What Is An Alternative Resume? (With Types And How-to Guide)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A well-designed and well-written resume can showcase your skills and experience and distinguish you from other candidates. Often, an employer might request an alternative resume that can include colours, images, icons and infographics. Knowing when to use such a resume can help in increasing your chances of getting hired for a desirable job. In this article, we discuss what an alternative resume is, explain when to use one, review its different types and provide the steps to choose one when applying for jobs.

What Is An Alternative Resume?

An alternative resume or a non-conventional resume is a resume that differs from the reverse-chronological format and provides an in-depth overview of your relevant skills, experience and qualification. Though such resumes might have a similar physical format, they highlight skills in different areas and different orders. Such resumes can be visual or more interactive.

Though the format of your resume depends mainly on the job requirement and the position, you can use colours, infographics and other elements to show your accomplishments, strengths and abilities. These resumes are a creative way to differentiate yourself from the competitors while highlighting your skills and personality.

When Do You Use A Non-Conventional Resume?

Determining when to use a non-conventional resume might depend upon various factors. You can use such a resume format if you are applying to a job role that is high in demand and want to differentiate your resume from other applications. Also, you might use a non-conventional resume when applying for creative positions, such as a graphic designer or art teacher. You can express your creativity through your resume to highlight that aspect.

The different styles of non-conventional resumes convey to the hiring manager that you are a suitable candidate for the job and can use your abilities to complete your work-related duties.

What Are The Types Of Non-Conventional Resumes?

Some common types of non-conventional resumes are:

Infographic resume

An infographic resume is an excellent way to differentiate yourself from other candidates. Such a resume visually represents your skills, experience and educational qualifications. Typically, an infographic resume uses colours, styles, icons and fonts to organise your information, making it easier for hiring managers to read and understand your review. Though you can use such a resume for a highly competitive job, they are ideal when applying for a creative position. A hiring manager might request an infographic resume to process a large amount of information.

Related: How To Create An Infographic Resume (With Types And Tips)

Achievement-based resume

As the name suggests, an achievement-based resume highlights your career accomplishments. It conveys to hiring managers that you can produce similar results for the position you are applying. Usually, an achievement-based resume gives a brief description of a situation you handled at the workplace along with graphics to display your success to the readers. You can use these situations to show why you are a suitable candidate and what value you can bring to the organisation.

Video resume

Video resumes are a type of resume that showcase your communication, digital and video editing skills. By creating a video resume, you can exemplify your skills to showcase your work history, abilities and skills. If you are applying for a job that requires you to display your communication skills, a video resume can be an excellent way to show why you are suitable for the job. Also, you can use your resume as a supplement to a physical resume that includes your employment and education details, which might not be visible on a reverse-chronological resume.

Related: How To Make A Video Resume (With Tips And Example)

Portfolio resume

Employers might request an online portfolio instead of a resume for many job professions. Your online portfolio can show your examples of work and differentiate your resume from others. An online portfolio or website can help you create a positive first impression. Even in a job that does not require an online portfolio, including one can add credentials to your candidature. Your portfolio comprises a few samples of your creative work, showcasing your style. Make your online portfolio public for hiring managers to gauge your skills.

Related: How To Make A Portfolio: A Step-by-Step Guide

Slideshow resume

A slideshow resume is an excellent way to present your resume and background to hiring managers. A slideshow resume provides more information than a regular resume and helps maintain an easy-to-follow format. On your resume, you can include helpful links, graphics and icons to make it appealing and interactive. It helps leave a positive impression on the manager, who might consider calling you for an interview. Create a slideshow resume for jobs like marketing or teaching.

Functional resume

Unlike a reverse chronological order, a functional resume focuses on mentioning skills you have developed throughout your career. It gives importance to your skills rather than the job experience or positions. Recent college graduates or entry-level professionals typically use a functional resume to show their relevant skills and qualifications for the job. A functional resume groups this information under specific skills, such as communication, leadership or critical thinking skills. This resume emphasises your transferrable skills that help review the skills you bring to a position.

Related: Functional Resumes: Tips, Steps, Sample And Advantages

Business card resume

A business card resume is an excellent idea for candidates who work as salespeople. Such a resume is helpful when attending networking events and workshops related to your field. This type of resume gives the essential details about yourself, such as education, skills and current job position. The major advantage of using a business card resume is passing it along to people when you do not have time to explain your relevant details. Also, a business card resume is easier to carry than a traditional resume. You can include the link to your social media profile.

Hybrid or combination resume

Another effective way of getting your audience's attention is using a hybrid or combination resume. A hybrid resume format is a unique approach to presenting your education, skills and employment to the hiring managers. This resume combines the best aspect of a chronological and functional format and focuses on highlighting your most impressive information first. It places equal emphasis on your work history and your skills. After listing your skills, you can list your work experience in chronological format. Typically, this is an ideal resume choice for candidates are going back to work after a long break or professionals trying to change careers or industries.

Related: How To Write A Combination Resume (With Template And Tips)

Relevance-based resume

A relevance-based resume has the same format as a standard chronological resume. The only difference is that it lists your experience and education related to the job. You can omit some less relevant experiences to accommodate other details.

How To Choose And Write A Non-Conventional Resume

Use these steps to choose and create a non-conventional resume:

1. Review the job description

Before deciding to write a resume, focus on identifying resume formatting and guideline an employer requests. Some employers might provide font types, colour restrictions, font sizes and other rules to help you create an interesting and exciting resume. Also, an employer might list whether they require a video resume or a portfolio resume. Carefully reading the requirement might help you submit a resume that encourages hiring managers to schedule an interview for a desirable position.

2. Research the company

Research the company you are applying for to understand its mission and vision statement. This information helps you determine the non-conventional resume an employer might prefer. It helps you determine how innovative or traditional they might be. You can also find company reviews that might discuss this. A standard resume format is ideal for more traditional companies, while start-ups and creative companies might prefer a non-conventional resume style.

3. Choose the right resume format

You can decide what formats work for the job with the job description and company information. Consider the employer's job requirements to identify what resume format might be ideal for the job. Based on your skills, educational qualification and experience, you can decide whether you want to choose a portfolio resume or a slideshow resume.

4. Include your relevant details

You can start writing your information to best display your skills and detail how you can contribute to the organisation. When writing your resume, use icons, graphics and stylish choices to highlight your relevant values and skills. Regardless of the resume format, focus on providing information on how you can add value to the organisation. Also, keep the content of your resume concise to encourage hiring managers to read your resume.

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