Thursday, January 17, 2013

How To Write a Good Great Resume Using InDesign

Hello Students,
ROP stresses a strong foundation in the basics of career development skills. We will introduce that foundation today by learning how to write a resume. This is just the first part to your career skills portfolio. In this class you will develop:
  • A Portfolio containing three or more of your best work samples and a written explanation of each piece
  • Letter of Introduction
  • Resume
  • List of References
  • Letter of Recommendation

Creating Your Resume:
Having a solid resume is the cornerstone to your job future. A well written and well designed resume is what sets you apart from other job applicants. A perfectly written job application, a quality resume and a list of positive references is the job seekers trifecta. In this class we will teach you these skills and more. Below is a list of writing tips, read over it before finalizing your resume.

It should describe:
  • Who you are
  • Your job objective
  • How you can be contacted
  • Your level of education
  • Your work history or experience
  • Your special skills and abilities
Make you resume well written, without typo's, mistakes or incorrect or misleading information. You resume's appearance will reflect your ability to organize. Use bold text and clean formatting to highlight the different sections of your resume. Make it easy to search out the information that your potential employer wants to see...
A resume is meant to convey an impression of your skills and experience, it's appearance also says a lot about your organizational skills and attention to detail. Note the difference in layout styles above.

You should use a document layout program, such as Indesign, so you can control the appearance of your resume. Additionally you should save your resume in a format that can travel over the internet or email easily, such as a PDF file.

Download the ROP Portfolio Handbook and begin working on your resume. The handbook has an example of a resume and a good list of information to include in yours. This is your model to follow when creating your own resume.

If you have advanced skills, use this tutorial to create a grid-based layout for your resume: Grid Based Resume Layout Tutorial

Resume Writing Tips:
Have an objective:
Know the purpose of your resume and edit it for different job scenarios. Having a focused job objective listed on your resume will help you with attaining an interview and getting hired.

Back up your special skills with job experience:
List your skills but make sure your listed job experience, training or education reflects those skills. Are you really good at making websites? Let them know how and where you learned that skill.

Research and use the right keywords:
Every industry has its own language, research job offerings and pay attention to the keywords that are used. If you put your resume online with a job placement service they will often use certain keywords to search their database for potential hires.

Be descriptive with job experience:
A job title will communicate your role, but not the details of your work experience. List the duties, tasks, activities, skills and achievements that were part of your job.

Format your text:
Use bold text to start each section. Use bullets for lists. Make the document easy to quickly scan and read. Clarity of format is crucial, you have ten seconds before the employer will move on to another applicant.

List most recent job experience first:
This also goes for education, list the most recent first. If your still in High School you can say "future class of 2012", or "Currently attending HS".

List most important skills first:
When writing out your skill list make the most important skills the first ones on the list. If you are applying for a web design job, list your web skills first. Change and edit this for different industries/jobs.

Leave out the obvious:
It is not necessary to add "available for interview" or "references available upon request". References are standard and expected, and of course you are available for an interview. Thats the whole point!

Avoid negativity:
Don't trash talk past employers or state that you didn't like a past job. Simply state that you were looking for future opportunities, or that the job wasn't a good fit for you or a good fit for your schedule.

Go with what you got:
If you haven't had work experience yet, just list any summer jobs, volunteer experience etc. If you have hobbies that are relevant to the job you can list those. If you don't have a diploma or degree then just list your estimated date for completion.

Proofread your resume:
Have your neighbor or classmate read your resume. Sometimes the spellchecker doesn't catch typos. The more eyeballs that see your resume before it gets in the hands of the employer the better.

Have fun!

 - Mr.W

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Final Project: Portfolio Development

Hello Students,
Having a polished and professional looking portfolio is key to your success in finding work after High School and moving on to developing a career. Download the ROP Portfolio Handbook to use as a guide for creating your own portfolio, a requirement in all ROP classes.

Portfolio's are due by the end of the semester and must be ready for presentation, evaluation and critique. You will complete a digital version as a PDF file for evaluation. Class winner will be able to print and prepare their portfolio for inclusion in the Portfolio Showcase competition

Remember that the best portfolio in class will be sent to the portfolio design competition that ROP has at the end of each school year, your portfolio will compete against other graphic design classes across the county, and there are prizes!
A judge evaluates print portfolio's from past entrants...

Portfolio Development Assignment:
  • Your portfolio must be created in Indesign and the final file must be a multi-page PDF document
  • Use the Pages palette to create multiple pages for your portfolio with Indesign
  • Your portfolio cover, table of contents and all materials should look clean and consistent. Use consistent design style across all aspects of your portfolio, this includes color, typography, layout and style

Your Portfolio must contain in this order: See portfolio handbook for more details...
  1. Cover page with your name, class title, year. Spend some time on this, it should show good design skill and be reflective of your personality
  2. Table of contents
  3. Letter of Introduction
  4. Resume
  5. Handwritten Job Application 
  6. List of References
  7. Letter of Recommendation -  cannot be from your ROP teacher or a family member
  8. 3 or more work samples with written explanation about the work, why is it important to your career choice? What did the project entail, what were the challenges and difficulties? Give us details.
How Your Portfolio Is Evaluated:
  • Contains required content and format
  • Well organized
  • Free of grammer problems
  • ROP related work samples
  • Shows creativity
  • Nice appearance
  • Shows skill development
  • Appropriate for use in job search
  • Professional appearance
  • Nice presentation
A print portfolio can take many forms, it can be professionally bound, stitched by hand or bound with a spiral ring... how will you create your portfolio, what will make it stand out above the rest?

Tips For Winning The Portfolio Competition:
In the last few years the portfolio competition has gotten fierce, especially for the graphic design category. Other schools have printing facilities that we don't, so you must use your creativity, ingenuity and eye for design to stand above the rest. Consider purchasing a large format portfolio binder and printing work samples at 11X17", or consider making a hand-bound book format to showcase your work. The limits are only contained by your creativity!
Use this as a rough guide to laying out your own portfolio...
Ok, have fun!

- Mr.W

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Mid-Year Course Survey

Hello Students,

ROP uses a course survey mid-year and at the end of the year to gather information and receive feedback about our courses and class material. This information is used to provide evidence of the course work, student achievement and relevancy of our curriculum in ROP classes. This information ensures funding and helps to ensure that ROP classes continue to be offered to future High School students.

Please click this link and complete the survey: Mid-Year Course Survey for ROP

Thank you for your participation!

 - Mr.W