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5 Creative Ways to Make Your CV Stand Out

Written by Andrew Arkley

Creative ways to make your CV stand out


Sick of applying for jobs and hearing nothing back? With hiring managers sifting through dozens, if not hundreds, of applications for each job advertised, your CV needs to have a real ‘wow’ factor to get noticed.

According to research by National Citizen Service, half of employers spend less than six seconds looking at a CV. That gives you six seconds to grab and hold their attention. But how do you do it?

Here are five creative ways to make your CV stand out.

Tell a story

When it comes to communicating what makes you right for the job, simply listing your qualifications and previous roles is unlikely to make much of an impression.

Instead, use your experiences to create a compelling narrative. Recruiters will be looking for evidence that you’ll be able to solve their problems - so show them.

Think back over your previous roles and identify how you helped those employers. Did you develop and implement any new systems? Perhaps your actions resulted in an increase in sales?

Describe the initial situation, the steps you took and the results of your actions. If you can quantify your impact with figures or statistics, even better.

Be inventive with design

If you’re applying for a creative or design-related role, your CV can be an opportunity to show off your talent and skills.

Demonstrating your design skills - rather than just talking about them - will instantly give you an edge and encourage recruiters to pay attention.

You could showcase your skills and experience in an infographic, or even hand-illustrate your CV.

Here are some brilliant examples of design-focused CVs to give you a bit of inspiration.

Showcase your work

Hiring managers will be wading through piles of CVs that are essentially the same, so add value to yours by including evidence of your skills.

If you can, add a link to an online portfolio or examples of your work. This could include reports you’ve written or press releases you’ve produced, for example.

If you managed your company’s blog or have your own website, add a link to it. If you coordinated a marketing campaign, include examples of marketing collateral you produced. If you spoke at an event, add a link to a video.

Your assertions that you’re highly skilled will have more clout if they’re backed up by tangible evidence.

Make your personal statement special

Your personal statement is the three or four sentences that appear at the top of your CV - the part where you really sell yourself.

It’s arguably the most important part of your CV. As it’s the first thing a hiring manager will read, its strength may well determine whether or not the hiring manager reads on.

If you want your CV to avoid the murky depths of the bin, your personal statement needs to sum you up in an engaging, non-clichéd way.

Don’t just copy and paste the same tired personal statement for every application. Tailor it to each individual job you apply for.

Avoid generic buzzwords like ‘solution-focused’ and ‘highly motivated’ - overuse has made them essentially meaningless.

Instead, think about what your unique selling points are in relation to the job. These could be qualifications, skills, interests or passions. Be specific, and let your experience speak for itself.

Show you’re connected

Your social media activity can be a great way to show that you’re enthusiastic and knowledgeable about your industry.

If you have relevant connections on LinkedIn, add a link to your profile. This will also allow you to show off any recommendations and endorsements you have. If you post articles or participate in groups, even better.

If you’re active on Twitter and have a large follower base, throw in a link. Of course, you should only do this if the content you share is relevant to your industry.

Establishing social relevance in this way will help to establish you as an authority in your field, and demonstrate to hiring managers that you’re passionate and committed.

These tricks should help your CV stand out from the crowd. If you’d like a professionally written, tailor-made CV, get in touch with us today.

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