How I look at Resume writing: A resume should be built to achieve three primary goals, each tougher than the last.
First, the resume must make it past the “trash can stage.” One has to assume that most of the resumes that are submitted to a position actually end up in the trash can. There can be a number of reasons for trash-canning a resume upon immediate reflection. From my experience in hiring, these are: 1) the individual’s experience does not match the job description, or the individual has no prior background in the industry, 2) the resume is obtrusively unaesthetic, or 3) the individual is applying for a position that is no longer open.
Second, the resume must make it into the short-list prior to an interview. Of the resumes not canned immediately, many will be filed away for future hiring decisions, even if the job is immediately open. This can happen when the hiring manager receives a dozen or more applications for a position and only has the time, ability, or gumption to call four or five individuals for a first-round interview. To beat the filing cabinet, a resume has to convey a sense of potential – the individual must have a reasonable chance to be the best person for the job.
Third, the resume must stand up to extreme cross-examination in the job interview. One must expect that a hiring manager will ask questions about past experience, skills, and other jobs. Many times the individual interviewing will be asked to explain a particular skill listed, and the quality of the explanation will determine whether or not the individual actually possesses the claimed skills.
This resume was designed with the goal of making it past these three stages of the interview. I list only my relevant experience (no mention of the summer I worked at Augie’s Pizza), and I place it at the top, in the largest box. I adhere to a aesthetic grid layout that allows me to provide a lot of information about myself without being unaesthetic. Finally, with the large list of skills I listed, I would hope to appear as the most qualified and valuable potential employee.
I based the design of the resume around a standard information architecture formula – put the most important information in a prime location and make it the largest. For this task, I ranked my qualifications as follows: experience > skills > education > volunteer. This lends itself to a design that allows the eye to travel around the page and finally settle on my wordmark and contact information.