In this market, a recruiter may not even look at your portfolio unless she already has a compelling reason to do so.
But I’m a creative; I get hired from my portfolio.
In this market, a recruiter may not even look at your portfolio unless she already has a compelling reason to do so. Your resume has to not only speak for YOU – it has to speak for your portfolio. Does it? If the recruiter isn’t bowled over by your resume, she may not bother to look at your portfolio.
What’s wrong with my resume?
To answer that, ask yourself these questions:
- Is your summary good enough to get the recruiter to read on?
- Does it demonstrate your initiative, problem-solving skills and methods for addressing issues in the workplace?
- Does it vividly illustrate how you’ve affected the bottom line, with supporting metrics to prove it?
- Does it capture the person behind the data? Is it creative – like you?
- Does your resume contain the right keywords, the kind of language a computer would match against a job listing?
Is it articulate and literate? Is it immaculately proofread? Does it fit elegantly on one page? Can you maintain an objective perspective on your skills, experience and personal traits?
A winning résumé takes more than just proper format and correct spelling. Your résumé is your calling card and it should make you look like a winner in order to separate you from the rest of the pack. Your résumé is the ultimate marketing piece on why you are the perfect candidate for the job. If the average job opening attracts 300 candidates can you afford to not have a perfect résumé?
Résumés are an industry standard for quickly and succinctly communicating your qualifications and employment history to potential employers—they are supposed to get you an interview. But résumés in a digital age are changing. For example, often you hear that a résumé should be one page only, no more than that, if they are printed out as a hardcopy; but a résumé online is read differently, a viewer can easily scroll down a single web page résumé that is textually longer than it’s hard copy counterpart would be. Regardless of whether or not you post your résumé online or print it off for an interview with a human resources department, your résumé is very often a first impression. As such both the information on it as well as your visual presentation of that information is important. Your résumé is visually processed in less than 30 seconds.
A lot can be read from your résumé. It is probably the first information that an employer will hear of you and therefore it serves as an introduction to you as a person and as a professional designer. It’s your one-page portfolio. It’s the virtual you.
Your résumé serves as a professional introduction of your related employment experiences, educational history and unique interests in an outline form. It is typically used as a reference sheet by a potential employer to get a sense of your qualifications, interests and experiences related to an employment opportunity. The résumé itself is definitely information, which should demand undivided attention. It needs to be designed. As a designer, it also is an opportunity for you to display your layout, typographic and general visual organizational skills. Therefore, it must indicate clear understanding of grouping and hierarchy, prioritization, and readability of typographic information. Your choice of typefaces and typography, the layout and the organization of information, the paper stock, etc., all contribute to the way you will be perceived as a potential designer. It also shows what you can do on a single piece of paper. But high wire acts are dangerous, so keep it simple and readable. (Even David Carson’s business card is ultimately readable.) If you include a personal logo, keep it simple. The purpose of your résumé is not to show off a logo but instead to provide a n organized listing of your professional qualifications. As you create and organize the personal information on your résumé, approach it as a design problem where the subject is you.
Your résumé needs to motivate to ask for your portfolio. Your education and work experiences are very important, but ultimately it’s the live you, your work and presentation, which make someone want to hire you.
Typical organization for a recent college graduate might include:
- A brief sentence which, indicates what type of work you are seeking (an artist’s objective)
- A category for educational history, include software proficiency
- A category for employment history, include your responsibilities
- A category of special achievements recognitions or awards
- A category of special interests, hobbies or clubs
Consistency is extremely important. The order and look you establish for information such as place, address & year for each entry should remain the same for each entry. Use typographic forms of emphasis such as bold or italics on different information in a consistent manner. The rule here is to treat similar forms of information in a similar fashion and different forms of information differently.
- Design = Consistency and Clarity = Organization
- It is an extension of your self-identity brand, design yourself
- Do not write the word résumé on the résumé
- Be sure to proofread and spell check thoroughly
- Use correct forms of punctuation such as en and em dashes (not hyphens), typographer’s quotes, and typographer’s apostrophes (not ditto or foot marks)
- References available upon request or supplied reference sheet (have permission to use references).
- Six Myths About Writing Excellent Cover Letters (distance-education.org)
- Resume Writing Tips to Help You Land Your Dream Job (imittcopy.com)
- How to Get Your Resume in Front of the Right Person (money.usnews.com)
- 10 Great Social Sites for Resume Building (junaidghory.wordpress.com)
- Six Tips for Better Online Cover Letters (distance-education.org)
- Does Your Cover Letter Make These 5 Critical Mistakes? (jenniferanthony.wordpress.com)