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Seattle, WA 98116

(206) 201-2181

Tandem Powered offers a full suite of Professional Resume Writing, Career Development, and HR / Business Consulting services.


Tandem Powered's blog is dedicated to empowering readers by highlighting best practices in the arena of resume writing, career development, and organizational effectiveness, as well as by providing readers with an insider's view of the corporate hiring process.

Designed Resumes - Know Your Audience

Kent Nolen

A few days ago, I provided resume tips for designers and creatives where I suggested that these professionals can have two versions of their resumes – a standard resume and a “designed” resume. This post sparked an interesting conversation over social media about when it would be appropriate to use the designed version and when one should apply with the standard version. As I have shared in posts about infographic resumes and other “cutting edge” approaches, it is critical to know your audience. A few more thoughts...

  • If you are applying via standard channels (i.e. you are not handing your resume to a the head of the creative team) to a non-design focused organization – like a corporation with an in-house design / creative team – then a more standard resume would be a smart move. This will ensure your that your resume “plays nice” with resume screening systems and, beyond that, that it appeals to readers in HR.
  • You never know when a company is going to be using automated resume screening software, so using your standard resume is always a safe bet (sometimes you can find "clues" on the organization's website). Having said that, I think it is okay to provide a designed resume right up front if you are applying to a small, design focused company. In a smaller organization, it is more likely that all members of the team share a similar vision and will appreciate a more unique approach.
  • The beauty of having two versions is that you can always provide the "designed" resume during the interview process.
  • And one more thing: regardless of which resume you choose to use, make sure that you are driving readers to your on-line portfolio, which should be a natural extension of your resume.