Traditional resumes seem so boring and stupid don't they?
Nobody likes to write them and nobody likes to read them.
Plus, this is the digital age, so why the heck do we have to rely on such an old-fashioned way of doing things??
You could use an alternative format or creative marketing technique instead of using that sad sack old-school resume?
Well, sit back and relax because we have 7 alternative resume formats that just might just make you STAND OUT from the crowd and allow you to leave that crappy old resume in the dusty crevices of your hard drive.
Cover Letter AS a Resume
Some people say the cover letter is dead and you should send a pain letter instead.
When attacking a huuuuuge stack of resumes a manager might look at the first few cover letters, but they tend to skim the rest because they start sounding all too similar after awhile.
If you're sending a cover letter AS your resume instead of WITH your resume in an informal capacity (bypassing HR and increasing your chances of the hiring manager actually SEEING what you sent *wink wink*) they tend to prefer brevity.
Managers usually care more about the skills you bring to the table and what you can do to make their lives easier than if you specifically have 3 years of X experience instead of 4.
Personal note: This option could go horribly awry unless you're VERY well-versed in the pain points of the manager you're sending the letter to.
Another alternative to a standard resume is a portfolio.
Portfolios are concrete proof that you can actually do what you say you can do.
They can be a physical copy (on paper or canvas) or an electronic one (website or downloadable files).
Portfolios are typically used by those in careers considered to be creative like: artists, writers, graphic designers, illustrators, etc.
But they can also be used by non-artists as well.
If you've created reports, advanced spreadsheets, written code, worked on a personal mechanical engineering project, or pretty much created ANYTHING from scratch (that can be viewed without violating any proprietary/contractual agreements between you and your employer) upload a picture, video, or project file(s) to your LinkedIn profile or consider uploading them to Pinterest, Tumblr, or Slideshare.
CV (Curriculum Vitae '(the) course of (my) life') vs Resume
A CV was typically used in Europe in place of the resume but now the shorter 'American-style' resume is widely accepted.
In the United States a formal CV is usually reserved for academia. (Consider it to be a much more in-depth version of a resume.)
The CV is a static, long-format document that spans an entire career. Think resume on over-drive!
Outside of adding the most recent position when you're looking for a new job the only other thing likely to ever change is the cover letter.
A typical resume is a short, (usually 1-3 pages) less formal document which should be frequently updated to reflect the requirements of the particular job you're applying for.
What about creating a video?
Video is hot, hot hot! So why not jump on this bandwagon while you have the chance?
Use this as an opportunity to show off who you are and what you know!
Your personality, enthusiasm, and passion are often just as important as your job skills when applying for a position.
And if you've been saying that you can't do it because it's too hard or you don't have the right equipment: Stop Making Excuses!
The next level up is Adobe Premiere Pro, but....I'd save that for a bit later when you've gone pro.
- Have fun!
- Show off your personality - crack jokes, smile, and talk to the camera like it's a friend
- Have great lighting
- Face a window on a sunny day and position the camera in between you and the window.
- Do NOT read from a script (unless you're a professional actor/actress)
- Tape bullet points of the things you don't want to forget onto the window slightly above the camera
- Pro-Tip: Always film horizontally
- Vertical filming will leave you with black bars on the sides - Not cool, man...Not cool.
Similar to having a bunch of cool examples in your Linkedin profile, what if you had an ENTIRE website dedicated to just You All You and Only You?
Imagine the possibilities?!
You could show people what you know by creating content like articles, videos, infographics, etc. Ultimately, letting your website speak to potential employers, like an online portfolio.
Websites like Wix are completely free and have resume templates specifically for this purpose.
To see the template options available on Wix check out the snazzy gif I made, just for you:
Have you ever considered using LinkedIn AS your resume.
You took all that time and effort to get that sweet, sweet coveted All-Star status.
You might as well get as much mileage out of that bad boy as you possibly can, right?
Alternatively, you can use sites like ResumeMonk to pull your LinkedIn profile into an actual resume which can be printed out.
Obviously, this means you want to keep your resume updated at all times.
If you need some information on how to optimize your Linkedin profile or just want a refresher course, check out this quick and dirty LinkedIn 101 Checklist:
Infographics are all the rage, and in this digital age it's insanely easy to create them from scratch.
Use apps like Canva (free) or Visme* (paid) to create super-easy, eye catching graphics.
Data visualization allows for you to stand out from the average person by almost forcing the reader to stop and pay attention.
They'll also process the information better if they're visual learners.
Infographics are great to include in your colorful, beautifully designed digital resume.
Though not appropriate for all positions, you can certainly consider incorporating some of the features into your typical, hum-drum black and white resume.
Below is an example of a free resume template from Canva which includes infographics to display Skills and Interests in a much more visually appealing fashion.
* This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase using this link.
Though, it might be great to have a few resume alternatives under your belt, it's definitely a good idea to keep your old-school resume on hand.
Unfortunately, we haven't reached a point where it's not required by most employers in order for you to be considered a serious candidate.
That doesn't mean attacking things from the mindset of being creative, fun, and unique won't score you some major brownie points the next time you apply for a position.
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Which Tip Was Your Favorite?