Resume Tips for Designers
Your resume is vital for getting your foot in the door at any design firm or agency. If you want a real chance at landing a design job, you’ll want to focus on creating a professional design resume that gets you noticed. So where do you get started? It can seem like an overwhelming and scary task at first, but if you follow a few simple guidelines, you’ll create a successful resume. Below are some practical resume tips for designers and other creative fields.
1. Design Your Own Resume
If you are a graphic designer, then you should design a custom resume. When I finished college, our professors had us create our resumes in Word and send them out to prospective employers. Needless to say, none of us received any employment offers. It is a good idea to design your own resume, because it shows off your design skills and lists your abilities and achievements in a creative way. If designing your own resume sounds like a daunting task, you can always start with a template. I wouldn’t just blatantly use the template, but using it as a framework for your own will help you get started. I have created free templates here and here.
2. One Page is Best
Keep your resume to a single page. this is sort of a design challenge. You have to incorporate all of your skills and abilities, as well as your achievements, into one single page. I have met and worked for employers that throw away resumes that are more than one page. Use your design skills to organize everything into manageable chunks of information that is easy to scan ad understand.
3.Internships & Experience
It is a good idea, if you are still in school, to work some sort of internship before seeking professional work. You are much more likely to find a job if you have some professional experience in the field. Employers will have confidence that you know what is expected. Not only will freelance work and internships give you experience, they will add professional pieces to your portfolio. This gives you an advantage over other designers, and it also makes your resume look good.
4.Proofread Proofread Proofread!
Proofread your resume. I am sorry that I even have to mention this. It really depresses me that someone would actually not take the time to do this. However, I have had to review resumes a few times for an employer to help with the hiring process. I noticed at least half of them had spelling and grammar mistakes riddled throughout the entire document. That’s right, half of them had more than one mistake. The VP of the company told me to organize the resumes into two piles. I was supposed to weed out the newbies from the pros quickly. They were to be separated by proofread resumes and the ones riddled with mistakes. We dumped the ones with mistakes in the garbage. Just think about how many other employers do that. It is simple, easy and built into the software, so use it.
5.Don’t Forget The Cover Letter!
Include a cover letter, explaining who you are and why you would be good for the company. Communicate what you can bring to the table. Employers are filling positions with designers that are well rounded, and will work well with their team. It is not acceptable to try to work this into your resume somehow. (I have seen this too.)
6. Follow Up!
When you send an employer your resume and cover letter, wait a day or two, and then follow up with a phone call. Most employers want to hear from people that are interested in the position. They want to see that designers aren’t simply throwing their resume out there, hoping to get a bite. Take action, and you will be more likely to be reviewed.
7. Be Honest!
Do not over embellish your resume. You are supposed to look good, but never make claims about your abilities that aren’t true. Don’t lie and say that you have a Masters Degree, when you only have a Bachelors Degree. They do check these things and you will most likely become blacklisted. Don’t get me wrong, it is great to make yourself look good, but keep it truthful and within your abilities.
8. Promote Your Online Portfolio
Put a link to your portfolio site somewhere on the resume. If you don’t have one, It is a good idea to make one. It is essential to have some place on the web for potential clients or employers to view your work. Have it up and working as much as possible. If you don’t have web design skills, you have options. One option comes with your Adobe membership, which is the Behance Prosite. You can create your own beautiful portfolio site with their built-in site creator. You can also publish projects directly from Photoshop and Illustrator to Behance.
9. When In Doubt, Research!
If you don’t know what to incorporate on a resume, it would be good to do some research online. There are also workshops out there that will help you to strengthen your resume. They will help you to make it professional and robust, to help you to get noticed. If you are a designer and aren’t sure, then you might want to learn. Depending on your employer, a client may come along looking for someone to design a resume for them. It benefits both you, and your clients.
Resume Tips For Designers: Conclusion
These are valuable resume tips for designers. If you follow these tips, you shouldn’t have any trouble landing the design job of your choice. Employers will judge you based on your effort. They will also judge you on every mistake that you make. Have someone else look over your resume and make sure it is polished and highly professional. Do you have any resume tips for designers who are seeking employment? If so, please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.