A resume battle since the dawn of time, do you use graphics or not? Personal logos, charts, icons, graphs, images, the works! Anything that might take a professional, sometimes named traditional, and make it more creative or fun. But, is this really a good idea to make your resume more “cool,” “neat” or “hip” looking?

My quick answer is to leave it professional without any graphics, pictures, etc. if you’re in graphic design or some sort of creative field, than it’s more acceptable. The reason behind this is that those pesky applicant tracking systems (ATS for short) utilize certain software to identify the buzzwords on your resume so the recruiters can find you out of that large pile of resumes! And sometimes using graphics and pictures can do more harm to your candidacy by not allowing an easy copy/paste of the resume into the ATS, or the ATS not picking up some of the content on your resume due to the blocking graphics or borders, pictures, etc.

Aesthetically it looks better, but how many people are physically holding resumes these days? Most scroll on an HTML looking format. I mean, they look eye-catching as a PDF also, but again, this can hurt your ATS implementation.

Another note is that if you’re a professional, you want the content to speak to your abilities, not a fancy border. The meat, or experience of your resume, is what concerns them most. Can you do the job and erase the pain point they’ve had since the requisition’s been open?

Again, this can go two ways: first, the hiring manager will think you’ve overdone it some and move on without even considering your messaging, or the hiring manager will think it looks kinda neat and check out your credentials to see if you’re an actual viable candidate (which means they still care about the experience more than the cool looking font and colors). Hiring managers come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so why not just play the pragmatic game and utilize a professional resume so you can cater as most logically possible to any hiring manager type? If a hiring manager is crinkling her forehead, you’ve just missed out on the opportunity.

Thank you for reading! Please visit www.jobstickers.com to keep up with all of MJW Careers’ content, and visit www.mjwcareers.com or email warz65@gmail.com (or call 855-YES-EMPLOYEES) to learn more about our resume writing, interview training, career coaching or outplacement services and solutions.

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