I met a lovely student over the weekend who had a question about her resume. She had a friend who worked in graphic design and took some creative liberties when designing her resume for her. I took a look at the resume and although it was very cool – incorporating a mint green color, some swirly fonts, and a swivel pattern – it didn’t represent the student in the best way possible.
If a company says to you, “We want you to WOW us with your resume” or “We want to see creativity within your resume”, feel free to send a resume that’s colorful, loud, and original. However, when you send your resume to a traditional employer, you want to be remembered and noticed because of your professional qualifications and because you are a perfect match for the position, not because of your wild fonts and bright colors.
I don’t suggest throwing out your creative resume. As I mentioned, you might apply for a company who encourages you to get creative with your application materials, but save it for that purpose. In the meantime, construct a more professional version of the resume. To make it pop a bit, you can make certain things bold, use the italics feature, and even make your name pop in a font that isn’t Times New Roman. I know these aren’t amazing changes but again – you don’t know who is reading your resume, you don’t know their personality, and I suggest that you err on the side of caution. Focus on the actual content of the resume and not so much on how creative you can be in designing one.