What Employers Think of Creative Resumes

2 min read
tattooed arms carrying creative resumes and portfolio

To succeed in today’s aggressive job market, applicants must make their applications a standout. Other people do this by working on their resume layout and fonts, while others go all out with a cool concept or design. But how far should one go in being artistic?

What Are Creative Resumes?

A creative resume is a visual illustration of an applicant’s professional info and achievements. Unlike traditional resumes, this type of application boosts one’s personal brand and sets him/her apart from other aspirants. It helps show a person’s expertise in a more dynamic and creative way. This is especially true when applying for an advertising, digital, sales, or marketing job.

Although creative resumes are hip and trendy, job hunters should also be wary of the following disadvantages:

1. It doesn’t work for every role and industry.

As many conventional resumes exist for a very long time now, many employers still prefer the old format to other resume types. They want a document that’s easy to read and understand. So if you are applying for professional fields such as education or business, make sure you refrain from being too creative. Settle for a more traditional look.

2. It might fail to make an impression.

Creating an awesome visual resume takes a lot of experience and artistry. If you’re not confident about making such document types, seek help or avoid making one.

3. It is not accepted everywhere.

Some job vacancies posted online have limited formatting options so creative resumes won’t work well in these situations. In such cases, it would be best to submit a traditional resume to comply with the employer’s requirements.

female job seeker creating creative resumes

What Do Employers Think of Creative Resumes?

As cited in an article from Forbes, Debbie Millman, president of Design at Sterling Brands, advises applicants to focus on the content more than the layout or design of the resume:

Substance over style is the rule for all resumes. Any special effects will dilute the gravitas and stature of the impression. You want people to concentrate on your accomplishments and your successes, not the curlicues of a font or unusual shades or contrast of colors.

Meanwhile, Rob Wallace, managing partner of Wallace Church, believes that everyone, including non-designers, can be creative with a resume, but to a certain limit:

For a designer or writer, or even a brand strategist, a portfolio or web site is the place to let your creative star shine. A resume needs to be information driven. However, I would say that I spark to people who brand themselves and use their resume as a place to reflect their core essence. Create a logo, use a considered font, explore an expressive color palette, but never lose vision of the information.

Though creative resumes are cool and appealing, many employers highlight the value of content. Thus, whether you’re making a traditional or creative resume, keep your mind on your words and emphasize your exceptional skills, experiences, and unparalleled successes.

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Photo by bruce mars from Pexels

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