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7 Creative Resume Design Layouts That Will Set You Apart

7 Creative Resume Design Layouts That Will Set You Apart

Whether you’re a recent graduate or a season worker, you already know that the job market is saturated right now with many, many job seekers. Employers are often inundated with applications – according to Inc. Magazineevery corporate job opening receives 250 applications, on average. It can be easy for your application to get lost in the crowd. I know a depressingly large number of people personally who have gone more than a year at a time trying to find a new job, with no luck.

But don’t lose hope! There are steps you can take to make a resume that will distinguish you from the crowd while still remaining professional and practical. If you’re not confident in your design chops, there are a number of sites that offer resume templates. But the more personalized you make your resume, the better.

This article will walk you through 7 creative resume design layouts that will set you apart from other applicants.

A word of caution: the type of design layout you use for your resume should depend on the kind of company you are applying for. Research the company to try and get a sense of their values and company culture before applying.

It’s a good idea to also have a traditional resume on hand for cases where a company probably wouldn’t be receptive to an outside-the-box resume. When you’re not certain if you should use your creatively designed resume, submit a traditional resume and bring your creative resume to the interview as an example of what you can do.

1. Classic Layout With a Twist

You might be a bit nervous about making a resume that’s too out there and outside of the box. That’s OK. The fact is, some companies won’t be as receptive to unusual, outside of the box resumes. But that doesn’t mean your resume have to be just like everybody else’s – you can use small design embellishments to give your resume a little something different while still maintaining a classic, simple layout.

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For example, you can use pictograms to illustrate things like skill level, interests, social media accounts, or anything that can be represented by an icon.You can also add some flare to a traditional resume by using colours and different fonts as accents. A pop of colour will make your resume more visually interesting without distracting from the bare-bone information. This will make your resume more visually interesting than a traditional resume, while still maintaining the tried resume format.

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    2. Timeline Layout

    If you want to highlight your professional journey in your resume, a timeline is an effective layout. The easiest way to do this is to map your work experience in chronological order from left to right or from the top to the bottom of the page. The example below resembles a traditional resume, but uses a timeline as a way to organize and connect each section.

    timeline 11

      But you could also get more even more creative and use your timeline resume to tell a story, like this freelance designer did in her resume.

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      timeline resume ex

        3. Picture Perfect Layout

        The rule of thumb used to be that you shouldn’t include a photo on your resume. But with more focus being given to visual content and with the prominence of social media, attitudes towards photos on resumes seems to be changing. After all even if you don’t include a photo on your resume, employers can easily search for your social media profiles to see what you look like. And if the photo you include in your resume reflects the culture of the company you are applying for, you will seem like a better fit for their team.

        Think about it: how many people tell you that they suck at remembering names? But faces are easier to remember. Include a photograph in your resume to make your resume more memorable than the hundreds of other applications that are only words. Make sure the picture you use isn’t so big or high resolution that it makes your resume file huge. If your file is too big, employers will get frustrated when they try to download it. Take the employer’s convenience into consideration.

        If including a photograph on your resume is still feels like too much, provide the links for your Twitter, Linked In, and Facebook.

        97c44d4e-8b44-4d51-9778-440e38d2a860 (1)

          4. Map Layout

          If you’ve worked in a number of remote and exciting locations, or if the work you have done has impacted people in different locations, a map chart can be a fun and effective way to visualize that. The map chart can act as a visual embellishment for your Experience section. The example below uses a map to show where the applicant has lived and worked, without taking too much attention away from the rest of her resume.

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          map resume 1

            You could also take the same route as this person and design your resume to resemble a map itself, to signify the route your career has taken/the route you would like it to take moving forward. A layout like this is a lot more complicated and time consuming to design, though.

            map ex 2

              5. Graphs and Charts Layout

              If you don’t want to make the focus of your resume a single chart, you can still use charts and graphs to visualize certain key achievements. For example, if your work in a past position drove a notable increase in sales for the company, you could visualize the increase using a line chart. You could also use a bar graph to show your skill level in certain programs.

              A word to the wise: keep your charts simple and make sure you select the right type of chart for the information you are communicating. A poorly made chart will only confuse readers – the opposite of what you want on your resume!

              Take the CV below, which uses a combination of different charts and icons to communicate the applicant’s experience.

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              cv ex

                6. Sectional Layout

                This is a simple way to reimagine a traditional resume layout. Rather than following a traditional top-to-bottom design, you can organize your resume into sections using borders or blocks of color. The example below shows how some simple lines can create a beautiful and minimalist sectional resume layout.

                section cv

                  7. Slideshow Resume

                  Many workplaces want their employees to be fluent in multimedia tech. You can showcase your multimedia creation skills by creating a slideshow presentation. A presentation offers you the opportunity to use lots of visuals and a storytelling structure to introduce yourself. For an example, check out this man‘s short but sweet resume slideshow.

