Monday, April 1, 2013

Lulu's Mailbag: How do I include actual projects in my resume?

Most of the questions I get regarding resumes involves folks coming out of school or with little professional experience. However, J. asks a good question:

[I]f you have any suggestions about how to include intern-level professional work in a portfolio, I would appreciate any tips. [The work] I've done at [this] internship is portfolio-worthy but I do not yet know how to incorporate it alongside my previous academic work.

Including information about work you've done in a firm is one of the top things, if not the most important thing behind your contact info, to include on a resume. A few general tips:

  • When you add a real-life project with a firm to your portfolio, drop a school/academic project.  The more actual/built work you have on your resume and portfolio helps you make a better case for someone to hire you.  If you've been working for a couple of years and all that time was spent on the same project due to its size, you may even want to drop off two projects.
  • Include the built work on both your resume and portfolio. You can highlight one or more projects on your resume when you mention where you've been working. On the resume, provide name and location of project as well as general information (2,300-sf bank, 40-bed hospital, etc.) and then describe your role on the project team. On the portfolio, you can go into more detail about the project (2,300-sf bank in the heart of historic downtown Austin, TX with a focus on achieving LEED Platinum, etc.)
  • Be cautious of using images and pictures. Images of built and rendered projects that were created or paid for by your firm belong to your firm. Putting them on your resume can be and portfolio can be a violation of intellectual property.  If you cannot or are uncomfortable asking for permission to use these images, your safest bet is to take pictures of the building yourself or include web links to online images of the work (either on your firm's website or in an online newspaper or magazine article).

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