I think resumés are very interesting. They’re supposed to be snapshots of a professional life, a quick read of your work history. It’s traditionally a formal document that does nothing but communicate base facts; what you did and when you did it, where you went to school and what makes you valuable. It’s a very intense idea, that you can communicate all those ideas in one page of bullet points.
Maybe it’s my history with drawing comics or maybe its the right side of my brain, but I have come to the conclusion that a fully rounded resumé should be two pages and contain some visual element.
It’s a quick way to communicate who you are and, if done well, what makes you qualified. If a resume is supposed to be a quick representation of a candidate’s potential, then a visual element is completely logical.
If you’ve been following Boy Android for any amount of time, then you know I often design personal logos, specifically to act as resume headers. They’re often designed specifically, both for the person they represent and for the job that person is applying to.
When designing a personal logo for friend and coworker Cristina Cheatwood, I decided to deliver two options. The first was a logo that (I felt) accurately promoted Cristian’s personality.
It’s nerdy, tongue-in-cheek, and honest. This type of visual element would work best in a resume submitted to a creative focused opening, careers that focused on social media, design, art criticism or opinion writing.
The second logo I designed for Cristina was a little more conservative, something that she could use when submitting her resume to a traditionally professional position.
It’s simple, it’s clean, it’s representative. This would be the kind of logo you’d want to use on a resume applied to a PR, copy editing, management, or non-creative based position. While it is much less flamboyant, it still serves the purpose of setting a resume apart.
All this comes from a conversation I had with the recruiter for my company. He told me that he looks through hundreds of resumes a day and, if he is particularly busy, he’ll be forced to scan over the visually uninteresting submissions. I asked him how he felt about visual resumes, ones that weren’t entirely graphic but still had some visual element. He said that, so long as it sticks out from the crowd, he’ll read the whole thing.
And that’s my point. Adding a visual element to your resume raises your chances for that resume being read. For an example of what I’m talking about, take a look at my resume: DaveP
While I still believe a resume should be simple, I’m also convinced that adding some imagery couldn’t hurt. If anything, it will set your resume apart from the other applicants. So long as you’ve got the experience and formatting to back that up, it’s a good thing.