Jobs FAQ

To whom should I address my cover letter?

“Dear Recruiting” or “To whom it may concern” is just fine. It’s possible that multiple people will see your application materials, so addressing to one specific person doesn’t make sense.

How should I apply?

Apply directly for the position you’re interested in from our current listings. Please make sure you qualify for the role before applying. It’s okay to apply for positions in multiple offices, but applying for positions you do not qualify for won’t increase your chances, and will likely raise a red flag within the recruiting team. For design applicants, it’s important to include a PDF or URL of your portfolio for easy sharing of files.

How does the recruiting process work?

We have a small recruiting team who manages job listings, reads incoming applications, determines fit, and coordinates the interview and offer processes. The interview process can often include multiple interviews with a variety of IDEOers. You should be ready to share examples of your work and passion areas to help us get a sense of who you are beyond your resume.

What kind of people are you looking for?

We look for people who embody our values, who are great storytellers, and who show us that they’re passionate about the role they’re applying for. This Core 77 article by Global Head of Talent Duane Bray sums things up nicely.

How much experience do I need?

We hire people with a wide range of professional experience and educational background, as we know that bringing diverse perspectives is crucial to making positive, disproportionate impact in the world. Some roles call for seasoned professionals, while others have more flexibility to bring on less experienced candidates. Either way, we’ve designed systems that allow our community to learn, grow, and thrive. Degrees are important for some roles, but we aim to keep our community as diverse as the challenges we work on.

How do you determine cultural alignment?

We're definitely not a “one size fits all” culture, so we think about how people align with our seven core values which are outlined in The Little Book of IDEO. We’re looking for people with diverse perspectives and backgrounds who can broaden our understanding of the world we design for. We encourage all applicants to use their cover letter to tell a story that may not come through on their resume.

How can I stand out?

We want to know as much as we can about you, and while clever gimmicks are sometimes entertaining, the best way to catch our eye is through your work. A thoughtful cover letter also goes a long way. Don’t write what you think we want to hear; be yourself.

Will you contact me regarding the status of my application?

Because we receive thousands of resumes, we can’t personally reply to each submission. Your application will be reviewed, and someone on the recruiting team will reach out directly if they’d like to schedule an interview. Should your application match the role requirements (or otherwise inspire us), you will likely hear from someone in recruiting within a month of applying. Whether or not you hear from us, your application will remain on file for potential future openings.

Sep 2015