06.06.12

ADVICE /19

let me start off by saying this post is making me cringe a little bit. a lot of people ask us in our advice column “what do your resumes look like? are they design-y looking or no-frills?” it PAINS me to show you the evolution of my resume, but i am going to do it. and mostly it’s just funny.

KATIE’S ANSWER:
designed! when applying to a design job, your resume is often the first thing the art director sees. it’s an example of your type styling and layout skills. it doesn’t have to be jazzed with odds and ends — it can just be beautifully typeset. you want the information neatly organized with no more than three typefaces: a main headline text, a second for your dates and a third for the descriptions. anymore it will look too busy.

even if you aren’t applying for a creative job, i think a nicely designed resume really makes you stand out in that giant stack of competition. I’ve designed resumes for friends before that work in finance, marketing and engineering. everyone needs a good looking resume. here’s my old and new one…


BRI’S ANSWER:
apparently in 2007 i thought swirls were HOT. and guess what? they’re NOT. those “flourishes” are awful, but i said i would show you! and then it looks like i got a little better in 2008, but not much.


then in 2010 I finally came to my senses even more and dropped that cheesy blue color and cleaned everything up. this one’s easier on the eyes…

now, I will be completely honest and say that I haven’t updated my resume in about a year and a half because not that many freelance jobs ask for them. if I get approached for a job i send out a quote using my branded business items. however, this 2010 resume is not far off from what I would have. it’s simple, easy to read and designed (but not over-designed).

does that help at all? man, it feels like some skeletons were let out of my closet today. and by skeletons, i mean swirlz.

(a bunch more freelance advice posts are here.)

85 COMMENTS

Add your own

    Pegah S says:

    This is a fantastic post! thank you!

    You girls are the COOLEST for sharing old resume designs! Seriously. It’s so great to see the evolution. I look at my stuff from even a year ago and cringe. I still have a ton to learn, but hopefully it’s only up from here.

    Amanda says:

    Katie, I love your current resume design SO much! Thanks for sharing the ups and downs, ladies. It’s helpful to know I am not the only one whose resume suffered a dark ages.

    Casie says:

    So love seeing that Katie is from Maryland 🙂
    Definitely nice to see a few example of layouts. I’ve always been shy about adding a touch of personality to my resume via design elements but I’m totally going to now!

    Kenny Colvin says:

    This post pretty much rules. Katie, I love how server is the first 2 jobs on you “graphic design” resume. In 1998 my resume was modeled on a diner guest check. and my “experience” is “copy shop”, “copy shop” I gotta find a pic of that resume.

    Funny how I never thought my copy shop experience would amount to anything… and here I run a letterpress printing business… which is basically like running a very fancy copy shop

    lauren says:

    you may have let out some swirls, but at least there was no Curlz! cringing that i used that for my 18th birthday party (just the header, thank god.. but still).

    Also – Just a little insight on the ‘other side’, I worked at an ad firm and we got LOTS of over-designed resumes. It just screamed, “I’m compensating for a lack-of.” The older bosses hated them.

    Kendra says:

    I have to say, if I saw that resume back in 2007, I would have thought it was incredible. HA! But I’m glad to see that your resume has evolved over the years, and thanks for the advice! These days my resume is much cleaner than it used to be!

    Cindy says:

    This is great! WHat I needed to read! 🙂

    Avery Cox says:

    Oh no you di-int… seeing that makes me feel so much better about my self and the evolution of my resume/blog/etc. Thank you of sharing, now I need to go remove the fireworks I drew on my current resume….

    haha the swirls are making me laugh. I’m sure we’re all equally to blame for something similar. I love the simple design of your last. Great post, ladies.

    Thanks for sharing this! I can’t even describe how horrific my old resume was. I should actually go through and post mine from the past. I need to do a better job of posting design-y things on my blog since design is what I do professionally.

    I’m glad you mentioned that it’s appropriate for ALL to have a nicely designed resumé. I’ve been trying to convince my boyfriend, who’s looking for engineering jobs, that he should have at the last some stationery.

    Clarissa says:

    I have been RESEARCHING resume lay-outs and I am so happy to come across this page. Now I’m scrapping everything I had and going back to (Swiss) basics. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    catherine says:

    The swirls are endearing! They are! You’re a champ for sharing…
    I have to admit that every single time I launch a collection or modify my shop, I’m happy with it for about 24 hours,tops, and then I cringe + freak out at my own versions of your swirls, and hop back on trying to design the next stage. A constant battle for an artist who can make things with her hands, but not so much on the computer.
    But you’ve certainly nailed it, Bri (and Katie!). Well done, again and again.

    look see says:

    I think swirls were hot in 2007! That still looks a tonne and a half better than my current resume!

    juliet says:

    i love these advice posts! I have a request for one… how to make your online portfolio look good. i have a cargo account, but it looks terrible. when i upload photos/files, i never know what size they will be or how they will look. i could use a start to finish tutorial on making it look good, how to save files, etc!!! thanks!

    Marjorie says:

    So great to see the evolution in both your resumes! Love your work!
    I have a request for a next advice post too: how to get back on track after bad criticism on a design you made? Most of the time I get very positive reactions, but I tend to forget those. The negative ones however always seem to linger in my mind. I find it difficult to get over them and feel very insecure. How do you become a more confident designer? Do you sometimes still feel insecure? Thx!

    Jewel says:

    Great post Bri! I’ve been on a lot of interviews and the reason they called me in is because they loved the design of my resume. My resume design is one the reasons I got my current job.

    Adoring this post- I love the resume help and the evolution of your resumes. Great post, Bri!

    Jackie says:

    I’m guilty of a swirl obsession around that time too. Thankfully they never made it on my resume. My work, on the other hand…

    Tish Tosh says:

    Hey you interned for 944?! I modeled for them once…a long long time ago. ♥ love

    Lol! Looking back on old design choices is like looking back at old fashion choices, isn’t it? My resume is quite design-y as well, maybe simplifying it will ensure it’s still “trendy” in a few years. Thanks for sharing ladies xo

    Laura says:

    You inspire me daily, and I just found out you may have been in a design class at ASU with me. Beyond thrilled!

    Mollie says:

    The swirls!!! Haha! I think they were definitely having a moment at the time, nowadays I think what of what is having a moment and avoid it 🙂

    Thank you again for all the great insight!

    Love this post!! It’s always great seeing resumes for inspiration, and hearing tips!!!

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