Maurine Liya January 30, 2021 Resume
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.
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.
If you’re sending a portfolio, resume, and cover letter to apply for your dream creative role, think about how you can make all the elements of your application look more unified and professional. Treating your job application as an exercise in branding is a great way to both elevate your application to the next level and prove to your future employer that you can be creative while working within a set of brand rules. Before you begin creating your portfolio, resume, and cover letter, lay down some simple rules for your personal brand.
Since you’ll want to be swapping different information in and out depending on the job you’re applying to, keep a resume outline or master resume on your computer where you keep any information you’ve ever included on a resume: old positions, bullet points tailored for different applications, special projects that only sometimes make sense to include. Then, when you’re crafting each resume, it’s just a matter of cutting and pasting relevant information together. Think of this as your brag file.
Hardworking, self-motivated, self-sufficient, proactive and detail-oriented are all words you’ll find on most people’s resumes. But most job seekers are motivated and hardworking, so these traits don’t really set you apart from the rest of the applicant pool. Instead, focus on the specific skills and accomplishments that make you different from everyone else applying to the position.
Before they’ve even met you in person an employer will make judgments about your personality and professional capabilities based on the look of your resume alone. So, make sure those first impressions are as positive as possible, which will improve your chances of getting to the interview stage (where you’ll, of course, wow the interviewer with your sparkling personality). Choosing an elegant, legible typeface and setting it nicely on the page will have more positive impact than a layout weighed down with gradients, eyesore colors and novelty fonts. Show off your creative side in a subtle way, by proving that you know when there’s a time and a place for being ultra-experimental…and for some jobs you may apply for a professional resume isn’t the place to do it.
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