Tracking the metrics of your UX job hunt.
I read an interesting although vague article (read: click bait) recently about a guy who was looking for a marketing gig in SF and came up with a way to get people to even just look at his resume. He hid a short cover letter in a box of donuts and pretended to be a delivery guy to drop them off with a link to his resume.
He claimed to do an analysis on the competition and a few iterations of the campaign but it didn’t go into a whole lot of detail further than that.
Apparently it was rather successful. He marketed himself to his marketing job. Seems pretty obvious I guess, but it worked.
Point is, this got me thinking about how you could apply UX to land a UX gig.
By tracking the metrics while job hunting to give you a better insight into what level of interest certain companies have in you.
This could be pretty handy ammunition when going into an interview, I would think.
Last year I was on the job hunt. Due to being completely under prepared/not having hunted for a job in a long time/recently just moving to a foreign country, it was safe to say it started as a bit of an uphill battle. I have been reflecting on this a bit since then, as some of my friends are going through similar things at the moment.
So here is my idea.
Basically, if you had an online resume and portfolio that you could track exactly which company was accessing it, you could know exactly how much effort they put into reading it and which sections they were most interested in.
You could have a better insight on where you stand.
For example, apart from my resume, I have a portfolio with a stack of previous projects, UI’s I have worked on and I am planning on adding a whole lot more UX material and case studies down the track, because it’s a very lacking in that department at the moment. On top of that I have a blog and a keen interest in photography. While the photography is more of a hobby thing, it can be a nice extra skill or talking point that might interest some.
The thing is, when I am handing out stacks of resumes at once, I can see people hitting my site which my tell me that people are interested, but who?
What I am thinking is, have a bunch of duplicates of your site. They can obviously share images and things to save space on your hosting, but let’s say you have 26 copies of the site. agkdesigns.net/a/resume.html to agkdesigns.net/z/resume.html. And every time I hand out a cover letter, its tailored to the company and the URL is only used for that company (at least until they reject the application. We can probably recycle it after that).
Then when we see that site E is getting a fair few page hits and decent active user times, we can assume that company E is somewhat interested.
From here you have a decent idea of where you stand. You can see how far they dug into your portfolio, which images they clicked, how long they spent reading case studies. You can tell if one person skimmed over the first page or dug in and sent it to 5 other colleagues for an extra opinion.
If you don’t hear back, that sucks, but now we have a better idea of where we stand and potentially how far they bothered to investigate you. No time at all? Or were they inches away from sending you an interview invite. This is great things to know when sending a follow up email.
You could explain over email that you have been using UXing to find a job and explain that you have been tracking the interest of different companies. This could potentially give them the last little nudge to push them over the edge and set up a meet.
The best bit is, when you get the interview, and they ask the inevitable “Whats an interesting UX project you have worked on?” you can reply “This job interview!”
Make sure you have a bit of data to show off, analytics, some A/B tests you ran for different cover letters and site layouts. You can use the opportunity to investigate what busy people are more inclined to read and skip over, then present that! Or you know, use it to improve your job hunting experience.
Got rejected still? Send an exit survey to see what you can do better next time.
I’m pretty sure if you have the skills for the position and remember to wear pants that day you are probably in with a decent shot.
Now you just need a good way of getting the cover letters out there. Perhaps prototyping some boxes of donuts? I’ll help test.