Blog Project 3: Traditional vs. Non-Traditional

To be blunt, I do not see the traditional resume disappearing anytime soon due to several circumstances. A non-traditional resume may look and/or sound interesting and may be useful in “standing out” in certain job markets where the utmost creativity is necessary, but as far as the vast majority goes it is a distraction and a waste of effort. For one thing, the resume itself in many areas of the market is disappearing as a stand-alone document; many more common jobs are offered on behalf of large organizations and many ask that the hopeful apply online and simply regurgitate what would be on a traditional resume onto their own company specific application. The resume itself, while it can in many circumstances be attached, is not necessarily necessary and is essentially redundant.

As noted in a 2011 article, from the send button ones application goes through an ATS program that automatically filters out keywords and phrases specific to what the company is looking for and, much like a Google search, will offer up the highest percentage matches. Having a more colorful or creatively structured resume many interfere with a programs ability to find these markers and thus disqualify you from a search long before an actual human being can appreciate your rainbow-colored header. Another mark against the non-traditional resume is its very variability. It is too easy to do a creative resume wrong because there are fewer standards of use available. Even if you are not submitting a creative resume until an actual interview, many options that may at first appear “cute” or “interesting” may not be taken that way by a potential employer and simply do not come out as seeming professional. Unlike its more non-descript cousin, what is a welcome use of style or color to one resume pile might not be welcome in another. Unless it is for a job along the lines of Google, graphic designing or perhaps going into business for yourself, the time and effort that goes into creating a creative resume for one job, might have to be completely redone to apply somewhere else, simply put: the more creative one gets, to a certain extent, the less one size fits all.

Of course the exception to the latter statement would most obviously be professional profiles such as Linked-In or Facebook, which I do feel have some universal usability. But these are not resumes any more than resumes are Linked-In profiles, they are two distinct relays of information. Profiles are more personable introductions while still containing relevant information. These kinds of works are worth splurging a bit with creativity because they almost have to be viewed by a human being where the creative effort can be appreciated.

I’ve made no secret about my distaste for many creative resume formats in this post. To be even more honest, when it comes to my professional experience there is not much to separate me from any crowd. Because most of my jobs have been pretty run-of-the-mill, if I had to create a more artful version of my resume I would probably go with either an infographic format or a captioned slideshow ( because they are simple, easy to format and linear making them less distracting to follow.


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