UI/UX designers occupy one of the most important positions in software development. If they do their job well, they create an interface that users love, which drives adoption of the software. If they fail, users will quickly abandon the software for a smoother rival. The ideal UI/UX designer CV will show how the candidate designed beautiful products that helped their former employers succeed.
Although UI and UX are often used interchangeably, they are fundamentally different. “UX” stands for “user experience design”, i.e. the way users interact with a product (be it an application, a service, a game or something else). “UI” is “user interface design”, a digital-centric term for the feel and interactivity of a product. Many designers specialize in one or the other; For a designer looking for a job that uses both disciplines simultaneously, you should create a UI/UX designer resume that shows your mastery of both.
We spoke with several experts who told us exactly what they look for when hiring UI/UX designers and how to tailor your UI/UX designer resume to have the best chance of landing the job.
UI/UX designers: master your storytelling techniques
A resume and portfolio are your first opportunity to shine as a UI/UX designer; as such, these should present a compelling narrative that puts your skills in the best possible light. Potential employers are not only interested in your end results, but also in the iterative process that got you there.
“UI/UX designers have the opportunity to demonstrate their expertise through a cleanly formatted and thoughtful resume,” says Jen Wells, founder and president of TalentID Group. “It’s the first thing we look at when a UI/UX CV comes in. This means the CV uses bullet points, is easy to navigate, the fonts aren’t too small, and they give a good overview of experiences and specific tools/programs they have experience with. Secondly, we want to see a link to a portfolio. In a field like UI/UX, a portfolio is going to tell us what types of projects they have worked, the complexity of those projects, and the type of work product they have experience in creating.
Egor Sokhan, Lead UI/UX Designer at QArea, adds: “As soon as a portfolio is presented, the candidate must show their communication skills. It is very important to find a designer who can be on the same page with the product team and be a good player within the design team.
UI/UX designer resume template
Need a UI/UX designer resume template? This one might give you some great ideas on how best to format your own resume:
What UI/UX designers need their resume to say
“I’m generally looking for experience with wireframing and prototyping tools,” Yang Zhang, co-founder of Plasmic, says Dice. “Most UI/UX designers are good on their own, but your mastery of these modern tools is what helps you stand out and work faster and more efficiently. I have mixed feelings about Resumes that are themselves designed intuitively or ‘smart.’ While they are an easy way to showcase your skills, they can also get in the way of my ability to understand your skills and experience.”
Imran Raiz, head of user experience at System Soft Technologies, says he wants the resume to list products or services that a UI/UX designer has improved. “What stands out to me on a UI/UX designer’s resume is the type of work they’ve done or the initiatives they’ve taken to improve the UX of a product or service,” he told Dice.
Sokhan suggests that the formatting of the resume itself can say a lot about a UI/UX designer: “In the beginning, I pay attention to the design and layout of the resume. she is looking for. He shows motivation, precision and creativity. I think it is the quantity and quality of the projects in which they have been involved [is also important].”
The portfolio of a UI/UX designer also counts
Although your resume is crucial early on in the hiring process, you may not need to submit a portfolio to potential employers upfront; it may take one or two interviews before the hiring manager asks to see your work. (Your portfolio can also determine whether you land a second interview.)
A UI/UX designer portfolio should be as easy to browse and understand as your resume. Think about structure: do you want to organize things chronologically (or anti-chronologically)? Do you want to make your best work the most important element? If you worked as a freelance or freelance designer, which clients would you like to highlight?
Whatever your structural choices, be sure to showcase small improvements that had a big impact on project results. When a company can see your designs offering ‘value for money’, there is increased confidence and certainty that you will be the right hire. Not only should your portfolio dig into the nuances of the design, but it should show how each job met the goals and desires of the employer/client. Design is subjective, but ROI is not.
“You need to know how to speak with both sales and strategists as well as tech teams,” says Wells. “You have to be able to combine the two to make clear and solid recommendations. The ability to use data to draw insights is necessary to inform strategy and set the project up for success. Finally, the ability to tell a story with the information you have and tailored to your audience, both internal and/or external, is necessary to help others see a clear path to designing something that others want to use and can use easily. ”
UI/UX designer certifications are great…with a great portfolio
“We like certifications where the individual has gained hands-on, real-world experience that can be demonstrated through a portfolio,” says Wells. In other words, while some technologists put a lot of emphasis on certifications, potential employers ultimately want to see if you can do the job. Listing all relevant certifications on your resume is fine, but focus your energies on making sure your resume shows off your skills and accomplishments.
“I always appreciate applicants with unusual or alternative career paths,” adds Zhang. “Certifications can be valid substitutes for diplomas and degrees, but ultimately you need a strong portfolio to prove the value of the certification. I’m sure there are hiring managers out there who can identify a particular certification and just know that a candidate is worthy of consideration just for having it. I’m not one of those people, but I know what good UI/UX looks like in a project.