CV Design - Where to start?
As graphic designers, applying for a job seems to be a complicated affair. There's a whole lot more to it than re-writing your CV and sending it off. At the moment I am applying for internships for my upcoming placement year. I have found that you have to have so many different versions of portfolios and CV's ready to apply for a job. So I'm going to break down exactly what your going to need and post some examples of my CV in different states.
1. Digital CV - Your going to need to have a general CV with all your credentials such as education, work experience etc on it. This is something you will most likely be sending alongside a portfolio, as most internships ask for a portfolio and CV/résumé to be sent to them. You need to think about how this is laid out, your a graphic designer so a company is going to expect something visually pleasing. Infographic CV's are the popular way to design your CV at the moment. But personally I get bored of seeing them, make something different and out of the box. My CV is very modernist, its got an alternative layout and is easy to read.
2. A physical CV/Portfolio - One of the best ways to attract a companies attention is to send them something eye catching in the post. This can be anything from a set of illustrated postcards to a hand made screen print. Whatever it is that you feel your best at, make it, tailor it to your audience and send it. Personally, I made a paper sample booklet which had my CV and some portfolio examples on it. Each page was made from a different type of paper, some textured, and all different thicknesses. This is something that I send off to companies, as well as leave with people that I meet. When I went to New York, every company I went to I left one of these with the person I spoke to, as a reminder.
3. Packaging - If your going to send something out to a company, you have to make sure it's packaged right. Sticking it in a jiffy bag and hoping for the best isn't all that professional. Wrap your parcel in your own designed wrapping paper, stamp your logo on the front, laser cut labels, whatever you want. Just make sure it looks good. I created a package for my covering letter (make sure that looks good too!) and booklet to go into . This was then put into a box package so it could be sent to the US, but I added stickers to the front of the package to make sure it was aesthetically pleasing.
4. A portfolio of work - It's important that you have a good portfolio of work to show your potential employer. This comes usually in three different forms, and it's important to have all of them. The first is a PDF that shows examples of your work. This needs to look really professional in terms of layout, and it needs to be clear and concise. The second is a link to an online portfolio, this can be a link to a behance page for example, or to your own website that showcases your work. Usually when applying for jobs, companies will ask you for a PDF or a link. Lastly, if you are lucky enough to be asked to interview, you need a portfolio of printed work to bring with you. This can be in the usual A3 plastic wallet portfolio, but employers also like to see something a bit different. The standard black carry case portfolio can get a bit boring after interviewing so many people!
There is a lot of work to be done to be fully prepared for the job application process. But it's completely worth it in the end when you get the job you wanted.