Can Creative People Get Funky With Resumes?

Can Creative People Get Funky With Resumes?

by Kerry Scott on 8 April 2009

2561252664_88b19dc2b7Photo by pasotraspaso

A reader writes:

I’m in a creative field (graphic design).  I keep reading articles from HR people like you that I should not do anything innovative with my resume, because HR people and their computer systems don’t like it.  I’m not trying to get an HR job though, and I feel that my resume should be an opportunity to show off my creativity.    Why does HR have to be the barrier to me showing my skills?

You’re right—HR people shouldn’t be the barrier.  If I’m helping a manager hire for a creative role, I expect to see all kinds of funky.  If I’m hiring for a flashy role, I expect to see people doing flashy things.  The job search advice you read out there (and in here) is for most people, most of the time.  If it doesn’t apply to you, you should disregard it.

Good HR people know when to butt out of the hiring process.  I screen much more broadly for fields where I’m unqualified to judge the work.  As you can see by the design of my blog, I am not a graphic designer by any stretch of the imagination.  When I’m helping to hire for a role like that, I make sure the hiring manager is far more involved in the screening, because he  is going to have a way better eye for that kind of talent than I.  My role, in a situation like that, is to attract people who might want to work here, keep the process moving, etc.  Good recruiting is often about getting over yourself and letting the people who know what they’re talking about do their thing.

Shauna Moerke at HRMinion had a post about this very thing yesterday.  She also had a link to this resume, for a guy who wants a job designing characters for video games.  It’s fantastic.

It’s good to get advice on job hunting (especially from me), but like they say in Motown, your mileage may vary.  You always have to apply your own wisdom and experience to what you’re reading.

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HR Minion April 8, 2009 at 6:09 pm

Funny timing! :) I agree, when recruiting my job is not to tell the hiring manager who to hire. Thanks for the link!

HR Minion’s last blog post..An exception to every rule

lloyddabbler April 9, 2009 at 1:45 pm

As someone also in design field, I’ve been faced with the same roadblocks to having a resume that is designed well for the human eye but not for automated HR systems that scan them. My approach has been to create a fancy-free Word resume to get in the gate and once I get to the point of a human being, I let them know that I have a pdf resume that I’d like anyone further to see instead. I’ve never been refused and usually get a big “oh, that’s nice!” once they see the difference. It’s easy to paste copy from your InDesign/Quark/Illustrator doc into Word and although it’s comparatively boring, it allows you to enjoy inclusion you would otherwise miss. If you don’t have Word, you can also save it to rich text format in any text-driven applications (TextEdit for us Mac-folk).

Andy Armstrong April 15, 2009 at 4:41 am

Good blog entry, Kerry – especially for creative folks… I know a few of those folks (some even used to be in HR). Imagine.

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