Resume: just a list?

I am a design student, with a good 4 years of experience. I am working on my resume, and after reading at Coroflot that resumes, because of their standard formats, and because of the similar experiences of all students, don’t communicate a whole lot about what you are capable of, I have decided to reformat my resume.

But since I have also read tons of stuff about standard formats of resumes, stick to one page, what information to include in what order, etc. I am worried about going too far from the norm. The solution I have created sticks to a standard resume format but includes texts that explain more about what I’ve learned, the impact of my work, and my skills and focuses, making it two pages long.

Could you please have a look at let me know what you think about this? I don’t want to miss the target when applying for new jobs.

You can download at look at the resume after changes from the first two comments here:


It reads well, it’s presented cleanly, but it’s too long.

If I’m hiring you, I want to hear that information in the interview. I don’t want to read it in the resume, because I don’t have time to read it. I’ve got 200 others to read today…

Get the idea?

Also, do you have an “Objective statement”

I understand your point, and I agree you don’t want to be a slave to conformity. One of the most memorable resume’s I’ve ever seen was a guy who developed his resume like a menu at a deli. The cover was a take on the old “Eat at Joe’s” bit from cartoons, and said “Hire Joe’s Kid” And the Menu went through the different courses of education, work experience, and skills/abilities. Very cool, very memorable, and it engaged the reader. It all depends on where you are applying, too. A creative agency would respond well to a creative resume. A large corporation wouldn’t, they usually scan them in or require them in Word format so they can have a database populated.

Hope this helps you.

Thank you for having a look at it and leaving a comment. I appreciate your help.

Any criticism on how I could find a good middle ground between the list resume, and what I have now?

Any criticism on how I could find a good middle ground between the list resume, and what I have now?

I agree with Nurb that your CV is too long. In my opinion (don’t know what they say on coroflot) 2 pages isn’t too long for a cv, it’s just the information in yours is too hard to access. The topic of CV’s comes up time and time again on core. Lots of people struggle with trying to cram everything onto one page, then over run and have a second page with just three lines on it, don’t worry about this - space around things on a CV just makes those things clearer, dont sacrifice readability, font size, spacing etc just to get everything on one page, but don’t have just three lines on the other page either, if you can sensibly use one and a half to two pages.

The biggest test is to print your CV off and give it to someone who hasn’t seen it before, then ask them to access information and see how quickly they can do it. Employers don’t have a lot of time to read your life history, long descriptions slow people down, forcing them to fish for information, bullet points are much better or putting the most important info in bold within the text. I found it difficult to find dates on your CV.

Also, rather than getting the skills information into my employment history, I put it in at the start. I have said in previous posts, always put the most relevant things first, this is usually employment, but for me its more about the skills you have than who you worked for (unless they are really well known companies). I used to write my CV very differently, then saw how people in business/project management were writing theirs and adapted mine.

I put my name and contact on both pages, so that if printed out and the pieces get separated, they are easy to pair up or they still have my phone number etc.

You wrote in your CV:
Currently working on a mac platform with occasional cross-platform work. Experienced with windows.

or you could say:

Experienced with Mac and windows platforms.

I appreciate you want to get away from lists, but why say something with 14 words when you can say it with six or less.

Also why bundle skills and interests together? - I have to read the whole lot to find out both, rather than putting all your skills under one heading and your interests under another, is design management a skill or just an interest of yours - I’m playing devils advocate, but it’s food for thought.

Be as creative and as memorable as you like (depending on the job you’re applying for), but not before or in the way of communication. I’m not an expert although I have looked over 100’s of CV’s from the employer side of the table. There may be differences in CV writing between USA and UK, so if anyone else can respond to give a rounded answer or tell me I’m talking crap, that would be cool.

This is very helpful feedback. I really appreciate it. Sometimes the descriptions are longer to explain in more detail, but I may be able to shorten that and leave it out.

My current employer is rather important as it’s the United Nations, but I may be able to drastically shorten the information about other employers, as they aren’t.

I also get your point about shortening the descriptions of skills/interests or highlighting keywords. I’ll have another look at that.

Thanks so much!!!

I made the changes you talked about, I highlighted the important keywords in the skills section, and shortened and condensed it where possible. I also removed the “human interest” stuff from my job descriptions, and just included the materials I created and the focus of the jobs, I will include the impact of my work in the cover letter instead. I have removed all school descriptions too, since most of that was already in skills, and just made sure all of it was in skills and interests. I also separated skills from interests. I put interests first because I really think that these comprise my Unique Selling Point as a designer.

Have a look at the link about if you like.

search the core boards for “resume” there have been a ton of topics and examples on the issue…

best of luck,


It looks much better/easier to read, but…

You don’t have any grades from your education

Under ‘Interests’ you list design management, which is very confusing.

but more importantly, on reading through the design management paragraph, you mention at the end: ‘experience managing an in-house design department’

This is probably your most important experience to date and it’s totally hidden away. Having management experience is such a big plus as, depending on the job you want it will get you more money, bigger jobs, shows much more about you, opens doors - you would be mad not to make more of this.

I thought I’d better test what I’ve been recommending, so I have written a spoof CV for a product designer with 5-6 years experience. It’s rough, I haven’t spent ages on layout and font size etc. I haven’t written a CV for a while so can’t show you my current one. Anyway, this is a format a lot of people outside of design are using, the idea being you choose 4 key competencies at the start and give examples, tailored to each job you are applying for. This way rather than have companies fish through your CV for the key skills they require, they are all on the first page. The things that don’t change, career history, education etc are on the second and they can quickly scan for the main info (company and time scale) or delve deeper into experience. I’m not saying it’s anywhere near perfect, but it might be another method/give you a few ideas. Print it out and see what you think.

I’m not saying change what you’ve done, its good - but I still think you can make a lot more of yourself/sell yourself a little better.

Wow, thanks for the feedback that was really helpful. I like the way this resume is put together. It seems to make more sense than what I’ve been seeing, which is just a listing of the “boring stuff” with no real detail of information about what makes that person unique. I’ll think some more about it.