Creative Resumes: A Way to Stand Out or Just a Stunt?

ResumeIn today’s job market, employers are flooded with resumes for each available job. After all, so many remain unemployed or underemployed – and are competing hard for each job they find online.

With every application, candidates are doing their best to make their resumes stand out as the best candidate for the role; they know that  even a nicely formatted resume might not be enough to catch the recruiter’s attention.

Some bold candidates recognize this and construct creative resumes to really set them apart. But are these creative resumes a good way to stand out… or just a stunt?

Being in talent acquisition myself, I stare at resumes all day long. So, naturally, a resume that is different from the common, mind-numbing format and font is always a welcome surprise. It can be something as subtle as a colorfully displayed PDF version, an infographic, a chart, or an additional portfolio of their work. These simple things can really add value to a resume and catch a recruiter’s eye.

Some candidates have even gone bolder. For example:

Although these “alternative” resumes have received quite a reaction to them, it’s important to consider what you’re promoting in your resume. Is your resume going to help you stand apart from other candidates, like these examples did, or is your resume going to backfire?

Remember the important aspects of a resume: experience, education, skills, and so on. Those are the bare necessities to help recruiters determine if you have some or all of the skills that are needed to be considered for this job. Then, you can get a little more creative: find ways to show recruiters that you have more to offer than just your experience; help them see that you fit the culture; show them your passions and values; and make them clearly see why hiring you would be their best choice.

Many candidates have done this successfully but some have lost sight on the important aspects of a resume, traditional or not. Make sure you double check what you’re presenting to recruiters to ensure that the information you’re sharing isn’t: potentially misconstrued; irrelevant; potentially make them question your abilities or professionalism; full of useless facts that wastes their time; or so over-the-top or out there that they lose the message and can’t see how you would be a good candidate.

There’s nothing wrong with being creative to try and stand out against the overwhelming candidate pool. However, it’s important for you to research the companies that you are targeting to ensure that you know your audience well enough. Knowing a company’s culture, values, missions, and so on can help ensure that your alternative resume is appropriate.

And remember: there is a fine line between standing apart from other candidates and creating a resume that might make you seem unhireable.

 

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For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at The Social HR Connection!

 

 

Ashley Lauren PerezAbout the Author: After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in human resources and organizational management, Ashley pursued her passion and secured a career path in the human resources industry. She is currently a Sourcing Specialist for WilsonHCG, as well as a Brand Ambassador for WilsonHCG and #TChat.

Additionally, she uses her experience and knowledge to write a blog focusing on an array of Social HR topics. Even if you aren’t in the Charleston, SC, area, you can easily connect with Ashley on LinkedInTwitter and Facebook.

 

 

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