                  A note: this kind of resume should generally be offered as an accompaniment to a traditional resume, in case the employers has difficulty loading or downloading you multimedia file.

                  Whatever You Do, Do it Well!

                  This is the most important point: whatever resume design layout you decide to use, make sure you use it well. This means that your resume must be free of surface errors like text misalignment, weird spacing, chartjunk, or any other formatting issues. You also need to make sure that you don’t neglect essential information for the sake of a cool design. Your previous places of employment, contact information, and list of skills should all be easy to read and understand.

                  Remember, your resume is the very first impression prospective employers will have of you – so make it count!

                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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                  Sara McGuire

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                  Published on March 20, 2019

                  How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

                  How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

                  Have you ever felt lost in the minutia of your job?

                  As a business owner, I can relate to getting bogged down in the day to day operations of my business. Things like inventory, payroll, scheduling, purchasing and employee management take up the bulk of my day.

                  While these things are important and need to get done, focusing too much on the details can make you lose sight of the big picture. This is why having a good mission statement comes in handy.

                  What is a Mission Statement?

                  Put simply, a mission statement is an internal document that provides a clear purpose for the organization. It provides a common reference point for everyone in the organization to start from.

                  In other words, after reading your company’s mission statement, managers and employees should be able to answer the question “What are company’s main objectives?” For example, Southwest Airlines mission statement reads:[1]

                  “Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.”

                  In this single statement, Southwest conveys the company’s goals of providing the highest level of customer service as well as providing a good working environment for their employees.

                  Mission Statement VS. Vision Statement

                  While the mission and vision statements are related, there are subtle but distinct differences the you should be aware of.

                  First of all, a mission statement is designed primarily as an internal company document. It provides clarity and direction for managers and employees.

                  While there’s nothing wrong with sharing your company’s mission statement with the outside world, its intended audience is within the company.

                  While a mission statement provides a general framework for the organization, the vision statement is usually a more inspirational statement designed to motivate employees and inspire customers. Going back to Southwest Airlines, their vision statement reads:[2]

                  “To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.”

                  This statement inspires good feeling from the customer while motivating the employees to achieve that vision.

                  What Does a Good Mission Statement Look Like?

                  When coming up with a mission statement, it’s important to take your time and do it right. Too often, people (especially entrepreneurs) just write down the first thing that comes to mind and they end up with worthless or (worse yet) a generic mission statement that is utterly useless.

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                  Remember, a mission statement should provide a common framework for everyone in your organization.

                  When writing a mission statement, you should always try to incorporate the following;

                  • What we do?
                  • How we do it?
                  • Whom do we do it for?
                  • What value are we bringing?

                  Now, you can see how tempting it is to just come up with something generic that ticks off those four boxes. Something like “We provide the best widgets available online for the consumer.”

                  After all, that did check off all the boxes:

                  What we do? Provide widgets.

                  How we do it? Online.

                  Who do we do it for? The consumer.

                  What value we bring? The best widgets.

                  The problem with this mission statement is that it could apply to any number of companies producing the same widget. There is nothing to distinguish your company or its widgets from any of your competitors widgets.

                  Compare that mission statement to this one:

                  “We provide the highest quality widgets directly to the consumer at an affordable price backed up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If our clients aren’t 100% satisfied, we’ll make it right.”

                  What’s the difference?

                  Both mission statements answer all the same questions of what, how, whom and value. But in the second statement, they are differentiating their company from all other competitors by answering the question “what makes us unique”.

                  Another way to read that is, “Why you should buy from us.” In this example, it’s because our widgets are of the highest quality and we stand behind them 100%.

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                  You might have noticed the statement didn’t say that we sell widgets at the lowest possible price. That’s because we are emphasizing quality and satisfaction over price.

                  A different company’s mission statement may emphasize selling widgets at the lowest possible price with little to no mention of a guarantee.

                  Hallmarks of a Good Mission Statement

                  1. Keep It Brief

                  Your mission statement should be no longer than three sentences. This is not your company’s magnum opus.

                  You should be able to distill the what, how, who and why questions into a succinct message.

                  2. Have a Purpose

                  A company’s missions statement should include the reason it even exists.

                  Make clear exactly what the company does with statements like “We strive to provide our customers with …….”

                  3. Include a “How”

                  Take this as an opportunity to differentiate your company from its competitors.

                  How do you provide a product or service that’s different or better than how your competitor provides it?

                  4. Talk About the Value You Bring to the Table

                  This is where you can really set yourself apart from the competition. This is the “why” customers should buy from you.

                  Do you offer the lowest prices? Fastest delivery? Exceptional customer service? Whatever it is that sets you apart and gives your particular products, services or company an advantage talk about it in the mission statement.

