Jules Forrest

Jules Forrest

Senior Product Designer at Credit Karma

Design systems @CreditKarma, developer @WomenWhoDesign. I like type.

6 action items

Structure your portfolio to best communicate your skillsets

    • Put yourself in the shoes of a hiring manager. They're looking at portfolios all day long, so help them out and be really specific about the value you can bring to the team. Figure out what your "design superpower" is, which ideally highlights a combination of several of your best skills. Then, use that as a narrative thread throughout your portfolio. Don't give a hiring manager the time to think, "OK, so, if I were to hire this person, what would they *do*?" Answer that question for them by the time they've reached your homepage.

    • Figure out what your design superpower is

      It may be smaller than you think. Maybe it's that you're really passionate about designing for accessibility. Maybe you spend all your time thinking about what's going on for your users off-screen. Maybe you're obsessively detailed oriented or work best when the problem you're trying to solve is really ambiguous.... See more

    • Think about the skills that your superpower highlights

      If you're passionate about accessibility, you probably have a lot of empathy for your users. You might do a lot of research. You've probably learned some valuable accessibility do's and don'ts that you could bring to your new team. That's a big deal! Everyone knows their product should be accessible, but having someone in the room advocating for that effort or driving it forward might be a game changer. If you love ambiguity, you might be really good at brainstorming, creative solutions and prototyping. Maybe you take a lot of initiative and jump right into complex problems. Not a bad asset to have on the team! If you're really detail oriented, you probably care a lot about final polish, which requires a well-trained eye and lots of effective collaboration and communication. That's good, because effective collaboration and communication aren't always a given.... See more

    • Tie your skills to value for the business

      Accessibility: "By improving the accessibility of feature X, we improved the experience for Y% of our customer base." Ambiguity: "By moving quickly on some creative prototypes, we were able to agree on the feature direction one week early, adding an extra week to development time." Detail oriented: "By collaborating with the designers and front-end engineers, we were able to come up with repeatable patterns and components, reducing inefficiencies in UI development."... See more

    • Write yourself an intro

      Put it front and center on your homepage. Help the hiring manager picture you adding value at their company. "Hi, I'm A, a designer who puts accessibility first." "Hi, I'm B, and I like solving big picture problems." "Hi, I'm C, and I'm passionate about design systems."... See more

    • Thread it through your projects

      Think about how your superpower has informed your work and tell the story of each of your projects from that point of view. You should, of course, mention any other relevant skills and strengths, but leading with a superpower helps compensate for skills you don't have or need to work on.... See more

    • Go where you are rare

      Not every company is going to need your superpower. Some might already have that skillset covered, some might not be at the stage where that skillset is valuable. That's OK! It's better to work somewhere that's compatible with your passions than try to mold yourself in a random company's vision of what a designer should be.... See more