To help calm my nerves – and to make sure I forgot absolutely nothing for my first Tri two weeks ago, I did a visual checklist of everything I would need.
Paying special attention to the post race treatment.
Which was greatly needed afterwards, as this is what the waves looked like going out to the first buoy.
A job I recently applied for requested, slightly jokingly, that applicants send a Super Powers certificate to support their application.
I decided to oblige.
.. and then I decided to do an ‘about me’ summary also in info doodle format… just because!!
Thanks go to Sunni Brown, author of ‘The Doodle Revolution’ for the inspiration.. (and encouragement on Twitter), watch her TED talk, it’s great.
It started with a Whatsapp group conversation (name of group “Ruidera Perris Cheaper”.. don’t ask, I have no idea) about the logistics of how eight triathletes and their bikes (and food) were going to get to a training camp 280km away in Ruidera. In the end, the conversation got so complicated that I decided to draw it to make things simpler for everyone.
And then I made it simpler still.
Then they changed the name of the group, and people started switching plans, and as they switched plans they told me what changes to make to the drawing.
Several versions followed and were duly posted to the group as more and more changes were made, until the final version when the doodler threw her hands up in the air and made a quick exit!!
And here it is, version 22.214.171.124.1.4 of my CV/Résumé. The design brief was as follows
1. Grab attention within those crucial first five seconds and get into the ‘worth a closer look’ pile.
2. Demonstrate the fact that lurking behind all the commercial experience is creative person who has also done a fair share of project management, and who really would like to do more with those skills
3. Demonstrate that I’m analytical. I mean, I’d like to think that it comes across that I have thought this thing through a little bit.
4. Demonstrate quite graphically that two companies have had me back (so to speak), this hopefully says something about me. I have discovered that it is something that doesn’t always get picked up on in standard wordy format CV.
I really wanted to leave the CV at one page, as in my eyes all the key information is there. However, after putting this version under the noses of a very carefully selected focus group (i.e. my closest friends), I realised that the infographic portrayal of information isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and it would appear that not everyone likes visuals like I do to explain a concept. But I love infographics and how they are used to communicate big data. Not that my CV is big data of course, but when looking for a way of communicating clearly the breadth of my experience, my creative side and my analytical skills it just seemed like a good way of getting that information across in a clear and succinct manner. That said, I did relent and do a second page which pads out the info contained in page one.
There were a few design issues that I came across when doing this.
1) It was impossible to put the boxes in an order where the lines to the timeline didn’t cross. I tried to keep the crossing to a minimum so as not to confuse the eye.
2) I had a bit of a dilemma about the order of the boxes. I wouldn’t normally put an older work experience first, but in this case I wanted to highlight the product/project management experience I had for a particular job I was going for. I can adapt the order if necessary for other job applications.
3) The amount of colours. I appreciate there are quite a few. I agonised over colour psychology, corporate colours, thought about making it tonal, wondered if it was better to use warm colours to highlight the most important jobs, the list goes on as analysis paralysis takes hold. In the end I decided .. ‘what the heck?? This is MY CV, my branding. I’m colourful, bright, and energetic and anything else just wouldn’t be me!!’
So there you have it.
If you’re hiring and you need a bilingual (English/Spanish), bloody hard working, creative, commercial, energetic, sporty, analytical person with sales, marketing, product and project management skills who just pitches in and gets stuff done…. then just holler OK!!!.
“If you don’t like what’s being said, then change the conversation” or so said Don Draper to Peggy Olsen in Mad Men.
So I have done just that.
Frustrated that future employers only see my commercial side on my resumé and focus on the fact that I have changed jobs a few times. I decided to change the conversation and show in a very visual way my creative side, the side that never gets seen on my standard résumé, and the side I would most like to tap into in any future employment.
I did all the original drawings on the brilliant “Paper” app on my iPad, and then worked on them in Illustrator. The design has gone through several incarnations now. This is the original.
Sometimes, when I can’t get my thoughts straight, and I can’t do sport to straighten my thoughts, I draw.
Sometimes I draw even when my thoughts are straight, which admittedly isn’t that often, as they tend to go in wavy lines to get to where they need to be.
I draw flowers because I have a university degree in drawing flowers. Well to be more specific, my degree is in textile design but flowery wallpaper and fabrics were a big thing in the late ’80’s when I was studying so I spent three whole years mainly drawing flowers… apart from one project which was inspired by Russian architecture… but I probably slipped a few flowers into the designs for good measure.
Today I drew a flower because I had a really tough interview with a huge multinational and came out of it feeling like I’d just been put through a mangle. I’m not sure they would have appreciated my flower drawing skills had I mentioned them. I have lots of other skills that they did appreciate because when I finished my degree I abandoned my flowers and went and got a “real” job in a big multinational, and then another one… and then another one…
Maybe I should have carried on drawing flowers…