These creative templates will help you show your unique personality alongside your professional accomplishments, especially if you’re looking for a job in a creative industry such as design, fashion or advertising.
Alternate Forms of Creative Resumes
There are other innovative ways to make a bold impression on a potential employer beyond the traditional text-based resumes you found above. We’re looking for jobs in an increasingly online world, and there are new online resume formats that can showcase your professional achievements.
Although we encourage you to experiment with these types of resumes, you shouldn’t see them as replacements to conventional one- or two-page resumes. Since so many online job portals ask for resumes in text-based file formats like .DOCX or .PDF, you should view these alternate creative resumes as supplemental materials that complement your resume and showcase your coding, web design or creative skills.
With the popular rise of career-oriented social media platforms like LinkedIn, Glassdoor and Monster, along with user-friendly hosting sites like Squarespace and Wix, it’s become increasingly easier to publish your resume online. These sites give you the freedom to delve into greater detail about the various tasks, responsibilities and accomplishments that you experienced in your career. Online resumes also allow you to play with the format and talk about your achievements through alternative styles like photographs, illustrations, graphs or timelines.
The video resume emerged in the 1980s as a different way to grab the attention of employers. However, their popularity has decreased over the years, and they’re used mainly by creative industry professionals. You can create a video resume using the presentation software Prezi, PowerPoint or Google Slides. Another format is making a short video where you talk directly to the employer and tell the story of your achievements and work experience. Although unconventional, video resumes can be an excellent tool for cinematographers, video editors or other creators to demonstrate their skills.
The infographic resume uses a visual format to provide information about you and your experience. Additionally to the five main sections, your resume might include a graph, a pie chart or any other visual way of presenting this information. Or the entire resume can also be modeled as an infographic in itself. Creating a good infographic resume from scratch can be difficult and time-consuming. There’s more to it than just making a simple table or chart. Instead of doing it all on your own, check out our infographic resume guide and templates to make the job easy for you.
Portfolio resumes are the trickiest creative format to pull off, but a successful resume can help you demonstrate your work experience with examples of your work. These templates include spaces for you to put copies of your significant projects such as art exhibits, photography, designed websites, advertising campaigns or data analysis projects. We have a library of free portfolio templates and additional writing tips. Still, we strongly advise you don’t overwhelm your document with too many samples, as this can easily break the flow of your resume and make it unappealing to hiring managers. Choose one or two examples to pique the manager’s interest and direct them to a dedicated portfolio download or website that shows your entire range.
How to Make Your Resume More Creative
As you write your resume, it’s essential to ask yourself, “How can I make my resume stand out?” With a creative resume, the sky’s the limit on what design elements you can combine. There are several tried-and-true ideas to get you started. Here are a few of the possibilities to consider.
You can use color in more whimsical ways on a creative resume than on traditional or modern ones. It’s OK to use bold, bright colors and exciting color combinations. Just make sure your document is still easy to read.
If the company you’re applying to has a corporate color scheme (check their logo, website or offices for ideas), you might want to reflect that in your design. This detail is an excellent way to subtly signal that you will fit into their work environment well.
A creative resume can contain symbols or graphics that are related to your industry. You can use a different icon for each section or have a single graphic related to your field featured prominently on your resume. For example, you can use little camera icons in place of circular bullet points. That’s a creative detail that gives your resume a personal touch.
No matter what graphic you choose, make sure that it’s high-quality and fits with the content of your resume. Several of our creative resume templates below have excellent built-in graphics.
3. Professional Photo
In any field where your personality or professional appearance is a crucial component of the job, a photo is an excellent way to show that. Including a professional image of yourself can be a great addition to a creative resume. For example, maybe you’re applying to work for a quirky local business where personality is a bonus. Or perhaps your field is direct sales or marketing, where you’ll be interacting face-to-face and forming business relationships with new clients.
If you decide to add a profile picture, make sure your photo is professional. A silly, heavily edited or unconventional photo is a distraction. It doesn’t provide potential employers with helpful information about you and might hurt your chances of getting a job interview.
4. Unique Layout
Get creative with your resume layout if it’s appropriate for the job to which you’re applying. What documents are relevant to your field, and how might you model your resume after them?
For example, a resume that looks like a playbill might be a fun twist for a job at a theater. A resume modeled after a popular social media site could work well for a social media marketing position. Creative resumes can look like everything from movie posters to subway maps, especially if these playful designs relate to your desired job.
Pros and Cons of a Creative Resume
Like all good things, creative resumes can have their drawbacks. We pulled together some of the reasons to use these designs, or not, in this pros and cons list.
