The creative resume

Creating a graphic resume is easy with our complete guide! Stand out with a creative resume

Resume Templates

It is becoming increasingly common for jobseekers to reject the traditional, standard black-and-white word resume and use in its place more original, creative resumes that are designed to attract attention from the hiring manager.

Creative resumes encompass a range of different styles and designs using colors, infographics, images, icons, etc. These types of artistic resumes are generally more often used by talent-related professions such as designers, marketing professionals and frequently by those who are targeting a specific role or company.

Learning how to make a creative resume that stands out in the application process depends entirely on the needs of your professional profile and the position you’re applying to. This is because each creative resume will take a different format and adapt itself to the requirements of the post and style of the company or jobseeker.

Just as functional resumes emphasize abilities and downplay work experience for those candidates with gaps in their work experience, creative resumes adapt to the needs of the applicant by using different aspects to promote the strengths of their profile, based on the required qualities of the job listing.

In today’s competitive job market, it comes as no surprise that people are resorting to more abstract ways of applying for work and for some candidate profiles it can be extremely beneficial to know how to make a creative resume. Therefore, the following guide will help jobseekers get inspiration to create an innovative resume that will catch the eye of the hiring manager for its vision and inventive nature.


How to make a creative resume

When a jobseeker needs to produce a resume, it is time to start thinking about how to brand him or herself, how they can sell themselves as a useful addition to a company. This means they need to draw up a draft resume with their work experience, qualifications, skills and any other career-relevant information that could add value to their job application. Once they have a good basic idea of what to include in a resume, it’s time to decide how to go about building a creative resume to highlight the most pertinent information in a way that will put their name at the top of the pile.

The following are some expert tips for making a creative resume that every candidate should consider before applying for their next job:

  • There are innumerable creative resume ideas and methods of creating an original, expressive resume that will bring attention to your candidacy such as video resumes, graphically designed resumes, even resumes made out of different materials. But it is vital that each candidate bears in mind the industry and company they aim to apply to because creative resumes are not suitable for all jobs, neither for all sectors nor candidate types. It is also essential that each candidate takes into consideration their audience: Who will receive their creative resume? What are they looking for? Is a creative resume appropriate?
  • If you decide that a graphic resume is the way to go to succeed in your search for a new job or career change, you will need to decide what you should include to make your resume relevant to the job vacancy. This means each candidate should decide what elements of a creative resume are suitable to display their skills, experience, and achievements using the resume format that is appropriate for their profile. The different aspects that creative resumes employ include logos, icons, images, infographics, and colors to highlight and illustrate the various important areas. It is vital that you do not go overboard with color schemes and graphics because this will simply distract the reader from what is truly important – the content.

HR experts and hiring managers do not like to receive creative resumes that are messy, full of different colors, difficult to follow, overpacked with images, etc. It is critical that a creative resume remains legible and easy to understand.

  • Another top tip to consider when making a winning creative resume is to customize any resume template you might use to your unique professional needs. This means you should personalize the format and structure as best suits your profile and remember to adapt the resume to each job vacancy, sector or company as necessary.
  • To ensure a creative resume includes what is necessary for a professional job application, remember to use keywords that can be found in the job listing, company website or social media profiles of other professionals in the same field, such as adjectives for characteristics and skills, qualifications and references to experience using software or in areas of the specific sector/occupation. Again, do not go overboard. Just because you’re using an artistic style of resume, you should not try to include keywords in every other sentence because you’re writing for a human audience and a hiring manager will spot this tactic straight away, which will surely be detrimental to your application.
  • As well as maintaining control on how many keywords you include in a resume, it’s vital to remain clear and concise throughout the resume, focusing on what is important to get across to a prospective employer. It is easy to get distracted by designing a creative resume and forget to concentrate on the subject matter in an uncomplicated and intelligible manner.
  • Additionally, due to the freedom of letting your imagination go wild with graphic resumes, candidates often forget one crucial stage – Proofreading! It is pivotal that you remember to re-read your finished resume and check that all spelling, formatting, and grammar, as well as any infographics, are correct and mistake-free. You can make a resume as beautiful as possible but one small grammatical or orthographic error could send it straight to the trash and all your hard work would be for nothing.

A common method to ensure the creation of a first-rate graphic resume is by using an online creative resume builder which can offer you various templates to work from and allows you to include the right aspects for your profile.

Creative resume format

The principle reason jobseekers choose to employ a creative resume is to engage their readers in a different way, to stand out in the job application process by providing a unique and original resume as opposed to a simple, standard, word resume template with their details included in a list layout. Therefore building a creative resume structure is a vital part of the process and there are several important factors that candidates should keep in mind to create a successful graphic resume that will bring attention to their candidacy.

To begin with, although creative resumes allow jobseekers to be more artistic and imaginative with how they display their professional information, it is essential to stick to the standard rule of not surpassing one A4 page to include all the relevant details.

Within the creative resume layout, there are various factors to be considered such as where to place logos, how many and what kind of fonts to use, how to format texts, whether to include infographics or if icons are best to display certain information, etc. Additionally, the color scheme is highly significant to ensure you give the right impression to the prospective employer.

