By Sabrina Balmick, Marketing Manager, ACA Talent
While the job market isn’t as tight as it was in 2008, candidates are still clamoring for hiring manager attention. Many, dissatisfied with the reach of the traditional resume, are branching out and using innovative methods to turn a hiring manager’s head.
Although the traditional resume offers a look into the candidate’s experience, skills, and education, there’s little insight into personality and brand. This is where a creative resume can set a candidate apart from the rest of the crowd. Job seekers are using everything from social media to their own personal websites to spread the word about their experience and qualifications.
Recently, one NPR applicant used Storify, a social curation site, to highlight her job qualifications. Another online marketing manager based his resume on the Google Analytics interface. The most recent example is the candidate who modeled his resume after the crowdfunding site Kickstarter, but instead of dollars, he’s relying on social capital to help him land a job in digital media. Candidates are even turning to Pinterest to build a living resume that highlights key checkpoints along a rich career.
LinkedIn is also steadily adding elements to help members put their own personal spin on their profile and emphasize their experience. Right now, you can add graphical elements, such as presentations, as well as image-friendly status updates.
Visually rich resumes allow candidates to create an image-centric version of their resume focused entirely on their marketing message. And while the visual nature of this format is its strength, it can also be a weakness. These types of resumes aren’t easily parsed into an ATS, and because they buck the traditional formats, they may be difficult, at first glance, to read. And not everyone is convinced that creative resume formats are the wave of the future.
Candidates eager to show their creativity should also know that while a non-traditional method (like a tee shirt) might garner attention, most HR departments still want a regular version of your resume for their database (and to stay compliant with employment regulations).
Still, with the market for talent becoming increasingly competitive, employers should consider some of these innovative marketing pieces. After all, candidates adept at marketing themselves may be well-equipped to promote your brand and products, and ultimately drive sales.
How can employers connect with these candidates? It helps to have an active social media presence. Think about the skillsets and experience levels you’re trying to attract and build networks—traditional and virtual—around them. Most recruiters are already savvy about LinkedIn, but there may be hidden gems on other networks, too.
While creative resumes won’t take the place of text resumes, they can be a stepping stone to uncovering candidates who may not appear in your current internal database or on any of the job boards. For hard-to-fill positions or to simply build a rich talent community, it might be worth exploring the world beyond black and white text.
Check out even more creative resume examples at Pinterest.