Resumes don't get a costume designer hired, but they do get him or her an interview. The question is "What should a costumer's resume look like and how should it be organized?" There are many differing opinions on this because each theatre or potential hire is looking for different things. During my time searching for jobs as well as graduate programs I came across many different styles of resumes. How do you know which works best for you?
Here is the latest incarnation of my resume. You can see it is organized by job type and had two different types of fonts. (I really like the look of a Sans Serif font mixed with Serif font, but that's just my take.)
Currently this resume would be used academically and if needed (like I mentioned in my post about Paper Portfolios, can be rearranged to highlight different parts of my experience) I also keep a CV (curriculum vitae) file on my computer. This allows me to keep a running tab of every experience/job even if it doesn't apply to my most recent resume needs.
But, what should be included on our resumes? For starters, your name and email address. I was advised by countless professors and professionals that an email is all an employer needs. If they want to schedule a phone interview they can send you a message. (And, never ever give out your living address, especially if you are a young lady living alone. The people you are applying with may be amazing, but if your resume gets into the wrong hands, bad things could be afoot. ) Once your name and email address are situated the way you want them, you need to organize the rest of your content. Normally there is an EXPERIENCE section and an EDUCATION section. I have opted to place EXPERIENCE first, but it's your resume, use what works for you.
Now, you can either organize your EXPERIENCE section by date, place of work, or type of work. My current resume is organized by type, but I've had many incarnations that have included the other ways of organizing. Like I stated earlier, you can tailor your resume to the job you're applying for.
Your EDUCATION section can be more fleshed out if you are right out of school and have not had many jobs. I still have some of my classes included under my undergrad section. The farther into the business you go, the less this will matter to potential employers. Non-traditional education like workshops, shadowing, and even some internships can also be included under education. I have two workshops I took while still in school also listed under my EDUCATION.
Some resumes also include sections like SPECIAL SKILLS or OBJECTIVE. These can be added or subtracted how you choose. Most people now choose to bypass the OBJECTIVE since it is pretty obvious to an employer that your goal with this resume is to land their job. SPECIAL SKILLS can include languages you speak fluently (if you are working internationally), interesting techniques you have learned, etc. I have opted to not include this section. Instead, I show my portfolio and speak about the techniques I know through my work.
No doubt you have seen the lists of "Top 10 Most Creative Resumes" or "Amazing Resume Ideas" that show colorful, infographic laden, abstract resumes. Although they do stand out from the crowd, keep in mind the job and audience you want to grab. Above all else when choosing the personal style of your resume, make sure it is readable. There is no amount of unique organization and color that will make up for an unreadable resume. It will quickly find its way to the circular filing bin (trash can).
Finally we come to REFERENCES. As you see on my current resume I have none listed. I also did not include the banal REFERENCES UPON REQUEST. An employer knows they can get references upon request. Leave it off and save some space for one of your other sections. If you really must put a REFERENCE section include your references' names, occupation, email address, and how you know them.
Prof. Edgar Plum
Prof. of Archeology at Boardgame University
(Did you know Professor Plum from Clue has had four name changes and countless career moves?)