You’ve developed an outstanding portfolio, but is your resume equally as impressive? If it’s been a while since your last job search, it may need a new look. Like fashion trends that come and go, so do resume styles. And, just as you wouldn’t show up to a job interview wearing bell bottoms or a hoop skirt, you don’t want to send a resume that makes you appear behind the times. The following tips can help you create a document that will accentuate the positive:
Lose the objective. When you apply for a job, it’s implied that you want a position within the company, and there’s typically no need to elaborate. Most hiring managers are more interested in your qualifications than your overall employment goals. In fact, providing an objective can take you out of the running if it doesn’t coincide with the position at hand.
Keep it chronological. In a poll of executives by our company, a majority said they prefer that resumes be organized chronologically. Unless you have a specific reason not to use this method (e.g., lengthy gaps in employment) it’s best to list your work experience by date starting with your last position and moving backward.
Simplify. As a creative professional, you’ll be judged as much by the appearance of your resume as you are by its contents. That doesn’t mean you need to invest in dual-tone paper or use flamboyant fonts. In fact, simple designs that highlight your strengths will serve you better. First, consider which is more impressive: your job titles in prior positions or the names of your former firms. Then, create a design that showcases the most compelling element. Also, make good use of white space; there’s nothing worse than a busy resume. It’s OK to go to two pages if you have more than five years of work experience.
Focus on accomplishments. Rather than simply listing job duties in previous positions, quantify your achievements whenever possible. For example, instead of saying you were “in charge of designing a variety of direct mail pieces,” note that you “designed direct mail pieces that had some of the highest response rates in your company’s history and contributed to an overall 11% increase in sales.”
Give hobbies the heave-ho. While some employers will ask about your interests outside of work, as a rule you don’t want to include your penchant for Parcheesi or your enthusiasm for ornithology on your resume. Include extracurricular activities only if they relate to the position at hand.
Once you’ve developed your resume, have your contacts review it and provide feedback. Try to gather input from a variety of sources: Recruiters, English majors (they’ll help spot typos!), human resources representatives and fellow creatives will have valuable perspectives to help you create an eye-catching resume that gives you an edge during the job hunt.
When creating a resume DO include:
• Contact information (the more the better)
• Work experience
• Relevant education
• Awards/professional recognition
• Professional affiliations
DO NOT include:
The Creative Group is a specialized staffing service placing creative, advertising, marketing and web professionals on a project basis with a variety of firms.