How should you use a non-conventional resume to your advantage?

A lot of advice online absolutely beats up on non-conventional resumes. Critics say that non-conventional resumes distract hiring managers from the meat of your resume, being your skills and qualifications. Others say that they are merely gimmicky trends.

However, it is inferior products that undermine the effectiveness of creative resumes. Simply, most of the creative resumes that hiring managers receive are done by amateurs; these graphic resumes have no concept of design, while video resumes contain no video or editing skills whatsoever. These give the creative resume a bad name.

A good creative resume supplements your professional resume. It should highlight your creativity and ability to adapt to the changes of our tech-savvy society. A good creative resume makes your hiring manager sit up. It tells your hiring manager that you can go the extra mile. Here are tips and advice for using a non-conventional resume:

Consider Your Industry. Before creating a non-conventional resume, really think about whether or not the resume will benefit you in the job market. Are there skills you have that only a non-conventional resume will emphasize? Do you want to show recruiters your creativity and innovation? If so, a non-conventional resume may be right for you.

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Follow the Job Application Guidelines. Follow the guidelines on the job application and be sure to comply with the company’s application directions. If they ask for a traditional resume, be sure to give them a great one. If they ask for a resume in a particular format (a Word document or a PDF, for example), make sure your resume complies with that format. Job seekers who do not follow directions are immediately weeded out of the applicant pool. Use your creative resume as a deal-clincher. For example, you can add your web resume link into the footnotes of your resume, or attach your graphic resume together with your professional resume.

Share Your Resume With Your Contacts. Use your non-traditional resume when you have a personal contact. If you have a personal contact with the recruiter or hiring manager at a company, you can feel more confident providing a non-traditional resume. Because you know that your contact will look at your resume, you don’t have to worry about the resume being rejected because of the format. However, if your contact specifically asks for a traditional resume, be sure to do so!

Promote Your Non-Traditional Resume on Social Networks. Post a link to your non-traditional resume on your Facebook, Google+, Twitter or LinkedIn account, or any other social or professional networking sites you belong to. They are a great way to grab someone’s attention. Who knows – someone may check out your resume website or watch your video, and reach out to you as a networking contact.

Do it Well or Not at All. When a non-traditional resume is done well, the applicant comes across as creative and innovative. When a non-traditional resume is done poorly, the applicant comes across as unprofessional and sloppy. Only create a non-conventional resume by yourself if you have professional knowledge and can create a polished final product. If you can’t handle a camera, get someone who can! For example, if you aren’t comfortable with a camera, don’t do a video resume. If you lack the necessary film, web, or design skills, there are a number of companies you can hire to help you create your dream resume.

Organizations these days look for innovative problem solvers and employees who can think ahead of the competition. Be sure to show employers that you have intellectual finesse with creative resumes that highlight your best traits.