50 Shades Of Resume #18: The Character Sheet

Resume 18

Taylor Smith is a bit of a character, and her resume is literally a character sheet. She’s got a cartoon-esque picture of herself, skill bars out of an RPG, and iconics indicating the technology she uses. You want a resume that gives you a sense of someone’s character, she’s got it, with a whimsical sense instead of the usually dead-serious resume.

Only this is also a full resume as well! Let’s take a look at what makes it work

  • First, let’s take a look at the cartoon-like character picture. This picture gives a sense of character, makes the resume seem human, and gives an idea of her artistic ability.
  • The use of icons and skill bars to show abilities is a nice touch. It saves the need for wordy descriptions and gives a visual reference.
  • The “tools of the trade” section is odd, but interesting, as it’s both skills and not. Not sure it’s a good idea, but the idea of breaking up and showing skill/talent sections differently is intriguing.
  • The Doctor Who quote at the top is a great idea, adds to the whimsy of the piece, shows character, and further humanizes the resume.
  • The “Fun Facts” section is interesting and humanizing as well – I always say show your hobbies.
  • The use of icons, of course, is great shorthand. She has a consistent style of using rounded icons that works well.
  • The use of the icons and the “skill levels” actually tells me the person wants to connect and communicate – paired with the humanizing image, that’s very powerful.
  • I like the color scheme. It’s friendly and professional at the same time.

Of course this is an ambitious redesign, and there are a few issues:

  • The lack of contact information. I’d probably put that below the picture.
  • The picture is nice, but uses a lot of real estate. It might be better about 75% of it’s current size.
  • I’d use a thicker Sans Serif font for the text, especially the section headers.
  • I’m not sure using offset boxes with rounded edges works with the corner boxes that display only one rounded edge as they’re partially “offscreen”
  • The skill section should be expanded to show more skills and abilities. It might combine well with the “Tools-of-the-Trade” section, though that is an interesting offset on its own.
  • The resume uses large icon and sections and thus may not be suited for finer details or expanded skills. It might need to have its sizing and layout changed to show more details.

I’m fond of this resume for it’s whimsy and use of multiple clever artistic ideas. If you try such a resume, here’s some thoughts:

  • In a resume like this, I’d update it constantly – and update the picture every 6 months to show improved skill. However, keep it facing the reader as that “eye contact” is effective.
  • Maintain consistency of icon design as we see here – maybe even make new ones as needed.
  • However you theme the resume, if there’s a portfolio attached, it should have similar themes.

Steve’s Summary: I’d love to see a resume like this come across my desk. I feel the person is really trying to make contact – and it tells me a lot about them.

[“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