So you are looking for a new position or just have graduated – You have a great folio, great work experience, you’re energetic and you’re motivated – though getting employed is proving a little tricky. Here are some helpful tips to getting your foot in the door with your resume.
1. Get a decent email address.
Sure we all have fun email addresses with our mates, but firstname.lastname@example.org might not really be the best first-impression.
Something like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org is better.
2. Use any other than Times New Roman!
90% of the resume’s we receive use these formats – drives everyone crazy.
3. Layout and Format
This one is really important. The best thing you can do for a resume or cover letter is design it in the format of the job you are applying. If you after a graphic designer position, create your resume and cover letter through an industry appropriate application like indesign and supply it as a PDF. If you applying for a web designer position, have an online folio to showcase yourself. Most importantly print it out and see whether it is legible and looks good.
4. Be personal and specific in your cover letter.
Research a little and mention something you find unique about the company you are applying for… and perhaps involve a little flattery.
“The work you did on project x was great! I would love to work on projects of that nature and would really appreciate the opportunity to show you the great things that I can do.”
As opposed to:
“Dear Company, I greatly enjoyed your website; I thought it was forthcoming and informative. I would like a job. “
Ensure your resume is grammatically correct and all words are spelled correctly. Designers are particular on this. A firm grasp on language is a necessity as correcting spelling mistakes on brochures / billboards can be a very costly exercise.
6. Talk about what you things you do outside of of work.
Interesting people do interesting things. Bosses really like to see active people in the community, so if are part of design association, have won awards, like to ride your bike, collect stamps – tell them about it.
7. Check your social media / blog.
It’s amazing what is out there. Reality is that most employers search for you online. Get rid of / hide awkward photo’s, bad comments by your mates, any video of you on youtube singing karaoke drunk / falling over – basically anything that you wouldn’t want your grandmother seeing. That way if an employee searches and finds you, they find only positive things.
8. Please don’t make things up!
Claim only the work that you made yourself / were a part of. It’s the nice thing to do and ultimately our industry is such where one finds out very quickly whether you can do the things you say you can.
9. Have fun and be creative.
WOW them with creativity. Be quirky. Be different. Be Fun. Be Clever. Make them laugh. Make them cry.
Get them to talk to their friends about this ‘amazing’ resume they just received.
Below is a link to an excellent article by Smashing Magazine on this topic!