The creative world moves fast, and it can be cut-throat. Here’s how you can set yourself apart with your resume to land the creative job you want.

Do you aspire to work in a creative industry? A job where you’re able to be innovative on a daily basis: social media, Web designer, marketing manager, interactive or graphic designers?

Beware: the creative world moves fast and can be cut-throat. Here’s how you set yourself apart with your resume:

1. Portfolio

If you work in the creative industry and you don’t have a portfolio, it’s simple: you won’t be employed.

Why? Because for most creative positions, the work is visual. A portfolio should be a collection of your latest and best work. It doesn’t matter if it’s a digital version or a hard copy as long as it’s properly presented and showcases your best work.

2. Layout

This may sound simple, but the layout is something most people wouldn’t even consider when submitting a resume. If you work in a creative industry, attention to detail matters! To make sure your resume stands out from the rest, your layout needs:

  • Full name, contact details and the position you are applying for. This makes your resume much more personal. Your name should be larger than the rest of the font.
  • Your work history in reverse chronological order. Bullet-point your skills and experience to make it easier for your potential employer to read through.
  • Education listed after your work experience. Formal education may not be needed for all positions, but if you’re applying for a Web developer role or something similar, your potential employer will want to see your qualifications.
  • Hobbies and interests. If you have relevant hobbies, list these on your resume. You don’t have to go into too much detail, but listing them shows how awesome you are outside of work and gives great talking points for the interview.

3. Font

Again, this sounds overly simple, but font is something most people don’t consider, and it does matter.

You want a font that’s clear, easy to read and exceptionally neat. Using a font that’s inappropriate could cause the employer to not take your resume seriously. Yes, it’s as detrimental as that! Some favorites are:

  • Bell MT
  • Century
  • Franklin Gothic Book
  • Times New Roman
  • Trebuchet MS

4. Proof

Many resumes are full of empty promises. If you state that you’re innovative, creative and hardworking, make sure you prove it:

“I’m innovative because… I came up with a new design concept for a website.”

“I’m creative because… I proposed a brand new strategy and concept on an award-winning marketing campaign.”

“I’m hard working because… I turned around a client’s website in only six months. It originally ranked on page 10 of Google with no conversions and is now ranking on Google’s first page with a monthly conversion rate of 65 percent of traffic.”

When listing your credentials, back them up with valid claims. Short and sweet bullet points will do; you’ll likely be asked for further information in the interview.

5. Spelling, punctuation and grammar

You’d be surprised how badly written some resumes are. Don’t let yours be one of them.

Write up your resume, let it sit for a while and then return to it. You’re more likely to spot mistakes this way. If you’re still not completely confident, get a second opinion. It’s sometimes difficult to spot typos or grammatical errors because you know what you’re trying to say, so you’ll read it that way.

If two identical resumes are on file, but one is better written than the other, whose do you think will be chosen? It can be the difference between getting an interview or not.

You’re often advised to keep your written copy as simple as possible, but creative industries are ones where you can afford to get a little fancy with your words. You want your peers to enjoy reading your resume all the way to the end, so why not make it interesting for them?

James Baker works for G2 Recruitment, a leading recruitment agency that specializes in the world of digital media, among other areas.


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