When a Creative Resume is Over the Top

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I frequently advocate using design strategies in a resume to make key information stand out. This may mean using bold typeface, shading, or adding a chart that illustrates the business impact you've achieved in past positions. And certainly professionals in creative fields such as graphic design, culinary arts, and entertainment may be able to push the boundaries of resume design even further.

Even considering all the advantages of creative resume design, a recent post on Mashable, titled 9 Dynamic Digital Resumes That Stand Out From the Crowd, left me thinking that the resumes shown certainly stand out, but for all the wrong reasons. Here's why.

All sizzle, no steak.

Sure the resumes are visually different. But in the world of resumes, content is still king, and few resumes will get past the hiring manager if the focus of the document isn't on the impact the candidate had on the organizations which they've supported.

Aim to incorporate strong stories of success into your resume, and demonstrate how you have either saved time and money, or made money for your previous organizations. It's this type of resume content that will most likely get you noticed as a strong potential candidate.

Tough to find key information.

On average, hiring managers spend about 15 seconds reviewing resumes. That's it. If your resume makes the first cut, perhaps you will get their attention for a few more seconds or maybe even a minute. But if it is difficult to quickly discern your core competencies and value proposition, you are doomed.

Hard on the eyes.

If your document has too much going on, it can be exhausting for the reader. Too many colors, fonts, graphics, etc. will generally work against you. Select a few hard-hitting graphic components and leave it at that. Don't go overboard.

Interested in seeing a few examples of resumes where graphics are used strategically to highlight key experience and add a nice creative element, rather than distract the reader? Check out these Toast of the Resume Industry, award-winning resume samples at the Career Directors International website.

Here are some examples.


Next: Five Resume Tips for Creative Jobs


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