Creativity is meant for some, not all industries
When preparing your resume, you always want to stand out from the crowd, so yours will get noticed by the hiring manager. Many resume experts suggest that you continually refresh and reconstruct not only the content, but also the design. This can be as simple as changing the font or colors, or as complex as reworking it in its entirety to better suit your needs.
For many fields like graphic design, artists, technology, and marketing, it is acceptable, and often times expected that you take your resume above and beyond where creativity is concerned.
This is not true of all industries of course; attempting to present a colorful, icon-rich resume when applying for a CEO position would not have the same effect as using it to apply in the education field. Here are a ten examples of exceptional creativity:
1. Bad ass artistic skills
Rovoz Zhong and Cathlyn Vania: Both of these contain hand drawn, original, graphics and fonts to make it both personal and attention-getting. Especially in the case of the first example, by showcasing a portfolio through telling a story, employers would be more likely to take a few extra moments reading over the content before reading the next resume in a stack.
2. Fold it up!
Candice Witpas and Dollcee Khattar: These two resumes are compact, foldable, and innovative. The novelty of being able to take a resume to go, and in fact, put in it your pocket, is an attraction in and of itself, but combined with the designs and amount of information they were able to include, make it functional, as well as innovative.
3. The whole package
Jeff Ernst: Offers a resume in more than one way. In this creative example, Ernst creates a full package of self-promotion materials. The package contained a resume, business cards, and a self mailer. The self mailer was quite creative as well; it is a pillow pocket containing little strips of paper; each one with a detail about the person on one side and a design manifesto on the other which is a bit like a fortune cookie for employment ventures: very cool.
4. A modern infographic
Roberta Cicerone: Gives an illustrated resume example. This resume looks a bit like an infographic, giving the person a quick, easily accessible, visual overview of your skills, job history, and education, without the need to read line after line of boring data on a stark white piece of paper. Anything that livens up a resume (again, while ensuring it is career appropriate) is a good thing.
5. Clever rap sheet
Aidyn Anh Huynh This resume takes on the feel of a wanted poster. It quickly and humorously gives an overview of proficiency, education, and quirks, presented as a “rap sheet.” The creativity of this design, coupled with the all black layout, definitely draws the reader in and would stand out in a pile of resumes on plain cardstock.
6. A working anatomy
Alyssa Lorfing turned her resume into a working “anatomy.” She created a graphic design of herself and then labeled each part with things she could do. Sharing her artistic skills, abilities, and history in a single graphic, give the employer and overview of not only her employable skills, but also a good idea of her graphic arts skills, since they are visually available on the resume.
7. And this one includes a maze
Lidya Limanto: I love the design on this one. I’m not sure if it is the contrast of one side against the other, or the fact that she included a maze, but I love that everything is in pictures. Again, this one reads a bit like an infographic, but since she was seeking employment in the graphic design field, it works.
8. Hello My Name Is
Syril Bobadilla: The use of bright colors, labels, and font make this resume visually appealing. The “Hello There, I’m Syril” label is reminiscent of the peel-and-stick name tags many of us wore and continue to wear to networking events and meetings. I also like the engagement of the checkboxes under “hire me.”
9. So extravagant
Luca Polizzotto: This design caught my eye because it is so different. The dark theme with the contrasting gold is engaging somehow because it is so rich. It seems a bit extravagant. I also liked that he charted his software and personal skills at the bottom. It approaches the delivery of boring facts, in a more familiar “tech” manner.
10. And of course, BEER
Brennan Gleason: When all else fails, promote yourself on beer. Seriously. (Again, probably not the best idea for many fields, but a novel idea nonetheless).
Apply these ideas to any visual project
While these examples are specific to resumes, the same principles can be applied to almost any project: keep your ideas fresh, do not be afraid to mix things up, and sometimes stepping outside the box can give you the best results. Keep your specific field in mind, however, to avoid embarrassment, but a new layout, or a spot of color here and there can liven up a presentation of facts and figures.
Favorites selected from an article by The Neo Design.