Have you ever seen a resume that grabs your attention with a burst of color? Creative resumes are a great way to get noticed, however, you don’t want the wrong kind of attention. Dressing up your resume with colors and graphics can be a smart move, but only in certain situations. You have to be careful because you risk distracting from your qualifications and achievements. Today we’ll be discussing when it is appropriate to use a more creative resume, and why you should (or shouldn’t!).

When to Use a Creative Resume

The easiest way to know if you should have a more creative resume is to think about your profession. If you are in a more creative field, it could be extremely beneficial to have one. It’s also important to think about who will be seeing your resume. If you’re sending it directly to a manager, they may better understand what you are trying to achieve with the resume. A well-designed resume that showcases your skills and eye for design will make a positive impression on a manager. Not everyone has an eye for creativity, so for this reason, if you have a more basic version of your resume, you should consider including it. This will help your resume get through any screening programs.

When NOT to Use a Creative Resume

Before we go more in-depth with best practices for using a creative resume we’re going to talk about when not to take that approach. As mentioned previously, your profession is the best barometer for if you should use a more creative resume. Think about how creative you are on a typical day at work. If your work is almost 100% technical, it would be inappropriate for you to use a flashy resume with a lot of colors. For a more technical role, most hiring managers will only be concerned with your skills and qualifications. If you’re in accounting, manufacturing, engineering, technology, or any more technical-oriented profession, consider sticking to a basic resume formula. This isn’t to say there is no room for creativity in these jobs, it’s just that creative resumes are much less likely to be entertained by hiring managers.

Basics to Keep in Mind

So if you’ve done your research and have decided to make a more creative resume, there are still some rules you should abide by. The most important aspect to remember is that first and foremost, your resume exists to showcase how you are qualified for the position. If your skills and qualifications get lost in a sea of colors and graphics, the document serves no purpose. Make sure you choose a reasonable font that is easily read. If you’re not sure, a sans serif font is usually a safe choice (just stay away from Comic Sans or any other unprofessional fonts).

It’s also important to make sure if you’re going to use a color other than black for your text, that it isn’t hard to read. Use a nice dark color on text unless you are using a dark background. Use any brighter, exciting colors for bullet points, borders, or graphics. This way your resume still ‘pops’ but the legibility of it won’t suffer. Lastly, make sure your resume is still easy to update. If adding a few new skills or a new job requires overhauling your resume, it’s probably too complex. In addition to taking time, it also will slow your job search. We’ve previously discussed the importance of constantly updating your resume, and making it a living document. Tailoring your resume to each position you apply to will help your chances. Make sure it’s something you can easily do even with a more intricately designed resume.

That’s all we have for suggestions on creative resumes! A well-designed resume can catch attention and also showcase your skills. Just make sure you’re in the right profession! If you’re in a creative field and want a fitting resume but don’t have the design skills, not to worry. There are many templates available online from generous designers. All you have to do is search. Best of luck building a winner’s resume!