How to write a better resume by writing what you do now as a designer.
Fri, Dec 27, 19
4 minute read

How to write a better resume by writing what you do now as a designer.

I've been doing work as a senior-level product designer this past year. Here's how I would write my resume, if I had to get hired for doing what I do now.

Darian Rosebrook's avatar— by Darian Rosebrook

I saw this tweet from a twitter friend. I thought this was a pretty useful idea, so I figured I would give it a try.

To outsmart yourself, try writing a job description for the persona your team would need to hire to replace your role, that my friend is basically your new resume! Thinking of this in 3rd person (what this person needs to deliver & is accountable for) is your reverse resume. 😜

— Shagane (@shaganebl) December 27, 2019

Writing a job description is hard. There are lots of resources out there to learn how to write one, and knowledge from every other posting you’ve seen out there, especially if the job descriptions have tons of red flags. You probably have an idea of what needs to be included when you write yours.

I’ve been doing work as a senior-level product designer this past year. The role has been challenging from the start, and I’ve gotten connected to other areas of the design process I never had access to before. After everything I’ve gone through, I’ve had to grow along the way to fill the shoes of who they need to help lead the design effort on our product.

I want to face a challenge to learn in the roles that I take part in, and not just about my position, but how it engages with the others around it.

I’ve been very blessed to have had access to that kind of role here at Microsoft this year on this contract. Funnily enough, I was hired without a job description. I was never given one the entire time I’ve worked here. Inside the teams that I’ve been able to work with, I’ve received a massive amount of responsibility with the freedom to define my own role.

Here is what my job description would say if I wrote it for what I’m doing now as a designer

These are things that I do in my role with Microsoft as a Product Designer 3 with a little dash of what other things I’ve done as a finishing garnish :P

About the role

As a Senior Product Designer, you would be a voice at the table between Product Managers, Engineering, and Design. You will attend meetings centered around product planning and discuss high-level user experience principles and considerations to help our company start projects with designing ideal experiences.

You will be responsible for making sure that the goals of both the consumer and the business are satisfied. You aren’t afraid to speak up if the fundamental requirements of either side of this symbiotic relationship are left out.

You will need to produce high quality, beautifully designed experiences under limited supervision that accomplish both party’s goals. The mockups and design resources you build will need to both adhere to and help set the standard for our product design system and design guidelines.

You will need to be comfortable with building out a robust design process for the team, mapping and improving that process, and helping onboard new team members to our work environment. This job also includes making sure that the tooling and resources we use are always up to par with the growing requirements of product design.

You will need to oversee, lead, and approve the team’s design choices before they make it into the product, giving constructive and actionable feedback should it not meet our standards of quality experiences.

You will also need to help document the measurable impact of design in ways that can be presented to and evangelized by stakeholders.

You are excited and capable of helping mentor and lead other team members to elevate the whole team.

Your background:

Some Nice-to-Haves

This is just a snapshot of what I do at my role that I feel is fairly unique or important to the work I do now. It will be good to reflect upon this later as I start building out the case study for my work here at Microsoft.

Now, put your written job description back in the first person view

By taking what you wrote about your position, you can then start to craft your resume to help you find roles that better suit what you do now.

Better yet, you now have a formula to start deciding if this is how you want to keep working in the future as well. Now that you’ve spent some time reflecting on this, decide what should stay and what should go. Write down some things you would love to have included in there that you currently aren’t able to do in your role. Set a goal to find work like that.

I hope this helps you find out what you’re capable of, and here’s to us and the new year, growing together as designers.

Let me know if there’s anything I can help with!

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