What’s IN and What’s OUT of Resume Design

Top-10-Resume-Building-TipsResume Aesthetics What does your resume say about you? What message does it convey? In many ways the aesthetics of your resume are as important as your personal appearance at an onsite interview. A neat, clean, well-tailored resume sets the tone for a positive first impression.

It may not come as a shock that we’ve seen a few resumes. A recent trend I’ve noticed is the increased use of imagery. Graphics, photos, charts, blinding color, and infographics have made their way onto many creative professional resumes. I get it. You’re attempting to showcase your creative talents in the hopes that someone will see your stunningly beautiful resume and offer you a job. But, that’s what your portfolio is for; use it. Even the most cleverly executed infographic won’t properly convey your personality or creative genius. It just looks messy. Even worse, it’s difficult for Hiring Managers, HR and recruiters to read. I don’t want to have to hunt for your most recent employer or job title. A resume should not resemble a treasure map. Most programs don’t parse graphic heavy documents. Meaning, your resume will not be properly filed and likely not found when searching for a candidate with your skill set.

A few style tips for keeping your resume well groomed.


Keyword summary

Strategically centered at the top of your resume is both convenient and aesthetically pleasing. Keywords also parse nicely.


Breaks up bulky text. Refer to Essay Style as the messy alternative.

Supporting evidence

Percentages or numbers are a great way to prove your claim. For example, increased sales by 17% as a result of bestselling design.

LinkedIn Profile

The person reviewing your resume is likely going to cross reference you on LinkedIn anyway, why not save them some time and include a link to your profile.


Have some work you would like to showcase? Sample sketches, designs, projects, writing samples? Include a link at the top of your resume.



Including an objective became passé when Saved By the Bell started airing reruns. It’s over.

Essay style.

Resumes are not minor cogitations. Clear, concise statements read well and without the text feeling overwhelming. Break up your points with the bullet style of your choice.


We don’t recommend including an additional page of references. When the time comes, you can simply provide your potential employer with one if it’s requested. References available upon request can go away altogether. It’s stating the obvious. As opposed to not being available?


Debatable as to whether or not this was ever acceptable. Graphics, lots of color, photos, charts, etc. have no place on your resume. Communicate your experience the old fashioned way, through writing. Refer to Links.

Cover Letter

The controversy continues as to whether or not a cover letter is still necessary. My perspective on the cover letter is that if your resume is well written a cover letter is redundant and frankly, an extra document to read. Not time well spent. Most cover letters say the same thing. If they’re clever enough to have some substance they won’t sway my opinion of a candidate’s qualifications or fit for a specific position. One thing is for certain; if you opt for a cover letter it should be a separate document. Not combined with your resume.