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How Cute Is Your Résumé?

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Occasionally, I get a résumé from an education candidate who believes that incorporating some cute graphics will demonstrate their ability to use technology to create inventive classroom projects. My advice is not to use your résumé for that purpose.

One excellent example was the elementary education candidate a couple of years ago who had inserted a border at the top and bottom of the résumé which resembled alphabet blocks. The candidate emailed the résumé to me, and when I printed it on my office printer, the border at the bottom of the résumé printed out on a different page. Somewhere in the translation process, as sometimes happens, the page broke at an awkward place.

I showed this example to an administrator and asked her opinion. She mentioned that she received résumés like this in her district and always advised against such things.

So do I. Stay away from graphics. Your résumé should be a summary of your education, your experiences, and your skills. It should not be a showcase of your creativity and inventiveness, unless, of course, you are in a creative field. As we have discussed in this forum before, educational institutions tend to be conservative, as do the hiring officials. For that reason, you want your résumé to be a businesslike, professional, somewhat conservative document.

Your creativity may come into play more in putting together a portfolio. We will talk about that more in this venue later. For now, keep the résumé simple, easy to scan, black print on white or off-white paper, and email it to yourself to see what may happen in that process.

Happy writing!

--Kent McAnally,
Director of Career Services,
Washburn University, on behalf of AAEE

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