What format does an employer prefer when it comes to a resume? Will spending the time to create a unique resume help you land a job? No, not always. However, an unorthodox approach might undoubtedly help you stand out to a potential employer, depending on the type of job you're looking for.
According to a study by The Creative Group, even for creative occupations, 70% of employers preferred traditional resumes (PDF/Word). Only 20% job respondents expressed interest in infographics, and fewer still (4%) or 2% preferred video resumes over social or internet profiles. Your initial contact with a potential employer will be through your CV. The golden rule is to make your CV stand out because it is very likely that it will be one of many competing for attention.
But precisely how should you go about that? How do you make sure a recruiter notices your resume? The jury is still out on whether you should be bold and creative with your CV or if you should stick to a traditional format and make yourself stand out in some other way. A different style will frequently get you noticed.
To assist you in making the best choice, we will examine the advantages and disadvantages of both creative and traditional CVs.
The benefits of a creative resume
Your professional background should undoubtedly speak for itself; wouldn't a visually beautiful resume take away from some of the incredible tales you have to share? We are absolutely capable of handling several information streams at once. The hiring manager's eyes will still be drawn to the images while they are taking in your professional story. After all, 90% of the information that is sent to our brains is visual.
Not everyone should use a nontraditional resume. They can, however, be quite helpful for certain kinds of job hopefuls. For job searchers in particularly creative fields like marketing and design, unconventional resumes are ideal. Online resumes are particularly useful for candidates who wish to upload films, music samples, photos, or other works pertinent to their business.
People who work in web design and information technology can also showcase their skills on an online résumé. Anyone looking for work in social media may consider using a social resume. As a result, unconventional resumes might aid in highlighting a person's abilities and qualities.
People without a lengthy job experience might also benefit from unconventional resume formats. They enable applicants to place more emphasis on their skill set than their traditional employment history.
A Nontraditional Resume's Drawbacks
Despite the fact that atypical resumes are growing more and more common in a range of industries, you shouldn't start drafting one right away. First off, a lot of employers still favor a conventional, typed resume.
Many larger organizations use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to automatically screen resumes; these systems look for keywords that show whether or not a candidate has the necessary knowledge and/or experience for the post. Some employers who use ATS will simply discard unconventional resumes because ATS demands text-based resumes.
Other employers simply don't like unconventional resumes because they think graphics and other visuals are superfluous additions. As a result, when thinking about developing a nontraditional resume, it's crucial to take into account both your industry and the particular employers you are interested in.
What is the verdict?
There are, of course, many tiers to creating a creative CV. You may make it stand out and showcase your design abilities by using color, graphics, and logos. These will undoubtedly attract attention, but will it be the correct kind?
When coming up with a unique CV idea, consider the employer or recruiter's perspective. Will they have no trouble reading it? Can they quickly identify the key details?
Think about the purpose of each inventive element that deviates from the conventional structure. Your CV becomes cleaner as a result? Does it demonstrate a crucial competency? Or are you merely attempting to stand out for its own sake? When submitting a creative CV, it's crucial to understand your target audience. It might be the finest way to display your talent if you're applying for a design job. A professional services firm, on the other hand, would probably prefer the conventional format. Don't always apply with your creative CV. Keep a conventional version available.
Make sure your CV doesn't require extra effort from recruiters to read when you add creativity, flash, or uniqueness to it. Make sure the print is still legible and that any colors or graphics don't distract from the message.
Before sending your resume to prospective employers, if you're unsure, have someone else review it.