Pros and Cons of Unconventional Resumes

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An article by contributor Kate Thora.

The way in which employees receive resumes is continually changing. From slightly smudged typewriter resumes to faxing, sending emails and simply applying online, the format of resumes are never set in stone for too long.

How a prospective employer receives a resume is not the only thing that is constantly changing, so is the actual content of said resumes. With the internet and social media at the peak of its powers, resumes are no longer the straightforward, black and white applications; there are so many different ways to apply for jobs.

But do they work? Yes, it’s good to think outside of the box and stand out from the crowd, but how useful are unconventional resumes?

In this article, you will find a list of some of the pros and some of the cons when it comes to stepping up your creative game in a quest to impress a potential employer.


Lets you stand out from the crowd

On average, when you are applying for a job there will up to one hundred applicants. If those one hundred applicants all have the same impressive, yet boring, resume, and you come along with something different, it will only work in your favor.

Shows your initiative and creativity

Having an unconventional resume is an excellent way to show a prospective employer that you are creative and can take the initiative needed to succeed in certain tasks. Employers want people that can think for themselves and people who are not afraid to take the lead with their own idea. Unconventional resumes showcase that skill.

Easier to share online

Today, a large majority of people wouldn’t get a job if it wasn’t for their use of the internet. Being online and being able to access your resume online is incredibly helpful. And if you create a resume that is easy to share online such as an infographic resume or a slideshow resume, you can increase your visibility.


The wrong audience

A problem with using an unconventional resume is the fact that you might be sending it to the wrong audience, and there is no real way to find out if they will take it seriously. A lot of employers will appreciate your unconventional methods, but you can be easily cast aside if they think your unorthodox methods don’t fit with the company’s image.

Employers see it as a distraction tactic

Printed out resumes are boring, we all know that, but one thing that works in your favor when having that kind of resume is that it shows your talents and your faults in simple black and white, in a way that an unconventional resume is unable to do. For example, if you have a video resume and are slightly unqualified, you can make up for it with your personality and creativity. Unfortunately, some employees see unconventional methods as all style and no substance and don’t even class them as resumes.


While there has been a surge in video resumes and other unconventional methods of selling your strong attributes to an employer, it still can be viewed as quite informal. Some jobs might only accept straightforward resumes, so if you decide to think outside of the box and do something different, there is a high risk your application will get ignored.


Using an unconventional resume can get your application miles ahead in the employment processes, but it can also get you kicked out of the game before you have even got your foot in the door. If you want to figure out what is the best method to use, your best bet would be to look at the pros and cons outlined above, look at the job you are applying for, and figuring out what your prospective employer will want the most.

Kate Thora is a Senior Content Specialist for Uphours, an online resource with information about businesses worldwide. Her artistic soul manifests itself also in her love for singing and dancing, especially to traditional Indian music. Follow her on Twitter @katethora1

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