Category Archives: Beyond the Resume

Blog #3 – Beyond the Resume / Using the Internet to Improve My Image

Currently, my online/professional identity is presented in a pretty generic format. I have a website set up with some basic information about myself that includes a link to my resume. Eventually, I’d like to create a video resume and a portfolio to show off what I’m capable of. Additionally, I’d like to revise my existing resume to be more interesting and also more specific.

Right now, my resume is pretty basic. It lists my job experience, the schools I’ve attended, and the organizations I was involved in during high school. I use a template that I found in the Microsoft Word template library; it forces all-caps for titles and the text is blue. I don’t feel like it really stands out. It would probably be in my best interest to create different resumes for different types of jobs; I’m not sure that it makes a good impression for potential employers to see I was working at a skating rink called “Fun Galaxy” at one point.

Hmm, yes, the smell of sweat masked by the smell of Lysol. Potential employers will definitely want to hear about this.
Hmm, yes, the smell of sweat masked by the smell of Lysol. Potential employers will definitely want to hear about this.

I think using a QR code would be wise for a more “modern” version of my resume; the code could be a link to my website, which, ideally would have  a portfolio showcasing different projects (i.e. code samples from programming classes, contributions to my high school’s yearbook, and some of the music I’ve made).

Scan it if you're feeling bold.
Scan it if you’re feeling bold.

Using a video resume would be beneficial because video is inherently multimodal and using this format would allow employers to get a glimpse at who I am, as well as how I present myself. Video allows applicants to showcase something that typed resumes can’t: their personality.

In the video below, a man uses video to inform and entertain viewers, in hopes of getting hired at Google.

Ultimately, I want to present myself as being multi-faceted, and I believe a video resume is probably the best way to accomplish this. I’d be able to show off my personality and also, since video is multi-modal, I could use the format to present brief snippets of non-written work from my portfolio (e.g. music).

In conclusion, I think my image would benefit from excluding irrelevant information about my prior work experience and using the internet to create a more interactive and multi-modal piece for employers to review.

Does it pay to be creative?

Traditional vs. Non-traditional resumes is quickly becoming a hot topic of discussion for both employers and employees in our modern work force.  With so many potential jobs in the market and even more potential employees looking to fill those positions, the competition can be stiff so it is important to figure out noticeable professional ways to standout.  What traits and concepts make a resume noticeable yet professional?

It is vital, of course, to find ways for your resume to standout when submitting to potential employers or online databases.  Many people do not realize the amount of resumes received by both companies and online job databases.  Sorting through all those resumes must be a pain and many times, your run-of-the-mill resume is too quickly scanned and tossed for the next one.  Consequently, the question at large that I find here is not Traditional vs. Non-traditional; moreover, the question is how to relate your resume to your potential employer.  The answer to this imperative question is to plan ahead, understand the field/career you are looking to pursue, and model your resume around those fine points.

The idea that traditional resumes are dying is a bit exaggerated.  Yes, it is true that your standard paper resume listing accomplishments and credentials is a bit out-dated, but the truth is that may be all you need to land a job.  Your resume must reflect your career path.  If you are looking to work for Google or any career in graphic design, the standard paper resume will surely not be enough.  In this instance, a resume with more color, quality word spacing, and font size may be necessary.  Patricia Laya highlights this point when she states, “we asked career coaches if and when it pays to be creative.  The consensus: It depends where you’re applying to.”

horror resume

The first resume showcases the perfect example of a resume for someone looking to work in the television/film industry, particularly works of horror.  The constructor of this resume strategically models his resume after a movie poster.  The title is at the top and in big bold letters to demonstrate creativity.  A brief bio detailing his objective and skills is presented in a thrilling, exciting manor.  The picture adds more flair to his resume, while also including his experience down the left side.

 google resume

This next resume is perfect for someone looking to acquire a job at Google.  It may look like your run-of-the-mill resume, but it works for this job.  The creator of this resume, clearly looking to work for Google, crafted a resume resembling a Google search page for his name.  A list of experience, skills, and education is provided, but the fact that his resume relates to his employer means he is likely to win the job over others.

On a side note, I want to voice my opinion that social media and job recruitment should remain completely separate entities.  This opinion is of course irrelevant, as companies still use these social media outlets to scope potential employees, but I have seen a few posts mention that social media outlets should take the place of traditional resumes and I completely disagree.  The internet is vast and unknown and while most people understand what is right from wrong, social media, aside from job specific outlets like LinkedIn, should be a place where people can express themselves free from judgment.  It is not the business of the employers to pry into personal lives unless it negatively affects the company.

