Some people re-design resumes, or throw the template away and start new. Richard Gonzales isn’t a typical person – he’s a designer as well as a pastor after all – so he didn’t just re-design a resume or toss things out, he sort of re-envisioned the different parts of a resume into a new whole. This resume isn’t one change or another, but several combined.
He leads in with a larger description at normal, graphs his experience in a color-coded time graph that mixes education and job history, then does a separate education graph, and follows up by using circular metaphors for his skills. It’s actually a bit much to take in as it’s so different.
So let’s dig in to what we can learn from this:
- Its a nice, clean one page resume that, despite using complex and unusual elements, is very easy to follow.
- The opening paragraph is an interesting touch. Normally I discourage opening statements that are long – I prefer a sentence. But somehow this works because the resume is a complete re-interpretation.
- The experience graph is clever, interesting, and effective – and space-saving when you look at it. It also helps explain what is a rather complex life. Some people’s lives/careers may just not fit a standard layout (something, sadly, I forget myself)
- The education graph is straightforward – and also combines other coursework beyond school. I usually like to break up education versus training – but he combines them.
- The Skills section uses size of circles to show years of experience. There’s something I’d never thought of and it’s an interesting, visceral idea.
- The resume clearly shows a lot of thought on how to portray himself and portray himself effectively and differently.
- This resume, by using these different ways to show information, by having a larger opening than most, really tells me he wants to communicate.
A few thoughts on improving this resume – though it’s a bit hard as he gets radical
- I usually prefer skills to go first on a resume. In this case that might break up the more subtle, uncolored end they bring to it – and spoils the lead-in from the larger opening paragraph.
- I think the use of the same kind of graph for education as Experience actually doesn’t work so well. The Experience graph explains his background well, but his more straightforward education doesn’t necessarily need this. It might have been fun to see it in another format.
- The skills section’s actual skill names are a bit small and hard to read. I’m not sure if they’d be better on top, in the circle, etc.
Not a standard resume, but one to make you think.
Steve’s Summary: This resume would get my attention as it’s both different, clear, and tells me he wants to be understood. There’s a thoughtful communicator behind this.
[“50 Shades of Resume” is an analysis of various interesting resumes to celebrate the launch of the second edition of my book “Fan To Pro” and to give our readers inspiration for their own unique creations.]
– Steven Savage