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The Creative Resume

March 1, 2019 by Shelby Baile

The Creative Resume

If you’ve ever had to write a resume, and given that if you’re reading this you most likely have, you’re probably aware that it can be pretty boring. That’s completely normal, writing resumes requires significant self-reflection and time. But, while it may seem simple on the surface, it can be a lot more involved you imagined.

Creative resume aside, there are several variations in resume style, though most are pretty stock-standard in both design and content, with little room for creativity. The basic formulas haven’t changed much over the years and there’s a good reason why – they’re efficient.

If, however, your own resume hasn’t changed since you were the tender age of fifteen, now might be the time for an update. Finding templates is simple as there’s a lack of resume design diversity across all industries, something that is both a good and a bad thing. This means that it’s relatively easy to create a basic resume – but difficult to stand out from the crowd. 

If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it
Recently we’ve seen more people opt for a creative style of resume. The creative resume isn’t a new style – it’s been around for years, but what is new is that other fields are tapping into its, well, creativity! This is due to websites such as Pinterest and Canva  allowing people to create and share new designs online without the need of an outside graphic designer.

No matter what happens. a creative resume is sure to get you noticed, the question is whether it’s a good thing – or a bad thing.

The adoption of the creative resume by everyone and their dog has caused uneasiness among many employers. Nobody likes change, and many fear being overrun with resumes that appear straight out of Microsoft Paint.

And, given that creative resumes don’t comply with regular resume writing or design rules, adjusting has been a bit rough for many companies.

While a creative resume often contains the same information as a regular resume, the formatting and design of the document is usually very different. A creative resume may include an infographic, patterned background, photo, or video, among other things. Going down this path is a risk, as your perspective employer is likely to either love it or hate it. 

It’s all in the name
Creative Resumes are generally appropriate when applying for jobs in – you guessed it – creative industries. If you’re in an artistic field like graphic design, architecture or advertising, a creative resume may help showcase your artistic skills to employers.

The best way to try to determine if a creative resume will be well received is to research the company. A large, old school organisation may be unlikely to appreciate it, while  innovative agencies and companies such as Google are more inclined to appreciate your individualism.

Stick to tradition
For those of you in a traditional field like accounting or teaching, it’s probably a good idea to save your artistic flare until after you’ve got the job. If design skills aren’t part of the job description then it’s better to leave them out of it. Instead, focus on highlighting your accomplishments and relevant skills.

“Don’t let the design disrupt communication”, one industry expert stated. “You want people to focus on your accomplishments and successes”.

If you’re at all unsure, it’s probably a good idea to stick to a simple format and let the information shine. This doesn’t mean your resume can’t be attractive, but it’s probably a good idea to lay off the hot pink font.

Online graphic design sights such as Canva can be effective tools to help you make your resume look professional and polished while still adhering to traditional resume rules. Ideally aim to make the content stand out rather than the design. An effective resume will be well laid out and contain headings that make reading it effortless.

Are you a Curtin Humanities student looking to have your creative resume and portfolio reviewed by an industry expert? Book into the Networking Zone at the 2019 Curtin Careers Fair.  

To have your resume checked at any time, call into Careers, Employment & Leadership in B102 Curtin Connect or submit it online through UniHub.  

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