Over the last few years different type resume styles have shown up. The design might look great and sophisticated, but I often have my doubts that these fancy looking resumes actually work.
When experimenting with different resume styles keep in mind what the goal of your resume is. It is supposed to catch the interest of the hiring manager. You have less than 30 seconds to really catch the attention of the hiring manager before it gets tossed. If your fancy looking resume is so fancy that the content becomes secondary your resume needs to change.
The most important thing about your resume design is that the hiring manager can easily read the highlights and determine if you are a good fit. Keep in mind that people will just take a quick look at your resume. They will briefly scan it looking for something that they “recognize” because it is what they are looking for with the new hire. You will need to rely on outside help to determine where your new fancy resume design fits in. I recommend to do 2 types of tests. Print out your resume and have a couple friends or family members look at it for 30 seconds. Then ask them what they saw and what they remember from your resume. You can also ask them to look for a certain keyword or phrase during those 30 seconds. The second test is on the computer display. Have friends or family open the resume on the screen and again look it over for 30 seconds. And again, have them look for a keyword or phrase during that time.
Now collect the results. You should be able to determine where your resume design fits in. I personally prefer the more traditional style for my own resume. It is not fancy and you might say it looks boring. But you know what? It does the job. The design is not “covering up” the content. The content is displayed and easily to read – even when just taking a glance. The reader can see skills and important keywords are prominently displayed. The same should apply to your resume to be successful.
Certain industries or professions might be more open for a more fancy looking resume, but for most people the traditional style will do just fine. If you’re planning to work for a small and creative startup companies, your chances of having success with a fancy looking resume are higher compared to submitting your resume to a big corporation. But again, it also depends on the industry you’re are applying in.