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I want my CV to look awesome! It currently looks really dull. Seeing as I'm making the content better, and the fact that alot of my career history is design/layout based, my CV is completely overdue a facelift.
I'm after a traditional style, but with a bit of a twist to make it more exciting (i.e. something that would still be acceptable in a more corporate environment). Google searching hasn't been that useful, does anyone have any suggestions of where one might look for inspiration?
My only advice would be to forget about a 'CV with a twist' and just focus on the content. People are more likely to think 'what a wanker' than 'oh my look at this wonderful CV'. If you're looking for something in an office, use a recruitment agency.
I work for a recruitment company and I can genuinely say the only CV's that impress me are the ones with good content. Just use clear headings, put as much useful content in as possible (with out over doing it) and don't use Comic Sans, Times New Roman or Courier.
You probably knew that anyway but I thought I'd throw it out there.
My brother's girlfriend's cv has an A4 picture of herself on the front giving a thumbs up, and includes text talk, duplicate grammar !!!! and smiley faces to make it 'stand out'. I'd advise her against it but she's applying to our place of work atm and tbh I think both of us see enough of her as it is. Some things are best left be.
It was a few years since we placed an advertisement in a newspaper for a staff member and I received about 400 replies by post and e-mail. Any gimmicky ones went straight in the bin, along with those who did not read the advertisement and those who actually admitted that they had not read the advertisement. All I was interested in was someone either with experience or who had made the effort to convince me that they could do the job. I probably spent less than a minute reading everyone's CV so I would definitely say that content is all you need to worry about.
Yep. Though I'd just go with: don't be a wacky cunt.
Ah, what I meant was something that looks more stylised/smart. Mine is currently just an expanded version of the basic one I put together 12 years ago.
I'm not some kind of wacky cunt.
An expanded version of a 12 year old CV is just fine. In the nicest possible way, it does not matter one iota what style it is in or how smart it is. You are aiming it at someone who will be lucky to spend 60 seconds skimming through it. Fonts, underlining, bullet points or whatever you call them are all unimportant. If I were your prospective boss, I would head straight to the relevant experience you have and then your education and qualifications and that is all you really need to focus on.
I'm completely bored of my CV and don't think it looks very professional. Plus having the same layout for so long has limited my want to review existing content and actually imorove on it.
It probably depends on what kind of job you're applying for but my cv is essentially:
Job title, company, term of employment - Brief description of role and key achievements
Repeat above as necessary
Educational institute, Subject, Classification and Grade
Feel free to lie here, no one will ever know
In my spare time, I enjoy keeping fit by tossing off with a tension cable around my neck
Space at the bottom to tag on any other shit they might want, such as nat ins, reference contact details and grossly exagerrated measurements of your genitalia
What more do you actually need? If you want to make it look professional, change the font from comic sans and take out all attempts at humour and personality, you're not applying to be a redcoat at Butlins.
Here's an idea to jazz it up, why don't you make it into a spidergram? Have MATTHEW A in a box in the middle, and then little branches coming off with fun facts about yourself. Try cutting the paper into circles as well, I'm sure they've seen a hundred CVs in that tired rectangular format, they must be bored of it. Punch a tiny hole in the middle of each circular document, colour the first page black and write 'Matthew's Greatest Jobs - A Side' in the middle. Y'know, really demonstrate your passion. Best of luck.
Mine was similar, though I had pretty much bog all in the way of interests listed (how many times can they read "music, books, films, socialising with friends, having a wank"?), and between contact info and employment history, I used to have a brief bit headed 'key skills', where I'd list stuff that was relevant for the particular job I was applying for.
Thing is, last time I used that CV was nearly 12 years ago, straight from Uni. It's probably not a relevant format now.
We have CVs for internal use at work, and these follow this sort of format, though I'm not sure which is considered the better format, or whether they're both shit...
NAME HERE (employee number)
Five or six lines of talking about yourself in the third person about how great you are.
Basic list of: last academic achievement, relevant professional qualifications, if you have a driving license or security clearance or something.
Big list of relevant skills.
Software design and development (12 years)
Billing systems (5 years)
Database admin (3 years)
Java (14 years)
Internet trolling (8 years)
MOST RECENT ROLE (year-year)
Paragraph about responsibilities and achievements.
PREVIOUS ROLE (year/year)
TEA BOY (year - year)
Short sentence about 'valuable experience'.
I've got to say I disagree a bit, especially if you work in the creative industry. You need to standout and yes content is about 95% important you also need to show off your design skills.
We had a couple of lectures this year from industry leaders (big creative agencies) and they said you need to do something to make it standout. Nothing like sticking a load of smiley faces or neon colouring but something that shows off your skills. One guy apparently sent them his cv attached to a door. An actual full sized door.
I'm afraid I have no templates to offer, but I would think about what skills you have and what you want to show and try to incorporate them somehow.
I'd kill myself if I had to work with dicks like that.
Just to add my 2p: when people say "style doesn't matter", it obviously does. Something that's in tiny text, difficult to read, comic san etc will get discarded quicker than Jordans dignity.
But otherwise, if you're not trying to be the next horrendous cunt in advertising, don't worry about trying to stand out etc.
I just want to employ some intelligent use of white space to draw attention to the useful information, and not make the CV look cluttered like I think it does now.
What she said on the creative industry front, if you're in an advertising or social media type role.
My CV is very very simple, clean, basic but not too cluttered. It got my my current job so it must be good
Matt if you DM me your email address I''ll send it over in case it's useful for you as a template - my dad helped me with it and he's pretty good at his job in the HR world.
could you send it to me please Jem?
(sorry to hijack your thread Matt)
My sister is an architect, I've seen her CV and it basically looks exactly like a pamphlet advertising some kind of modern art exhibition at a pretentious gallery no one can afford to go to.
She has a well paid architecture job though, so it obviously did the trick.
What's wrong with a link to a website or flickr or whatever that has your work on there?
Yeah, I agree with Jemma and Liz. My girlfriend got her job (working for Graze as a designer if you didn't already know) by sending some fancy CV with loads of drawings and stuff on and that obviously worked.
Agreed with most of what has been said already.
Matt, I think you're on the right track. Just spend time picking some classy, strong fonts that work well together and utilise that white space. I'd avoid straight templates as any employer will have seen them a thousand times before.
Surely for a creative role, a normal CV with a portfolio attached would suffice just as well? I really don't think anyone wants to receive a CV that looks as if it's been scribbled on by a small child arrive nailed to a dead drifter.
I don't think anyone's saying "style doesn't matter". They're saying using anything that's readable is fine.
I think we've definitely hijacked the thread though. All Matt probably wanted was a half decent modern looking plain layout..
If it's for a job in the design industry, then isn't that what a Portfolio is for? There's not really very much you can do in Microsoft Word that can show off design skills, just as long as you show you can put together a neat and tidy document. I'm sure design companies don't send formal letters out on A3 pop-up picture books do they. There's a time and a place for showing what you're capable of. A CV is just a written document of your experiences and accomplishments.
I've worked in HR and also for a training company where the Job Centre sent folk on the dole to sort their life out and actually start trying to get a job, teaching them how to write letters and CVs and shit. I've seen plenty of dog shit CVs, including flower pattern borders and a watermark backdrop of the Leeds United crest... I don't think any employer is ever looking to think "Oh wow, now THIS is a CV". As long as it is tidy, and you've shown a good sense of text alignment and layout, they will read it as thoroughly as they read anyone elses. If you make it look like a flyer for a foam party at a night club, it will get tossed.
It's the content that is the most important part, more than anything.
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