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Developing a Creative Resume

Whether you are a co-op student, graduating senior, or alum, you may want to consider developing a creative resume in addition to a more traditional style resume. Employers spend only 6 seconds, on average, viewing a resume. By incorporating a few simple ideas, your creative resume can help you stand out in a fiercely competitive hiring climate.

Samples

Tips for Developing a Creative Resume

  • Use font, color, graphics, and other simple visuals to make your resume stand out from the pile. Refer to the sample resumes above and search online for inspiration. However, make sure that your resume is unique and reflects your skills and personal style. Do not purchase a resume template or copy the latest trend.
  • Change your layout utilizing columns and text boxes. These features can help to highlight your most relevant information, provide flexibility, and can be used to limit your resume to one page if you have a large amount of information to present. Make good use of white space between sections to allow the reader to easily skim the document. Ensure that your style choices are consistent, crisp, and well-executed. If you are not confident in creating design elements on your resume, stick with a more traditional choice.
  • Explore creativity in the content as well as the design. Include items that reflect your skills in a variety of ways, including academic projects, research, freelance work, professional associations, and activities. Demonstrate your personality by indicating unique hobbies, foreign language skills, travel, goals, special talents, and more.
  • Brand your job search materials and use a consistent theme for your resume, cover letter, business cards, portfolio, and web presence.
  • Check formats for accessibility.  Always convert the document to a PDF, condense file size if appropriate, and ensure that your formatting is correct and hyperlinks are working before sending. As well, double check that the document prints well in both color and black and white.
  • As with all job search materials, proofread thoroughly for spelling and grammatical errors.
  • A creative resume may not be appropriate for every job application or situation. If you are in a very conservative field or applying to a company with a more traditional culture, consider using these creative touches more sparingly. Use company websites and review platforms such as GlassDoor to research target employers and industry standards to determine which style of resume is most appropriate.
  • Build or expand your LinkedIn profile and/or portfolio, and include a link on your resume, cover letters, and in your email signature.
  • For feedback on your creative resume:
    • Co-op Students: Contact your co-op coordinator
    • Seniors and Alumni: Contact Steinbright Career Services counselors
    • Ask faculty members and industry contacts for their advice and opinion