Sources Cited:

Laya, Patricia. (2011, June 11). 13 insanely cool resumes that landed interviews at Google and other top jobs. Retrieved from  [NB: And links to more. A good idea? It depends.]

Blog #3: The New Way to Resume

File:Resume.pdfAlthough the traditional resume is not completely outdated, it is slowly making its way to the door. With the number of college graduates increasing every year, it is harder and harder to stand out among your peers. When you limit yourself to a single white piece of paper with one-inch margins and Times New Roman text, the task is almost impossible. This is why many hopeful job seekers are finding new, creative ways to show potential employers their qualifications and experiences. Artists, athletes, musicians and others with skills that must be seen to be believed can benefit especially from using an alternative resume. I personally plan to go into the field of business, which is still a fairly conservative field in the way of resumes. For this reason, I do not feel as though something too out of the box, like a video or movie poster resume, would suit me. These could come off as unprofessional in the business world. For this reason, I chose two fairly conservative, but still creative, alternative resumes that I would like to create for myself: the timeline resume and the infographic resume.

(By the way, click here for a great website I found for creating infographic resumes!)

The Timeline Resume

While it is unique enough to make a statement, the timeline resume is still simple and professional. I would personally choose this format because it stands out just enough without seeming too off the wall. I like how it allows you to show your education, work experiences, and other events as a series, rather than a bulleted list. The reader can see a progression, and has a better understanding of the steps you took to get to where you are today. For example, with this type of resume, you can show that you were able to balance school and a career at the same time. You can explain why you were out of a job for six months by adding in your trip around Europe, showing that you were not just unemployed, but that you are adventurous and have an interesting life outside of work. I think this resume is great for standing out as well as thoroughly illustrating your skills and experience, and the life events that made you prepared for the position you are applying for.

The Info-graphic Resume

The info-graphic resume is another way to stand out without pushing the prospective employer awayresume-infographic. I like this type of resume because It includes all the elements of a traditional resume, but adds images, colors, and graphs. This means that although the reader is seeing the same info they would on a normal resume, they are having a much more enjoyable time reading it. In just one page, you are able to tell a prospective employer anything they could possibly need to know about your experience and skills, and it is exciting for them to read. I also think the addition of QR codes is brilliant, because after drawing the viewer in, you are able to provide them with additional avenues to learn more about you and connect with you. I also think this type of resume shows confidence and creativity, two skills that will stand out to many prospective employer. And while it is creative, the color scheme, fonts, and even the layout still make it a look like a professional document. All in all, this type of resume could be perfect for the business world, with its mix of traditional resume with creative flair.


Traditional Resume


Timeline Resume:


Vizualize Info-graphic Resume Creator:



Infographic resume:



Blog Post #3: New v. Old Ways


Encoded in our very genes is the will to survive by any means necessary including competition. We have been displaying these acts acts of competition our entire lives and now it’s taking a step further in our workplace. The process of applying for a job is way to pit a group of people together and see who can stand out and take the job position.

While I do believe in people going the extra mile to stand out to the employer, I also believe in understanding your surroundings. When applying for a graphic designer position I could see the necessity to show a more creative side to display your skills in a brief and yet capturing way. However seeing how the majority of people go for a more corporate job or a more professional environment it seems to me that it is more practical to go with a more traditional resume.

While some people may go on thinking that they need to make their resume make more physically appealing, the research shows that it isn’t what employers are looking at. In fact according to research only six seconds are spent looking at each individual resume. In case you were wondering what exactly your future employer is looking at here is what the facts state.  “In the short time that they spend with your resume, the study showed recruiters will look at your name, current title and company, current position start and end dates, previous title and company, previous position start and end dates, and education.”


(The above picture shows eye movement on a resume from the employer’s point of view, this helps to see where the mainly focus)

All in all what the above statement clarified is that the least important thing about your resume is how creative you appear to be when sending to an employer. Some people may make a point that some employers will favor job candidates based on their originality but the fact of the matter is, after seeing a thousand resume at a rate of six seconds each, they are not going to waste time by seeing how “cool” your resume is.

