Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sketchy resume design

The most important thing to me right now is keeping my perspective. If my goals aren't in clear sight, I get massive scope creep and wind up trying to learn Unix instead of just working on my HTML project (see hereabouts). However, at this stage it's also important for me to be exploring, dabbling, learning everything I can, and even when projects don't work out or seem unreasonable in some way, I do still learn something from the experience.

Take the newfangled resume I created, for instance. It didn't come out quite as responsive as I hoped, largely because of some finicky elements and my avoidance of media breakpoints. What was interesting, however, was talking to a friend who is familiar with hiring processes at a very prominent tech company. He indicated that a good looking resume is nice and all, but what's most important is a) contact info and b) recent experience. The rest is just noise.

In all fairness, programmers are not necessarily interested in shmancy presentation and part of my goal was showing web design skills. However that was pretty irrelevant when I realized I didn't really want to host my resume publicly on my website.

The process was kind of interesting. I had a basic idea what I wanted to do, drew up some rough sketches (above) with actual pencil and paper (I can't handle initial sketching on a screen, sort of like how I just can't stand e-books. I'm a holdover, I know.) Then I entered my content in an HTML document, put it into sections and got the basic structure marked up. From there it was all about CSS, I barely touched the HTML document again except to add some id attributes. Below are some screencaps of the layout along the way, shown with boxes and dotted borders so I could keep track of what element was where. I admit I went a little crazy with the colors...

And yes, I blurred them, because the text isn't the point here. Some of my original ideas were even more abstract, but it became clear that I did need to say something about what skills came from which job. I considered doing this with some sort of clever mouseover thing, where a line from skill to experience would pop up, but decided that was definitely too fussy.

Anywho, one important question that came up in the process was how relative placement communicated relationship and meaning of each element. Elements next to each other would speak to each other in some way and have some relationship. I think I may just go back to my old, boring resume (though with less hideous layout, at least).

... After all that, I'm very done with this stage. Anyone have experience with designed v. functional resumes? Does a different layout affect your opinion of identical content?

EDIT: on structure, I leaned on the HTML outline concept, but didn't include this link here, I don't think.

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