Every day we receive and review countless resumes, many of which are visually stunning. They come with colorful sidebars, intricate designs, and multi-column layouts that are quite impressive. At first glance, such trendy designs might seem to reflect a candidate’s attention to detail and creativity.
But here’s the million-dollar question: Are these eye-catching designs helping or hurting your job search?
The resume certainly looks pretty—but only if human eyes are looking at it! The bitter reality is that most companies use electronic systems to scan, categorize, and store resumes long before any people see them.
The Unseen Pitfalls of Artful Resumes
To streamline the hiring process, many companies and recruiting firms use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to filter resumes. What happens when these systems encounter an unfamiliar or overly artistic format? In many cases, the ATS fails to parse crucial information.
Picture this: Your degree, the centerpiece of your qualifications, is cleverly placed in a vibrant-colored sidebar. To you, it’s a touch of creativity. To the ATS, it might as well be invisible. That means that when a recruiter searches for candidates in the ATS, and a degree is a requirement for the job, the search results will not include you.
This oversight can have costly repercussions. Imagine being passed over for a job because the system can’t detect your qualifications, even though you are a perfect fit.
The Balance of Design and Functionality
So here is my advice: strive for function over form when it comes to updating your resume. Resist the stylized templates that software like Word tempts you with and stick with the more simplified, ATS-friendly format. Your information should be clearly laid out, easily identifiable, and devoid of overly complex designs that can trip up electronic systems.
In conclusion, while a visually appealing resume can be a testament to your design skills, don’t let its beauty become its downfall. Prioritize clarity, simplicity, and readability to ensure your qualifications shine brightly, both to human eyes and digital systems alike. And fear not, at Nordstrom Williams, we do in fact read every resume with human eyes!