If you really want to show a more vivid resume, a social media site such as LinkedIn is a great place to do so. Once your employer is visiting the site he can really see what you have participated in and valuable skills that could not be mentioned on the resume. It will allow you to maintain a clean and professional resume and show your employer that you are still creative and think outside of the box.



“6 Seconds”

No Demise for the Traditional Resume

Despite the numerous technological changes that have taken place over the years, I strongly believe most organizations still request a traditional resume and employers notwithstanding want to hold a resume in their hands as everyone is not digital-age savvy. In regards to non-traditional resumes, it happens to be a good way to make a great impression depending on the type of job a person is seeking. Regarding social media profiles, candidates might like the idea of being able to showcase their resume, work samples, and explain what they can offer to the company as an employee.

Which of the alternative formats do you think suits you the best? Of all the alternatives available I like the video CV and brochure the best. This is because the video CV serves as a great opportunity to sell my credentials, show off my personality and my presentation skills. It can portray me to the employer as someone who would go the extra mile to land the job and as someone put a lot of thought into making the video. In addition, using the template of a brochure for my resume seems unique, unusual and definitely looks like a sure way to stand out from the crowd.

Personally, as the internet, social media, and of course the ideas from people continue to evolve, I doubt traditional resumes will ever be considered as outdated as there are people who still appreciate a hardcopy resume. In summary, it is here to stay!

Bari, Mariusz. N.d. Graphic. n.p. Web. 14 Sep 2014. <>.

Doyle, Alison. “Examples of the Different Types of Nontraditional Resumes.” About. Web. 15 Sept. 2014. <>.

Epstein, Matthew. “Video Resume: Google Please Hire Me.” YouTube. YouTube, 29 June 2011. Web. 15 Sept. 2014. <>.

Js, Stariya. “1.11c CJS Resume Brochure.” 10 Oct. 2011. Web. 15 Sept. 2014. <>.

Showing Off or Showing Your Stuff

Graphic designers, musicians for hire, artists, freelancers, and creative-types of all sorts are creating visually appealing nontraditional résumés that make great impressions on list sites and magazine articles, but how well do they perform as tools for landing a great job? Some of these graphic designers need a creative résumé just to get noticed, but some of the other types of nontraditional résumés out there might be too cute for their own good.

Employers may take a look at a nontraditional  résumé and deem the applicant creative, but not ideal for the job. Some employers may even think that the applicant may expect a higher wage than they want to pay.

There has to be an acceptable situation for submitting an artistic and creative résumé. For example, an applicant who wants to use a custom-made nontraditional résumé may find a better audience at a convention or conference where they might meet employers in person before submitting their résumés as opposed to more conventional submission such as mail or electronic submission.

I found this interesting résumé which fits in a pants pocket, is comprised of multiple, visually appealing pages. Its a creative fascicle résumé of sorts.

This individual could pass out this résumé at a conference or convention and enjoy the advantage of an informal meeting as well as seeing a potential employer’s immediate interest upon flipping through this résumé/mini portfolio.

A highly creative, nontraditional résumé might not work so successfully if employers perceive the document as self-important. Employers may be looking for a good team member instead of an all-star and if a highly talented individual crosses the line between professionalism and showing off, his or her résumé could prove  a disadvantage.

I found this interesting ‘prezume’ which uses Prezi’s storytelling qualities to communicate this woman’s value, experience, skills, interests, and goals without appearing self-praising. She uses terse and concise language to articulate her value but also uses a video, photographs, and slides dedicated to showcasing her accomplishments. Her Prezi communicates that she is accomplished, well educated, professional, and creative.


Blog Post #3: Alternative Resumes for Largely Non-Visual Fields

Resumes have seen some dramatic changes in the past few years. Especially with all the technology available to us today, job seekers are constantly finding new and different ways to set themselves apart from the rest. One way this is done is through creative resumes.

Rather than the standard one-page list of skills and experiences that is the format traditional for a resume, people are starting to use different mediums and taking more visually appealing approaches than ever before. Someone looking to go into graphic design, for example, might benefit greatly from having a visually appealing resume filled with designs they created. Similarly, someone in video production might benefit from a video resume.

But because fields like writing, English, literature, linguistics, and even journalism are largely about text and content, these eye-catching resumes may be irrelevant to aspiring professionals seeking employment in one of these fields because they don’t communicate linguistic skill.

So, what do you do if you are seeking to appeal to the linguistic mode of your potential employers rather than the visual?

