Designers usually face an additional challenge when it comes to crafting resumes. A good resume has to look great and must include great content too. This blog post will help your graphic design resume get noticed for the right reasons.
Technology might have changed how graphic designers approach job interviews and portfolios, but there’s one thing that has remained constant, which is the need for a resume that stands out. Whether it is a paper or digital resume, you need to follow a few basic rules that will ensure that your document gets noticed. No matter what level you are at in your career, consider this the ideal graphic design resume tip sheet.
Avoid including the objective since they have now become passé and hiring managers now simply gloss over them. A better idea would be to write a professional summary. Compose a sentence or two describing what you are and what you do best. The summary should underscore your most relevant qualifications for the position and provide a convincing answer to the question “Why should we hire you?”
One page is generally enough unless you have a considerable amount of highly relevant experience. If you find the resume spilling over to the second page and you don’t wish to remove any content, ask a copywriter or editor friend whether there are phrases you can use to create more space on the page. Add more information and context in the cover letter.
Personalize Your Content
Your graphic design resume must be customized to each job that you are applying for. Keep a master version that has all your accomplishments and work history and select the most relevant ones whenever you apply for a new position. For instance, you can highlight your mastery of specialized software for one job and highlight your superior client communication abilities for another.
Don’t just list what you are capable of doing; you should also show exactly how you do it. Think about the skills that you leveraged in previous positions and include power verbs explaining how you benefited your employer or clients using those talents.
Focus on Numbers
Creatives often find it hard to shift from conceptual thinking to zeroing in on hard data. However, hiring managers are interested in seeing the results of your work, and the more measurable the better. Response rates, fundraising figures, sales statistics and other quantifiable information is attention-grabbing and shows that you are results-oriented.
Highlight Your Soft Skills
Job-related skills are obviously important, but hiring managers today are growing more attuned to non-technical skills such as time management, flexibility, and problem solving. Always include examples illustrating how you put these kinds of skills into action.
Avoid Using Clichés
It is okay to talk about accomplishments using terms likely to be understood by other creatives, but you should avoid using empty buzzwords and clichés. Your application might be the first one that goes through the human resources department, which is why a person that’s not a designer should be able to understand it easily.
It is usually hard to identify mistakes in content you have worked with continuously. Unfortunately, a single type is enough to cost you the interview, especially if the position is highly competitive. Prior to submitting your resume read it again both on paper and on screen. If possible, ask 2 of your friends to read it too; a designer as well as a copy editing expert.
Resume templates might be perfectly okay for other lines of work, but art directors, creative directors, and in-house managers all want a quick demonstration of your design and layout skills. They will be paying close attention to your use of visual elements, typography, and white space.
Readability should always be a top priority whether you have designed the resume as an infographic or in traditional format. If the resume does not flow well or it is confusing to a trusted friend, you might have to simplify the design.
Showcase Your Brand
Your resume is a critical marketing tool that should ideally convey your unique personal style or brand. The resume, cover letter, and portfolio should all work together as one to communicate the image you wish to portray. Simply put, cohesive branding matters.
Be Cautious About Color
If you decide to use a color on the resume, make sure that it enhances the content as opposed to getting in the way of it.
Consider Stock Options
If you submit a paper resume you should always use a quality paper stock that’s perfect for your design.
Check the File Size
If you are submitting PDFs, the file should have a high resolution such that it keeps looking sharp even if the hiring manager decides to print it out.
Prepare a Second Version
Initially, you might have to submit a text-based version of the resume, which is why you should create a second document that doesn’t have any design elements. If you have been called in for an interview or asked to submit your portfolio, provide a copy of the branded and designed version.
Think in terms of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It is critical to integrate exact keywords from the job listing into your resume to show that your experience matches perfectly with the job description. Companies sometimes use scanning software to identify resumes that don’t contain terms from the listing.
The ultimate goal of your resume is to leave the employer wanting more, i.e. wanting to review your portfolio, to interview you, to read the cover letter in full, and hopefully to hire you. Use the information, tips, and advice provided here to give your graphic design resume the attention and time it deserves to do its job so that you can land yours.