Resume Not Getting Attention? Resist ‘Creativity’

GQ Intern Resume

Shortly after urging recent graduates to stick to a standard resume format, along comes a breakthrough resume that makes job seekers think they, too, should abandon traditional resumes.

I admit being impressed by Sumukh Mehta’s incredibly creative resume, a 20-page magazine-like resume that landed him an internship at British GQwithout an interview.

Over the past few months, I have talked with several hiring managers who amusingly describe resumes that didn’t get the positive reactions desired by job seekers. One resume was printed on the back of an 8×10-inch photo of the applicant and another was delivered in a Nike shoe box, suggesting the applicant was ready to hit the ground running. A well-intended sports-related resume was printed on a Wheaties cereal box. Unlike Sumukh’s GQ pitch, hiring managers receiving these resumes said none were specifically relevant to their openings.

My advice: Resist the “creative urge” unless your resume idea truly is a breakthrough approach directly targeted to an individual or organization that might appreciate the creativity.

As stated in prior post, it is safest to stick to the facts—not tricks—when writing your resume. The classic Harvard-style resume remains the preferred format of most recruiters and employers. If your current resume isn’t getting the traction desired, compare it to the those of peers who are landing jobs. Remember that creative resume approaches must be highly targeted, not generically applied to all openings.

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