Make your résumé reflect your talent... visually

If you know a thing or two about graphic/web design, make your résumé mirror your knowledge. When a "new media" journalist has a résumé made off a Microsoft Word template, it shows nothing about the creativity that person has.

I recently redesigned my résumé to give it that Twittery feel. Why?

  • Using elements that are popular in web design show that I actually pay attention to web design trends
  • It's eye-catching. What would be more memorable? Times New Roman with a bulleted list, or Helvetica in colorful boxes?
  • If I have "graphic design" listed as a talent, I sure as hell better have a unique résumé. In a way, the design of your resume is your own advertisement for yourself.

A few other tips for journalists' resumes:

  • Keep it short and clean. While this applies to pretty much every résumé, it's especially important for a journalist. Journalists are supposed to be pros at keeping things concise and to the point. The first hint at whether you're truly capable of that is through your resume.
  • Run it through spell check. Again, this is more important for a journalist than it would be for an engineer. If you can't copy edit your own resume, how can you be expected to copy edit your stories?

Who would you hire as your new media reporter?

Here are some other great ideas for resume design:

  • Brand yourself. Give yourself a logo that you use on your résumé, your business card, your Web site and your blog. It's a goal I have for myself, in fact. It gives you an identity and establishes your credibility
  • Use color. I often hear the use of color/borders/shapes as huge résumé no-no. I disagree. Use color appropriately. Draw the readers' eyes to the parts that are important, use it as a separator or as an accent.
  • Use white space. Don't make your résumé look like a novel. Again, applying basic principals of Web design, less text is better. Don't distract the recruiter. Use bulleted lists and keep it clean.

Now, here's some inspiration. Go open Photoshop, Illustrator, inDesign or all three and make yourself a new resume masterpiece. Even if you're no good at graphic design, it's easy to use good fonts and a little color to make your resume sparkle.