Next Level Resumes: Get Creative And Land That Job

July 29, 2015  |  

Resumes are going wild. Some examples have gone viral–a resume shaped like a candy bar, one designed as an Amazon page, another laid out like a subway map, and a Facebook format resume complete with comments.

But should everyone venture out with a resume that pushes the envelope? “Depends on the job that they are applying for. Usually with the art/creative roles someone might want to use some of the software tools asked in the job description to create their resume, i.e Photoshop or illustrator,” suggest Bryan Pray, IT recruiting manager at Alluvion Staffing in an email to MadameNoire. “For roles that are more conservative a candidate would want to keep the resume conservative. The candidate wants to make sure that they are including the skills listed in the job description in the forefront of their resumes. With so many applicants that apply for one job, a recruiter will often quickly scan a resume to make sure the necessary skills are listed.”

Graphic artist Rick Mundon created a resume for a friend that got so much notice that he decided to venture into a new business, one that makes creative resumes for job seekers. The Whole Orange is a creative design company that does design work and creates creative resumes, business, and web sites for job hunters.

According to Mundon, you should look at your resume as more than just a piece of paper listing your job history. “People always have rules for how everything should be done. The truth is, you’re competing with hundreds of other black and white resumes. Yes, these resumes are creative but they’re also marketing tools. The layouts are created but advertising professionals who understand color, formatting, and hierarchy. In a sea of hundreds, I want to stand out,” he says.

If you are called in for an interview due to your unusual resume, it might be a sign that the company is very open minded–and possibly a great place to work. “In this day and age I wouldn’t want to work for a boss who wants everything traditional. I want to work for a company with new ideas and turning down a resume because it’s outside the box sounds like a dull place to work,” says Mundon.

But don’t be under the impression that a creative resume will land you the job. “Creative resumes won’t get you a job but they will make the road to an interview much easier. Its an ice breaker before you even meet,” Mundon points out.

And if you are in an industry that might frown upon way-out resumes, there are other ways to spice yours up without going overboard. “Practical ways to have your resume stand out amongst others include changing the typeface from Times New Roman to something that stands out. Also consider changing the font size, be sure it isn’t too small though. Consider adding a little color to your resume as well,” suggests Pray.

Or maybe a video resume will work. “One way candidates can get creative, while also being practical, is to record a video resume to supplement their paper resume,” offers Val Matta, vice president of business development at CareerShift, a job hunting and career management solution. “With video resumes, recruiters can get to know candidates beyond paper and pick up on visual cues that could impact hiring decisions. Not to mention, video resumes are a great way to stand out in a sea of job candidates all boasting the same skills and qualifications.

Bottom line, make sure your resume jumps out at the recruiter. As Matta says, “Resumes shouldn’t just inform — they should attract.”

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