One of my absolute favorite things about being a blogger is how creative I can be. I am addicted to creating. It is by far one of my favorite things to do. I'm surrounded by a handful of graphic artists, so I've taken advantage of learning more than a few things from them. I decided to take on a few more creative freelance gigs in 2015 - be it writing, social media or digital consulting - and thought a creative resume would give me an edge. I also thought it would be refreshing for the person reading a slew of resumes to see something with some pop. I designed this yesterday and actually submitted it today.
I was really proud of how far I've come aesthetically and thought I'd share it with you guys for some inspiration. I created it in Photoshop & saved it in PDF form. I saved it online so I could avoid sending out extra large emails via attachments. I personally uploaded it to Wordpress via my blog, but you can use an online service like Issuu.
Here's a few notes on how I pulled it off.
THE COLORS You guys know I love pink, but that can come off kind of elementary in a bad way, so I stuck with black, white & gold. I used the gold sparingly but in a tasteful way. A little sprinkle of gold here and there added the perfect amount of pop.
With colors, it's important to keep it at two or three colors. Anything more than that can a little CRAZY and you don't want to take away the focus from why you're equipped to get the job. Keep the colors all in the same family - all neutrals, all warm hues or all cool tones.
THE COVER PAGE A lot of times, fashion & beauty brands want to know what you look like because it's important you make sense for their brand. So, I included a photo and little "M is for Mattie" section. I'll go into that later. The photo of me is very recent. Actually, I posted it last week. A recent photo is great so in the case they have to interview you after you've sent them the resume, they're not shocked about your new hair color. Anything within the last 90 days is acceptable.
THE ABOUT ME PAGE This page was about me being myself. Just a quick blurb about who I am and what I do before going into too much detail. The About page of the creative resume is to give the brand an idea of your personality and the kind of life you lead. I literally just used photos from my Instagram page. Think of it as your elevator pitch page.
Short, sweet and concise is the way to go with this page. Photo blurbs of your life are perfect for this - if you have a child or pet, including a picture of your hobby, a skyline of the city you're from, etc. Nothing too personal but yet detailed.
THE HIRE ME PAGE You want to include all of your skills - from fluent to working knowledge - on this page. Think of it as your show off page. If you know how to do something and do it well, let them know HERE. From programs that you're familiar with to mundane duties you're able to handle, nothing should go unlooked. Use a thesaurus if you want to find a cool way to say this. But the more professional the better. Don't be afraid to use technical terms, either.
THE EXPERIENCE PAGE This is the literal resume. Where you've worked, how long you've worked and what skills you've acquired. You also want to include what accomplishments were made and any big names (people or companies you've worked with). Any big brand campaign I've had, I mentioned. Again, though, concise is the name of the game. Keep descriptions brief and don't forget your job title and dates (start date and end date) of the gig. If you're still with the company or brand, "present" is the appropriate term for the end date slot.
And most importantly, include numbers when you mention your accomplishments. Did you increase sales by 12% within 6 months? Do you have a social media following of over 10K? Numbers make people trust you so mention it in an organized manner. When people trust you, they pay you. ALWAYS.
THE ACRONYM To keep the creative resume very Mattie, I of course had to put an "M" stamp on it. Hence the acronym MAKE which stands for: Mattie, About, Knowledge & Experience. Find a way to make a creative resume your own and it'll be hard to forget you. You'll notice I included the word "MAKE" in the same font and color in the cover letter for it to all make sense.
THE COVER LETTER Last but not least is the cover letter. Usually cover letters are front and center, but I like to think of it as a strong closer. It's like, "now that you know all about me, let me leave you on a professional note."
Always open professionally - "To Whom It May Concern" rarely fails. But I like things personal (doesn't everyone?) so I address it to the brand team. "To the [brand name] team..." or if you have a direct contact "Greetings, [person's name]!" But never start a cover letter without an opener or salutation. Keep your cover letter between 3 to 5 sentences. Again, you don't know how many resumes they have to go through.
Close just as professional as you opened - with a salutation, your first and last name (you don't know them and even if you do, this is business) + your contact info (you want them to be able to reach in more ways than one to let you know if you got the job). In this day and age, phone, email & social are appropriate.
A creative resume is important to show a brand how experienced and creative you are for the job. It gives them a clue to what they will be paying you for. If you're a photographer, show off your most stunning photos or if you're a graphic designer get jazzy on them. As a blogger, I have an array of skills so I feel this shows all of them off in a professional way.
I approach my press kit and decks (aka pitch presentations) like this and very seldom do I get no response. People always respond to effort even if they decide to go with someone else. But with this approach it's hard for people to tell you "no", which is perfect, since you want the job.
I've redacted my phone number and the name of the company I'm reaching out to for the sake of discretion.