Resume UX

By Joe Szynkowski |

When writing our own resumes, we are laser focused on our professional experiences. How can I show hiring managers that my experience is in line with their job posting? What keywords should I included in my experience to pass through the computer filters.

Me, me, me. I, I, I.

It’s time to flip the script on how we attack the resume.

UX refers to “the quality of the user’s interaction with and perceptions of a system,” according to this U.S. Department of Health and Human Services site.

Much like professionals in the IT field are overwhelmingly committed to creating the optimal user experience (UX), resume writers (whether you’re handling your own or hiring a professional) need to fall into the same line of thinking.

In the non-digital world, think of UX as the first time you enter a public bathroom. Is it clean? Does it smell good? If yes, then you had a great UX and would likely use the bathroom again. If no, then get the hell out of there! You’ll probably think twice about stopping in again.

Your resume has to pass the hiring manager smell test before it gets placed in the keeper pile.

Here are three ways to boost the UX for readers of your resume (and no, one of them is not to spray air freshener on your document).

  1. Simplicity

If you’ve checked in with the trusty Internet lately, a resume should be written in reverse chronological format AT ALL TIMES. If you check back tomorrow, you might be told to shred your boring document and submit your application in the form of a video. Point being, there is a lot of conflicting information out there regarding how to best position your information.

The first step in making sure you choose the right one? Consider your audience. Hiring managers are overwhelmed with new applications hitting their desks. Keep it simple.

  1. The Information Structure

Yes, the reverse chronological resume works best for recruiters I’ve spoken with. They don’t like playing “find the most recent job” on your resume, so place it at the top of your job history and then go backwards.

And make it easy to find the pillars of any good resume: Your contact information, key skills, job history, achievements and education.

  1. Handling The Gap Issue

If you have a gap in your work history, include a one-sentence career note in its place that reads “Devoted 2010 – 2012 to obtaining technical training or caring for children or traveling the world for community work. As long as you’re honest and up front about your experience, you’ll win over prospective employers.

That’s because they won’t have to spend time guessing why you were only employed for a certain period or what you were doing in between jobs.

All combined, this will make for a seamless resume UX.

Check out or follow me @JoeSzynkowski on Twitter.


4 thoughts on “Resume UX

  1. I like your resume gap one-liner tip, but while a reverse chrono is usually the go-to format, a functional resume is better certain situations, such as for job seekers who have a lot of unrelated experience, or possibly even just people whose recent job was unrelated to the one at hand.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading, Jacob! I’ve definitely found functionals to be effective for certain job-seekers, i.e. the stay-at-home mom re-entering the workforce or the college student going after his first power internship. But I’ve also found that functional usually equals recruiters looking deeper into the résumé for red flags.


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