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Meet João Dornellas, The Guy Who Created The First iPad Resume App

November 7, 2013

Have you ever seen a resume…as an iPad app?

Looking for a fresh way to showcase his creative skills, João Dornellas created the first ever resume for the iPad, which made its way to the home pages of major tech sites like Mashable and Fast Company. A few thousand downloads later, João’s award-winning iPad resume app had captured the attention of individuals and companies around the world wanting the chance to work with him. Here is João’s inspirational story…

Story Resumes: What inspired the clever idea to turn your resume into an iPad app?

João: Right after the iPad 2 launch, everyone was talking about tablets and how they were filling the gap between smartphones and personal computers. At the time I was searching for a different way to show my work and somehow the two things merged in my mind. I was driving to work when the idea popped into my head. I still remember that exact moment.

So I searched the App Store to see if anyone else had done something like this. I didn’t find any and that’s when I knew it could work. I asked my friend, who is a developer, for help, and we both worked fast because we knew that sooner or later a resume portfolio iPad app was going to hit the App Store.

Story Resumes: How did you capture the media’s attention?

João: Promoting the app took a lot of time and effort. I searched for journalists’ contact information on relevant blogs, magazines, newspapers and other media. I sent a press release to each of them and every time a site or a blog mentioned my app I added that reference to my press release email. That was the beginning of the snowball. This part of the work was fun because I got to exchange emails with cool people working at prominent magazines and blogs.

My efforts had a direct effect on the overall success of the app and thanks to social media I was able to follow the results in real time. After Fast Company published an article about the app, hundreds of people started sharing it on Twitter. Watching that happen was overwhelming.

The app also won an FWA Mobile of the Day award. I entered a few advertising festivals with it and won a bronze award in a Portuguese festival. This helped with promotion as well.

Story Resumes: In 2011, Mashable said that your app had been downloaded over 2,200 times. What does that number look like now?

João: In the beginning I counted the number of downloads every day. When it reached two or three thousand I stopped and just followed the numbers through a daily report email. iTunes doesn’t provide records older than six months so I don’t know the exact number, but it should be somewhere between seven and nine thousand. The app still gets three to seven downloads a day. The app needs an extended update because it’s not optimized for the retina display and the newer iPad, but it’s still alive.

Story Resumes: How much of the app development did you do yourself?

João: I designed the app, but most importantly, this project was only possible with the invaluable help of Filipe Barrenho, my developer friend. He coded everything from the ‘slide to contact’ button to the easter eggs hidden in the app.

Story Resumes: How did your app resume ‘tell your story’ better than a traditional resume?

João: When you get away from traditional platforms you can do whatever you want. And that is key. My app shows my professional and personal work mixed with some fun thoughts and easter eggs hidden in the app. It has a lot of things that help define my personality along with my work. You can’t do that in a regular resume or portfolio.

Story Resumes: What words of wisdom do you have for jobseekers who want to stand out and get noticed?

João: Change the game; have fun doing it; promote even if you think you don’t need to; and most importantly, never forget to give credit where it’s due.

Story Resumes: Thank you for inspiring us, João, and best wishes to you and your future endeavors!

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