All you need to know about making a resume

All you need to know about making a resume

 

Abstract

This article covers the basics of of designing a resume, starting from its content to execution and exporting it for use.


Resume Preparation

Start writing everything you ever did in a word document

I recommend using a cloud-based application like Google Docs or Sheets to keep all information logged in one place instead of multiple of word.doc files on your desktop.

It serves as good practice to keep track of your work experience, as you never know when you’ll need to reference a job from the past.

Make sure to record the following

  • Duration (ex. June 2015 – August 2017, or June 2015 – Present),
  • Job position (ex. Graphic Design Intern)
  • Job description (bullet point lists are ideal)

Be direct with what you did.

The clearer and more precise your description, the easier it will be for the reader to understand (especially if you are not there to talk about it in person).

Cheat code for writing a good job description:

Look up the companies you like to work at, search for any job listings, and copy it (at least in part)!

  • There is no shame in “stealing” information like this.
  • Creativity is strategic plagiarism.
  • Look for keywords in the job descriptions to use throughout your resume.

Proficiency / knowledge of

When adding in your skills, it is helpful to list your ability level, especially if you have a range of abilities across different skills

    1. Instead of using icons or bar graphs (which can be very subjective), it can be more descriptive to use words such as “proficient” and “knowledgeable”
    2. Example: Proficient in: Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop
      Knowledgeable in: Autodesk Maya and Adobe Lightroom


Resume Content

Personal information

  • Name
  • Position
    • Can be as simple as “Fashion Designer”
    • or more creative like “Sentient Motion Designer”
    • or “Creative Storyteller”
  • Phone number
  • Email
  • Website
  • Social Media (professional/art/design-related only)
    • Instagram
    • LinkedIn
    • Behance

Education

  • Degree you’re pursuing (ex. BFA in Motion Media)
  • Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)
  • Add location(s) underneath (not part of the actual name)
  • Expected graduation: Month Year
  • Scholarship (The exact name), but not including the word “SCAD”
  • Dean’s List Year-Year
  • School-related awards
  • Remember to only list university-level education. No high school or primary school.

Work experience

Software

  • Proficient
  • Knowledgeable

Languages

  • Native
  • Fluent
  • Conversational

Organisations

 

Certifications

 

Achievements

  • Industry-related awards.
  • Remarkable SCAD-related awards could also appear here (winner of design challenge, etc.). SCAD “awards” such as scholarships should only be included under Education, not here.

Projects

  • GENERATE
  • Sidewalk Arts Festival winner
  • Course-related projects
    • What class was it for
    • What did you do
    • What did you learn
    • Use key art/design terminology to emphasise
    • Example: Painted a self-portrait using complementary colour scheme to….

Fillers

  • Personal statement
  • Interest & hobbies
  • Professional Blog
  • consistent entries
  • industry-related material

Resume Design Tips

  • Keep it simple: one page (your reader will probably spend less than 1 minute on your page!)
  • Define the margins for your document (eg. 1 inch,  ½ inch,  ⅜ inch)
  • Layout and content first before you make it pretty
  • Use a legible point size for your typefaces, 9pt or 10pt is a good size to start
  • Use one or a pair of complementary typefaces
  • Be consistent (eg. with dates, typefaces, alignment, colour, punctuation)
  • Avoid Widows & Orphans (help them in real life, but avoid them on your resume ;))
  • Do not design your resume with a graphical background or colored border because there will be a white border when you print it
  • If you can’t find anything to edit on your resume, print it out in black and white or in colour.  Ask yourself
    • Is the point size too small or big?
    • Are there any typos you could not detect on your monitor?
    • How does it read when it’s printed in black and white instead of color? (Employers will probably not print it in color).
    • How does it look when it’s photocopied – does it lose any readability?

Possible Education Format

Format 1: One Location

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)

BFA in Major, Expected graduation: Month & Year

Location

Example

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)

BFA in Graphic Design, Expected graduation: June 2020

Hong Kong

 

Format 2: Two Locations

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)

BFA in Graphic Design, Expected graduation: June 2020

Hong Kong and Savannah, GA

 

Format 3: With Honours

BFA in Motion Media Design, Expected graduation: May 2019

Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD)

Hong Kong and Lacoste, France

Achievement Honours Scholarship, 2016 – Present


Possible Work Experience Format

Format 1: More Content
DEC 2015 – MAR 2016 Paint Artist for Stereo Conversion, Double Negative, Singapore

Produced multiple clean plates for The Legend of Tarzan film

Completed 2-month probationary period & training on company systems & workflow

Contributed to company’s shared knowledge & training database by publishing tutorial articles

Format 2: Less content

March 2015 – Present, Graphic Designer

MailerMailer, Inc. Rockville, MD, USA

  • Develop vision, tone, and direction for branding of in-house web products
  • Write and maintain standards compliant CSS/ XHTML for web applications

Adobe InDesign Tips

  • List your resume content in one text frame or as little as you can
    • This makes it more convenient to edit the leading or the tracking  across your resume listing and make it consistent
  • Export your resume as a PDF! Do not export as a JPEG or PNG. It is industry standard to use PDF.
  • Name your resume properly before sending it out:
    • Example filename: DesmondDu_Resume_2017.pdf
  • Your resume size should not be bigger than 2mb. If it is, you’ll want to use Adobe Acrobat to compress it. Go to: File > Save As Other > Reduced Size PDF.

A final note about resumes

Resume design is subjective can always be improved

People have different preferences in design thinking, but what truly matters is visual communication of your information. In the end, it’s your document, so be prepared to defend any decisions you’ve made about the document when someone asks you questions.

Resume content will always change according to the job.

There is no one-size-fits-all resume that you can submit to different jobs like designing, animating and teaching. You need to change your resume content to fit the job description. Each resume you develop can be 100% truthful while still showing different abilities you have.
For example, if you applying for a teaching position, you could list Teaching Experience as part of your resume and perhaps irrelevant content such as your creative projects.

Content first, design second

Get all your information written to perfection before beginning the design process.

Use spellcheck!

Even design software such as InDesign and Illustrator include a spellcheck option. Use it! Even native English speakers make mistakes – so everyone is encouraged to use it. Also show your document to a friend and have them look over it, as it always helps to have a fresh pair of eyes to check for errors.

 

 

Desmond Du

Desmond Du is a Singaporean pursuing a B.F.A in Motion Media Design at SCAD Savannah. He enjoys sharing knowledge with everyone and helping people to do their best in whatever work they are doing. He is also looking for content creators to collaborate with or share their content on nosleepcreative.com.

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