Your resume is the first impression potential employers see when they are sorting through job candidates. As a web designer, you cannot represent yourself with a bland resume, but you also need not allow the style to overshadow the content. In order to strike the right balance, consider the following five tips for crafting a winning web designer resume:
Lead with Experience
While having the appropriate education is a valuable asset, employers want to know that you have been successful in the web design field already. Relevant employment should always come before any freelance work, and then you can add in any volunteer projects that you have done as well. Showcase your experience side-by-side with your education in a grid for maximum impact.
Limit the Scope
Unless you are going to design the website for a grocery store or fast food restaurant, you should probably leave off unskilled jobs from your resume. Plus, if you only worked as a clerk or lower-level employee, it will be difficult to argue the significance of that work even if it is in the same field. Even freelance and volunteer work trumps this kind of job history, so if you lack paid experience, you are better off taking the catch-all approach and just listing everything pertinent under “Related Experience.”
Show and Tell
Use grids to fit everything on one page in an eye-catching style. A play of color and a fun font can go a long way, but keep it legible, and steer clear of fonts known to be unprofessional, such as Comic Sans. While using color for the headings adds a great touch, stick with dark colors and keep the background white in case anyone decides to print your resume using only black-and-white ink. Use appropriate software, such as InDesign, instead of Microsoft Word to perfect your layout, and save each completed version of your resume as a PDF before submitting it to employers so all your careful formatting stays put.
Compare and Contrast
Conduct a quick image search to see what others in your field are doing to innovate and impress with their resumes. Take your inspiration from multiple sources and try to show potential employers what sets you apart personally. Web design is a field that thrives on personality and a fun, quirky voice and style. Do your research on each company to which you are applying, browsing through the websites and checking for details in the job postings. Tailor your voice and style to suit the individual employers while also adding your own flair.
Be Clear and Concise
Make sure your formatting flows logically and naturally, leading the eye from the most to the least important information. Keep all lists parallel: If you start with a verb in one bullet point, you need to do so in each point that follows. Do not include or omit any information in one job description that does not appear that way in the others, and only offer details that are absolutely necessary. For example, listing the physical location of a web company’s headquarters is much less important than listing its web address.
The biggest takeaway from all of these points is that your web design training and experience needs to take center stage in your resume design and layout. The most successful web design also tends to be the simplest visually, and the same is true of a resume. Your confidence and proficiency in this field should shine through when potential employers review this important document.