Leadership

Mark Cuban calls this viral resume 'amazing' — but not all recruiters agree

Self-made billionaire Mark Cuban
Fort Worth Star-Telegram | Getty Images
Self-made billionaire Mark Cuban

A mock resume for Marissa Mayer posted on LinkedIn went viral on the job platform, garnering tens of thousands of likes and thousands of comments. It even caught billionaire investor Mark Cuban's attention, who recently called the resume's layout "amazing."

"I love it and would recommend it for anyone," Cuban later told CNBC Make It. "It is so much better than a droll traditional resume that the reader has to force themselves to focus on in order to extract important information."

Despite the billionaire's enthusiasm, some top recruiters have some reservations. Career experts Amanda Augustine of TopResume and Vicki Salemi of Monster offer some important insights for candidates considering this format.

Both experts thought the resume was appealing and easy to skim. The eye-catching photo, colors, charts and symbols could give applicants an advantage if handed out in person.

That said, if submitted online, it's possible that key facts could get lost to a company's applicant tracking system bot, they said. Stripped of valuable information, the resume could be less likely to be reviewed by a recruiter.

The resume's headshot could offer other complications. Recruiting agency Robert Half notes that having your headshot on a resume can lead to intentional or unintentional discrimination on the basis of race, age, gender or other factors. As a result, many recruiters prefer not to see headshots on resumes, said Augustine.

The resume also outlines soft skills, imagining Mayer's "life philosophy," what she's "most proud of" and what a day in her life might look like.

According to experts, this approach takes up valuable real estate that's better suited for highlighting hard skills as well as work and volunteer experience.

Instead of having an explicit "strengths" section, Salemi said candidates should "show, don't tell," by incorporating skills into the descriptions of their experience.

Careers startup Enchanv designed the the mock resume in July 2016, when Verizon acquired Yahoo's core assets and most anticipated Mayer's impending resignation. (While Mayer did not commission the resume, she reportedly liked what the firm had put together.)

Enhancv co-founder Volen Vulkov says that the resume's content can still be captured by applicant tracking systems and that it has tested its formats with many major ATS systems "with great success."

That said, Vulkov stresses that resumes can't just be written just for bots. "There are still humans out there," Vulkov says. "Humans who want to know who you are and what you're all about, so that they can find the best fit for their organization," says Vulkov.

Sections that highlight soft-skills, Vulkov adds, can also help set you apart from other candidates by revealing your motivation and attitude toward life and work.

Vulkov agrees that there are certain times a photo should not be used on a resume, such as when applying to jobs in conservative fields such as auditing. He says his firm shares this advice with its clients.

To be sure, resumes are an art and not a science. Always research the company you're applying to and think hard about what the recruiter there might expect.

If you choose a non-traditional format, be selective. Enhancv's website points to one study that finds recruiters can favor creative resumes in certain situations, like when creativity is required in the desired role.

Avoid using a variety of colors and designs on your resume if you start to feel you are overcompensating for a lack of experience.

No matter what format you choose, ensure your resume is appealing and easy to read. Says Vulkov, "If you can get even the smallest advantage with a beautiful and professional-looking resume, you should take it."

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