“I’ve sought help on making sure my résumé contains the right information – now I want to make it look visually appealing so it stands out in the sea of résumés. Do you have any tips?” – Tan from Muskegon, WI
Thirty seconds: that’s how long an employer will scan your résumé before determining whether you’re a viable candidate for the position you’re applying for. Incorporating creative and design elements into your résumé, when done correctly, can help you stand out among the stack of résumés.
First, you’ll want to evaluate whether a more creative résumé is right for the job to which you’re applying. An infographic-style résumé may work great for a marketing or technology position, but not be appropriate for other fields, such as health care or accounting. You may want to develop multiple versions of the same résumé and tailor the one you send based on the company and the specific position you’re pursuing.
You’ll also want to be sure that any styling allows your experience and skills to shine without overshadowing them. Start by developing a solid résumé that works well in any format, then choose a design that accentuates your strongest areas. Remember: even the most visually appealing résumé won’t land you the job if you can’t demonstrate you have the right experience for the position.
If you do decide a creative résumé is right for you, keep the following considerations in mind:
Lastly, before investing time in creating a visually appealing résumé, make sure it’s something the employer can accept. Some companies only accept résumés submitted electronically, meaning you’ll need to save most designed résumés as PDFs to preserve formatting. Other employers may have their own online forms or require a specific formatting so that their applicant tracking systems can process the information.