“Good artists copy, great artists steal,” so goes Pablo Picasso’s aphorism which the late Steve Jobs famously quoted in 1996, proof that however controversial the rest of the industry views him for saying so, he knew exactly what he was doing. Whether he meant copying ideas of competitors and taking it higher, or simply taking inspiration from his creative predecessors, Apple and other tech giants understands that at the end of the day, the evolution of a business, just as in biological evolution, is very much a case of adapt or say goodbye.
By and large, clients would be demanding authentic and inventive outputs, not a copy of a copy. However, design and tech companies cannot survive in their own bubble. If you are applying a job in the design industry, no matter how much you want to stay true to being unique and ignore the demand of social, political, technological and economic change happening around, you need to constantly adjust your skills to it and you need a resume that will get you the job. Here are the elements you need to include:
If you think you can make a career in an industry driven by skills and creativity, you should start with a resume that highlights your professional skills and experience. Go clean and simple with the goal of providing an honest breakdown of what you have done in the past, relevant to the position you’re applying for and how everything you learned would be useful to the job. Follow these steps as your guide:
1. Skip the objective: Objectives on a resume and CV are quite outdated and design agencies tend to be wary of them. Instead, try writing a professional summary. Make it short with about two to three sentences describing who you are and where your strengths lie. Your summary should present your skills and qualifications that suits the role you want in the company and should also be able to answer the question “Why should we hire you?” to a great extent.
2. Make it brief: Most of the time, one page is enough for a resume unless you have a significant list of experience and accomplishments relevant to the position. If you think your resume warrants a second page and you’re hesitant to cut content, ask a professional (an editor or a copywriter) if there are phrases you can shorten to get more space on the page. Better yet, just include them in your cover letter.
3. Keep it professional: It’s a great idea to showcase your creativity in your resume by making it visually appealing but let’s not forget that it’s a document that demands formality so balance that creativity with professionalism. A manager will base his judgement on how your resume looks so don’t overdo the aesthetics. Stick to the basics and organize content in a way that’s familiar to recruiters. Make your font size readable and don’t give people a hard time with a resume that doesn’t communicate your most vital information clearly.
4. Proofread: It’s often too easy to overlook errors in content such as grammar or typo especially if it’s something you’ve written half a dozen times before. However, a single typo is all it takes to ruin your chances of being hired, especially for the most competitive positions. Before submitting your resume, read it before and after printing. If you want to make sure, try asking two other people to check it too.
You have more options than the failed antics of other artists just to secure an interview. Companies respond better to thoughtfulness than obvious trickery. You don’t have to say you can produce a great advertisement concept in just one day. You don’t have to lie. Instead, you can follow a couple of tips to give you more ideas in how you can create a resume that wins not just interviews but the position itself:
1. Research the Company: You’ve probably heard this before which means it goes without saying. There’s nothing like an applicant who has done his homework that would impress managers in some companies. You also get to tailor your resume better, according to the culture of the organization when you know enough about them.
2. Don’t Get Carried Away: There’s a dividing line between appealing and overwhelming. You have to know that recruiters are often going through a high pile of resumes. You may want to stand out and get noticed but if there’s just too much going on in one page, you may not get the kind of attention you were going for. Make it simple, organized, and clean.
In the creative industry, these types of non-traditional resumes can work wonders. You’ll notice they’re mostly digital but you may need to have a printed version for them submitted when applying for a job:
1. Infographic Creative Resumes: An infographic resume mostly uses visuals which includes images, graphs, charts and other graphics to present information about the applicant. Such information would be in a highly visual format. For instance, instead of just showing work history in a chronological order, this type of resume can present information in a graphic or illustrated timeline.
2. Online Creative Resumes: This may include a portfolio showcasing your creative skills. This is especially very helpful for those who wants to work in design, art, writing, photography and computer programming since it provides a stellar visual representation of your work.
3. Video Creative Resumes: There are times when a certain position in the creative department may require more than a printed copy of your resume. In this case, you can submit a video highlighting your skills and experience. Ideally, the candidate would have to stand in front of the camera and talk about his qualifications.
You’re free to use templates of creative resumes online such as the ones found in this article and edit them as necessary. Just remember to print them in the standard A4, U.S Paper Size, or 8.5 x 11″.
We recommend using a range between 10 – 12 size font and it should be uniform throughout the whole document.
Resumes that are designed creatively are a great way to showcase your design skills and stand out from other job candidates in a highly competitive job market. Just remember not to overdo the visuals so as not to annoy recruiters who are trying to sift through hundreds of other resumes.
Graphics and visuals may be important but so is being organized and professional. Also, try to emphasize results rather than responsibilities in indicating your qualifications.
Just as it is important to dress up for a job interview, you also have to have a well-presented resume with the right design size and with the right content included, to increase your chances of getting considered for the job. A resume is what provides the balance between your personal choice in presenting it, which is why it gives off a bi of your character and the standard format of job application to recognize the value of professionalism.