There are thousands of articles out there with great tips on how to get a job. These tips are invaluable and they’ve helped many people. Here are a few of those tips, and why as a creative job seeker you should ignore them:
Bad Advice: Don’t use a template
The main argument against using a template is that employers will see right through it. For graphic designers this is good advice because it gives you a chance to show off your skills and make your resume a true reflection of yourself. For non-graphic designers this either makes your resume boring and text heavy or, if you try to use limited design capabilities, an unclear and abstract mess. Both of these scenarios are likely to get your resume thrown out in seconds.
Better Advice: Use a template, but change it enough to make it not look like a template.
It turns out that if you aren’t a graphic designer chances are the people who make resume templates are better than you at designing resumes. You can build off the designs given and cater them to the way you want to present yourself without it looking too cheap.
Bad Advice: You don’t need an “Interests” section
Remember that poster you had in your freshman dorm room? The one of that movie that was universally liked or that inspirational quote that seemed really deep? You hung that poster so strangers would talk to you about how awesome the Boondock Saints are or how Marilyn Monroe was SO ahead of her time. That is basically what an “Interests” section of your resume is: a conversation starter.
Better Advice: Have a short interests section at the end of your resume
An employer is not only looking to hire the right person for the job, they also want to be able to relate to and like that person. That starts with common ground, and an “Interests” section is the best way to find that.
Bad Advice: Don’t be afraid to have more than one page
This tip can be useful in certain situations, like if you have had multiple jobs over a span of around 10 years. Chances are if you’re looking for an internship or entry-level position, this isn’t you. As I briefly touched on in the “Template” section, the look of your resume matters. If you have to sacrifice some information to get it down to a page, so be it. As long as the most important information is kept, it shouldn’t matter.
Better Advice: Keep your resume to one page until you absolutely can’t add another single word
Mess with the margins. Change the font size. Go through every single line and delete any redundant words. Get creative.
Note: Every job is different. What works for one might not work for another. Do some research about the job you want, and tailor your strategy to that job. Don’t base your entire job-seeking strategy on a set of tips, but try something different until you find something that works for you.