One way to incorporate writing skill into resume materials is through the personal biography. Because this element is mostly text and can be brief or detailed, it is a great opportunity to show writing prowess. For example, a poet looking for work might write,

“I went to Stanford U,
Where I learned to write haikus.
I graduated in 2002,
And now I want to work for you!”

Meanwhile, a creative writer might submit something like this:

“I stood triumphantly with my diploma in one hand, waving to the crowd with the other. My journey was finally complete, or so I thought. But really it was just beginning.”

Another way to optimize your professional presence for writing is through social media. This applies especially to blogs, which can be a great place to showcase your writing skills. So long as your posts are well-articulated, seamlessly edited, and non-controversial, blogs can be an easy and widely-accessible way to show your writing chops.

Of course, even in writing-based professions there are still some visual elements to be considered. Playing with text and layouts can get you noticed while still showing off relevant skills. Use of attention-grabbing colors, unique fonts, eye-catching text effects, and appealing spacial designs can be beneficial in making your resume stand out at first glance. Examples of resumes using text-centered approaches are below.

Blog Post #3: To Be or Not to Be Creative

Although I am not sure that a creative resume would be the most advantageous, given my career plans, I like the distinctive folded paper and infographic options for alternative resume styles. As I become an actuary and enter the risk field, my professional presence is mostly influenced through networking and the information contained within my resume ( Resume Guidelines: Actuarial Science). Of this information, the most crucial part is what actuarial exams I have passed or plan to sit for, the skills and knowledge I have gained through internships or previous jobs, and leadership roles in relevant activities. I think an infographic or origami resume could highlight this information quickly while being creative, easy to read, and concise.

I think a creative resume would certainly set me apart from the competition, but only to make me more memorable not necessarily give me a leg-up on the competition; I will have a better chance of securing the job by passing more exams. However, an infographic could easily draw the employer’s eye to this score and other important information by giving the information its own box and emphasizing it with color and pictograms. Infographics seem to be the closest to a simple black and white, word processed resume, as would be more appropriate in a serious, data and information oriented environment than a word cloud or movie poster. The infographic shown below is, in my opinion, a good example because it is colorful but has a unifying theme (of pink) and is easy on the eyes. The sheet is not crowed and it is easy to identify the different sections such as skills or contact information.


A creatively folded resume is also acceptable because it can simply be your regular word processed resume folded in a clever way


or your resume can be sectioned off and folded so that the shape highlights different important aspects of your credentials.


The first origami resume, which is folded like an envelope, would be the best option because, like a business card, it can be carried around and given to an interested party without being cumbersome the way a piece of paper or exceptionally 3-D folded resume would be.


Penn State Smeal College of Business. Resume Guidelines: Actuarial Science. Retrieve September 14, 2014.

Blog Post #3: Standing out just like everyone else

Since the internet took over in the early 90’s, the world has become more connected than ever. This has had both positive and negative effects on the job market, and on the process one must go through in order to find employment. It should come as no surprise, then, that the massive influx in competition for similar job types would result in the creation of the “need” for alternative resumes.

How can one stand out if all they have to show their employer is a record of all the things they have done and their specific qualification for the job they are applying for? No. In today’s ever evolving society one must continuously adapt and change and STAND OUT if they want to be hired by corporations. How should one go about making their resume, (a thing that is in no way ever actually unique or special by its very nature,) seem super duper totally special and unique?

One tip, which has already been brought up, but seems to be OVERWHELMINGLY USEFUL, is to lie, make stuff up, and then lie some more. Looking like the most qualified candidate is really hard in today’s job market because most of us are all very similar and the jobs we want are very similar as well. Lying allows you to edge out all those suckers trying to get by on their own merit.

My chosen career path (creative writing and stand-up comedy) will require a slightly different type of resume since I would rather burn to death in a house full of angry kittens than go to work for a company who wants a serious resume. Yet I still need to be able to show my skills and I must stand out if I really want people to notice me. This link  shows one specific alternative resume type that I would use; a creative Facebook page! The second creative resume I would potentially use is a presi that shows examples of my brilliant prose. This will get me the job for sure!


Sources used:




Blog #3: When Does It Pay To Be Creative?

Remember my presentation on Wednesday about modalities? I would like to think of this blog post as an extension of my PowerPoint presentation. Specifically, the way audiences’ reactions to modalities shift in various context and cultures. When we are ready to write our resumes, we must apply cognitive empathy. That is, we must put ourselves in our potential employers’ shoes in order to understand their thought processes when analyzing our resumes.

