Why Design Skills are Important in Today’s Job Market

Eller PDC PDC Events

Resume Snapshot


By Jenifer Wong

Early on in our education, we have been taught a certain way to format our work: name in the top right corner, double-space our essays, and so on. Fast forward to college and we are given templates to structure our résumés and cover letters. While these templates are well organized and content-focused, the standard black-and-white résumé is not enough to get you noticed in many competitive industries.

When I was interviewing with the ad agency R&R Partners in Los Angeles, one of the Creatives made it a point to tell me that he was more impressed by the design of my résumé than the content that I put into it. (Keep in mind that content is still equally, if not more, important.)

But as IDEO CEO Tim Brown said,

“Just last year, we had about 14,000 candidates applying for jobs at IDEO. You can imagine how tedious it would be to look through that tall stack of 8.5 x 11 black-and-white typed documents. At a certain point, they all start to look the same, and your chances of singling out that special person with unique skills are very slim.”

It may be worth your time to put a little touch of design into your work, before and after the hiring process.

After being hired on as an Account Management Intern at R&R, I was tasked with researching products and competitors. Within the first two weeks of my internship, I had to present my work to some managers and directors at the agency. PowerPoint is still very prevalent in the professional world of presentations, and being able to put together a clean PowerPoint is a necessary skill that demonstrates your eye for detail.

During my time at R&R, I was fortunate to be able to observe the Creative Directors as they worked on campaigns in Photoshop and InDesign. These are two extremely powerful tools that are useful to learn if you are interested in a creative or publications career. However, really knowing your way around Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, and understanding the basic elements of design is beneficial to everyone.

Whether you are putting together your résumé, a presentation or a business report, a well-designed document can enhance the way information is communicated and captivate your audience. The best part is that you can be creative with the tools you already have!

If you’re interested in learning more about the elements of good design and how to use functions in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint more fully, RSVP for this skills workshop on February 4th!