Resumé Critiques & Feedback

Hello all.

I’m in the middle of a job search and realized I wanted a place to get constructive feedback on my work-in-progress resumé. Since I didn’t see a thread going on this topic I decided to start one myself.

To get started, maybe I’ll just make a few quick and dirty rules:

  1. When posting, obscure sensitive information such as phone numbers and email addresses.
  2. When posting, mention the sorts of positions you’d be applying for, to add context.
  3. When critiquing, be honest but kind. This should go without saying.

(As this thread goes along, I might add more if needed.)

Anyway, I hope this thread can be helpful to someone!

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So I’ll start us off. Here’s my work-in-progress resumé.

I’m looking for a job as a graphic designer/creative director sort of thing. However, since I don’t exactly have working experience in an actual business yet, (I’m just starting out), I’ve decided to rely more on a list of projects I’ve been involved in.

I’m not sure if I’m going into too much detail about what I’ve done? I may pair back some of my less relevant projects if it seems to be necessary.

It’s ok if you don’t have paid experience, but you might want to restructure your resume so a reader can scan your expertise more easily. Break up your what have I done section. This is the most important section, it should be most readable.

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It’s tough, I’ve not been looking for work in years, so I’m VERY out of touch and don’t know that what I have to say is valid anymore. My daughter is looking for work right now and I have become aware that the world has changed significantly and things that I thought weren’t important, now are.

But back when I was hiring designers, the important thing was the portfolio. The resume meant very little to me, I just want to see what you’re capable of.

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In this case, as a designer, what’s the best option these days? Is it important to have a folder of printed material showcasing logos and other things to accompany the resume? Is it enough to just reference my website, which kind of acts as an online portfolio? Should I make the website more prominent?

Ok the last time I was looking for work was almost 5 years ago but that was true then too. Folks want to see what you can do. Make it easy for them to see it.

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I think people will say Behance or similar, and it works fine for getting little dopamine hits, but I’ve never been awarded a project from those types of sites. It might be that my presentations suck though, as I have friends that get work from Behance regularly. All the work I’ve ever received was from word of mouth, but I work in a fairly insular, small design sector.

But I think you either show a wide range of work on your site, or you tailor your presentation to the job you’re applying for. So if you’re going after a company that primarily does branding, I would lean heavily into logo work and case studies, and then pepper it with the other projects you’ve worked on.

My guess is that people want things to be easy for them; so I would make certain they get to see my work quickly and easily, so that would be online. I would probably do a unique URL that highlighted the type of work I would want them to see. So www.url.com/companyname , or similar. Then they can visit the rest of your site if they are liking what they see.

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A good web portfolio is wise.

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I would very much agree that your folio matters over your resumé. If the folio is good, I’d spend some time reading your resumé. But no amount of fancy experience will make up for not having at least the seed of good work.

In terms of the format for that folio, it depends on what you feel is the best way to showcase your work.

When I review design folios, I always appreciate a well laid out PDF (it’s an opportunity for you to showcase design skills outside of just your work), including some basic explanations of what I’m looking at. Even better if you can include something about the process you took, along with visual references. The best folios I’ve seen are ones that demonstrate someone’s ability to write, to justify their work and to thoughtfully talk through their process.

You could print this, as well as attaching it to any emails.

If someone is applying for a role which would involve any sort of digital design work, I honestly find it a bit weird when they don’t have a website. I don’t think Behance, Dribbble or the like cuts it. If you’re not applying for something digital-related, I don’t think it matters quite as much; but it definitely can’t hurt.

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Specifically on this resumé, I agree with @dailybells that you could restructure the page so it’s easier to scan your experience. For more recent experience (or the experience you think is most relevant for the job you are applying for), it can be nice to have a sentence or so on what you actually did, and why it’s relevant.

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I represent graphic designers and work as their agent / recruiter in London so I see these CVS and portfolios day in day out. I haven’t read yours just yet, but on immediate impression I would suggest to invert the colours and have a standard white page black text CV. If I wanted to print this out for an interview, as I do every day, this would be absolute nightmare to read. If this was embedded in a PDF portfolio, then ok.

A PDF portfolio which acts as a case study / showcase of your work is much preferred to any Behance page. Your dedicated website should be your showcase of all your best work, and this also demonstrates how you layout and present your work from scratch and not by a template.

Remember that if you point someone ( a hiring manager ) to a website there is no telling where they may click and you cannot guide them through your work as intended. It sounds silly but people are easily distracted online and they might see something else which captures their attention and takes them away from your work. Your portfolio should ideally showcase your best 5 or 6 pieces, each as their own case study across a few pages, explaining process from concept to delivery & application across digital / print, etc.

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