Pimp your resume: The Infographic Resume

An infographic resume for Sherlock Holmes, courtesy of McGraw-Hill Professional
An infographic resume for Sherlock Holmes, courtesy of McGraw-Hill Professional

Hannah Morgan thinks resumes are rather dullish. Her solution? The Infographic Resume: How to Create a Visual Resume That Showcases Your Skills and Lands the Job. To promote the book, McGraw-Hill Professional has created an infographic resume for a man who needs no letter of recommendation, Sherlock Holmes. It’s very pretty, indeed. The timeline is especially catchy. And I like that Morgan presents a more exciting alternative to the dull bullet-point resume. However, I presume that if Holmes himself were to show up at Scotland Yard with something like this, he’d be escorted to the door.

The book, which is packed with eye candy, could prove quite helpful for a young person hoping to stand out from the crowd in the field of advertising, publicity, or graphic design. The author includes a lovely example of a one-page resume for typographic designer Kelly Weihs. A typographic designer is exactly the kind of person who can benefit from Morgan’s approach. Infographic resumes might also be a good fit for any company that uses the word “disrupt” in its mission statement. As the editor of a small press (albeit one that does not use the word “disrupt”), if I received a resume that looked like this, I would definitely be intrigued enough to follow the links.

However, the book should come with a caveat: the infographic resume isn’t right for every job search. Sometimes, the bells and whistles will only get in the way. In academia, for example, if you turn in anything other than the expected CV, your application will quickly move to the recycle bin. Finance, wherein one aims to handle large sums of other people’s money, probably isn’t a good field in which to show your flare for color.  Many fields outside of arts and entertainment, in which you want to present yourself as a person of gravitas, may have not yet caught on to the visual resume trend.

Financiers and professors aside, this book is a great tool for young people looking for their first job right out of college, as well as more experienced professionals in highly creative fields. Morgan includes good resources for where to host your resume and portfolio online, as well as basic steps to creating an alluring online presence. She offers basic advice on creating an effective pitch and getting a good headshot. There’s a decent section on common mistakes to avoid. A couple of the examples, unfortunately, such as an off-puttingly fussy resume for one graphic designer, look like they would be better placed in the don’t-do-this chapter (don’t put your own words in giant quotes at the top of the page, for example, and don’t include a photo of yourself looking coyly off-camera.)

Ultimately, visuals are only as good as the information they convey. The traditional resume works in part because an employer who is going through hundreds of resumes knows exactly where to look to quickly ascertain your education, experience, career goals, and references. Requiring a hurried employer to search an unfamiliar document in order to get the information she wants might prove off-putting.

Kyle Bahr’s resume showcasing his talents as a digital strategist and wilderness explorer combines the best of old and new: everything is where you would expect it to be, which gives the resume that ever-important quality: clarity. A few well-placed graphic elements, and a smart use of color, typography, and icons, make it a beauty to behold and guarantee that it won’t get lost in the forest. By the way, while looking for an elusive link to Bahr’s infographic, I found a traditional resume by the same Kyle Bahr, a resume so direct and yet personality-driven (after a clear list of his relevant experience, Bahr includes  “World’s Best Grandson” in the Award section) that it would be likely to stand out from the crowd on its own simple merit.

Final take: Despite a few missteps, The Infographic Resume provides a fresh take on the art of selling oneself. A helpful guide to standing out from the slush pile, as long as one keeps in mind that, sometimes, a simple “World’s Greatest Grandson” will do.

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5 Stunning Examples of Flat Design

1. We begin our tour of gorgeous flat design with this surprising, eye-catching Darth Vader image by Portuguese designer Filipe Carvalho, who created a whole series of images based on the iconic characters.

Star Wars icons by Portuguese designer Filipe Carvalho

 

2. Next up is The Hipster Alphabet, by Michael Mahaffey. On his website, Mahaffey describes this comprehensive series of alphabetical illustrations as an act of self-education. I only wish we’d had these pasted to the walls of my Kindergarten classroom!

Just one letter in Michael Mahaffey’s playful, beautiful Hipster Alphabet.

 

3. Impression Digital created seven images for Harvey Waters Softeners to walk viewers through British design by decade. Browse the decades from the 50s to the 2010s here.

