Do I need a portfolio to apply for UX content roles?
Yes, but possibly also no.
I recommend to my coaching clients to create a portfolio if you can. And I think that most people can, because portfolios don’t have to be these super glossy case studies of high fidelity prototypes.
The portfolio is showing how you think and how you work. So if you have some stories about your work, and you can come up with visuals to accompany them screenshots, sure, but also diagrams, photos, you can put a little work story together, put a few work stories back to back, package them up in a presentation format — that’s also my recommendation. And now you have a portfolio.
So you could be applying to an enterprise content role where a portfolio is not required, you could be applying for a product marketing or marketing role, where your portfolio is not required. But if you have one that’s going to help set you above other candidates, it’s going to give you something to talk about with a hiring manager, especially if the organization is new to UX content. They might not even know what questions to ask, they might not know what the work could look like. So it’s an opportunity to lead.
So yeah, there’s plenty of jobs out there. If there’s a match where you don’t have a portfolio yet and they’re not asking for one? Great! Go ahead and apply. But I would encourage you to take the time to start building one regardless.