Here’s a pretty common scenario: As a recruitment professional, I’ll often have a conversation with a candidate before I’ve seen their CV. Sometimes it’s one of those conversations that I just wish my clients could hear. The type of conversation that fires me up and makes me believe I can fill any role with this ‘perfect’ candidate….maybe the client won’t even need a face to face interview after talking to this superstar of UX!
A few moments later, the CV arrives. Ouch. Is this a different person? Where are all the amazing experiences I’ve just heard about?
This is not a criticism of the individual concerned. It is a reminder that writing a good CV is an art and a science, and most importantly, is TOUGH – it needs thought, time and effort.
So! As a UX professional, what can you do to make sure your CV gets you that dream job? If you’re a competent UXer who feels like you’ve got some great experience, but that people aren’t taking your job applications seriously, here are some tips I’ve picked up from working with some of the best UX managers in the industry.
A complete myth. The number of people I’ve spoken to who have been told to squeeze 7 years of experience into a 1 page CV is frightening. It’s no secret that managers don’t have time to read 10 or 20 pages of your CV, and I think we’re all in agreement when I say anyone who would is a bit crazy! But there’s nothing wrong with 2, 3 or even 4 pages to make sure you can fit in the experiences that you need. Simply having names and job titles doesn’t quite cut it for most managers.
Having a good personal statement works in your favour. Don’t overdo it with a page of amazingness about how incredible and enthusiastic you are – that’s what the interview is for. A simple paragraph which very simply and quickly outlines exactly what your expertise and abilities are, and your aspirations, will help a manager get a ‘snapshot’ of who you are and will go down very well with any manager who’s under pressure to hit tight deadlines.
It’s always great to list your work with a good, short statement under each role to highlight what you (not the team) did and achieved. But please, order your CV in the right way! This doesn’t necessarily have to be in time order, but at least in an order that’s going to be relevant for the manager to read. As I mentioned earlier, the manager won’t read your whole CV, so why leave your best experience till the end? Whether you order your CV in recent experience or relevant experience – make sure it’s not disorganised.
We all know where this is going. If you’re not going to take the time to check your CV for typos, why would the hiring manager trust you to take the time to check your work?
Quite regularly the right educational background is just as important to the hiring manager as your actual working experience. They’re not going to care much for your whole academic history but if you’ve got something worth mentioning, make sure it’s visible for the manager to see, short and to the point.
This isn’t the exhaustive list, but it could get you more traction on your CV if you’re struggling to get noticed. Here at IC Creative, we’re specialists in UX recruitment. Whether you’re looking for a contract or permanent positon, we’re here to help you with your next steps, including working on your CV!
If you need more specific advice or you have any questions, please do email us – we’d be happy to help.