From the Interior Design by Decades project, by UK company Impression Digital

 

4. Here’s a really cool example of flat game design out of France, by TBWA Dan for SNFC.

SNCF – Défi Ingénieurs 2 View site By TBWA DAN Paris X TBWA Paris X \Else (FRANCE)

5. And finally, that brings us to a bright, colorful use of flat design by a company called Wistia, that allows users to easily add video to their websites.

Flat design for the company Wistia, via http://www.hotdesignworld.com/flat-website-design/

 

You can read up on the history of flat design here.

What is flat design?

the term given to the style of design in which elements lose any type of stylistic characters that make them appear as though they lift off the page. via Amber Leigh Turner for TNW

Find 50 great-looking examples of flat design at Hotdesignworld.com.

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A Tale of Two Writing Spaces (or my dream writing room)

A South Korean furniture maker has designed this desk for kids to help them focus while they study. It could also serve as a writing room for smallish adults. Emok sells the nifty little space in South Korea for about $2,200 U.S. How much would you pay for a little bit of zen?

Writing Room

I love the built-in shelves and lighting, and the window that (perhaps cruelly) allows kids to gaze out on all the fun other members of the household are having while the student is locked in his homework prison.

That footrest below the desk is a massage bar for tired feet. It may be the only thing in the room to keep you from totally losing your mind.

In this photo you can see the white board, great for writing, “Get me out of here!” or “Why did I ever think I could write this novel?” Or maybe you could play hangman solitaire.

I both love this space and hate it. Theoretically, it looks like a great place to write The Next Great American Short Story (I can’t imagine staying there long enough to write a novel). On the other hand, it might make you go a little Yellow Wallpaper.

Photos via Design Taxi.

This micr0-cottage by Tengbom Architects in Sweden (via Contemporist by way of DesignTaxi) is more to my liking. At ten square meters, te eco-friendly space, conceived as a complete student flat in collaboration with students at the University of Lund, is truly museum worthy. Though it’s not for sale yet, I’m pretty sure that if it ever is produced, it will be out of my price range.

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Pacific Helm office space

Home Office Ideas – Small Space Design Inspiration

My home office has a great view and plenty of storage, and it only has to accommodate one person: me. Still, it manages to be pretty cluttered most of the time. That might have something to do with the hundreds of books threatening to fall from the wall of shelves the moment an earthquake hits, or the nursery room rocking chair I can’t bear to get rid of, or the huge oak table that someone I can’t name borrowed from the UCLA Library in 1988. I love my home office, but efficient and tidy it is not. (Here it is with the desk cleared off to an unrealistic degree–the only reason you can even see the desk is that I was faking orderliness for a photo shoot. I also had the photo taken from an angle that eliminates one third of the room–the third that happens to contain a bookshelf overflowing with unused but well-intentionled organizing supplies from the Container Store).

home office

Always on the lookout for great small office space design, I was wowed by this Apartment Therapy feature on a 150-square-foot office that gracefully and charmingly accommodates four. It’s the San Francisco office of Pacific Helm, a small design studio. Normally, I wouldn’t seek inspiration from a company’s office, but in this case, the office is so small that its principles can easily be applied to a small home office. Chances are, you won’t need work space for four, but you might want an extra desk for collaboration or, if you have children, a surface for them to do artwork and homework while you’re working.

 

Pacific Helm office space
photo via Apartment Therapy

Pacific Helm makes smart use of the inexpensive and iconic West Elm Parsons desk (we have one in the guest room), and the meeting area features the Odyssey Dining Table from CB2, an inexpensive knock-off of the designer favorite Saarinen Tulip Table. (more…)

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My Great Gray Reading Chair – Don Draper replaces Mr. Carson

I’m pleased to report that I’ve finally replaced my beloved old reading chair, which my then-boyfriend and I purchased on sale from Macy’s for our first San Francisco apartment back in 1999. It is a well-used chair that served us lovingly, kind of like Mr. Carson, but, like Mr. Carson,  it long ago began showing its age. It’s cozy but rumpled, quite a bit shabbier than it ever thought it would be. The new one, pictured below, is from the Chairs Event at One Kings Lane. I think it’s pretty subtle. I love the clean lines, the smart gray fabric;  it’s more Mad Men than Downtown Abby.

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