Want your resume to stand out? Don’t.

Want your resume to stand out? Don't.

The resume has long been a tradition in the business world to try to put your best foot forward when applying for a new position. An almost equally long tradition is trying to use ‘tricks’ to get your resume to stand out to your prospective employer. One such trick used in recent times is to copy and paste keywords into your resume using white font so the scanners that some employers use will pick up these keywords without them being contained in your actual resume. This trick has long since been debunked and could actually lead to your resume being discarded. So, what’s an eager job seeker to do?

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article about how younger job seekers have been crafting their resumes to look a lot like social media profiles. Some applicants have taken to including their picture, using unusual color choices, are including artwork such as bitmojis or other colorful icons to depict work experience or outside interests. While these stylistic choices could make your resume stand out they could make it stand out in the wrong way. Stylized resumes like this can be compared to visible tattoos in the workplace. While society, in general, maybe more accepting of such practices, the corporate world is much more different than the social world.

In practice, you don’t want your resume to have anything on it that could prejudice a recruiter or employer against you. Not only that, but you should look to make your resume look as clean and accurate as possible to best make a potential employer interested in your resume. Corporations and companies are generally not bastions of creativity and a stylized resume could make you look like you’re more of a potential liability than an asset. In many cases, the stylized version of your resume will probably not even be seen by recruiters or human resources departments because many of these places use scanners that strip things like visual media from the resume in order to provide the most amount of information that an employer may require.