CVS / JUN. 05, 2014
version 4, draft 4

How to Write a Resume for a Creative Job

 Flazingo Photos - Flickr

Whether you are an aspiring architect, graphic designer, actor or journalist, you fundamentally fall under the umbrella of the creative industry. Every resume should contain the same essential elements such as job experience and qualifications but writing a resume for a creative job requires a few different challenges. Creative professionals usually have to go one step further in trying to grab the attention of hiring managers. You are a ‘creative’ individual after all and applying for a ‘creative’ job means putting your cards on the table and exposing your skills.

Here are a few tips to consider when writing your resume for a creative job:

Be Ahead of the Game

No employer wants to read a generic resume. You need to be one step ahead of all other candidates by tailoring your skills to the needs and requirements of the job description. Write a strong and appealing profile that tells the employer why you’re the best option for the job.

Think about the business goals of the company. How can your creative abilities help the company’s overall goals? Whilst writing this resume, keep some key points in mind. For example, if you’re a graphic designer, think about how your skills in design will have a potential value to the company or if you’re a music producer, think about what sets your ability to deliver songs apart from everyone else.

Sell yourself but at the same time, take into account what the hirer wants to read. Don’t lie or exaggerate about your skills as you’ll soon have to put them to practice.

Let Your Creativity Run Wild, But Not Too Wild

First impressions always count. You want the hiring manager to open your resume and immediately see that you are a creative individual. By this, we don’t mean using dizzying colours, different fonts and exaggerated patterns – in fact employers hate seeing overdesigned resumes. Instead, make your personality shine through with a visually pleasing format. For example, use some colour and two different fonts at most. Choose a layout and design that is tidy, eye-catching and innovative. For some ideas, have a look at these templates.

Think outside the box

No creative professional should stick to the basic black and white format. You want to catch the eye of the hirer and stand out in that pile of resumes. If you are applying for a design-related job or position requiring a flair for visuals, it’s recommended that you avoid using Microsoft Word. It might be okay for a secretarial position but those who are going for something creative should use PDF format. You might like to consider using an infographic format which is great for an advertising job or video for a digital marketing job. 

Show them what you’ve got

Every job-seeker should have a portfolio, no matter what profession. Those who want to work in the creative industry however, should have one by law. Whether you are an illustrator, a fashion designer or a publisher, providing a link to your online portfolio in your resume is imperative. 

Impress, prove your value and demonstrate your creativity by incorporating any previous work and materials. Listing your skills in a resume is not enough when applying for a creative career. You need to show your accomplishments, skills and abilities in an organized collection of work examples. Carbonmade.com offers you some great examples.

If you’re a photographer, display a compilation of your best photos or if you’re trying to work in the film industry, provide storyboards and clips that show your skills in editing or cinematography. This is your chance to demonstrate how your skills can support the targeted company.

Stick to the Basics

Like all resumes, you need to state a list of your previous employers along with the dates of employment. Experience is considered the Holy Grail in the creative industry. A degree in fine arts isn’t always enough to land the job of your dreams as an illustrator. A lot of employers are more impressed by your experience history so be sure to clarify where you’ve previously applied your skills.

Shout it from the rooftop

Your educational background should certainly be highlighted, whether you have a degree in journalism or anything relevant to your creative field. In addition, you should list your publications and awards. Being modest in the creative industry won’t get you far. You need to shout your achievements from the rooftop!

Computer skills are everything, especially in this day and age. Applying for a graphic design job? List your skills in Photoshop, Flash or Illustrator. Applying for a copywriter job? List your skills in Wordpress or Blogger. Plenty of jobs use a variety of computer programs today so if you have experience with any – specify them!

Writing a resume for a creative job requires more than stating a list of expertise and capabilities. It’s about demonstrating your skills and giving an example of your creative professionalism. Working in the creative field requires imagination, vision and originality and that’s exactly what your resume should display.

Image Credit: Image by Flazingo Photos - Flickr

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