You’re a natural at designing things that capture people’s attention. But when it comes to job hunting, you probably leave much of the head turning to those carefully chosen pieces inside your portfolio.
Why not apply a little more creative mojo to your resume? It’s true that everyone needs a traditional resume formatted as a PDF or Word document. But creating a second, somewhat unexpected version just might be your job-hunting secret weapon.
Proven Resume Tips from the Pros Who Know:
1. Rock the Infographic
Infographics are all the rage, and they’re catching on with creative directors as a way to gauge a prospective employee’s design chops. In a national survey conducted by The Creative Group, 20 percent of marketing executives and 21 percent of advertising executives named the infographic as their preferred resume format.
What’s behind the trend? Graphics naturally appeal to visual thinkers, and infographic resumes give busy creative directors an instant snapshot of your skills and experience. Plus, the format offers managers the opportunity to immediately see how you use design to communicate.
Quick tip: Hold your infographic resume to the same design standards as the rest of your portfolio. It’s tempting to go for clever, but don’t allow the design to overshadow the information you’re presenting.
2. Go Social
LinkedIn is a no-brainer for job hunters, but, increasingly, your total social media presence makes up a resume all its own. To widen your social resume, you might create a profile on a site like about.me, which could act as a less formal, but perhaps more comprehensive, introduction. You also may be able to put your design work in front of more creative directors’ eyes by posting select projects on Behance or submitting projects to popular design blogs.
Quick tip: Know your target audience. In a survey we conducted, 16 percent of advertising executives named a social or online profile as their preferred resume format. But only 4 percent of marketing executives said the same.
3. Tweet Your Twesume
Here’s a true creative challenge: Condense your resume down to 140 characters. Don’t think it’s possible? Just head over to Twitter and check out the #twesume hashtag. You’ll find creative job hunters tweeting out things like: “Type-obsessed junior designer seeks gig at small Chicago design firm.”
These tweets help spread the word that you’re job hunting and may even help you catch the attention of a recruiter or hiring manager. Most twesumes include a link to an online resume, blog or social media profile.
Quick tip: When you write a twesume, make it count. You might selectively send it as a direct message to a prospective employer or make it your Twitter bio.
4. Venture Into Video
Video resumes date all the way back to VCRs, but the Web is fueling a bit of a comeback. A typical video resume runs a minute or two and features a candidate briefly highlighting his or her most compelling attributes and experience. But if you really want to show off your creativity, put your final cut skills into action. For example, if you’re an illustrator, you can create an animated short about why you’d make a good addition to the team.
Quick tip: Keep your video short – around one minute. Most hiring managers use video resumes as an initial filter, so if it doesn’t quickly grab attention and get to the point, viewers will move on.
In the end, creating an unusual resume can be a bit of a risk, but if it’s done right, you might find yourself juggling job offers. Just don’t forget to check your traditional resume for typos one last time before sending both versions off.
Want more career advice? Subscribe to HOW Magazine for the latest tips and strategy for interviewing, staying creative and more.