What is one tip you can share with creative industry candidates for making their resumes really stand out?
To help creative industry candidates make their resumes stand out, we asked several recruiting leaders at Robert Half to share their best tips. From tailoring your resume to the job to keeping it concise and appealing, read on to learn more from the company that made Forbes’ 2022 list of America’s Best Professional Recruiting Firms (#1).
Here are six tips to help make your creative industry resume shine:
- Tailor your resume to the job
- Craft a detailed skills section
- Link portfolios and check your grammar
- Engage a specialized recruiter to highlight your talents
- Match your tech skills to the job checklist
- Keep your resume concise and appealing
1. Tailor your resume to the job
Tailor your resume to each job you apply to. Include your relevant work experience, industry experience, and technical experience as it relates to the job description.
Organize your resume, so it’s easy for employers to understand. Create separate sections for full-time employment and freelance work.
Also, include your level of expertise in design and marketing tools and software. Include your portfolio link on your resume. Include ROIs. (Example: How much did web traffic increase after your website redesign?)
Kara McKevitt, practice director, New York, N.Y.
2. Craft a detailed skills section
To stand out and increase your chances of landing an initial interview, add a skills section and include both hard and soft skills. Clients don’t want to have to guess if you have used a specific tool or software, and you don’t want the lack of listing a specific skill or program to work against you.
Crafting a thorough skills section will increase your chances of making it through an ATS (applicant tracking system) and check off any boxes an inexperienced HR professional or recruiter may be seeking when reviewing your resume against a specific position.
I personally recommend placing the skills section at the top of the resume underneath a summary statement; however, it’s often seen at the bottom.
Blake Schuster, recruiting practice director, Minneapolis, Minn.
3. Link portfolios and check your grammar
Make sure your resume includes a working link to your portfolio and that any password for your portfolio is working. Have email, phone number and portfolio links easy to find on top of the resume. Grammar and punctuation must be correct. Hiring managers really look at this!
Also, make sure to have detailed information on roles and updated dates for each role.
Alexis Utter, lead recruiter, Minneapolis, Minn.
4. Engage a specialized recruiter to highlight your talents
I’m willing to grant ahead of time that this may come off as a little self-serving, but I highly recommend working with a recruiter.
Aside from the obvious notion that they’re an extra set of eyes and ears looking for your next gig, there is one colossal reason to engage a recruiter to help you stand out: They can say something about you and your abilities that you simply cannot.
Unless you happen to have a skill set so highly in-demand that you naturally rise to the top, there’s really no better way to stand out than to work with a specialized staffing agency that can highlight your talents in a way hiring managers might find arrogant if they heard it from you.
Greg Detter, senior vice president, St. Louis, Mo.
5. Match your tech skills to the job checklist
In my experience, it really doesn’t matter how “nice” your resume looks. What really matters is what is written in it.
In this day and age, internal talent acquisition and their AI technology platforms are really just there to screen a candidate in or out. They have a checklist that they received after speaking with the hiring manager, and for every resume they review, they use this same checklist. As a result, you must gear your resume to each job you apply for and make sure that you have all your technical skills and software experience clearly written in an easy-to-read space.
When a recruiter brings their checklist, you must have your resume ready, matched up to the technical skills written on the job posting, like a checklist that they can easily match to theirs.
Evan Glasser, recruiting manager, Boston, Mass.
6. Keep your resume concise and appealing
Our attention spans are becoming shorter and shorter these days. Keeping your resume short and sweet is ideal. It’s easier to read bulleted skills and responsibilities than a large paragraph. A pop of color on your resume to highlight your name and what you do, maybe with a custom logo, is eye-catching and will make your resume stand out in a stack of talent.
Sarah LaGrand, practice director, St. Louis, Mo.
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Robert Half recruiters (top row, from left): Greg Detter, Kara McKevitt and Sarah LaGrand; (bottom row, from left): Blake Schuster, Evan Glasser and Alexis Utter.