Mississippi College taught me that if you keep going to school and keep passing those classes they make you go to, the time for you to graduate will eventually come around whether you like it or not. After about two years working at Ergon, I made it to my last semester of school. This semester involved a class called Portfolio II. It was an entire semester dedicated to driving design students insane. Oh yeah, and getting our portfolios together to be graded at the end of the semester. I should mention that they were to be graded by people who worked in the Jackson area as graphic designers. People who had never seen us or our work before. Ever.
Well, thanks to Ergon, my body of work was decent. I got Shana and my boss to look it over. They suggested small changes to a few of the pieces and we decided they would pass. However, I needed to come up with an identity that would define me and my work. Namely: my resume. It would be the first piece of artwork a future employer would see. It needed to be great. It needed to be different. It needed to catch an art director’s attention. It needed to get me an interview. I needed a drink.
I had no idea where to start on this. So I literally started by doing a Google search on “creative resumes”. Yes. Seriously. The best Google could come up with were some decent-looking Word documents, so I figured that’d be good enough. They still looked professional enough to be resumes, yet they had a little kick to them. Their formats made them just interesting enough to read.
Well, as you may have guessed, what I came up with based on that Google search was not good enough for Shana. I’m surprised she didn’t just laugh me out of her office. It sucked. I had to go back to the drawing board. Actually Shana calls it the “think tree.” Don’t ask.
After she ripped my first resume to pieces, I entered a minor state of depression. I thought this resume should be good enough, so I’m going to apply for some jobs with it anyway. I’ll show her.
So I do some more thinking. Then it hit me. I want to leave Mississippi, this job could be my ticket out of Mississippi! So why not design a ticket?! Hello! That idea had been slapping me in the face for two years, but it took all that thinking and brain power to actually see it. I needed another drink.
So I got my portfolio together, which included the new resume (that did not actually look like a resume at all) and brought it before the panel of judges that would decide whether or not I had just wasted five years of my life.
They loved my work. They said I could even afford to be picky about where I applied for jobs because my work was so good. One guy did not care for my resume (figures) because he preferred more “traditional” ones. I told him that a resume was the first piece of art an employer sees when hiring a creative, so why not make it an actual piece of art?! He didn’t get it.
I walked out of that room feeling great about myself. But that only lasted till we got our grades back. I got a C.
A C?! Are you kidding me? A C because my resume was not “professional.”
Those jerks. Couldn’t say it to my face?!
Well, it didn’t matter. I wasn’t about to change it. And I was glad I didn’t. The first interview I went to was at the Cirlot Agency. I was interviewed by the owner who told me that my resume was the reason I got that interview. I believe her exact words were, “Way to break away from the pack.”
HA!! Those jerks! A C! My foot!
Don’t tell me what I can’t do!
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