I have always been fascinated by resume designs of all shapes and sizes – I guess you could blame the graphic designer in me. Over the years, my resumes have gone through many different iterations, as my skills have evolved as well as my vision of an ideal curriculum vitae.
I thought that today’s blog post could instead look at some of these past iterations as well as my most recent resume. In fact, I have just finished updating it today in preparation for the upcoming Global Recruitment Collaborative job fair in Dubai.
Here are some of the ideas that I try to keep in mind when designing a resume for myself or someone else:
- Keep it organized
- Keep it interesting
- Make it yours
A resume should be pleasing to the eye, it should give the reader an idea of who you are, what you believe in, and what you are capable of bringing to the institution. Some people don’t believe in photographs on resumes, but in the world of education, I feel that a photograph can be the difference between two candidates. I also am extremely adverse to the idea of making a resume on Microsoft Word, Google Documents, or any other simple word processor. I know first hand from seeing my father sifting through stacks of resumes of potential candidates, that no matter how amazing your content happens to be if it looks exactly like everyone else’s it probably won’t be looked over.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at my first important resume, created back in 2011.
I mentioned above some of the things I liked about the resume, but there are also things I would certainly change. While there is a veritable trove of information on the document, it could also be more consistently organized – at times it seems too busy and difficult to read. There are many different fonts, sizes, colors, and overall it lacks a sense of consistency.
The first resume that I created for my now-wife Ashrita was extremely ‘safe’. Meaning that she told me explicitly to avoid the colors and design complexity seen in the resume above. She was reluctant to use anything that strayed too far from the traditional Word Processing CV.
This brings us to the most recent iteration of both my resume and my wife’s. A lot has changed in my thinking since my earlier retro-styled curriculum vitae, such as:
- Your online presence should speak for you, therefore reducing the amount of written text on a resume
- Less = More
Of course, I still wanted something that would grab their attention and keep it! So, I stumbled upon a wonderful template that would serve as my inspiration – you can find it here.
So, below you will find both of the resumes as well as the cover letter. For the cover letter, I decided to address it from both of us – since we are a teaching couple, and most schools would be interested in knowing about us both. Some analysis will follow the images!
There is just so much I love about this new design:
- Minimalist theme looks gorgeous
- Consistent across all three documents (even in the initials!)
- Bars to show skills breaks up the monotony of text
- Colors are complimentary
- Excellent photos
I would like to mention the importance of color theory in design; it’s something that people often overlook. For me, I had images of both myself and Ashrita that were excellent quality and professionally taken. So, I wanted to use colors that matched what we were wearing and used an online color theme tool to choose the colors that were complimentary which could highlight sub-headings.