The Curriculum Vitae has gone through a long-needed makeover in recent years. That, oh so formal, document listing academic qualifications, the driving licence pass, and accounting for every month of your working life has finally lost its rigidity and dares to be something more creative.
Very rarely do we now see age, marital status and nationality listed, and even less often do we see the dreaded Times New Roman font and this can only be a good thing.
The CV is a way to express your individuality, ideas, creativity and stand out from the crowd, and with the various design software packages available these days, it doesn’t have to be typed into a boring Word document any more. But, before you get too carried away with the dancing flamingos and holiday snaps, do remember some basic points.
Employers get hundreds of applications into their inbox and, although a pretty one might catch their attention momentarily, they want to be able to pick out key points easily – i.e. what are your skills? How much experience do you have? Who is your current employer? What are your academics? How can they contact you?
Metaphorical creations and video links are very imaginative but put yourself in the shoes of a busy HR Manager. Read through your CV and think to yourself, ‘What does this person do and what can they offer?’ and if you have no idea then perhaps try a slightly more traditional approach. Wow them with your creativity but don’t make them have to pass a code breakers course to get to the heart of what you do.
Lots of people like to include a photo on their CV – in some countries it is essential – but think about it before you do. You may have a gorgeous photo of yourself in a strapless dress but put in on your CV and you may just look naked. Don’t include a photo with a complicated background – you’ll end up looking like you have a tree growing out of your head – and beware the passport style photo – who doesn’t look like an axe murderer on their passport? Think about the image you want to portray, it’s human nature to make snap judgements based on a photo.
Finally, don’t forget to include your contact details – your CV may be the most fantastic piece of art but if an employer can’t easily find your phone number or email address then it will end up in the bin.