This question was asked on graphicdesign.stackexchange.com, but I wanted an HR perspective. See the bottom-right of the resume below.


  • 3
    Are you asking specifically about resumes for graphic designers? Resumes for graphic designers are a whole different ballgame from other resumes. – DJClayworth Oct 20 '14 at 20:39
  • Do you feel some HR people may not recognize the significance of the font size for the skills on the left, so they need the graph? – user8365 Oct 20 '14 at 21:11

I'm not HR but I am involved in selecting candidates based on resumes.

I appreciate that the whole vehicle for a graphic design resume is different from that in my field and I need to make allowances for that while looking at the sample here. I'm going to proceed by assuming you're asking about this idea as a general thing, as I suspect that this kind of design for a graphic designer is part of their portfolio of work in a minor way more than it is a traditional resume.

I find the idea of "skill bars" presumptuous and rather useless. How can I possibly compare those "grades" to the skills of someone else? What if they have the same idea and give themselves 27 out of 30 for the same skills?

How can I tell whether or not hiring that person will solve the problem I'm trying to solve by hiring someone?

Don't tell a hiring manager how good you think you are, that's for them to decide. Show them how good you actually are. That is, of course, precisely what's happening in that sample, but not because of the number of dots in the skill bars.

  • 1
    +1. And, as @DJClayworth pointed out, this sheet is intended specifically to push the individual as a graphic designer and the skill bars are more a sample of their work than anything inherently meaningful. (Though if this is intended to be an example of the designer's best work, I really can't say I'm all that favorably impressed.) – keshlam Oct 20 '14 at 20:48
  • 2
    Is it more useless than a text skill assessment though, like "familiar with" or "experienced with"? I agree that something like "Used X for a project that Y" is a more substantial statement. – HamHamJ Oct 20 '14 at 20:49
  • 1
    @user3038802 exactly - "expert in $blah" is 'telling me'. "Managed the delivery of $foo project using $blah project manglement methodology, 20% under budget and on time" is 'showing me'. – Rob Moir Oct 20 '14 at 20:51
  • 1
    Ever been asked "On a scale from 1 - 10 ..."? – user8365 Oct 20 '14 at 21:00
  • 3
    @RobM, +1 for "project manglement methodology" :-D – Péter Török Oct 21 '14 at 7:19

Typically, you put things on a resume that have some sort of measurement or you just state something mater-of-fact: Sold "X" amount of widgets in first quarter. Managed project on time & budget 75% of the time. Built commercial website using technology XYZ.

I don't see how a bar graph helps an HR person in this case. They should be very familiar with the skills listed and if you indicate you're an 8 on photoshop and 3 on photography, they should get the idea and don't need a bar graph to display the differences in a graphical nature to focus on the point.

Bar graphs also help to show trends in some situations. Maybe if you were to put previous salaries, you could demonstrate how you've been able to get jobs with increasing responsibility and higher performance evaluations. I don't suggest that, but can't find much of a better use for a bar graph on a resume outside of skill sets.

Usually, these types of things are brought up during an interview, so there's not need to put them on a resume. Why say you're not very good at something if they don't even ask?

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