Addie Luce January 29, 2021 Resume
Describing soft skills on a resume often starts to sound like a list of meaningless buzzwords, fast. But being a “strong leader” or an “effective communicator” are important characteristics you want to get across. Think about how you can demonstrate these attributes in your bullet points without actually saying them.
Perhaps the role you’re applying for is more administrative, even if it’s within a creative company, or the company isn’t so much a youthful start-up but more an established, formal enterprise. Applying for a role at an architecture firm or marketing company? Perhaps a more stripped-back resume design would be more fitting. This means no photos (or at the very least, no colorful cropped images from Facebook…but I’m trusting you wouldn’t subject any future employer to those anyway), no graphics, and no colors that’ll give a CEO a headache. Choose a classic sans serif typeface and keep the structure of your minimal resume conventional. Flush type to align left, to keep your text traditional in style. Allow for white space to make the whole design appear serene and professional. Use simple, thin lines (look to the Stroke Tools in Adobe software) to divide sections of content into manageable chunks. Use color sparingly—as a little pop of blue to mark out subheadings catches the eye without being overbearing.
Not all hobbies deserve a place on your resume, but some do. Hobbies that highlight positive personality qualities or skills that could benefit you on the job are worth including. For example, running marathons (shows discipline and determination) and blogging about something related to your field (shows creativity and genuine interest in your work) are hobbies that will cast you in the best possible light and might pique a recruiter’s interest.
If you’re applying to a job in a traditional industry, like law, accounting, or real estate, consider using no color on your resume, or use a professional resume color like dark blue or green. If you’re applying to a job in a more modern industry like graphic design, marketing, or fashion, you can safely choose from a more creative color palette, but don’t overload your resume with several different colors. Use one or two complementary colors for headers or borders. Your body text should be black.
As a rule, you should only show the most recent 10-15 years of your career history and only include the experience relevant to the positions to which you are applying. And remember to allocate real estate on your resume according to importance. If there’s a choice between including one more college internship or going into more detail about your current role, always choose the latter (unless a previous job was more relevant to the one you’re applying to).
Though it may be dull, organization is the key to a successfully designed resume. You want the design of your creative resume format to be well planned and organized. Once you’ve edited down your content to one-page’s worth, visually separate that information into digestible chunks. Imagine you’ve been sitting at your desk looking at resumes all day. You sure aren’t going to linger long over someone’s essay-long summary of the internship they did last summer. Don’t lump all your information together. Use a grid structure for your layout, with columns and rows, visual dividers and white space to section out all the data you’re presenting to the reader. This will also make it much easier for them to refer to individual items of information in conversation with a colleague or during an interview.
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