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Owen Hughes
Owen Hughes Updated

Do designers need a CV?

My company are looking for a designer and it got me thinking, do designers really need a CV? 

As designers we spend so much time on our portfolios, crafting and getting them looking top notch, only to then get asked on job applications for a CV and in some cases a portfolio (but not in all).


Has the industry got its priorities right? Does the work speak for itself? What is the value of a CV vs a portfolio? Or are both needed? 


It would be interested to see peoples opinions on this. 

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Owen Hughes
InVision ambassador Owen Hughes , ambassador

After doing a bit of digging around, InVision actually have a really good solution to this (Below)


The form actually allows you to paste a URL to a portfolio or upload a CV/Portfolio PDF, its great that you have the choice!

FAHANMI Ambrose Wuraoluwa
InVision ambassador FAHANMI Ambrose Wuraoluwa , ambassador

Critical topic for reasoning!

I think it is to aid flexibility. There are many designers that are hella good but do not really know how to brand their portfolio (especially self taught designers) and most times rely on putting all their best in making their CV/resume (which is definitely easier to arrange as compared to a portfolio) packed and presentable enough and hoping that it does 70% of the convincing and the remaining 30% can be done by the portfollio (sort of visual backup).

Others might have a wonderful portfolio and still not have a good CV/resume and would rely on more of visual guarantee that they know their onions and less of written proof.

Just maybe flexibility is the goal.

Ashima Sood
InVision ambassador Ashima Sood , ambassador

Very interesting observation Owen! As the design lead, I look at CVs and resumes of designers' while I recruit I tend to look out for achievements that have very little to do with design and could add value to the team. For example, I recently hired a UX designer who is a founder of a platform that connects patients to blood donors, I felt this showed an enterprising side to this individual. (Specially since he only holds certificates in UX design!)

My personal resume includes a list of classes that I've taken in addition to my Master's core classes such as psychology, sociology and HTML, CSS. Any design manager that sees this would understand how a knowledge of these subjects would help in research analysis and dev handover respectively.

I'd say that it depends on the individual designer to take advantage of this opportunity to call out skills that go beyond the realm of design and speak to their personality traits that would contribute to team success. I recently gave a recommendation to a designer that reported to me, calling out her ability to boost team morale--this is something that can be added to her CV that would make her stand out from the crowd.

Kayode Osinusi
InVision ambassador Kayode Osinusi , ambassador Edited

I believe we need both to convince the employer. A CV shows your work history and experience over the years. A portfolio on the other hand shows what you've done and how you did it. Both of them are equally needed even if you're not a very experienced designer. 

But I must say, some organisations don't bother to ask for your CV, they just want to see what you've done via your portfolio and put you test to see if you can actually do the work.

To answer your question, designers need CV just like every other profession.

Owen Hughes
InVision ambassador Owen Hughes , ambassador Edited

These are some great answers. 


It seems most enjoy seeing a CV, I personally always found them laborious and doesn't often sing on behalf of you as much as a portfolio does. 

When ive hired designers in the past i've always just gone off portfolios and an interview, never a test and not really looked at CVs. 

Michéle (Mikele) De Sousa
InVision ambassador Michéle (Mikele) De Sousa , ambassador

Hi Owen

I have been meaning to chime in on this one.

Love the inputs to this thread — valid points.

For me, a CV or portfolio has its place for designers, but I do feel that having a convo is still the best way to validate a candidate. It is very hard from a CV or even portfolio to gain the finer detail you need to make the right decision. Having someone that creates the best CV or portfolio can mean very little if the person that created such CV or portfolio is someone you would not even have a cup of coffee with.

I feel a simple initial convo with specific questions for a potential candidate is still the best thing to do to find the right people you want to hire.

This process is something I value when hiring.


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