As most of us learned in the second grade, attracting attention is pretty terrific. When everybody’s looking at you and everyone’s talking about you, you’re living the sweet life. You’re the star of the show and the spotlight showers you with glory. But as most of learned in the THIRD grade, some attention is better than others. And as it turns out, knowing the difference between positive and negative attention can be the key to a happy life… and a successful job search.
The best resume moves are the ones that pull the spotlight in your direction. But when everybody turns their eyes toward you, make sure they’re doing so for the right reasons. The risky moves below can attract attention and start conversation, but handle them carefully, and keep the conversation positive.
1. Using Color
Use color in your resume to give it splash of something extra and a sense of style and design. Try adding green or blue to your bullet points or the lines that separate each section from the next. You can also highlight you name, your contact information, or both in a color that helps you stand out. But keep your colors limited to two (black and one other), or your resume will look cluttered and messy. And make sure your color choices don’t interfere with your message if the document is printed in black ink only.
2. Inserting Graphics or Images
Don’t use clip art, photographs, drawings, emoticons, or digital images in your formal resume. Depending on how they’re formatted, these images might not appear correctly on your recipient’s end, and in some cases, they can actually prevent your resume from uploading properly into databases or application tracking systems. Besides, these graphics don’t add much to your message, and a photograph of yourself can actually remove you from the running, since employers may fear accusations of appearance-based hiring bias.
As an alternative, submit your resume free of images, but include a link to an online version of your document posted on your website or blog. Visiting this URL is entirely voluntary, so you can include anything you like on your page. Photos, video clips, graphs, charts, portfolios of previous work, and testimonials from your past employers are all perfectly valid in this context.
3. Being Radically Honest
If you’re tired of the rituals, fake smiles, buzzwords, and posturing that seem to be an integral part of the modern job search process, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, most employers appreciate candidates who cut through the nonsense and speak from the heart. If you’d rather not try to convince employers that you have a “passion for growth and a commitment to synergistic datafication,” when you’re trying to land a job as a mattress sales rep, that’s fine. Keeping it real will help your readers understand how you can actually meet their needs, and most of them will respect you more, not less, if you do this. But stay positive. Don’t cross the line from “honesty” into bitterness, and don’t let your tone become sullen or cold.
Keep Your Resume Center Stage
Visit LiveCareer for specific guidance and formatting tools that can help you attract the right kind of attention.