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I’m Jacob Cass, the founder of JUST™ Creative. I’m a multi-disciplinary graphic designer, working with clients all around the world. My specialty is logo & brand identity design. JUST™ Get in touch.

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The Innovative One Page Resume & Portfolio

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Nerd?

In this guest article Jacob Share* goes through an innovative new way to display your work and CV – all on one page.

Many companies and recruiters prefer the simplicity and speed of one page resumes. As a designer, how can you have maximum impact with only a single sheet of paper? The answer…

The one page printed résumé and portfolio.

One Page Portfolio CV

The one page resume portfolio is a 6-panel pamphlet that shows your resume when folded and your design portfolio when unfolded. You can click on the image above to view it in full.

How does it work?

The above image is an example of the one page printed resume and portfolio from a French Graphic Designer. It shows 3 different views and below is a description. From left to right;

  1. Front view of the resume portfolio, slightly open.
    You can see the designer’s logo and contact information. Notice the vertical bar on the right side of the inner panel, where the text reads “curriculum vitae” with a right arrow and “portfolio” with a left arrow pointing inside.
  2. Partially-open view of the portfolio.
    If you followed the left arrow and continued unfolding, this is what you’d see before you’re done. The panel with the arrow bar folds outwards, meaning that there’s actually more room for portfolio highlights inside.
  3. Resume details.
    Following the right arrow will have you flip over the pamphlet, leading to the actual resume content.

Is it right for you?

Cons

  • Somewhat complicated design is time-consuming to update or customise
  • Uneven folding looks sloppy if done incorrectly and ruins the impact
  • Usually requires costly colour laser-printing on thick paper for full effect

Pros

  • More space to communicate and brand yourself
  • Very memorable, especially when done well
  • Design pun: lets you describe your skills while demonstrating them

Best Practices

  • Have a history of school, volunteering or work projects before you use this design. Substituting with content that isn’t yours but that you’re “capable of creating” defeats the purpose and looks amateurish.
  • The one page resume portfolio works best live when people can hold it and unfold it, like in interviews or at professional gatherings.
  • The front panel should contain your logo and contact information at a glance.
  • The front panel should be particularly eye-catching to make people want to pick it up and open it.
  • An attractive image that continues off one panel will encourage the reader to unfold until they can see the entire image. Above, the French designer used that effect to lure the reader to see both resume-related panels together.
  • The 2 configurations that work best are the pictured 4:2 portfolio to resume panel ratio with arrow bar and the 3:3 “resume-outside portfolio-inside” ratio.
  • Use the resume portfolio to complement your “full” design portfolio whether physical or digital. For the former, you might consider a sentence about what else not pictured is in your portfolio. For the latter, give all pertinent links.

Want more resume and portfolio tips?

Conclusion

Great design is the best combination of trade-offs for a certain context. If you use it wisely, the one page resume portfolio could be a valuable tool in your hunt for new design jobs. What are your thoughts?

*Jacob Share created the award-winning JobMob to rally job seekers and jobfinders in getting jobs in Israel and all over the world. The blog is filled with straight-talking real world advice, lots of humour and design inspiration such as 36 Beautiful Resume Ideas That Work. Subscribe for a week via RSS, it’s free.


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51 JUST™ Creative Comments

  • Prescott Perez-Fox Reply

    Whoa, I totally disagree with this tactic. I’ve had numerous art directors and hiring managers tell me how much they can’t stand a ‘non-standard’ CV. In fact, some have told me that they will immediately throw out any CVs that try too hard or that they have to think about too much.

    Keep it to a letter or A4-sized sheet of paper, and make sure it’s a portrait orientation. This is your first design challenge: make your CV standout within the parameters of a standard sheet of paper.

    Don’t out-clever yourself.

    • Mike Reply

      As an HR person for an adverting agency and a graphic designer I totally agree. Keep it simple. Stop playing with the theatrics. The more flair you ad only makes you look cheaper. Instead stick to beautiful typography and great layout.

      In fact this is a very bad idea, it’s ugly, but don’t take it from me read all the other comments as they all seem to agree.

  • Diogo Reply

    well… i have to agree with Prescott

    Diogos last blog post..Markku Lahdesmaki’s great photography! (via Swissmiss)

  • Steve O Reply

    Whilst I agree that getting your resume on one piece of paper is beneficial, I’m not sure about making a leaflet out of it. This kind of leaflet is popular with take-out restaurants and other small businesses because it is cheap to produce. For me that association immediately cheapens the product i.e. you. One way to immediately upgrade it, but within the same space, would be to make it a four page A5 with the fold on the short side. Of course, that depends on your printer using A3+ to print.

    I like the IDEA, I just have reservations about the final product.

  • Thomas Wright Reply

    I don’t see any reason why this couldn’t work alongside a normal CV.
    It looks superb and is a fantastic demonstration of ones design skills.
    But I guess there are people who’ll want a standard sheet of A4, in Times, double spaced with margins so that they can file it in a manilla envelope. And hey, we should cater for them too (because they usually pay better).

  • modemlooper Reply

    I think it depends on the job you are trying to get. If the job is folded brochures and the like then why not give them this type of cv as an example.

  • Sasa Bogdanovic Reply

    Jacob, this is simply great! I am 100% for a resume that will stand out also visually, not only by the content. And this is even more true when it comes to designers. There are some more good ideas for unique resume design.

  • Tracey Grady Reply

    I can envisage this as something you might post or drop off to agencies in order to get their attention, instead of treating it as a full portfolio. The images (reproduced at smaller dimensions than the originals, presumably) are no substitute for actual copies of the original print work that a designer has done.

    Full marks, though, for wanting to keep the portfolio concise. I’ve just written a post on my blog about keeping web portfolios concise, and the web is a medium where you do have the scope to be more creative in how your format your portfolio, so it’s great to see the creativity in this piece.

    Tracey Gradys last blog post..Reasons to keep your web portfolio short and sweet

  • inspirationbit Reply

    I really like the way this particular cv/portfolio is done. It’s definitely something that you need to drop off in person or mail, you can’t send it by email.

  • Sire Reply

    I reckon it would go a long way if done professionally. That way you do not have to worry about poorly folded lines and the like. It would also show the employer that you are serious about your job application.

    Sires last blog post..Solution To Aussie Teen Binge Drinking Problem

  • James Kurtz III Reply

    Great idea if you’re looking to get clients. Bad idea if your looking for traditional employment.

    James Kurtz IIIs last blog post..Brands as a Personal Journal

  • Reynder Reply

    I think via a folder like this you give to much away. You have to make the company curious. By overdesigning your cv there is nothing left to be curious about.

  • Keanetix Reply

    This makes me feel excited! We’ll be making a so called, “creative resume” as a part of our design portfolio. :)

  • DT Reply

    These days I’m starting to see that ow your information gets to someone matters.

    Cold call: Short sharp resume+cv probably matters as you want to get your point across quick.

    Job Ad: I would suggest a resume + more CV samples. These guys will be flooded with applicants, and you dont want to get chucked aside if the hiring manager has to email you for more samples of your folio.

    Invitation to Apply: Sometimes the lucky ones get asked to apply. This case you would want to send a comprehensive resume and CV to paint the best possible picture of you and your abilities.

  • Mike Reply

    This is neither beneficial or even interesting and is a surefire way of getting your resume tossed. Seriously, there is nothing interesting about an old tri-fold. It’s merging two things that should really stay separate. Right now it’s:

    A very poor, hard to read resume
    A cheap, unattractive portfolio

  • Jacob Cass Reply

    Hi Mike,
    Although I did not write this article, I can see some advantages, such as it being unique & easily posted however I do believe there are also disadvantages such as the ones you have suggested. There are many other solutions – I think this one will take a lot to pull it off.

  • John H. Reply

    I agree that physical resumes and portfolios are always a good way to get a good impression, I must disagree with the aspect of accessibility.

    http://www.indego-designs.ca
    I am currently working with an online company called INDEGO DESIGNS. Our job is to take resumes and portfolios to a whole new step. We create innovative graphically designed websites, to promote you as an individual. This will be your page, with all your information, works and means of communication.

    We have found that online resumes and portfolios are the new method of really getting to the people you are trying to communicate to. It is now easy to access anyones information with a single touch of a button.

    Indego designs is dedicated to providing the tools and services that will enhance your presentation to potential employers and firms.

    Our services range from creating professional looking websites and portfolios of your work to writing top-notch cover letters and resumes that will highlight your academic qualifications, diverse experiences, attained skills and well-earned accomplishments.

    At Indego Designs, it’s all about your qualifications.

    Regards,
    John H.

  • Emiloly Reply

    WOW, what a diverse array of opinions! I like the ‘idea’ of the tri-fold, it has been a great step for myself in thinking outside that old a4 box.
    I am in the process of gathering together my portfolio and I am finding it a lot harder than creating design for clients! It’s proving hard to find a good balance between great design and the traditional resume, I really think that it should be a well considered aspect in a case by employer case basis.

    *sighs and gets back to work*
    You just can’t please everyone all of the time.

  • Jacob Cass Reply

    Emiloly,
    They always say it is hardest to design for yourself but good luck with it. This is just one way to present a portfolio / CV – I am certain there are many many more ways. Get creative :)

  • Ameen Reply

    i guess the only problem is that it couldn’t be sent by email, and if itwas sent then it won’t be undestood, i mean the comcept, other than that its a very nice way to break the routine of old cvs

  • adelyana Reply

    Yeah, I agree. Those creative way had been told by my lecturer b4. Sometime we need to think outside of the box.. that’s make a designer special..

  • Lana Reply

    it’s avery nice idea to create ur cv in this way ,, i think it can be considered as a creative one cuz it’s a new idea to produce the cv in this way but as they have said before it’s difficult to be sent by email ..
    am agraphic desginer and i will consider this way :D
    thanx :)

  • Garth Reply

    Really? A tri-fold brochure? The design/layout/typography/color palette would have to be AMAZING for me to consider an applicant that went this route…

  • Barbara Reply

    Very bad idea and unprofessional for a number of reasons. 1)Time is money. 2) You conform to us, not the other way around. 3) You have no taste. We prospective employers take about three (yes, 3) seconds to glance at any resume, then put it in one of two piles: trash or not. We are searching for serious applicants only, not budding ‘artists.’ We want to see what YOU will offer OUR BUSINESS in the way of KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, and ABILITIES, not be annoyed because someone accidentally included a page from their kid’s coloring book in the wrong envelope. Next, anything which deviates from the standard 8 1/2″ x 11″ is a filing nightmare — and will not be considered. Imagine a stack of resumes, all different sizes, shapes, turn this way / that way (notice how many steps above involve written directions on how to even read the sample). Please, be sure to include those directions with your self-described “One Page Portfolio CV single sheet” (an oxymoron, to be sure; portfolio vs one page/single sheet: go do some homework before you put yourself out) when you submit so we can have even more cumbersome reading material from you. Add possibly printing onto eye-catching glossy, SLICK paper so that not only does the odd-size and clever folds, maybe even pop-ups and so forth (just a suggestion for you to try), present a problem, but now it’s sliding out of the pile and falling onto the floor, over and over, annoying, file 13… What a memorable applicant you are; what a lucky recipient I am! And finally, add the come-hither, side-glance, wind-blown hair from those pictured, (you thought this was a modeling agency to which you are applying? or a hair salon?), then all three FEMALES, (and thankfully, but why not? neither MALE) “let me show you my upper-body skin” ‘after-hours’ suggestive photos, and you’ve got yourself a name for sure! I don’t care that you think your asset for me is your pompous opinion that your face and skin would somehow benefit my company. Get real, American job applicants! Show your skills, not your skin, not your lack of taste and talent. Get your silver spoon out of your mouth and nose (note the one model’s far-off stare). You and your submission WILL STAND OUT – outside of consideration, outside the building!

  • Stephen Reply

    I can’t recommend this type of layout, having previously tried it myself.

    Your CV is likely to arrive in a HR department, who will photocopy it, put it on record and pass on the photocopy. Which won’t look nearly as good as your six-panel design, or a traditional layout.

  • Delmy Alvarenga Reply

    I actually agree with Prescott. Unless you’re applying for an art & craft thing you can put every effort to look different, but the important of a resume is information. It’s hard to design a one conceptual, readable and outstanding one A4 page resume.

    The more you try to do, leads me to think
    1. you’re trying to hard to impress me (which you won’t accomplish)
    2. the more complicated or folded thing, the less i’ll open it

    consider most art directors have a busy agenda, they want information at one glance. But of course, this is not a rule of thumb. So, try hard and good luck :)

  • Nicole Wingate Reply

    Hi, I like the idea of non-tradional format for Cvs thinking outside the 8.5 x 11 page, but I do believe that it depends on audience. Many people will prefer the letter-sized resume, so what I’m wondering is how you can push that format to your advantage as an artist to stand out. I’m a photographer myself, and I recently started a collective for fellow lens-based artists. We’re trying to come up with some ideas to market ourselves and we’ve been in debate over the “resume” issue. We’ve been playing around with font and layout, but it really is difficult to design a one-page resume.

  • Michelle Reply

    Its very informative blog. Thanks for posting. Additionally I would suggest to learn the employer company, learn the requirements and then create the CV in such a manner that candidate makes the employer realize that he is the one they were searching for! This will satisfy the candidate as well as the employer.

  • brett Reply

    @ Barbara – Your view as an employer seems narrow. You have to be ef’n kidding when you say you throw a resume away because its a “filing nightmare”

    ^ This is what’s wrong with corporate America. Talk about pompous.


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