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Tips for designing your resume

With super creative resume designs and self-promotional materials becoming popular on the internet, you’ve probably wondered if you should jump on the creative bandwagon. Well, coming from someone who has done unique resume designs for not only myself but a variety of friends in different majors (I’m a Visual Communication Design major–fancy for graphic design), here’s what I have to say:

1) First consider your audience.

Some career fields really don’t offer much room to get all crazy with your resume design. Engineering, medical fields and things alike probably aren’t the place to share your fancy infographic resume featuring all the colors of the rainbow. However, it’s always best to assess the company you’re applying to. I personally have two resume designs, one for more business-focused companies and one for the quirkier, more creative ones. If you really want to give your resume an extra edge, consider designing yourself a logo or using a subtle pop of color.

If you do decide to add one of these features, don’t get too crazy. A snake logo isn’t necessary when applying to work at a food science lab, and a hot pink header probably isn’t the best idea when applying to medical school.

2) Keep it clean.

If you decide to get creative with your resume design, make sure it’s still organized and properly formatted. Keep all of your basic information legible and make all of the important stuff easy to find.

3) Create a hierarchy.

Put in a little extra thought into thinking how you can make certain things on your resume stand out. Are you really proud of the internship you had last summer? Find a way to highlight it using fonts, colors or other design elements.

4) Make sure it represents you and your personal brand.

Have you heard about the girl who created a Lego box resume, and her creative idea went viral? She blew ad agencies throughout Chicago away with her innovative idea and landed the internship of her dreams. Use her as inspiration, and make sure your resume design is accurately representing you.

Are you bright, bubbly and super into pop culture? Use brighter colors (but keep the number of colors low) and fun typefaces and pictograms. Are you more laid-back and into nature? Use shades of green and blue that show your calm personality. Color association exists for a reason!

5) Choose fonts wisely.

Whatever you do, DON’T USE COMIC SANS. Make sure your font choices are legible, and try sticking to just 2 typefaces and absolutely no more than 3. It’ll seem like you’re incapable of making decisions if you pick too many.

6) Don’t overkill it with your color scheme.

As stated before, choose your color scheme with care. It’s best to stick to a complimenting, simple color scheme featuring 2-3 colors or maybe various shades of one color. When choosing colors, try to avoid color combinations that can be easily associated with alternative things, like red and yellow for McDonald’s.

Overall, when designing your resume, just be mindful of the decisions you make and be sure that your resume is reflecting you in a positive light.

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