Construct Your UX Design Career with Redfin

Construct Your UX Design Career with Redfin

Anna 0:05
So welcome, everyone. Thank you for joining today’s event. I’m just gonna go briefly over what we have planned for today, introduce our club, introduce our guests, and then we’ll get started. So today we have a portfolio critique session where our guests marchais will tell us all the ways my own portfolio, as well as a former club officer, Calvin’s portfolio could be better than Masuri. We’ll walk through her own portfolio and what goes into a case study. Finally, we will have a q&a session where you can ask any questions that you may have. So a little bit about us is that we are at the UX design and web development club at CSUMB. I’m Anna, one of the CO presidents of the club. We host events to help you learn new tools and feel comfortable entering the tech field after graduation. And you can drop into our Discord channel to get feedback, like games or just come and chat with everyone. If you haven’t already, you can join us on my raft, which will get you added onto our mailing list, so you can get access to the Zoom links and other information for our events. So then we have our two guests today. You can give them a warm welcome in the chat or with your reactions. We have Masuri, a senior product designer to at Redfin with over six years of experience crafting solutions that increase engagement and support customer journeys, and Menelik, who works as a recruiter for interns and new graduates across engineering product and design at Redfin. So I will stop sharing and give it over to Marshy.

MaChérie Edwards 1:34
Thanks, Anna. So before I jump into doing portfolio critiques, I thought it would be a good idea to share just like a brief deck, that’s an overview of some best practices for building your UX portfolio. So let me share my screen. Okay, can everyone see that? Okay? All right. Let me jump into presentation mode, it’s a little easier to see. And I’ll jump in. Okay. So getting started on building a UX portfolio, my first piece of advice is to always be documenting. It’s so hard to remember everything you’ve done in a project if you start trying to write your case study, months and months, even years after you worked on a project. So remember, you know, when you’re like building affinity diagrams, or working on, you know, UX research or other things that you’re always documenting in the moment, so that when it’s time to show your process and write the case study, you don’t have to sort of like work backwards, because we’ll talk about the importance of showing your your process later on. The second piece of advice is to tackle it like a UX problem. So, you know, before you start working on any project, you would think, who is my target audience? You know, what is their context of how they’re going to be viewing this portfolio? And what is the desired outcome? So for me, that means really like, looking at some of the jobs that I wanted to apply for, and then sort of working backwards to say, Okay, what skills are in this job description. And based on that, what skills do I want to highlight in my case study to make sure that when a recruiter looks at this, they can tell really easily, you know, at a quick glance that my skills and past experience aligns with what they’re looking for in this role. And then also think about the context of how this recruiter is going to be looking at your portfolio, you’ll be one of many portfolios that they’re looking at in a brief period of time, and you want to make sure that your case studies are organized in a way that clearly tells them you know, what you’ve worked on what your experience is, and at a glance, they can see an overview of of the work that you do. The next piece would be quality over quantity, I know this is a really, it can be difficult as a student when you haven’t worked on a lot of work with clients, but you have like a lot of past experience from school that you want to highlight. But I will always say I think it’s better to have, you know, three really solid case studies than it is to have, you know, 10 sort of disparate projects that show you know, a wide range of things. And I think you can also pick and choose which projects to show based on the job you’re applying for. And a little bit we’ll talk about the best format for you and you could kind of leverage that in that case as well. Um, the next is sort of like defining your brand so that to me goes back to thinking about the kind of job that you want. So one example is you know, if after you graduate you’re looking to target consultancies or design studios or agencies then maybe it would be you know, important to highlight in your three case studies work from different types of companies or different types of projects like mobile web to show like a variety but if you’re, if there’s, you know, a specific company you want to work for and that’s in house, maybe you show you highlight, you know, how you work with engineering teams or how you partnered with a product manager or how you can can work you know, really cross disciplines to highlight how you your strengths would benefit that company. And then choosing the best format for you. I think it’s pretty standard to have a website. But I also think that there are some times when a PDF or once I even applied for a job with a Dropbox Paper document. And that can be really beneficial. Because if you want to tailor your portfolio to a specific job or specific company, it’s nice to be able to sort of just write up these case studies, to tailor them to a specific job. And then you can change that document up and say, Oh, this is my portfolio for this company. This is my portfolio for another company. And when you do it in document form, or PDF, it can be easier to work faster, because you’re not so bogged down by what’s the design of my portfolio gonna look like? What about all these other pages and things like that.

And now I want to talk about the essential elements of the case study. So the things you really want to highlight are what’s the problem you have to solve? What were you tasked with? What was your specific role in the project, this is by far one of the most important thing is to highlight especially coming out of school, when you’re working on group projects with a lot of people, inevitably, you’re going to be applying for some of the same jobs that your peers are applying for. And it’s really important to highlight what you’ve done in a project as opposed to what they’ve done. I can share a brief anecdote with you about a time when I actually started as a product manager and went to a boot camp, General Assemblies UX design, Emerson, and I graduated at the same time as a cohort of like 15 people and myself and one of my group project members was applying for the same job at the same company. And he had a case study that was very similar to my case study, and I ended up getting hired for the job over him because the manager said, I did a better job at explaining exactly what my specific role in the project was highlighting what I contributed, versus what my teammates contributed. So it’s just a specific way to stand out. And these are things like, you know, owning a specific part of the project, whether it’s user research, or the actual design, and things like that, just being able to talk about your specific contributions, how you came to your solution. So process is really important. You don’t just want to show like the final, you know, shiny png version of, you know, all the things that you design. recruiters and hiring managers are really interested in knowing exactly how you got to your solution. So did you do any generative research upfront that informed you know, the direction that you took? Did you do a competitive analysis, a comparative analysis, all the things that influence the solution that you came up with. And that also includes any challenges that you faced, or any design concepts that you explored, and maybe did research on, and it didn’t turn out well, and so you change direction, you don’t have to just show a happy path. In fact, hiring managers are really interested in seeing how you handle adversity and how you deal with challenges in your projects and sort of use that to inform next steps. So it’s good to highlight that as well. And then we also want to know how your solution solved the problem. If you have any specific metrics or things that you were tracking the sort of impact of success, that would be really great, too. So knowing, you know, before we started this project, our goal was to do X, Y, and Z, and at the end, how you sort of evaluated whether you did that successfully or not. And then I know another, you know, thing that comes up a lot that people have to deal with, that’s a major challenge is sort of dealing with NDAs. When you work on projects, sometimes you’re not allowed to talk a lot about what you work on for a specific period of time. And it can be challenging to write a case study when you kind of have to redact certain information. Um, some tricks for getting around this would be to password protect your work. And in fact, I always do this as a as a good practice. Anyway, when I’m applying for a job, I tend to password protect case studies from my current job just out of respect, because it you know, you’re you’re working on things that are, you know, really recent, and you can find yourself in some trouble if you’re sharing work that hasn’t actually been implemented yet, for my company that you’re still working at. Most companies will ask you to sign an NDA when you start working for them as well. So be mindful of that. And at the very least password protect your case study. Many application processes will have the ability for you to add notes to your application to say this is my password for my portfolio. So I’ve also submitted resumes privately where the password is listed on the resume as well. So that’s another way to get around that. Focus on the process more than the actual things that you delivered. So you can just frame the case study In a way that you talk about, you know, at a high level, we were trying to get insights about a specific initiative. In order to generate those insights, I did this type of research because it’s the best suited for getting these types of insights, things like that. So you can take it a level above and talk more about what you did versus what you actually produced. And then when it comes to actually showing images, you can either show a really zoomed out view, maybe up like an affinity diagram, or you know, some sketches or something like that, that’s either out of context or so zoomed out that it’s not possible to zoom in and view, like actual words or content, and you can genericized it. So I’ve seen a lot of designers just remove actual copy or remove logos and kind of replace them with like, just like a bar, a vertical bar or sort of blurring it out. So you can sort of still see the structure of the project that you worked on without actually having to reveal any specific details about that.

And so now that we have all this context about what goes into a good portfolio, and how to how to build a portfolio, I thought it might be nice to walk through some example portfolios. So the first is Anna’s portfolio. Um, and right off the bat, I really like how each of these projects are clearly listed out with a summary associated with them. I think it’s really nice to add context. So when a recruiter is coming to look, they can clearly get a sense of, you know, what this project is going to be about and kind of choose the case study that they want to dive into. The next thing I would say is that you want to make sure your strongest most detailed case study is listed at the top, you know, I’m gonna like you can confirm or deny this, but I feel like you’re probably most likely to click on the project that’s listed at the top when you go to someone’s portfolio. So for this one, you know, it looks really robust, but my only concern is that, you know, we’ve got a lot of blog posts, but not necessarily a lot of process, there’s like a few clicks that apart that a recruiter would have to go through in order to see what’s going on. I will say, though, this, the blog posts are great. And it’s really nice to integrate that I know a lot of companies like to see that candidates are really actively involved in, you know, writing and sharing insights about their work and things like that. So I think a blog is actually a really great addition to a portfolio probably get you some extra credit points there. But I would say to make sure that the very first case study that you have listed here has some process has some, you know, a clear start to finish kind of story from the very beginning. Because I don’t know, you know, as a recruiter, if I’m going through a bunch of portfolios in a row, I don’t know, if I’m gonna want to spend a ton of time hunting for that robust case study right off the top. We’ll dive into this one, though. Off the top, I really love this section here. It’s very clear exactly how much time this project took Anna to complete, it’s very clear what her role on this project was, it’s very clear exactly what she delivered at the end of the prod, excuse me project and also what tool she use. So this is a really nice summary. At a glance, for a recruiter or hiring manager to get a quick sense of what this project is all about. I also really love the hero image at the top, it’s just another way to sort of sell your work. I know we say you want to include lots of information about process, but I think this is one example where it’s it’s nice to lead with like a final nice shiny image, because that’s sort of what entices people to click in and read through the case study. I really love this overview with the problem statement. It’s really, it’s really a nice amount of text to not too much you want us to as simply as possible, explain exactly what you were tasked with working on. So people can get a quick overview and know kind of what they’re getting into. I also really like how, and I have sectioned these off. So it makes it really easy to skim read. If we’re being honest, I don’t know if a you know, hiring manager or recruiter is ever going to read a full case study from start to finish. Unfortunately, as much effort as we put into it. I don’t know if people are reading the full thing. So it’s really nice that you have these chunks that are really easy to scan, and that you’re breaking up the text with these inline images. So that you know, as a recruiter, the things I would be looking for was would be Oh, did she show process? Did she do research and I can clearly see there’s a process section here some sketches, and I can kind of see that she’s gone through multiple iterations on this project which is good to see when critique I would have here is just don’t be afraid to make the images big from the start. And don’t be afraid to sort of like put them, you know, in line in a really large way so that it’s much easier to scan to here, it’s a little hard to see. And you sort of have to zoom in to catch the detail. And you might think that the process is not that important. But it really is some people like to see you know, how you think and how you ideate. So we have some iterations here, which is really nice. And then final concepts.

And I like how, you know, we can see just like the sheer amount of iterations that she cycled through, but then when it gets to the final version, these are really nice and big, I think this is the perfect size for an inline image, we can see without having to click through and zoom in. And then I also really love this reflection at the end. I think, you know, one challenge you might face, especially as students is that a lot of work that you’ve done, hasn’t been implemented. And so it can be nice in the place of having a section to talk about results, or success metrics to have a spot where you can talk about what you learned, what skills you gained, and even what you would do differently next time. And I think that’s a really good exercise to go through as well. Because I know that’s a common interview question that we ask candidates is, you know, talk about, you know, a past project. And if it went away, you didn’t expect and what you might do in the future, next time to kind of improve upon that. So it’s always a good exercise to think about next steps and how to how to wrap that up at the end. So I really liked that. And now we can move on to Calvin’s portfolio. So right off the bat, I will say I really like these images and how they’re sort of full bleed. It’s really, it’s really appealing visually. Um, one question I do have, though, is for this specific project, I would love to see more context around exactly what it is, I see that it’s, you know, an interactive website. But I would love to know a little bit more like what we saw in his profile portfolio, there was kind of a brief problem statement around what this was addressing. So I would love to see that. And then digging in here, I can tell this was a lot of work. This tells me, you know, exactly how much time Calvin spent. I know that this was mobile first. And it’s, it’s talking about the history of Cannery Row. I think that’s great. But I would love more context, I would love to see, you know, what influenced, you know, did these designs exactly what was the specific I see there’s, there’s a problem and solution and methodology, but it can be kind of hard to read that on the poster itself. So I would love to see some of this content broken out and sort of written in case study format. The other benefit of that is, you know, SEO and scannability. And search ability, you know, you can’t do that on an image itself. But if that’s written in your portfolio, if someone is searching the web looking for designers, it’s going to pick up on some of these words. And so you’re doing yourself a disservice by not having them in a format that can be sort of like scanned by web browsers. And let’s take a look at another one. So this is nice, this is an a more traditional case study format, we have you know, the problem statement or the summary, I also would really like the link to the final prototype, I can see both ways of trying to solve the problem of if someone is quickly scanning, and they just kind of want to get to the end and see exactly what you did, giving them a really quick way to get there. But also not sacrificing, you know, reading the full case study and kind of explaining specifically what the challenge was, how you ideated and all of that. So you have personas, it’s really great to think about how you’re incorporating research and to explain exactly how research informed your design direction. So that’s really nice. And then more process. I can imagine that the affinity diagram did not start off looking this nice. So that’s another thing to point out is that it’s totally okay to go back and update or recreate or create a more designed version of some of your artifacts to include in your portfolio. I wouldn’t say that it’s 100% necessary. I think designers and hiring managers and all that know that sometimes we move really quickly and it can be a messy product process, but it’s always okay even if you don’t want a final project, you want to update some of the designs that you did, because maybe you took another course, you know, the next semester and you realized oh, I have learned more about like mobile design and mobile patterns and if I had taken this other class earlier, I would have made different design choices, it is totally fine to go back and update your work. It’s all about presenting yourself in your best light. And you should never present something that you’re not fully proud of anyway. And then highlighting the solution. That’s great. I love how much process is here talking about competitive analysis, starting with low fidelity prototypes and moving to high fidelity prototypes. And then ending here with the final prototype and the results.

I know talking a little bit too about how it might be difficult for you to have real world results because your projects aren’t launching yet. Another thing you can do is just use research as a way to get final results. So a lot of you are probably making research into the process already doing usability studies on your initial designs to sort of figure out, if you want to iterate at all, it’s totally fine to do one final round of research and, and kind of use quotes from users and that session as your sort of results. So you can say, you know, this was a project that was only, you know, a few weeks long, and we weren’t implementing it. But when I did a final amount of research with users, you know, eight out of 10 users said that they would be inclined to use this or something like that. That’s another sort of roundabout way that you can get success metrics to sort of end your case, study and wrap your project up at the end. All right. So now I guess I’ll jump into my portfolio and talk about some of the choices that I made. Um, one thing that was really important to me, is to sort of highlight exactly what I have experience with. I think that’s important, we kind of talked about branding, because you want to apply, when you apply for jobs, you want to sort of let the hiring manager know right off the bat, like why you would be a good fit for this job. And I also have some case studies highlighted on this homepage, I thought that would be really important. So you can clearly link off to them. I mentioned earlier that some of them are password protected, the work hadn’t fully launched yet. So I didn’t feel comfortable sharing that publicly. So I just have a password here. But the ones that aren’t password protected, it’s very easy to link off and do that case study. And also sort of having a mission. This is very similar to you know, having that like sort of summary on the top of your resume just to kind of give companies a sense of who you are, and what you’re about. And some skills. And this is also just for the SEO as well. It’s important to do that on your resume as well looking at skills and making sure you’re highlighting those skills in a way that’s very searchable and scannable, as well. So jumping into case studies, I only have four case studies, because again, quality over quantity. So let’s take a look at one of the non password protected ones. So one thing that was important to me is sort of having a summary of what the project was about at the very top just to sort of like set context. And like this hero image, like I mentioned before, that’s just sort of like a summary of what the work entailed. And then a project background, talking about what my role was, and then now getting into each specific part of the process. So talking about the research that we did. Also, if you’re doing a redesign, it’s really important to show the before too, so they can sort of see you know, just how much work went into the process. So this is the before image. The other thing that I think sometimes designers undersell is sort of the soft skills with design, like how you collaborate with stakeholders, like if you’re doing client work, how you’re collaborating with your client, how you’re presenting your projects to them. Or if you’re working with an engineering partner or anyone else, it’s really important to highlight those soft skills that you have to and that you have experience partnering with people across disciplines. I’m here I’m talking about strategy and I’m showing documents that I used in this process to help me move forward. And I’m using a Squarespace template I really liked Squarespace I think it’s easy to use an out of the box. They have these sort of built in like gallery components that make it really easy to just drop in a whole bunch of images. So there and show them like full bleed. But then I also link off to document separately if someone wants to view a more detailed view of them. Um, what else again, showing process trying to show the image as full bleed as possible so someone doesn’t need to click through and knowing realistically No one is going to really want to read it and that much detail just giving them enough to show how much work was involved. So that they can see it and appreciate that. And then getting into the design talking about wireframing prototyping usability testing. Here’s another example where it wasn’t that important to me to show each specific screen that I put in testing, this was just sort of to say, look at the sheer number of screens, we put through testing.

And then talking about implementation. And if you have any presentations that you give to other members of the team, that’s also really important too. And so I embedded a deck that I made to kind of help talk about implementation with engineers and product managers. And then showing the final designs at the end. And this is when it actually is really important to make sure things are full bleed and and legible without having to do any other clicks. Because this is like, everything you’ve you’ve written up to this point is in service of highlighting why this work is so good. So making sure that the screens are really big and easy to read, easy to see at the very end. And then one thing that I really like to do is make sure there’s not a dead end in my portfolio. So I have this sort of pre footer before the other footer, where you can jump to another case study, instead of it being a dead end and having hit the back button and find another case study to read. The other thing that I want to point out that we sometimes forget, but I think is really important are the different contexts and contexts in which you’ll have to present your portfolio. So the web portfolio or PDF, however, you want to write your case studies, that’s really important for when you’re applying for the job to sort of get your foot in the door to get the interview. But most interview processes will include a portfolio presentation. So it’s really important to think about how you present your portfolio on the web, but also in presentation form. So it is a lot of work. But I will say it’s usually not super successful when candidates present from their website during a portfolio presentation, we really prefer to see them make a presentation deck, because it’s just more immersive. And it’s sort of easier to follow. And it’s for a different context, right. So I really recommend paste app, it’s really, it’s really easy to use, you can drag and drop a lot of different content in here, including figma files as well so and then it also generates shareable links. And you can create different ones. This is the portfolio presentation I used to apply for my job at Red fin. But you can create, you know, multiple and sort of tailor it for this specific company that you’re interested in applying for. So I’ll just cycle through a few of these slides to kind of show you how a case study might differ in presentation form from web form. The other really nice thing about a portfolio presentation is that it gives you the ability to inject some of your personality and talk about yourself. Companies also like to know who you are as a human being, it’s not just about the work that you do every day. So this gives you more leeway to you know, if you have a mission statement. If you want to talk about you know your background and sort of highlight things from your resume. If you want to give a a highlight or an overview of all the different things you’ve worked on, maybe you’re only presenting one to two case studies, which I’ll say is pretty typical of a portfolio presentation. Usually they’re 45 minutes to an hour. So that’s really only enough time for two. And you don’t really want to spend more than 20 minutes on one case study, it kind of drags on a little bit. So try to timebox your presentations at 15 or 20 minutes. This is also where you might want to alternate what you present. So choose the case studies to make a presentation of choose the ones that are most relevant to the work that the company you’re applying for is doing. You can also highlight things you’re super passionate about people like to know that you do things outside of work and that you’re like a fully formed human outside of work. And so it’s really nice to also inject some parts of your personality, which I think also makes your interview a little bit more memorable. So yeah, this is when I jump into a specific project still have a hero image, I’m still talking about the problem, the goals, what my role was. And I’m still going through process. But as you can see, there’s way less content on a slide than there would be, you know, if I was scrolling through my actual web portfolio, and it’s just breaking everything up into like really bite size chunks, and making it really easy to present slide by slide and sort of tell the story of the case study but in a more engaging way. So yeah, I highly recommend that first, first order of business is having a really good web portfolio. And then once you start finding joy have specific jobs that you want to apply for creating a presentation deck where you go through case studies that are specific to that company and what you want to highlight what skills you want them to know that you have. Um, so that’s basically it. And I would love to answer any questions that anyone has about anything that I just went through.

Anna 30:29
Yeah, feel free to ask questions, anyone, if you want to unmute or put them in the chat I can start us off with a question that I had. So I was wondering, you talked about not having a lot of experience outside of school. I know some people look for projects to do or volunteer, how would you recommend going about that? Yeah, that’s

MaChérie Edwards 31:00
a really great question. Um, so one of the things that I’ve done and that I’ve seen other people do are in your community, if there’s ever like a hackathon, I know, I used to live in Austin. And in Austin, there were a couple of co working spaces like we work and some local co working spaces that would often have a hackathon just as a way to sort of like build community in those co working spaces. And you didn’t have to be a member of the co working space in order to participate. And that was a really, really great opportunity for people to do work that could provide them with another case study. A lot of times, they would call in real companies who needed work done, but couldn’t necessarily afford it. And so it was like, really a way for like designers and engineers and product managers to sort of like gain skills, and also share their skills with companies who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford doing that. So that’s like one way you could potentially do that. I think volunteering is another way, I’m sure we all have, you know, friends, family members, or small business or something that we love that we know could use some help, you know, with either website redesign or something similar. And so lending your skills that way is really great idea. I will also say, though, Be super careful. Your time is really, really valuable. And I think I wouldn’t sell yourself short in terms of like, Could you do a small freelance project instead of volunteering. Don’t think that just because you’re a student, you have to give your services away for free. I think it’s like a fine balance. And I think a lot of companies Redfin included, understand like the challenges new grads face in terms of not having a lot of concrete client work to show. And so I think it’s also sort of what I mentioned before, like, when you’re, when you’re doing schoolwork, trying to find ways to highlight the successes and the impact of those specific projects to you know, you’re still doing user research with real human beings, you’re still asking them for feedback. And you can put all of that in your portfolio as measures of success.

Anna 33:09
So thank you, that was very helpful.

Faye Mensah 33:22
Hi, I also have a question. I would like to know if, like how, how would you prepare for an interview for a UX job or design job? Like, if you if like, would you share your portfolio before you go? Or would you share it during when you go things like that, like, cover letter resume? What would you do in preparation for when you go to the interview?

