New Classic Design Categories for TORI Resume Writing Awards

CDI-TORI-Resume-Awards-2021Are you an outstanding resume writer who would like to win a TORI but you don’t go in for all that graphic design?

Well, then the 2021 TORI resume writing awards have the BIG TWIST you’ve been waiting for!

We’re calling it the Best Classic Resume!

You’ll find these new categories available for executive resumes, new graduate resumes, high tech resumes, and difficult transition resumes.
There are still ten (10) categories to enter, 50 chances to be nominated, and 30 chances to win, but this year a more classic resume style will be recognized in four (4) categories. But don’t worry if the dynamic graphic design is more your style as there are still six (6) categories for that!

We love and embrace the immense creativity and design of today’s TORI-winning resumes. Our founder, Laura DeCarlo, was an early pioneer in this area, winning resume writing awards for Most Visually Distinctive Resume and Most Creative Resume.

While Laura knows the immense value that a graphically-enhanced resume brings to a networking job search and an online search (when either made ATS-friendly with CDI’s how-to tutorial or when accompanied by an ATS-friendly resume), she feels it’s time we also embrace the more traditional resume styles at the other end of the spectrum:
Classic Equals Exceptional Writing, Keywords, and “Light” Design
for Ease of Read and Engagement.

2021 TORI Categories:

  • Best Executive Resume
  • Best Classic Executive Resume
  • Best Sales Resume
  • Best New Graduate Resume
  • Best Classic New Graduate Resume
  • Best High Tech Resume
  • Best Classic High Tech Resume
  • Best Difficult Transition Resume
  • Best Classic Difficult Transition Resume
  • Best Healthcare/Medical Resume

Yes, some categories are on hiatus this year so that we can keep the category number down to ten (10). We chose the categories with the most 2020 entries to keep for this new Classic experiment.

Yes, you can enter both a classic and regular category, as long as you are submitting different resumes into each!

Here are some helpful do’s and don’ts to understand the new Classic categories:


  • Write at the same elevated level as the prior TORIs, with emphasis on avoiding word repetition, maintaining same verb tense and voice, writing powerfully, using personal branding, and emphasizing results with CAR-type stories.
  • Focus on a layout that imparts readability and easily guides the eye to critical information by being visually engaging. This can be done with use of bullets, spacing, font choice, knock out text, typographical elements (bold, underline), optional light use of color and simple line-based page borders, simple divider lines, symbols as bullets, and text boxes/basic shading for non-ATS data like a quote from a reference.
  • Include keywords and other ATS-friendly content.


  • Mistake this as a content-only competition. The resume must still be visually appealing in such a way that the reader is drawn into wanting to scan quickly or read further. Classic does not mean basic ugly template.
  • Use graphics. You should avoid all background graphics, images, logos, photos, clipart, smart art, borders (besides simple line), full backgrounds, charts, or graphs.
  • Focus on a bare-bones ATS style. Instead make it visually appealing while avoiding text boxes for critical ATS content. You are looking for a happy balance between ATS and human review.

You can also view samples of what we consider a Classic resume on our TORI information page. There you will also find links to other winning resumes, resume writing tutorials, FAQs, and other helpful resources.

The TORIs are the #1 way to grow your resume business!

Learn more now >>