A guest post
Employers can read hundreds of CV’s with the same layout and similar information when trying to fill a vacancy; this can make it incredibly difficult to distinguish one candidate from another.
Whilst most candidates are aware that their CV has very little time to impress, creating an attention grabbing document can seem like an impossible task. To get your job search started off on the right track, we have put together a few less than conventional ideas to ensure that your potential employer’s attention is drawn to your relevant skills and experience.
Think about format
Whilst it is important to have a formal version of your CV, why not show off a little creative flair while illustrating your industry knowledge by creating a second more engaging format to demonstrate your skills and experience?
Draw inspiration from CV trendsetters such as Ed Hamilton, a candidate who used Google Maps to highlight his work experience. Hamilton pinned different locations relevant to his work history on a world map, creating an interactive CV designed to hold an employer’s attention by allowing them to actively engage with the content.
This format exhibited Hamilton’s creativity as well as his willingness to relocate for his job, therefore conveying to his potential employer that he is both skilled and passionately dedicated to his work.
If you are planning to create a more engaging presentation of your expertise, ensure that you choose a format that will compliment the role you are applying for, as your overall aim is to communicate a comprehensive understanding of your industry.
Build a campaign
Adam Pacitti of ‘Employ Adam’ fame felt disheartened after receiving 250 job application rejections. He explained “I was finding it really difficult to stand out on paper, so I thought I will try and grab potential employers’ attention”.
In order to shake-up his approach to job hunting, Adam built a website, made a video CV, utilised different social channels and most famously bought bill board space to advertise his job search. This campaign rewarded the young graduate with 60 job offers and coverage across all the national newspapers, as well as several features on various news channels.
Whilst we would not recommend emptying your bank account to pay for a bill board, Adam’s story proves the importance of using other forms of media to reinforce the claims made on your CV while attracting attention from the right people.
When looking to start your own campaign start with setting up a twitter feed, share articles, make comment and connect with important thought leaders. This could be complimented by creating a blog in which you discuss key themes and news stories within your industry.
If you have good production skills you might consider making a short video demonstrating your experience while providing your potential employer with the opportunity to interact with you and learn a little about how you work. Alternatively, if a video is not an option, try designing a slide show exhibiting examples of your work and upload this to your website, LinkedIn page or blog.
Show, don’t tell
US based designer and developer Robby Leonardi created an interactive Super Mario inspired CV, demonstrating not only his design and development capabilities but also his creativity and personality. The fun and memorable site has received coverage across a number of major international news sites, providing Leonardi with incredible and unique exposure to a host of worldwide brands.
Whilst not all of us are coding geniuses, it does not mean we cannot learn from Leonardi’s example. Review the skills section on your CV and see if there are any points at which you can show a potential employer your capabilities instead of purely describing them.
If you have listed Photoshop as a skill, create a version of your CV in the form of an infographic in order to exhibit this ability. Alternatively, if you have highlighted your sales skills try writing a pitch or putting together a slideshow using yourself as the product. To help, think about the daily tasks that the role you are applying for would require you to complete; once you have noted these, see if there is any way you can apply these tasks to promoting yourself and building your own brand.
Use images and design skills
We are taught to ensure that our CV’s are written in a digestible format which demonstrates our career progression and aspirations. If you are looking to make your CV stand out from the crowd, try visually representing your credentials in a timeline.
Well designed timeline CV’s are not only attention grabbing but are also a good example of your design skills, ability to think outside the box, a knowledge of who your audience is and your ability to recognise the various forms of consumable content. For any jobseekers looking for a career in digital, design or marketing, this could be the perfect opportunity to prove your understanding of the way the industry works.
Whichever option you choose to try, success is more likely to come as a result of you thinking of yourself as a brand. When creating a CV and starting the job hunt, it is important that you put across you story, your work ethic and make clear to the employer exactly what you can do for their company.
To succeed in almost any industry, your professional profile should not end at your CV. Stay active within the appropriate media and ensure that you portray your passion for your work in a clear and professional manner. Once you have achieved this exposure, you will not have to rely on just your CV to do the talking for you.
Ashleigh-Rose Harman is a Digital Content Writer for Portfolio CBR a London based recruitment agency, who specialise in placing compensation, benefit and reward employees.
A guest post