                  5. Make Sure It’s Plausible

                  It’s okay to shoot for the stars just to settle for the moon, but not in a mission statement.

                  Being overly ambitious will only set you and your employees up for failure, hurt morale and make you lose credibility. You will also scare away potential investors if they think that you are not being realistic in your mission statement.

                  6. Make It Unique and Distinctive

                  Imagine if someone who knew nothing about your business walked in and saw how it was operating, then they read your mission statement. Would they be able to recognize that mission statement was attached to that business? If not re-work it.

                  7. Think Long Term

                  A mission statement should be narrow enough so that it provides a common framework for the existing business, but open enough to allow for longer term goals. It should be able to grow as the business grows.

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                  8. Get Feedback

                  This is very important, especially from managers and employees.

                  Getting their input can clarify how they currently see the company and their role within the organization. It’s also a good way to get people “on-board,” as studies show that people are more likely to go along with an idea if they feel included in the decision making process beforehand.

                  9. Review Often and Revise as Necessary

                  You should review the missions statement often for two reasons.

                  First, as a reminder of what the essence of the company is. It’s easy to forget when you are in the day to day grind of the business.

                  And two, to make sure that the mission statement is still relevant. Things change, and not everything can be anticipated at the time a mission statement was written.

                  For example, if a mission statement was written before the advent of the internet, a company that use to sell things door to door now probably has a website that people order from. You should always update the mission statement to reflect these changes.

                  The Value of Mission Statements: Why Go Through All of These in the First Place?

                  It may seem like a lot of work just for a few sentences that describe a company, but the value of a well written mission statement should not be discounted.

                  First of all, if you are an entrepreneur, crystallizing the what, how, whom and value questions will keep you focused on the core business and its values.

                  If you are a manager or other employee, knowing the company’s basic tenants will help inform your interactions with both customers and colleagues alike.

                  Strategic Planning

                  A relevant mission statement acts as a framework for strategic planning. It provides guidance and parameters for making strategic decisions for the future of the company.

                  Measuring Performance

                  By having the company’s mission in a concrete form, it also allows for an objective measurement of how well the organization is meeting its stated goals at any one time.

                  Management can identify strengths and weaknesses in the organization based on the criteria set forth in the mission statement and make decisions accordingly.

                  Solidifying the Company’s Goals and Values for Employees

                  Part of a well run organization is nurturing happy and productive employees.

                  As humans, we all have an innate need for both purpose and to be part of something larger than ourselves. Providing employees with a clearly defined mission statement helps to define their role in the larger organization. Thus, fulfilling both of these needs.

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                  Now I’m not saying that a mission statement can overcome low pay and poor working conditions, but with everything else being equal, it can contribute to a happier and more productive workforce.

                  To Hold Management Accountable

                  By creating a mission statement, a company is publicly stating its highest values and goals for the world to see. By doing so, you are inviting both the public and your employees to to scrutinize how well the company lives up to its ideals.

                  So if you state that you only provide the highest quality products, and then offer something less, it’s fair for both the public and the employees to question, and even call for a change in management.

                  If management doesn’t take the mission statement seriously, no one else will either; and the legitimate authority that management rely’s on will be diminished.

                  To Serve as an Example

                  This is the opposite side of the coin from the previous statement. If the highest levels of management are seen taking the mission statement seriously and actively managing within the framework of the statement, that attitude filters down throughout the organization.

                  After all, a good employee knows what’s important to their boss and will take the steps necessary to curry favor with them.

                  Finally, use the company’s mission statement as a way to define roles within the company. You can do this by giving each division in the company a copy of the mission statement and challenge the head of each division to create a mission statement for their respective departments.

                  Their individual mission statements should focus on how each department fits in and ultimately contributes to the success of the company’s overall mission statement. This serves as both a clarifying and a team building exercise for all parts of the organization.

                  Final Thoughts

                  Developing a mission statement is too often just an after-thought, especially for entrepreneurs. We tend to prioritize things that we perceive will give us the biggest “bang for our buck.”

                  Somehow, taking the time and effort to sit down and think seriously about the what, whom, how and value of our business seems like a waste of time. After all, we got in the business to make money and become successful, isn’t that all we need to know?

                  That mindset will probably get you started okay, but if you find yourself having any success at all, you’ll find that there really is such a thing as growing pains.

                  By putting in the time and effort to create a mission statement, you are laying the groundwork that will give you a path to follow in your growth. And isn’t building long term success what we are really after?

                  More Resources About Achieving Business Success

                  Featured photo credit: Fab Lentz via unsplash.com

                  Reference

                  [1] Southwest Airlines: About Page
                  [2] Fit Small Business: 10 Vision Statement Examples To Spark Your Imagination

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