How to Create Specialty Resumes
Updated: Jul 13, 2022
Applying for jobs is one of the rare (and terrible) things that can be stressful and boring at the same time. Not a great combination.
To break things up, and to shoot my shot at big reach jobs, I created specialty resumes.
Here are four examples...
Resume 1: Wix
Wait, what? That's a resume?
Yup! Sure is.
You've probably heard the advice to change your resume for each job you're applying to. Well, I took that very seriously and am trying a series of specialized resumes where I go hard with the changes (AKA make resumes with customized information and layouts for each one).
This one is for a web design company called Wix (the platform I used to make this website, actually). I designed this resume to look like their back-end website editing dashboard, which I thought they would recognize and appreciate; and I knew would help me stand out.
*You'll notice in each of the search bars I put what the Job Description (JD) was really looking for, as if when they searched it my profile came up (lol)!
Favorite part: Definitely the analytics section where I got to add two sentences about how I go about my work (which happened to directly correlate with the JD itself)!
Resume 2: Slack
Okay, now this one was a blast!
Slack is a well-known messaging app, so I thought, why not message myself the bulk of my resume and then add a ton of customizations to the sidebar to fit more information?
Favorite Part: Hmmm, maybe including my desktop icons at the bottom. IDK, I just feel like it adds some spice!
Resume 3: Google
I think we're all pretty familiar with the User Interface for Gmail! So I decided to use this text-heavy layout to my advantage. Between the tabs, contacts, incoming email, and drafted email, I had plenty of space to put my information.
This one might have taken the longest, but hey, it's Google we're talking about!
Favorite part: Maybe it was turning a section of the text in the bottom left to blue to make it appear hyperlinked, not sure though!
Resume 4: USA Today
When USA Today is looking for a full-time gift guide creator, you just have to shoot your shot, right?
This JD had very specific qualifications, so I did my best to use the layout of their website homepage to sell myself! When making a speciality resume, I remind myself to use every tab, button, and photo to my advantage. For this one, like the others, I dove into the details.
Favorite part: Changing the images to fit the content!
How To Make Specialty Resumes
Tools required: computer that can screenshot, Canva (or other photo editing software), your current resume, and a keen eye for detail!
Step 1: Choosing your 'template'
Creating a specialty resume can take 1-2 hours, so you want to pick the right template!
What job are you applying for? Is it a news outlet? SaaS company? Social media platform? A banking position? An online retailer?
Whatever it may be, you're looking to take a screenshot that's specific to that company, edit it cleverly to display your qualifications, experiences, and accomplishments, and still keep it recognizable as their company. Does that make sense?
So look for a screen grab that has a variety of opportunities for text that you feel you could reasonably manipulate. IDK if I'm doing a good job of describing it, so I'll just show images below of screenshots I think I could work with to turn into specialty resumes!
(I'll try to pick samples from a variety of fields...)
And remember--form follows function. So even if a screen grab is really cool--it MUST be able to house all the info. you have on your current resume--got it?
Example 1: Retail
Example 2: Hospitality
Example 3: Saas
Example 4: Dashboards
Example 5: Publications
One last thing!
If the screen grab isn't working for you, try...
Zooming in and out on the page, to get the right stuff in the frame
Adding tabs across the top for more text opportunities
Opening a second window for visual diversity
Working with footers, pop-ups, drop down menus
*Pro-tip: You can even include your desktop in the image to add some flare! But, you probably don't want to show a potential employer your 4,068 unopened emails...
Step 2: Stripping your Template.
Okay, this is where things get interesting. So you have your screenshot of your template. Now upload it into your photo editing software (i.e. Canva).
The trick with replacing what's there with all your great qualifications and fun facts is to do it bit by bit.
Obviously, before you add your info, you'll want to remove what's there. But how? I recommend adding boxes over the current content. Use a color picker to determine the correct HEX / RGB for your purposes (If you don't have PhotoShop you can use this free site: https://imagecolorpicker.com/en ).
Here's an example of stripping information if we were applying for a job at Trello.
I'd also strip the 'Enhanced Analytics' in the top left corner, all the buttons across the top, and the 'add another card' text at the bottom of each column.
Once your template is blank, begin adding your personal info.
Step 3: Adding Your Info.
This is definitely the most important part, lol!
Like I said, you don't want to sacrifice any key information (i.e. education, experience, internship experience, contact information) just to have a cool format. So you're probably going to have to use every tab, button, and text space as places to cleverly insert your info.
Oftentimes you can get the correct font by Google searching. For example: "Trello dashboard UI font" may give you the answer right away. If it doesn't, just shoot for something super similar. (Keep in mind many web-based applications use sans serif lettering, like Helvetica.)
So, let's give it a go...
After totally nailing the categories and titles (haha) you can move on to the bullet points, which I'd organize to fit in the boxes. Something good to do here is frequently peek at what you've covered up to make sure you're replacing it with the right font, color, and size writing.
*Remember, the people who work there know their own product/UI very well!
(I don't have the time, but if I did, I'd fill this whole thing out, change the buttons, and think of a creative way to thank the reader/hiring manager for their time and consideration.) But I filled out the first section just to give you the idea!
Many career portals are now using AI to scan resumes so they can easily siphon through the first round of candidates.
I don't think an edited-screenshot-of-my-desktop-turned-pdf will rank too highly when it comes to AI. (Robots just don't get creativity!) So, if you're going to go through the trouble of finding that EXACT shade of grey to match a one centimeter tall button, you might as well send your resume directly to the hiring manager via LinkedIn.
I know, I know, it's risky. BUT so is spending an hour on one resume, when you could be applying for 10 jobs with a standard resume.
So all of that being said, I'd only recommend specialized resumes for jobs you're really hype about!
To Wrap it Up
I sincerely hope this article is helpful.
If you go through this process and need extra advice/help, reach on out (firstname.lastname@example.org) ! Also, if you give this a go and want to send me your completed work, please do, I'd love to see it!!