Things to Include in a Creative Industry Resume

by Jacob Dillon, guest contributor 

The creative world is a challenging world to live in. If you are a creative professional, getting a job you are good at is essential for your motivation and productivity. When the time comes to apply to get the job you want, the quality of your resume is paramount to your career.

There is much more to a creative industry resume than just making it noticeable

The Key Principles to Good Creative Industry Resume Writing

Aside from the general principles for resume writing, creative professionals have to have a specific and unique approach toward their application. Generally speaking, there are four key principles that differentiate your resume from that of others:

A resume must demonstrate your creativity.

While other talents and qualifications still matter in your case too, the focus here isn’t just on the technical skills. The focus in the creative industry is put on creativity which at its base, is a soft skill. That being said, in addition to your, let’s say, graphic design degree and certificates, your resume needs to present you as an applicant that harnesses his or her creativity. You do this by making your resume unique and creative on its own, as well as focus on the trait in addition to the skills.

You are expected to be different, but not too different.

There is a limit as to how different you can be to stand out, but you must definitely be different in this industry. A too formal or too stuffy layout and design does not indicate creativity. Being in this field gives you much more room to be creative than, for example, an accountant. Still, it does not mean that you should go overboard with it.

So, make use of colors, personal logos, illustrations, sketches – anything that demonstrates your creativity but is fitting and appropriate for a professional resume. Don’t be afraid to include your hobbies as a demonstration of your creative mind, and if you can’t fit it all without exaggerating – a link to your online portfolio is a great idea.

Use your creativity to put yourself in their shoes.

This can be applied to any applicant out there, but is especially important for creative professionals. When working on your resume, take a step back and think: how would this look to a recruiter who doesn’t know me?

Being unique and creative is the point here, but the only way to ensure that you haven’t gone overboard with your creativity is to think about what the hiring manager really wants. This is the obvious way to land a job – to impress a recruiter by offering exactly what they are expecting to get.

The introduction is your way in.

The introduction is always important, but in your case, it is the best tool you have to make the resume count. When you know what to include and what the recruiter wants, you need to work on the very beginning of your application – your resume introduction.

Be creative but also upfront. The introduction should summarize your qualifications as well as your creativity and show the hiring manager that you have a lot to offer as an employee.

Things to Include in Your Creative Industry Resume

Knowing the tricks we discussed above is essential because they make your resume fitting for the industry you are applying to work in. However, omitting the important things is a common mistake creative professionals do while focusing on demonstrating their creativity. For this reason, we’ve created a list of things your creative industry resume should definitely have.

1. A Chronology of Your Career

This should be included in any resume, even yours. Show the dates of employment, names of companies or employers, places where you’ve worked, etc. Creatives often fail to do this, which can sometimes be perceived as lack of experience or a huge gap in employment.

In addition to the chronology of your work experience, you need to add a description of your accomplishments. Feel free to be creative with it. This is yet another opportunity to demonstrate how your creativity can benefit the new workplace. Recruiters will want to know where you worked, what you did, and what you achieved.

2. List of Awards and Publications

Wherever you are published, let the recruiter know it. Add some links and certifications, show off with the awards, and include everything that proves how great you really are. This is not the time to be modest – it is the time to amaze the recruiter, and awards and publications do exactly that.

3. Education

Whether it is a degree in graphic design or a certificate in other creative field, you will need it. It might not be the first thing the employer will look at, but it is definitely something that is required from job applicants. This is even more important if you don’t have as much experience and awards to show off with. All of these things are a proof that you are great, something that will strengthen the opinion the reader already has by reading your creative resume.

4. Computer Skills

Today’s technology-based world assumes you have basic computer skills. However, list the experience you have in applications and programs that are relevant to your creative field. For example, digital editing software, audio software, design applications, etc. 

5. A Portfolio

This is something other candidates might not have, and it is the biggest tool and benefit of being a creative professional. And while it is important to include career details and certifications on the resume, the biggest proof of your capabilities lies right there – in your portfolio.

Every creative person needs a portfolio. This portfolio should show your creativity without you even having to brag about it, as well as provide the recruiter with real reasons why they should hire you. That being said, a link to your online portfolio is an essential piece of the puzzle that is a creative industry resume. As a creative professional, you cannot afford to not have it in your application.

Ready to work on your resume? Start right away and get creative – it is allowed and it is expected. In the meantime, make sure you have all the things listed above. Good luck! Don’t forget, Career Resume offers a FREE Resume Critique and professional resume writing assistance. 

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creative resumeJacob Dillon is an editor and journalist at EssaysOnTimeBeing passionate about what he does, Jacob likes to discuss stirring events as well as express his opinion about technological advancements and evolution of society. Find Jacob on Twitter and Facebook.


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