Friday, September 6, 2013

Taking the Plunge: Revamping the Resume for Interior Design

Sorry I've been off the map for a little while.  I hope everyone had a fun Labor Day weekend. I know I did!  I have since been working out of a hotel room while my apartment is fumigated for termites. Fun fun! Anyway... lets get onto round two of "Taking the Plunge."  

If you're interested in taking the plunge into another career, one of the first things you probably need to update your resume.  Today I'll share with you how I updated my resume to transition from Civil Engineering to Interior Design.  Of course you'll have different experience and objectives, but I figured it might help someone out there to break down what I went into my design resume and what I changed.

revamping your resume, redoing your resume, stylish resume, design resume

  • I'll tell you more about my branding in another post, but I basically wanted to create an image for myself and make my resume look good.  I used the same text and arrows that I used for my blog.
  • I added an objective that I tailored for the various jobs I was investigating.  In this one, I specifically noted that I want to work at a "high-end residential firm."  For another resume geared toward retail, I emphasized customer service.  This is a simple change to make that can really make your resume and you fit for the position you're looking for. You can even use words from the job description!
  • I put my education and design skills at the top. Because I didn't have any design job experience, my design education is the most relevant information for the positions I'm interested in.  I also chose to give descriptions of my school design projects.  If you have relevant design experience you could choose to make two different job sections for "Relevant Experience" and "Other Experience" or something along those lines.  Basically, the idea is to get the stuff that relates to the job you're looking for at the top.
  • One mistake I did make was not putting my expected graduation date. I left it off because I wasn't sure if I was going to continue onto the bachelor program or stop at after I get my associates degree.  But most people asked me when I was going to be finished with school, so I just gave them an answer based on finishing the bachelors anyway.  So I should have just put that on there and recommend for your to do so even if you're unsure. Just pick the date you think is most likely.
  • Throughout my resume I made the important information, like desirable computer skills and awards, stand out with bold text.  That way at a glance someone should be able to see the stuff that is important to the job and the stuff that makes you stand out as a candidate.
  • Add any memberships you have with professional organizations in your industry. It looks good to be involved.
  • In the last section of my experience I modified my job descriptions quite a bit to make them more general. Interior designers don't typically know what H2OMap or InfoSWMM are, so instead of listing specific computer programs I used in my engineering job, I more generally wrote "hydraulic models." I also added key words like "problem solving skills" to express the transferable skills that I have gained from my experience. 
  • Finally, I added a little pizazz to my resume by adding a border and making some text the same color. As far as I know, this isn't something that's done for an Engineering job and probably many others. But since design is largely about aesthetics, you better have a good lookin' resume if you want it to be your profession.
Hope that helps someone out there!