It’s no surprise that Covid-19 has skyrocketed unemployment levels, hitting the marketing and advertising world especially hard. As social distancing begins to soften, marketing will pick back up and agencies across the country will begin to hire again.

Currently, there is a tremendous pool of talented, qualified and creative people looking for work. Job hunting is going to be highly competitive and applicants should take every advantage they possibly can starting now. Waiting for the social distancing to subside or end could be a disadvantage as being prepared ahead of time always makes it easier for us to navigate any changes that come along. No one can predict what those changes may be but we can be as prepared as possible. Plus taking some control of your life helps us to feel like we have some kind of say in our destiny. As any marketing driven person knows, it’s important to brand yourself and the easiest way to do that is through your distinctive resume.

Does everyone need an insanely creative resume to job search? No, however, depending on the type of job you are looking for, it can definitely help you get noticed by a prospective employer. Not everyone is a graphic designer and that’s ok.  There are several elements non-designers can incorporate right away to boost their resume’s creativity. 

Font Choice

Details matter in every industry and in the case of your resume, the font you choose is your voice. Prospective employees need to figure out the type of message they want to convey in choosing a font. The distinct type of text can be a designers greatest ally and they can be yours too. Mixing in a playful yet professional font combination, can leave a lasting impression in the way your resume is perceived.

Many studies prove how fonts affect people’s perceptions of product/companies and employers’ perceptions of job applicants:

The Correct File Type

Patrick Hadley, former CEO of the Hadley Media and founder of Biblio, oversaw the hiring of producers, designers and account managers for more than 20 years. He was always surprised to see how many applicants sent in their resumes in the wrong format. If your resume looks janky when it’s opened, it’s going to seriously undermine your professionalism. If it won’t open at all, well that’s even worse. A simple solution is to always save it in a PDF format. Another point Patrick noted was how many candidates tend to ignore the filename. Using only the word, “resume” can convey a lack of attention to detail. Resume file names should always include your first and last name.

Highlighting the Contact Info

A common mistake by many people is placing the contact information at the bottom of the page. Prominently placing this element at the top of the page makes it easier for recruiters to find your most important info quickly while searching through a pile of applicants.

Many resumes are now submitted electronically, in this case, live links should always be included in email addresses and social media profiles (if you want them viewed).

Adding a visual emphasis to the contact information also helps. Even small attractive elements can have a big impact. Changing colors, using new fonts, or adding symbols can be done in any non-design program. Subtle effects can have a big impression.

Making Your Content Unique & Manageable

The human brain is bombarded with content at every moment. Recruiters going through hundreds of applicants can’t possibly read every line of every resume. 

Making a resume quickly skimmable will help address this issue. Scientific research shows that recruiters will spend about six seconds on a resume. In those six seconds, applicants need to make the best use out of headlines, font sizes, colors and columns. Consider this: If your resume had something unique that quickly caught their attention, they may be more apt to give it a bit more consideration?

Similar to magazine articles, columns allow readers to fit in a lot of info into one page without making the text look over-crowded. Using columns help resumes look more visually interesting and make it easier to skim through. In the design world, columns are often not the same size and this concept can be applied to resumes. How you use those columns is where individuals can get creative. For example, the smaller column could highlight facts and achievements you want to promote and the larger column could show detailed information such as job descriptions and experience.

Formatting Content

An easy way to make your content readable is the proper use of headings, subheadings and bullet points for lengthy content. Content can sometimes get wordy when it comes to job descriptions. The best looking resumes successfully keep everything to one page and tighten down their main points into simple bullet points.

While you want to include as much information as possible to properly describe your professional strengths, you don’t want your resume to become a wall of text. In this case, less is more.

FREE – Creative Resume Help

The marketing world has been hit hard due to the coronavirus. If there’s anyone in the industry who could benefit from adding a touch of creativity to their resume, I’d like to offer my assistance at no charge. From formatting, font recommendations to color suggestions… we are all in this together. Please reach out to me directly at [email protected].