If you have the idea that creating a top-notch resume is difficult today, that’s probably because you’re not aware of some outstanding free-to-use tools. The days of traditional paper resumes are over; and now, nearly everyone has the opportunity to craft a creative, artistic document that is striking and distinct. Here are five ways you can punch up your resume today and give yourself that extra edge to land the job you want. It’s time to make your resume stand out.

1. Use suitable templates for the company and role.

Especially in the creative field, your resume should reflect your skills. Great resumes provide a preview of how you work and think. If you are skilled in Photoshop or any of the other Adobe Creative Cloud programs, take full advantage of your experience to create yourself a custom resume.

There are many websites and resources for you to choose from online, too, but you can start with services like Google Docs and Canva (both free!). Take some time to browse the internet for a site that fits your style.

2. Create a tailor-made resume for the job you want.

Every job you apply to should receive a personalized resume. Sending out the same resume or cover letter repeatedly isn’t likely to yield results. Companies and their recruiters can tell the difference between an individualized and cookie-cutter submission.

Many companies use some type of Applicant Tracking System (ATS), which does an initial search for specific information and keywords to see if your skills match the position. You’ll want to make sure your resume matches any keywords and/or phrases the company might be using.

3. Be yourself on paper to make your resume stand out.

It is perfectly acceptable to infuse your personality into your resume. Those who take the opportunity to simply be themselves will stand out from the masses. Yes, you’ll still have to use some traditional aspects of a resume; however, you’re a unique person in a unique field. Use every opportunity in the job application process to show who you really are.

4. Don’t be bashful; explain your accomplishments with metrics.

Your accomplishments play a huge role in getting the job, so avoid long dry bullet points of your prior job duties. The best way to impress any company is by explaining (with numbers) what you’ve done in the past, and convincing the recruiter that you’re capable of repeating this for a new employer.

Take a narrative approach with your accomplishments instead of using simple lists. Don’t be afraid to mention awards and any outside recognition you received for your work. If you have a knockout project you are particularly proud of, highlight the role you played.

5. The shorter the better.

That first glance of your resume, on average, takes about six seconds. Most recruiters or hiring managers can see right away if your resume is too long or too wordy, and they will probably lose interest very quickly. Use short, compact sentences and phrases with the most impactful words possible.

Be clear, concise, and write as much as possible in the active voice. The best resumes get to the point in as few words as possible. For more on the active voice and how it works, look here.

The competition for creative work is fierce. You can’t afford to just blend into the crowd or you’ll risk being passed over. Taking the time to make your resume stand out will always pay off.


Krista is a Creative Circle candidate, creative writer and content creator in Los Angeles. Her background includes news, marketing, copywriting and editing. If you are interested in working with Krista, please contact Creative Circle LA.