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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 May 28, 2020

                  How to Succeed in Business: 10 Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs

                  How to Succeed in Business: 10 Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs

                  Learning how to succeed in business used to be a case of being really good at one skill or area and milking it for all its value. Today, we are fast becoming a “skills economy”[1], driving trends in employment and even the way we approach entrepreneurship.

                  To succeed in today’s business landscape, business owners and executives need to possess a mix of skills that enable them to stay ahead and adapt to change.

                  1. Digital Savviness

                  As the adage goes: “If you’re not online, you don’t exist.” Today’s entrepreneurs need to take to the internet to increase their presence and to remain relevant in an evolving business landscape.

                  Companies like Amazon, Netflix, Airbnb and more are a testament to the disruptive impact of technology and the new image of what it means to be a skilled, successful professional. Think about today’s Mark Zuckerberg versus a banker from the 90s.

                  Being able to quickly adapt to new technology, like cloud applications and collaborating remotely across the internet, is fast becoming the expected norm for executives.

                  For businesses, discoverability on the web is becoming a quick litmus test for credibility. Potential customers and investors bank on the first page of Google to make up half their minds about making further transactions with a business. GE Capital Retail Bank found that 81% of retail shoppers conduct online research before buying[2].

                  How to Develop This Skill

                  For a start, begin by hosting your website and reserving all of your brand’s handles across social media platforms. While hiring a web developer might sound like the next step, consider first hosting your company’s site on more user and budget-friendly options like Squarespace, Wix, or WordPress.

                  From here, you can start on some simple search engine optimization techniques that will increase your discoverability over time. Through keyword research, organic content creation, and external back-links, your site will, eventually, slowly but surely garner more traffic.

                  Note, however, that an increase in search traffic does not immediately imply an increase in revenue. But it’s a start for delving into customer conversion rates in the future.

                  2. Financial Forecasting

                  Let’s face it, many business owners feel that time could be better spent on developing and running the business instead of planning for it financially. However, a financial forecast serves as a roadmap for shaping any kind of business and is not just reserved for the likes of listed companies providing financial guidance to shareholders.

                  Largely, forecasting and planning your financial goals will give you a clearer idea of resources required and ways to measure success. It can also provide assurance to investors as a testament to the thorough research and planning you have done when included in business plans.

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                  However, inaccurate forecasts can lead to livid investors and mismanagement of expenses, which could potentially result in financial teething problems. When creating a detailed financial forecast, a rule of thumb is to always start with your expenses.

                  How to Develop This Skill

                  Generally, it is easier to calculate and predict your expenses compared to your revenue, so noting down your expenses is a starting point to benchmark how much you might need to generate in sales to turn a profit. It is a good habit to regularly update and evaluate how adjacent your operations are to what you have forecasted.

                  Building a precise set of growth forecasting will take time, but, remember, you are an investor in your own business. You must have confidence in the validity of your business concept.

                  3. Video Production Skills

                  The rise of visual mediums and the dopamine boosts it gives to users has long been researched and proven as providing an unfair advantage to businesses that leverage it[3].

                  If you’re a heavy user of social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and even YouTube, you’ll know that it’s pretty hard to stop once you get started on a binge-watching session.

                  In fact, video marketing is seeing a non-stop rise in popularity and effectiveness when used in conjunction with social media to drive traffic and boost conversions[4]. According to research, by 2019, 80% of global Internet consumption will be video content[5]. With video marketing becoming more ubiquitous, businesses that fail to leverage the power of video are almost certain to lose out.

                  How to Develop This Skill

                  Some ways to get started with using videos for your business would be:

                  • Creating a series of educational videos that cover useful information for your audiences
                  • Live videos interacting with your community at large (these can be shot on your smart phone)
                  • Using videos on landing pages to boost your customer conversions

                  4. Benchmarking Personal Goals to Business Performance

                  As far as you get into achieving endeavours on your business bucket list, it’s important to remember that being an entrepreneur is just one facet of your identity. Don’t forget why you started in the first place.

                  Ambition usually stems from some lifestyle goals you’ve always wanted for yourself and the people you might be providing for today or in the future. Working 24/7 is a surefire route to burnout and may manifest in an unhealthy interaction between partners and employees as well.

                  How to Develop This Skill

                  Money can’t be your only motivation, but look into the positives of how having more financial freedom and time can impact your life. In the short term, involving your interests in your businesses can make everyday tasks feel less like mundane errands. In the long run, your business may also bring you fruitful rewards, including personal fulfilment.

                  Set realistic income goals to manage expectations for your performance and your company’s revenue, especially during its earlier stages. See how projected growth can align with your personal goals and make adjustments accordingly to maintain a balance between growth and your personal values.

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                  5. Leveraging Healthy Competition

                  Some of the best athletes who have spent their careers neck-and-neck with each other have changed the standards in their respective sports. The notion of healthy competition applies to the business world more than it may seem on the surface.

                  Innovation has always been a key driver in free markets, which were intended to boost economies and provide customers with more choices. Just like the biggest sporting rivals that build on each others’ game, you can use your biggest competitors to hone your strategies.

                  How to Develop This Skill

                  Turn a competitive market landscape into an advantageous one by leveraging on long-established systems your business proposes an alternative to. Learn from the mistakes of predecessors once you discover their product or service loopholes.

                  For example, the Dollar Shave Club’s viral video[6] became a big hit because it hit the right buttons of consumers being tired of purchasing expensive but low quality shavers from incumbent retail giants. Going in second meant they could fill a gap competitors might not even have been aware of.

                  Apart from lifting off from what could have been your second-mover advantage, solidify your place with your business’ own first-mover advantage — whether you’re tapping into a new geographical region, unexplored market sector, or introducing a business model that proves more viable than others. There’s always room for improvement in business from mature markets to newly emerging ones.

                  6. Honing Pitches to Investors

                  Stand out in a broad mix of budding entrepreneurs by mastering the art and science behind a solid investor pitch that can determine the acceleration of growth for your business. Get comfortable talking about your ideas and receiving feedback or questions from peers, partners, and advisors before setting out to make a good impression on potential customers and eventually investors.

                  The phrase “If you can’t convince them, confuse them,” will certainly never get your business funded, especially in front of seasoned venture capitalists who have seen thousands of startup pitches. You should be able to deliver a quick elevator pitch that summarizes your unique proposition and its market viability for casual meet-ups[7] because you sometimes only have a few minutes to make a good impression and move on to another meeting.

                  How to Develop This Skill

                  Develop your investor pitch deck by highlighting your business’ strongest points, which will vary for every funding round. Create your deck with the investors’ interests in mind, balancing technical jargon and buzzwords.

                  You can also introduce your diverse team of experts, some proven traction, or the current state of the market to demonstrate profitability and the attractiveness of the opportunity to investors.

                  Ensure each slide flows into the other to develop a persuasive narrative, utilizing consistent and intelligent design principles to support your content.

                  7. Developing a Strong Brand Identity

                  In a world of saturated content and numerous emerging businesses that offer similar service lines, developing a unique brand identity will help you cut through the noise and stand out from your competition. From aesthetics to the body of clients you’re associated with, these contribute to how you’re perceived by prospects looking to buy.

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                  Evaluating your brand identity is linked to identifying your target customers, your business goals, a proposed promised land your solution achieves, and identifying values that are aligned to these components. Brand identity serves as a guide to maintaining consistency and creating an image you want your business to be associated with.

                  How to Develop This Skill

                  Efforts to strengthen your brand identity are closely tied to giving marketing strategies a direction. By knowing what makes your target customers tick, their values, ideals, and behavior, you will be able to elevate your business from simply being a service or product to be utilized into a projected brand customers and partners would be happy to identify with.

                  8. Automating to Your Advantage

                  The need for efficiency is often the general problem new businesses aim to resolve across all markets and industries. Assure that your proposed solution is more efficient than what’s readily available in the market to instill the need for it.

                  Efficiency is often achieved nowadays through digitalization and new technologies. While your product or service may not necessarily be the most innovative out there, you can apply the same automation concept across your business’ daily operations.

                  How to Develop This Skill

                  Shorten turnaround times and conversion rates by investing in small tools for automation where you deem fit. While it may come out of your pocket in the early stages, evaluate the holistic advantages and benefits of automating certain processes. At our office, we’ve tried using collaborative apps like Workplace by Facebook, Slack, Asana and a few other popular apps to reduce human error and friction.

                  9. Managing Millennials

                  Your team plays an integral part in whether your business will accelerate at breakneck speeds or be dragged down by dead weight. Hence, it is imperative to be selective and strategic when choosing your team.

                  In leaner small business teams, the addition of every new teammate can impact how your organization culture evolves.

                  Today, learning to manage millennials has become an increasingly sought after skill as well due to the increasing proportion of them in the workforce[8]. Some brand them as strawberries that are easily bruised and others loath their need for “meaning” and wearing t-shirts to work.

                  How to Develop This Skill

                  Naturally, there are many misconceptions surrounding millennials, and various businesses would do well to leverage their unique skills.

                  A couple of ways to manage a millennial team include:

                  Encourage a Flat Team Structure With Open Communication

                  Maintain clear professional lines between supervisors and subordinates but keep communication channels open to ensure no negativity festers.

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                  Offer Constructive Feedback

                  Baby boomers are well known for their straightforward approach to delivering feedback. Millennials, on the other hand, don’t always take feedback in a form that could be construed as deep criticism.

                  Being constructive with feedback ensures that we don’t coddle millennial workers but also tell them the things they need to hear.

                  10. Maintaining a Network of Connectivity

                  Instead of proposing a business that’s ambitiously and entirely disruptive to the supply or process chain in a respective industry, foster connections with other companies that cater to the same target customers as long as they provide a different service.

                  By creating partnerships, both you and other businesses thrive simultaneously through creative avenues for customers to utilize your products and services for a holistically improved user experience.

                  Sole market disruption isn’t always the best strategy to take. Not everybody has the opportunity, bandwidth, or financial capacity to dominate and monopolize a marketplace. See your potential for integration into other businesses and services as a good opportunity for co-collaborative marketing efforts with shared campaigns, split costs, and a strengthened customer database for everyone to tap into.

                  How to Develop This Skill

                  Regardless of the stage your business is in, never stop looking for ways to expand your network. Keep in contact with mentors you can look to for valuable industry advice that can help you avoid pitfalls and costly mistakes. Strengthen brand awareness by attending cross-industry events and casual meet-ups to open your business to reinvention and innovation.

                  As the African proverb goes:

                  “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

                  Collaborating will get you where you want to go quicker and gear you up for further growth.

                  More Tips on How to Succeed in Business

                  Featured photo credit: Tyler Franta via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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