Candidates are not recommended to overdo the colors or variations in font, 2 different types of both is sufficient to create an artistic, eye-catching resume. Also, when adding formatting such as bullet points, underlining, italics, bold, different sizes, refrain from using an excess of styles because it simply makes the page look cluttered and difficult to read.

Readability is still key to attracting the attention of a hiring manager on your resume so it is crucial you ensure that despite adding colors or graphics to emphasize certain areas or decorate your resume, the key points are easy to find when someone scans the page to select the most important information.

Employing an online creative resume builder can help with controlling the resume formatting and also inspire the use of different elements that best fit your professional profile.

Traditional Vs Creative Resume

With these tips and expert creative resume advice, candidates can build a graphic resume to send with their job application to make them stand out from the crowd but is it always the best option? Although creative resumes are becoming more and more popular in the ever more competitive job market, is it possible that using a creative resume can cause more harm than good to your job application?

Creative resumes

There are many advantages of creative resumes for different sectors and profiles but this does not mean that the traditional resume no longer has a place in recruiting. Many professionals in human resources and recruiting maintain that a well-written and concise, plain resume is more effective in many instances than its creative counterpart.

Creating an artistic resume allows candidates to be imaginative and often make an impression on the hiring manager before they even know the basics of the person’s candidacy, meaning it can be beneficial as a method to project a memorable image which could help applicants to move forward in the process.

Additionally, another benefit of creative resume writing is that jobseekers can really adapt the resume to their profile and character and portray more of who they are in just one simple document. They are generally easy to build, especially if you use a creative resume template to work from.

On the other hand, given the division between hiring managers and recruiters regarding traditional and creative resumes, there are certain factors that should be considered before going ahead with an artistic resume in all cases.

Traditional resumes

Certain industries are generally considered more formal and candidates should maintain the traditional resume format in nearly all cases within finance, executive, academic positions, etc. These sectors require more conservative resumes which do not distract from the content in anyway because the hiring manager simply wants to know exactly what experience the candidate can bring to the new vacancy and is not so concerned with various skills or levels of understanding of different programs, etc. which are aspects often illustrated in creative resumes with images.

Whereas some people may be excited by the idea of spicing up a resume by including graphics and colors, it can be complicated to maintain a professional look and feel and therefore could hinder your job search if many recruiters cannot distinguish the key facts from the background noise.

As well as to the eye, it is important to consider the reaction of digital recruiting technology to creative resumes. Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) systems are designed to filter through the initial load of resumes received and screen them for the relevant qualifications and experience that are required for the position. If a creative resume is over embellished and unclear, it will be discarded in this first stage of the application process because the system is not designed to search out the information if it is not already clear.

It is crucial that all candidates bear in mind their audience when creating a resume, whether they choose to make a creative or a traditional resume, because the prospective employer will take a glance at your resume for less than a minute to make a snap decision as to whether your candidacy should be included in the next stage of the process. This is why each applicant should concentrate on clarifying the key elements of their profile and ensuring to answer any questions the potential employer could have or has posed in the job listing to best capture their attention.

Who should use a creative resume?

Distinct professional profiles require diverse resume types.

There are many professions that may not be suited to using a creative resume layout because it is not regarded as appropriate for their sector or it does not allow them to demonstrate their achievements and experience in the best manner.

Similarly, there are other positions who benefit greatly by being able to display their resume information in a creative manner. Certain professions may be obvious contenders for creative resumes, but there are also those jobseekers who, although typically their role or industry as such may not be the common user of creative resumes, apply to companies whose culture allows for a more artistic job application and would appreciate an innovative resume.

It is relatively common to see creative graphic design resumes as well as creative marketing resumes but less commonly executive candidates use creative resumes.

Other industries that may be more accustomed to receiving graphic resumes include IT programming and development, other designer or artistic sectors such as creative writer resumes and even the occasional unique creative business resume.

Although director positions are more likely to attract traditional resumes on the whole, creative director resumes are a possibility for certain situations and companies, especially if the specific business fosters a creative atmosphere.

Sometimes, it can be a gamble and if you are unsure whether to use a creative professional resume or not, therefore you have two options: send both a creative resume and a traditional resume together or simply stick to the standard resume template to stay on the safe side.

Creative resume templates

If a candidate is unsure of where to begin to make a creative resume, there are different tools that can help such as creative resume templates and online creative resume builders that guide jobseekers through the process of making a winning graphic resume that could be the ideal unique twist needed to get the hiring manager’s attention.

Creative resume samples allow candidates to get ideas of which aspects of a graphic resume would work for them and how to manipulate graphs, pie charts, skill measuring bars, etc. to adapt them for their own profile.

Additionally, jobseekers can begin by using a creative resume example and modifying it to fit the needs of their professional profile and the vacancy they’re applying to by adding or removing sections, changing colors or fonts, etc. Uniqueness is fundamental when using a creative resume template so applicants are advised to customize as much as possible, without going overboard. Remember – simplicity is key!

As building an effective resume is just one part of the overall job application, jobseekers should also consider how they plan to produce a professional cover letter or other documents to accompany their application which maintain the style used in the resume type chosen.

ResumeCoach can help candidates maintain consistency by offering a selection of resume templates on the online resume maker platform which also offers a corresponding selection of cover letter templates that can match the user’s needs and ensure a uniform application to send an organized and professional image to the potential employer.

Last modified on May 26th, 2020

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