As basic as it may seem, in our daily lives as recruiters and facilitators of various interviews, we are faced with inappropriate and worrying postures that are the result of a mistaken mentality about how to behave, end-to-end, in a selection process. These mistakes not only damage the very image of UX/UI Designers, but also hinder the recruiter from finding the ideal profile in the midst of so many inappropriate proposals. How can we avoid wasting time on both sides? Let's find out.
Being conditioned to devote your strategic way of thinking to the user, you are the product to which we are the users in a selective process. Yes, we do have a definite journey. You are present in different media (LinkedIn, Behance, Medium, among others), right? Analyzing coldly, these media have different purposes, which allow you to tell a complementary story (not different) about yourself. We will access all available media — therefore making us read the same texts in different places won’t impress positively. If you are a professional who finds solutions to problems, don't make us think that your process is based on reproduction.
In most cases these are the assessment paths we move on (making use of media):
Hard Skills: show us what how able you are today;
Experience: Who, with whom and for how long you have worked;
Soft Skills: What messages you send in the way you present yourself and conduct a conversation;
Other aggregating points: We check if there are any skills beyond design that can differentiate you;
Among other mistakes we have spotted with certain frequency, we consider the following two as being the most harmful to one’s image:
Have a career path: Ask yourself constantly and see if you really have the technical and personal skills required for the position (such as immediate start availability, or if you have the seniority the opportunity requires). If you don't get feedback from the people you sent your resume to, this is one of the main reasons: You've already taken the recruiter's time when he concludes that you don't have a job fit, something that could have been avoided - therefore you can be sure that he won't invest any more time on you by giving you feedback.
As we quoted in the homework article, it all starts with your portfolio. Excuses like "I don't have time to put together the portfolio", or "I'm a senior and I don't need a portfolio" are not acceptable: the assessment on seniority level starts with whether or not you have a presentable portfolio. Next, guiding your projects to prove your experience to the position in question is vital.
A real example: An Art Director brings in his past projects for relevant brands like Claro and Santander. When migrating to UX/UI, he presents these Art Direction projects together with other new ones from UX/UI, which were not made to relevant brands. The UX/UI recruiter receives the portfolio and is naturally impacted by the strong brands that are exposed, and seeing that none of these projects are UX/UI, he immediately concludes that "this profile is more of an Art Director than UX/UI". The recruiter discards the portfolio, not even looking at the projects of less relevant clients.
In this case, it doesn’t matter how much the professional had the ideal profile; his presentation led the recruiter to an incorrect interpretation about him. That's why we emphasize the importance of directing your portfolio to the position you are applying for. UX/UI demands portfolio and specific UX/UI experiences. He could have mentioned about his past as an Art Director or Graphic Designer in a brief description of his career, explaining how this previous knowledge still aggregates in the present day.
With homework done, you will probably be contacted by a recruiter (yes, there are only a few who get here). What is your procedure at this moment? Remember the signs we talked about earlier: The assessment of your Soft Skills starts at this point, so the way you approach the recruiter should illustrate your personality and skills with people.
Introduce yourself in the e-mail, not just attach your resume and links. Have a little trouble telling who you are. It sounds basic, but unfortunately it's very common. We've gotten to the point where we even receive unnamed emails from ghost recipients like firstname.lastname@example.org... You can't give us the trouble of having to look up your name; instead, say it right away (and preferably quote the job in question), and start the body of the email by talking directly about you.
We don’t have any objection as PDF portfolios, as long as they are lightweight. Do not attach heavy files, because in addition to loading our mailboxes, they may not even arrive, being barred directly by the server. Always prefer to show your work online, leaving the content of the email lighter and more practical sending just the main links.
We always assume that if you are applying for a particular position, it is because you have an interest. For this reason, we will work for you from this moment on, and we appreciate your total sincerity in the process to avoid wear on both sides.
Be on the lookout and do not take long to respond to the recruiter, either by email or WhatsApp. If you are guided to improve some specific point of your material, do so, and don't say something like "I will try to do that within the next few days". If the job doesn't have priority for you, don't apply. If you are involved in other selection processes, it will not rule you out, but it will demonstrate that you are responsible and professional. Be always 100% transparent.
In an interview, we are often faced with the embarrassment of the interviewee taking the lead by questioning the interviewer. It is you who are being interviewed: Speak only when an opportunity is given. The questions start from the other side, after all that's where the interest in you comes from. And when asked, answer objectively without firing a ready-made speech, giving the interviewer space to want to know more about you.
Be aware of the commitment you are making with the company that hires you, and be responsible: Accept the position with the mentality of fulfilling the contracted period. If you really can't fulfill the contracted period, be professional and communicate your departure to the company in advance, instead of abandoning the project overnight. Companies talk to each other, the market is small. Do not damage your image by letting the company down; you are a fundamental part of a project.
With these issues clarified, make sure that your margin of error when applying to vacancies will come close to zero. Companies expect professional postures from professionals. Even if you are still in training, looking for opportunities to start your career, companies timelessly value a good behavior that expresses attention to detail, respect, seriousness and commitment.