Is your resume wasting its 6 seconds or is it igniting sparks? On average, employers see 250 applications per corporate position and, if you aren’t among the first few applicants, chances are your resume is all a blur. That is, unless you distinguish yourself from exhausted templates with a vivid and creative resume idea.
Never Make a Resume Simply for the Sake of Creativity
No resume offers a universal remedy for every employer. Even a well-crafted and creative application might appear to be too offbeat or too flashy. A successful resume of any stripe is one that knows its audience. So if an employer is conventional, lay off any resumes shaped like milk carton or CVs hand-sewn into fabric squares.
Always ask yourself: what will entice this employer? If there’s a job ad, use it as your compass. Start with technical requirements. Does the job ad mention…
- Mobile App Development?
- Website Design?
- Adobe Creative Suite?
Your unique resume needs to use those skills.
What about the business itself? At its most basic level, a resume is a marketing tool. You wouldn’t pitch an edgy, color saturated graphics campaign to a manufacturer of plastic fasteners.
A good creative resume is more than a pretty, shimmering mirage. It gives tangible proof of what you can do for an employer. In fact, many of the best ideas are things that can easily interlock with the company’s solutions.
3 Types of Creative Resumes
1.) The Hip One-Pager – It’s recognizable as a resume, but that’s where most parallels stop. Text doesn’t need to fit in just one column. Fonts aren’t constrained to the Big Three (Arial, Times New Roman, or Calibri). As long as your resume has some order, remains legible (no calligraphy fonts), and avoids the tacky fonts (Jokerman, Ransom Note, etc.) you have creative freedom.
Graphics, charts, and icons can liven up your creative resume. However, it shouldn’t look like they were just absently shaken onto the page. As with all creative resumes, showing your own personality is an important part of the equation. For example, each of these creative resume ideas presents its own identity.
2.) The Incognito Application – It’s not identifiable as a resume at a first glance. Maybe it looks like a piece of pop art or a candy bar or a 4 pack of beer. Then the reality of the thing sets in and an instantaneous impression is made.
Time, effort, and no lack of ingenuity bring these creative resume ideas to fruition. However, once they’re complete, this unique resume can take on a marketing life all its own.
Graphic Designer Robby Leonardi made an interactive resume that’s mapped out like an old school, side-scroller video game. It mimics the design layout of Nintendo’s Super Mario Brothers yet follows its own eye-catching aesthetics. The idea itself is so strong that it even functions as a one-size-fits-all resume.
3.) The Laser-Targeted Resume – This approach to the creative resume takes the Incognito Application to a whole new level. A job seeker targets a specific employer and crafts a resume that exclusively speaks to that business. It needs to mirror the company’s own personality and offers an example of what you can do in their office.
Creative artist Brian Moose handcrafted a resume for Pixar studios and it went viral on the web. Look at the pictures and you can imagine the time it took to sketch out images, design layouts, and even procure an old film tin. Moreover, its overall design elements are reminiscent of Pixar’s own style. This creative resume idea definitely speaks to its audience.
On a Final Note:
When coming up with your resume idea, it’s important to remember that on top of marketing yourself to the company, that you not lose track of your own personality. All the creativity in the world won’t make up for a position in a company where you don’t fit. Stay true to yourself as you cater to the needs of other companies, and you’ll find a new job where you’re actually happy.
by James Walsh