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Would you take a risk on a visual resume? What if you could potentially find success, twice?
Soumitra Saxena did with his standout resume, which earned him numerous potential graphic design opportunities and was featured on one of India’s most popular websites, Let’s Intern. Bolstered by the success of his creative resume, he created a second visual resume to help him branch into a slightly different field: 3D animation and programming. His approach worked a second time, landing him an internship and subsequent job at DreamWorks Animation’s studio in India. Here is Soumitra’s inspirational story…
Story Resumes: Soumitra, what inspired the concept of your first visual resume?
Soumitra: Though I had been designing something or another since I was a kid, my love for it peaked when I was introduced to graphic design (primarily Adobe Photoshop) in 2009. I was in my Xth grade (approximately grade 10, at age 16) then, studying science. I liked studying science, and since graphic design was something I considered a hobby, engineering was a natural choice for graduation.
It was in college that my infatuation with design turned into a full-blown love affair. I was involved in designing everything from websites and posters to concept art and motion graphics. It was after two years of being involved in design that I realized I was a designer, studying engineering for graduation.
It was this irony that I wanted to capture with the first creative resume I designed. I wanted anyone looking at my resume to look beyond my educational background (which was in the sciences—I was not an art major, which is preferable in this field). I wanted to be judged on my right brain, not my left.
Story Resumes: How confident were you that your infographic resume would work?
Soumitra: The best resumes are the honest ones. You can lie about yourself on a resume, but after getting in, you can’t really lie about who you are.
Also, good resumes must be eye-catching and make an impact on the reader or viewer. The resumes that are remembered are the ones that are so creatively good and catchy that you can’t forget them, even if you tried.
I tried my best to add something different to the resume, apart from being honest about myself. Since it was my first resume, I was a tad bit nervous, but being the optimist that I am, I was confident that my pursuit would be rewarded.
Story Resumes: What action did you take to help your creative resume get noticed?
Soumitra: I prepared the resume for a startup internship opportunity program. After sending it, I uploaded the resume to my Behance profile. I did not do any specific marketing, apart from sharing it with friends and family, who were appreciative of it.
Story Resumes: What kind of response have you received—from potential employers, media or others?
Soumitra: The response has been overwhelming and humbling at the same time. I was lucky to be offered amazing opportunities with some of the best employers out there. My resume was appreciated by some of the most talented people I know. It was also acknowledged by some prestigious design firms abroad, and finding my resume pinned by them on Behance has been really humbling.
The response from social media and the internet has been amazing. Apart from Behance, the resume has been admired on Quora, and has been featured on a popular website in India (http://www.letsintern.com/blog/indians-with-the-most-creative-resumes-ever-face/).
It also got me noticed by Story Resumes and I got this interview opportunity, for which I am thankful.
Story Resumes: How did your approach change for your second visual resume?
Soumitra: My second resume, was an effort to showcase my animation skills in addition to my design skills. I created it to apply to a few game and movie studios for positions that were both technical and creative. My approach was bit more mature and I stuck to design basics like grid layouts and framing.
Also, I wanted to showcase more of my work, hence the layout. I wanted the resume to showcase my passion and my ability to work day in and out, as is reflected in the graphic.
The resume helped me get noticed by some of the best mobile game studios in Europe, and helped me in land an internship at DreamWorks Animation.
Story Resumes: How would you advise other jobseekers hoping to stand out from the crowd?
Soumitra: Here are a few things I have learned.
1. Always be honest. It is your greatest strength.
2. Mediocrity is not an option. A resume should be perfect, no matter the effort it takes.
3. Never be afraid to take risks. It’s all about leaving your stamp on the viewer’s mind.
4. Create new trends, don’t just follow. Learn from current trends, innovate, and add your own personality to it.
5. Pay heed to criticism. And try to take in views from as many people as you can.
6. And most importantly: Spell check. Spell check. Spell check.
Story Resumes: Thank you for sharing your story and advice with us, Soumitra. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors!
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