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Beyond Word – A death clock resume


I interview and talk with a lot of young designers who always smile as they hand me a business card they have spent 80 hours designing, printed with a 6 color process, a spot varnish and a die cut on hand made paper which they have then stapled to a an off center Xerox of their resume that they created in Word entirely typeset in 12 point Courier. Your resume is the first design impression you make on a new client or employer so why are we all content to “design” it in a word processor? Word, and really all Microsoft Office programs, are where design and typography go TO DIE!

I want to create a site called The Visual Resume project that would a platform for me to launch my personal crusade to change the thinking of designers that they have to represent themselves and their talents with something as vanilla and unimaginative as a Word document. We have to use our talents to create something more visual, more imaginative and more engaging to represent ourselves.  I took a first pass at doing it to my own resume two years ago with moderate success and I have a new version in the works that will be finished soon.

My favorite example of a designer who has done something really unique with his resume is Dustin Curtis who created a death clock that tracks his progress through his life in real time to his predicted death on March 23, 2068.  I love it because it is completely original, it is a living document and would if it was mine it would remind me everyday that I need to get off my ass and do something with my life.

I challenge you to stand out from the crowd and put your talents to use to create a resume that truly represents you and your talents. Post in the comments any examples you like or an example your have already created for yourself.

1 Comment

  1. iworkinprogress

    September 18, 2009 at 11:37 am

    I think the resume should be clean, clear, and informative. Yes, it should look nice, but I wouldn’t spend an excessive amount of time creating. I feel the same thing about portfolios. Early in your career perhaps you have to make your portfolio into a piece in-of-itself, but hopefully after a few years you present the work simply and let it speak for itself.

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Creative Director, Designer, Brand Builder, Speaker, Podcaster, Crazy One. As a designer, I have 20+ years experience creating the strategy, concepts, and designs for award-winning integrated global advertising campaigns, building multiple global Fortune 500 brands and creating innovative digital experiences. As a leader, I have 15+ years transforming agency and client-side teams using a mix of creativity, business strategy, process and political skill to create innovative, world-class work and cultures that change industries and companies. My clients have included American Airlines, W Hotels, Disney, Citi, ExxonMobil, Acura, Old Navy, Nationwide Insurance, Verizon, Subaru and many others. My work has received over 150 international awards, my app designs have been named as one of the World’s 100 Greatest Apps, Apple has featured my work in 9 keynotes, 4 TV commercials and more.

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