The job market is immensely competitive and you’re just another highly qualified candidate looking for a job. You have your CV ready to support your application, but how can you stand out and not be another one on the pile?
By all means, the content of your CV will be a key factor on HR´s decision to hire you or not, and your experience and education will play an important role on their decision, but there are a few tricks that can make a difference if you want to stand out and get hired.
If you keep sending CVs and not hear anything back, maybe is time to make a change and go wild on your CV. The tips below will give you some ideas for a more creative CV, however these tips should be adopted by someone applying to a more creative, or open minded industry. And if you are unsure, maybe you should keep using a traditional format.
If you want to stand out, a typical CV like the one below is not making you any favours and maybe it´s time to change. Will you dare to change?
With this type of CV, unless you have the best education and the perfect previous experience you will get hired. This format is outdated and very unlikely you will be standing out from the rest.
From now on I will be suggesting a few tips and ideas with examples to upgrade your CV. Like anything else in life they will require your common sense, maybe some of them won´t be suitable for the job you’re applying for, but what I want from you with this post is that you can think outside the box, be creative, be funny and be smart. Give it a try and see if it´s bringing more results. Even the dullest job can have a funny side.
Two tweets to show how people love creative resumes, and how you can get hired because of it.
1- Change your layout
The first thing someone sees on your CV is the layout and the way the information is presented to them. This is an important feature on your future CV and you can make a good impression immediately on this.
Like me, maybe you are not a graphic designer and you wont be making things like these ones. They are quite elaborated and maybe the short information displayed, especially on the second one, won´t be useful for your job application.
But take some risks, use some colours, put some graphics or logos and give a little bit of spiciness on your CVs design
2 -Be Funny
Yes, exactly take some risks. If companies are not calling you back, why not to add up something funny on your CV, maybe it will catch the recruiter’s eye.
If your are planning to write a short summary about yourself, why not making it funny to read? Mock about your silly things, write about funny things that happened to you and keep the humour in high spirits. Don’t go to far, do not talk bad about your previous job or employer and make sure you don’t make a complete fool of yourself, just your use your common sense and you’ll be fine.
You can also play around with your picture. The classic, Passport picture is outdated so why not getting a different one? Put yourself on a excentric frame, or cartoon yourself, but always make sure your face is properly visible.
3- Introduce keywords
A good way to catch someone’s eye is to use keywords. You can use this technique to give more emphasis to some sort of information you want to be more visible and to be easy scanned by a recruiter. You can use this to explain your accquired skills or even the softwares that you grasp. A creative way to do this can be a tag cloud since it has a great visual impact and if properly done can very quickly transmit the desired information. The CV below is a great example on how to use a classy tag cloud. Here the graphic designer used a tag cloud to describe himself with his interests and skills.
If you think a tag cloud might be too much, use Bold words, to enhance your keywords.
4. Use graphics
Sometimes we do need to have a lot of information explained in our CV in a very short space, and it’s quite important to keep our CV simple and easy to get scanned quickly. A good way to expose a lot of information easily is to use graphics. This is something that is becoming rather popular with creative CVs.
You can use a very cool and free tool called vizualize.me for some expriments. This website imports the information contained in your Linkedin profile and creates a few template with Graphics. I wouldn’t recommend that you use the whole templates to make your CV, but you can get some ideas and experiment some examples with your own information
5. Use Links
Nowadays, in most cases the CVs are sent online and the recruiter sees it for the first time on the computer. This is a good chance to promote your Linkedin page or your personal page if you have one and if its relevant for the job positions you’re applying for.
This can be quite useful to the recruiter to access other information just by clicking on your links and saving some time.
6. Create a Timeline
A good way to explain your work or education through time is by using a timeline, some people are even using social networks like Facebook or Twitter as a layout. The good thing about the timeline is that is easy for the recruiter to understand your path over time since it’s quite self-explanatory.
You can combine Education and Work in the same timeline as a good way to explain that you’ve been getting some education while you were working. Makes it way easier to the eye to perceive that information, instead of working out the years.
The timeline can be the only thing on your CV, or can be just used a side information.
7. Use Logos
As explained before, one of the things that catches the eye is the visual impact, but if you don’t want to go that far on the design you can maybe start to introduce some logos to support your information. By logos I mean for example your University’s or your previous employer’s logo, but you can also paste the social network’s logos instead of the links (or both). This is a good way to make it easy to read. You can even create your own personal logo to give a very personal touch.
In the example below, Joel Marshall, used logos for his computer skills instead of writing them, pretty smooth, right?
8. Infographic CV
The infographics became very trendy in the past couple of years, and it is by all means a great way to expose information, especially if that information involves a lot a numbers. If you read spanish, this blogger creates a lot of great infographics, have a look if you don’t know what I am talking about.
If you grasp the infographics, creating an Infographic CV is a great option.
A CV is a personal statement, and the way it looks tells a lot about who you are, it’s almost like your passport so make sure you take good care of it’s design, a bad design can put you away from your dream job.
With this post I tried to give you some ideas if you are in need of a more creative CV. These options will have to be chosen according to the job you will be applying for. Bare in mind that a for conservative business areas (like health and care, accounting or some engineering fields for example) this might be a terrible choice. These examples should be more used where the future job involves some creativity, so use your common sense.
What about you? Would you dare to spice up your CV with a few of these tips? Have you done a creative CV? Share it with us!