UX Portfolios & Resumes: Curated Link Recs

I recently offered to review resumes or portfolios for up-and-coming UX grads, or those impacted by COVID (offer’s still open!). 

Rather than explain my rationale for a recommendation in detail, I often include a link to an in-depth article – and I’ve found myself going back to the same ones over and over.

This is my curated list of relevant best practice articles, as well as how-to’s and examples.

Who?

However, let’s start where all UX things should start: who are your users?

You probably have two types: a recruiter and an UX lead.

At a very high level, this means you have someone who doesn’t know much about UX (most likely) but might be looking for certain keywords to make sure you’re worth talking to, and keeping an eye out more for things like ‘cultural fit’ and ‘articulate’ than focusing on technical details.

And you have someone who does know a lot about UX and is looking to see if you’re worth their time to interview. Unless you’re applying at a smaller company where you’ll be the first UX person – then it’s likely that no one looking at your resume and portfolio is an UX expert.

Keep in mind both the recruiter and UX lead are busy people, looking through a lot of resumes and portfolios. Information should be scannable

Best practices to keep in mind

Examples of options for how to lay out bullets
From ‘content design for resumes and portfolios’

Resume how-to’s and examples 

Examples from the first link in the list, enhancv, showing 'wrong' and 'right' examples of summaries
“Wrong” and “Right” examples from enhancv

Portfolio how-to’s and examples

Example of a recommended layout
From Lisa Fischer’s “Designing a Winning Portfolio” presentation

Language

Especially if English isn’t your first language, please get a friend to review the language of your resume and portfolio in detail. Grammatical errors and misspellings look unprofessional.

(added June 9) Check out grammarly as well to help avoid mistakes.

Resume – one vs two

There’s a lot of debate about one vs two pages (or more) for a resume. If you’re straight out of school, one page should probably be enough. But if you have more experience, I think it’s fine if people go onto a second page. Better to have good readability and two pages than to use tiny font and only have one page. That said, plenty of people out there disagree with me, and I’m not an expert.

My guess is that the ‘one page only’ rule came from when resumes were hard copies. Even if you do go to two pages, it’s still important to be concise and make your resume easy to skim. And if you have a second page, be aware that the recruiter might not read it.

Document your work

Also, this is a good thing to consider – document your UX work over time, not just when you lose your job or are thinking about switching: https://www.invisionapp.com/inside-design/document-your-ux-work/

Good luck out there! Reach out if you have any questions or feedback.

One thought on “UX Portfolios & Resumes: Curated Link Recs

  1. Joshua Randall says:

    Jackie, nice work. In addition to a target company’s ATS, you will also be posting your resume to places like LinkedIn or Indeed. So all the more reason to avoid fancy graphics and images that won’t work on those types of sites.

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