Why Your Client Should Have a Graphic Resume

career professional sharing tip sheets with a client

By Skye Berry-Burke.

Let’s face it; the job market is tough out there and template resumes are the norm. Our clients are trying to stand out in their respective fields in what is probably one of the most competitive markets we have seen.

Gone are the days of people remaining loyal to one company for 20 or 30 years. According to this article posted in Forbes, it is estimated that the average professional changes careers every 3 to 5 years. With this kind of turnover, it is realistic to assume that our clients are competing with hundreds of other qualified applicants for the same job.

Career Professionals of Canada will soon be publishing the 2016 Edition of The Canadian Resume Strategist. This publication keeps up with current trends and developments in strategic resume writing for Canadian labour market. In this newest iteration, it suggests that it is now entirely possible to create a well-designed graphic resume that is geared towards both networking and applicant tracking systems. The resume can be both appealing to the human eye and computer scan-able.

So what can we do as career professionals to help clients stand-out?

The answer to helping our clients get noticed is simple. We need to support them with the right material to conduct an awesome job search – not just an average one!

A graphic resume does just that. It is a marketing brochure created in Word and tailored specifically to sell your client.

Job-seekers need to understand that they are the product they are trying to sell.

As career professionals, we should be coaching our clients through the process of ‘selling’ themselves during a job search and viewing themselves as a company that is trying to sell a product to another company – the only difference is that they aren’t trying to sell a new favorite face lotion or running shoe – they are trying to sell themselves.

In my own practice, the question my clients have to try and answer is: what makes them the most valuable product on the market, and how will they solve the problem for the employer? Once a candidate starts to think like the employer and views him or herself as a product, it becomes easy to sell features and benefits on paper and in the interview.

How you can get started with a graphic resume that works for your clients.

Graphic resumes are documents that immediately stand-out as professional marketing brochures.

If you have not been using creativity, design elements, or charts and graphs in the resumes you provide clients, they might not be making the impact on potential employers that they are hoping for. Now might be the time to reconsider your approach.

Regardless of your client’s career field, personality, or employment goal, there is always an approach that is right for him or her. Graphic resumes need not be “over the top.” They can use subtle design that is authentic to your client and his or her value proposition.

These creative resumes should be treated with respect and dignity. They are not about bright coloured paper and difficult-to-read fonts. They are tasteful documents that are targeted for that specific industry to impress and leave a positive first impression!

You say, but I sell my clients with content and the written word! Design doesn’t matter.

My response is: do both! Place equal attention on the written content and the presentation. Give your clients the advantage they deserve.

The resume could be the best written document to come across the desk of the hiring manager, and it could also be the most visually appealing, but without equal attention being paid to both content and design there is a probability that during a job search their resume could be passed over. So why chance it? Why not ensure that we have done everything in our power to help our clients professionally stand out in their job search?

Highly designed resumes without much text might work for email submissions and in-person networking, but may not be optimized for online submissions or for the employer’s resume sorting technology. So you must also follow key principles for ensuring that the resume is accepted and understood by employers’ applicant tracking systems (ATS).

No resume can work entirely on its own, so guide your client on how to use it properly. 

We need to guide our clients through the process of how to use the graphic resume. Clients get better results much sooner if they can confidently present themselves. Start by teaching your client the difference between networking and applying through automated applicant tracking systems.

Coach your clients on the benefits of strategically conducting a thorough job search outside of their computer and online job boards. Guide clients on the importance of networking and finding jobs within the hidden job market and the graphic resume will pay off!

Provide your clients with a graphic resume and watch their job search efforts and confidence grow.

Bonus: Watch your referral-business grow when results start to happen more quickly for your clients!


Spread the love
Categories: ,
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments