Resumes - Creative or straightforward?

So a question for those of you who have gotten jobs in creative fields - graphic design, animation, etc… (I’m looking more specifically architecture).
For resumes, is it better to go with a straightforward simply formatted/traditional resume, or go more the slightly artistic or creative resume with skill diagrams/graphs, creative name/header etc? I can see pros and cons to each, but don’t know if there’s a clear way to go? Or is this one of the situations where it totally depends on the company or how much you need your resume to do the standing out for you?

I don’t think it matters either way. You might get lucky with an artistic one because the hiring guy happens to like it. Or you might be unlucky because he does not like it. There is usually no way to know, so flip a coin.

resumes are supposed to reflect who you are, and having an accurate resume is best for you and the employer find good fits.

so, which style do you want/like more? what style projects the kind of person you are?

technical fields would want a more logical style i imagine, but if logical doesnt suit you, then technical art might be reconsidered.

Okay, Thanks! That’s what I’ve been figuring, just wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing some, ‘obviously this industry expects X on a resume.’

Regardless of what you do, the point is to convey concise clear information. Sometimes the best way to do that is creative and graphical. Let the information drive how you design it. And also research resume examples and find some articles that discuss what is expected. What they want to see first and so on.

Use a white background so they can print it hassle free.


I would suggest that a resume is a fairly formalized document: please remember that the hiring manager is probably stuck with trolling-through a stack of 'em. (“Been there! Done that!” I-C-K!!) So, this is probably where you should “play it straight.” Quickly show the hiring manager why s/he should put your one sheet of paper on "that pile" instead of "that one." (Unless you’ve been there, you have no idea how large the piles can be … every day.)

A portfolio is where you get to show your creative “shine.”

This way:

  • Your resume is a business proposition: "I can be a great part of your team, I can help you out of your tight spot, etc."

  • Your portfolio is your creative proposition. “This is the style and sizzle that I can bring to your project, as well as my demonstration that I’ve paid my dues.”

The two are complementary.