How not to go too far when making your resume stand out

In many lines of work, creativity earns you points. However, be careful not to get too creative with your resume. While an interesting design can help you stand out, it’s important not to go overboard.

Step 1: Determine how far is too far

It depends on the accepted decorum in the field you are seeking to enter. While buying a billboard with your likeness and a job application might score a home run for an advertising position, you probably won’t get the same reaction in a more conservative field like banking.

Certain resume tactics are likely to get negative attention in most fields: adding glitter or a weird background. Wear perfume. Show up in disguise at your prospective employer’s office to drop off your resume. If such tactics are considered outside the norm in the field you’re applying to, you may find yourself the butt of jokes rather than the recipient of a juicy offer.

Step 2 – Make Sure Your Resume Is Still Readable Regardless of Design

While an interesting design used in your resume can help you stand out from the pile, you don’t want the graphics and formatting to overwhelm and wash out the content.

Step 3 – Having fun on your resume can have unwanted effects

You may find yourself the butt of jokes instead of the recipient of a juicy offer because of:

– Try to be funny or cute.

– Give the impression of boastful or arrogant.

– Using slang, profanity or emoticons.

– Sharing very personal information.

The best way to set yourself apart from the rest is to find out what qualities hiring managers in your specific field are looking for on resumes. While most organizations want to see evidence of your technical and functional job skills, they are also looking for clues about your:

– Emotional intelligence.
– Passion for your work and work ethic.
– Ability to work as part of the team.
– Professionalism.
– Communication skills.
– Tracking ability.

Distinguishing yourself means giving the impression of being professional, competent and creative.

Step 4: The right ways to stand out

You want to appear innovative, but you don’t want to go so far as not to be considered a serious candidate. There are out-of-the-box solutions, like a branded online profile instead of a standard resume, or non-traditional resume examples that will make a positive impression. Social recruiting platforms can help you transform your resume and stand out from the crowd without going too far.