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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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                  Last Updated on March 29, 2021

                  5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

                  5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

                  When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

                  What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

                  The Dream Type Of Manager

                  My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

                  I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

                  My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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                  “Okay…”

                  That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

                  I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

                  The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

                  The Bully

                  My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

                  However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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                  The Invisible Boss

                  This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

                  It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

                  The Micro Manager

                  The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

                  Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

                  The Over Promoted Boss

                  The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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                  You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

                  The Credit Stealer

                  The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

                  Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

                  3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

                  Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

                  1. Keep evidence

                  Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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                  Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

                  Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

                  2. Hold regular meetings

                  Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

                  3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

                  Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

                  However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

                  Good luck!

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