The KISS principle (acronym for “Keep It Simple, Stupid”) states that design simplicity should be a key goal and unnecessary complexity avoided. While this principle has been widely applied in a wide array of disciplines, such as software development, animation, engineering, and strategic planning, it is also effective in resume writing.
Recently, on ERE Recruiters Network, a professional recruiter asked whether or not resumes should contain colored backgrounds, fonts and pictures and so on. Here is an excerpt from this discussion on this resume issue topic.
In general, I agree with the other recruiters that unnecessary formatting like colors, pictures, and can distract the reader from the candidate’s qualifications. Having said that, I think that the answer depends on the target job and industry. For example, it’s probably ok for a graphic artist or computer animator to have some art, colors and images on his/her resume. And of course I am not talking about their portfolio which they should have containing work samples. The point is some industries and jobs have a culture that would make it acceptable and even preferable to have an artistic resume. Coincidentally, I have a recent example of a candidates with a colorful resume who was hired within a week. Of course she also had strong qualifications and it could be argued that she would have been hired even sooner with a resume without color (we would never know unless we had a control). At the very least in this case we could say that it did not hurt the candidate’s application.
Anyway, here is some research and quantitative data on the topic of employer’s preferences when it comes to resume formats.
To read the entire excerpt and view the comments from the professional recruiters on resume formats.
For additional information regarding resume writing techniques we encourage you to take our Art & Science Resume Writing e-course. The course has been developed by our team from a human resources perspective.