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31/Jan/2008 | 12:59

Resume 3.0 has shipped:

Michael Watson - Curriculum Vitae

I had some specific design goals in mind with this version, so in that respect I'd like to deconstruct it a little:

The type had to be beautiful. There could be neither exception nor sacrifice here. After two days of experimenting, I chose Helvetica Neue Ultra Light/Light/Regular at no more than three different sizes.

The presentation of the text should not be immediately apparent. No fancy graphics, no Web 2.0 gradients, no Microsoft Word Executive Resumé Template divider lines running under my top-level headers. The paper should hold the words in place, not graphic elements. In this vein, the type itself is actually the graphical element you see:

mikey-san resume header deconstruction

I placed my first name in black, while leaving every single piece of text framing it in a slightly cooler grey. The bottom two lines have been kern-adjusted to justify against the bounds of my name, and as a result my first name is held in place. It also gives a slight impression that it's just a little higher on the z-axis, which makes it an anchor of sorts for the body of the page.

And honestly, I just think focusing on your first name makes a nice personal impression.

I inverted this for section headers and bodies, but left the headers in caps so they would feel balanced and prominent while remaining subdued. My feeling was that most resumés focus too much on bullet points, and I extended this to the headers. It was a decision; you may disagree.

Avoid formatting noise. I avoided situations that would force me into awkward text layouts and lots of noisy characters like forward slashes and parentheses. The big trick was to write the text so I wouldn't need to pepper the body with URLs, which are both extremely turbulent and difficult to format within the text. (Where do I put it? In parentheses? At the end of a line? On its own line surrounded by a line of whitespace leading and following? Turn it into a caption on a header?)

The other solution to sidestepping this problem was to tell some kind of story about me in both voice and content. A series of randomly penned blurbs ends up just as haphazard on the page as was when they were running through your mind.

I wonder what I'll do for 4.0. Maybe—gasp—serifs.

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