5 Ways to Make Your CV Stand Out

Jan 11, 2021 | Career

Recruiters and hiring managers sift through hundreds of CVs for every job they advertise, so you need to make sure yours stands out. In the past, we’ve been told that one side of A4 in black and white is the way forward, but this means all CVs look the same (and really boring). Here are 5 easy ways to make your CV pop and get the attention of the people who can make your career goals a reality.

Make it colourful

Use Canva to turn your CV into a fancy PDF. With over 1300 templates to choose from, there’s a slim chance your CV will end up looking like someone else’s. Plus, Canva is free and super easy to use.

Top tip: keep your original CV on file in case an employer requests it. Some companies run CVs through a computer so require a plain text version.

Show your personality

Don’t be afraid to show your personality. Include a photo of yourself if you feel comfortable or write in a conversational tone. How far you go will depend on the job you’re applying for – clever use of emojis might not suit a corporate role, but could be perfect for a creative agency.

Share your work

If you’re light on experience, show what you can do with a mini portfolio. Share some ideas from a sketchbook, add some excerpts from your writing, link to your blog or include a screenshot of your university project. Feel free to extend your CV to 2 pages to accommodate this – an extra page on a PDF doesn’t take up extra space the way physical CVs did.

Add references

If you can’t show what you can do, have other people tell it. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy – offer to do some work for a friend in return for some feedback and screenshot their message. In fact, start saving screenshots whenever someone says something nice about your work. You never know when they might come in handy in future, plus it’s a great confidence boost.

Make it physical

If you have the resources, consider sending something physical along with or instead of your CV. It’s hard to ignore a CV when it’s handed to you by your local DPD driver. Check out this video from Rise At Seven to see some of the creative applications they’ve received.

For Dan’s CV, we considered creating beer cans with his CV wrapped round like an ingredients list. You could even film a personalised video explaining to the hiring manager why you want to work with them. Just make sure to keep it relevant – more creativity, less bribery.

I hope that’s given you some bright ideas to liven up your CV. Let me know your most creative CV ideas in the comments or tweet me @kathrynmonkcom with your creations.

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