Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Redlined Resumes: strength in need of definition

This week's Redlined Resume comes from CE, who has taken an unusual but welcome approach by making his/her resume into a landscape format document instead of portrait.  A very quick glance at his/her resume shows me that it's clean and mostly easy to read, but it could use a little air.  For example, putting a little more space between the two columns would help it read a bit better.  CE has what appears to be a lot of experience in architecture as well as landscape architecture and gardening.  The experience is good--s/he has been able to find work in a bad economy. A hiring manager needs some explanation here, though, if that manager is to call CE in for an interview.

Phrases and titles mean different things to different people.  CE uses the title "Project Manager" for one of his/her jobs, which to some firms would imply that s/he is actually a licensed architect and was in charge of everything from the drawings to the consultant coordination to the budget.  Without further explanation of what his/her duties were as "project manager", a potential firm might see CE as exaggerating his/her qualifications (unless s/he in fact did do all these things, in which case CE is completely telling the truth). Phrases like "urban grow site" can be meaningless to an architect, so again some very brief definitions might be of use here.

I have to admit though that I can't tell what kind of job CE is applying for with this resume.  Perhaps this is a resume that CE will use to amend slightly depending on if s/he applies to a landscape architecture firm or a building architecture firm; as it is, I can't tell which is his/her strength or which one s/he really wants to do.  If CE wants to demonstrate that s/he understands how buildings and site work together, then that needs to be said as part of his/her job duties at one or more of the positions held ("Led design direction to incorporate site and interior spaces in XYZ Project").

A few minor formatting issues include skills and address. I only caught the physical address in the lower right corner after staring at and marking up the resume for three or four minutes, which is longer than a firm manager might look at it, so I would make that bolder, larger, or located in two places (upper left and lower right).  Also, I would bullet the skills a little to make it easy to see what kind of skills CE has.  Using paragraphs to describe one's job duties is conversational and pleasant, but reading a list of software names is easier done in a bulleted or partially-bulleted format.

Overall, nicely done, CE--just needs some definition of what you're looking for, what your job duties entailed, and a little breathing room.  Good luck!

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