It’s been a long time since the job market has been this competitive. If you’ve been looking for a new job, then you can attest how difficult it can be to get invited for an interview. As such, it’s absolutely crucial to present a distinctive personal brand.
For this reason, many job seekers are augmenting their traditional resumes with visual appeal. Designed resumes have gained increasing importance in the business world, and you want to be recognized as someone who’s willing to put in some extra effort. In the right situation, a well-designed resume can provide the boost you need to get past those initial six seconds and into the callback basket.
Start with the content
When you’re planning a designed resume, your primary consideration is your reader and what he or she is looking for. Recruiters make an initial scan for several important items – your name, your school and degree, and your most recent and past job titles with company name and beginning and end dates. If these aren’t easy to locate and legible, your beautiful resume is useless.
Know your audience
Once the basics are in place, consider the nature of the business where you are applying. Some careers encourage out-of-the-box thinking, and your strikingly designed resume will give you a serious advantage. Other companies have a low tolerance for “coloring outside the lines,” and the untraditional look will penalize you as a result.
For example, if you were seeking a position as a graphic designer, fashion guru, artist or the like, then it’s OK to let your muse go wild! Marketing professionals and software gurus can also leverage a strong visually-oriented resume to their benefit. But what about for entry-level sales?
Don’t overdo it for sales jobs
For recent grads considering entry-level sales careers, keep your resume simple. It should go without saying: too many design elements can be distracting. Yet, many make the mistake of over-designing, and their resumes end up in the trash can because it’s difficult to read or doesn’t render well on a computer screen.
In this case, it’s best to use your creativity to find a template using simple fonts and a minimalist-approach to graphics. Ultimately, you want your designed resume to invite the reader to continue reading, not make it more difficult. Even if you have no sales experience, consider activities where you demonstrated initiative such as an extra-curricular leadership position. Be sure to make it easy for potential employers to contact you by phone or email. Done right, your creative, well-designed resume will set you apart from the crowd and get you on the path to entry-level sales career success.