Whether you just graduated or you're looking to move into a senior role, the product design field has many opportunities for advancement. The first step to landing a great opportunity is creating an eye-catching product designer resume to share with potential employers and recruiters. This guide explains everything you need to know to write a product design resume that helps you get noticed.
What makes a great product design resume?
Like any professional resume, a great product designer resume makes it easy for potential hiring managers to determine whether you meet the requirements outlined in the job description. Recruiters and hiring managers don't have much time to review each application, so you need to put the most important information at the top of the page.
A great product designer resume also contains relevant keywords. Many companies use screening software to reduce the amount of time it takes to review incoming applications and determine if they warrant further consideration. When posting a new job, the recruiter or hiring manager enters keywords related to the required work experience, skills, abilities, degrees, and professional certifications. If your resume doesn't have those keywords, the company might reject your application before a human has even looked at it.
Lastly, a great product designer resume is customized to the job you're applying for. Creating one single resume and sending it to every company you apply to is not going to attract attention from hiring managers. You need to tailor your resume carefully to ensure each version highlights why you're a good fit for the job.
Responsibilities of a Product Designer
A product designer is responsible for identifying opportunities for new products, determining if those products meet the needs of buyers, and setting product design requirements. In many cases, new products are tangible items, such as toys or gaming consoles.
After they're designed, these products go through the manufacturing process and end up on retail shelves for consumers to buy. Product designers also work with digital products, including e-books, iOS, and Android apps, membership sites, printable calendars, and software.
Product designers typically carry out the following duties:
- Analyzing the market to identify unmet needs
- Conducting research to determine user requirements
- Using briefs to develop design criteria
- Creating wireframes and prototypes
- Making sketches and developing mockups
- Using design software to create product components
- Developing new features for existing products
- Performing usability testing
- Soliciting feedback from key stakeholders
- Working with colleagues to develop product design strategies
Art by Sebastian Petravic
Product Designer Skills
Hiring managers want to know that you have the skills needed to perform the duties listed in a job description. Although you can expect some slight variations from company to company, employers usually want to hire product designers with these skills:
- User interface design, including front-end development and experience with user interaction design
- Visual design, including the ability to create layouts using basic design principles
- User research, including data collection
- User experience design, including wireframing, prototyping, and information architecture
- Figma, Adobe XD, and other software packages used for product development, UX design, and UI design
These are all "hard skills," or the technical skills required to perform a specific job. As a product designer, you'll also need some soft skills, such as the ability to collaborate with others, apply constructive feedback, and communicate with stakeholders. Excellent problem-solving skills are a must.
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What should a product design resume include?
Every product design resume should include some basic information about your professional experience, education, and skills. You should also make it easy for the hiring manager to view your portfolio and contact you to schedule an interview. Improve your chances of landing an interview by making sure your resume includes the following components.
✔️ Contact Information
If a recruiter glances at your resume and likes what they see, it should be easy for them to contact you to schedule an interview. Don't give them a reason to skip to the next person by hiding your contact information at the bottom of your resume or in a separate cover letter. Put your email address right at the top of the first page.
✔️ Work Experience
Here's where you get to tell potential employers about your relevant work experience. Whether you have experience with web design, product management, UI design, or a little bit of everything, it's important to describe your work in terms of the results you achieved for previous employers or clients.
"Created product designs" doesn't sound impressive, but "Designed 12 new products over a 3-year period, bringing in $18 million in revenue" does. If you don't have specific results to report, at least be specific about what you did at each job. "Designed brochures, website layouts, signs, posters, and other marketing materials for a grocery chain with 500 stores" is a bit more descriptive than "Designed marketing materials" or "Assisted with marketing."
If you're applying for an entry-level job after graduating from college, list any internships or work-study positions you held while you were in school. Be as specific as possible about what you did and what you learned.
Pro tip: For each job, list the job title, the employer's name, and your dates of employment. Consider using bulleted lists to organize your job duties and accomplishments. Bullets make it easier for hiring managers to skim your resume and find the information they need.
“Lean on your past case studies to see what wins you can pull that might be worth including in your resume.” — Sarah Doody, UX Career Coach
✔️ Educational Credentials
Not all employers require a degree, but you may have an edge over other applicants if you list one on your resume. For each degree or certificate program you completed, list the name of the educational institution, the dates you attended, and the full name of the degree. If you're still in school and don't have much work experience, list some of your most relevant courses.
Obtaining a professional certification shows potential employers that you're committed to enhancing your skill set. It may also give you an advantage when applying for product design jobs. List the full name of each certification, along with the date you qualified and the name of the granting body. Here's an example:
Product Design Certification
Dribbble's Product Design Academy
October 3, 2022
As noted earlier, your resume should be customized for each job opening. That means you shouldn't include the same list of skills every time you apply for a job. If one company focuses on industrial design and another is more involved in designing apps for consumers, you might miss out on the opportunity to interview if you don't tailor your skills list for each role.
If you're having trouble deciding which skills to include, take a look at the job description. It should list at least a few of the skills that are important to the company and the hiring manager. If the company wants you to work with its engineering team, for example, the job description may list a few skills that relate to collaborating with engineers and making sure they receive clear design requirements.
✔️ Portfolio Link
Whether you're a UX designer or a senior product designer, hiring managers are going to want to see evidence of your design skills. To make it easy for them to see multiple samples, include a link to your product design portfolio somewhere on your resume. Your portfolio should include three to five design case studies, which include both text and images, to show recruiters what you can do.
If you're searching for entry-level jobs and don't have much experience, don't panic. There are a few ways to create a portfolio to show hiring managers.
- Get a mentor: If you have a design mentor, ask them to give you a few creative briefs to follow. You'll gain valuable experience in reviewing user requirements and using them to complete design projects. When you finish, write up a case study for each one.
- Volunteer: Pet shelters, after-school programs, and other charitable organizations rely on volunteers to carry out their missions on a limited budget. If you need design experience for your portfolio, ask around to find out if any local nonprofits need help. You'll gain experience and contribute to a worthwhile cause at the same time.
- Apply for an internship: Completing an internship is a great way to get some formal design experience. Just make sure you have permission to share details about the work you've completed.
- Take a class: If you need to brush up on your skills, take an online class or enroll in a class at your local community college. Then use the projects you complete as part of your portfolio. Dribbble's Product Design Academy is ideal for anyone who wants to break into a product design career.
How to write a product designer resume
It's finally time to sit down and write your product designer resume. To create the most effective resume possible, follow these tips.
- Step 1: Review the job description. Take notes to help you remember what to focus on while you're writing. Perhaps the potential employer wants someone with 3+ years of experience and the ability to use Figma for wireframing. That's important information to have, as you'll know to highlight these qualifications in your resume.
- Step 2: Choose a format. Decide whether you want to use the chronological or functional resume format. Many employers prefer a chronological format, as it allows you to see how your career has progressed. If you're applying for entry-level jobs, however, you may want to use the functional format to highlight your education and skills.
- Step 3: Show off your design skills. If you're applying for a product design job, don't send in a boring Word document with black text on a white background. Show off your design skills by inserting a personal logo, or incorporating other design elements. Just make sure you use plenty of white space and follow the basic principles of design. You don't want to lose out on a job opportunity because your resume looks cluttered or unprofessional.
Pro tip: If you plan to post your resume on LinkedIn or other forms of social media, make sure the design you use looks just as good on a screen as it does in print.
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Resume Templates to Get Started
Dribbble has hundreds of templates available to help you grow your career. These product designer resume templates are ideal for entry-level and experienced design professionals.
Modern Resume Bundle
The Modern Resume Bundle by Kate Buke includes 10 professional themes to take the guesswork out of creating a product design resume. It also includes cover letter pages to help you stand out from the crowd.
Modern Resume Template CV
Modern Resume Template CV by Aspect Studio features a clean design with just the right amount of white space. It also has a rating scale to make it easy for potential employers to determine how much experience you have in each skill.
Art by Aspect Studio
Free Design Resume Template
Resume Template by Soren Iverson is compatible with Figma and InDesign. This is one of the free product designer resume examples available on Dribbble.
Art by Soren Iverson
Product Design Resume Tips
Now that you know what to include in your product designer resume, it's important to understand how to make yourself stand out from other applicants in a good way. Follow these tips to create a killer resume that helps you land a job.
🙋 Think of yourself as the product
Product design involves determining what users need and creating products to match. To make the job hunt a little easier, try using the same approach when writing your resume. As you write, think about what the recruiter or hiring manager needs. Many companies receive hundreds of applications in response to a single job posting, so the person reviewing your resume probably needs an easy way to tell if you meet the requirements for the job.
You can make things easy on the reviewer by using headings to make each section stand out, organizing information with bulleted lists, and applying bold formatting to emphasize key points. It's also important to use plenty of white space and choose a font that's easy for reviewers to read. Now isn't the time for 8-point Comic Sans or a script font that's barely legible.
💪 Focus on results
Case studies are an important part of your portfolio because they put your money where your mouth is, so to speak. It's one thing to tell a potential employer that you have a specific set of skills, but it's even more helpful if you can show them those skills in action. Even if you come from a general graphic design background, case studies show potential employers that you know how to get results.
Each case study should include a short description of the design problem, explain your design thinking, and take the reviewer through your design process. For images, include anything that helps you get your point across, from screenshots and wireframes to photos of your prototypes.
🎯 Tailor each of your resumes
The importance of customizing your product designer CV can't be overstated. If you send out dozens of copies of the same resume, hiring managers and recruiters will have a difficult time determining whether you'd be a good fit for their open roles.
Graphic Design Resume vs. Product Design Resume
Although graphic design and product design require some of the same skills, they have different goals. A graphic design resume focuses on the visual elements of design, showcasing skills in typography, layout, and color theory. On the other hand, a product design resume emphasizes problem-solving and user experience design, highlighting skills in research, prototyping, and testing. While both types of design require a keen eye for aesthetics, they require different sets of skills and strengths. Therefore, it's important to tailor your resume to the specific job you're applying for and highlight the skills that are most relevant to the role.
Get Hired as a Product Designer
Now that you have a professional resume in hand, it's time to get out there and apply for jobs. When top employers are looking for the best product designers for hire, they come to Dribbble. Use our job board to find your next opportunity.
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