Alternatives to the typical resume!

October 23rd, 2012 | Articles, Job Search, Resume | 3 Comments »


When job seekers are willing to stray outside the resume norm, they often get the best results! Take a look at these alternative options and see the difference they truly make!

Hiring managers see so many cookie-cutter, template resumes on any given day that a detour from the norm may very well vault you ahead of the competition. As any successful job seekers will tell you, creativity and innovation are the hallmarks of a successful job search. So, when a regular resume just isn’t enough, here are a few standout alternatives that can successfully propel your job search forward.

Visual Resumes: For those job seekers who feel their portfolio speaks louder than their words alone, a visual resume offers an appealing alternative to the traditional form. Within this web interface, you can insert videos, graphics, documents, and links to your previous work in one user-friendly location. This way, you can provide direct evidence of your skills & talents, eliminating the need for hiring managers to take your word on faith alone. Best of all, visual resumes allow you to share your virtual resume with friends, recruiters, and hiring mangers through a few simple mouse clicks.

The one major limitation this option presents is that it is not always friendly to electronic submission systems. Where you would otherwise copy & paste your resume into a text box, you are limited to posting a hyperlink (which could easily be bypassed by auto-screeners). So, a traditional resume can still come in handy from time to time.

Business Card QR Code Links: If you already have your own website, this is a cool, hands-on way to market yourself to potential employers. Whether you personally design your own business card or order from a list of templates, adding a QR code can provide an immediate, mobile connection to your resume & portfolio. By simply scanning the code with a smart phone, hiring managers will be directed to your homepage, giving them an instantaneous idea of your leading-edge capabilities. Ultimately, this tool is more of a way to direct people to the exact profile (LinkedIn, visual resumes, or personal website) you wish them to see. Really though, scanning a QR code is a fun way to get recruiters & hiring managers where you want them to be.

Genre Breaking Resumes: Feeling particularly bold? Looking to stand out for the company of your dreams? Try breaking the typical resume mold with a resume that leaves a permanent impression. There are countless examples of uncanny alternatives on the web and after looking at a few, you’ll be brimming with great ideas. Completely shattering norms, these bold few disguise resumes as cereal boxes, sewn patchwork patterns, and comic book style mail away advertisements. They send a distinct message: I’m worth giving a chance!

Just keep in mind that these types of applications may not be appropriate in every scenario -some companies see this as a lack of professionalism while others exclusively require your resume info via online application forms. Regardless, stepping outside of the typical resume box can give you a boost above the competition.

Bottom Line: Don’t cling to template formulas. Be proactive, be creative, and leave an impression that sets you apart from the rest. More often than not, you’ll get an interview ahead of a more rank-and-file member of the crowd, and by getting your foot in the office door, you’ll have an opportunity to really demonstrate your genuine value as a member of the team!

by James Walsh

[Photo Credit]

3 Responses to “Alternatives to the typical resume!”

  1. Sam von Plato says:

    I came to your site by way of looking for a new position on the West Coast of Florida, as a User Experience Architect, senior or management level.

    Your articles are great. However, as a user, I was expecting one step further. Please see below, in reference to the article titled “Alternatives To The Typical Resume.”

    This is a great article, but it would be so much better if you had links to these types of resumes…… I am a Senior User Experience Architect with “real” experience, not “just out of college, IT and decided to use the title UX” type.

    I have 17 years as a graphic designer, human interaction studies, developer , etc.

    I need to make my resume stand out. I have an online portfolio, however, I am not permitted to put up all the incredible work I have done due to client privacy issues. How do I overcome this?

    Thank you,
    Sam von Plato

  2. Sam von Plato says:

    I neglected to add that it was the “Genre Breaking Resumes” examples that I was referring to. I would like to see a link or an example of this particular type of resume. Please.

    Thank you,

  3. jameswalsh says:

    Thanks for the comments, Sam. Client privacy issues can definitely limit what you can showcase as part of your portfolio but you can make up for that in one of a few ways. If you have the time, you can volunteer your services to a non-for-profit with the stipulation that you can post the work on your website. Additionally, you can create independent projects with the intent of highlighting your diverse talents. Give yourself a challenge and pursue it!

    For the “Genre Breaking Resumes,” I’ve attached a link to a slideshow of original and uncanny resume examples. Of course, these aren’t universal solutions but hopefully, one of these examples will ignite something in you and help you add your own work to similar lists.