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Resume + Cover Letter Design



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inasuma

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Greetings chaps. So I'm in the process of applying to a bunch of places for internships. Luckily, I have one that's part time already lined up (though sadly not paid) at a local magazine. I'm pretty excited about that. My hope is to get another one that is paid *crossing fingers* that is also part time.

At any rate, here is my current resume which I plan on sending to ad agencies and other publications for design-related internships. I don't know what the rules are for cover letters, but I kinda designed mine up a bit to match my resume. If that is a big no-no, let me know. Just looking for design-centric advice here.

(I'm using a local ad agency as an example for the cover letter, btw)

Cover Letter
x

Resume

x
 
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Nutari

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Hey, it looks rather impressive! I don't know too much about resumes, but I know enough to say that I don't think there is anything wrong up there.
 

Color Me Evil

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I received some advice the other day from two design professionals and they both said to have several options for your resume ready to go, because while this current concept might work for design studios, it may not for other opportunities.
 

Monkey

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Yes, please have a boring MS Word white paper version of your resume as well. That's great for design geared companies. But any corporation and they will gloss over it. Also please make sure if you are sending electronically its as a pdf.

Also, I mean this as best as I can. The entire point of graphics is to visualize information to make it easier to understand. But I don't understand anything at all on your resume. Hell, under stats you have it written "100 % communication + visualization" which I assume means what I just said, but it'd be very hard for me to pick that up when I read it. In fact, it's literally unused real estate. (Assuming we are following the one page convention for a resume, all the space counts).

You then have that legend saying 50% Creativity/Content, but what is that even referring to. Are you saying that's what your work is? How did you decide its 50/50? And how can you show on your resume that your work exemplifies that? You never do. You just plaster that on there.

Do the similarly colored bullets on the right side next to your skills have the same meaning as the legend? I have no clue really. Why are there more circles next to some than others? It's not good graphics design (other than looking good of course) if its not relaying information clearly, it defeats the purpose, you are just a guy with photoshop then which I know you aren't!

If I'm a hiring manager with 1000 resumes and I really only get an average 20 seconds per resume, if I have to think while glossing over yours, it is probably not going to be one of the resumes I actually sit down and spend a few minutes reading. It'll be one of the 10 second tosses. And I don't mean these hiring managers don't care for you or your skills, you are probably perfectly suited to the company, but that's their job, and they have that much to go through.

And one final recommendation - you have the qualifications, you talk about what you do, but not the benefit. For example "helped with visual overhaul of KHInsider" that sounds excellent! I'd probably want to ask you for more information if I were an interviewer, and the first thing I'd probably ask is "how did it benefit the site?". A good answer would probably be something along the lines of "Well, they were looking for <x,y,z> to bolster the site in <a,b,c> ways. My design skills contributed to the overall project by <1,2,3> and it was a huge success. Traffic ended up increasing by <durrhurrdurr>". People like to hear that your work actually delivers concrete results. So you should look into researching that and sort of "teasing" your success in the resume itself!

Visually though it looks great.

I hope this has been constructive! :) Best of luck!

Also, your cover letter MIGHT be on the longer side. I never really know what to say about that because some people will not bother reading everything you write and that's a shame. I tend to be the same way in that I have a lot to say. It's really a matter of luck. Maybe only a paragraph or two to another hiring manager means you didn't write enough? Just something to keep in mind.

Just looking for design-centric advice here.

Whoops. :(
 
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Eric

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I gave you my two cents the other day but I'll just say again I don't feel like you should rate your skills. Looks like a lack of confidence :x

Also yes have a word doc version as well. It doesn't have to be boring though, I've got my word doc separating into two columns (idea I stole from a friend of mine) and it works really well even if it's just plain text.
 

inasuma

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Thanks for all that advice guys. I do have a plain resume actually. :)

x
 
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Color Me Evil

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that link to your behance and that bubble is killin' me. just make them pretty columns!
 

inasuma

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If I'm a hiring manager with 1000 resumes and I really only get an average 20 seconds per resume, if I have to think while glossing over yours, it is probably not going to be one of the resumes I actually sit down and spend a few minutes reading. It'll be one of the 10 second tosses. And I don't mean these hiring managers don't care for you or your skills, you are probably perfectly suited to the company, but that's their job, and they have that much to go through.

And one final recommendation - you have the qualifications, you talk about what you do, but not the benefit. For example "helped with visual overhaul of KHInsider" that sounds excellent! I'd probably want to ask you for more information if I were an interviewer, and the first thing I'd probably ask is "how did it benefit the site?". A good answer would probably be something along the lines of "Well, they were looking for <x,y,z> to bolster the site in <a,b,c> ways. My design skills contributed to the overall project by <1,2,3> and it was a huge success. Traffic ended up increasing by <durrhurrdurr>". People like to hear that your work actually delivers concrete results. So you should look into researching that and sort of "teasing" your success in the resume itself!

Visually though it looks great.

I hope this has been constructive! :) Best of luck!

Also, your cover letter MIGHT be on the longer side. I never really know what to say about that because some people will not bother reading everything you write and that's a shame. I tend to be the same way in that I have a lot to say. It's really a matter of luck. Maybe only a paragraph or two to another hiring manager means you didn't write enough? Just something to keep in mind.



Whoops. :(

About the benefit- you are definitely right. In one of my cover letters for a local paper, I make the results of my newspaper redesigns very clear (increased circulation, more calls to the office, more letters to the editor, etc). Is this the type of thing I should include each time I mention what I've done in my cover letter?

I never know how long to write a cover letter. I've written them as short as two or three paragraphs, but then I have the really serious positions I want badly where I'm writing 5 paragraphs in varying length. Agh.

I really appreciate your input on both the resume and cover letter, everyone. And jeels-- yes, the colors basically were a guide to the "skills" area. haha Maybe I am being too cryptic. :x

edit: sorry about the double post. lolz
 

Color Me Evil

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the link and bubble are just... there and aren't really serving a purpose. they break up the columns in a way that's not aesthetically pleasing.

About the benefit- you are definitely right. In one of my cover letters for a local paper, I make the results of my newspaper redesigns very clear (increased circulation, more calls to the office, more letters to the editor, etc). Is this the type of thing I should include each time I mention what I've done in my cover letter?

yes. the purpose of a cover letter is pretty much about to brag about why you're the best applicant for the job you're applying for.

the rule of thumb for cover letter length is about a page. any more is overwhelming and any less makes it seem like you're uninterested.
 

Monkey

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That's great George. Also, your "plain" resume looks great! I have a huge problem with blocks of text on mine making it questionably unreadable, but the way you alternated the font colors works so well!

I don't know if its like this in every industry, but for mine at least, there's no need to put "references available on request" - it is antiquated. They already assume you have references available.
 

inasuma

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I guess that's a good point. I'll take out the bubbles and make it just two columns. Thanks a bunch y'all. I'm also going to be getting some CnC from my adviser today hopefully, so combined with this I'd say this is a pretty successful crit. I really appreciate it <3
 

inasuma

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I can't open that sadly. But I think I know what she means. Just simple columns, right? I made some changes to it the other night, will post in a bit.
 

Color Me Evil

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yep, it's just two simple columns with no significant text changes (just bolded versus not) :)
 

inasuma

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Okay, here 'tis.

x

edit: just so I know, do you guys think using a fancy graphic-ish one for those design firms would be a good idea? Or should I let my design portfolio speak for itself and keep the resume simple?
 
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