A web designer resume is similar to other job application documents in many ways. However, since these jobs are usually relatively technical, it is typically a good idea to focus more on skills and education. Read on for more tips and examples on how to write in a way that people who hire designers understand.
How to Get a Job by Writing an Awesome Web Designer Resume
Do you want to get an awesome job? Of course, you do; that’s why you’re reading this article. You’re on the right track. There are few things more important to getting a job than having everything you need to excel in a position. A good web designer resume will show potential employers that you have what it takes.
Play to Your Strengths
Your web designer resume should focus on the good things about you as a candidate. Even if you excel at something, now is probably not the time for perfect and unadulterated honesty. Now is the time to let a hiring manager know how great you will be at filling the role they have specifically laid out in the employment advertisement. Essentially, you are writing a sales document.
Get Ready To Duplicate Some of Your Efforts
Even though you are writing a resume for a specific job, you want to be able to use it again in case you apply to other positions. Most successful professionals have a resume on hand at all times in case they get an opportunity requiring immediate action. Just don’t put your documents related to the job search process on your computer at work; your current employers might find them.
Beating Your Procrastination Impulses
You probably already know that there’s a time limit on the job opportunity you’re applying for. That means that you have to start right away, but other things always tend to get in the way of unpleasant tasks, such as applying for jobs. One of the keys is to acknowledge the difficulty of writing a web designer resume.
Dive right in, and don’t worry if you get bored or feel challenged. This is different than what you usually do. As a designer, you’re probably more accustomed to coding, graphic layouts, prototyping and wire-framing, or high-level conceptual and technical work. Writing resumes takes empathy, self-reflection and persuasive rhetoric skills. It’s ok to be frustrated when you’re that far outside your comfort zone.
Start with a Focus on Writing
Now that you’re ready to sit down and write, here’s what you need to know. Remember to leave the design elements for the end of the process.
Writing Your Objective
Objectives are somewhat controversial. If you want to include one of these mission statements, make sure to keep it as brief and relevant as possible. Aspiring to a web design role, you might want to focus on a specific type of duty you’re most comfortable with. If you know anything about the company, try to work that in. It’s often easiest to write these after the rest of your resume is done. Finally, keep your objective to one sentence. Here are some examples of objectives that say something:
- Guide a team to embody X-soft corporate values by shipping accessible, practical web and app design.
- Push the boundaries of current design tech to craft a user experience that inspires client loyalty.
Adding Your Education
Education is arguably the most important aspect of your web designer resume for the majority of employers. Hiring directors will often look for this information first. One strategy is to place this upfront, especially if you believe your education is either impressive or extremely relevant to the position. Another idea is to place your education at the very end of the document; anyone reading your resume will have an opportunity to scan through everything else first in order to find this vital tidbit.
Outlining Relevant Experience
Professional experience is another important part of your resume. Make sure that you show off jobs that are relevant to your desired position, if possible. You can even omit unrelated jobs completely if you have enough to fill up a page without them. However, it’s a good idea not to leave any large gaps in your employment history, especially if you’re using a CV style.
Write using descriptive verbs to start a sentence. Vary your language. If you did the same task for multiple jobs, think of a different way to phrase the action that makes it specific to each organization. Here’s an example of rephrasing the task of using InVision to design screen content:
- Perform InVision magic to refine ideas and ship solutions
- Collaborate with remote design teams using InVision, Slack
They’re both basically saying the same thing, that you used InVision to perform core job duties, but the first example focuses on your individual skill and the second illustrates your teamwork and communication prowess. Getting specific is also a good way to handle single jobs with limited task sets.
Adding Some Interesting Secondary Jobs
Now it’s time to list that experience you have as a lifeguard during your high school summers or the WOOF volunteering you did in Australia. If you have some interesting experiences, professionally relevant or not, then it’s usually a good idea to add them. It shows that you are about more than just web design, and also that you have a unique perspective to bring to the team.
Deciding Which Skills To List
Skills are relatively important for design and technical positions. If you listed your job duties from previous employers on your web designer resume effectively, then you probably don’t have to list certain aptitudes, such as teamwork or written communication. On the other hand, be sure to mention these if the job advertisement does.
You could also try to communicate soft skills in the context of awards, special positions or experience:
- Design department’s “Most Valuable Programmer” two years running
- A community organizer at Illinois Graphic and Web Designer’s League
- 5-star client rating from 100+ jobs on Upwork
These examples illustrate teamwork, community focus and stakeholder relationship skills, respectively. They also back up your claims with demonstrated results.
Even if you already mentioned your experience in wire-framing software, business productivity suites or communications tools, it’s a good idea to list these items briefly. This is especially true if the job advertisement made a point of requesting candidates with certain technical skills.
A Relative Truth
If you don’t recognize some of the software the listing asks for, then look it up and see if it’s similar to anything in which you have expertise. List the tool with which you’re comfortable or, if the two are close enough, you might choose to list the one the job ad mentioned. Chances are the learning curve will be quick enough that they won’t even notice the fib after you get hired. However, if you end up getting an interview, it might be a good idea to brush up on any skills you claim because you never know when you’re going to get a pop quiz as part of the vetting process.
Reviewing Your Hard Work
When you’re finished writing your web designer resume, it’s time to review your work. You should expect this to take just as long as writing it did, if not longer. That’s because you have to check everything for errors, format it correctly and make sure it is completely consistent. That means examining every piece of punctuation and every word.
A Question of Precision
Double check that the proper names you used, such as names of software tools, are spelled and capitalized correctly. A simple Google search should give you the official spelling and capitalization of any major web design suite. Your claim of familiarity with software will look much more credible when you spell the name correctly.
Read Out Loud
After you’re done slogging through the details, read your web designer resume out loud. This is a time-tested editorial trick to catch areas you would not catch otherwise. If you absolutely cannot bring yourself to read the document out loud, consider using a text-to-speech program and listening to it.
Run Through a Grammar Check
In addition to reading, check out one of the free grammar check programs online. These go beyond standard spellcheck tools to provide more accurate results. Simply copy and paste your writing into an appropriate website, app or browser plugin. Make sure to repeat this step any time you make changes to your resume.
Think Like a Human… Resources Manager
The final revision is more subjective than it is technical. You should reread your resume one last time and put yourself in the shoes of the person who will receive it. Even if you don’t know the reviewers personally, you can assume they will be team leaders or human resources managers at the company you’re applying to. These people are busy, and they probably see tens, if not hundreds, of applications just like yours. Ask yourself if you’re being respectful of their time and providing them with only relevant, fun or useful information.
Save and Modify as Needed
Before you dive into the design aspect and eventually send out your resume, save the draft text in a word processor. This is now your source document for any further modifications you might make to your resume in the future. In today’s job market, you will want to keep this information updated in order to explore new opportunities and scout exciting new projects. Don’t be afraid to modify it extensively for each new job you apply to. The added effort really stands out when placed in a crowd of boilerplate resumes. Show some effort, care and intelligence, and remember to keep in mind that your goal is to get an interview. Happy writing, and good luck.