A Portfolio Recipe

I received an email from a recruiter today about how a UX designer’s portfolio should be. I was surprised at the guideline provided, as it prescribed, word-for-word:

50% text, 50% visual, and be 25-30 pages long in PDF format.

I can’t tell if some processes in London are so backwards due to the English people’s love for tradition – why are they not accepting work in the medium in which candidates can create? Why are recruiters expecting PDF portfolios when the portfolio itself is online in web format? UX processes are not all the same, why should there be a mould to which my portfolio needs to fit?

The more I look at the prescription the more bewildered I am, mostly because I had already spent quite a long time building my portfolio and can’t decide if a PDF is a necessary evil or that I should just let it go and move on.

My experience with recruiters since landing in this country has evolved to a love-hate relationship. I appreciate that in a big city like London it is necessary to have professionals filter through appropriate applicants. Some of whom have worked in the industry and from their questions I can tell know exactly what skills they are looking for in a candidate.

What really irks me though, is when I get responses like this one where clearly they can’t judge when work is good or not and need you to fit things in PDF format. This makes me question whether most recruiters even know each profession well enough to have such God-like powers and be the gatekeepers to some of the best opportunities in the world.

Maybe the recruiters should also create a 30 page PDF showing applicants why they’re the best to represent them for a job, wouldn’t that be the fair way to go?

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