Revamping my design leadership portfolio: setting up initial research with recruiters

Recruiters I’ve recently spoken to about passive opportunities (where the recruiter reached out to me before I was aware of the position) are more accessible to me than hiring managers, so my research will have to start there. In a previous article I said

The first step in capturing passive opportunities is clearly to get my profile in front of relevant recruiters. LinkedIn seems pretty good for this. While my LinkedIn profile is also not a subject of this research, I’m sure I’ll learn things relevant to it along the was as well.

The second is to get that recruiter to invite me to an interview so I can get them to pass me to the hiring manager if the position seems to be a fit. My impression is that my resume does an okay job here, and my portfolio could do better. I don’t know how many good opportunities have not com my way due to insufficiency of my portfolio, and I’m not sure I have a way of finding out.

The third is for my profile and the assessment of the recruiter to work together to encourage the hiring manager to grant me an interview. My impression is that my portfolio is not effective in this third step.

Revamping my design portfolio: audiences

The questions raised here include

  • Is LinkedIn a good way to get my profile in front of recruiters?
  • Does my resume do a good job of getting the recruiter to pass my profile on to the hiring manager?
  • Does my portfolio do a good job of getting the recruiter to pass my profile on to the hiring manager?

But of course these are not the sorts of questions I can usefully ask directly; the likely answers (yes or no) wouldn’t improve my understanding much or help me make changes. Instead, I should ask questions that will help me gauge the effectiveness of what I have, provide details that may lead me toward changes, and identify what is already working. These questions will look more like

  • Which of my assumptions are off base? (with a list of these assumptions)
  • For the position in question, did you have any misgivings about my profile, other than location?
  • What seemed most relevant about my profile?
  • What seemed to be missing?
  • Did you review my portfolio?

This sort of question will ideally not be too much to answer, and spark a little conversation that will help me know what to keep or play up in my profile, what to give more emphasis, and where I’ve left gaps. But first I must get them to engage, so I’ll contact them via LinkedIn with a simple message:

Hi, [name]. I’ve decided to turn my design research powers on my portfolio and resume. I’d love to ask you a few questions, since we recently discussed a position. If you are willing, I promise to make it easy and not take up too much of your time. Yes? Thanks, —Jon

Next up: understanding the results.