Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Consider the Big Picture with Graphic Resumes

Spring semester is coming to an end, however job and internship interviews are still in the horizon! One trend I noticed as I was looking at the resumes coming into the office or circulating around the fairs was an increase in the number of graphic resumes, that incorporate some creative design or layout into the document. This doesn’t seem to be a trend specific to our world at Hofstra, either; I was talking with a close friend about his resume, and the updated version he sent me was a graphic one, a complete departure from the previous, more conservative layout.

So, should you take the plunge and create a graphic resume? Consider these points:

Be mindful of your industry. If you’re in a design field, using a platform like InDesign, Photoshop, Publisher, or Canva to create an eye-catching resume can show your expertise using that particular platform. In more traditional fields such as finance or law, where the chronological format and tried-and-true layouts reign supreme, a graphic resume may stand out – for the wrong reasons. Canva, in particular, has a great resume builder with templates that will get you started!

Don’t compromise your content. Resumes should always be as clear, concise, and consistent as possible – the 3 C’s we talk about here at the Career Center! Graphic resumes often end up having a nice, clean layout; take care to make sure that you aren’t sacrificing valuable accomplishments that the employer should know just to get a certain look. The last thing you want to do is under-sell your great experience!

Too much of a good thing? You may be thinking of adopting a graphic resume at some point, but not just yet. Color can help bring a fresh feel to the resume, and can make headings (or your name) pop. But, it’s definitely possible to go overboard and have it detract from the overall “first-glance” impact you’re going for. Try not to use more than one color, and always print your resume in black-and-white first before sending it out to see how the color turns out in grayscale, especially if applying online where you don’t know if or how the employer will print your resume.

Like most changes to the resume, the decision to use a graphic resume is a personal one. Think about your industry, the position and company to which you’re applying, and your own personality to determine what works best for you! And, of course, let us know how we can help.

Happy Designing!

Amy K. Smith 
Associate Director of External Relations 
The Career Center at Hofstra University 

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