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Do you remember who taught you how to put together your very first resume?

Who was it who took your paltry experience as a waiter at the diner down the street and combined it with your moderately good grades from that state school you attended to try to show a professional that you were oh-so-employable?

For me, it was Peter, the slightly-younger-than-middle-aged professor who taught our co-op prep class and was also responsible for helping us get our first co-op jobs. He had a few simple rules: never put 'resume' at the top of your resume (it's stating the obvious), keep it to one page, list education before experience. For a sophomore in college with a very short resume, these were all exceedingly good tips. And I still occasionally scoff when I see resumes that break these rules (five pages? really!?)

But the reality for designers is that your portfolio, your work, matters much more than your resume. So while I've made five or six portfolios since Peter's class, I hadn't done much with my resume until a couple months ago.

The college where I'm currently teaching design drawing keeps all of their professors' resumes on file. They had already hired me when I sent them my resume. But I still wanted it to look professional and designerly.

This is what I wound up with (to be clear, I took off some personal information before posting to my blog.) It's very simple and to-the-point, with a little pop of color to add interest and visual hierarchy.

Then just last week, I had another opportunity to re-hash my resume. Design Impact is an incredible organization at the forefront of the 'design for good' movement. They partner designers with organizations in India to help create design solutions to some very big, serious, real problems. Their pool of designers comes from an annual fellowship program, and the application was due last week.

The first step of their application process requires a resume. This seemed like an opportunity to do something a little different; something that would stand out amidst a gaggle of other applicants. So I took my resume into Prezi. Prezi is a very intuitive (and free) web-based tool that allows you to make presentations that zoom and pan. I like it because you can go through the presentations slide-by-slide or zoom out and see the whole picture at once.


  1. Looks great! I love how you've given a generally boring document more of a narrative structure.

    In the end I gave up on the ipad thing after it asked me to download the app and create an account. I don't understand why they make it so complicated

  2. Thanks Ross! Hrmmm...bummer about the ipad thing though. I'm surprised they're not more compatible. (Good to know for the future!)


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