the experience I always recommend people commission themselves. It’s a quick way to get some relevant work in your portfolio.
For example, is there an existing website or piece of software that bugs the hell out of you? Fix it. Just be sure to explain why you’re making the changes you’re making. Remember: recruiters care a lot more about your thought process than they do the actual words on the page (although, y'know, the words do have do be good words!).
If you’re struggling to find enough projects or examples to include, you could take on some pro-bono work for a friend, volunteering for a project at work, or finding an opportunity to work with a non-profit. Catchafire or Volunteermatch are good places to start.
I don’t think that everyone needs to do a UX course but having an understanding and a grounding in UX best practices can be useful for bridging the gap between technical writing and UX writing. There are good online resources available for a fraction of the price that in-person courses cost, although this approach does require a level of self-discipline that I lack.
When it comes to what hiring managers are looking for, here are some good questions to ask yourself:
  • Is it clear which sections you wrote? This is a collaborative discipline but you want to be explicit with the parts you contributed.
  • Is your portfolio easy to navigate? Have you framed each section clearly? Is there a good structure to the story you’re telling? Hiring managers want to know more about your thought process than anything else. So be sure to provide additional context for why you made certain decisions.
  • Does it sound like a real person wrote it? This is where your technical writing background might need to be checked!
  • Similarly, is your writing succinct and to the point?
The reality is, you will struggle to land a job at Dropbox without direct experience. But you can likely position yourself better within your current company. Whenever you’re transitioning between two similar but different job roles, try to look for a role that can act as a “transition” step between where you are and where you want to be.
For example, if you’re struggling to move from Technical Writer to UX Writer, can you take on freelance copywriting or marketing content writing do round out your portfolio?
Finally, look at other people’s portfolio’s for inspiration. Some examples we like:
I’m not going to pretend it’s easy. You’ll probably get a lot of rejection. But the beauty of this industry is that you don’t necessarily need a degree to do the job. Getting experience with real life products is the best way to learn UX Writing (that linked article is about UX Design but the principles for getting a job with little experience are the same).
Said it once before but it bears repeating, there’s a whole unit on this in the UX Writers Collective course. Get a 15% discount by using the code JOBNEWS15.
Good luck!
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Another week, another good book recommendation. This week, check out Torrey Podmajersky’s new book Strategic Writing for UX. Truth be told, I haven’t bought it yet but I’ve heard good things.
Also, this list of Content + UX Resources was posted in a Slack group the other day and it’s fantastic. Bookmark it now!
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I tell my team this all the time: make your clients boring. A frantic client is a bad client. Last minute emails, out-of-context questions, dramatic shifts in strategy, who needs them?
It’s the same when you’re designing for the web. Make it boring. Boring works, it’s efficient, it’s content that tells it like it is. It’s James Milner in the centre of Liverpool’s midfield. It gets the job done.
Ryan Bigge wrote a great piece in defence of boring UX. The best part of this article? It introduced me to chindogu.
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Jobs
The Salt Group are looking for a Copywriter in London. I’m starting to see more traditional copywriter roles incorporate UX Writing into their job specs and this is one of those. You’ll also work across eCom, print advertising, email etc
Spotahome are hiring a UX Writer in London. If you’re a hiring manager looking for guidance then this is a very well written job ad. You’ll need 3+ years of experience and experience working with distributed teams.
Brandwatch are after a UX Writer in Brighton. They’re a “social intelligence company” (not sure what that is) but they have a product team split across Brighton, Stuttgart and Berlin (hip). Fluency in German, French or Spanish is a plus for this one.
Zalando are looking for a Junior UX Writer / Content Strategist in Berlin. You’ll report to the Senior UX Editor and have 2-3 years of experience writing in English.
Signavio are hiring for a Technical Writer in Berlin. You’ll own and translate UX copy and own the UX style guide for the company. Ideally you already have some experience with Git, HTML / CSS. 30 days annual leave with this one.
Casper are after a UX Copywriter in New York City. This is a great opportunity to have your words plastered above the heads of tired commuters on the L Train. You’ll have 5+ years of experience for this one. Nap pods and a free bed with this one, although the job ad strays a little too far into Silicon Valley land (“Salary to pay your bills, a potential bonus for some splurging, and equity so that you’re part of the Casper family.”)
Instacart are recruiting a Senior UX Writer in San Francisco. You’ll need 5+ years of experience to interview for a role on the Shopper Design Team.
Onward Search want to talk to UX Writers with 5+ years of relevant writing experience. This is in San Bruno. It’s a “long-term” contract but beyond that I know nada.
Rally Health are after a Senior UX Writer in San Francisco. You’ll have 4+ years of experience in UX and have written for health, medical, science, or technology publications in the past.
The Zebra are after a UX Writer in Austin, Texas. You’ll have 3+ years of experience for this one and ideally have experience writing for insurance or financial products.
ABC are looking for a Content Strategist in Sydney. 12 month contract paying $101K + (plus choice of 15.4% super – no idea what this part is but it sounds nice). Closing deadline is July 3rd. I must say, I love how clear this job ad is.
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The (actual) Praise Corner
“I love your job postings list and all of the jokes around the company’s names, thanks for making me laugh!”
– Katherine Vetrano
Got a piece of “faint praise” or “actual praise” for the newsletter? Email it as a reply!
About
My name is Gordon Macrae. Got a job tip or opinions about UX writing roles? I’d love to hear from you, reply directly to this email.
Good luck out there!
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