Graphic design is a competitive field, and a well-designed resume can help you stand out from the pack. Unlike other fields, the way a graphic designer presents themselves via their resume is just as important as the information in the document.
Here are 4 tips for creating a graphic design resume that gets noticed:
1. Show off Practical Design Skills
Although more “design attention” is usually put towards a portfolio website or self-promotion, a resume is a great opportunity to demonstrate your identity creation skills, use of color, understanding of hierarchy and even software proficiency. But, don’t go crazy. With resumes, less is definitely more. A clean, minimal is best—be as brief as possible, use fonts that are easy to read and don’t go crazy with design elements.
2. Think like a Business Person
A big mistake many graphic designers make when creating a resume is focusing too much on the design and not enough on the content. While a clean design that demonstrates hierarchy is critical, the content within the resume is also what the recipient will focus on. Whether you’re applying for an in-house position or one at an agency, any sort of metric you can apply to demonstrate that your design skills contributed to the success of a campaign will make your resume stand out.
Also keep in mind that when creating the content of your resume in mind that, depending on the type of company you’re sending your resume to, the person that reviews it may not be a creative professional. In fact, they might not be a person at all.
Many companies rely on applicant tracking systems that focus on keywords related to specific requirements for a job. One way to discover what keywords are specific to the position you’re applying for is to review similar job postings, notice words or phrases repeated or addressed with prominence in the qualifications and responsibilities sections and repurpose those keywords in your resume.
For more information on resume keywords, check out this blog post from The Balance Careers. Another great resource is The Graphic Designer’s Guide to Better Business Writing.
3. Hire a Proofreader
A misspelling, grammatical errors or the omission of critical information (such as contact information) on a resume can make an applicant look careless and unqualified—and call attention to detail skills into serious question. When writing your resume, do not try to rush through it. In addition to running spell check, proofread your resume aloud using a printed copy for a thorough review. Additionally, I recommend taking this process even further by hiring a proofreader. The cost will be minimal and well worth the results.
4. Be Memorable
Having a printed copy of your resume on hand to provide during the interview is always a nice touch. Not only does it make you look prepared–it can make you stand out if you make good choices in regards to paper selection. Choosing a premium quality paper at a heavier text weight will give your resume an elevated feel while boosting the color in the graphics. You can take the impact of a printed resume even further with interesting folds, creative bindery or other interactive elements.
Of course, a well-designed resume isn’t the only way to stand out during a job search. Creating a printed piece that functions as part of an individual’s self-promotional omni-channel campaign (which could include your portfolio website, social media posts/profiles, blog posts, etc) is an excellent way for potential employers to better understand who you are and what you have to offer. For inspiration that can help you create a self-promotional printed piece that pushes the boundaries, visit our Domtar Paper Gallery.
Make sure to learn more about Ashley Maydak, Domtar Paper Brand Manager.