In my PowerPoint, I broke down employers into three very broad groups: general audience, specific audience, and international audience.  General and international audiences would want traditional-style resumes because these have always been deemed professional, and thus, suitable for professional workplaces, such as law firms, investment banks, and government offices.

However, specific audiences are media-based employers like Facebook, film, or radio stations, whose audience is the public. Specific audiences do not like traditional resumes because they do not represent the progressive actions of the company, nor do traditional styles reflect their values in creativity and imagination. So, what should we give them? The examples below are alternative resumes that have landed job interviews. Click one for a closer look.


resume_FB  resume_movie

(Images: “13 Insanely Cool Resumes that Landed Interviews At Google And Other Top Jobs.” 2014. Web. Courtesy of Patricia Laya on Business Insider.)


What does this mean for us? It means that we need to be ready to create multiple styles of resumes in addition to our traditional resumes. Click here for more creative resume ideas to apply to your field.

My field is in English, so I can go into multiple positions for editing anywhere. If I were to go into menu design and editing, I would resemble my resume to a menu:

  • Name of the restaurant: Your name and contact information
  • Appetizers: Your objective/goal
  • Tapas: Your skills
  • Entrees: Your skills applied to experiences
  • Sides: Your education and work history
  • Desserts: Your awards, certificates, or licenses

If I were to go for a position at a greeting card company, I would use a bi-fold card as my resume template:

  • Outside of card: Name, contact information, objective/goal
  • Inside (left page): Skills and skills applied to experiences
  • Inside (right page): Education/work history and awards/certificates/licenses


In addition to alternative resumes as a means of deviating from the crowd, there are a few other ways to distinguish you from others with similar backgrounds:

  • Kill the buzz words, like “team player” or “detail-oriented.” Instead of using these adjectives, provide a concrete example of a project where you had to work with others. Also, show the employer that you are detail-oriented through your resume. Make sure you used correct grammar and that your spaces are parallel and words are aligned.
  • Include your goals. People with similar backgrounds don’t necessarily have the same goals (Veritas Prep). Being able to articulate exactly why you need the job to achieve your goals is a strong tool.
  • Avoid jargons associated with your field.  Employers are subjected to the same words used in multiple resumes, which means they will be inclined to overlooking these words and consider it a poor use of space on resumes.

On the other hand, we need to keep in mind that these alternative resumes can be risky even within the specific audience. For example, I included an animated resume in my PowerPoint with background music that was far too fast-paced, and thereby, affecting the pace of the content in the video. Another example of the risks of alternative resumes is Greg Dizzia’s experience when his “resume became the actual interview.” An employer asked him “what would happen if this was black and white?” and from there he learned that his “resume itself was becoming a pivoting point in the negotiation of [his] position” and that “although he says he’s gotten mostly positive feedback, he says his resume has caused mixed reactions. It mostly depends on who you’re talking to[…]and he gets much better reactions from people in creative positions than people in HR” (Laya).

Other risky ways of representing yourself include social media profiles. We need to step back and ask ourselves not how do we want to portray ourselves, but rather as whom do we want to portray ourselves? This refers us back to my blog post last week about the lack of ethics in resumes and why it is okay.

I have never thought deeply about the image I want to portray on social media. After Brandin’s presentation on Wednesday about audience, I took his advice on what we should keep in mind when we have social media profiles:

  • Likes/dislikes/following whom
  • Memes that we share indicating racism, sexism, violence
  • Grammar, homophones, apostrophes
  • Photos/what is in the background of those photos

In a perfect world, we would want to create a neutral image for our employers. However, it is hard to tell who considers things negative or positive. Personally, regardless of what I want to be or for whom I want to work, I know that my degree will be in English. So, the image I want to create is a person with good grammar and coherent sentences. In addition, I “like” Grammarly on Facebook, and the “Books I’ve Read” section on my profile lists all of the classic novels I have read (even if I did not like them). These factors can work in my favor instead of being risks to my character.

So, when does it pay to be creative? Career coaches say that “it depends on where you’re applying to” (Laya).


Sources Cited

“Distinguishing Yourself in Your MBA Applications.” Veritas Prep. Web. 14 September 2014 <>.

Laya, Patricia. “13 Insanely Cool Resumes that Landed Interviews At Google And Other Top Jobs.” Business Insider. Web. 14 September 2014 <>.