Resume question

29 Jan 2004 - 7:09pm
10 years ago
11 replies
669 reads
George Schneiderman
2004

Hello everyone.

I'm a recently laid-off interaction designer, currently looking for
work (in NYC).

Several people have advised me to put a "technologies" section on my
resume, including the programming languages used on the projects I've
worked on. I'm a bit reluctant to do this, because I don't want people
to misconstrue it as implying that I know these languages, nor do I
particularly want to put in a disclaimer stating that I don't really
know them. Although I have an undergrad CS degree, it's been a while
since I last did any serious programming, and I'm not especially fond
of it. I also haven't programmed in the languages that have been used
on the projects I've worked on as an interaction designer and business
analyst.

However, the people who have advised me to add such a section to my
resume include a couple of recruiters (none of whom "get" what we do,
in my experience), and a friend whose job responsibilities include
reviewing resumes and hiring for a technology company. So I don't want
to be block-headed about this and blow off their advice.

Any suggestions on how to tackle this?

--George Schneiderman

Comments

30 Jan 2004 - 8:54am
Coryndon Luxmoore
2004

George,
I have found that people want to make see if you have designed for specific
platforms or technologies. My 2 cents is that you should add the technology
platform that you have designed for as part of describing previous project
experience.

Piss poor example: - Led design team for design of a java swing online
trading system

If you must have a separate technology section consider adding some context.

Like:
- Designed UI's delivered for multiple platforms including:
- Worked with technical teams to design interfaces using the following
technologies:

--Coryndon

-----Original Message-----
From:
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.
com] On Behalf Of george Schneiderman
Sent: Thursday, January 29, 2004 8:09 PM
To: discuss at interactiondesigners.com
Subject: [ID Discuss] Resume question

Hello everyone.

I'm a recently laid-off interaction designer, currently looking for work (in
NYC).

Several people have advised me to put a "technologies" section on my resume,
including the programming languages used on the projects I've worked on.
I'm a bit reluctant to do this, because I don't want people to misconstrue
it as implying that I know these languages, nor do I particularly want to
put in a disclaimer stating that I don't really know them. Although I have
an undergrad CS degree, it's been a while since I last did any serious
programming, and I'm not especially fond of it. I also haven't programmed
in the languages that have been used on the projects I've worked on as an
interaction designer and business analyst.

However, the people who have advised me to add such a section to my resume
include a couple of recruiters (none of whom "get" what we do, in my
experience), and a friend whose job responsibilities include reviewing
resumes and hiring for a technology company. So I don't want to be
block-headed about this and blow off their advice.

Any suggestions on how to tackle this?

--George Schneiderman

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30 Jan 2004 - 10:35am
Elizabeth Buie
2004

George,

I would definitely advise you to list the tools and technologies with
which you are familiar. This has two advantages in that it tells them two
things:

1. You can actually build prototypes to convey your design ideas. (HTML,
Dreamweaver, and Photoshop are at the top of my list, for this reason.)
2. You know how to talk to developers.

I find both of these abilities immensely helpful in my work. Now I just
have to make time to learn a little JavaScript. :-)

Elizabeth, who is not looking for a job but who uses her resume to promote
internal consultation on company projects

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30 Jan 2004 - 11:27am
FelcanSmith, Mark
2004

George, I have included a 3 part section just under my summary of
qualifications. This 3 part section includes:
--Techniques and Methodologies (mostly UCD related practices...)
--Languages (in which I included those that I know and those with which
I had been exposed to on various projects. I don't consider this
misleading because of the type of work I do (IxD). e.g. It could make or
break you as a candidate if you have never worked in a .NET environment,
even though you aren't necessarily doing the coding)
--Tools (various apps used in the various UCD disciplines, as well as
application delivery vehicles/methods)

I also then reference the specific technique/methodology/language/tool
in the description of the project detail.

HTH
--Mark

-----Original Message-----
From:
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesign
ers.com]On Behalf Of george Schneiderman
Sent: Thursday, January 29, 2004 7:09 PM
To: discuss at interactiondesigners.com
Subject: [ID Discuss] Resume question

Hello everyone.

I'm a recently laid-off interaction designer, currently looking for
work (in NYC).

Several people have advised me to put a "technologies" section on my
resume, including the programming languages used on the projects I've
worked on. I'm a bit reluctant to do this, because I don't want people
to misconstrue it as implying that I know these languages, nor do I
particularly want to put in a disclaimer stating that I don't really
know them. Although I have an undergrad CS degree, it's been a while
since I last did any serious programming, and I'm not especially fond
of it. I also haven't programmed in the languages that have been used
on the projects I've worked on as an interaction designer and business
analyst.

However, the people who have advised me to add such a section to my
resume include a couple of recruiters (none of whom "get" what we do,
in my experience), and a friend whose job responsibilities include
reviewing resumes and hiring for a technology company. So I don't want
to be block-headed about this and blow off their advice.

Any suggestions on how to tackle this?

--George Schneiderman

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discuss at interactiondesigners.com
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30 Jan 2004 - 12:49pm
Josh Seiden
2003

Blow off their advice.

Speaking now as a hiring manager, when I'm looking to
hire interaction designers, I never look at
"technologies" sections. In fact, when I see one, I
wonder if the person "gets it" or is really looking for
(or is better suited to) a development job.

That said, some of my colleagues are pleased when a
resume that I tout has evidence of broader technical
skills.

My preferred solution is to see either a skills
section, in which you note the technology platforms for
which you have produced design solutions, or better, a
project highlights section that lists technology
platform alongside the design accomplishment.

Finally, if you list the languages you know, the folks
who like that will probably want you to use one of
them...

Thanks,
JS

30 Jan 2004 - 12:56pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Forget the resume! Jump to the portfolio!

Show me the money.

While I like reading resumes, when I receive a cover and resume together the
first thing I do is look at the portfolio. I won't even bother reading the
resume if what I see in the portfolio doesn't work for me.

Then the resume will give me more information about how you got to do these
wonderful pieces, who were they for and in what context.

This will make or break you getting to my desk. Then when you are at my desk
I want you to present your portfolio like you would to a stakeholder.

Finally, laugh ... If you can't laugh you won't be fun to work for. ;)

Lastly (really!), don't go for vanilla. It can be real easy to say I don't
want to offend anyone, but taking a chance will most likely help you stand
out of the crowd, and if you are yourself, and you stood out positively to
that hiring manager, then you most likely will gel w/ that person.

-- dave

30 Jan 2004 - 1:02pm
Elizabeth Buie
2004

Josh Seiden writes:

>Finally, if you list the languages you know, the folks
>who like that will probably want you to use one of
>them...

This reminds me of days of old when women were advised not to let a
potential employer know we could type. :-)

Elizabeth (who remembers those days)

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30 Jan 2004 - 1:02pm
Elizabeth Buie
2004

Josh Seiden writes:

>Blow off their advice.
>
>Speaking now as a hiring manager, when I'm looking to
>hire interaction designers, I never look at
>"technologies" sections.

That's you, Josh.

I find it useful, because managers who are considering having me help out
on a project find it useful. Not so much for the details but for the two
advantages I mentioned (particularly the latter). Knowing enough about
the technology to be able to talk to the developers in those terms can be
a make-or-break issue for the success of IxD on some projects.

All perspectives are good to have. I don't think anyone here should be
telling anyone to "blow off" anyone else's advice.

Elizabeth

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30 Jan 2004 - 1:02pm
nhoh
2004

One thing about portfolios that I rarely see and I
would love to see more is a blurb about how a person
got to the final design, what obstacles did they have
to overcome to get to the design. I find just looking
at someone's portfolio doesn't really tell me much.
Yeah it looks good and seems to work for me but am I
the target audience? I want to crawl inside their head
a little, show me what designs you came up with and
why did you choose the one you finally came up with.
Yeah I know I'm supposed to do that in the interview
but getting a sneak preview while going through
someone's portfolio makes a big impression on me! Just
my little Friday rant.

Cheers,

Nick

--- David Heller <dave at interactiondesigners.com>
wrote:
> Forget the resume! Jump to the portfolio!
>
> Show me the money.
>
> While I like reading resumes, when I receive a cover
> and resume together the
> first thing I do is look at the portfolio. I won't
> even bother reading the
> resume if what I see in the portfolio doesn't work
> for me.
>
> Then the resume will give me more information about
> how you got to do these
> wonderful pieces, who were they for and in what
> context.
>
> This will make or break you getting to my desk. Then
> when you are at my desk
> I want you to present your portfolio like you would
> to a stakeholder.
>
> Finally, laugh ... If you can't laugh you won't be
> fun to work for. ;)
>
> Lastly (really!), don't go for vanilla. It can be
> real easy to say I don't
> want to offend anyone, but taking a chance will most
> likely help you stand
> out of the crowd, and if you are yourself, and you
> stood out positively to
> that hiring manager, then you most likely will gel
> w/ that person.
>
> -- dave
>
> _______________________________________________
> Interaction Design Discussion List
> discuss at interactiondesigners.com
> --
> to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest):
> http://discuss.interactiondesigners.com
> --
> Questions: lists at interactiondesigners.com
> --
> Announcement Online List (discussion list members
> get announcements already)
> http://interactiondesigners.com/announceList/
> --
> http://interactiondesigners.com/

30 Jan 2004 - 2:06pm
boese
2004

Hey Elizabeth, I remember those days too!

Chris

>Josh Seiden writes:
>
>>Finally, if you list the languages you know, the folks
>>who like that will probably want you to use one of
>>them...
>
>This reminds me of days of old when women were advised not to let a
>potential employer know we could type. :-)
>
>Elizabeth (who remembers those days)
>
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>This is a PRIVATE message. If you are not the intended recipient, please
>delete without copying and kindly advise us by e-mail of the mistake in
>delivery. NOTE: Regardless of content, this e-mail shall not operate to
>bind CSC to any order or other contract unless pursuant to explicit
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>e-mail for such purpose.
>----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>_______________________________________________
>Interaction Design Discussion List
>discuss at interactiondesigners.com
>--
>to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest):
>http://discuss.interactiondesigners.com
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>--
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30 Jan 2004 - 3:39pm
Josh Seiden
2003

> > Josh Seiden writes:
> > Blow off their advice.

> Elizabeth Buie writes:
> That's you, Josh.

Of course. Advice always says more about the giver than
about the problem.

> All perspectives are good to have. I don't think
anyone here
> should be
> telling anyone to "blow off" anyone else's advice.

That remark was intended in the spirit of fun--I was
quoting loosely from the original query. Apologies if
I've offended anyone.

JS

30 Jan 2004 - 3:40pm
Elizabeth Buie
2004

Josh Seiden writes:

>That remark was intended in the spirit of fun--I was
>quoting loosely from the original query. Apologies if
>I've offended anyone.

Spirit can sometimes be hard to convey or interpret in email, can't it?
I've been misunderstood myself, more than a few times.

Thanks for this, Josh. Apology accepted.

Elizabeth

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This is a PRIVATE message. If you are not the intended recipient, please
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bind CSC to any order or other contract unless pursuant to explicit
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e-mail for such purpose.
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