Developing a Creative Résumé

A good résumé can set you apart from your peers.

Whether you are a co-op student, graduating senior, or alum, you may want to consider developing a creative résumé in addition to a more traditional-style résumé. Employers may spend less than one minute viewing a résumé. By incorporating a few simple ideas, your creative résumé can help you stand out in a fiercely competitive hiring climate.


For additional examples for specific programs, please go to the Sample Résumés page. 

Tips for Developing a Creative Résumé

  • Use font, color, graphics, and other simple visuals to make your résumé stand out from the pile. Refer to the sample résumés above and search online for inspiration. However, make sure that your résumé is unique and reflects your skills and personal style. Do not purchase a résumé 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 résumé 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 résumé, 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 résumé, 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 résumé 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 résumé is most appropriate.
  • Build or expand your LinkedIn profile and/or portfolio, and include a link on your résumé, cover letters, and in your email signature.
  • For feedback on your creative résumé:

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