Creative professionals may want to “dress” their resume for success, a new survey by The Creative Group suggests. Nearly four in 10 (37%) advertising and marketing executives interviewed said for those pursuing creative roles, how a resume looks matters as much as what it contains. Another 48 per cent of respondents said good design is somewhat important; only 10 per cent of executives said a resume’s appearance is not very important.
The Canadian survey was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service for interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals, and conducted by an independent research firm.
Advertising and marketing executives were asked, “How important would you rate the overall look and feel of a creative professional’s resume when you are evaluating potential hires?” Their responses:
- Very important – 37%
- Somewhat important – 48%
- Not very important – 10%
- Don’t know/no answer – 5%
“When evaluating candidates for design and marketing positions, employers want to get a sense of an applicant’s skills and experience, as well as his or her eye for detail and creativity,” said Lara Dodo, regional vice-president of The Creative Group in Canada. “The resume is often the first document a hiring manager sees, so it’s imperative it makes a strong first impression.”
The Creative Group offers five tips for developing a resume that’s easy on the eyes:
- Consider the user experience. Most hiring managers spend seconds
scanning resumes to spot the ones they want to read in detail. Use
simple fonts, standard margins, section headings and bullet points to
highlight key attributes and help employers navigate the information.
- Don’t overdesign it. While it’s OK to incorporate elements of your
personal branding into your resume (like a logo), refrain from
excessive embellishments, including too many fonts and colours, which
can be distracting. Instead, use your portfolio to showcase your
creativity and artistic style.
- Paint a picture worth a thousand words. A visual or infographic resume
can help you stand out from the competition when done right and
tailored to the job opening. Should you go this route, make sure your
graphics don’t overshadow the actual information and offer a
traditional version, too.
- Take advantage of all your options. Professionals today have access to
various tools for building online profiles that showcase their
strengths and career accomplishments, and can easily be shared via
email, social media, RSS feeds and the like. These sites also offer
more space to list relevant interests and link to a personal website,
blog or online portfolio, giving employers a more complete picture of
- Prepare a ‘plain’ version. Although most email systems can accommodate
attachments (like Word documents and PDFs), not every hiring manager
or organization is able or willing to accept them. Cover your bases by
pasting a plain or ASCII text version of your resume into the body of
an electronic message or online job application.
The Canadian study was developed by The Creative Group and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on more than 250 telephone interviews — approximately 200 with marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees and 50 with advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.