Sonya came to me as a recent graduate with a BFA degree in interior design and three years of design experience working for a national retailer’s interior-design division. Sonya’s goal was to secure an interior designer, project manager or design assistant role with a residential or commercial architecture or interior design firm.
Sonya’s original résumé lacked creativity and did nothing to reinforce her design orientation. Its novice construction pigeonholed Sonya into an entry-level box and did not let her personality shine through.
The content on Sonya’s résumé was overly succinct and crowded with brief, fragmented sentences with no statement reaching more than 11 words in length with the majority averaging five to seven words. Her résumé also opened with a self-serving objective statement that did not differentiate her from the many other interior designer candidates seeking to gain entry into the field.
Sonya’s new résumé needs to show style, uniqueness and personality. In the sea of competitors she will face in the trendy and growing market of Houston, Texas, she will have to stand out. To ensure she does just that, I created a unique design that looked more like a magazine article than a traditional résumé.
To introduce Sonya’s résumé, I created a cover letter with the headline of “Interior Designer with proven strengths in project management and relationship cultivation.” This is followed by four brief paragraphs that provide a strong introduction and differentiate her from the pack through content and formatting.
Sonya’s résumé appears as page two of her presentation. I developed a unique design using a two-column format. The majority of Sonya’s content falls in the main column, and it fully explains her past positions including her current involvement in the field as a private interior-design consultant. Far removed from the content on her original résumé, Sonya’s new résumé explores her roles and the contributions in each, quantifying results whenever possible and appropriate.
For example, the responsibilities covered in one section on Sonya’s original résumé read:
Provide design solutions, direction and color concepts.
Select fabrics, finishes, furniture and equipment.
Create furniture layouts, custom window treatments, paint schedules, elevations and renderings.
Assemble and conduct client presentations.
Assist and supervise in installation of furnishings.
Her new résumé presents this same experience in a much stronger and robust manner, in part read:
Consult with clients to provide design concepts and direction, offering solutions that meet existing needs and are aligned with design preferences. Work with clients in assessing spaces, traveling to their homes to gain a sense of their personal style, space restrictions and design opportunities. Review floor plans while designing spaces, calculating furniture placement and identifying opportunities for custom pieces and accessories. Produce client presentations to communicate suggested furnishings, draperies, paint colors, accessories and flow. Assist in the development of design budgets and present solutions to achieve goals within financial parameters. Oversee the installation of furnishings, providing clients with access to reputable vendors — painters, carpenters, refinishers and upholsterers — to support the design process.
In addition, Sonya’s two statements that related to accomplishments were expanded to six bullet points that communicate the value she offers.
Perhaps most striking on Sonya’s new résumé is her portfolio examples placed in the right column. These samples were selected not only because of her design and artistic abilities, but also because they showcase the commercial side of Sonya’s experience, an area of interior design in which she is very interested.
Overall, Sonya’s new résumé is light years ahead of her original in both content and design. It will serve her well in the highly competitive market she is entering.
Sonya recently contacted me and told me of the results her new résumé helped her achieve. She secured what she coined “my dream job at my dream company,” but unfortunately her employer is closing. Therefore, she asked me to update her résumé. With Sonya’s most recent experience, she will have no problem getting the attention of her target audience and I’m excited to partner with her once again.
View Sonya’s before and after résumés on ladybug-design.com/blog.
Samantha Nolan is a certified professional résumé writer and owner of Ladybug Design, a full-service résumé-writing firm. Send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more about Sam’s résumé writing services, visit ladybug-design.com or call 1-888-9-LADYBUG