There I was in a gray pantsuit when a gentleman in jeans and T-shirt led me to the office where the interview would take place. The scenario was perfectly normal except for one thing: He wasn’t wearing any shoes.
I felt overdressed and later on, over-prepared, because this guy already had his mind set on hiring me. He asked me a few questions with his shoeless feet propped up on the desk. Then, he told me I was hired because he knew everything he needed to know from my resume and saw my portfolio from my website.
Resumes are a powerful marketing tool that a lot of people don’t fully utilize. Everyone tries to squeeze in every last detail that may look impressive on a single piece of paper. They try tricks such as making the font-size very tiny, cramming sections together and lessening the margins. My resume was designed, had a header and has plenty of white space. The simplicity is what made it effective–it allowed my most important achievement to stand out.
Here are the key questions your resume should answer:
What do you do?
What is your trade? Your profession?
I added a section called What I Do to my resume to give people a quick rundown.
WHAT I DO
Web Design and Development, Responsive Design, Web Accessible Design, WordPress Solutions, Database Management and more.
How do you do it?
What equipment do you use? What software do you utilize? How do you do your job? Don’t list Microsoft Office unless you are a wizard at it. It is expected that you know the basics already.
Here’s an example:
Where did you learn your skills?
At what school or in which courses did you learn your skills? If you’re highest education accomplishment was a high school diploma or if your high school was a magnet school where you learned your skills, then you may list your high school in the education section, but otherwise leave your high school off your resume.
Pittsburgh Technical Institute, Oakdale, PA
Associate in Science Degree,
Multimedia Technologies, July 2014
Concentration in Web/Interactive Design
Where have you used your skills?
What companies or organizations did you work for that enabled you to use and hone your skills? Don’t list every part-time job you had since middle school. Your experience section should be filled with jobs relevant to the job you are applying for.
Even if it’s a couple jobs, it’s better than a whole list.
Company, Pittsburgh, PA
Web Developer July 2014
• Designed and implemented databases
Business, Pittsburgh, PA
Owner/Developer September 2012
• Designed and developed websites for clients
Internship, Pittsburgh, PA
Digital Services Intern April – June 2014
• Developed custom CMS solutions in WordPress
• Coded job board allowing applicants to apply via LinkedIn.
Do you use it anywhere else in your life?
Have you volunteered anywhere that allowed you to use those skills? Do you dabble in side projects relating to your industry? Do you write an industry specific blog? List anything you do outside your job that pertains to your industry in the activities section of you resume.
• Contributor, November 2014 – Present
deCoding my mind, Blog
• Owner/Writer, April 2014 – Present
GiveCamp, Pittsburgh, PA
• Volunteer, December 2014
Have you won anything because of it?
Have you won any contests with your skills? Have you been recognized, certified or mentioned in the press because of your skills? Perfect attendance awards and honor roll awards should not be on your resume.
PTI Community Service Award
Pittsburgh Technical Institute, July 2014
Participated in PTI-sponsored service projects that benefited the community.
Art and Design Scholarship Competition
Pittsburgh Technical Institute, February 2012
Second place in web design category
Look over your resume, and see if it answers all these questions. Remove anything unnecessary. Too much information is a bad thing. Your resume should be easy to read and be straight to the point.