Are you struggling to land your dream UX Designer position, or not even getting called in for interviews? It's a common experience for many professionals, even those with excellent portfolios.
In a recruitment and selection process, it's not enough to possess all the technical qualifications.
Sometimes, it's the small attitudes that make all the difference in securing the job. The lack of these details can be crucial and might prevent you from getting the UX position you desire.
In this article, we've mapped out the top 11 mistakes that could be hindering your success. Check out the list and get ready to ace your next job hunt!
1) Having a 100-page resume
Of course, showing your experience on your resume is important. However, you don't need to put your work experience when you were a young apprentice in your uncle's grocery store 20 years ago.
Think that recruiters receive hundreds of resumes for one job opening. Be concise, but don't take away information that is really important.
Organize your resume in such a way that the recruiter will feel invited to read it. Think about titles, font size, and number of pages. Make sure the reader doesn't get bored.
You never thought you should apply user experience concepts to your resume, did you? But why not? Think of the recruiter as your user!
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2) Not adapting your resume for UX Design
It is not enough to hand in your resume with a bunch of information without first having it shaped appropriately for the position.
It's good to have your information and experience aligned with the job you're applying for. If it is a position in UX Design, be sure to make it clear that you have experience in this area, or that you have the necessary skills.
Understand what kind of professional the company is looking for and what responsibilities are described for the position. In this way, you can highlight your knowledge and experience that best fits what the company is looking for.
3) Having a superficial resume
Many candidates put only superficial information on their resumes. They are satisfied to write only the name of the company and the position they held there.
But this practice is not recommended, especially since the interviewers also want to understand a little about the activities you performed.
Therefore, describe your responsibilities in each of the experiences you had. List the projects, what you learned, and the challenges of each position you held. In this way, the recruiter will get to know you better and understand if your profile is compatible with what they are looking for.
If you do not provide these details about your professional life, the chance of the recruiter discarding your resume right away is very high.
But don't forget: provide more details in your resume and adapt it for the position you are looking for, according to item number 2 on this list.
4) Lying on the resume
Nobody likes to be lied to, least of all recruiters. Placing false information on your resume only causes inconvenience and calls into question your values and your character.
Moreover, it is common in UX to apply practical tests in the selection process. If you have lied about a skill, you won't pass the tests and you will find yourself in an embarrassing situation.
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5) Not updating your Linkedin profile
LinkedIn is a social network that promotes networking and enables companies to hire professionals. Because of this, it is extremely important to have an updated profile on LinkedIn.
You will not only have an online resume but also the opportunity to connect with companies and other professionals and create new job opportunities.
Many recruiters and HR companies use LinkedIn to search for new professionals, so it is essential that you are present and know how to use this tool correctly.
Reading Tip: LinkedIn for Designers: Tips to Boost Your Profile
6) Not making a cover letter
When sending your resume, it is also recommended that you introduce yourself in the body of the email. Write who you are, what your professional goals are, and why there is interest in the position.
This presentation is also known as a cover letter and is often mandatory. It is an interesting way for you to stand out and make the recruiter interested in reading your résumé. Instead of simply writing in the body of the email: "Please find attached the resume". PS: Sometimes the email is even sent without a resume attached! Be careful, pay attention to details.
Although this cover letter is important, pay attention to its length. It is not necessary to tell your whole life story. Be direct, objective, and polite. You will certainly go up a bit in the recruiter's estimation for your concern in presenting yourself.
7) Not studying the company that is offering the job
Before having an interview, research the company and its employees. Look for information such as
- Goals, values, and mission;
- The market the company operates in;
- The size of the company;
- What products it offers;
- Who the main collaborators are and how do they see the company.
Knowing the company opens up a two-way conversation at the time of the interview. You will be able to associate the responsibilities of the position with the company's moment and its goals. In addition, you will have the chance to think about whether the market they operate in is one you are interested in working in.
8) Not asking questions
Many people forget or don't know that a job interview is a two-way street. It is the recruiter's chance to get to know you and also for you to get to know the company.
Therefore, think in advance about the questions you would like to ask. Don't be afraid to ask. After all, it is your professional life, and asking is the best way to understand if the position is aligned with your goals. Or even if the company offers the opportunities and benefits you are looking for.
That initial research about the company, its employees, and the position being offered will help you craft these questions before the interview.
Reading Tip: The Multidisciplinary World of UX Design
9) Not worrying about the speech
Although companies and their processes are modernizing and becoming more informal, you still need to be careful when you are in an interview.
It is important to pay attention to some points regarding the way you express yourself:
- Avoid the use of slang and swear words;
- Be careful with your gestures and body expression;
- Do not speak badly about the company where you currently work or have worked.
Also, evaluate the company to understand how best to behave in the interview. For example, for a bank, the interview will probably have a more serious tone. In the case of an agency, the tone may be more informal. Of course, this view is not a rule, but it can help you in the interview.
10) Not using Keywords in the resume
For a single job opening, a recruiter may receive hundreds or even thousands of resumes. We can already imagine that reading all the documents is an impossible job. That's why there is software that filters resumes by searching for keywords.
For example, if the position requires fluent English and Spanish, the search engine will select the resumes that have these characteristics and discard the rest.
So it is essential to use keywords in your resume to stand out. Understand the needs of the position and build the text and descriptions using the best words. Don't just throw in terms randomly. Keywords have to be part of a context and make sense within your resume.
11) Not presenting your portfolio
For a UX Designer, the portfolio is extremely important. It is through it that the company can evaluate your work and understand if your skills suit the needs of the company.
Also, a portfolio is necessary if you don't have any experience in UX Design yet. Many MID students put the course exercises in their portfolios, and because of this, they were able to pass their interviews.
"…during the MID program I was building my portfolio through the proposed UX, UI, and redesign projects and the meticulous guidance of the mentors and the help of the Aela Community on Slack. So, everything I was doing, I used as a resource to build my portfolio and present it in the interviews." – Fábia Coelho, MID course student.
However, putting together a portfolio is not just about putting up the final results of the projects/exercises you've done. Use Storytelling techniques in your portfolio to show recruiters the whole process of your projects.
Reading Tip: 7 Mistakes to Avoid In Your UX Design Portfolio
Passing a UX design job/interview requires more than your technical skills. Keep in mind all the mistakes we list here and avoid them as much as possible.