Dear Sam: I revamped my resume to give it more personality—and received some contradictory advice from friends and family—so I don’t know if I have gone too far with my resume design. Have I given it too much character? Is this a resume that would stand out in a crowd in a good way? For background, I have a degree in communications and four years of work experience outside the field. I’m trying to get in the door with a marketing or communications team. – Sadie

Dear Sadie: I love the unique way you have presented your candidacy! I applaud your creativity and willingness to do something different! Before I go on, I will say that you will always get contradictory advice and opinions when you poll an audience of non-experts regarding a resume. So many people provide opinions that are not rooted in today’s best practices. It is even surprising how many recruiters still give their clients resume templates from 20 years ago as a representative sample of what a resume should look like. I firmly believe that you must do something different and unique to stand out when marketing your candidacy, especially to engage a human overwhelmed by the number of resumes hitting their desk. So, be strong in your conviction to do something different. As long as you feel the design of your resume and the content included are geared toward your target audience, I would stop asking others for their advice and go with your gut instincts.

Having said that, while I believe the design of your resume will glean some attention, I am concerned hiring managers will not know what you want and who you are.

The key piece you are missing from your well-designed resume is a positioning statement. You do not have a qualifications summary, so the reviewer will be forced to evaluate you as you have been. By that, I mean the reader will only have the information to believe you are positioning yourself as a property management assistant, as that is how your resume opens based on your current position. This is precisely what you don’t want. To avoid that unfortunate assumption, you must position your candidacy.

Given your field of study was communications, I imagine you know a little about marketing, messaging, and positioning information on a page to attract the reader and prioritize their scan. Take advantage of this knowledge when you present the value of your candidacy for a communications role. Build a summary that promotes the transferability of your professional and pre-graduation experiences, combined with the strengths of your academic program and courses of study.

While I know you stated you do not have any experience in the field of communications, I am sure there are some transferable skills that you have developed during your four years as a property management assistant. Think beyond your job description to connect the dots between where you have been and where you want to go. Read numerous job postings for targeted positions and start taking notes on similar functions you have performed. You may have to think a little more creatively and expand your mindset beyond the standard job description from the last four years to show that while you have not been in the communications field, you have acquired beneficial experience.

I am confident that you will be exceptionally successful when you have a little more attention to content and messaging, coupled with your beautiful design.