When you sit down to write your resume, what format should you use? Should your format reflect your personal style? Should you include pictures, graphs, charts and other creative accoutrements? In general, I would recommend against these things.

Your resume format should reflect the industry you are targeting in your career search. For a more traditional role, like an accountant or attorney, you should use a more traditional format. In the case of more creative roles, like design project manager or art director, you may go a bit edgier in your format. If you are a creative person targeting a traditional industry, you may add an element of creativity to your format.

The big concern with your format, again, should be electronic Applicant Tracking Systems. ATS, or many ATS, cannot interpret graphics, pictures and other embellishments. For my clients, I use shading, borders and text boxes to punch up formatting. While these aren’t as attractive as graphic embellishments, my clients are less likely to be eliminated, or have their resume kicked out of the electronic system, before even being considered for the position.

Thanks so much for reading. Talk Soon.

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