Your CV is the story of you, and why you should be hired. But is there a better way to tell it than a plain old word doc?
What about the travel photographer who created action figures of himself? The slideshare that bagged someone a job at Twitter? Or the video CV that went viral?
We take a look at alternative CVs, and some tools which could help you create one.
First, an important point
Any CV should be tailored to the job, or type of job, you’re going for. A creative or alternative CV should only be used if it fits the company you’re applying to.
For example, your infographic CV might go down well with a graphic design or advertising agency – not so much if you want to work for the police. For jobs in media, PR, or digital, a video CV could show off your skills – but it might not work in other industries. Know your audience. What would work for them?
In any case, it’s probably a good idea to supply your plain written CV along with any alternative just in case. The person looking at it may prefer that option, or be unable to access your creative verison.
This means displaying your experience visually. So, instead of listing your skills you could create a graph to show your development in each of them, or what you use day to day in work.
Obviously if you’re a designer or a dab hand with Illustrator, you’ll find this much easier. Let your creativity shine through, but think about logical ways of displaying the information. Make it as clear as possible for an employer to see what you have to offer.
Luckily, if you don’t have the technical skills there are a range of services online to help. You can use the basic versions for free, but be careful about any add-on charges. Have a look at:
You already know about using LinkedIn for your job search – and that’s the obvious place to start. There are also other sites which let you create what’s sometimes called a professional landing page. Here are a couple of examples:
- About.me lets you introduce yourself and detail some of the highlights from your CV. You can link to social media, websites and blogs, and examples of your work
- Hoverboard lets you create a page with links to social media, a simple to use blog, space to add images and information about projects you’ve done and a timeline of your experience
Using these kinds of sites also helps because it means when an employer Googles you (and they will) they get positive results.
You no longer need a fancy camera and edit suite. Pick up your smartphone and there are apps which let you film, edit, upload and share videos with ease. And – as with the other examples here – a video CV doesn’t replace your traditional CV.
'The video CV would be in addition to your ‘normal’ CV, to complement the paper version, demonstrating your enthusiasm and getting your personality across.'
Careers Adviser Lisa Kidd.
If you do decide to create one, make sure you:
- Stay professional, from your outfit and location, to the language you use and the details you reveal
- Record and re-record the video as many times as you need to
- Keep it short, around a minute to 90 seconds – keep it relevant and avoid rambling
- Be creative. If you're just reading out your paper CV, employers won't get that spark of personality. How can you show off your skills?
- Ask someone you trust – family, friends, a careers adviser – for feedback before you post it