Imagine it! You’re applying for your dream job, you hand over your cardstock printed resume to the employer. Six seconds later, the employer gasps – in amazement! They excitedly proclaim, “You’re hired!” as confetti and employment documents rain down upon you!
Maybe this daydream is a little far-fetched, but some tweaks to your standard resume are sure to amaze a potential employer.
Studies show that employers will look at a resume for an average of six seconds. You might be wondering why you spend hours and hours to make your resume perfect when it will only get six seconds of view time, but your resume should tell the employer everything they NEED to know at just a quick glance. How are you going to do that? You will need to have a plan. Ask yourself the same questions advertisers ask when creating ads: “what do we want the viewers to know when looking at this?” Your answer should be, “That I’m competent for the job.” How do you show that? It depends on the job you are applying for. If you are applying for a marketing or graphic design job, then you need to show that you are aware of visual balance and efficient use of words. You could make your resume look like an infographic with charts, graphics, and statistics. You can still get the same information across as you would in your old resume, only it will be more eye-catching and organized for the employer.
You want the employer to forget that they are looking at a resume when they pick up yours. Get out of your comfort zone, and put something radical on there like your picture or a QR Code. In good taste, most employers appreciate seeing a picture on resumes because it allows them to feel more connected to the candidate. If you are applying for a job in social media, you could get creative and make the header of your resume a blue box, with your professional picture in the top, left-hand corner like a Facebook page. If you are applying for a job that requires knowledge of website design, you can use a QR code to connect the resume to your online website or portfolio. This shows the employer that you are confident enough in your work to slap a sample of it on your resume, and it allows you to track if they actually visited your website.
With so many out-of-the-box ideas thrown around in this piece, I also want to stress the importance of efficiency. With only six seconds to fill, you don’t want to send your employer on a crazy chase of QR codes, pictures, graphics and charts. You will want to stick with one idea and make it the main attraction. Whichever idea you decide to pursue depends on the job where you’re submitting your resume. Any standard typed resume can be transformed into something amazing, you just need to add creativity – just don’t make it at the expense of being organized and efficient in your presentation.
Gone are the days when a classic black and white block formatted resume are required. Stand out in today’s job search! Make your resume eye-catching, engaging, and efficient to ensure your resume won’t be overlooked in the stacks of cardstock. It’s time to get creative! Play around with different colors, fonts, themes, and ideas until you have something that really speaks about you, just keep in mind you want your piece to be efficient.
Pearson Students, are you applying for a job soon? What are some methods you are using to set yourself apart?
Jessica is a junior at Missouri State University majoring in Marketing with a minor in International Management. She will be graduating with her bachelor’s degree in December 2016, and is accepted to an accelerated Masters of Business Administration program to complete her MBA the following year. Jessica is member of Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society, Ad Club, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and Phi Eta Sigma Honor Fraternity.