What are employers looking for in an ID Resume

So I am currently getting my masters in ID. I got an undergrad in manufacturing engineering. I want to get an internship for the summer and obviously the most important piece I can show potential employers is my portfolio. That being said however, one of the first Items they look at is the resume. During my undergraduate they essentially had a formula that you followed to a ‘t’ in order to make your resume attractive to employers. I wasn’t sure if I should spruce up my resume to reflect my now design background or if it is better to leave it as is. I’ve attached mine and another I found on the web that I liked, but I wanted to get feedback to see if the other resume was too much or if mine lacked in aesthetic quality. Thanks

The “Skill bubbles” are always hit or miss, some people really dislike them since they can be hard to honestly gauge anything, but I’m not opposed to them.

From a resume perspective I think there are 2 important criteria for the “users” of your resume.

The first person to see your resume, if you are not directly applying or contacting the hiring manager is most likely an HR representative. They will be scanning your resume for key words which match the job description. For example if they see you are an expert at Solidworks, but not Pro E (which is written in the job description) they likely have no idea that the two are similar or the skills may be transferable. So it is good to be able to have a resume that can hit the keyword searches and other tools used by HR.

It’s also valuable to keep a simplified/ugly MS Word resume for the same reason. Many large corporations will use automated systems to filter resumes, and if your highly stylized PDF comes in as outlines rather than text, you can bet the system will show a 0% match for your otherwise highly skilled resume.

My recommendation is know the hiring process and keep a few variations of your resume handy. One which will wow the design director (once you’ve gotten a portfolio included) and one that will get you through the first stages of the process (which your current resume will be better at).

A good piece of advice given to me in school was, if you are not applying for a graphic design position, don’t try to pretend you are a graphic designer by over styling your resume. Clean type, good use of white space and typography is enough to keep designers happy with an easy to read at a glance document.

All good advice, especially this. There is a lot very poor graphically with this resume (hyphenation, alignment of elements, kind of weak type, etc.), and I would fault the designer for trying too hard to be “designer-y” and failing. Attention to detail comes across in something like this as well aesthetic.

As well, don’t try to “pad” your resume by making it all dazzle dazzle with graphics, if there is no real content. That’s what I’m getting from the example you show. Lots of graphics, but not much real experience, and all the skill bubbles just clutter things up and don’t tell me anything. “Oh, you are 5/5 in creativity, because your scored yourself so?”…

Your current one is very hard on the eyes and I don’t think would go over very well for either a designer or a HR coordinator. Try to find a middle ground. Something well designed and easy to read, but focus on content, first.


Bar graphs and skill ratings are worthless and degrade the legibility of a resume in an attempt to make it more like an infographic. If you list a skill, you better be versed or a real fast learner. Someone coming straight of school I assume will have basic skills unless the portfolio proves otherwise, and honestly doesn’t know enough to say they have a “5 star rating” in technical skill or even more so a soft skill. Someone later on in their career shouldn’t need graphic filler, they will most likely need to edit out content to get the most effective resume.

Ditto on what has been said, clean, highly legible, consistency and clear layout, with super anal attention to the word choice and spelling. Industrial designers tend to over design their resumes, I was certainly guilty of this early on. Choose a typeface that is legible and works well at small sizes. Good luck!

FWIW, here’s mine (Contact details blurred). A format I’ve been using for a while and seems to work with both HR and Design people.


@rkuchinsky, just checked out your site, i like how the title/color of your resume looks nearly identical to your website. Easy connection between the two, easy to remember, who is who.

I am of the belief that if I am going to have the title of designer, the very least I can do is have a well thought out resume. If this isn’t in your wheelhouse, hire someone to do it. A very small price to pay. Think of it as an investment in yourself.

For my resume, I based it off my family heritage. My paternal Grandfather emigrated from Switzerland in his mid 20s. He served in the Swiss army and when he passed away, I inherited several items he used while in the Swiss army, including his service rifle and knife. The coolest marking on that rifle is the Swiss cross that is stamped into the barrel. So my resume package identity reflects that. I think the greatest compliment I received was from a mechanical engineer that was interviewing me; in my mind one of the toughest audiences to impress design-wise.

This site has some great examples as well as some not so. But its a good resource.


Good link. Thanks.


Cool. Thanks for the link.

Goes to show how the simple, less wordy layouts seem so much more appealing.

It is not rocket science. Please please don’t hire anyone…
In my opinion every designer, no matter what field, should be able to judge simple proportion on a page.
Over-designing your resume is a mistake and distracts from what resumes are there for: Delivering the most important information as quickly as possible.
I find wordy resumes personally off-putting. Resumes are for the facts while portfolios should handle the artistic and personal representation.

From the page Eman linked, I actually really like this one. Mine looks fairly similar.

Well and evenly kerned, easy to read. Nice touch with a very simple icon. That’s it.
Now the portfolio can do the impressing.

Also, unless you really know what you are doing, please don’t get “creative” using fonts. There are probably 4 different fonts that you should consider. That’s all. And if your resume has more than 2 fonts total, you are doing it wrong.



Good selection!
Actually using Frutiger in mine but it is a close cousin to the 4 above :wink:

Yes, there are lots of variations and other OK typefaces, but tried to keep it simple :wink:


Remember the purpose of the resume is to communicate information. Keep it clean, keep it to the point, keep it truthful. Let the portfolio do the talking.

For you fixed it.

My young Padawan.