12 Creative Resume Ideas: What Works in 2021
The road to a great new job starts with an exceptional new resume. This is especially true if you pursue a career in a creative field, for example, as a copywriter, graphic designer, or video editor. However, many job seekers don’t understand that resume design matters almost as much as the content – especially in the era of remote hiring.
So how can you make sure that—out of all the applicants—it’s your resume that catches your future employer’s eye?
If you hunting for that dream role at a creative company, you’ll need to revamp your old creative resume or CV and give it a modern refresh.
In this article, we look at 12 creative resume design tips for overhauling the format, layout, and structure of your resume. We also share creative resume examples and templates, so you can easily put these resume design tips in action – using VistaCreate templates, of course!
What’s different in resume design in 2021
The new year brings unprecedented opportunity as employers adjust to new COVID-driven realities, such as a massive surge in virtual recruitment and hiring. Rethinking your resume is essential if you want to get ready to take advantage of the evolving employment environment. In this article, you will learn how you can take advantage of the COVID-driven employment environment by reframing your resume.
And what’s best, with VistaCreate, you don’t have to be a graphic artist to create a resume design that will get you noticed. With these 12 tips for resume design, you will showcase your skills, experience, and education without compromising your resume’s visual appeal. Read on and learn!
Resume design tip #1: Keep it simple
It’s important to avoid elaborate borders, images, and other distracting embellishments that take the focus away from your skills and job accomplishments. Excessive design elements might actually hurt your chances of being hired.
Instead of trying to get the attention of a recruiter through visual bells and whistles, focus on utilizing a resume design that focuses attention on the document’s great writing and stellar organization. Resumes with these traits are easier to read, appear more appealing to recruiters, and are more likely to survive an applicant tracking software (ATS) scan.
Take this example as an inspiration:
Resume design tip #2: Make your header bold and easy-to-read
Used a larger font to call attention to your name and double line or whitespace to separate your name from the contact information in the header.
Resume design tip #3: Put your best content up top
A professional summary sits at the top of your resume beneath your header. Its purpose is to offer a recruiter a quick snapshot of your experience and qualifications. You must write your professional summary in the third person, and you should give a brief description of who you are, for example, “A data-driven journalist with seven years of experience”.
Summaries should be short—no longer than three to five sentences—and concise. The idea is to draw the reader in and make them feel compelled to read the rest of your resume. Don’t give your entire life story.
This means that utilizing a resume design that incorporates a professional summary section is critical, so that a recruiter can zero in on your qualifications quickly.
Resume design tip# 4: Use readable fonts
Fonts to consider using for your resume include Arial, Helvetica, or Georgia. Avoid using excessively artsy fonts. One of your primary goals with writing a resume is to make the document easy to read. You accomplish this by using a classic, clean font. VistaCreate resume templates have professionally curated font pairings so you don’t have to waste time picking and matching the fonts.
Resume design tip #5: Personalize your skills section
According to one study, recruiters spend an average of 8 seconds reviewing a resume. Even the most creative of candidates have just seconds to make an impression and convince a recruiter to delve deeper into their qualifications.
Regardless of the resume design you choose, it should feature a prominent skills section. You must customize this section for every job application you write. Since many companies use applicant tracking systems to sort out unqualified candidates, crafting a skills section of your resume precisely is crucial to get past the robots and onto a recruiter’s desk.
How do you do this? First, carefully read the job ad and list all of the skills, experience, and educational requirements it calls for. Next, make a list of all of those qualifications that you possess.
Now, a true lifehack: Add those skills to your resume using the exact language used in the job ad. Too often, it’s the only way to get your resume past an ATS. Most systems cannot understand nuances in language, which means that if a job ad calls for a candidate with “excellent CAD skills,” and you write that you are “great with CAD” you could be eliminated, even though those two statements mean the same thing.
Look at the good structure of the skills section:
Resume design tip #6: Don’t go too far back
Regardless of which resume design approach you choose, curate your content before you start writing. Choose a resume design that allows you to cull your most impressive skills and achievements from your resume in one page.
