Today's project launch is both the most personal and the most professional project that I've ever worked on.
David, as in my David, graduated with his MA in Geography in June. Since his first publication over two years ago, we have chatted several times about putting him a website together. Now that he's graduated and job hunting, it felt like more than the perfect time to finally do it.
But, as holds true with having a creative partner, it hardly stopped at a website. In fact, it ended with a website.
After David graduated he went on a job-applying frenzy. We were lingering in the mountains, knowing we needed to move forward, and willing to grasp at anything within reach.
Soon we realized this was a fruitless exercise. David was one in a million. Every natural scientist/GIS analyst/geographer in the country was applying for the same exact jobs. All of them had the same qualifications he did. We needed to set David apart.
One day David and I sat down together and chatted very candidly about what we both wanted from his career search. David wanted to be able to educate others, work more towards preservation, and get away from research science to work in applied science. I wanted to make sure he didn't sell himself short by taking a job he was hideously over-qualified for or get a desk job that would make him grumpy.
Being a geographer comes with a massive amount of possibilities. We were determined to play off his strengths (physical geography and forest dynamics) while still keeping in touch with the really marketable traits of his education (GIS certificate and field work), and really keeping to the roots of what he wants to do (educate others and natural resource conservation).
This is the mission statement that was developed:
As a physical geographer trained in geospatial and dendroecological techniques, with a passion for research and fieldwork, I want to use my geographic perspective to work in the natural resource field. I hope to use my skills to gain a position that will allow me to educate the public and landowners of natural resource management, conservation, and restoration, develop effective land management practices, and promote environmental stewardship.
That is David, and that's what he wants to do.
Obviously, designing was my favorite part. There were two key items that had to be created: a website and a résumé. We also did a business card.
To pull them all together I created a very simple type-based logo giving a quick who-I-am introduction.
Hello, I'm David. I'm a geographer and natural resource scientist.
The résumé was definitely the most important part of the whole project. David's previous résumé was a regular little Word doc with absolutely no personality. White, black, Times New Roman. Painful.
I took control of the résumé giving it a dose of awesomeness. Information was put into a need-to-know hierarchy. I ditched the traditional one-pager for a two page résumé, which is still just front and back when printed. David is an impressive guy on paper, and I wasn't about to ditch any of that set-you-apart goodness. (Though I did ditch some; can't go on to a five page one.) I even added a little cheeky 'tude, because, if you know David, you know he has some cheek to spare.
The business card was kept basic, and will be used in combination with his résumé. Simple and to the point.
The website is a business card site (meaning it's only a single page). In the event that David just hands out a business card, anyone will be able to get online, see his mission statement, and download a PDF of his CV/résumé. We also hope to use this area to put PDFs of his thesis and publications. It will most likely grow as his career does.
All projects have a purpose. Usually the purposes of my projects are to get products online, to share a business' story and hard work. The purpose of this one is to position David as an expert in his field, and separate him from his peers. And also, to get the guy hired.
It's a bit different from my norm, but it was fun to work with David (most of the time, ha!), and very gratifying to do something for someone I know so well, and with it's outcome being so connected to myself.
Knock 'em dead, dude. See David's website >>