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Happy new year!

I thought we can start 2023 strong...with some (not only) design resume best practices.

As a loyal subscriber to Hirlevel, you'll get my Resume Writing Kit for completely free.

This kit includes:

  • 2 professionally designed ATS-friendly resume templates you can easily customize (ATS= Applicant Tracking System)
  • 1 product design resume example for inspiration or copy
  • 2 cover letters (one for juniors, one for experienced professionals)
  • A list of powerful action verbs to get noticed
  • A resume writing tips document

I hope you like it!

Beat the Robots!

As a UX or product designer, your resume is essential for showcasing your skills and experience to potential employers. It should accurately and effectively communicate your strengths and achievements and highlight how you can contribute to a company.

Here are some tips for writing an effective resume as a UX or product designer:

  • Target your resume to each position
  • Add relevant details
  • Remove irrelevant details
  • Keep the formatting simple, e.g. using only a couple of fonts and simple styling. An abundance of font pairing knowledge is free by Google: link
  • Highlight your relevant experience and strengths
  • Review design resumes examples from the industry — get inspired by them
  • Decide if you need different resumes for different positions (you might want to tailor your resume for a UX designer position differently than for a product designer position)
  • Keep your resume short (1–3 pages, depending on experience)
  • Drive attention to important achievements by using bold text or different colour or italic
  • Show you are fit culturally
  • Remove old and odd jobs, but keep jobs with transferable skills
  • Proofread your resume → use online tools such as Grammarly (* Affiliate link)
  • Write about what you achieved, not about responsibilities
  • Include quantifiable and measurable results, e.g. that answer the question of how much or how many
  • Companies like to hire winners, share your awards, honours, and where you were first and best
  • Add a career or professional snapshot — a summary of yourself
  • Save & send resume in pdf format
  • Include a cover letter if there’s an option to do so

How to structure your resume

The must-haves in resume

The standard sections you need to include in your resume are:

  • Your name
  • Your contact details
  • Link to your portfolio
  • Highlights. Career snapshot — a professional summary (about yourself). It’s kind of like your mission statement. Highlights are a bulleted list of key achievements and skills that show why you’re a great match for the job. It has to be attention-grabbing, so they keep reading. People only scan resumes for 20 sec. You need to give them a reason to spend more time on yours.
  • Your work experience or personal project
  • Your education
  • Your skills

Additional details to consider adding to resume

  • Link to your social accounts, e.g. LinkedIn
  • Your visa status if it makes sense for the job you apply for

Skills to add to resume

Hard skills

  • User research
  • Design research
  • Usability testing
  • Report writing
  • Presentation skills
  • Facilitation skills
  • Design documentation
  • Project management
  • Design strategy & roadmap
  • Usability testing
  • Interaction design and prototyping
  • User interface (UI) design
  • User experience (UX) design
  • Visual design
  • Front-end development skills: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • User-centred design (UCD) process
  • Agile development methodologies
  • Graphic design using Adobe CC
  • Project management and team collaboration tools such as Asana or JIRA
  • Usability principles and heuristics
  • Accessibility and inclusive design
  • User personas
  • Customer journey mapping
  • Wireframing and mockups
  • Data analysis and visualization
  • Responsive design
  • Content strategy
  • User feedback analysis
  • User stories and acceptance criteria writing
  • Customer discovery and validation
  • Workshop planning and facilitation
  • Design handover for development
  • Visual quality assurance

Soft skills

  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Teamwork
  • Flexibility
  • Problem-solving
  • Creativity
  • Attention to detail
  • Creativity and problem-solving
  • Empathy and user-centred design mindset
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Time management and organization
  • Critical thinking and analytical skills
  • Persuasion and influence
  • Leadership and mentorship
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Self-motivation and self-direction
  • Learning and continuous improvement
  • Conflict resolution
  • Cultural competency and diversity awareness
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Customer service and client relations
  • Negotiation and diplomacy
  • Professionalism and ethics
  • Stakeholder management
  • Stakeholder alignment

Resume 101 rules

Focus on your achievement: In addition to listing your responsibilities and duties, highlight your accomplishments and the impact of your work. Use metrics and data to demonstrate the success of your projects and the value you brought to your previous organizations.

Use specific examples: Rather than just listing your skills and experiences in a general way, provide specific examples of your work to illustrate your capabilities. This could include case studies, prototypes, or other examples of your design process and final products.

Tailor your resume to the job: Customize your resume to fit the specific requirements and preferences of the company and position you are applying for. This means highlighting the skills and experiences that are most relevant and necessary for the job.

Use a clear and concise format: Your resume should be easy to read and understand, with a clear and organized layout. Use headings, bullet points, and white space to make your resume visually appealing and easy to scan.

Include relevant keywords: Many companies use applicant tracking systems to review resumes, so it’s important to include relevant keywords and phrases in your resume to improve your chances of being noticed. Look at the job description and company website to get a sense of the language and terms they use.

Keep it up to date: Regularly review and update your resume to ensure it accurately reflects your current skills and experience. Be sure to remove any outdated or irrelevant information and add new achievements and projects as you complete them.

By following these tips, you can create a strong and effective resume that showcases your abilities and helps you stand out as a UX or product designer.

Your resume is an important tool in your job search, and crafting a high-quality document can help you land the job of your dreams.

Preparing for your interview

Notion board

Here’s your lifetime access to my forever-growing Design Interview Notion board: click to access Notion

I hope you found this useful.

I cover the topic and more in my latest YouTube video:


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