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Communications Design Industry Discussion, Inspiration, & Tutorials

Mar 15, 2015

Tailored Resume - Whys and Wherefores

By On 06:26
Maybe you’ve heard that a tailored resume is one of the best ways to grab a hiring manager’s attention. It’s a fact that a one-size-fits-all, generic, general resume doesn’t cut it—remember, you’re facing a pool of hundreds (and potentially thousands) of competing applicants.

What Makes a Resume “tailored”?

Hiring managers are looking for the best fit for the needs of the job, team, and organization as a whole. Here are some core aspects that a tailored resume addresses. The list below will help you identify the information you’ll need to craft yours:

Responsibilities that match the job description - A good place to start is to demonstrate that you’ve already done the type of work the organization needs. Read through the full job description and pay careful attention to what the position entails. Include on your resume any of your work experience that most closely relates to those responsibilities.

Avoid wasting time and space with details that don’t relate to the job or the work of the organization—this means that yes, you can delete some items from your exhaustive list of duties. If you’re dying to mention them in your application, then craft a well-worded paragraph in the cover letter that outlines the important items that you’ve deleted.

Why? If you already have competency in those areas, you’ll be a quick study and able to hit the ground running in your new job.

How It’s Done / Example

Job description states: Serve as a significant role model for effective and appropriate work behaviors, procedures, and practices. Act as a liaison and advocate for participants.

On your resume, perhaps:
Advocated on behalf of approximately 960 students and 23 student groups as their primary representative to the faculty and administration.

Mar 6, 2015

Teaching Update…a Thank-You Note

By On 08:07

Last spring I tried out the flipped classroom approach to teaching, and got a slew of mixed reviews from my students. The first half of session was administered as a traditional undergrad class, then I moved to a flipped model after spring break. One of my students called me crazy--and she was right.

This season has been much better. With this model, it's obvious when students skip the textbook/video elements when we work in class, and I have time to really take notice. The real bonus is that I get to give everyone individual time without holding back the more advanced designers or rushing the novices.

Last week, as I walked around the room answering questions, giving notes, feedback and pointers, I paused to tell one on my more advanced students about her design (above). She was  appreciative of my notes but uncharacteristically monosyllabic. Then I got this email:

Hi Prof Christian-
I just wanted to thank you for being really nice to me today and for giving me a lot of positive feedback. It's incredibly refreshing to have a professor that shows that he/she really cares about students, and also to hear kind words about my work when I feel like my life is completely and utterly imploding….

...I just wanted to say thanks for making me feel welcome in your class.
This is just an excerpt. In reading the full message I got a teary eyed--because this exceptionally talented student outlined her fears and anxieties about not measuring up at what is, apparently, an extremely personally stressful time.

I remembered that in my last semester of grad school was one of emotional strain and upheaval (at one point I lost 10 lbs in 2 days-no exaggeration) and one of my profs, Amy Pointer, paused to talk about a portfolio piece that had me stressed. Her concern and positive feedback gave me the little push I needed to keep going--and stay sane long enough to graduate.

Mar 1, 2015

The Pen Tool is too Hard....

By On 07:37
Yes it is, but this is one of the most useful tools in the Adobe Suite–when it comes to control, creating custom clipping masks and shapes.

In working out a way to introduce my students to the highly intimidating bezier tool, I stumbled across this awesome interactive, real-time game. It gives you animated tool tips coupled with instant gratification.

Practice makes perfect. Check out the Bezier Game to get some practice:

the Bezier game website