MaChérie Edwards 33:59
That’s a great question. So I feel like I have extra insights about this question, because before I worked at Redfin, I worked it indeed. So I know a lot about, and I built employer tools. So I know a lot about what employers are looking for. When job seekers apply. The first thing I will say is, please, please, please, please, please write a cover letter. I know cover letters suck. They’re awful. They’re terrible. But I do think that they make your application stand out, especially if you’re applying at the same time that a lot of students from your program are applying or other people. It can just sort of be like when you’re comparing a lot of people who have similar skills. I think hiring managers really do think, oh, this person submitted a cover letter. I think this makes them stand out a little bit because it shows their intent, and how much they want this position. I also think the cover letter is just a really great way for you to brag about yourself and talk about all the reasons why you specifically would be a good fit for the position. I think it’s a really good way to practice to answer Some of the questions they might ask you during the interview about like, why do you want to work for this company? What skills do you think you have that would make you a good fit for this company? And so yeah, it’s sort of like for me, it’s like I, I’m, it might be over the top. But it’s almost like a love letter to this company, like how you should hire me, because XYZ and it also shows you to do your research and that you’re not just, you know, spraying out a whole bunch of applications hoping that someone gets back to you, it shows that you are submitting your application with intent. So when I submit my applications, I include a resume, sometimes I tailor that resume specifically to the company, if that makes sense. So if I was applying to an agency versus if I were applying in house, it might look a little bit different. And on my resume, usually, when you submit an application, it’s through like an online portal. So I’ll make modifications to my resume when I do it that way, because it’s not public. So I can do certain things like include my portfolio password, and make sure you always also have the link to your portfolio on your resume. If you have a web based resume. If you don’t have a web based resume, there usually is also a mechanism for you to upload a PDF or provide a link to some other place where your portfolio’s hosted. But yes, always submit a cover letter, submit your resume, include a link in the password to your portfolio. Expect that what might happen first is that the you know, recruiter is looking over your resume or in your portfolio and they think you’re a good fit. So they’re going to elevate you to the next level of Well, first, they’ll have a phone screen with you. And you’ll sort of like walk through your career, kind of do your elevator pitch talk through your resume, it’s really important, I usually use that as an opportunity to highlight some of the main points from the cover letter. And then if that goes well, you’ll be moved on to the next round, which is usually a conversation with the hiring manager, which is very similar. But then after that, you’ll probably have a portfolio review. And don’t assume that everyone on that call has seen your portfolio because most of the time, that’s not the case, especially if you have multiple designers on the call, they might be helping out with the interview and had just been added to the invite and sort of like haven’t had the chance to really like go in depth to look at your resume or your portfolio yet. So it’s really important that every time you present a case study, you act like it’s the very first time anyone has ever seen or engaged with this content at all. So again, you’ll submit your web based portfolio or a PDF or a presentation deck or something like that. But then your portfolio presentation is more like the second thing that I walked through, which is like your deck where you’re talking about yourself, and you know why you want to work at the company and then walking through like one to two projects, and also be prepared to answer questions about your work at that point to do that. Did that answer your question?

Faye Mensah 37:56
Yes, very much. Thank you.

MaChérie Edwards 37:58
Okay, awesome. You’re welcome.

Anna 38:09
Okay, so we have a question from Ron, choose that. Am I saying your name right. Front run shoe? that how you say your name, if you could? Okay, cool. They ask, Do you have any tips on how to make an elevator pitch?

MaChérie Edwards 38:33
Oh, yes, I do. So I think this is also something that can vary based on the company. So I’ll give us a more concrete example. It’s just, it just so happens that I have worked at a lot of companies that have a two sided marketplace. And what that means is that the company is focused on like two different sets of users. So at Indeed, for example, a job seeker and the employer, I worked at a company called you ship and that focused on shippers and carriers. And so when I was playing at Redfin, I was like, How can I make my background and experience seem like, particularly relevant to Redfin, in this company, and I was like, Oh, they kind of have a two sided marketplace, too. They have buyers and they have agents, it’s actually multisided, because they have sellers too. But that’s neither here nor there. The point is, I think the first exercise is really to like, like, take out a notes, Doc, and start jotting down all of your past experience that’s relevant to this specific role. So really pay a close attention to the actual job listing and highlight the skills you have that match and kind of make a note sheet, but then take it a step farther and do research about the specific company and see if there’s anything about it that aligns with like your personal values or your professional goals that you have in the future. And write that all down and like a doc to brainstorm and then use that to sort of form your Elevator Pitch. I think also one sort of like trick you can use to is if there’s anything in your background that you are, like you feel like it puts you at a disadvantage, you can sort of highlight that and try to spin it as a positive thing. So one example I’ll give is that I started out working as a product manager, I was the product manager for three years. And then I did a design bootcamp, and I was like, Oh, I don’t know, like, I might not be as desirable as other candidates who’ve maybe have been working in design for longer. But in my elevator pitch, I, you know, proactively brought up the fact that I was a product manager and I talked about how that gave me a really, really data driven approach to UX design. And so I kind of spun it in a positive and kind of helped them see how those were actually unique strengths that would make me better in this specific role. The other advice I would give you is to come up with sort of two versions of this elevator pitch, one that’s like 30 seconds to a minute long. I know that sounds really, really short. But I think that’s really good for like a recruiter call. Or if you have any networking events out in public, no one wants to hear somebody talk about themselves for five minutes, the very first time they meet them, it’s just not, it’s not the most polite thing to do. So have a more succinct, you know, tight version of that elevator pitch for recruiter calls and for in person events and things like that. But then it’s fine to have a longer one. Or like, you know, when you’re doing your portfolio, review the presentation when you’ve made it to like the third round of the interview or something like that. Because by then you’ve sort of proven, you know, your worth, you got your foot in the door. And it’s more important to talk about, like your skills in depth and how they apply to this job. So that’s my other piece of advice is just to like, tailor it for this specific context to.

Anna 41:54
Awesome, thank you. And does anyone have any last minute questions for? Okay, so if there’s no questions, I’ll give like a chance to talk a little bit about the current opportunities that red fin has, and anything else you want to share.

Mina Lake 42:16
Awesome, thank you so much, Anna. And hello, everyone, my name is Mina Lake. I’m one of the recruiters on the emerging talent team here at Red fin. Um, thank you so much for hosting us today. We’ve truly enjoyed our session with you all, as Anna mentioned that we are hiring for a plethora of roles, including product design, in the intern and new college grad space. And I’m Anna just shared the art career page. And so everyone take a look at that, feel free to kind of see the other roles that we have at Red fin and if it’s product design specific, obviously can apply to that. But it’s interesting, like product management, data analytics, software, engineering, etc. We do hire for a variety of roles within our tech organizations. And I’m also going to share my email address here. If you do end up applying to any of our roles positions, to learn more about the roles, feel free to reach out to me, I’d be happy to respond with any interest, any of your questions and whatnot, but and just to kind of give you a high level. So all of our interview processes this, regardless of discipline is essentially the same. Obviously, what they’re assessing you on is different. But in terms of the process itself, it’s literally just a first round kind of homework assignment. And then if you pass that you make it on to find around virtual interviews. So pretty straightforward on average application, and interview time takes about three to four weeks total. So pretty quick process, pretty quick turnaround, overall. And definitely we’d be happy to, you know, have any of you that interested apply to our roles. So thank you so much, Anna.

MaChérie Edwards 43:38
Thank you. And then I’m just going to share a couple more links to our club and then getting wrapped up here. So if you haven’t joined us already, here’s our Instagram, our email, our website, and then this is to join us on my raft. And then I just wanted to say thank you so much. So Menelik and Masuri for joining us today that information has been super helpful. And I think we all have a lot to do to fix our portfolios and make them ready for internships in jobs. So thank you, everyone. You can give them a thank you in the chat or use your reactions. All right, and then I’ll stop the recording there. Have a great day, everyone. Thanks for joining us.

Anna 44:34
Thank you everyone.

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