Just another design blog

What’s your story?

Process: Defining the solution

When I first started thinking about what I wanted on my resume, I started making a list of all the data I could include. And all the different ways I could show it. And I was quickly overwhelmed by all the options. Which of all the different approaches should I take, and what should guide my decision-making process?
open bookI knew what I wanted in the end, but I didn’t quite know what I really wanted to say about myself. Who was I, and what was I trying to communicate? Certainly I’m more than a list of academic and job descriptions. If visual and information graphics can be used to convey a greater degree of information, what else was there for me to add?

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What’s your problem?

Process: Audience

Well, I’ve finally been able to post another article. Before this article, I started another one about writing your resume as a story. But I had skipped a step. I hadn’t yet figured out what I wanted to say, or who I wanted to say it to. Of all the information I could include, what should I? In trying to answer that question, I realized quickly I hadn’t yet defined the problem I was trying to solve.

On the surface, the problem is easy. How can my resume help get me hired? If the goal of a well-written resume is to get a phone call, its function is to summarize for the person reading it, my ability to do the job. Within that statement, there are a few implicit questions. But in my mind, the more important one is, who will be reading my resume and how can I address their questions?

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After my last entry on tools and resources for non-designers, Mike Harding of re.vu dropped me a comment about defining your own career story. I hoped to address this very question in a future entry, but his comment lead to an gracious opportunity to interview someone who I would consider an expert in the field of infographic resumes. Mike is one of the co-founders of re.vu, a website and tool dedicated to helping people tell their own career stories using the visual resume paradigm.

Our interview was full of insights, fun facts, and useful data. Not only does Mike provide a wonder perspective, both as a hiring manager and startup co-founder, but also as someone who has researched the field extensively. In the interview, Mike covers:

  • his personal motives and interests
  • the genesis of re.vu
  • what drives their company and its direction
  • their audience and user research
  • advice on creating your own resume and story
  • and a great deal more…

The transcript of the full interview is after the link, with some minor touch-ups to make it easier to read. Enjoy and feel free to leave comments or questions for myself, or Mike.  In a future article, I plan to do a review of the re.vu site itself.

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What if I’m not a designer?

I’m hoping to create a resume for myself that shows off my visual and design skills. But not everyone has the same goals, nor is everyone looking for a design job.

I showed an engineer friend of mine who is working on his own resume my research. Given his numerical mind and field of work, I thought an infographic resume might appeal to him. But it can be somewhat intimidating trying to figure out how to create one, what information to show, what colors to use, or even how to draw some graphs.  Especially if design is not your primary skill.

If you’re not a designer, but still like the idea of an infographic resume, there are a number of things you can do.

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Where to start?

Process: Research

It has been said that I can over-research a subject prior to a project. Still, I consider research a very necessary part of my workflow. Especially, in this case, where I have not done infographics before, like so many other new project. I find it necessity to constantly adapt to new styles, learn a new paradigm, and simply stay up to date with advances in technology and trends. I myself start this though research.

I also value research as a quest for inspiration. I am not the type of visionary who can pull ideas and creativity out of thin air. I need to surround myself with the ideas of others. Quite simply, I need to create a fertile foundation for ideas to grow from. And this I often seek inspiration in the work of so many other designer far more experienced than me.

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Why a blog?

For me, this blog serves several purposes.

At the most basic level, it is a place for me to collection my thoughts throughout this design process. And I hope the act of collecting and organizing these ideas will help me refine my thinking and force me forwards toward my goal.

I also hope that this blog will also serve as a process log of sorts, chronically my journey and the steps forward (and backward) I take on this projects. Process plays an important role for me. Not only are many Design Thinking processes meant to help stimulate and explore design options and directions, but they ultimate serve the purpose of pushing you to a better result. I’m sure I’ll write more about process later. Recording this log is also a way for me to document and share my thought processes and workflow, which I believe says more about me than any final design or product.

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Why Infographics?

Infographic resumes seem to be becoming a more popular trend, though until recently I had little idea of their existence.  It wasn’t until I ran across this image on another designer’s website that I even began to think of resumes as visual.

So I should give credit to Gavin Worth for sparking the idea within me of trying to represent myself more visually.  Still, it took some time for the idea to sink in, partially because I hadn’t yet decided to seek out a new job.

The Vitruvian Man of Design by Gavin Worth

The Vitruvian Man of Design by Gavin Worth

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