My, What an Impressive Resume You Have

Inspired by the phot0-article: 27 Examples of Impressive  Resume Designs

I was flipping through the Internet the other day and came across the above site.  I was instantly inspired to freshen up my resume.  I know most of these are way too out there for my purposes – even the most subdued ones might be too much.  At least for my print resume.  But I wonder if my page here might benefit from such a graphic.  Keep your eyes tuned to my Professional Profile page, which may change in the near future.

In the meantime, I wanted to show some of these resumes and provide my thoughts on them.

<— Conservative with a touch of unique

Nicely formatted resume with a splash of color

This is a nice little design – there’s a splash of color, the document is fairly well laid-out, and the eye moves nicely from section to section.  Formatting with so much indentation is contra-indicated, however – the formatting on a Word document might not work properly with all versions of the software.  There is a lot of white space, which is good, but I don’t really like the flow of the document.

Something with this little color, formatted to this extent would probably not be amiss in the corporate world – at least the less conservative half.  If you’re sure of your formatting and you want to stamp your resume with your own unique style, you might consider trying a style like this.

Resume with a photo —>

Resume with picture(?)

I am not a fan of resumes with a photo.  Aside from my own issues with self-image, unless the job relates in any way to one’s looks (TV newscaster?  sales?) I would see no purpose, no advantage to this strategy. 

 But this seems to be a controversial issue amongst HR professionals – some like it, some do not.  After all, it is human nature to judge a book at least a little by its cover.  And it’s better to put your best face forward, so to speak, than to let the recruiter keep searching the Internet until they find that awful picture from your high school graduation. 

I’m still undecided as to what I think about using a cartoon image, as in the image to the right.  Now we know what this person looks like without knowing what they look like.  I am confused.  But I can’t stop thinking about it either, so maybe this is a good way for shy people to personalize their resume?  Anyone?  Bueller? A little more color, highly formatted

A little more color, highly formatted

<— Highly Formatted

 Okay, this one pushes the limits for most corporations, though I’d be willing to bet that the more “touchy-feely” companies (think Pacific Northwest computer industry) would be very attracted to such a resume.  It is still very professional, it is very well laid-out and it is graphically attractive.
As with any highly formatted resume, this simply would not work in many cases.  The formatting might not appear well in all versions of Word, and many sites accept only text versions of a resume.  While the above resumes wouldn’t pop in a text-only environment, they could be copy/pasted easily enough.  With having to customize a resume for each opportunity, using this might not be practical if you also have to customize a separate text version with each application.  It’s also a good one-page design, which may be able to convey more meaning than an equivalent amount of text, but wouldn’t work well if you had to have a second page – a unique (but complementary) design would need to be employed were you to take this approach.
Arc of Triumph? —>
Highly formatted – creative without being pushy

This is a nice design – a lot of white space, but it makes great use of the space.  The arc is a design element, but it does seem to add value not only with appearance, but with leading the reader from one area to the next. 

Again, this might be borderline in terms of creativity for many/most corporations, but at the same time in a marketing or other creative position a graphic like this one might help convey the image you want to create.
You may not need to maintain a separate text version with something like this, but versions of Word might not like what you will have done to achieve this design. 
Nice timeline – a little colorful, but she IS a designer
<— Great Timeline
The vast majority of resumes seem to be chronologically based, so why not just face up to the elephant in the room and lay everything out as a timeline?
There is no way this would fly as an everyday submission to just about any corporation in the world – even if you are a graphic designer, you’d be better off with a portfolio than doing this.  But I would not hesitate to put this up on my website if I could create something this cool and attractive. 
Why is it so cool?  I have no idea.  I certainly can’t read this language.  But I do understand the general career path this woman has taken thus far.  The flexibility of overlap is intriguing to me – many people build on their careers over time, continuing the same responsibilities even as they add new ones.  Also the two-pronged approach, above and below the timeline, allows the creater to highlight two separate components of her career path, while providing a third breakdown below her name.
Growth Over Time —>
Functional, descriptive, original – practical?

This one takes the concept of a timeline and truly demonstrates the growth this person has experienced in his career.  As I look at this and imagine what my own version of this would look like, it would probably come out looking just like a series of hills.  Each job with its duties, building on each other – raising many to a higher level of responsibility.

This particular resume is difficult to understand, though, and while it readily conveys the basic image of growth, the details really seem to take some concentration to process.  The point of a graphic is to make deciphering a great deal of content simpler. 
In the end, it would be preferable to stick to a traditional resume rather than go this route – even for a Web site devoted to promoting one’s professional experience, unless this was one of several graphics.  But if this was handled a little better, and if the right medium were found, it might very well do a great service towards presenting this person to potential employers.
Really complex, but SO descriptive
<— Analyze the Landscape
This one has the advantages of the one above – showing growth over time – and makes the job of understanding this person’s career path somewhat easier, but it is still a little bit of a study.
This might be a great secondary piece – attached after the traditional first page or two of a resume.  But from both an analytical and a graphic perspective it serves its purpose.  Like almost all the others I’ve shown here it is totally impractical for an “everyday” resume, but I could easily see putting this up on my website.  (In fact, I already found some free graphic design software to try to replicate my own version of this, only better.  But I’m still not sure on the final direction I’ll be taking with a re-design, so be patient already!)
Ecce Homo —>
Who am I?

Okay, this one is clearly over the top but at the same time it isn’t.  (Especially if you weeded through all 27 of the original articles I posted via link at the top of this piece.)

I have not only a clear impression of who this person is as a professional, but I also think he/she (?) really boiled down the essence of his/her skills and accomplishments into a real character study (har har).
Seriously, though, I am intrigued by this one.  Sure, sure, it would not be well accepted in a corporate recruiting office, but if this were handed out (kind of like a fact sheet) in certain half-social, half-business situations, I could see it working.  If you’re a sales person, for example, you might be able to get away with this in an even moderately conservative company, if given to the right person.  (If you met the hiring manager on the golf course, for example, and talked largely about personal issues before he said, “send me your resume”.)
In the End
A resume is usually basically your professional experience, skills and knowledge, summarized onto a sheet or two of paper.  They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so if you can find that right picture then maybe you can use it to your benefit.  In today’s Web world many people have real estate beyond the simple page or two of their resume, and for those who do rely on that same resume, they still need a way to make themselves stand out to potential employers.
Related Articles
7 Responses to “My, What an Impressive Resume You Have”
  1. Brian Patrick Cork says:

    This is an outstanding piece of work Mr. Newman. With your clearance I’d like to share it with my own readers and clients at:

    Brian Patrick Cork

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Watch the slide show below to see some good examples of resumes which, while perhaps not appropriate in every corporate environment, might inspire some of you to make your resume or CV just a little more unique.  View Doug’s critique of these resumes at My, What An Impressive Resume You Have. […]

  2. […] take my word for it. Point your browser to: Do […]

  3. […] My, What an Impressive Resume You Have ( […]

  4. […] My, What an Impressive Resume You Have ( […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Archives

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 17 other followers

%d bloggers like this: