En Route: A Career Blog

Illustrate Your Resume

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
CATEGORY: , ,
POSTED: May 27, 2008 at 2:28 pm

 

So you’ve finally rendered every last trim and run Compressor with your fingers crossed for the last time. After weeks of being a slave to cornea bending slices of time, you are very wisely stopping just before you ruin your work. You would trade two weeks in Tahiti for two weeks in REM, easy, but before you go anywhere, you have to remind the world you’re still in it. Your reel is up on blogspot, but then so is everyone else’s, and the videos still take a while to load—are you going to hand out business cards with your blog address and hope for the best? Wait until someone kindly offers you a few hours of work in Dreamweaver for free so you can finally get your web site up?

Graphics, Used Wisely, Can Enhance Your Resume

Better to illustrate your resume in Word! As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, especially if any old mail program can open it. These days, Word can perform all sorts of tricks that once only Quark could do. You can import pictures and resize them in place, run text around images, over and under them, distort them and add animations. But it’s best not to get carried away, because your resume should be about what you can do, and not about what the application you write it in can do.

Don’t Overdo the Special Effects

Choose your text carefully. Keep it spare and simple, and make its content traditional, because this time the pictures are going to do a lot of the talking. If you position an image right by the relevant text, it will illuminate the text. But if you list your work for the Discovery Channel, don’t place your favorite, most recognizable frame from A Clockwork Orange next to that listing. Overall, make sure that the images you select are in keeping with the work you’re applying for. If you badly want to work on John Waters’ next film, it’s better to show that you made a promotional spot for the BBC version of Life and Loves of a She-Devil or even Teletubbies than to put in a frame from Army Wives. If you have a special hand with certain kinds of transitions, select a frame that shows an actual transition to show what you can do.

Organize Your Images

Make a folder and fill it with images that you have grabbed out of halted footage. Assign a key in Photoshop to cut down on time when reducing the file size of each image to just short of thumbnail, and don’t bother with anything bigger than 72 dpi—it needs to stay small. When you have the text saying exactly what you want, avoid using text boxes and start positioning pictures straight into the text using the commands under Insert and the Formatting Palette under View. Click on the image to start manipulating it in the Formatting Palette. You can do more positioning manually if you go to Wrapping then Style and select Through. Once you have the pictures positioned as you want in order to project a particular overall concept, save the document as a PDF and then use Acrobat Pro to optimize and further reduce the file size, ready for deployment at any time. You can go back and re-illustrate the same text with different sets of images to highlight different aspects of your work experience and save different versions ahead of time so you can respond to openings immediately.

By all means, display the url for the site where you have posted your reel in a prominent position. After looking at your resume, people should be tempted to move on and check out samples of your work in action.

Darlene Z.

Darlene Zambruski is a resume writing expert and CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer) with more than 13 years of industry experience. She has authored 10,000+ resumes in every industry and at every career level.

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