Designers Should Pay Extra Attention to How Resumes Look

DESIGNERS. A new survey by The Creative Group suggests that your resume may be the right place to start demonstrating your knowledge of good design. Nearly half (46 percent) of advertising and marketing executives interviewed in the survey said for those pursuing creative roles, how a resume looks matters as much as what it contains.

“While the content of a resume is crucial, it first has to capture a hiring manager’s attention. This is especially true for those in creative fields, like design and marketing, and applies to both print and online versions of resumes and portfolios,” said Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group. “Hiring managers should be able to find information quickly and easily, as well as get a sense of your attention to detail.”

The national survey was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service for interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals. The independent research firm that conducted the survey asked advertising and marketing executives, “How important would you rate the overall look and feel of a creative professional’s resume when you are evaluating potential hires?”  Their responses:

  • 46% Very important
  • 43% Somewhat important
  • 7% Not important
  • 4% Don’t know/no answer

The Creative Group offers five tips for developing a resume that’s easy on the eyes:

Consider the user experience. Most hiring managers spend seconds scanning resumes to spot the ones they want to read in detail. Use simple fonts, standard margins, section headings and bullet points to highlight key attributes and help employers navigate the information.

Don’t overdesign it. While it’s OK to incorporate elements of your personal branding (such as a logo) into your resume, refrain from excessive embellishments. For example, including too many fonts and colors can be distracting. Instead, use your portfolio to showcase your creativity and artistic style.

Paint a picture worth a thousand words. A well-done visual or infographic resume can help you stand out, as long as the graphic is tailored to the job opening. Make sure your graphics don’t overshadow the actual information, and offer a traditional version, too.

Take advantage of all your options. If you want employers to have a more complete picture of your individuality, you can use many different tools to build online profiles that showcase your strengths and career accomplishments. Links to these profiles are easy to share via email and social media. These sites offer more space to list relevant interests and links to a personal website, blog or online portfolio.

Prepare a ‘plain’ version. Although most email systems can accommodate attachments (such as Word documents and PDFs), not every hiring manager or organization is able or willing to accept them. Cover your bases by pasting a plain or ASCII text version of your resume into the body of an electronic message or online job application.

About the Survey

The national study was developed by The Creative Group and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on more than 500 telephone interviews — approximately 375 with marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees and 125 with advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.

About The Creative Group

The Creative Group specializes in placing a range of highly skilled interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals with a variety of firms on a project and full-time basis.


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Writing an Effective Resume


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