Tips for Making Great CV and Portfolio for Product Designers

  • by Lois Nur Fathiarini
  • February 07, 2023
  • 7 minutes read


In the design world nowadays, hard skills and strong will is not the only thing you need to attract company recruiters. You will also need attractive CV and portfolios, especially if you’re a product designer. Product designer is another job in design area that has a bright prospect in the future, because product designer has a wide career path and there are many areas to explore. On this article we will try to explain the role of a product designer and then share some tips to build an attractive portfolio.

Understanding the Role of a Product Designer in a Company

A product designer is actually a combination of UI and UX designer and its scope is more general. The day to day job needs more collaborations with various stakeholders; from product manager, engineer to the CEO to find out their intentions to the upcoming released product. After adjusting with the mindset, a product designer is responsible to change those intentions to a product for the users.

Another role of a product designer is to lead the design process to make a digital product. This design process inclused user research with UX researcher to find out what user feels about using the product. After knowing what difficulties the user face, the problem will be analyzed so that UI and UX design can be adjusted with the user needs.

source: freepik.com

A product designer also involves in prototype test to find out whether the product can be understood by the user or not. On this interaction process, a product designer also need to validate the design by doing user test.

One thing that you need to understand is what differs a product designer with other designers are that product designers always uses data. This data has to be the basic thinking and an output of whatever a product designer makes, otherwise the final product will not be valid.

What to Be Prepared to be a Product Designer?

After understanding the role of a product designer, you also need to know what kind of soft and hard skills needed to be one. From educational background, this job is not only for those who has design educational background. Mostly those who came from IT major, graphic design, to HCI (Human Computer Interaction) major. The basics from these three majors are quite alike, because the day to day job of a product designer will includes all of these.

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But that doesn’t mean that other educational backgrounds cannot try this job, because it doesn’t limit people’s passion who try to have a career in this job. There are three important points to be prepared if you really want to focus your career as a product designer.

Basic skills

Along with the hard skills, some soft skills are equally needed on this kind of job, such as:

Critical thinking

Critical thinking is a must for a product designer, because one of the job is to analyze problems the user faces. Without this skills, one will having difficulties in identifying what user wants.

Problem solving

Problem solving is also important for a product designer; it’s not only the ability to solve problems, but also a mindset that let someone to think more positively when they try to find a solution of a problem.


Every job needs empathy, but as a product designer this soft skill is very important. By using empathy, it will ease one to do research to user. This skill is very helpful for a product designer to see from user’s point of view when they are using the product.

Meanwhile, some hard skills that are needed are:

  • Understanding software to make design such as Sketch and Figma.
  • Understanding software for ideation or brainstorming with researchers such as Miro.
  • Understanding software for prototyping or product test such as InVision of Marvel.
  • Theories and basic skills in design area such as: design thinking, wireframing, user journey mapping, etc.

These soft skills and hard skills above is very important to be included in a product designer’s CV because it’s a selling point for recruiters.

source: freepik.com


Even though you haven’t had any experience in a company, at least you already know what is actually the job description of a product designer. There are a lot of things that you can do to gain experience in product design area, such as learning study cases from the internet.

Another thing that we can do is trying to redesign an application. So we can analyze the application and then try to redesign it to make it runs better. We can try to do these things to prepare ourselves with the workflow of a product designer.


Of course, a portfolio is very crucial for a product designer. A portfolio can be more important than CV when we apply a job as a product designer. Portfolio can shows what kind of experience we had and can be a proof of our ability.

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Few Tips to Make CV and Portfolio for Product Designers

After understanding the roles and what needs to be prepared to be a product designer, do you still want to make this as a career? These tips might be helpful to build your CV and portfolio as a product designer.

Product Designer CV

An ideal CV of a product designer is an informative one. Here are some points that important to be included in yours:

Educational background

This is important to be included in your CV. You can be a product designer coming from various educational background, but don’t forget to put this in your CV.

source: dribbble

Work Experience

Whether you already work in a company before as a product designer or not, you also need to include this in your CV. Your recruiters would know whether the candidate has an actual experience in product design or not.

Skills You Have

Not only hard skills, but you also need to write down what soft skills you have. Both skill type can be a selling point of a job candidate.

Product Designer Portfolio

A strong portfolio is the most important thing to be prepared when you are applying a job as a product designer. A human resource department will quickly delete any candidate emails which didn’t include any portfolios. The main reason is that portfolio is a proof for a candidate ability. Here are some important points to be shown in your product designer portfolio.

It shows not only your design result

Portfolio for a product designer doesn’t need to always show your previous design result, you also can describe study cases from the previous designs. For example, starting from a research to product test process to show our way of thinking in designing a product according to users’ need.

Textual is better

We also need to pay attention in how we explain the reason why we make the design. That’s why it would be better if we make the portfolio textually so that we can easily describe about the work process. Thus we can describe the reason why we make a feature, and then the detail of the work process.

Not only sophisticated hard skills and empathetical soft skills; for a recruiter, a detailed portfolio will show that a candidate is critical enough to be invited to an interview. Good luck!


Hello! My name is Lois, I live in Jogjakarta, Indonesia. I am a tattoo artist and I also love sewing and making needleworks. I also do watercolor painting and illustrations.

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