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Web Designer Resume Guide & Tips

While it is far from the most important part of your job materials in terms of getting hired, the resume may very well be the most important part of your application in terms of getting noticed. As more and more job listings move online, the number of applications received for any given job opening is increasing. This means that hiring managers will have an increased upfront workload, and they are likely to cut corners on this by being far more aggressive in culling the first round of applicants. Thus, one of the first things they will look at, and as such, one of the the first factors that determines whether they look at your additional application materials or junk your application along with 100 other candidates, is whether or not your resume is compelling.

What to Put on a Web Designer Resume

There are a few things that will go on your resume regardless of the kind of job that you are applying for. You’ll need to include your contact information, your relevant work experience, and your educational background. You’ll also want to include relevant professional accomplishments, accolades, and training history. How you present these details will be used to differentiate your resume from your competitors, but it is important to remember that there is a practical function to this document.

Importantly, resumes should be no longer than about two pages in length. This is to ensure that they are used as hooks to draw a prospective employer to your materials rather than an overwhelming pile of irrelevant information. In most cases, the question won’t be “what should I include,” but rather it should be “what isn’t important here.” You will want to be judicious in what you include because the resume is often the first thing that a hiring manager looks at and can potentially be the only thing if the resume doesn’t impress.

Specific Relevant Work Experience

When you are listing your work experience, you may wish to include specific details highlighting the kinds of projects you’ve worked on and the role you played in those projects. This can be a very brief summary of some of the kinds of work in your portfolio, such as noting that while you worked at a specific company, you designed the landing page for a product launch. The goal of this addition is to expand upon your work history and make it more understandable for the hiring manager to quickly judge your role at that company since the name of a company and a few days doesn’t adequately describe the totality of your work experience.

In addition, this should only include the most relevant work history that you can produce. You don’t want to consume real estate talking about summer jobs in high school or retail work you did in college. If there are relevant skills that you feel that are provided for you, such as, for instance, team leadership skills working as a floor manager, you may want to include them here, but a relevant skills section is probably the way to go.

Specific Relevant Education

Similarly, when listing your education, you will want to highlight some of the specific aspects of your formal training that make you an ideal candidate for the position. This will usually require a bit of research, but if you are working for a firm that primarily focuses on building webpages for brands looking to advertise new products, mentioning that you took multiple upper-division digital marketing classes is a good way to quickly highlight your unique skills. If you worked on a capstone project for a design course, name it and draw attention to it on the resume. This is also where you should include your non-college training programs if you have attended any. While you will put certificates elsewhere, you can note the programs in this section to demonstrate that you have received an education in the field of web design.

Again, you want to avoid putting too much on this section. Most employers will have alternate places to list your high school education, and you only want to list college courses or professional training seminars that you think highlight your candidacy. Virtually every Web Designer will have taken a class in Photoshop, so there is no need to list that. But if you participated in an advanced JavaScript training seminar, you should highlight that in job postings that seek a skilled programmer.

General Contact Information

You will also need to include important general contact information at the top of your resume or in someplace where it is very easy to locate. This should include your full name, your address and phone number, and a professional email address that you regularly check. This should be, by far, the shortest section of your resume since it will take up the fewest words, but the information it communicates is vital to helping you get a job. Don’t be too flashy here, aim for straight and to the point.

Soft Skills and Relevant Experience

You can also use the space of the resume to talk about the assorted soft skills that you feel might be relevant to the job offer. This can include a wide variety of transferable skills, but they should all directly emphasize the kinds of skills you can expect to be directly useful for the job you are applying for. While some skills, like experience as a team leader or experience working alongside clients in a marketing capacity, are generally useful, you’ll want to exclude skills that feel irrelevant (knowledge of AutoCAD), feel too basic (knowledge of typing) or are skills that are expressed elsewhere in your resume. The question of what constitutes a relevant skill will vary from position to position. If you are applying to work at a small web design firm that specializes in working with non-profit organizations, you probably won’t include foreign language skills, but if you are applying for a design position at a firm that regularly partners with studios in Quebec, you may want to include that you speak French.

Professional Accolades, Training, and Accomplishments

Finally, you will want a section where you can include all of your relevant, assorted accomplishments, accreditations, and other outside training to communicate to a hiring manager that you have a solid professional background. If you are certified in any aspect of web design, either through a training program or a certification exam, you should put that here. If you have worked on a project that received some kind of award or accolades, you should mention that here. As before, you don’t want to include everything you’ve ever done (don’t mention one-day training sessions unless they are very, very relevant), but you do want to use the space to construct a narrative of your personal accomplishments.

