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I've recently graduated from university (within the United Kingdom) and I'm trying to get my first step on to the ladder within the Graphic Design industry. It has been several months and I'm having trouble even getting an interview.

I was wondering if anyone has any tips on how I should approach my CV. The following link is my current version, however it doesn't seem to be working.

Curriculum Vitae

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8 Answers 8

Your CV is visually amazing, but I see two problems as it is:

1) I can't easily find your contact details. It seems they are in the box in the top right corner, but it probably only has your phone and email, right? It'd be good to add some more info, like your LinkedIn profile, maybe your address to give an idea of where you are located (and how far you are from potential work).

2) Are you including samples of your portfolio? If you don't have samples inside your PDF, you can add them as links. You could even upload your work to a network like DeviantArt and use that as your online showcase, if you don't have a website. This is essential, and you won't get any calls if you don't show what you are capable of (and I'm sure it's a lot considering how you designed your CV).

I see your work experience is not related to your field (yet!). Did you do any freelance jobs? Internships? Did you participate in any contest or took any courses (even online) in design? Those "extra" things can really help because I think they demonstrate you are interested in the field 'outside study hours'. And I would most definitely add samples from uni projects. And illustration! I hope it helps.

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A resume isn't a place to go nuts with layout and visual elements. It's a piece of formal communication and needs to be treated as such.

Definitely give it some identity, but the design has to have a purpose and looking at your resume, while visually interesting, it is doing way too much and distracting from the content.

Simplify things. I'd also reduce the extraneous content and move the references to a separate page so that you can reduce your CV down to one page.

And, finally, remember a resume--especially for someone early in the career--is important, but comes secondary to your portfolio. If you're blindly sending the resume out, be sure to include some sample work as well.

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Keep it simple:

  • Don't write Everything you can do or every place you worked on. Just mention the most relevant work and experience that an employer would like you to have. For example, I would remove the "waitress" and the "Product sales assistant" from the CV and focus more on your work as a designer.
  • Keep the descriptions as short as possible. Unnecessary information is tiring. (Interests is not so relevant. Remember that this is a professional document for employers)
  • Try to keep you CV as a single page. HR and employers need to go over dozens and sometimes hundreds of CVs, and sometimes they only see the first page and that what gets them.
  • Consider rearranging the document in a more linear way. I found it a bit confusing to look at two columns. My eyes had to "jump" left and right. You might want to ask other people opinions for that, this is just what I think.
  • I didn't see an email contact information. If you removed it because you uploaded the document here - that's fine. But if not, I would add a contact email. Some employers prefer emails as contact method.

Good luck finding a job!

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I agree with bullet point one for anyone with experience in the industry, but if one it just getting started, listing non-industry employment is fine, and I'd argue expected. –  DA01 Jun 26 '12 at 21:37
    
Listing non-industry employment could be fine, depending on what it is. In my opinion, emplyers wouldn't care about unnecessary information, that's all. –  Shahar Jun 28 '12 at 21:13
    
They are sometimes after how much you are employed so try to put some stuff in between. Theres nothing wrong in putting several jobs into one if you mention it. It shows your interested in working. –  joojaa Apr 11 at 2:38

You need to have your name and contact details at the top but don't have it taking up too much space. Two lines is fine. One with your name, then your address, phone and email number underneath on a single line.

Then a personal profile / self summary. Followed by skills and abilities. After that your employment history followed by education. You don't need much more than that tho some like to put other achievements or hobbies and interests but it's not essential.

My best advice is to get a professional to look at it or write it for you, there's inexpensive options out there and you'll end up with an amazing CV that will land you whatever job you're applying for. Worked for me anyway.

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Welcome to GD! Please do not use URL obfuscation sites when posting links... –  Farray Jun 26 '12 at 22:06

A few tips:

1. If you have your CV in English, make EVERYTHING in English. 'Darstellungtechnik' kind of breaks the consistency of your CV.

