Time to read: 5 minute read
Creative Resume Tips Summary:
- As a creative professional, your resume is another way to showcase your eye for design, although it is highly recommended to create it in Microsoft Word.
- If your resume is poorly formatted or missing key elements, employers may skip over you, or worse, you will be overlooked by the ATS.
- There are many simple creative resume tips to follow to ensure you feel confident applying to jobs and walking into interviews.
As a creative professional, your resume is just another way to showcase your skills and eye for design, even within a simple resume design. Although you may have good intentions, sometimes aspects of your resume may come off as unprofessional, or worse, hinder your chances of getting through the applicant tracking system.
Content and Placement is Key in Your Resume
The content of your resume is important. Not only do you share your experiences and successes, but this is your chance to effectively optimize your resume for each position. Applicant tracking systems look for key terms as well as key information. Ensuring the right information is in the appropriate spot will make your resume successful in your job search. To make a great first impression on hiring managers and recruiters, follow these creative resume tips to tighten up your materials.
Include Contact Information
This one goes without saying, but make sure you include your most up-to-date contact info. The top of the page is typically the best spot to place this information. List your name, email, phone number, and LinkedIn URL (If you have a personal portfolio site, include this too). As for location, it is common not to see a full address on a resume, but it is important to share the area where you are job searching. For this piece, list your city or zip code to show your general location.
Highlight Your Most Relevant Experiences
Your job experiences should be put in reverse chronological order, with your most recent position at the top. Depending on the level you’re at in your career, try to keep this section for professional experience only. More times than not, relevant experience is considered over an abundance of odd-jobs. Quality over quantity.
Quantify Your Results
Show your numbers! When possible, challenge yourself to review your success and quantify your results. Adding data and numbers will draw more attention to that part of your resume and quantify your impact for hiring managers and recruiters. For an employer, this can solidify that you made a real impact at the companies you previously worked for. With that said, use digits vs. spelling out numbers. Using digits will draw the eye and take up less space on your resume.
Example: Increased social media engagement vs. Increased social media engagement by 400%. Do you see which one sounds better?
Consider Adding Volunteer or Non-work Experience
If you are fresh into the industry and do not have a lot of professional work experience, a good way to fill your resume is with any volunteer or non-work experience. Adding this information shows that you are still dedicated and hardworking, even though you might not have as much industry experience.
Keep it on one page
Though it is important to have enough information on your resume, there is such a thing as too much. If you get to a point where you have too much experience to fit on your page, omit the older, less relevant experience, rather than cramming all you can onto one page or making a multi-page resume. Keep it short and condense.
Use Strong Verbs
When describing your previous job titles, start your sentence with action by utilizing powerful verbs. Use words like, managed, influenced, launched, established, created, etc. Check out this list of strong verbs to apply to your resume.
Optimize for Applicant Tracking Systems
At the beginning of this section, we touched on the importance of content and placement on your resume for the applicant tracking system. Here is where you see your work across the finish line. Use the job description of the position you are applying for, and use strong keywords that match the description throughout your resume. And, as always, triple check for spelling mistakes.
How to Format A Resume
Just as the contents of your resume are important, the formatting comes at a close second. Formatting is what will help your readers better navigate your information. While we have an infographic sharing the importance of a plain text resume, keep reading for additional creative resume tips we stand by for resume formatting.
Work with Font Sizing and Formatting
Choose simple, highly legible fonts for maximum readability, and keep sizing at the standard; 12pt, but with certain sans-serif fonts, 10pt will be legible. In keeping with simplicity, choose two fonts at most to use throughout your resume. Lastly, use typography to make your job titles and company names to stand out on your resume. Use a different font, larger font size, bolded type, etc. to make this information stand out and given hierarchy on the page. Some popular fonts for resumes:
- Times New Roman.
Create a Master Working Resume in a Word Document
As your professional experience grows, it will become harder to fit it all on one page. Not only does a master resume help you keep all your work experience in one place, it decreases the chances of typos in your final resume design. Programs like InDesign do not alert of spelling errors while typing, so pasting the content from a Word document will help to minimize them. However, at this point, we highly suggest working in Word when creating and updating your resume.
Think About Your Personal Brand
As an artist, designer, or anyone in a creative field (anyone for that matter), your name is your brand. Identifying a strong personal brand that you can carry out through your resume, portfolio, and business cards is a key way to make yourself stand out and show cohesion among your materials. If you have already created a portfolio website, carry those typefaces and font weights into your resume.
Save as PDF
No matter what you used to create your resume, ultimately, save it as a PDF. There is nothing worse than sending your resume off for the receiver to run into technical difficulties trying to open it. Saving it as a PDF is a safe move and will typically not cause any issues.
Resumes can seem daunting to create, especially if you are stuck on where to start. Following these creative resume tips will ensure that you come across as a polished, creative professional while simultaneously showing off your eye for design.
Now that your resume is perfected, check out how you can start preparing for your future interviews!