Balancing Description and Design in Your Résumé

Simple resumeDo a quick Google Image search for “professional résumés.” For the most part, you will find text-heavy résumés with little to no color. You will find résumés with bolded words that draw attention to sections or past experiences, and bulleted lists will outline skills and duties from each experience. Some play with basic line rules to divide sections, while others have small pops of color to show an eye for design, like the one to the right.

Now do a Google Image search for “creative professional résumés.” You will still find many that are text-heavy, but you will see far more visual interest in these than in the “professional résumés” results. Some use interesting visuals to illustrate skills, or length of time in each position and many use a creative personal brand. Some have one spot color that is used throughout, and others even pull off creativity in black and white. The first example below has one color that adds to the visual interest, and the second example makes use of spacing, simple graphics, and shades of black, white, and gray for a clean look.

creative green resume black and white

What does this say for a PWR major? It depends on a few factors, such as what type of job or internship you are looking for. Are you interested in a technical writing position or something more creative that involves blogging, social media, or even graphic design? Many PWR students fall somewhere in the middle, which means using some creativity but still explaining each experience and skill in enough detail is the way to go. You want to illustrate that you have a creative streak, but that you have the professional writing experience necessary to succeed in a workplace setting.

Think about designs that include your personal brand, a spot color, or a visually interesting border or heading. Use your résumé to express your style and brand to potential employers.

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