Highlight key sections: By utilizing design elements, creative resumes bring attention to the most critical parts of your resume, whether it’s using a bold background color for a specific section or including samples of your work creatively and functionally.
Show your creativity: Having a creative resume shows you have the talent and artistic eye to create visually engaging and aesthetically pleasing designs. For graphic designers, web designers and artists, this is a great way to demonstrate your skills.
Make you stand out: When employers receive hundreds of resumes, it’s easy for all of them to start looking the same. If you don't want your resume to be “part of the bunch,” use a creative template that will make it stand out from the rest.
ATS legibility: Applicant tracking systems will have a hard time reading your resume and identifying sections. If an ATS doesn't know where your skills are, it won’t recognize them, giving your resume a low score that might not even pass to the hands of a recruiter.
Personal taste: Although a creative resume can look impressive to you, a recruiter might not find it to its liking and discard it before even reading it. A recruiter in a creative industry is less likely to reject your creative resume, but we have a collection of professional templates ideal for you for more traditional roles.
Create a Unique Resume With Our Builder
Designing a unique resume can be time-consuming and challenging, but having a personalized document that fits your needs will produce a more compelling resume. Hloom’s Resume Builder strikes the perfect balance between customization and practicality. Choose from over a dozen templates you can customize in font style, colorway and more. Simply submit your personal information and your desired role, and we take care of the heavy lifting. You’ll have an efficient and custom resume in minutes!
Do resume templates matter?
It depends. Downloading a resume template isn’t a mandatory step when you’re writing a resume. Your focus should be on crafting a resume that directly ties your work experience to the requirements of an open job. However, the ease of submitting your resume to an online job posting means that hiring managers can see as many as 200 resumes for a single job opening. Here’s where a resume template could matter — a unique design could help you stand out against a sea of simple or basic resumes.
Should my resume look pretty?
Absolutely! A study of recruiters indicated that your resume has seven seconds to convince them to either dismiss or keep reading your resume. A well-designed and well-formatted resume with bold creative elements is crucial in appealing to a hiring manager. Follow these tips to make your resume look professional, appealing and organized:
Clear margins: We recommend using standard 1-inch margins on your resume. We know limiting your resume to one page can make it tempting to use smaller margins to fit more information in, but there’s a reason academic papers require generous margins. Your eyes need a visual break between blocks of texts to absorb the information correctly. Small margins and dense resume sections can hurt how well your resume performs.
Readable fonts: This ties into helping the hiring manager’s eyes absorb your professional experience. Use a familiar and straightforward font like Times New Roman, Arial or Helvetica in size 10-12 on your resume. Any smaller, and you risk a hiring manager squinting or giving up on your resume. Any bigger, and you lose valuable space to impress the hiring manager.
Color: Most word processing programs use a default black and white layout. There’s nothing wrong with submitting a resume in black and white, but if you’re applying for a highly desired job, it’s easy for your document to get lost in the sea of similar formats. Adding pops of color can help your resume stand out. We advise that you use the entry-level rule of color theory and only use three to five colors on your document. Remember, the white of your margins and black of your text count as colors.
Borders: Your margins and paragraph breaks can indicate when and where a resume section starts and ends, but you can add additional clues in the form of borders. These small markers can send visual cues to the hiring manager, making it a lot easier to scan your resume.
Do employers like creative resumes?
Whether or not an employer likes your creative resume does depend on the job. You should use a creative resume if you work in a creative industry like tech, advertising, marketing, customer service, child care or education.
You can also use deductive reasoning when you research the job opening. Is there a use of humor on the job posting? Does the company website emphasize employee activities and company culture? Is their social media peppered with playful posts? If so, you can safely assume these employers might appreciate a creative resume
If you’re not sure, we highly recommend that you use one of our alternate resumes:
Basic: These designs are anything but basic. These elegant templates build on a standard layout and add subtle design elements that can help you out. Although these designs are suited for job seekers in any industry, they are the perfect introduction resume for entry-level employees, recent graduates, interns and job seekers who are reentering the workforce.
Contemporary: Our bold take on a stand resume, these templates lean into a multi-column approach and use section borders to make your skills, experience and education stand out. These layouts are ideally suited for applicants in law, finance, banking, or any traditional industry where you want to demonstrate skill aptitude.
Simple: This is our play on the free resume templates you usually find on your word processing program. These clean and simple templates help you elevate your resume through the combination of thoughtful font choices, crisp margins, and special header treatment on each of your resume sections. These are perfect for any job seeker, regardless of experience or field of interest.
More Resources for Your Job Search
If you need more detailed information on how to write a resume and tips for acing your job application, check out these pages we know will help you.
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