How Medium Helped Me Land My Dream Job

My real story on why you should start writing now

Source: https://icons8.com/ouch/

It was 2 years ago in 2018, at about the same time. I still remember I was in Georgia State’s IT Dept office applying for a designer role, between my IT Assistant duty hours. I had already applied for roughly 600 companies. 500 of them were rejected, not because I was not good, but because I was an immigrant — not being a citizen didn't help me to get through the screening process. In the other 100, I made it to the last round of the interviews for 25 of them but in the end, rejected me on the citizenship status. However, I didn't lose hope and sometime in April 1st week, I applied to this company called Digital Scientists in Midtown, Atlanta.

2 Days later their UX director invited me to meet their team. After a great discussion, the team gave me a design challenge to ‘Redesign any design interface’ (like Facebook, google, youtube, Spotify, etc.,) I went home and started to think about what to redesign.

Reimagining LinkedIn’s Design

As I went on picking my brain, it just hit me that the solution was right in front of me. Since I first started applying for jobs, I faced a lot of problems in the application process of Linkedin. So, I started talking to a few other friends, people online on Facebook about the problems they were facing when they are applying for jobs and communicating with recruiters on LinkedIn. That is when, I decided to redesign the interface of the top job portal in the world, Linkedin. I had an idea of what to do but didn’t know where to do it. I mean the channel on which I should express my ideas. That is when I stumbled upon Medium when a friend suggested to me and I instantly fell in love with its interface and how easy it feels to express your thoughts.

I started doing more research by conducting surveys, talking to students on the pain points of Linkedin and job search in general. I then broadly categorized these into 4 categories.

  • Job Search — Linkedin, Indeed, Glassdoor
  • Application Tracking — No Existing Solution
  • Interviews & Alerts: Reminders/Alarms,
  • Communication: Email/Phone and many more.

(see the image below where I explained the flaws in the current job application process and suggested improvements)

After getting an idea of what features are the most useful, I jumped into the design process of sketching, creating quick wireframes and finally created a clickable mobile prototype with actual visual design to better communicate my ideas. I explained each of the screens, with my ideas and annotations. To validate my design decisions, I guerilla tested the design with 30 students at the university and 90% of them said that this is way better than the current job application process. I felt a bit of relief that I was getting somewhere.

(The actual article below)

Finally, it was a moment of truth and Since I had done a lot of work already I decided to publish the article on Medium and send the Digital Scientist’s team a link to the article. 3 days passed by and I haven’t got any reply from the team but my article on medium starting picking up traction. People started to read it completely, they left comments under the article saying that they connect well and this is a promising solution to Linkedin's strategy. People started messaging me about the good work I had done.

On a very fine day, I was shocked to see an inbox message on LinkedIn from Head of Design@ Linkedin. He congratulated me saying that he loved reading the strategy and how he wished he could give me an intern offer @ Linkedin. But the summer interns were already offered to other applicants but I was more than happy just hearing from him that I made a difference. You can see the stats below and the article became so famous that it is the first result on Google, when you search for ‘LinkedIn design case study’.

I wanted to write more...

Whatever you have read till now was great, but I still didn’t get a job because of this. But it definitely changed something which made me write more. Know that till that point in my life I have always been pulling back from writing because I used to think that people are gonna judge me because English was not my first language. But, this little experiment filled so much confidence in me and I started writing more and more on design. Within 3rd week of April, I wrote another piece of design article that focused on Micro-Interactions also called Animations. This is my area of interest in design and I started writing about why they are important in websites and mobile apps, when to actually use them to make the interfaces more intuitive and how to actually create them in the right instances. I could already see that the first article I wrote taught me a lot about what areas to improve. I have also included tiny pieces of micro-interactions which I created as examples to readers. I hit publish and I got busy in my coursework for the final tests and projects at school.

When I checked back Medium after two weeks, I was literally shocked to see around 100 notifications of people clapping the article, leaving comments, sharing and mentioning me, etc., The Stats showed that the article got 40K views and 25K reads.

and I was given a chance...

The very next day, I got a message on Linkedin from a person who would change the entire course of my career. It was the Head of Design@Suntrust Banks, Atlanta. I applied for SunTrust sometime ago, & he apparently read my article on micro-interactions and loved it. He wanted to have a chat where we discussed about design and ideas. He wanted me to meet the team for a face to face interview. Fast Forward 2 weeks, I am at SunTrust Plaza for a 4-hour interview with the team. After a week, I was offered a Senior UX Designer role with the budding design team of 15.

2 Years have passed by and I have loved every moment since then at my job. I learned so much work-wise, culture-wise and made some amazing friends. After 2 years last month, I wanted some quick micro-interaction inspiration for a piece I am working on and just like any of us, I googled micro-interactions and I was blown away to see that the first result on google was the same design article I have written two years ago. Extremely humbled to see this and was surprised to see it ranked above the great NIELSEN NORMAL GROUP.

All this was possible because of my imaginary friend — Medium. It got me a job, it got me writing stuff I care about and more importantly made a more confident person who is now working on an Inter-Galactic Novel. To whoever reading this, if you are planning to write something which you love, but are holding back because you think that you're not good enough, here I am — a live example and a real story.

Medium Staff

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