This fall I realized it was time for a significant upgrade to my resume and portfolio as they no longer represented my value and design experience. The last time I reworked these documents was in 2009 and I have simply added new information and projects in the same format since then. I spent several months on the upgrades: reviewing target job postings and other designers’ documents; experimenting with different formats and soliciting feedback.
My old resume was innovative at the time I created it. I felt it expressed my design aesthetic as and displayed a lot of information in an easily digestible way. However, it was somewhat passive in voice, focusing on my duties, rather than my accomplishments, and it included a lot of non-essential information. Additionally, it was not compatible with the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that most employers now use to process online job applicants.
In my new resume, I have simplified the format and tried to present only the most relevant information. I moved my areas of expertise to the top of the page under a summary that will be customized for each position I apply for. I rewrote the information for each position in concise bullet points, focusing on what I achieved and emphasizing my leadership roles. I eliminated most of the details for older positions and have linked to my patents and publications rather than listing them. I have also started linking my resume to relevant projects in my Portfolio. Although I’m still making adjustments, I know my new resume more clearly communicates who I am and what I can do.