Apologies for the delay, folks, but after a bit of a holiday break, I’m back. This post is the fourth in a weekly series that will take journalists through how to set up a professional-looking portfolio Web site. Find out more about the series and read the first, second and third posts if you missed them. Check back next week for more.
For this week’s task, we’re going for focus on resumes – both in HTML and PDF forms.
We’re doing this for a couple reasons. We want to make it easy for a recruiter to do two things:
- Scan your resume on your actual site
- Download a copy of it and print it out
And since we’re going to take the time to do this, it’s a good idea to give that resume a bit of a facelift if it needs one. (I’ve found it’s convenient to do this now, rather than in the fall when you’re under a deadline crunch for internship applications.)
Part 1: Give your resume a facelift
So, here are some tips via Twitter.
1. Ditch the Word template, go into InDesign
Don’t use a word template. Show you know a liitle Photoshop/indesign … http://is.gd/18A5w
Do: create something personal, something yours. Dont: just use an out of the box look that hundreds of others are using.
I totally agree. If you have access to InDesign, it can really add a visual punch to the design of your resume. (If you’re stuck with Word, at least do some minor tweaks.)
It can also help you fit more information on without making your resume look cluttered.
Lauren’s blog post has some great examples of resumes with a bit of flair, but not so much that it gets out of hand.
This blog post also has examples of some tastefully designed resumes. (Straying too far into Crazytown can land your … um, “artistic”? … resume in a recruiter’s trash can, so don’t get too wild.)
2. Emphasize your Web and multimedia skills
Lauren also advised students on this point:
Always include a URL to blog/e-folio
Don’t lead with big print creds, but even small Web cause that’s what’s unique about young journalist http://tinyurl.com/ncvftc
I like the gist that Christopher is getting at: Play up any and all Web skills.
I’ll admit, though, that I don’t take things quite as far as Christopher advises. I list my internships, which have all been in print, first on my resume. However, I do play up Web jobs that I’ve had and skills that I’ve accumulated. (On my PDF version, those sit at the very top of my right hand column.)
Sue Burzynski Bullard, a professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and former recruiter for the Detroit News, summed it up well:
I think students should play up both their traditional skills – i.e. writing or editing for the student newspaper but also need to highlight the online skills that might set them apart from more experienced candidates. …
All J students should graduate knowing how to do [the following] things. And if they aren’t getting it from their programs, they should learn on their own.
3. Take a long, hard look at how you describe past jobs
You should have more than just job titles under the “Experience” heading. Why? Job titles alone tell recruiters little.
Describe your jobs. Don’t say you were a reporter. Say you were a reporter who covered a school district, two police departments and the local court and that you wrote a Sunday column.
The description is where you can set yourself apart from the other 400 applicants who were also a “metro desk intern” or “features design intern.”
Of course, don’t let fancy schmancy descriptions make it impossible to tell what you really did. Sandra Tyler, copy desk chief at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, offered this advice:
Don’t try to BS me — I hate that. List your qualifications, in plain English. Newspapers deal in facts. Give me facts about yourself.
4. Make your resume flawless.
Heidi White, assistant state editor at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, was blunt on this point:
Errors. That will make me want to throw away your resume, no matter what.
So, now that you’ve given that resume a bit of a refresher, it’s time to post it.
Part 2: Post the PDF version
If you’ve never had to save a PDF before, here’s how:
- In InDesign: Go to File, then Export. Somewhere along the line, you’ll see a drop down button for Save as Type where you can select Adobe PDF. Name the file and save it.
- In Word: Go to file, then Print. Up top where you normally select a printer to send your file to, select Adobe PDF 8.0 or something close to that and click print. That will prompt you to save your file to your desktop.
- A helpful tip: When people download your resume, it will maintain its original file name, so it’s a good idea to name it “JohnDoeResume.pdf” or something else professional.
To upload your resume from within WordPress, click the little square icon at that you use to upload an image. Select the file and click upload.
That will bring up this screen. Normally, we click “Insert into Post,” but it doesn’t make sense to embed a giant PDF file onto your page directly, does it? That would mean anyone checking out your resume would have to wait for the darn thing to load. Not fun.
Instead, you want to copy the URL listed as the link URL.
Then you can click “Save All Changes” and close that screen.
Now that you’re back in the main WordPress editor, you can type “Download resume as PDF” or something like that. Highlight that text and click the link icon and paste in the URL we copied from the previous pop-up screen.
That will link that text to the PDF you uploaded. Make sense?
Now we need to post your resume in HTML format. This doesn’t mean you’re going to have to go code crazy, it just means you’ll be copying and pasting a lot and adding links throughout.
Part 3: Post the HTML version
When you copy and paste your resume sections into WordPress, you’re likely going to be carrying over some crazy text styles and whatnot from InDesign or Word. You don’t want that. It makes your page’s fonts look all sorts of funky.
(You can also paste your information into TextEdit or Notebook and then re-copy it and paste it into the normal Visual view, but that’s just too much work in my opinion. Don’t be afraid to switch into HTML view when needed.)
Now to make your text look pretty, you can use a mix of bold and italics (use those sparingly, though, please) and set your section headings in Heading 3. (Usually that’s a good choice, play around with those to see what looks good to you.)
Not all of these are made on WordPress, but here are a few other student journalists’ resumes to check out: