This design resume trend needs to stop

I don’t know how this popular resume trend took off, but I have some thoughts on it. Actually, it has been around for years, so “trend” probably isn’t the correct word for it. Anyway…

I’m talking about those skills/software progress bars.

resume skill bars

I get it. As designers, we want to add some visual punch to our resume. Some take an infographic style approach.

However, you should think twice before you use the skills percentage bars treatment.

What these skill bars highlights for hiring managers, creative directors, and those looking at your resume, is what you AREN’T good at.

Skill bars basically show me that if I hire this candidate, I can depend on them for Photoshop work most of the time, that they can deliver using XD sometimes, and that they basically don’t really know how to use Illustrator.

So what’s a designer supposed to do instead?

Simple; If you can deliver typical professional level work with the software or particular skill, then list it. If you can’t deliver professional level work with the software or skill, then don’t list it.

A list of skills without accompanying progress bars tells me that this designer has professional level of skill in the listed area(s). It tells me that I could assign them a project, and they could do a professional job using that tool. It tells me they know what they’re doing. That’s all I need to know about that skill when I review a resume.

Keep it simple.

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