The general rule of thumb with the Work History/Experience section of a resume is that you share all relevant jobs. If you have more than a decade of experience in your field, then you can cut your earliest jobs from your resume.
This leads us to the next tip:
Resume design tip #7: Limit yourself to two pages
Writing a great resume can indeed take hours, but studies show that recruiters and hiring managers are spending a fraction of that time reviewing the fruits of your labor.
Include one page on your resume for every 10 years of experience. Try not to go over two pages, even if you have decade experience. A resume that goes past two pages is something that is left for job seekers applying to VP/senior-level roles.
A compact design like this can fit in a lot of information:
Resume design tip #8: Concentrate on consistency
Your work experience section is chock full of important information and, depending on the resume design you choose, also chock full of opportunities to ruin the formatting of your resume.
Once you’ve written all of your past work experience, and packed each entry full of the keywords and skills you’ve pulled from the job ad, double-check that the resume format is consistent.
Start by making sure each entry has the company name, location, and dates of employment listed, all in the same order. Thankfully, with the free online resume design editor such as VistaCreate you don’t have to worry about margins and spaces.
The resume format is just as important as the resume design; keeping the formatting uniform will help a recruiter find the information they need with ease.
Resume design tip #9: Highlight your remote and pandemic-related skills
Remote working skills are sought-after in 2021, when COVID forced offices nationwide to close. Now that many employers focused on remote work for the foreseeable future, it’s a good idea to include any work-from-home skills on your resume. Look closely at the job description to see if the company mentions any remote work collaboration tools like Google Docs, Asana, Trello, and more. Include these keywords on your resume where applicable. Also, this is a must for those looking for jobs for introverts, since mastering such online tools stands as a huge advantage when applying to the remote position.
Mention the skills or experiences you gained while working through COVID-19. How did you continue building on your experience? How did you help your business stay afloat? Don’t gloss over this challenging time. The fact you got through it, and especially your achievements during it, shed light on your resilience.
Resume design tip #10: Don’t be afraid of white space
When deciding on a resume design, opt for one that utilizes a good amount of white space. In the resume above, a highly organized resume design that relies heavily on white space to separate the columns of text. This allows the reader’s eye to rest and easily seek out the information they need. Don’t be tempted to fill every line on the page.
Check out this clever example of white spaces use:
Resume design tip #11: Proofread and then proofread again
While not exactly a creative tips, it’s still a reminder that even a professional resume design cannot save your resume from a glaring typo. A tiny typo can land your resume in the recycle bin. Make sure to read your resume twice. Then read it backward or send it to a trusted friend.
Double-proofread every time you write a resume, as your content will change when you customize a resume to the job post. Even if you simply decide to copy-paste the previously edited material into another resume template, you’ll want to proofread it again to make sure that all of the information has been entered properly.
Resume design tip #12: Decide what you can leave off your resume
Your address. In the times of remote work, you can easily skip your physical street addresses in their resume. However, you may want to indicate the country you are based in for work-permit-related and other legal purposes, though. You may also need to include the country if you are looking to relocate for a job.
Professional credentials after your name. Skip J.D., or CPA, or RN. A good rule of thumb is that unless the credential changes how you’re addressed, it belongs elsewhere on your resume.
Academic degrees. Your MA, MBA or Ph.D. degrees go in the education section of your resume, not after your name. Feel free to leave out your GPA, if employers want to know, they will ask.
Random LinkedIn profile link. Instead, make sure to customize the URL to remove the numbers the site will assign. It only takes a minute and makes your resume look more professional. This is easy if you follow a few simple steps.
Let’s face it: we all judge by appearances. And recruiters and hiring managers are no different. Submitting a good-looking resume is just as important as dressing sharp for a job interview. A great resume is your ticket to the creative job you want. Keep your creative resume design clean and simple with VistaCreate resume templates and focus on writing the more engaging document possible.
And remember: the right resume design is a balm for the recruiter’s soul!