5 Top CV Tips: Traditional vs Creative

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We all assume that we know what a CV looks like; name at the top, education and experience down the middle and skills peppered in throughout. Each one looks near identical meaning your experience will need to speak for itself to help you stand out from the crowd.

But what if you want to be just a little bit different? What if you want to show some personality and initiative to help get a foot in the door? A creative CV can help you do just that.

This can vary from simply adding design elements such as colour, lines and dividers to a ‘2 pages of A4’ CV to creating a website to showcase a portfolio of work and experience, therefore only having a digital CV.

  1. Start by researching the organisation you plan on applying to; do they seem like the sort of company who would be open to a more creative solution? This will typically work best in smaller companies, industries which are more creative by nature or companies which are vocal about having an innovative and modern culture.

  1. If you do decide that this is a company where you might benefit from submitting a creative CV, you should write a list of all the key content and experiences you want to highlight which are most relevant to the role you are applying for. This is in addition to the basic contact details and education information. You can then use this as a basis to design your CV.

  1. One of the benefits of a creative CV is that it allows you to make use of white space, graphics and images. This means you can choose a layout (whether website, pdf, portfolio or infographic) that suits your needs best. Resources like wix.com, WordPress, Canva and Envato Elements are great places to start building a website or graphics. As you are designing, ensure that you keep a logical structure that is easy for an employer to follow and still take meaning from – all creative elements must add value to the CV.

  1. When reviewing CV’s, our eyes are naturally drawn to the top of the page and then straight down the left hand side, so focus on putting all of your most important information (whether that is text or graphic) in these sections of the page to ensure maximum impact.

  1. One option to consider is tailoring your creative CV to mirror the colours of the company you are applying to. This will give a subtle indication that you have done your research on the organisation and to show the employer that you can already imagine yourself working there.

Emma Rosen
Author: Emma Rosen

Emma Rosen spent a year working in 25 different jobs before her 25th birthday. The project aims to promote portfolio careers, highlight the importance of work experience for all ages and advocate for more diverse careers education for young people. Emma's book, The Radical Sabbatical, about her experiences is coming out in October 2018. Since completing 25before25 in August 2017, Emma now has five jobs, one of which is as the Careers Section Edition if Student Pages - get in touch for any and all career advice questions!

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Emma Rosen
Emma Rosen spent a year working in 25 different jobs before her 25th birthday. The project aims to promote portfolio careers, highlight the importance of work experience for all ages and advocate for more diverse careers education for young people. Emma's book, The Radical Sabbatical, about her experiences is coming out in October 2018. Since completing 25before25 in August 2017, Emma now has five jobs, one of which is as the Careers Section Edition if Student Pages - get in touch for any and all career advice questions!

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