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“UX” your CV, not just your portfolio!

If you’re reading this, chances are you have a pretty good portfolio; 3 case studies, end to end with ‘what’ and ‘why’ covered perfectly.

Amazing 👍

But don’t forget to “UX” your CV either. It might be why your application was rejected.

While you get started, here’s some things I’ve noticed recently you should definitely avoid doing:

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Use a different CV layout*

In the past 2 days, I’ve seen 3 CV’s with exactly the same layout.

If your CV is the first way a hiring manager becomes aware of you, would they be impressed if your CV looked identical to a few of the others on their desk? Probably not.

More importantly as a UX’er, the layout should matter to you.

Avoid templates you find online. Invent your own. Then see if you can find anything similar. If not, you’re onto a winner*.

*Winners still need to function well i.e. read easily. Too much creativity and you’ll lose the attention of the reader.

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Don’t send a 24-page CV*

This isn’t a dissertation. It’s a job application. Look at Nikes recent ad campaign; short, snappy and straight to the point. We took notice of it because of those reasons. We didn’t take notice of your CV because it’s the complete opposite.

*Counter arguments:

‘I’m a freelancer with 10 years of experience’ – Keep it to the past 3 or 4 years. Anything past that, simply reference company and dates. Tailor it to jobs if possible and consider variety of projects if you’re going for breadth.

‘What about what I did and my impact” – Include that in your portfolio or reference it in your CV in condensed form but again, for the past 3 or 4 years.

‘I have relevant experience from 6 years ago’ – Is it really that relevant then? We all know how fast this industry moves but if you feel strongly about it, talk to your recruiter. Most of us will send detailed write ups of you to hiring managers to make your case even more. If you don’t have a recruiter, do a short cover letter talking about that project, they still work!

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Avoid multiple contacts and links

We get it; you have a personal email, work email and a third for your side hustle. If it’s not emails or phone numbers, you’ve included links to your portfolio, photography and blog. Don’t include all of that.

Keep it to 1 email address, 1 phone number, 1 portfolio link – job done.

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Lastly, get rid of this…

Technical skills:

Sketch ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚪

Axure ⚫⚫⚪⚪⚪

HTML ⚫⚫⚫⚪⚪

Communication ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫

Team player ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫

Leadership ⚫⚫⚫⚪⚪

All of that means absolutely nothing or “⚪⚪⚪⚪⚪” if that explains it better. No one’s saying you aren’t capable of those things but it shouldn’t be explained in this way. Save that space for actual written content that properly describes why you think you’re that good with Sketch.

P.S. everyone’s “communication” skill is ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫ until the hiring manager has spoken to you. Grammar on your CV will illustrate this in the first place so no need to mention “communication”.

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Conclusion

If you do want more advice, please drop me a message but just remember, your CV is still very important even in our world of slick looking portfolios.

Check this out for more help: Applying UCD thinking to your CV

 

Shameless plug… if you’re looking for a job or hiring, get in touch on 0207 729 4771 or vikesh@zebrapeople.com 🙂

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