I began my research on how to visually design my CV by creating a mood board of outcomes that I felt were appropriate and well designed. I wanted my outcome to be minimal, cover all of the important facts and incorporate my personal brand. I thought it would be interesting to also take some time to look at outcomes that were slightly more unique and try to incorporate some more individualistic elements into my outcome. I have included examples of this above. I love the cleaners and the professionalism of the black background in the CV placed bottom row centre. What particularly drew my attention to this outcome what that it still maintained a strong level of professionalism however is stands out vastly from the rest. However, when I considered printing and how this might affect the readability of the outcome I decided that a black outcome would only be a feasible outcome if done well and printed properly. As I was concerned that I about the cost of going to a professional printer I decided to rule this out early on.
Another concept that caught my attention was the CV shown above, bottom left. This outcome is presented entirely as HTML code. I thought this was a really fun and memorable approach. Had my area of focus been more heavily based on coding this would have been an approach that I would have seriously considered. However, as my focus is on Design I felt that using an HTML template for my CV would be confusing. Yet I still think this is a very interesting outcome and would love to come up with a playful outcome like this for my own CV.
Another outcome that I thought was interesting was the above. The inclusion of a QR code on a CV would be particularly useful if the CV was being physically sent to an employer. It could also be an interesting way to encourage future employers to visit my portfolio website.
I thought the above outcome also had a very memorable feel however a definite concern would be that it may present a lack of professionalism. This outcome may however be appropriate for studio’s that are more relaxed, they may find this outcome refreshing and different and appreciate this colourful approach. However, this would not be a risk that I would want to take. Though, I could consider including some of the elements found in the above outcome such as incorporating icons and colour coding different sections of my CV.
The final outcome I looked at that I felt had a unique twist was the above. I really like the inclusion of brightly coloured numbers to highlight each section. This is another interesting and slightly more understated approach that I would like to experiment with, in my own CV.
Overall I am also particularly drawn to the grid structures shown in the numerous examples shown above. This is an approach I will definitely be using in my own CV and will therefore look at how to incorporate a grid structure in more detail in a future post.
How to create a CV that will appeal to a UX hiring manager
I also wanted to consider how to create a CV that would appeal to a UX hiring manager a found a great article on the topic.
Here Dávid Pásztor provides an overview of what UX hiring managers are looking for in a CV. One of the things pointed out early on is that skills are an important part of what hiring managers are looking for such as prototyping, copywriting, research, user testing, coding and visual design. I, therefore, need to take time and really focus on what skills I am going to include in my CV as I cannot for example include user testing as I have never done user testing however I can include visual design etc.
It is also noted that Hiring managers will filter CV’s by narrowing the list down to candidates that “reach the bar”. For this, they are looking for past experience and key skills. In my case, I feel I have an edge as I have completed a degree in Psychology. This is closely linked to the type of research carried out in UX so this is a point I want to labour and may include my education higher up in my CV as a result.
The general structure of a CV is outlined in this post as well which matches up to the structure provided in our lecture on the topic. Another point to consider highlighted in this post is keeping it short. It is advised to keep your CV at 1 page. This is something I really struggle with. My current CV sits at 3 pages. As my past experience is not necessarily tied to a UX role exactly I was to explain where the overlap exists. However, I will attempt to whittle my CV down to 1 page when I am looking for graduate jobs as my placement (hopefully I will receive a placement opportunity) will clearly display my experience in the job title alone.
Advice is also provided on using your space wisely. The tips provided here include:
- Write for the role you are targeting
- Don’t include irrelevant information
- Remove unnecessary pronouns
It was also advised to leave out references as recruiters expect references on request. This is something I am not sure of as I have always worked on the basis that you should include your references on your CV. However, this is something I will look more closely into a may consider in future.
Posting your CV
I wanted to explore some different ways to post my CV.
The first idea I came up with was posting my cover letter and CV in a mailer box. Ideally, you want to get something like this personally branded so that you are presenting a consistent visual. The problem I feel that may come with is that you are only posting a few pages so even the smallest size will likely be too deep.
Another particularly cool packaging option I came across was noissue Kraft Mailers. This is such a fun way to send your CV as you can personalise the design on the front of the envelope and make it as simple or as out there as you like. However, the downside to this approach is the cost which comes out at £395.00+VAT for the minimum order of 250. I doubt I’ll be applying to 250 different jobs in my lifetime let alone for placement so I would have to find an alternative supplier for this option.
Padded envelopes are another option that is definitely more within my price range. These come in a variety of colours and textures and could be embellished with a few brand stickers to keep the outcome interesting and unique. However, the is no requirement for padding when sending a CV or letter which concerns me slightly as it may be viewed by the hiring manager as inappropriately applied to my choice of packaging.
Another option would be posting my CV and cover letter in a carrier bag. This would be purposeful as it is water-resistant. Living in Ireland rain proofing is a well-known concern for anyone planning on carrying anything outside even for a moment. However, I would need to perhaps include an envelope or some sort of stabilizing card inside the carrier bag to stabilise the pages and prevent them from becoming creased which may look a little strange.
A postal tube is probably my favourite approach to sending a CV and cover letter as it is so unique and is fitting for the content being sent. However, as this was the example provided in the lecture if I were to adopt this approach I would want to add in an individual element such as using a triangular postal tube, though this pay crease the pages.
Finally, I considered high quality coloured envelopes. By simply using a slightly more uniquely coloured envelope I could help myself to stand out from other applicants with this delivery approach. While it might not be the most exciting delivery method it is the most cost-effective. There is also the potential to make an impact with this delivery method by adding personalised stickers/ labels with your brand.
It was really great to inspiration from how others have designed their CVs. I also enjoyed looking at the more unique outcomes as well. While I’m not sure I would have the confidence to adopt any of the more unique approaches it is still good to get an understanding of what my options are. It is also helpful to consider how best to structure the information on my CV given my background as well as how to present a hard copy version. I am quite excited to experiment with different approaches to my hard copy version. However, I do feel that the coloured envelope option, is a good approach that while perhaps a little safe, should hopefully still have notable impact.