The Rise of the Creative Resume

Over the last several years, there has been a massive increase in the use of artistic and creative resume designs. Graphic designers have actually opened up an entirely new niche by providing job seekers with unique designs that are meant to help them stand out from the traditional black and white text resume.

Picture courtesy of Loft Resumes

The question many people have about this new phenomenon is “do they really work?” The answer is a bit convoluted and it really depends on who you ask, but my official answer is yes…and no.

The Pros


  • They look really, really cool and definitely stand out in a pile of resumes.
  • For a designer, it is a useful example of your creativity.
  • It gives the impression that you’re taking the job search seriously.
  • It enables you to more easily cover up any perceived deficiencies.
  • You can draw the reader’s attention to very specific parts of the resume.


Because creative resumes are still a relatively new trend, designers who submit them now are able to capitalize on the initial “wow” factor that they have. In certain niches of the creative world, this type of resume may become the standard rather than the exception, so first-adopters may have the advantage. Unfortunately, these resumes do have their fair share of detractors.

The Cons


  • The design may keep them from passing applicant tracking systems.
  • Many HR managers feel they are over-designed and lack substance.
  • From a scannability perspective, they can be very difficult to read.
  • Editing or creating alternate versions could be a nightmare.
  • It loses effectiveness if everybody starts doing the same thing.
  • You lose valuable space to detail experience and accomplishments.


Anybody in human resources will tell you that they don’t expect to see a seismic shift in the way resumes are written any time soon. In order for a hiring manager or recruiter to adequately assess a candidate’s qualifications, they need to see a clear, easy-to-read summary of where the job seeker has worked and what they’ve been able to accomplish. Because applicant tracking systems are set up to scan text files, Word docs, and PDF’s, the creative resume will be limited to a small sub-set of the workforce and will work most effectively as a complement to a traditional resume.

Five Insanely Cool Creative Resumes

Vicky Frenkel – The Resume Shop

The French Press Loft Resumes


Orange Resume

Steve Pratt

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Nicholas

    I have used an online version of my resume to complement my formal resume with some success so far. It all comes down to how the creative resume is designed – if it is more art than function, it will most likely not be too helpful outside of artistic fields:

  • Thomas

    Thanks for the comment, Nick. I checked out your CareerMap resume and think it looks great. It’s definitely unique, but not overly designed. I think similar creative resumes that effectively guide the reader through your career history will have the most success. Good luck!

  • Antonio Iacopino

    Nice templates you shared. You can also look at those on