On average, employers spend less than 30 seconds scanning each resume, which is just enough time to determine if you went to the right college and joined the right eating club. Not that you can totally blame them. Perusing entire stacks of single-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman crammed improbably between the margins is enough to make a guy go cross-eyed.
Can a better designed CV help job seekers differentiate themselves? Dodd Caldwell and Emory Cash think so, and to that end, the Greenville, South Carolina, designers have developed Loft Resumes, a new web service that sells customized resumes based on a dazzling panoply of templates for $99 and up. "Design is becoming more and more important in the workplace but the resume is usually left out," Caldwell tells Co.Design. "It’s seen as purely utilitarian. A visually appealing, yet still easy-to-read and professional resume can really help job searchers stand out among standard Word document resumes."
Cash and Caldwell (who also cofounded a service that lets nonprofits design their own websites) dreamed up the idea after chatting with job hunters in their lives: "I had a friend who hired a graphic artist to design his resume, and he ended up getting a lot of interest from employers mainly because of the visual appeal of his resume," Caldwell says. "At the same time, my cofounder was designing his wife’s resume and realized that when he was searching for great looking resumes as guides, he couldn’t really find anything."
So here’s how Loft Resumes works: Select a template from a menu of nearly 50 designs, which range from urbane (the New Yorker) to traditional (the Banquet) to straight-up country (the Alamo). Then specify things like colors and number of pages you’d like, upload the text of your resume, and within days, PDFs of your glossy new resume and a matching cover letter arrive in your inbox. Your purchase includes two rounds of revisions. After that, there’s a $5 charge for each text edit.
Loft Resumes is not an automated service. "We actually take the resume content that the customer uploads and typeset it in InDesign," Caldwell says. "Given that everybody’s content is different, our graphic artists really use the chosen design as a guide. Sections may be moved around some, headers and typography may change in size and placement, and so on." The goal is to simply create the best-looking document possible.
Caldwell and Cash don’t pretend that a slick resume will land everyone a dream job. But they believe it can draw employers’ eyeballs the way a sea of black and white can’t. More importantly, it sends a message that you’re the kind of person who takes job searching dead seriously. Why would you approach the job itself any differently?
But just to be sure, you might as well put "Princeton" in bold.
[Images courtesy of Loft Resumes]