Recruiters have a pretty bad reputation among UX designers. LinkedIn has made it too easy for lazy recruiters to spam you with job leads that bear no relation to your actual skills and experience (which they could have learned if they’d bothered to read your profile). But after speaking with Joanne Weaver, who runs a UX/UI recruiting agency in New York, I have a new perspective on the advantages of working with a good recruiter.
A good recruiter should be your partner and coach during the hiring process—someone who can give you the inside scoop on the company and what they’re looking for, someone who can steer you to jobs that are interesting and relevant, someone who is invested in your success. In short, someone who can help you through the angst and uncertainty of the hiring process.
I also learned why you shouldn’t send the same resume to a recruiter and a hiring manager: the hiring manager is hiring for a specific job at one company, whereas the recruiter is trying to imagine you in all kinds of jobs at different companies. The hiring manager wants to know if you can do the job. The recruiter wants to know if you’re the kind of person she wants to represent for perhaps the rest of your career.
All in all, it was an enlightening conversation that has tempered some of my thinking on what makes an effective resume.
The Joanne Weaver Group, a two-woman shop run by Joanne and her partner, Rebecca Levi, has been in business since 2007—making it one of the more established UX-specific recruiting firms in the region. The following is an excerpt from our conversation, lightly edited to make us sound more coherent.
UX RESUME: So, what are employers looking for in the New York market?
JOANNE WEAVER: I’m seeing a trend towards hybrid designers—people that do both UX/UI—but that basically means interaction design and visual design. I’m also seeing a trend towards lean UX and agile. People that can quickly prototype, that are really interested in using different prototyping tools, and that are constantly learning and broadening their skill set on their own time.