A New Resume, At Last

There’s been some talk recently about the resume – what its purpose actually is, and how far one should/can go in terms of design and style.

I stand by my assertion that it while it is best to customize one’s resume for each new job application, a good resume should not need much in the way of tweaking.  You might need to prioritize one item over another, but if you have to change TOO much to customize your resume for an opportunity then maybe you’re not applying for the right jobs.

In addition, job hunters do need a generic version of the resume – namely for posting in public fora, hoping to attract the right people before you even know what the job will be.

Traditional design of Doug's resume

Until today, my resume looked like this.  It did get a decent amount of attention, but I think that was for its content.  The design itself was little, and has been compromised several times since its first inception.

When I first found myself unemployed, I was lucky enough to have access to the services of a career consultant, one of the perks of getting laid off from a large company.

I basically fed information to them and they returned a formatted, complete resume for me.

Actually, I didn’t love it – I did have to make a lot of changes, both to the design and the way they organized the content – but I did keep as much as I thought reasonable, giving them the benefit of any doubt.

But even with that “final” version of the resume, changes were fairly frequent – with all of those customizations, certain elements worked their way in, and out, of the resume.  What you see above is quite different from its original iteration, though the design was not too very different.

But I never loved it – even if one could love a document associated with self-esteem crushing external analysis and judgmental criticism. 

Collateral piece designed to introduce Doug to prospective employers

So I tried to re-work my Web page, sprucing up the online resume with some representative graphics inappropriate for my actual resume.  I even created an introductory piece – something to raise awareness of my general skills and abilities, something to showcase myself, such as I am.

I admit, I’m not sure if there really is much utility, but it was just a day sitting in front of the computer, which I certainly could afford to spend.

I do think I want to make my Web page look a little more like this piece.  I also think that I want to make some “fact sheets” – particularly for my Product Management experience, which I have had to explain a number of times, but also to help focus on certain areas of experience.

That being said, I had known that I would be re-working my resume at some point.  I had been particularly inspired by the article, Give Your Resume a Face Lift, which provides some good advice on ways to graphically enhance your resume using fonts and other simple Word tools.

I don’t particularly like all of their ideas, and didn’t actually follow them completely.  But it was a good start to take a critical look at my own resume, judging it from a graphic viewpoint.  I did tweak a little of the content, but mainly we’re talking look here.  I want a resume that’s going to draw the eye of a prospective recruiter or employer, when it’s sitting in a pile of hundreds of other resumes.

So while you’re going to look at basically the same resume, here is my new base resume design and layout.

Doug's newly designed resume

The first thing you will note is that lines are being used differently, effectively drawing the reader’s eye around the page.  One thing you may not note is that the use of these lines allowed me to remove spacing from elsewhere in the document, providing me with a lot more space. 

Download a Word copy of Doug's updated resume

Download a PDF copy of Doug's updated resume

I’m not sure how much I agree with the article’s comments on aligning bullets and indentations, but since that’s basically what I came up with on my own maybe it’s not TOO bad.  I also used columns at the top to achieve the address looking how I wanted, but that may not work in every instance.

So, this too will change over time – hopefully with improvements useful enough to get me that right job in the end, which is all anyone can ask out of a resume.  It’s a shame that one has to go through so much strategy, employ so many tactics just to get one’s application read by the recruiters, but when in Rome …


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