This is also where you can include things like significant volunteer work, internships, or other networking-related experiences you may have had. If you were part of a selective intern program or you briefly worked alongside designers on a well-known project, you can include that in this section. This is another good place to prep the hiring manager for when they start to look at your other job materials.

5 Web Designer Resume Tips

While it is important to consider what you are putting on your resume, it is also important to consider how it is being framed and constructed. A successful resume will tell a story about who you are as a designer and guide the manager to read the rest of your materials through a specific lens. This makes it important to pay attention to the resume as a part of the whole application process.

Front-load relevant information

It is important to consider that even though a resume might be two pages long, it will still have a lot of relevant information to cover. Owing to this, you don’t want to simply present all of your information in a generalized chronological order lest you lose your reader’s attention. Some particularly hurried hiring managers may not be doing a deep dive into the second page of a resume, so you have to assume that anything written there might not even be seen. If you have a deep educational background but less work experience, talk about that first. If you’ve worked as a freelancer on a number of projects, you will want to frontload that information. Regardless, you should judge your own strengths and place those at the top of your resume.

Be Visually Creative, but Not Too Cute

Since Web Designers are often tasked with being virtually creative, there is a justification for using the resume as an extension of your portfolio. Prospective designers may be tempted to look past the automated resume templates that are most commonly used and instead build their own visually appealing resume. This can be a great way to subtly suggest to a hiring manager that you know how to construct a visually compelling design that guides the eye through important information, and it can simply work to ensure that the important parts of your resume are being read.

At the same time, you have to be sure that the resume is still communicating vital information and that the design isn’t overpowering the reader. This may not be a problem for skilled designers, but it is a fine line to walk and adding too much complex creativity to the resume might make it harder to read rather than easier. Form should be subordinate to function, not the other way around.

Be sure your resume is memorable

Similar to the tip above, the worst thing your resume can be is utterly forgettable. A hiring manager might be looking at a hundred resumes in an afternoon, and if they read your resume and promptly forget all about it, it has failed to accomplish its goal. A resume that looks like a standard Word document will be treated as such. A drab, gray resume may get lost in the shuffle, but a resume that is both creative and front-loaded is far more likely to stick in the minds of a hiring manager.

Get Feedback

One of the best ways to ensure that your resume looks strong and competitive is to find experienced professionals who can help provide feedback on its organization and design. Most professional Web Designers will have undertaken many job hunts and will have an experience that they can share concerning what goes into a successful resume. This is especially true if they have worked as hiring managers since they will know what they have looked for in a resume. One excellent way to receive this kind of assistance and feedback is to take advantage of the professional development and mentoring programs available as part of Noble Desktop’s career certificate programs. Students can interact with experienced Web Designers who can assist in preparing job materials and offer actionable advice on challenges such as resume building.

Learn the Skills to Become a Web Designer at Noble Desktop

Students looking to build the technical skills they need to become Web Designers may want to consider the options available to them for professional training and skills development through Noble Desktop. These classes provide students with live training from expert instructors and include hands-on training and practical experience using real-world design samples. These classes are available at Noble’s Manhattan Campus or through live online instruction. No matter the delivery method, class sizes are kept small so students won’t have to compete with one another for their instructor’s attention. As a bonus, every Noble course comes with a free retake option, meaning you can take the class again within a year. This is ideal for students who want to receive more instruction and for students who want more time to gain hands-on experience that they can parlay into better job opportunities.

Students interested in becoming professional Web Designers will need a lot of skills training. For novices, Noble offers a Web Design Certificate program that will teach students how to use common web design software applications, how to code their designs in basic HTML/CSS and JavaScript, and how to use WordPress for more advanced webpage design. In addition, students enrolled in this class will receive one-on-one career mentoring assistance and professional development seminars, including portfolio-building exercises. This is an ideal course for any student who wants to start a new career in the field of web design. Noble also offers more targeted programs, such as the UX/UI Design Certificate program, which prepares students to design interactive interfaces for digital applications and products. This focused career-program de-emphasizes the importance of learning to code and emphasizes the importance of tactile user experience design.

Students who have a measure of professional training and are seeking to expand their skills may want to instead consider enrolling in one of Noble’s skills bootcamps. For example, in Noble’s Figma Bootcamp, students will learn how to use Adobe’s Figma software application to build interactive prototypes of web designs in order to test their functionality before beginning the coding process. This is an invaluable tool for any Web Designer to know how to use, and in a bootcamp, you can focus on learning individual skills to improve your own career standing.

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