designer resumes

A do or a don't? That's a good question. In the design/art world I have read that it is acceptable, even encouraged, to put your personal touch on your resume. But what about for other industries? My inclination is to think that it depends; it depends which industry we are talking about.

There is so much information out there about writing a good resume, the importance of a good resume, how to make your resume stand out, etc. It is actually quite overwhelming, and, I think, a lot of pressure to make your resume "great". It is quite daunting, but starting with the basics {what every resume should have} and then putting a personal stylistic touch on it certainly doesn't seem like a bad idea.

I personally like the idea. A few months ago, I spruced up my own resume. I updated the information on it, but also gave it a deluxe design treatment. I had a friend inquire about my services to do the same for hers; I am totally game for that project. For fun, {because what else does a graphic designer do for fun other than make designs for herself + explore designs floating in her head?} I vamped up John's resume, too.

As you can see the two designs {my resume and John's} are decidedly different, dictated by the very different kind of work John and I do. I think both accomplish the same job as a simple black and white resume, but perhaps they do a little more, too. Mine is a little more colorful, whereas John's incorporates grays instead of just B&W. I included a photo on John's to try that out {another element that makes me wonder - is that a do or a don't?}. Furthermore, both keep in mind all that stuff from "resume 101", such as:
  • include name, contact information, objective, education, skills, and experience
  • keep things simple, readable, scannable, and to one page
I think it is also important, when writing your resume, to keep the following in mind, which comprises my knowledge on that whole "writing a good resume" bit:
  • don't use a Microsoft Word template; maybe don't even use Word ... even if you are going to go the tricked out route like me, maybe still layout your resume in InDesign or Illustrator 
  • don't lie {uh, duh}
  • use proper grammer, spelling, punctuation, etc. {this is a duh like above}
  • keep things relevant and tailor your resume to the particular position you are applying for ... that means editing the "objective" for each position you apply for, as well as re-ordering your skill set to match up which skills would be most prized for a particular position
  • don't do cheap photocopies and if possible print it up or have it printed up on nice paper
  • don't reinvent the wheel ... keep things in a predictable format; I am doubting a prospective employer will take time to decipher the organization and layout of your resume
  • give some thought to the cover letter, tailoring it to the position you are applying for {there's a whole other can of worms - writing a good cover letter...}
What are your thoughts on this resume stuff? 

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