5 Common Résumé Mistakes Graphic Designers Make
- Shaun Pagin
- April 15, 2013
If you are working as a graphic designer then your portfolio and résumé will almost be the most important pieces of work you will ever produce. These two simple items will be what snags potential employers and helps you to build the reputation you need to start earning the best rates and have your choice of the projects you actually want to do. You should spend as long as possible researching and putting your résumé together to be sure that it catches the eye of the clients you are trying to attract, as well as avoids these 5 common mistakes.
1. Too Much Information
Nothing makes an employer’s eyes glaze over like a 5 page résumé full of writing. If your important skills and experience are listed on page 3 then it is likely the client won’t even make it that far and you will find your résumé relegated to the wastepaper bin. Keep a résumé short and snappy, and only ever include relevant information. Your current skills are far more important than the fact that you were Basketball Team Captain in high school so make these your priority, and leave out all the filler.
You are trying to sell yourself as a designer who can provide attractive and professional content with which they can advertise their business. Even the smallest spelling mistake is going to overrule any experience you have and even the highest design qualifications. Clients will see mistakes on your résumé and assume that if you are sloppy with what you use to get jobs, then you will be sloppy in the work you do for them as well. Check and double check every inch of your résumé, and then get a friend to check it as well!
3. Bad Layout
Even if you are a graphic designer who specializes in posters or logos, a résumé with a bad layout seems to show that you are not capable of recognizing what looks good and what doesn’t. You can say that you have a good eye for detail and know how to design a page, but don’t forget that your résumé itself is actually an example of a laid out page. If the layout is bad the client won’t give your résumé more than a passing glance.
4. Complicated Fonts
Although it is important that you show some kind of ability in the layout and design of your résumé, don’t be tempted to over-complicate things with outrageous fonts and images. You may have designed a wonderful font which is being used by designers all around the world but unless it is a simple word processing font then the client won’t be bothered to try to read it and your résumé will be ignored. You can always show examples of fonts and designs in your portfolio which will accompany your résumé, but try to turn your résumé into a work of art and it will start working as the exact opposite of an advertisement of you and your skills.
A résumé is there for you to show off what you have done and what you can do. You are fully within your rights to mention major achievements you have made since you became a designer in order to impress a potential client. But don’t overdo it. Overselling comes across as desperate and this can put clients off quicker than having your entire résumé typed out in Comic Sans. Mention your greatest achievements in list form, limit it to three or four at the most, and then move on. The achievements will speak for themselves and you won’t come across as needy.
Shaun Pagin is a social media expert at Discount Banner Printing and enjoys all subjects related to design.
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