Kim emailed me to ask for some constructive criticism on her CV. Which I'm more than happy to do - Kim I've emailed you back.
Some of the comments I made were fairly general so I thought I'd share them here. Feel free to add comments if you have any helpful advice. We were all students looking for that first design job once. And remember how hard it was?
1. This stuff is important
At the moment this is the most important piece of communication you have ever designed. So treat it as such. Make it brilliant.
2. STAND OUT
Most CV's are dull, boring and repetitive. And everyone says the same thing. Stand out, and you'll get an interview. If you only do two things on this list do this one and number 10.
That's what you're paid for. Your brief is to sell yourself, quickly, efficient, amongst masses of competition to an impossible audience.
4. Remember that the content is king.
Write, rewrite and rewrite it again. Strip away any superfluous information. So you worked at M&W Local Stores when you were 16, so what? Is that relevant to your design experience?
5. Keep it short.
I get at least a CV a day, more in the summer. Almost all of them go in the bin. Try and get it to one page of A4. I bet the Microsoft press office can get Bill Gates' biography on one side of A4.
6. Are they really your hobbies?
You swim, you go out with friends, you like the cinema. Big fucking deal, so does the rest of the world. If you have an interesting hobby then include it, don't make them up. Anyway graphic design should be your hobby.
7. Tough audience
This is the toughest audience you'll ever have. You are designing for designers. So take care. Craft it. Check the typography, check the widows, check for typos, line stuff up. Prove you can design well.
8. Online tips
Send it as a PDF or a web page. DO NOT send massive jpegs.
9. Offline tips
Send one piece of paper (or maybe even try something that isn't paper, innovate a little...). Do not send a business card. Do not send loads of samples (unless asked for).
10. You wouldn't do this would you?
Never, ever, ever, ever send anything in Word (on paper or electronically). If you think this is OK you should not be working in design.
Has anyone else got any helpful tips?
Hell, I don't even use Word for personal correspondence anymore. It's InDesign all the way baby.
Posted by: Adam | Feb 06, 2006 at 01:25
Don't know if this post is still viewed but regardless...
I'm currently looking for my 3rd job. At an interview with a recruitment agency I was surprised to see my CV as a fax printout, grainy and high contrast. It was originally emailed to them as a pdf, and fortunately I'd kept the design simple: name in bold type plus an obvious but not over bearing logo.
People still use faxes and your CV design should recognise this. Too much design means lots of ink coverage and no one will think well of you if their first impression is your CV in reverse on their hands or clothes. Put your best 'white space is my friend' hat on for this job.
Posted by: AVC | Jun 29, 2006 at 16:21
The post is still viewed, yeah.
You make a good point. I guess I was really talking about the content of your CV and not the design, so much.
Maybe I'll come back to that.
Posted by: Ben | Jun 29, 2006 at 22:06
I was surfing the net for some "inspirational" ideas to "redesign" my boring and obvious information cv. I got into 2 pages: 1, with some visual samples (they rock!) and 2, this page.... tips are hot! #10 is great! (I can't believe I still do that!) though I'm still hesitating about number 8 which by the way many companies still manage jpgs files... I think "more" than Acrobat (for pfs)...
Anyway, GREAT tips!!!
Posted by: Laurini | Oct 24, 2009 at 23:03
Some (non-design specific) recruitmant websites ask for CV's as word files.
Word to the wise - it is possible to copy and paste from InDesign to Word and a suprising amount of your formatting will stay in-tact. You'll probably have to stick to Arial or Georgia mind.
Posted by: Sam | Jul 12, 2010 at 13:23