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Jun 10 2013

Stop. Put down that sheet of ivory thick-stock résumé paper.

An employer is more likely to read your resume on a computer screen, not print it out.

Yet most resume templates (such as the 3 available in MS Word) were designed for paper viewing; small fonts, linear layouts, thick blocks of text.

So if you really want to make an impression, get your well written résumé professionally designed for screen-consumption.

That’s what Smashing Magazine did with a fictional web designer job seeker they called Steve Stevenson.

Smashing Magazine is a leading website for web design and web development. They created some fake credentials for Steve and asked their readers, all talented web designers, to create an amazing looking online résumé.

Here are the top 10 best looking résumés for Steve Stevenson.

I thought this was such a great idea in general, making designers show you their best interpretations, that I thought I would share with you, the job seeker, how you can do this for your own résumé.

How to get thousands of designers working for you

Luckily, I wasn’t the first to come up with this idea. 99 Designs is a website where you post a project and a huge community of designers actually work on it. You give them feedback, they revise the work. Then at the end of the process, you pick the #1 best design and only have to pay for that one.

This is exactly the process Smashing Magazine used with the Mister Stevenson project.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Upload your well written yet ugly looking résumé to some website. (try wordpress.com for starters) This is just to share the info, so don’t sweat the design here. 
  2. Start an account with 99 Designs and post your first project.
  3. Provide feedback to the designs you think are most promising.
  4. Select a winner and be proud!

Tips for writing your project description:

  • Link to your drab looking yet well written résumé website in the project description
  • Also be sure to include important details about your personal brand
  • Read the Smashing Magazine article carefully or share parts of it, especially the 10 lessons learned at the bottom.

Form Versus Function

Today, the way something looks matters almost more than it’s apparent function. Good design is just part or our society. So don’t just stop with a well written résumé. Your work ends with a well designed résumé.

So take action.

Follow these steps or use a private graphic designer. I’d love to hear what your experience was when you do this. Please share in the comments.


Joshua is the founder of Career Enlightenment which offers professional LinkedIn profile writing and job search services to colleges, WorkForce offices and re-entering veterans. If you’d like to attract top employers to your LinkedIn profile, check out Joshua’s LinkedIn Writing Service.

4 Responses to “How to Quickly and Cheaply Re-Design Your Resume so it Looks Amazing”

  1. kami says:

    Resume needs to stand out! :)
    check out mine:

    https://www.behance.net/gallery/Personal-Resume/15022971

    how do you like it?
    kami

  2. Kelly Arman says:

    These are definitely eye-catching on screen, which is the point.  Just make sure they are compatible with scanning software and are well written before designing.  I’d love to see a link in to a printable plain text resume incorporated into the design.

  3. jo_eldoes says:

    These resumes are exciting and fun to look at, however for job boards, and most companies the resume as a word doc are searchable–so a recruiter or hiring manager can do a key word search and filter what is displayed. Am not sure that a highly graphic version would do well for searchability, or show the breadth of someone’s skills. It is a tradeoff–graphically cool, or found by the searchable term.

    • jo_eldoes Jo, keep in mind that I’m not advocating that every resume get designed. You are 100% right, most job application systems require a plain text version of the email. There are tools out there (to be included in the 2nd edition of my For Dummies book) which do this quite well.
      And about search-ability  that’s not the point of this document. It’s not to be posted online for search engines. That’s what LinkedIn profiles are for. 
      Rather a well designed resume is for emailing as an attachment or as a link. You see, it’s that first human impression where this can make the biggest impact.

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