Rachelle Pia January 29, 2021 Resume
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.
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).
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.
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.
Triple-check your own work, and then have someone else look over your resume to ensure it’s 100% clean. There is no room for sloppiness on your resume, said Obeid – a hiring manager will likely automatically dismiss your application if they spot a typo or grammatical error.
Tied to the tip above, make sure the content of your resume is easy to scan. This is where brevity and proper formatting come into play. Use short sentences and bullet points to make the information easy to skim through. That way, recruiters can easily tell if you’ve got the necessary skills and education for the job you’re applying for. Using lines or section dividers as well as creative resume headings and icons are also great ways to make your resume more scannable. Consider this template that not only uses headings, lines, and bullet points but also plenty of white space to make the content easy to scan and digest.
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