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July 2012
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TD Magazine

Résumé Rules

The Creative Group offers insight into creating a professional, succinct, and stand-out résumé fit for the 2012 job seeker.

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Intelligence7
Job seekers today can join a variety of social networking sites and create free online professional profiles to tout their newest skills and latest experience. With such prolific tools at prospective employees' fingertips, are résumés still relevant?

According to Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group, "The traditional résumé remains the most important document for a job hunter to introduce himself, showcase his skills, and quantify his accomplishments."

As far as the look and feel of a résumé, a recent Creative Group survey finds that nearly half (46 percent) of advertising and marketing executives interviewed say that for those pursuing creative roles, how a résumé looks matters as much as what it contains. Only 7 percent of executives say a résumé's appearance is not very important.

With such design expectations in mind, The Creative Group offers the following suggestions for constructing a stand-out résumé.

  • Consider the user experience. Most hiring managers spend just a few seconds scanning a résumé. Use simple fonts, standard margins, section headings, and bullet points to help readers navigate the information.
  • Don't overdesign it. Refrain from excessive embellishments, which are distracting. Allow a supplementary personal website or portfolio to showcase your artistic style and creativity.
  • Paint a picture worth a thousand words. A well-designed visual or infographic résumé can effectively help you to stand out. However, also provide a traditional résumé.
  • Take advantage of all of your options. Link to online profiles, such as LinkedIn, about.me, visualize.me, and Zerply, to give employers a more complete picture of your individuality.
  • Prepare a plain version. Cover your bases by pasting a plain or ASCII text version of your résumé into the body of an email or online job application.
About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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