A resumé is a summary of a person’s business or professional qualifications, educational background and work experience for a particular position. The purpose of a resumé is to market capabilities, qualifications and credentials to potential employers.
Don’t include frivolous information. Photographs, marital status, high school information, salary requirements, and even references should not be included. This is your chance to show yourself as a professional. Ask yourself: how you can make yourself stand out? How you can make a lasting impression that showcases your skills and qualifications at the same time? A big job for a 1 page document only.
Contact & Branding:
Mailing Address (only if you are not going to place it directly on your web site)
Phone # (Just one. Make this easy)
Web site url / Blog url
Tag line if it’s really good and you love it.
Brand Logo / Colors / Typography
List all schools you have attended.
Do not include high school.
Format it like this:
BFA, Illustration, Columbus College of Art and Design, May 2012
GPA if above a 3.0
This is a great place to list your honors
(however list your activities below experience)
Employment spanning last five years
Volunteer jobs—There is no need to differentiate between paid and non-paid experience, list all as a job.
List start and end dates, location of the experience, title of position, description of the duties, responsibilities, activities and skills
Even it isn’t art related right now, that is fine. This will establish employment history, reliability, trustworthiness.
Full scholarship to _______
Missionary work, Eagle Scout, etc.
Especially digital list as working knowledge, complete knowledge and spell them correctly with the manufacturer’s name (Remember Copyrights!)
Layout & Arrangement, Design:
- Arrange information on your resumé so that the most current, most important, most impressive or most relevant information is presented first.
- Don’t put the word resumé at the top of the page. We’re not stupid, we know what it is!
- Be as creative as you want to be but…who is your audience?
Create TWO resumés: one simple, business-like and one that allows your creativity to shine. Both will contain the same information, but be presented differently depending on the audience.
- Use nothing smaller than 10-point or larger then 12 point type. If you want employers to review your resumé, make sure they don’t need a magnifying glass or have to stand down the street to read it because IT’S SHOUTING AT THEM!
- Call Attention to Callout’s, mak’em POP…
- Use alternate characters & ligatures. Investigate the options that are provided with your fonts.
- For example: Mediaeval Times or Mediæval Times?
- Use bullets or different type characters so headlines don’t read like sentences.
Strong computer skills
• Motivated worker
• Strong computer skills
- Consider numbers or letters
- Position items consistently & keep the lines straight
- Play up opposites
- Use shapes or designs within images to create visual contrast and to reinforce the message in your resumé.
- If you decide to use imagery, use the KISS theory or just don’t use any.
- Don’t over do bold and italic type. Excessive use of either defeats the purpose of these enhancements. For example, if half the type on a page is bold, nothing will stand out.
- Don’t clutter your resumé. Everything you’ve learned about “white space” is true. Let your document “breathe” so readers won’t have to struggle through it.
- All descriptions should be stated in terms of their transferability and relevance to the job being sought. Avoid technical or job-specific jargon unless it is related to the job you are seeking. Otherwise, use generic or general terms.
- Be creative how you describe your experiences... the word job seems so small.
- Avoid using full sentences or excessive wordiness.
- Don’t expect readers to struggle through 10 to 15 line paragraphs. Substitute two or three shorter paragraphs or use bullets to offset new sentences and sections .
- Information should be presented in list format, not paragraph format. It’s more concise to bullet experiences than write them in prose.
- Don’t use any personal pronouns (I, me, my, his, her, their).
- Don’t use passive phrases.
- Short phrases, beginning with action verbs, stated in single lines, work best.
- Outlining your work history by stating “Duties included” or “Was responsible for” takes away from what you actually accomplished. Show action in your statements with words such as developed, designed, generated, sold, wrote…
- Proofread for typographical errors, misspelled words and poor grammar.
- Oh and once again before you print—proof & have others proof for you.
- Then PROOF and PROOF again!
- Don’t list references on your Resumé. By listing these, you take a risk that your potential employer will call them before you’ve even met with them!
- It’s a given that you will provide references, so this doesn’t need to be stated on your resumé. Have a separate Reference Sheet prepared. The page design should match your resumé, you will bring it with you to the interview, and you will have confirmed with everyone on the list that you can use them as a reference.
- List at least three. Recommendation is to use an employer or co-worker, a faculty member, and someone who knows you via a community service project or church. Do NOT include family members as a reference!
- Use an excellent printer. Smudged, faint, heavy, or otherwise poor quality prints will discourage red-eyed readers—it’s an extension of you remember.
- Color isn’t always necessary.
- It’s based on your wallet.
- Select nice paper, bright but not exotic or fancy.
- If you have decided to design a more creative format, try a variety of papers. However a lot of printers won’t let you use any paper other then printer approved paper, so check before purchasing.
Review the Rules of Typography
- Body copy font size & type
- Headline fonts
- Do not have more then one page! Get the info all on page...you don’t have much time with the reader. Keep them focused!
- Do not include an Objective: In the long run adding an objective on the actual resumé can only hurt you. Why? Not only do you risk pigeonholing yourself, but more often then not objectives are useless fluff that say nothing about your background and knowledge. They just take up space that you could use grabbing the reader, telling them who you are. Use the cover letter to cover objective thoughts and ideas. Remember your ultimate goal is to grab the reader, keep them focused, and give them a reason to call YOU. (cover letter information is provided on a separate handout)
- Do not include High school, info unless it is absolutely relevant to getting the job. (i.e. Eagle Scout)
- Do not include Hobbies, it’s absolutely relevant to the position your seeking — foreign travel, languages, etc.
Sending it off:
- Know who you are sending the Resumé to. Address the envelope to a specific individual, not just the company.
- Everything should be set to show your ability to see the fine details no matter what your major.
- Is everything clean and neat?
- Did you think about the envelope as well?
- The design, color, type, and stamp even?
- There are great artist stamps out there and you can make your own!
- Finishing up is a lot like letting go of a loved one, or a major let down after riding a killer roller coaster that wasn’t. Either way you’re done and now it’s time to mail those bad boys to get your dream job.