Monday, January 31, 2011

5 Steps to the Perfect Web Designer Resume

If you’re a web designer, having a well-designed resume is extremely important. It’s important for all job-seekers to have great resumes, but for you, as a designer - this is your chance to strut your stuff and make a big impression. It’s also important because all the other designers competing against you should have great resumes, so yours is just average, you’re in trouble. I’ve hired designers before, it makes an impact. When I’m hiring, I want an employee who loves all facets of design and has an eye for detail.
I recently noticed Kevin Fox was leaving Google for an undisclosed startup. For those of you who don’t know, Kevin Fox was the Senior User Experience Design Lead at Google. He worked on Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Reader. His resume is published on his site so I thought I’d take a peak. It’s one of the best resumes I’ve ever seen (and I’m not even talking about his impressive work experience).
Below are five things I gleaned from Kevin’s resume that will lead you to creating your own perfect resume. For comparison, here’s my resume (it’s a little dated). They’re pretty similar, but Kevin’s is better.
web designer resume

Step #1: Stand out from the crowd

Be different. Don’t ever use a standard font in your resume like Times, Arial or even Georgia. Try a different layout. Kevin was thoughtful enough to include the fonts he used in his resume (Gill Sans, Hoefler Text). On my resume I used Frutiger. Now, I advise against getting too wild or using colored paper - but definitely don’t look “standard”.
Step #2: Make them remember you
Put your name in large text. When they think of candidates, make sure they think of your name first.
Step #3: Put the important stuff first
Hopefully, that’s your extensive work experience, but if not - put whatever is most impressive first. If you’re student, get some experience! Help out a non-profit or a friend, do something to give yourself that leg up above your competition.
Step #4: Your contact info isn’t important
One of the things I love above Kevin’s resume is that his contact info is all the way in the top right - out of the way. If they want to contact you, they’ll find your phone number. Don’t put it between your name and your experience. Think like the usability expert you are, help the user “scan” your resume.
Step #5: List your skills and expertise
Don’t be shy, tell it all. This might be the most important part of your resume, so maybe it should go first.
Bonus #1: Show your personality
You’re applying for a creative position, have some fun! Of course, it helps when you’re Kevin Fox and you can have any job you want, so keep it limited.
Bonus #2: Watch the competition
Keep copies of other designer’s resumes that you like for reference. I actually just noticed that I had an old copy of Kevin’s resume saved (he changed “Mobile Interfaces” to “Small-screen Design” under expertise…interesting). I also have resumes saved from Abie Rose, Katie Newell and many others.
What are your tips for creating the perfect resume? If you’re an employer, what do you look for?

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