resumes & cover letters

As I started to receive applications for my internship position I posted about a few weeks ago ( NOW CLOSED ) — I realized that it could be very helpful to write some resume, cover letter, and general application tips for those of you applying for creative jobs out there. Landing that dream job of yours is all about how well you present yourself. Here are a few things to keep in mind :

FIRST LOOK – One of the most important things you can realize before applying for a creative job is that your work MATTERS. The person looking over your materials will almost always look at your portfolio ( or work submitted ) first. With that said, your portfolio and work should be presented in a way that you are proud of and be top priority. Everything should be up to date and tailored to showcase your best work. Make viewers WANT to stay and explore more about you + your work.

RESUME – These guys can be really really boring, let’s get real. So why not stand out in the crowd and do something unique + creative?? You’re in that business after all. Focus on not only having a good design, but a very organized document as well. Resumes crammed with text on one page are mind numbing and often overlooked, so be mindful of what information you truly believe needs to be included. Viewers will most importantly be interested in your experience / education levels, since they already have a sense of the work you produce from your portfolio.

COVER LETTERS – I personally believe that these are most often overlooked while prepping for a job application. Think of your cover letter as an extension of your resume + portfolio. It should be branded and presented just as well and continue to entice viewers. Plain word documents can feel very unfinished, so do all that you can to have your letter match the rest of your materials. The extra time it takes to get something like this ready is completely worth it. Viewers will take note of your attention to detail, I promise.

So there you have it … a few tips on how to present yourself nicely to be considered for a job position!! The more you meticulously care about how well you are being presented in all formats, the more you’ll be noticed and stand a part from the crowd.

( photo )

  1. Kory says:

    These ideas are so important. I’ve noticed that (at least at my college) the senior thesis class helps with resumes, but they don’t focus as much on making the resume look as good as it could. It’s hard to make something so bland look great, but as creatives that’s part of our job. Hopefully more people will learn that your brand should be carried out into all materials that a potential employer gets!

  2. alicia says:

    One thing I would add is proof read + spell check x 10. I am terrrrible at spelling and I remember in Art School I was NOT the only one. No one is good at everything and especially creative people seem to suck at spelling. It looks bad if you have spelling mistakes and it’s just plain embarrassing. Get your friends to look it over!!

  3. Ann says:

    This is a great post. I would also say that after you have submitted everything, follow up with a quick and concise email or thank you – but not incessantly! It’s so hard to wait to hear back from your dream job, but over doing the post-submit follow ups can turn a potential employer off. Especially if they’ve been too busy to look through all the work!

  4. Amber says:

    I think it’s really a shame that creativity in resumes is FROWNED upon in the corporate world. That I use two colors on mine (when applying for administrative jobs) and an image/type I drew myself in Illustrator (I’m a trained designer so this is not me doing something I suck at) is considered bold at best and reckless at worst — sadly most hiring manager seem to judge it negatively. WHY?!?! I’ve never understood. Why NOT stand out in a classy, elegant way?

    • breanna says:

      I totally understand! My boyfriend is going through that right now. He even went to a resume seminar one time w/ a resume I designed for him. They basically said everything about it was WRONG, which is crazy. So there has to be a fine line between simple details to help stand out + organized information. That seems to be all you can do in the corporate world unfortunately. :/

  5. Kim says:

    I agree with Alicia! When I’m hiring, I ditch anything with typos, even if the work is good. It shows a lack of attention to detail. That’s a red flag in my book.

  6. Becca Anne says:

    Yay! When are you going to decide on the intern? (:

  7. [...] • Breanna Rose has some helpful tips when it comes to resumes and cover letters. [...]

  8. Tarra says:

    Now I feel like I have a chance among the tons of resumes, because I did all of that!
    :) Crossing my fingers!

  9. meligrosa says:

    These are great and crucial, thx for sharing.
    Another thing I could add (because I was so strict to myself about doing) and almost as important as your advice having the cover be related to the CV is: re-re-re-read everything, especially if you find yourself doing copy+paste often.
    I recently went through a gazillion jobs applications +became an expert in saving/PDFing/making sure that my eyes weren’t tired when I sent that email making super sure that Hello xx! was matching the correct email addy +cover letter. Job hunting, networking +applying can be emotionally draining.

    Also decided to be very serious about the wording in my resume, the look+feel I had that part – so I did pay for consulting with a professional editor/career counselor to look over the beef in my resume. It really is a great investment.
    *my blog link above is for fun, my portfolio is meligrosa.com :)

    thx again, and luv your posts/tips as a fellow designer :)
    xxom

  10. Nomali says:

    At 21, I’m back again where I was when I’d just graduated college nearly 2 years ago: job seeking. This was a really useful post, Breanna. Now to figure out what the devil really goes into cover letters. *sigh*

  11. Iris says:

    I’m with you 100%. If your cover letter is like everybody else’s, why should employers bother to read them. There’s got to be something specific that will make them say. .. “ hey ! this guy knows exactly what we’re looking for. If he’s that smart, maybe we should try him.”