Assess your individual situation. Address where you are and where you want to go with respect to your career.
- [Narrator] In this course, I've included sections that address different levels of experience, because I have specific advice for recent grads, mid-career creatives, and seasoned professionals. The section on recent grads has advice for both brand new graduates and includes young professionals, people who've been in the workforce for about three to six years. If you're in an entry-level or junior position, you're considered a young professional. The section on mid-career creatives includes advice for everyone who's been promoted from a junior position, up to having the first 15 or 18 years of work under your belt.
And the section on seasoned professionals includes advice for those who've held at least one or two very senior positions. People who have two decades of creative experience or more. But first things first. It might seem obvious, but every resume should have the four most important pieces of information at the top. Let's call them your vitals, just as important as your medical vitals. Your name, a professional email address, a phone number and a link to your online portfolio.
You may have your portfolio in several places, and if you do, that's great. But on your resume, you should limit your portfolio links to no more than three, and be aware that the recruiter might only look at the first one on your list. If you have more than one phone number, include the one where you are most reachable. Make sure you have a professional voicemail message and be diligent about retrieving your messages promptly. Never let your voicemail-box get full so it is unable to record additional messages. That's bad form.
These days, a mailing address is not necessary, but you may include it. You may also want to include the URL of your LinkedIn profile. Your vitals should be super legible in a style and size that is easy to read. Here are some good examples of legible contact information. I've seen resumes where I could not decipher an email address or phone number, because it was in a tiny or very condensed or too decorative type style.
Or in a color without enough contrast to the background. Don't make a recruiter zoom in or squint or get out a magnifying glass. A word about having a professional email address. Keep it simple, it's best to use your actual name. Complicated combinations of letters and numbers are likely to be misread when a busy recruiter is trying to reach you. And stay away from inappropriate email addresses. I'm talking to you newbies. I have seen email addresses that are cutesypoo.
Perhaps fine for your friends but not for professional use. I've also seen worse, including references to drugs and sex. Be sensible. It's easy and free to set up an email address that is just for professional use. Seriously, use an obvious version of your name, which is helpful for someone who might be searching their emails to find you. Speaking of your name, the file name of your resume should be your last name, underscore, first name.
You would not believe how many resumes I receive where the filename is resume final, or with a file name starting with a first name. Imagine a busy hiring manager who is saving all submitted resumes in a folder. How will she ever find your resume again if it's called resume final. Don't annoy the hiring manager by forcing her to rename your file. One more issue I'd like to address here, I'm often asked this question and it does relate to the process of your job search.
The big question, do you need a physical portfolio or is a digital portfolio sufficient? The answer is it depends. Physical portfolios used to be a necessity. But now the first view of your work will almost certainly be online. So your digital portfolio is of primary importance. A physical portfolio is probably unnecessary if you are interviewing for a job which is primarily digital. In fact, some job interviews are totally digital, over Skype or some version of video conferencing.
However, a physical portfolio can be a valuable adjoint to your digital portfolio in certain cases. For example, if you're in a field where client presentations require making physical comps or mock-ups, your hand skills are part of a necessary skillset. Photos can be retouched to make them perfect, but physical pieces can be key to showing off your exacting hand skills. Another example, perhaps you want to include personal work such as an artist's book or other handmade one of a kind work.
Digital photos of such work can't fully convey the experience of handling it. Feeling its texture, the experience of paging through it or unfolding a three-dimensional piece. And if you get to the point where you're having a face-to-face interview, there is still a place for a physical portfolio. The hiring manager will already have seen your work online. But showing up with a beautifully prepared and printed portfolio is a plus. It reflects well on you. In an interview setting, it's often easier to page through and talk about your work with the interviewer, instead of huddling over a screen or tablet.
The physical portfolio gives a focal point to the interview. One last point, if you are meeting someone in a face-to-face interview, be sure to bring along several hard copies of your resume. Your interview might be with multiple stakeholders. So be prepared to impress them with your beautifully designed and presented resume.
- Organizing and emphasizing your experience
- Curating your career story
- Being honest and authentic
- Optimizing resumes for different career stages
- Planning a career transition
- Choosing effective typefaces
- Using style, size, weight, and color
- Choosing the right words and text length