The current employment environment has made it difficult for job seekers to stand out among the masses. The key to any creative addition is moderation. One simple creative addition is enough to stand out and appear technologically proficient. If you go overboard, your resume may get overcrowded and appear complicated. Also, remember your audience. If you are applying for a marketing, graphic design, or other creative type opportunity, more creativity will be necessary to prove your applicable abilities. Computer science, finance and accounting majors should probably stick to a more conservative approach.
Quotes. A simple way to add something new to your resume is by including short quotes from your contacts. You can include a quote from a LinkedIn recommendation or perhaps from performance reviews. Incorporate positive quotes that highlight accomplishments. These quotes can be added to your accomplishments or experience section. For creative candidates, integrate the quote(s) into the sidebars or the footer.
QR Codes. Quick Response Codes or “QR” codes are rapidly growing in popularity with the increase in mobile communication technology. When you scan or read a QR code with your iPhone, Android or other camera-enabled Smartphone, you can link the code to digital content on the web; activate a number of phone functions including email, IM and SMS; and connect the mobile device to a web browser. Adding a QR code to your resume is relatively simple and shows you are tech savvy, creative, and have proficiency in mobile communications.
First, you should determine a link for your QR code. A LinkedIn profile (http://www.linkedin.com), personal website, or online resume, such as VisualCV (http://www.visualcv.com) are all appropriate. Copy the link location for your profile and paste it into a QR code generator (a generator found through a Google search). The application will present you with an image file to save on your computer.
Word Clouds. Develop a word cloud of your resume to highlight the most prominent words about you. Using a free application such as http://www.wordle.net/, you can copy and paste your resume into the box. The word cloud evaluates the text by the most used words and makes them more prominent in the cloud. You can then delete words that are not relevant (such as “the”) and change the style of the cloud to fit your style. Feel free to add additional copies of words that you want to see more prominently. For instance, include insert your name multiple times in the submission box to make it larger in the word cloud.
There are many other creative components and styles you can incorporate into your resume. Searching the web can provide you with great ideas and templates to use. However, remember that there is a fine line between creativeness and professionalism. Know your target audience and customize the resume for the company to which you are applying.
By Shane S. Kirby, MBA
Internship Program Coordinator
Business Programs, Integrated Media & Technology
Columbus State Community College