Topic: Resume Help / Tips

Consider this the second installment of my job hunt and work adventure.

As I have written, my professional history consists of working with a ministry called Chi Alpha for the past three years. During this time, I've picked up small design odd jobs, in conjunction with design work in various ways for the ministry. Now, in the process of being more deliberate with freelancing, I'm toying around with picking up a full time design job.

The trick is coming up with a resume that adequately describes what I've been up to and what I can do. It's been a mental battle describing and translating how my pastoral work can apply to the design environment and such.

I could really use some suggestions and or tips for how you guys approached your resumes. I know its a bit of a broad topic, but anything would be really appreciated at this point.


Right now, I'm structuring my resume like this:

Profile (or Summary or Objective)

Relevant Abilities
* Front End Web Development
* User Centered Web Design
* Team Organizing and Communicator - in my role with Chi Alpha, I organized teams and worked with donors and our students, etc.
* Self-Starting & Always Learning
* Print Design & Logo Development - done work in all that, too.

Skillset
*Software
*Languages
*Proficiencies

Employment
*Chi Alpha 2005-Present
*Freelance 2006-Present

Education

Portfolio Address



Help!

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Re: Resume Help / Tips

Hi Will,

Resume writing is no fun but super important. I've been meaning to update my own resume for a little while now so your post caught my eye. Before I give my advice, let me say that I'm not a expert at this but have had some resume writing training in business school and also have looked through several resumes at my job. Also, I'm not a designer but am in general IT.

With some careful care you should be able to translate your pastoral work into design related experiences. Most pastors I know have excellent communication and people skills. You should be able to sell these to a potential employer by explaining how you are able to relate to and understand clients.

The first thing I'd say is not to use an objective in your profile section. Those seem outdated and always seem weird to read from an employers perspective. I don't see how they add much value and they take up valuable space (a resume should just be one page, two if you've got a ton of experience).

Next, its very important to stress your accomplishments and not just what you've worked on. For example, you might say you created user centered web sites. However, it would be better to provide evidence that you created good user center web designed sites. You might say that after the launch of your user centered web designed site traffic, sales, whatever, increased 20%. It's hard to come up with good figures but if you've got hard evidence for any of your abilities than incorporate them. Remember, management likes numbers and hard data. I'd also give examples of how your Self-Starting & Always Learning.

For your skill sets, something one of my professors recommended was to provide some indication of your level of expertise with each item. Like if you're really good at one language you could put expert in parenthesis and if you're only familiar with another language you could put familiar, etc. That way, if you get called to an interview and they start asking you to write some PHP code from memory you have it own your resume you can point out that you're just familiar with it but could easily become an expert based on your experiences with other languages.

You might also consider making several different versions of your resume based on the positions your applying for. Unfortunately, one resume doesn't fit all jobs so its a good idea to tailor the resume for each job you're applying for.

Lastly, this should be a given, but don't forget to have your grammar checked and re-checked. I'm sure you will since you're asking for advice already but so many people make dumb mistakes on their resume.

Also, be sure to spend the same amount of attention and focus on your portfolio and own website since you're pointing this out in the resume. This is extra important since you're a designer. If you own site doesn't look absolutely amazing then people will be less likely to hire you for design work assuming that your site exemplifies your capabilities.  I have not seen your site so this is just a general comment. For all I know, you have the best looking site on the net.

Good luck!!

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Re: Resume Help / Tips

Will, I also came across this comprehensive article about creating a great resume. Check it out at http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2007/11/07/how-to-construct-a-killer-resume-from-start-to-finish/

He will return...