Great Resumes Fast » Resume Writing Tips » Is Your Resume Too Unconventional?

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.


About Great Resumes Fast Product Templates MRP-3882

About the author

Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast

Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.

What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.

You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!

I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!

Leave a Comment

Improve Your Resume: Download Your Free Executive Resume Template Today

Are you struggling to create an executive resume that will impress employers? Download this free executive resume template and receive a series of 10 emails with expert guidance on how to write resume content that resonates with employers so you get more interviews.

It's everything you need to stand out, make an impression, and accelerate your job search.