Resume Guide 2011 – Creative Industry Edition

The golden rule – you cannot change who you are or what your experience is. But you can change how you present your background.

The resume serves one purpose – to get you the meeting/interview. Don’t do anything on the resume to hurt this.

Do not misspell anything. Use proper grammar. Have someone else proofread.

Use a pleasing layout. White space counts.

No Times New Roman. No MS Word template.

Do not over design. An identity is fine, a logo mark is fine. Graphical elements and an overuse of color are not.

Have a professional e-mail address.

Do not send your resume from your current employer’s e-mail. Do not communicate with a prospective employer using your current employer’s e-mail.

If your cell phone is listed, don’t answer your cell phone with “yo, what’s up?” “Who is this?” or other ways that sound unprofessional.

If you are at least two years out of school, educational information can move to the bottom.

There are three kinds of resumes: chronological, functional, and a blend of the two.

You should expect a resume to be reviewed in 30 seconds. Get your point across quickly and clearly.

Never more than two pages. Never.

Be honest.

Use action verbs but avoid buzzwords. “Think outside of the box” was never a good phrase.

Highlight accomplishments.

Never, ever make the reviewer work too hard to find out who you are and what you’ve done. It’s not their job to figure out who you are. It’s your job to communicate it clearly.

Your interests are your interests. Be careful what you list if you list them.

Don’t hype or exaggerate.

If you are a designer, also have a “snapshot” PDF portfolio to send as well. Don’t include your whole book. Leave them wanting more.

Write a good cover letter.

If you use humor, use it sparingly and smartly. Make sure you’re funny.

Package and market yourself with the same attention that you do your clients.

3 responses to “Resume Guide 2011 – Creative Industry Edition”

  1. Kate says:

    Was just updating my LinkedIn account and was wondering how far back (in years) should I go for employment history? Or rather, should it be as far back as experience is pertinent? Does the same go for a resume? Thanks Mr. P!

  2. potestio says:

    This depends somewhat on the overall years of professional experience you have. The more years of experience, the more relevant, and the more you would want to keep this information on resume and Linkedin. If experience is no longer relevant and you have substantial experience that is, you can leave off the non-relevant experience. A recent grad, for example, would likely have more un-relevant experience listed than a 10-year professional.

  3. Kate says:

    Gotya! Thanks for the advice! 🙂

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