To recap, there are 5 things wrong with most UX writer resumes:
- They provide too much context
- The reader can’t understand the impact you had in a glance
- They focus on your responsibilities, not what you accomplished
- They don’t explain how your past roles are relevant to UX writing
- They’re generic, and not specific to a certain job
A bad UX writer resume looks something like this:
So, what does this “good” UX writer resume look like?
A “good” UX writer resume looks something like this:
Looking pretty different, huh? Maybe even a little… scary? You might even be thinking, “Slater, this is pretty bare bones. This… is what works?”
Yup. This bad boy landed me UX writing jobs at companies like Netflix, Fitbit, Afterpay, and more.
Adding on to everything we learned in JB#8, there are a few strategic resume moves that land you the interview:
- Optimizing for readability, so your relevancy can be understood in a glance
- Focusing on the impact and value you had, not your responsibilities
- Creating space for relevant, non-job-related projects to shine
1. Optimizing for readability, so your relevancy can be understood in a glance
The recruiter spends mere seconds on your entire application.
That’s because you’re at the beginning stages of the hiring process, and are unfortunately, one piece of (digital) paper in a stack of hundreds.
To fight that system, you need to show the reader you’re relevant and interesting enough to learn more about. And you need to do that in a glance’s time.
The best way to do that? Optimize for readability. If your resume is easily scannable, the recruiter will pick things up, and you’ll move forward.
To optimize for readability:
- Strategically use visible keywords
- Use a three-line (max) sentence, not bullet points, for role descriptions
- Neatly organize sections with lots of whitespace
Let me explain…
1. Strategically use visible keywords
This resume may look simple, but there’s a lot goin’ on behind the scenes. Specifically when it comes to strategically using keywords to make your relevancy known in a glance.
There are three areas to strategically use keywords to quickly show you’re a fit for the role:
1. Putting the job title keyword under your name
2. Putting channels (or mediums) the job description requests in its own section
3. Putting tools the job description requests in its own section
By making these keywords highly visible in their own neck of the woods, someone scanning your resume can quickly pick up that you have the qualifications the job demands.
2. Use a three-line (max) sentence, not bullet points, for role descriptions
A wall of bullet points is hard to read. A concise sentence that’s only a few (short) lines long is easily skimmable. See for yourself:
When you truncate your role description to only focus on what you accomplished, and do that succinctly, the reader can more quickly pick up if you’re relevant and interesting enough to learn more about. And that’s how you’ll move forward to the interview round.
3. Neatly organize sections with lots of whitespace
Whitespace goes a long way in terms of readability.
A lab research conducted by Wichita State University, “Properly using whitespace between paragraphs and in the left and right margins can increase comprehension up to 20%.”
And when it comes to applying for jobs, we need every percent we can get.
Ditch the wall of text, use concise sections 👍
2. It focuses on the impact and value you had, not your responsibilities
I mentioned in JB#8 that you get one take-away per role of yours. And ya gotta make that take-away count.
By emphasizing the company-wide impact and not your day-to-day tasks, the reader quickly understands the importance of your role and has something to be interested in and want to learn more about. And that’s what we’re after when it comes to the UX writer resume.
When writing your short, just-a-few-lines role description, think about what you accomplished during your time in the role. What mark did you leave? What was the value of having you on the team? How did you contribute toward the company’s growth?
Get high-level here, and give yourself credit where credit is due.
Impact > tasks
3. It creates space for relevant, non-job-related projects to shine
Have you done some UX writer-ly things that you can’t find a good space for on your resume? Maybe it wasn’t really a job, but a project that you’d love to showcase, but where does it go? 🤔
Well, in this magical template, there’s room to let those experiences shine:
Pam here can now put “UX writer” on her resume, even though it was a volunteer project with the Scranton Humane Society. And this adds a ton of value to the reader, because she’s able to showcase that she knows the UX writing dealio.
If you’ve done volunteer projects, have a side hustle, or have a personal project where you’ve done some real-deal UX writing, put it on your resume.
If you haven’t and are struggling to land a UX writing job, considering starting for finding a project — now you have a place to put it :)
To sum it all up, here’s the difference between what a bad UX writer resume and a good UX writer resume looks like:
Happy UX writing 🖖