2. You name doesn't stand out, in fact you really have to look for it! I think this is a vital thing that makes many employers not even want to look at it after seeing it for two seconds. Maybe put 'Curriculum Vitae/resumé Laura Bruynseels' where it now says 'education_'?

3. Remove the text 'employ me(nt?)' I dont know what the 'nt' here are for but in any case this is not professional.

4. Put Interests and Skills equally next to or below each other. One is a little lower than the other now, looks a bit sloppy.

5. Use titles for 'work experience', schools/degrees etc.

Other than this, like Shahar says at his 4th point, make it a little more structured. Try to use a grid as a base of your CV. Google for some tips and tutorials on this!

Also, I haven't got a clue of what the addresses in the yellow circles (2nd page) are. Employers probably don't either...

I don't know if you have one, but if you don't; an online portfolio to show off your work on will also help. In fact, it might be important even!

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That is actually how I first read it, but the employment word refers to prior employments which are pesented in the yellow circles. Definitely hard to read title, no question about that. –  Joonas Jun 25 '12 at 16:23
    
oooohh now I get it... A bit of a weird title, apart from the layout of it. –  poepje Jun 25 '12 at 17:39
  1. You went way overboard with styling for no real reason. For example why is there a business card like entity on the top right as the only place with your name? Nobody reads the right side of a page so your name needs to be on the top left. Why are there underscores after things for no reason? Single words split into multiple lines.

  2. The design you do have doesn't work. For one thing a lot of things aren't aligned or spaced well. For example the business card like thing goes further right than "Profile." "Interests" on the other hand goes further left into the gutter. This is essentially the first piece of design employers are going to see of yours so make sure everything is spot on no matter what layout you ultimately go with.

  3. I proofread lots of things as part of my job and have helped a lot of friends with their resumes. I don't feel like picking yours apart but there are a number of spelling, grammar, and structural (consistency) errors within it. If these are not strong points for you then maybe try the writing stackexchange or finding a friend that can help you.

  4. Could be your poor structure and grammar but one thing that immediately strikes me is that you say "ready for the next chapter of looking for a career in Graphic Design." Why would you tell an employer you're ready for this? It makes no sense.

As far as a Professional goes. I think its great that it worked for Steven but I'll tell you my sister had a so-called Professional help her and it was a complete disaster that was the worst resume I've ever seen both in grammar/spelling/structure terms and in the actual message they were sending out. This is ultimately your resume and you say your a designer so I urge you no matter how you fix it and if someone helps you or not, don't take a single word or element of it for face value. BE CRITICAL OF YOURSELF

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"Nobody reads the right side of a page" really? –  DA01 Jun 27 '12 at 20:51
    
Perhaps a bit of an exaggeration but if ever there was a document to consider being concise and following principles like the F-Pattern I would argue the resume is it. You have minimal time to get your point across and putting the most important information, your name, should be first. We're not even talking about just the right side but currently it is underpowered by being yellow on white verses huge dark grey text, and it is in a second column so every instinct tells readers to go down the left column before the right. –  Ryan Jun 27 '12 at 22:25

I think it's important to have a visually striking and well organized resume when applying for graphic design positions. The hiring managers who look at a resume seeking a graphic designer will pay attention to your typography and composition or layout. If you put yourself in their shoes, you'd probably want to see impeccable design and a clean layout that communicates all information clearly.

I think if you make large elements in your resume smaller and fit all the information on one page, it would look better. In the meantime, you can also work on a portfolio and attach a few pieces of your work as well.

I make visual resumes and always make sure to fit all information on one page when I make the templates.

I hope this helps and good luck!

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when looking to hire a Graphic Designer with not a lot of experience, the first thing I look for is examples of a deep interest in Graphic Design; in other words, how well will you get references to visual imagery (early Peter Savillve, Saul Bass, Blade Runner). Part of the reason is that I've had designers who did ok work but no shared visual vocabulary (to be honest, he just wasn't very interested in design). I look for that more than I look for if you know Photoshop (which I'd assume you do).

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