Saturday, June 23, 2012

How to make your CV stand out in the crowd?

I have been thinking about CVs lately, and wondering how to develop a CV that stands out, especially amongst other job applicants.

Video CV
There is quite a lot of talk about alternative formats, such as video CVs. This one by Graeme Anthony made quite a splash a couple of years ago. The snag with video, is you have got to know what you're doing, and make a proper job of it. I would imagine an amateur effort is likely to turn employers right off. And there's the issue of time...skimming through 300 odd paper CVs will be a lot easier than watching 300 videos.

Some people are advocating LinkedIn as a CV. The problem with LinkedIn is that it takes a generalised approach to job hunting.  In other words, you cannot tailor your profile to suit specific jobs, in the same way you can with traditional CVs. Also, you are stuck with the LinkedIn format...there is little room for creativity.

Visual CV
Another way to provide a visual CV, other than video (and easier), is with a presentation software such as PowerPoint (like this one by Nicole Jenssen) or Prezi (such as this one by Kelsey Brannan). Or,  you can jazz up your CV with software specifically designed for the purpose,  such as - here is my CV, which I made by directly importing my LinkedIn profile.

Creative CVs - a bridge too far?
Alison Doyle from About.Com says you don't see many paper CVs about these days. That might be true in the creative industries, and in the USA and UK, but it isn't true in health or education....and certainly is not true in New Zealand or Australia. But maybe it's time to change...are you prepared to risk it?!

Have you ever submitted a creative CV? What format did you use? How did you get on?

BTW: If you're interested in the difference between LinkedIn and paper CVs, have a read of this article by Gerrit Hall and the fascinating conversation that follows - there is some really interesting information about how recruiters look at CV etc: 6 Things on Your LinkedIn Profile That Shouldn’t Be on Your Resume


Anonymous said...

A very timely post for me. iCloud is withdrawing it's free web hosting so I needed to move/change my ePortfolio. I checked out the options you presented. However, I ended up opting for a drop box pdf with hyperlinks in it. Reason - over the last few years when I have sent the link to my ePortfolio instead of a traditional resume I have been asked to send a 'proper' resume that can be printed out. So, basically my site was a bit of a waste of time.

I think in the world of academia the traditional resume is still the preferred option. Also from the perspective of someone looking at a resume I think I'd prefer a basic one - something that simply tells me what I need to know. Especially if I'm looking at lots of them.

Sarah Stewart said...

Very interested to hear your views on the ePortfolio issue. Like you, no-one has wanted to look at my ePortfolio, and that's partly, I think, because it has got so big these days. So I am slowly but surely moving to LinkedIN. I'll let you know if that starts to play a more significant part in my next round of job hunting.

As for visual CVs, I am going to try out a visual CV with my next application for an educator's job. When I next apply for a health job, I shall use a traditional format cos I don't think the health sector will be ready for anything different at this stage.