TeamSugar member suzanneheidi is a graphic designer who's had some trouble getting interviews over the past few months. She has enough experience in her field to make a well-focused résumé and is obviously very capable and smart, but she's not sure how to improve what she already has so that employers see her as an attractive applicant.
Before I began my attempt at remedying this résumé, I asked the opinion of our fabulous graphic designer here at Sugar HQ. Here's what she had to say about creating your résumé as a graphic designer: "The biggest thing I would say for a design résumé is not to make it boring. If you are a good designer, your résumé should take some kind of stylistic approach to make it stand out from the boring white Word document résumés. I feel that if you are applying for a creative job, you should strive to show you are creative right off the bat. Some people feel differently, but I think it really depends on the company where you're applying."
I love her advice about giving your résumé a more creative edge depending on the company to which you're applying. Check out my observations and advice when you read more.
- Be attentive to grammar and punctuation: Your résumé is the first time you get to show an employer that you're attentive to detail. Capitalize the first word of every sentence and end each sentence with a period. It may not seem like it's important, but you want to give the impression that as an employee you'd produce polished work. Even if composing brief emails is only writing you'll be doing in your actual job, you need to show that you don't miss a beat. Choosing to write your résumé or cover letter in all lower-case letters isn't showing off your creative side, and it just looks like you weren't careful.
- Get rid of the fluff: When I asked our graphic designer if showcasing a summary of qualifications was standard for these types of résumés, she responded that "design résumé seem to run the gamut" and "listing that information first gets to the point and tells the employer what that person can do." It's a teaser for the employer to want to continue reading your résumé, so these points should be sharp if you're going to include this section. The summary doesn't really list her qualifications as she implied with the section's "Summary of Qualifications" title. It lists personal characteristics and skills that shouldn't introduce a résumé. Think about swapping the general statements for more specific accomplishments that will make your résumé shine.
- Don't forget about education: Even if you didn't get a formal degree, you should mention any courses or seminars you completed that relate to your chosen career. Even if you'd describe the experiences as forgettable to your friends, it's important to show off these related tidbits on your résumé.