Open Letter to Students from Tyler Dockery

Dear Students,

I’d like to share a short email I exchanged with one of our non-GDA students. The question was a simple on: What do you do when you have no experience?

From: Student X
To: Tyler Dockery

Mr. Dockery,
I just have a small question about our resume that we have to create. I’ve only had one job and it doesn’t relate to graphic design. I had that job about a year ago and was wondering if I should just make something up for the sake of the project? If not, what should I put?


Student X

Student X,

Good question. If you don’t have experience, then what do you have? DO NOT fake on your resume. If you send it by mistake, you’re in big trouble and can get blacklisted on public service listings that headhunter and other agencies use. Avoid that.

I’ll send you a follw up email shortly


Dear Student X,

1) Do you have volunteer experience? This could be school related, club related, organizational, girl scouting, etc).
2) What qualities did your last job have that are good? Did you do customer service and problem solving? did you work with money and you are trustworthy and detail-oriented? Did you answer phones and route information? Did you carry out production work which allowed a company to work smoothly?
3) Are you currently an active member of a school or community group, such as the GDA (graphic Design Associates) here on main campus or the TIMA (triangle interactive media Association), or a networking group like Coffee and Contacts?
4) Do you have certifications that can pad your experience so that people will see your graduation date for 2015 or 2016 and understand you have strong design connections? If not, consider looking for and completing one or more free certificates on their site.
5) Are you currently an intern? Should you seek one if not? Have you listed all of your skills in software and programming?
6) Do you have your online website set ( if you don’t have one).
7) Have you sought out the career services office on Main campus (etb building hallway with our offices) and discussed your resume?

If all else fails, fill your resume with a face picture, vector images, photomanipulation, whatever will show your skills and talents.

I hope that helps. Research some Resumes and CV online and see what they’re showing. Revisit the resumes you felt were good examples and see what they have. I know you can do it.

Tyler Dockery
919-866-5383 Office

From: Student X
To: Tyler Dockery

Mr. Dockery,

Thank you so much, this really helped. I’ll have some work to do, and some stuff to research.