UX Resumes

Your constantly-updated definition of UX Resumes and collection of topical content and literature

What is UX Resumes?

UX resumes are concise overviews in which designers summarize their work experience, education, skills and other relevant information to entice recruiters to hire them. To maximize their credibility and appeal, designers fine-tune their resumes for exact roles and include carefully crafted cover letters and portfolios.

“You may be thrown out of consideration for a position before being properly evaluated as a candidate because of common usability issues with your resume.”

—Ray Sensenbach, Product designer at Inductive Automation

UX Resumes are Windows into Designers’ Worlds

When looking for jobs in user experience (UX) design, designers should approach recruiters with three documents: UX cover letters, UX portfolios and UX resumes. A common misconception is that a UX portfolio will do the job of a UX resume (or CV)—if not do even better—because a portfolio should have more extensive content (e.g., case studies). However, the value of UX resumes is that recruiters don’t have to invest as much time in reading them. Instead, UX resumes—like resumes in other industries—should serve as quick reference points that showcase what you have to offer. Your challenge when creating your UX resume is to design a user-friendly document that appropriately promotes you as a valuable potential contributor to an organization. Because recruiters typically wade through many applications, you need a resume that’s easy on the eye and credible, has great usability and distinguishes you within moments. Therefore, you must fine-tune the most appropriate, concise, believable and impressive representation of:

  • Who you are;
  • What you do and have done;
  • Where you studied, when and the results achieved; and
  • What you have to offer.

When they look to fill UX roles, recruiters typically base their decision to contact applicants on well-crafted portfolios. Nevertheless, your UX resume is a vital bridge between your cover letter and portfolio as they scan to see if you’re a strong candidate. As with your other materials, you should adapt your resume to match the specific role.

How to Craft a Powerful UX Resume

After carefully reading the recruiter’s specifications, you should include everything they request in your resume. This typically includes:

  • Personal details: Your name, job title (if appropriate) and contact information (e.g., email).
  • Your photo: In a professional environment or a LinkedIn-style headshot picture.
  • Work experience: Your current and previous jobs listed in reverse chronological order (latest first). Only include relevant roles (though some non-UX activities can show valuable personality traits – e.g., skydiving).
  • Education: Only university/college/vocational-school-level achievements.
  • A self-write-up: A brief professional summary of yourself. Highlight achievements in a few, objectively worded sentences that tell your story.
  • Your skills and tools: If you have niche skills (e.g., in UX research) or are skilled in a broad range of UX tools, declare them but prioritize your skills.
  • Relevant miscellany: Mention any experience you can leverage – e.g.,
    • Teaching experience;
    • Fluency in another language;
    • Authoring of UX articles on (e.g.) Medium;
    • Relevant achievements as a volunteer/hobbyist.
  • A link to your LinkedIn profile: Recruiters consult LinkedIn to learn more about applicants. So, ensure your resume is consistent with your LinkedIn presence. You can create a viable (if generic-looking) resume using LinkedIn if you:
    1. Go to your profile;
    2. Click on the “More…” button; and
    3. Select “Save to PDF”.

Recruiters often use bots to scan resumes, so you should include valuable key words.

Additional Considerations for UX Resumes

Overall, your resume is a story summarizing an impressive image of yourself like your achievements should speak for themselves. The words you choose portray your attitude. So, convince recruiters that you’re a powerhouse without openly declaring so, but show you know the value you can bring them. Credibility is all-important, and your resume should lead users (recruiters) to a call to action (to examine your portfolio) just like anything else you design would.

Fingers Crossed Icon - Author/Copyright holder: Vincent Le Moign. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY-SA 4.0

Learn More about UX Resumes

Take our UX Portfolio course to see how to tweak your resume: https://www.interaction-design.org/courses/How-to-create-a-UX-portfolio

UX designer and entrepreneur Sarah Doody offers a wealth of tips and insights on creating your UX resume: https://dribbble.com/stories/2019/10/14/how-to-design-your-ux-resume

Case Study Club has a list of 21 great UX resumes: https://www.casestudy.club/journal/ux-designer-resume

See more UX resume samples: https://medium.com/@bestfolios/10-amazing-designer-resumes-that-passed-googles-bar-deedb315ec47

Ray Sensenbach offers valuable points on UX resumes: https://uxdesign.cc/designing-an-effective-ui-ux-resume-6ea24d6dd23f

Literature on UX Resumes

Here’s the entire UX literature on UX Resumes by the Interaction Design Foundation, collated in one place:

Learn more about UX Resumes

Take a deep dive into UX Resumes with our course Design Thinking: The Beginner’s Guide .

Some of the world’s leading brands, such as Apple, Google, Samsung, and General Electric, have rapidly adopted the design thinking approach, and design thinking is being taught at leading universities around the world, including Stanford d.school, Harvard, and MIT. What is design thinking, and why is it so popular and effective?

The overall goal of this design thinking course is to help you design better products, services, processes, strategies, spaces, architecture, and experiences. Design thinking helps you and your team develop practical and innovative solutions for your problems. It is a human-focused, prototype-driven, innovative design process. Through this course, you will develop a solid understanding of the fundamental phases and methods in design thinking, and you will learn how to implement your newfound knowledge in your professional work life. We will give you lots of examples; we will go into case studies, videos, and other useful material, all of which will help you dive further into design thinking.

This course contains a series of practical exercises that build on one another to create a complete design thinking project. The exercises are optional, but you’ll get invaluable hands-on experience with the methods you encounter in this course if you complete them, because they will teach you to take your first steps as a design thinking practitioner. What’s equally important is you can use your work as a case study for your portfolio to showcase your abilities to future employers! A portfolio is essential if you want to step into or move ahead in a career in the world of human-centered design.

Design thinking methods and strategies belong at every level of the design process. However, design thinking is not an exclusive property of designers—all great innovators in literature, art, music, science, engineering, and business have practiced it. What’s special about design thinking is that designers and designers’ work processes can help us systematically extract, teach, learn, and apply these human-centered techniques in solving problems in a creative and innovative way—in our designs, in our businesses, in our countries, and in our lives.

That means that design thinking is not only for designers but also for creative employees, freelancers, and business leaders. It’s for anyone who seeks to infuse an approach to innovation that is powerful, effective and broadly accessible, one that can be integrated into every level of an organization, product, or service so as to drive new alternatives for businesses and society.

All Literature

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