My UX Resume

The idea for creating came to me while reading Leah Buley’s ‘The User Experience Team of One’. I noted the variety of backgrounds she cites as being suitable for a jump into the world of User Experience. Her account made me think of my own experience and about the hilarious fact that the term User Experience is so broad that it fails to explain UXers’ skillsets.

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My Background
I studied Business with Marketing and Entrepreneurship in college, worked in Business Process Improvement in a large multinational, have a good deal of marketing/PR experience in my back pocket as well as CX experience from my volunteer roles. In 2013, I joined an online PR startup as the Account Manager (but was also responsible for website [our product] and all users) – this is where I fell in love with UX (and also picked up a lot of skill in working with clients). I’ve always been oddly empathic, but have a low tolerance for the world around me not behaving how I’d expect it to.

So as you can see I’m coming to UX from an atypical position also, but it’s a sensible* journey; my marketing background brings with it research knowledge, creative problem solving and communication/presentation abilities. My BPI days highlight strategic thinking, project management. And my personality shows I’m interested in finding a human centric solution. While I bring zero technical abilities to the table, I am quite well rounded with the conceptual aspects.

Added to this the fact that I recently relocated from Ireland to Chicago for an intensive UX apprenticeship programme, where I got to learn the principals of design before working in an agency setting for three months. I have since returned to Ireland and have notched further UX experience under my belt, this time as a contractor.

Mix-Matching UXers
I think my story is logical and I have marked out my CV (resume) to display my strengths quite effectively (in which I also highlight my lack of perfected UI skills). However, almost every recruiter that has found me has failed to decipher that my strengths lie in PM, Discovery and Iteration, but not in UI. Now, don’t get me wrong – I am constantly looking to improve myself and this includes rolling my sleeves up and playing around in Illustrator, but if you are putting me forward for a role that is primarily UI, I would hope that there folks with better qualifications for the position than I!

The thing is, UX and UI are inextricably linked and recruiters don’t have the time to be reviewing my work experience and background to figure out if I am the type of UX expert this company requires.

Standardising the Layout
My UX Resume Day2 2It’s not, by any means, an original thought or frustration, but with the words of the book swarming around my head I began thinking about a standardised badge which UXers could display to exclaim what type of UX skills they possess (and which they don’t). I looked at a lot of job openings before creating the list and found 14 key abilities that would indicate a candidate’s suitability for a UX role. With a score-sheet recruiters can look at their open role and see if this candidate claims to have the experiences or abilities to deliver. The UX Scorecard matches how a hiring manager might think:

  • Needs to lead projects, so how are their project management skills?
  • Needs to sell designs to clients, so what are there communication / presentation skills?
  • Will be conducting Research (but wont be deciding methodology) so needs some experience, but not a lot, in the User Research realm.
  • Needs to be able to create UX deliverables (personas, user journeys, etc), so would like to see high level of experience there.
  • But we have UI and Devs who will be working with them so, as long as they are able to communicate with those teams, they don’t need much skill here.

Its self scored, so its not scientific – but I’m excited about this little project because it does two things, it highlights the wide breath of information a UXer is expected to have an understanding of, and it provides applicants (such as myself) and UX evangelists a great way to communicate our abilities in a positive and clear manner.

I’m not sure if the score-sheets will take off, but I would love it if it kickstarted a conversation about what it means to be a UXer and the dynamic nature of the field.


*Side note: I just realised that while ‘nonsensical’ is a word, ‘sensical’ is not officially in the dictionary. Yet ‘Twerking’ and ‘Meh’ have recently gotten the nod of approval – the world never ceases to amaze me.

*Additional side note: If you are looking for a UXer with my skillsets and liked what you read above, please get in touch with me as I am currently seeking full time or contract work. 🙂