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Thursday, September 07, 2006
Using Both Sides of the Brain in Your Resume
I saw a really unique resume today. Keep in mind that I glance at hundreds of resumes every day as part of our free critique program so when I can sit down in the evening and one sticks out in my brain, it’s something to write about. Not only do I remember his resume from the hundreds I’ve seen today (just like a hiring manager might see), but I remember his name. It was Marshall (last name withheld for privacy). The graphic design of the resume was such that it froze itself into my brain.
This particular resume was from a Creative Director who was a graphic artist. It is understandable that a graphic artist would have a very visually creative resume but that doesn’t always hold true. I’ve seen many, many resume (a few today) from job seekers in the creative fields whose resumes are as bland and dreary as a resume from a non-creative field might be expected to be. That’s a shame, too. For people in the creative fields, the design and creativity of the resume itself is a statement about the job seeker’s creativity and sense of design. When the resume is hum-drum traditional, it doesn’t help win interviews.

If you are in a creative field, have fun with designing your resume. Approach it as you might an advertising campaign or a brochure or other artistic project. Create it so that the design elements help your resume stick in the brain of the reader. Use color or maybe graphics (as Marshall did) or some cool background treatments. Use your creativity to SELL your creativity to the reader.

While revving up your design approach, don’t forget content. That was what was wrong with Marshall’s resume. He was not getting the interviews he expected and it was because, despite having great design and creativity, he had neglected the content. It wasn’t clear in words the value that he offered. While human readers would grasp the creativity, he was missing the computer search portions because the content was thin and did not give strong job descriptions.

Resume writing is really a balanced approach but most people concentrate on getting words down and neglect the visual. In Marshall’s case, he did a fantastic job on the visual but neglected the content. Make sure you have an all-around approach – use both sides of your brain!

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