How To Make a Creative Resume: Tips and Best Practices
Written by James Bunes, Author • Last updated on April 26, 2024

How To Make a Creative Resume: Tips and Best Practices

Creative resumes are nontraditional resumes, including video resumes or resumes that contain graphics and alternative formatting. For some roles, a creative resume helps you show off your skills and catch the recruiter’s eye, but there are still crucial best practices to keep in mind. This blog post shows you how to write a creative resume that stands out and when to use one.

What is a creative resume?

A creative resume is a document that uses unique formatting to showcase your professional achievements. Depending on your experience and the role you’re applying for, creative resumes come in a variety of formats:

  • Video resumes
  • Colorful resumes
  • Resumes with graphics and patterns

A creative resume usually uses its creative elements to better highlight your experience and accomplishments. They need to strike the right balance between personality and professionalism. 

When should you use a creative resume?

Learning how to make a creative resume is highly beneficial for creative fields, including graphic designers, copywriters, editors, and models. This is especially the case if you have a portfolio to display. A creative resume acts as an extension of your professional experience and this is your chance to show off your skills.

Here are a few ways creative resumes help certain professionals:

  • A resume with a sleek design and graphics displays a graphic designer’s talent
  • An effective video resume helps editors show off their use of B-roll footage and transitions
  • A resume with an eye-catching header helps a copywriter show off their ability to grab attention

For certain roles, a creative resume immediately catches a recruiter’s eye and tells them you’re worth considering. However, certain industries won’t appreciate them, such as engineering, financial, and tech roles. Ensure you think critically about your industry and the company you’re applying to before you build a creative resume.

Expert Tip

Even professionals in creative fields should stay dynamic when building resumes. Try making a bold creative resume when applying to a casual company, stick to a more traditional format for old-fashioned organizations, and strike a middle ground for companies that are in-between.

What elements should you include in a creative resume?

Knowing which elements to include helps you learn how to write a creative resume that stands out. Bright colors, striking graphics, and nontraditional formats are just a handful of potential sections for a unique resume.

Use our list to inspire you, then try one or two of these ideas on one of our resume templates. For example, incorporate creative writing and portfolio links into our modern template to blend eccentric elements into a professional resume.

Visuals and format

A visually appealing resume makes your application stand out. It’s also a slightly more subtle way to display your creativity, which is beneficial when applying to slightly more traditional companies.

Different colors, layouts, and formats are great opportunities for you to grab attention while still maintaining professionalism and readability.

For example, bold colors in small amounts make your resume pop without going over the top.


Do you find infographics easy to read and digest? Many recruiters do, too. Graphics like icons and charts make resumes easy to understand.

Some professionals use small icons to represent their abilities or fluency in a language. This helps hiring managers quickly understand your proficiency in a refreshing way.

Portfolios and projects

Try highlighting portfolios and projects on your resume. Provide links to your portfolio, written work, or websites you’ve designed – and ensure the links work before sending off the resume.

Even if you include links elsewhere, like your cover letter or in your resume email, it’s a good idea to still place them in your resume. Hiring managers have a lot to juggle and might misplace the link.

New and innovative elements

There are always innovations in resumes, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on relevant trends. For example, you might try using a skills matrix or a graphic timeline of your work experience.

A creative writer might write their professional summary in the form of a poem or a seamster may print their resume on beautiful fabric.

“For certain roles, a creative resume immediately catches a recruiter’s eye and tells them you’re worth considering.”

What to keep in mind when building a creative resume

A creative resume is a great opportunity to express your expertise, but it’s still a professional document.

An important part of learning how to make a creative resume is knowing when to reel yourself in and stay professional.

We list the best practices to balance your creative resume below. If you’re interested in learning even more tips and tricks to enhance your resume, check out our resume articles.

Work experience and skills

Your work history, skills, and competencies should still be clear and easily understood, even in a creative resume. Ensure you use clear terminology that accurately describes your skills and previous work responsibilities.

Education and certifications

It’s still important to list your education on resumes. Many creative job postings require educational certification, or at least prefer it.

Professionals in creative fields may have degrees from art schools or fashion institutes, or they may have coursework in ceramics making. It’s also very common for writers to have degrees in Communications or English.

Contact information

This resume element is vital. Your contact details must be at the very top of your resume and easy to quickly digest. This section should contain your full name, phone number, email address, and LinkedIn URL.

For creative resumes, this is also a section to put your Instagram URL if you regularly post your art. You’ll also want to list the address of your artistic workshop if you have one.

Keep a consistent look

Your creative resume is different from a standard resume, but it still needs a clear layout, readable font, and complementary colors.

Even extremely unique resumes should have a consistent theme and a pleasing format. Check out our article on choosing a resume structure for advice, and then incorporate it into your creative resume.

Check and edit as always

Just like any resume, a creative resume needs to be double-checked and scanned for errors. Check it yourself and run it through a spell-check program, then ask friends and colleagues to read through it, too.

We recommend asking other creatives in your professional circle for their advice. These people can not only check for errors but also provide artistic advice on colors and layout.

Adapt it to the job description

Always adapt your resume to the role and match it to the job description. This not only helps the hiring manager instantly connect to your resume, but it also makes your resume ATS-friendly.

Even when writing a creative resume, we recommend avoiding job titles and skill names that are too unique. For example, a job post looking for a graphic designer may never find your resume if you list your title as a “Graphic Superstar.

Build a Standout Creative Resume and Wow Recruiters

Knowing how to write a creative resume that stands out is a powerful skill. It’s a unique way to show hiring managers a preview of your capabilities before they even finish reading your resume.

Consider a variety of creative mediums, such as adding visuals, graphics, and links to your professional portfolio.

Just remember that this is still a professional document, so include a clear description of your work history and skills, keep a consistent design, and double-check for errors and flow.

You can pull together a creative resume in minutes by using CVwizard’s Resume Builder. Try building a quick resume, then adding links to your portfolio – or edit in your artwork after it’s done.

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James Bunes
James Bunes
James Bunes, copywriter, editor, and strategist, combines job search and HR writing experience to produce actionable content on resumes, career advice, and job search tactics.

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