Standing out from the crowd in such a competitive job market can be tough. A black-and-white, list-formatted resume just blends in with all the rest. You need to demonstrate a quality that will mark you a peg above the rest. Consider uping your game a bit with some creative resume ideas that are sure to make you stand apart from other applicants. By giving your resume a bit of a creative revamp, you can increase your chances of getting noticed and landing that dream job.
Different industries have different application requirements. But for those in creative industries, an unusual or impactful job application can be the difference between getting the interview and not getting called in at all. Marketing, Advertising, Communications, Fashion, Web Design, Web Development, Graphic Design are all areas that you can really excel in through producing a unique resume. Here are a few examples of creative resume ideas that I’ve come across. One or two of them I’ve successfully executed myself.
Building your resume online as an extension of your hard copy version will go along way in your job searching journey. Having a personal website for yourself is one of the best ways to rank for your name on the search engines, it can house all your portfolio samples including video, photography, art files, pdfs, audio interviews, design – just about anything in any format that you’ve ever worked on, plus you can include all your social media handles and even social media feeds (if they are industry related). The domain name should be your full name. You can register a domain name from Go Daddy, Bluehost, Enom and countless other sites. When you register your domain name, make sure that email is included in your package. This way, you can have your own domain name and email as well. For example, I’ve registered alethearobinson.com with Bluehost. The email that I include on my resume is contact (at) alethearobinson (dot) com.
Once you’ve registered your domain name, you can choose from a variety of online platforms to build your resume online. When I first built my online resume I started out using SquareSpace. It’s a really user-friendly platform with clean, simple templates that make building an online resume easy and fun, especially if you are not too tech savvy. Eventually I wanted something a little more layered so I moved over to WordPress. This is a lot more involved and not a quick fix if you’re sending out your resume right away. If you choose to use WordPress, make sure to give yourself plenty of time to perfect the layout, design, graphics and navigation, especially if you’re tackling it on your own like I did. Other great online solutions include Wix, Weebly, and Flavors. There are many more to choose from – just find the one that suits your level of expertise. But your online resume doesn’t need to be robust and involve navigation. Using a website like About Me will provide a simple page with your resume, links to your social platforms, and a brief bio.
Create an Infographic
Turning your resume into an infographic is another great creative resume idea. I haven’t tried this myself but I’ve seen some great examples that well done and definitely made the applicant stand out from the crowd. Vizualize.me is an online tool that can turn your resume into an infographic. It offers six themes and a tone of options for fonts and graphics which is great for getting creative with the design. It’s got all the usual sections for work and education, skills and interests, as well as an awards and honors section. On the downside, there is no option to upload a profile pic, which is weird. Re.vu is another great online tool to turn your resume into an infographic. It has a very cool interface and thirteen themes to choose from. You can also upload a downloadable PDF of your resume linked to your profile. On the downside there is limited (none really) options for customizing colours and font. This restricts the design somewhat. You can however upload a background image and a profile photo. To see an example, check out Barak Obama’s infographic resume. Or if you really want to customize yours to the tea, you can hire a professional graphic designer.
Turn your CV into a Magazine
This is something fun that I am currently in the process of executing. I recently discovered this great site called Blurb that lets you create and publish your own books and magazines. In the past I’ve used Apple’s iPhoto (on iMac’s and Mac Books) to create some really beautiful photo books from my travels, but iPhoto doesn’t have a magazine option. When I came across Blurb I was super excited. I haven’t finished creating my magazine yet, but so far so good. I’m working on a 8. 5 x 11 inches magazine with glossy pages and matte cover. The template includes up to 20 pages. I’m going to print about four magazines at about $3.99 each. The website says it will take about a week to print once the final version has been submitted. The software is free to download (for both Mac and PC – I’m on a Mac). I’ve only just started my magazine, but so far I’ve created the cover page, and laid in text and images for the first three pages. I plan to include sample work and lots of big headlines in bold colours to call out my experience and illustrate my creative side. Some things to consider if you decide to create a magazine with your resume, you’ll need to consider the quality of images you want to use. Since the magazine only comes in a 8.5 x 11 inches size, images should be high quality so they don’t print blurry. I’ll have to post again once I’m finished my magazine have it printed. But turning my CV into a magazine is something I’ve wanted to try for years so Blurb will be a great way to achieve this.
Create a Personal Promo Pack
If you are graphic designer or even a web developer, putting together a sleek, self promotional package might be right up your alley. A resume promo pack can illustrate all your best assets and skills right off the bat. I really love this “Help is on the Way” promo pack by Wong Sockying. It demonstrates his expertise in art direction, branding, typography in a really clever, cheeky way.
Create an Email Campaign
I originally read about turning your job hunt into an email campaign on Muse. A young marketing professional wanted to showcase her marketable skills in a unique and compelling way. But she also needed to apply to a vast number of jobs in a short amount of time. She decided to create an email marketing campaign called “Get a one-week free trial of Lauren.” Using MailChimp, she built a list of people who could potentially hire her. She also researched the email addresses of additional hiring managers from job postings she was interested in. All combined, she had a total of 162 people on her list. She then used MailChimp to create an email blast and subject line. After creating a very simply designed email blast, she received 74 opens and a click-through rate of 15.1%. But the real clincher? She received 15 interview offers within days. One of which, led to a full-time gig as a marketing director. Sure, she could have just created and sent the emails one by one – but the great thing about using MailChimp or Constant Contact, a similar online email solution, is that there are plenty of nicely designed templates to choose from plus you can embed additional work samples to further seal the deal. In addition, email campaigns allow you to track exactly who has opened up your emails and who has clicked through. This gives you real time knowledge of who’s interested in your experience. This way, you’re not just sitting around waiting for the phone to ring.
I’ve listed a number of creative resume ideas here. Some I’ve tried with great results and some I haven’t had to do. But whatever you end up doing, whether it be a regular paper-based resume or something like Robby Leonardi’s interactive resume and a design portfolio, your resume has to be tailored to your profession, industry, career goals and also your own personality. It has to be executed and delivered at the highest level.
If you’ve been searching for a job without success, it may not be your experience, but how you are presented. Let me write your resume so you stand out! I can also create an online portfolio or social media resume for you. Email me today to get started.