The Mating Call – How & Why Business Professionals Should Get Creative with Their CV/Resumes

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Apr 3, 2014 in Job Search |

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MatesThe animal kingdom has come up with countless unique ways to hide or flee from predators. But sometimes they want to get noticed! For instance, when your resume looks like every other resume in the herd, it makes it a little hard to stand out to potential employers. Some animals turn to a mating call as a way to attract attention.

If you have been looking for a job with poor results for a longer than the absolute necessary period of time, you may want to get creative with your CV/Resume. Sometimes it isn’t the content of your resume that is causing you to be passed up by potential employers; it could be the layout of the CV/Resume that is hurting you. With high unemployment ratings there are large piles of CV/Resumes on the desks of human resource departments across the country and most of them look the same. By getting a bit creative with your CV/Resume your credentials may get the attention that they deserve.

Like everything in life, moderation is important. You don’t want to be overly creative and be labeled in such a way that you never get a worthy job in your industry, but a little charm and personality could go a long way. Especially, as this article on Randstad Financial & Professional shows, when the economy continues to recover and there are more applicants than open positions in many professions.

  • Make a creative header: the bulk of your CV/Resume should be neat and legible but there is room for creativity in the header of your resume. Try playing with eye appealing fonts, varying sized typeface, and subtle colours in order to grab a reader’s attention and keep them from moving your CV/Resume from one pile to another without a second glance. (Editor’s note: Make sure your creative font won’t be mangled by another word processor when the recruiter opens the resume. PDFs will lock in your creativity, but certain applicant tracking systems may not be able to parse your information correctly if it is not a word document with common fonts.)
  • Separate sections with colours and shading: When separating the sections of your CV/Resume, like your prior experience, skillsets, and education, try creating shaded text boxes to emphasis each separation. This will also keep the reader’s attention and move their eyes further down the page.
  • Create a border: Add a thin, delicate border to your CV/Resume. A sleek border surrounding your resume will help it stand out against the numerous plain, white pages of the other resumes. Make sure to pick something that will catch someone’s eye but not distract from the content of your CV/Resume.
  • Put it online: Some of the best CV/Resumes around are not on a sheet of paper. They’re online. And when you compare them side-by-side with the standard CV/Resume, there is really no comparison. Because they’re online, you can animate them, add video and other interactive elements that can tell your story. Need some inspiration? Check out this lot.
  • Promote it: We live in a socially connected world. You are already sharing funny pictures of cats and interesting articles you find online, so why not share and promote your CV/Resume too? Perhaps it would look out of place on Facebook, but not so on LinkedIn. You could even use Pinterest or Dribbble if your CV/Resume was visually creative.

By adding a little style to your CV/Resume you can get more attention, showcase your personality, or prove to potential employers that you’re not afraid of going above and beyond on a task. It is important to show a bit of restraint when being creative; you don’t want a potential employer to label you immature, unprofessional, or incapable of the job at hand.

No matter how creative you decide to get with your CV/Resume, it is important to remember that the content needs to be well-written, professional, and relevant. Even if you create an outstanding visual resume, if it is written sloppily and in an unprofessional manner, you may still be passed up for the position. Make sure the content of your resume is the priority; all of the creative aspects can be done after you create a well-written copy.

And when you land the interview, don’t forget to finish your “mating ritual” on a strong note! The Mating Ritual – Job Dating (Simple Rules For Interviewers and Interviewees). Even if you don’t make the cut, you can still bounce back.

This guest post was contributed by Victoria. If you have a great idea for a jungle-themed post, let us know! Guest writers or requests are always welcome!

 

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