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Design Hiring Cycles: Best Time of Year to Apply for UX, UI and Product Design Jobs

If you're job hunting and looking to land your next UI/UX or product designer role, this guide will show you when to apply, when not to apply and what to do in-between to maximize your chances of landing your next role as UI/UX or product designer.  

Perhaps you've applied to countless jobs and haven't been getting any replies or maybe you're worried that the job market is too saturated. As with most things in life, timing is important and everything works in cycles.

We've written a lot about how to learn UI/UX and product design, how to create a strong UX design portfolio, how to go after UI/UX without any experience and where to work as a UI/UX or product designer. But there's also something to be said about being in the right place at the right time when looking for a UX, UI or product design job. So how exactly do you know when this is?

The first step is to understand the larger design hiring and recruitment cycles and job seasons at play in the product design industry so you can take advantage of them and be ready when opportunities present themselves!

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What companies are doing: As the year comes to a close, so does recruiting season. By this time of the year, most positions have already been filled. Hiring managers and human resources are often dealing with budget constraints during the last two months of each year and are awaiting new finance allocation and budgets for the new year.

What you should be doing: Establish your goals and make a plan of action

  • Set or revisit your UX job goals.
  • Make a plan of attack for the coming year to achieve them.
  • Rest and rejuvenate.
  • Work on your case studies and make sure your portfolio is up to date.
  • Get your portfolio reviewed
  • Block off the time you will need to submit job applications, take calls and schedule interviews in the new year.

January - Feb

What companies are doing: These are the months that most companies receive updated budgets and sales forecasts. Executives have a better idea of what they need and whether they can afford to hire new team members. In early-January things are still a little slower pace as people are coming back after the holidays. Things ramp up mid-end of January and really take off in Feb when companies are actively interviewing and hiring.

What you should be doing: Start applying for jobs


March, April

What companies are doing: Many hiring managers are taking some time off and executives are spending more time networking and raising funds. This is also the time that companies are planning the release of new products and services. It's still a good time to apply as there is often less competition and hiring managers tend to make decisions about hiring more quickly.

What you should be doing: Take advantage of companies sense of urgency and the need to fill remaining positions.

  • Use our job matching and keyword hacking technique to start choosing the jobs you want to apply for and preparing your applications.
  • Continue applying for specific roles.
  • Take calls and schedule interviews.



What companies are doing: Recruiting slows down as people start taking vacations and offices shift to summer and flextime schedules.

What you should be doing: Get better at what you do and up your skills

  • Take advantage of the hiring summer slow down. Get educated, up your design skill set and network.
  • This is the perfect time to take an online course in UX/UI like this to get yourself up to date with the latest tools, methods, techniques and trends.
  • Join design communities, network and go to conferences.
  • Look for contract positions or seasonal positions.


September, October

What companies are doing: Companies are revving back up a bit to fill any vacant positions before the holidays and use up any allocated budgets.

What you should be doing: This is another hiring wave that you can ride by continuing to apply for UX/UI design jobs. It's also a chance to update your portfolio and your online presence.

Download our Free UX Job Tracker for Notion

Notion UX Job Tracker | DesignerUp
Job hunting is hard, make it easier with our UX and Product Design Job and Internship tracker for Notion!

Design Job Resources

We have been helping students learn UX/UI and Product Design and land their dream jobs for many years. Here are some of our most popular resources to help you do the same!

Portfolio Creation

These resources will help you create incredible case studies for your portfolio. You'll learn what companies you should be applying to, what should be in your UX/UI/Product Design portfolio, UX case study red flags to watch out for and our tried-and-true UX case study template for Notion!

Where To Work as a UI/UX Designer
Who you work for and the stage of the product you’re working on has the biggest impact on what your role as a UI/UX designer will be. So who do you want to work for?
Ultimate Recipe For A Magnetic UI/UX Case Study
For a U/UX or Product Designer knowing what to add in and what to leave out of your case study is crucial to making yours stand out above the rest.
Notion Product Design Portfolio Template Pack | DesignerUp
Setup your UX/UI portfolio with our 1-click template

Start Applying

Now that your UX portfolio and case studies and ready to go, you can start narrowing down where you will apply to, updating your Linkedin profile and tracking your UX design applications.

Get a UI/UX Job WITHOUT Experience!
My new design students are always worried about their portfolio and their lack of experience. But the truth is, you can start creating what you need and goin...
Crafting the Perfect Linked Profile for UX/UI/Product Designers
Here’s how to craft a magnetic Linkedin profile that gets you noticed by UX, UI and Product Design recruiters, hiring managers and clients so you can get more of the right design opportunities into your inbox!
Notion UX Job Tracker | DesignerUp
Job hunting is hard, make it easier with our UX and Product Design Job and Internship tracker for Notion!

Get hired

Need a little extra boost getting intro'd and matched to the right companies? We've got you covered. Browse our open job board or apply to join our free designer talent collective where companies apply to you!

DesignerUp’s Job Board
Ready to take the next step in your design career? Browse from a range of curated product and UX/UI design roles.
DesignerUp Talent Collective
Get matched with companies looking to hire

Where to Learn UX/UI/Product Design

What to learn the skills, complete your case study and get job matched at the same time? You can do all of these with us and our amazing community of mindful designers in our Product (UX/UI) Design Course!

Product Design (UX/UI) Course | DesignerUp
An on-demand, video course to help you learn product (UX/UI) design and become a more skillful and mindful designer.

This post was a collaboration between

DesignerUp, Elizabeth Alli

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  • Elizabeth Alli

    Elizabeth Alli

    Mindful designer and mentor helping to create meaningful products and experiences.

    More posts by Elizabeth Alli.

    Elizabeth Alli