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Creating a résumé to land an in-house job

jobs and recruitmentThis is a guest article from Kristen Fischer.

Most creative freelancers will tell you that they don’t need résumés (CVs) – that they are stale reminders of their previous 9-to-5 existence. But the truth is that you do need to play the corporate game if you want lucrative, steady work – and that includes having a professional résumé. If you’re looking to freelance in-house at one of the design agencies, you definitely need to have a solid document in order to secure the gig. You may still be Joe Cool freelancer, but you will be working for a company…so that means you better start writing.

Here are some things to keep in mind when creating a résumé:

Keep it short

Even if you have tons of experience, sticking to one page is best. Two pages is okay if you have a lot of experience, but it isn’t necessary. Simply highlight your experience (I recommend chronologically) and offer a glimpse into each job including some accomplishments. For example, if you worked as a designer, any design agency understands what you did in that role. Go above and beyond by listing some of your accomplishments and the results of you work – that’s what differentiates you. So if you earned a design award or you create a design as part of a campaign that boosted sales by a specific percentage, toot your own horn.

Include relevant work.

The same designer that may have only a couple years of experience in the creative arena may think they need to include every job they ever had to show they have professional experience – so not true. Include what’s relevant, especially if you know what you want to do. You can always expand upon the experience if you don’t have a lot. But try not to fluff up your résumé with needless words. If you do not have a lot of experience, include skill sets and examples of work where you used skill sets that you will use in the job you desire. In short, skip the section on your résumé about flipping burgers at McDonalds. Stick, instead, to the brand building ads you designed for McDonald’s.

Use a qualifications summary

Many people are so stuck in the mindset of using an objective. That’s fine if you are right out of school, but if you have a few years of experience, talk about who you are and what you have to offer instead of what you want. Include descriptive words and discuss your skill sets in a few sentences. This tells the company more about what you as an individual have to offer, and lets the agency know you are experienced.


Kristen Fischer is a copywriter and author living in New Jersey. She writes plenty of résumés and recently completed her Certified Professional Résumé Writers (CPRW) exam. To find out more about Kristen, visit www.kristenfischer.com


Photo credit: The Italian Voice via Flickr cc


About Greg Dillon

Greg is the founder of strategy consultancy GD | Inspires and spends his days strategising for various design agencies and clients around the world - see more at http://gdinspires.com. He is also a prolific entrepreneur having launched Strat-Talking.com - a website aimed at giving advice and insight to new, existing and veteran freelancers as well as commenting on all things strategic as well as acquiring CreativeAgencyFreelancing.com for designers. Feel free to email him at: greg@gdinspires.com or follow on Twitter @CAFreelancing.

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