How to Give Your Resume a Creative Boost

by Erin Schreiner Google

    When you package it up and send your resume out into the world, you do so with the fervent hope that this carefully crafted employment record/show-off document catches the attention of those with hiring power. Capturing this sought-after attention isn’t always easy, however, as many employers are inundated with resumes. Instead of just hoping that your resume makes the impact you seek, put a bit more effort into it by spicing up this could-be-humdrum document with a few creative additions.

    Add simple and subtle creativity to your resume by spicing it up with some color. Select a color that sends a message about who you are, suggests William Arruda for the Ladders website. Try red to express passion, orange to show determination, green to indicate your love for the environment or blue to convey trust, Arruda says. Use this color in your resume design, printing key text in that color instead of just bolding it. Create blocks of the selected color on the sides of your resume to hold extra information, like your references. While some creative resume options may be too much for traditional office jobs, this one is benign enough not to offend, regardless of how old-school your resume reader may be.

    Instead of spelling out your accomplishments in overly complex, wordy passages, create a graphic that communicates this information, recommends Alexis Grant for U.S. News & World Report. Try adding a bar graph in which the bars represent your level of confidence with different industry-common programs. Either of these visually appealing options will communicate the necessary information while catching readers’ attention.

    Do you have a Web presence? Direct your resume readers there effortlessly with a tech-savvy, creative addition to your resume. Place a QR code -- one of those broken-checkerboard-looking boxes -- at the top of your resume. When readers scan this box with their smartphones or tablets, they'll be directed to a Web page of your choosing. Create a QR code utilizing one of the many free online tools that do so and stick it at the top of your resume to catch attention and impress.

    If you're applying for a traditional office job, sticking with some high-quality stock paper might be your best bet, but if you're seeking a job in a field where creativity is prized, try the ultimate in creative -- printing your resume on something other than paper. Follow in the shoes of Melissa Washin who, as reported by Business Insider, printed her resumes on fabric and embroidered her monogram on the top. This stand-out creativity will surely make your resume one to remember.

    About the Author

    Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, Trails.com and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.

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