Just another design blog

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.

1. Copy Someone

If you don’t know where to start, but you do know what you like, find someone else’s resume that speaks to you and use it as a basis for your own. It is tried and true method for longer than I’ve been around.  In my research, I saw a number of resume’s at looked similar to Michael Anderson’s, which is very clear and vibrant.

In my previous post, I listed a number of links and resources to dozens of different resume styles. If you find one you like, you can draw on it for inspiration or use it as a template. It is easy to substitute your own dates and jobs in timelines or swap in your own skills or history for other areas. I won’t recommend copying some else’s work entirely, so add in your own twist or spark. I would recommendation is that you give some credit to the person who’s resume you are emulating.

2. Use Automated Tools

Another approach that requires even less work, is to use some of the automated tools that already exist out there for creating infographic resumes. A number of companies have built websites around the idea of helping people create their own infographic resumes. I’m no expert on these, but I ran across a number of articles and websites that provide such a service.  You can decide for yours if you like the look, their features and how easy they are to use.  But they might be just the solution you’re looking for.

3. How-To Sites

I also read a number of articles that offer instructions, or some tips & tricks to creating your own resume. This blog probably won’t get into instructions for creating your own visual design, but with a little research, it might not be too hard to come up with your own style. The key to coming up with a good visual design is the process, including lots of variations and testing it out with your audience. Below are a number of links I found that might be of some help, but with a little bit of internet research, I’m sure more will pop up.

4. Hire a designer

Last but not least, you can always hire someone to help you out on the visual side. If you know what you want to say, and what information you want to include, finding someone to help you make it look pretty and clean is no crime. In fact, it can make a big difference in looking more professional. If anything, it might show your initiative and resolve. Designers like Hagan Blount have done a number of different resumes for clients. The main key is finding a visual or print designer who’s style you like, and they don’t have to be infographic specialists, though it couldn’t hurt. It’s easy to make a phone call or two, designers don’t bite. If nothing else, maybe someone will point you to a designer that might be an even better fit.

Lastly…

Before you start however, there is a very important question you should consider.

Is an infographic resume right for you and your field? Ask yourself what you hope to accomplish and communicate with your own resume. How might such a resume might be interpreted or taking within your field. If you don’t know, ask some HR staff, hiring managers and other people within your own industry.

If you think it is a fit, then I encourage you to just dive in and give it a try. As I’ll probably write about later, after you get a rough draft down on paper, we can do some research to see if what you’ve created will have an impact!

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Comments on: "What if I’m not a designer?" (2)

  1. Thanks for the great article and for the shout out to http://re.vu/

    Another thing to consider is “what is your career story?” If you don’t know what this is, it doesn’t matter what format or tools you use, the result will be poor. Take the time to understand the value of what you’ve contributed, your achievements, and where you want to go before embarking on this journey. Once you understand this, the tips above are great.

    BTW, here are a couple of examples to help show what I mean:

    http://re.vu/BarackObama
    http://re.vu/Felicia

  2. Thanks for the props!

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