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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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                  Last Updated on July 18, 2019

                  How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

                  How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

                  Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

                  However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

                  Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

                  Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

                  There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

                  Better Job Offers

                  Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

                  People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

                  Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

                  You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

                  Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

                  A Shot at Entrepreneurship

                  Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

                  We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

                  13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

                  1. Update Your Resume

                  You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

                  Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

                  While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

                  There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

                  2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

                  Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

                  That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

                  To hone this skill:

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                  Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

                  Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

                  This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

                  How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

                  3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

                  Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

                  Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

                  To hone this skill:

                  Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

                  4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

                  No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

                  Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

                  To hone this skill:

                  Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

                  Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

                  These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

                  The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

                  5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

                  Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

                  How to hone this skill:

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                  Practice being resourceful.

                  Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

                  Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

                  No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

                  If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

                  6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

                  6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

                  Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

                  The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

                  Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

                  How to hone this skill:

                  Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

                  Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

                  17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

                  7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

                  Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

                  What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

                  How to hone this skill:

                  Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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                  Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

                  5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

                  8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

                  Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

                  Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

                  How to hone this skill:

                  Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

                  Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

                  What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

                  9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

                  How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

                  Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

                  How to hone this skill:

                  Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

                  Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

                  The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

                  10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

                  Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

                  How to hone this skill:

                  Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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                  Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

                  What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

                  11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

                  Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

                  You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

                  How to hone this skill:

                  All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

                  How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                  12. Build Networks and Relationships

                  You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

                  Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

                  How to hone this skill:

                  Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

                  To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

                  How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

                  Final Thoughts

                  Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

                  You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

                  Happy career switching!

                  More Resources About Career Advancement

                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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