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From freelance to full-time: How to ace content design interviews and pivot your career

Cara Lam shares her journey from freelance content writer to full-time content designer, offering insights on acing job applications and interviews.

In the fourth video of our Perspectives series, Cara Lam discusses her journey to becoming a content designer, focusing on interview techniques and resume crafting, while offering tips for improving content practice and expertise.

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Meet our speaker

Photo of Cara Lam
Cara LamContent Designer, Instagram

An Australian-Chinese transplant in New York City, Cara broke into content design in early 2021 and has fallen in love with the field ever since. She first started writing professionally as a freelance travel blogger in Japan, then moved on to be a marketing copywriter at a NYC crypto firm. It was at this crypto firm that she learned about UX writing and content strategy.

After a month of self-study on the subject, Cara landed her first full-time UX writing gig consulting for a commercial bank. She's actively growing the content practice at her company and even led her own UX writing course recently! Cara's pumped to pay it forward and help others break into content design.

In her talk, Cara shares her journey of transitioning from freelance content writer to full-time content designer and offers valuable insights on how to stand out in job applications and interviews. She elaborates on the essentials for creating an impressive resume and portfolio, highlighting the need to use power verbs, focus on achievements, and create a visually appealing design.

During the interview process, Cara suggests using the STAR method for presenting past projects, showcasing clarity on challenges faced, and maintaining a positive outlook on personal experiences. She also emphasizes learning about the company's products and being constructive in providing feedback. As a content designer, she demonstrates how hard work and dedication can make significant career transitions possible.

Quotes from the talk

Photo of Cara Lam
Cara LamContent Designer, Instagram

"So, what are we going to talk about in the next 20 minutes? First, let's walk through my career trajectory, how I faked it till I made it, how you can create a killer resume and portfolio, and how you can ace common interview questions and mock exercises."

[00:18]

Photo of Cara Lam
Cara LamContent Designer, Instagram

"In one of the interviews for Capco, the executive director asked me: 'Cara, do you have any formal training in UX?' I semi-panicked, because I did not. And so I told her, 'I don't have any formal training in UX, but I took a lot of online courses on LinkedIn and also read a lot of books, and so I'm more than willing and happy to learn on a job.'"

[13:34]

Photo of Cara Lam
Cara LamContent Designer, Instagram

"I know it's a lot of pressure to just come up with suggestions live in real time in front of the interviewer, so take a deep breath, and it's completely okay to take a few minutes to study the design and content first.

And before you even suggest any content - ask questions, because likely you're not going to know a lot of background information or context."

[15:20]

About Perspectives Conf

This talk is part of Track #1 - Breaking into content design of the 2022 edition of our conference.

Perspectives Conf is the world’s first event specifically focused on the careers side of content. It’s been carefully curated to help people at all levels navigate the many facets of working in content – from being the first content person to hiring and growing a team.

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