A resume is something that we all must have at some point in our life. As a Designer this can be a tricky topic, and the questions always comes up; should I design my resume? Well this is one of those topics where you’re never going to get a straight up answer because it just depends on your needs, but here’s what I think.
The temptation to jump right in and design your resume is so strong, trust me I know. But I think there’s something that you need to understand first. Ask yourself this question: what is the point of this resume? The answer is probably something along the lines of providing a summation of your experience/skills that prove you’re the best candidate for the position, right? Precisely. So, before you jump into the design (don’t succumb to the pressure!), think of what you’re trying to communicate. The information you’re presenting is ultimately the key to this resume.
Now, let’s jump into what you’re probably reading this post for, the design. So, should you design your resume? Short answer, yes, but here’s why. If you’re in the Design field you obviously want to show off your skills, so why not utilize your resume to do that. However, let me say that this comes with moderation and here’s why. In my own personal experience, potential employers are going to look at your resume for about 30 seconds at the most, and that’s a really short window. So, you have to figure out how to communicate clearly, effectively, and quickly. That’s why I think it’s in your best interest to tone back the Design of your resume. Employers aren’t going to want to have to wade through a ton of visual elements to get the information they need. At the same time, as a designer it’s simply not good enough to have just a plain old boring text resume, it’s all about finding a happy medium.
With that being said, here’s how I suggest doing that. When you’re trying to find a position within the Design Industry you’re essentially selling yourself and your brand, so it’s pretty vital that all of your materials focus on your brand, and that includes your resume. Having a resume/portfolio/business card combo that’s all designed according to your brand shows potential employers that you’re both knowledgeable and competent when it comes to being CONSISTENT. So, utilizing your resume to further communicate your brand as a Designer is going to make it more likely for them to take notice.
I want to add this in as well because I think it’s one of the most important factors when it comes to designing your resume, and that’s layout and typography. Using your resume to show off your layout skills is one of the most beneficial things you can do because the majority of Design boils down to being able to have a well-executed and balanced layout. A huge component of that is also typography, and being able to utilize a hierarchical layout with your typography to be able to emphasize elements is HUGE. Typography can make or break a design, and if it’s not on point your resume is going to stick out like a sore thumb. When it comes to this I would say try to limit the use of your fonts to a max of 2, and remember to keep it CONSISTENT with your brand! So if you’re able to knock these two elements out of the park then you’re already on track to success with your resume.
What it all comes down to is being able to effectively communicate who you are and what you do, and being able to do that clearly and quickly. So, find a happy medium between a boring plain text resume and one that’s overpowered by visual elements.
What’s your resume like? Send me a link and I’d love to check them out!