Have you ever wished you knew more about getting through college than being told, “Congratulations, these are the best years of your life?” As much fun as college can be, it’s also meant to be your first step into a career and life as a professional adult. But that doesn’t mean it has to be difficult — or uncreative.

At Creative Circle, we’re all about attracting, retaining, and placing top talent, and that means starting your journey right. If you’re interested in a future as a creative or you’re just nervous about getting through your college years, we want to help!

These handy guides include insider tips, best practices, insights, and ideas to help you make the most of your college experience. Below, we’ve broken down four jam-packed years into four easy guides, year by year — give them a read and put this inside info to work for you! Pick your year and download our mini-guides for quick tips on getting from freshman to senior year and beyond!

Freshman Year Guide

Creative Circle + Orangenius – College Resource Guide - Freshman

Sophomore Year Guide

Creative Circle + Orangenius – College Resource Guide - Sophomore

Junior Year Guide

Creative Circle + Orangenius – College Resource Guide - Junior

Senior Year Guide

Creative Circle + Orangenius – College Resource Guide - Senior

Four-Year College Guide

If you want to plan your college experience from start to finish, download the guide below that includes freshman through senior year!
Creative Circle + Orangenius – College Resource Guide - Full

Want to keep learning?

Check out Artrepreneur by Orangenius and Our Notebook by Creative Circle, for articles on the job search, career development, and the creative lifestyle!

Ready to start?

Put your candidate application materials to the test! Check out Creative Circle’s other Career Resource Guides for tips and tricks on developing your resume, portfolio, or interview skills.
Then be sure to create your portfolio at Orangenius and register as a candidate with Creative Circle.

Your “Help Wanted” post ran on Monday, and by Thursday afternoon, you were buried keyboard-deep in resumes and CVs. Rather than wading through them all — at the cost of many man-hours, all your sanity, and the potential of missing out on a golden candidate , because you’re at the point where you just. can’t. even. — use our three-point resume test to assess a job seeker’s most important characteristics. Then head over to our Interactive Resume Experience for more tips on reviewing creative resumes.

1. Look at the general presentation of the resume.

Why it matters: Demonstrates the candidate’s overall level of professionalism
How: Let your eyes rest on the resume for a few seconds. Does it invite you to keep reading by providing a clear informational hierarchy, ample white space, bullet points that break up blocks of text, consistency and an understanding of presentation? Or is it a mishmash of colors, fonts, graphic elements, and tiny type that seems to pack more words than punch?

It’s true that there are many ways to format a resume and creative professionals will likely use a little more visual flourish. However, a disastrously designed resume that forgets its first objective — to capture and hold a reviewer’s attention — may be a red flag.

2. Look for a sense of the job seeker’s personal brand.

Why it matters: Good indicator of fit
How: Once you’ve made it past the first hurdle, look deeper at the design, graphic elements, and writing style to get a sense of the candidate’s personal brand. For example, if someone uses a meticulously designed, infographic-style resume with minimalist fonts and active language, this candidate is presenting the brand of an experienced, creative problem-solver who enjoys using both sides of their brain. They’d probably be thrilled to work at a startup, helping to shape all aspects of the brand, and probably wouldn’t flourish as much in a traditional corporate position.

You may also need to look in places other than the candidate’s resume to confirm that the branding is intentional. The candidate’s website, portfolio and business card are other opportunities to showcase their personal brand and can indicate whether they’re a match for your culture and work environment.

3. Look for a combination of keywords and descriptive language

Why it matters: Reveals if they can do the job
How: Scanning for keywords is important, but it’s increasingly common for candidates to stuff their resumes with specific words to pass a filtering program sniff test. Beyond keywords, look for descriptive, natural language that paints a meaningful picture of how the candidate can use their skills to solve problems for a company like yours.

For example:
Candidate A: Skills include UX, UI, After Effects, Google Keywords, written communication
Candidate B: Created all UI elements of a multimedia campaign that resulted in 380,000 impressions and a 4% increase in sales

Sure, Candidate A could probably do the job, but Candidate B gives you a concrete example of results-driven work. You’d be safe to move Candidate B to the top of the “YES!” pile.

Bonus: Review resumes like a champ

Finding the perfect fit will probably take more than three steps, which is why we created a cutting-edge, digital Interactive Resume Experience to help hiring managers (and candidates) critique the resumes of digital, creative and marketing professionals. With 12+ years of industry expertise and the savvy to review 2,000+ resumes a week, we’ve got it down to a science. It’s why companies from startups to Fortune 500s hire freelance and full-time resources from us. Give it a try and start reviewing resumes like we do: your next hire could be closer than you think!

Creative Circle Interactive Resume Experience