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Tips to formulating a CV that will put you ahead of the employment game

Picture: Filed

Picture: Filed

Published Feb 22, 2022


In today’s competitive job market where hiring managers can spend as little as seven seconds looking at a resume, job seekers may be tempted to add a little creative flair to their applications to help them stand out from the pack.

How are creative designers influencing the way recruiters consider resumes to look and feel?

Human Resource Specialist, Madelein Hendricks said: “As a seasoned recruitment specialist, it is undeniable that a creative resume grabs my attention, we eat with our eyes, and this can be said for filtering through resumes.

“I review thousands of CVs daily and get more disappointed by the lack of well-presented resumes. I am convinced that job seekers genuinely don’t know how to formulate a resume.”

Your resume is a way to showcase who you are before anyone meets you. How do you want to be portrayed by your potential employer? Gone are the days that resumes must be a certain way.

Here are her tips for formulating a resume that will put you ahead of the employment game:

You are unique, and so should your resume be

Ensure your resume is unique. You can achieve this in a multitude of ways, from choosing to use splashes of colour, employing an unusual font or adjusting the formatting. Avoid simply using a template you find online if you’re hoping to stand out from others, since others might use the same template.

A layout can make all the difference

Adjust your resume layout for a fresh design. Consider using text boxes with bold outlining for your skills or colourful blocks behind different sections of your resume to change the design from the traditional list structure. Be consistent, ensure you have a consistent personal brand by using the same design components on any other application documents you submit.

Play with colour and fonts

Don’t be afraid of using different colour and fonts, use colour either in the background of your resume or in your font, to help add creativity to your document. Add creativity to your resume and use interesting, though still easy to read, fonts for your name and headings. In most cases, it’s best to leave the bulk of your resume in a traditional font but using a more design-forward font choice sparingly can add visual interest to the document.

Your skills are everything, make sure you highlight them

You can use your resume to creatively highlight your professional skills. For example, if you're a photographer, consider including one of your photographs as a focal point on your resume. If you’re a graphic designer, incorporate some of your design work into your resume and so forth.

Keep it short and brief

Keep the content of your resume brief and direct, just as you would on a traditional resume. You want the design to support the language you use on your resume, making it easy for recruiters to quickly see your accomplishments, skills and experience.

Always add your contact information, more than once

Ensure you showcase your contact information on your resume in an easy-to-read fashion. You want recruiters to be able to quickly find your name, email address and phone number, even if you’re using an unusual format or stylistic elements on your resume. I highly recommend you add your contact information to the top of the page. Don’t forget to answer your phone if you are in the job market.

This is your time to shine, showcase your personality

Look to your personality, interests and skills to help shape your creative resume. Use your favourite colours and design elements to help the recruiter see and understand your identity through your creative resume design principles.

Always keep it professional

Make sure whatever creative elements you choose to use, that your resume remains a professional document. You want the recruiter to appreciate the unique style you've selected for your resume but have no trouble discerning your work experience and qualifications for the position from the creative elements.

Okay, so I know you are saying that you are not a graphic designer, but here is a free resource to use to add creativity to your resume or your standard Microsoft WORD, simply type in resume under the file – new tab.