It’s not easy to stand out in your job search when your resume is in the same twelve-point font as every other black and white resume that recruiters have to sift through. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Whether you are looking for a job at home or abroad, try some of these steps to give your resume a creative boost that draws attention…
Whether you are looking for a job at home or abroad, try some of these steps to give your resume a creative boost that draws attention:
In This Article
Use easy to read, professional fonts
You can’t go wrong with the basics, like Arial, Calibri, Helvetica, and Times New Roman, but adding another font can work well.
For example, if the rest of your text is Arial, try a different sans-serif font (meaning letters without the ‘tails’, like Arial) for the headings. Search online for ‘font pairings’ for more ideas.
Some fonts should be avoided at all costs, like Comic Sans, Papyrus, and Bradley Hand. Impact is a great font, but it’s best left off of your resume. Avoid using script or handwriting fonts, as these are often difficult to read and can sometimes come across as unprofessional.
Other ideas to spruce up your typography include: mixing up text size (but not too large or too small – it must be legible and never ‘yell’ at the viewer); varying the formatting; and/or using color to easily distinguish headings and other text. Even a light grey, all caps heading in another simple font can accentuate each section when using something like Arial, 12pt, black for most of the text.
And always remember to save the resume as a PDF so your fonts stay intact when you send it.
More white space, please
Be creative and memorable with the text you write, but be succinct to allow more portions of your page to be left open. Then you can layout your text in a way that pulls in and focuses the eye.
What do you want a recruiter or potential employer to read about you right away? How can you use white space to push their eyes to that spot? You don’t need one-inch margins to achieve this – think about white space all over the page, not just the edges.
As you think about text and white space, remember balance, too. If using a large logo or graphic, balance the visual weight of the object with symmetrically placed text.
A black and white resume can be designed in an eye-catching way, but a splash of color can grab attention, too.
When including color, choose two to four colors that work well together (search color wheels and schemes online for ideas). If using brighter, bolder colors, keep them as accents and apply the softer, muted colors to everything else. In other words, don’t use orange or yellow all over the page and avoid neon.
Also, colors often evoke certain emotions, which can work for or against you when a recruiter or HR professional is looking at your resume and can say a lot about your personality, whether you’re bold, quiet, energetic, and so on.
Choose images and graphics wisely
Images and graphics are not traditionally used on resumes, but some well-designed images, such as those added to infographic resumes, can make your resume stand out.
But if you do use an image or graphic, remember not to use clipart or anything that looks like it could be clipart, as it can make your resume look amateur. Stock photo sites usually have thousands of professional images and graphics. Always use images that look professional.
Remember file size
The more colors, graphics, images, gradients, shadows, and other elements you include, the larger your file size becomes. The file should stay below any email limits.
Don’t be afraid to do something out-of-the-box
If you really want to get noticed, try something unconventional and prove to any recruiter or company that you are the right candidate. Infographic resumes provide a way to tell your story and showcase more of your personality – standing you out from the crowd. But unless you have experience with graphic design, you might consider using a creative resume design service to bring your resume to life.
Keep it simple
Spicing up your resume may increase your chances of scoring an interview or landing a job, but remember that ultimately, simplicity is often key to good design.
‘Simple’ does not necessarily equal ‘traditional’, so searching online (including on Pinterest) for creative resume design examples can help you to see what grabs your eye and why. Is it the amount of white space, the colors, or the typography? Notice how many attractive pieces are actually simple in their design and layout.
So, when you are looking for a job at home or abroad, remember that even making one or two small changes can go a long way to make your resume more noticeable and potentially land you the job of your dreams.
I wish you all the very best in your job search!