Sure, they can catch an employer’s eye, but are those pretty resumes really worth it? Should your resume be Pinterest pretty?
Here’s what our experts had to say:
“I would definitely try it if you have some impressive statistics to include in your resume,” says Job Search Strategist, Arleen Bradley. “Instead of bullet points, use the graphics – especially if you are in a creative field.”
Debra Wheatman of CareersDoneWrite.com believes having a creative resume could help you stand out from the competition.
“I think that some well placed color or graphics on a resume is interesting,” says Wheatman. “It can help set you apart from the myriad job seekers competing for the same position. Of course, you should always write to your audience – so this will not work for every industry. But for many industries the appropriate use of color and/or graphics can work in your favor.”
Not Worth It
Although creative resumes have a better chance of standing out than traditional ones, some of our experts warn against “prettying up” your resume.
Bruce Hurwitz of HSStaffing.com says that these types of resumes can be a “total waste of time, money, and effort” unless you are applying for a graphics-type position.
Why? Having graphics instead of text could interfere with applicant tracking systems, which will disqualify yourself from the start.
“You simply don’t know how the applicant tracking systems will interpret all the graphics, and they will not likely show up on the other end the way you intend,” says Arnie Fertig, head coach at JobHunterCoach.com. “Moreover, resume screeners and hiring managers are much more interested in ‘just the facts’ and regard all the rest as needless distraction.”
According to Ben Eubanks of UpstartHR.com, it’s not worth wasting your time creating something that might not get read it the way it was intended.
“A well-written resume and cover letter will do you more good than all of the little gimmicks in the world,” Eubanks says.
Think About the Job
Before you go all out and create a piece of resume art, think about the position you’re applying for: What types of tasks will you be assigned? Is this company looking for more creativity? Some employers would love to see a resume that’s artsy and out there while others would prefer a more traditional approach.
“You have to remember that the purpose of a resume is to land an interview,” says Bud Bilanich, author of Climbing The Corporate Ladder. “My advice – if you’re applying for a job in a creative field, be creative with your resume. If you’re looking for a more traditional job, create a traditional looking resume. Make sure your resume highlights your accomplishments. It should not be a list of your responsibilities.”
Amanda Haddaway, author of Destination Real World: Success After Graduation for New and Soon-to-Be College Graduates, says creating a graphics-enhanced resume is appropriate for a position in the creative field. However, she warns applicants to keep in mind that many employers use software to scan resumes into a database.
Not sure whether you should try the artsy approach? Roshni P. Kumar of CareerLighthouse.net suggests talking to a resume writer to get more clarity.
“It’s vital to design your resume according to the expectations of your prospective employer,” says Kumar. “It’s surely an art form with difference.”
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