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Resume Tips: Is Your Resume Too Unconventional?

The following post is courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap:

As you work to write an amazing resume, you want to make it unique enough to have it stand out from the others that will be sitting in the same stack.  But how far is too far when trying to make yours different?  Is it possible to be too unconventional in resume writing?  Here are some signs that you may be pushing the envelope more than managers would like.

You’ve Created a Searchable Resume

Some job seekers are quite skilled at developing online resumes that work like impressive Web sites.  They’re configurable and searchable, allowing managers to type in keywords within the resume to locate the skills they hope the job seeker will possess.

The candidate with a variety of skills and professional backgrounds may be tempted to take this route if he or she doesn’t know how to target his or her resume to one specific profession.  But a targeted resume is exactly what hiring managers are looking for.

This is why it’s best to keep things simple by creating standard Word or PDF resumes that each target one specific profession.  You may think your unconventional approach is cool, but to many managers, it’s just plain annoying.

You’ve Enlarged Your Type Size to Make the Resume Longer

We all know that hiring managers prefer to see type in the 11- to 14-point range for sections and headings—depending on the font style.  So if you try to get crazy and jump to a 14- to 18-point range because your resume seems too short, you’ve entered the not-so-great unconventional category—mainly because managers will know what you’re up to.

Instead, find other ways to broaden your resume such as playing with the design, changing paragraphs to bullet points, or adding testimonials.  Being too unconventional in this instance could make you look less qualified than you actually are.

You’ve Added Scented Fragrances

In most instances, people send their resumes via the Internet; however, there are times when you may be asked to submit one the old-fashioned way: by printing on resume paper and handing it in to a company.  If you do take this route, don’t mess up your chances by adding a scented fragrance to your resume.  Why?  Because it could smell good to some and horrible to others—and it would be just your luck that you land the hiring manager with a fragrance allergy.

Managers seem to agree that being mildly unconventional or unique can be beneficial for a candidate, but there is a fine line that you can easily cross when taking this route, and it could land your resume in the trash.  So if you do decide to take chances with your resume, get plenty of opinions to make sure it’s amazing—not amazingly horrible.

For additional tips and advice on resumes and cover letters, follow us on Twitter @GreatResume or visit our blog.

Author: Global resume authority Jessica Hernandez of http://www.greatresumesfast.com is a former HR Manager who partners with professional- and executive-level candidates to create authentic, branded resumes and cover letters.

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

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Eric Putkonen

Good post. As someone who has been a recruiter for a decade, I have seen these mistakes. Don't do it.

I have also seen the other mistakes listed in another article "Top 14 Resume Mistakes that IT Professionals Make" at http://www.minnesotatechjobs.com/resumemistakes/

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