Are you struggling with your resume? Finding it hard to come up with creative ideas, even though that’s what you do for a living every day?
Don’t worry – you’re far from alone in this. Most interior designers struggle to sell themselves effectively. But your lack of a killer resume is hurting your career and ensuring that you are being passed over for people who are often less qualified.
Interior Design Resume Secret #1: Know Your Target Audience
When working on a design for a commercial interior, you begin with a focus on the ultimate customer – the person who will work in the office, visit the store, or rent a flat in the property. You work to understand what will appeal to him and then you create your design with that in mind. If you’re designing a client’s home, you go through the same process – what is important to her? How does she use her home? What are her interests and values?
The same principle applies when you’re writing a resume. If you know who will be reading it, you can shape the message accordingly.
To do this, you need to think about the type of company you want to work for. Is it a large firm where you will be one of a team of designers? Or would you prefer a smaller company where you might be the sole creative? Is the culture entrepreneurial and energetic? Or is it traditional and structured?
Once you have built a picture of the ideal company, you can carefully target your resume. You’ll know what skills or traits to highlight, what words to use, and which parts of your background will be most interesting to readers.
Interior Design Resume Secret #2: What’s Your Unique Value?
You have a unique blend of skills, characteristics and experiences that make you different from every other designer looking for a job. In order to write a truly effective resume, you need to define exactly what this unique blend is – we’ll call this your value proposition.
Ask yourself what separates you from other designers? Is it your innate sense of colour? Perhaps it’s the results you’ve achieved in designing successful restaurants? Or maybe it’s that you have a natural talent for multi-tasking in fast-paced, somewhat crazy environments.
You can see why knowing your ideal company is so important. Your value proposition may be completely different depending on the types of companies you’re targeting.
Once you know your unique value, you can write a fabulous resume summary that immediately grabs attention.
Interior Design Resume Secret #3: Develop a Strategy
Now that you know your target companies, and have identified what makes you uniquely appealing to them, it’s time to plan exactly how you’re going to communicate that.
Here are some of the things to think about:
• What is the best resume structure in order to showcase your unique value?
• What keywords must you include given your knowledge of your ideal company?
• How can you demonstrate your unique value through success stories?
• What is the best resume design to reinforce your message?
You must make all these decisions before you start writing. That way, you can be sure that when they your ideal employer reads your resume, he or she will immediately understand why they should hire you.
Interior Design Resume Secret #4: Include Client Testimonials
Hopefully you have letters or emails from happy clients and these make a powerful addition to your resume.
Marketers use testimonials frequently because they know how effective they are. After all, if company x raves about their product, you will probably discount what they say because they are self-interested. But if you hear a series of rave reviews for the same product, you will take them much more seriously.
The same applies to using testimonial quotes on your resume. (Here’s more on why quotes are so powerful) and here is an interior designer resume that makes excellent use of quotes.
Interior Designer Resume Secret #5: Make sure your resume includes important keywords.
Most employers now use applicant tracking systems to screen out candidates before the resume is even seen by a human being. The computer system scans each resume for relevant keywords (predetermined by the recruiter) and then either “passes” or “fails” the candidates.
This means you must include all the right keywords in your resume. To do this, list every interior design skill you have – be as detailed as you possibly can – don’t worry if the list gets very long.
Once you have a complete list, make a section on your resume called ‘technical skills’ or ‘interior design skills’ and include them all.
Note: if you know the job you’re applying for, you can streamline the list by including only the relevant keywords.
It’s all about making the right impression instantly
As an interior designer, you’re in the business of creating instant impressions and this is exactly what you need to do with your resume. Follow these 5 tips and you’ll be much more likely to wow the recruiters and hiring managers at your target companies.
[Click here to see an interior designer resume makeover, with ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots.]
A strong resume makes all the difference to your job search. If you’re ready to crush your job search competition, join our free email resume writing course. You’ll get detailed strategies to transform your resume and you can learn at your own pace.