Last weekend, I spent my Saturday at a tech recruitment fair, Silicon Milkroundabout, meeting and talking to UX and UI designers who were searching for their next role. It was absolutely fantastic to meet so many talented designers, with bags of hustle and initiative.
BUT! There’s something that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about ever since. Here it is:
Stop rating your own UX and Design skills with fancy graphics!
Honestly, rating your skills out of 5 stars or on some sort of progress bar does not mean anything. What is 4 stars on Invision telling me anyway!?
How to present your UX and Design Skills
I totally understand that there might be a number of UX skills, tools and proficiencies that you want to show off, and that as designers, we naturally tend towards a more visual way of displaying information. But to my mind, its an over-used pattern that you see in far too many CVs, and is also completely subjective. When everything is at 4 and 5 stars, it ends up being completely meaningless.
So how else can you present your UX and design skills effectively?
Don’t list each piece of software out
You actually don’t need to rank your proficiency on every piece of UX and Design kit out there.. I care more about your user-centred process than the exact configuration of software that you know. And, I know that you can always pick up and learn new tools.
Maybe instead of a list, just say somewhere that you are able to use a variety of the industry-standard design tools. In your portfolio, you can always list out exactly what software you used on the project if you think it adds value.
What’s different about you?
CV’s have limited space and so I’m of the opinion that you don’t need to treat everything equally. Whilst it is very tempting to make sure you’re mentioning everything that is great about you so that you can get that job, you really need to be ruthless about what makes the cut and how much priority it is given.
For example, if you’re a UX designer, everyone would expect that you are able to wireframe. They might not expect that you’re really great at prototyping in code. It might be worth grouping your skills into ones that you can get away with a cursory mention of (e.g. “I’m a whizz at sketching, wireframing and prototyping my way from ideation to chosen idea”) and the ones that you might actually want to spotlight out more (e.g. “I’m an expert at HTML, CSS and JS and love to prototype in code.”)
Ask yourself what are the key skills that you want to make sure a hiring manager takes note of?
Have you seen or used any better ways to visualise your skills on a CV? Or maybe you think I’m completely wrong! Shout in the comments?