What if I told you I was a hard-working, detail-oriented web designer who builds websites, customizes design styles, and demonstrates strong communication skills?
Sounds like every web designer on the planet, doesn’t it? Well, every web designer applying for a job in 2018, that is.
But what if I described myself in a way that attests to my competency and prowess as a modern, innovative web designer? It might look something like this:
Okay, that’s an improvement. A little wordy, but you get the point.
The point: A good web designer resume tells your employers what you know and what you use.
Web professionals and businesses looking to hire a web designer already know what a web designer does. What they don’t know—and what they need to know—are the actual tools you use to build websites, create web content, design graphics, and so on.
For the past few months, I’ve been working with a career specialist to revise and improve what I call my “job seeking materials,” which includes my web designer resume. As we looked over the rough draft in her office, she suggested to me that I add a “Technical Skills” section to show employers what I actually know. For some reason, this blew my mind (“Wait—we can do that??”).
Sure enough, most resumes written for web professional occupations, such as web designer, webmaster, and software developer, contain a brief but informative outline of one’s expertise and capabilities relevant to the job being applied for or to the industry overall. This section of the resume sums up the requisite skills and software knowledge you not only possess but that employers are always looking for in potential candidates.
If you’ve never written a technical skills section, or if you have no idea where to put one in your resume, then you’ve come to the right place. I’ll be addressing four main categories of technical skills you can include in your resume to impress any web industry employer, as well as examples of those skills you should add as bullet points under each category.
Note: You’re not limited to these four categories alone, and the bullet-point lists provided under each category are not comprehensive. I limited these skills to what’s most familiar and most in-demand in today’s web and design industries.
These are the languages you know and love—the markup, scripting, and programming languages that make up the bulk of web content. The versions you use of languages like HTML and CSS will show employers how fresh and up-to-date your site building methods are, and web design is a dynamic industry with little room for old-school semantics and deprecated tags. Add the languages and systems you work with most when designing, developing, or maintaining websites and online content:
Software Applications/Software Programs
- Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver)
- Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook)
- Web browsers (Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera)
- Document readers and tools (Zotero, Adobe Acrobat)
- Media Players (Silverlight, iTunes)
- FTP & SSH (FileZilla)
- Communication programs (Skype, Zoom)
- Audio or image editing programs (Audacity, Inkscape)
Not only do web professionals have to keep up with changing trends and user behavior, but they also have to work with new-and-improved operating systems, upgrading from one version to the next without exception. Show employers your ability to adapt to the always-changing web industry by adding the latest versions of operating systems you frequently use:
- Microsoft Windows (10 or higher)
- macOS X (or higher)
- Mac iOS
Anyone pursuing a web design career will evidently showcase skills in HTML and CSS, along with experience working in Photoshop on the most recent Mac or Windows OS. So why not include other useful skills you have that another candidate might be lacking? This is a great opportunity to list additional skills and programs you’ve mastered over time, whether as a personal hobby or something you gained from a past work experience.
However, the additional skills you choose to list should be relevant to the job you’re applying for. In other words, avoid mentioning your amazing culinary skills if you’re applying for a job UX design. Consider skills that speak to your strengths and accomplishment as a diligent, multi-talented web professional:
- Technical writing
- Video editing
- Digital photography
- SEO analysis
- Social media management
- UX/UI design
- Video game development
- Graphic design
- Branding or advertising
Once you’ve compiled your list of skills, the next step is to figure out where to place it in your resume.
Where Should I Add My Technical Skills on My Resume?
The placement of your technical skills section is up to you. I’ve seen designers place it after the Education section, before Work Experience, and sometimes at the very end of the document. My advice is to place your technical skills on the first page around the middle or higher. Your skillset should be one of the first things employers see when they get a hold of your resume. More importantly, those skills should be front and center so as to illustrate the confidence you have in yourself to be an outstanding web designer.
Thanks for reading!