28 Feb 2014

Creative CVs...

I read an article a few weeks ago which reminded me of a scene in Arrested Development which finds an aspiring actor Tobias Fünke posting out copies of his CV in glitter-filled envelopes trying to stand out from the crowd.  The next scene shows a casting director covering her entire workspace in glitter and yelling 'Never hire Tobias Fünke!' at the top of her voice.

Welcome to my world!

 Getting yourself noticed without getting yourself ridiculed. Discuss. 

 It's a tricky one and often a fine line.  We're seeing more and more video CVs and other left of field applications now as candidates try to stand out, but 9 times out of 10, it dies a death.  Yes it might catch our attention but most organisations don't really have time for that.  They just want to know as quickly and as comprehensively as possible what you do and why you'd be good for their business.  If I'm being honest, it tends to be the candidates who don't have the right skills and experience who do the 'creative' approach and frankly, they'd have been better spending their time on a work placement to improve their actual skills.

To counter my own argument, it's worth knowing when to tailor your CV and the approach that you use.  Applying for any role where the CV is likely going to a Head of HR, best stick with the traditional route.  Applying for an Art Director role at a start up in Shoreditch, a CV attached to the inside of a pizza box might work - just to get you noticed.  Whichever route you choose though, you must ensure that the CV contains substance and does demonstrate a) your ability to do the job and b) why are you interested in this particular company.  Without substance, the creative route is never going to work.

Other sure fire ways for your CV to head straight into the bin:

Typos.  Really, just inexcusable.
Word overload.  A recent CV had the following word counts, Experience, 67; Fantastic, 37, Extremely, 34, Strategic, 23.  Just a long list of meaningless words.

Photos.  Particularly holiday snaps, photos with cocktails in hand, in beach wear and a particular favourite of mine, someone lying down with a tiger.