“Thank you for your application, we however regret to inform you that you have not been selected for the position. We wish you continued success.” As a student and/or aspiring young graduate, chances are high that you will stumble upon such a reply at some point in your career. In fact, you can get so many regret letters that it can get discouraging.
Just in case you are wondering if they actually take the time to read through all the job applications; those in HR (Human Resources) departments say that they do – and don’t. Well in a way, they browse through them (sometimes in a matter of seconds), before deciding which resumes spark their interest and they give those a double take.
So if “seconds” is all you have to stand out from other aspiring design candidates, then creative resumes are definitely worth looking into to try and give your resume the competitive advantage. Do however remember that it is a professional setting and while creativity is all important, there are several corporate underlining pointers to take note off.
1. Font alert
A creative resume is a strategic corporate document. While you want to make your modern CV stand out, you need to know the rules of engagement regarding the font. It needs to look creative within a professional setting. All bold, chiller and gothic fonts are a no-no. Whatever font you pick needs to be easy to read, even when the document is printed.
2. Accentuate with colour
Unless you are a designer or applying for a similar creative position; colour should only be used within reason. Avoid creating an adult version of a colouring-in book. Add a dab of colour here and there to highlight your latest qualifications and make your creative resume more intuitive. Less is more, but personalised is good. After all, a resume is a reflection of who you are and if you intend to stand out from the masses it needs to have the ‘edge of difference’.
3. Do your research behind underlying undertones
White font against a yellow background may not be as readable. Remember – you may only have a couple of seconds to captivate your prospective employer. Also read up on the emotional undertones of colour. Red may seem aggressive. Blue tranquil. Green earthy…etc.
4. Avoid an “all bold” resume
Your selected font and font size may also communicate more than what you know. Where possible, avoid “all bold” other than perhaps for headings. It is commanding and can position you as unprofessional and aggressive.
5. If all else fails…
- Don’t lie in your resume
- Include links to work samples
- Check your spelling
- Write a clear cover letter
- Include a reference letter and/or references (double check that contact details still work)
- Create multiple resumes (to highlight the jobs you are applying for)
- Add a personal touch
Don’t give up. Finding a job is trial and error and may not happen overnight, but keep at it and sooner or later you’re bound to win. See it as a journey. Even though it may seem like it is never-ending and nearly impossible to get that dream job; one day you will arrive and the job hunt will be over.
The victory of landing that awesome position you so greatly want should help you strengthen your commitment to follow your dreams. You’re closer now than when you first started. Don’t you dare give up. Go all the way.