Recently a number of new CV formats have emerged that can offer something different for candidates. Here we look at a few of those available:
What is it: A video describing your relevant skills and experience
Pro’s: You can present yourself in a unique way that will definitely make you stand out. Can be useful for roles involving extensive client presentations.
Cons: It can only offer a taste of what you have to offer. If you don’t get it right, that taste may be less caramel surprise and more milk of magnesia.
Dress the way you will look in the office. This might be your video creation but you should still look professional. This is meant to be an effective marketing tool, not a home movie.
Do’s: Keep it short – absolute maximum of 2 minutes.
Don’ts: Be funny. You have no idea of the recipient’s sense of humour and your funny tone may alienate the person you are hoping to impress.
What is it: A pictorial representation of your cv, often using graphs, pie or bar charts and timelines to display your information.
Pro’s: Can visually be very effective and focus the reader’s attention on desired areas.
Cons: Often come across as gimmicky, cluttered and annoying. Requires visual flair to create an effective one.
Thought must be put into the format and it should illustrate your background in a way that a CV could not. For example, a timeline can highlight the breadth of your skills and experience rather than the amount of time spent in each job – useful if you have moved around jobs. However, if you are choosing the format because it looks a little funky, then stick to the traditional CV.
Do’s: Lay out the information clearly and avoid clutter. If the meaning of a graph/chart isn’t immediately obvious, leave it out.
Don’ts: Consider unless you have a good sense of the visual.
What is it: A webpage containing your cv with accompanying supporting documents.
Pro’s: Can be visually effective and allows you to store information such as documents and portfolio work in an organised way. Can also be kept up to date relatively easily with only the most up to date version seen by a visitor.
Cons: Requires the person to follow a link and then keep returning – some times a big ask.
An interesting addition to the visual CV selection, these allow you to attach multiple documents, videos and audio material. They can be displayed on social networks, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and some times have privacy options so that your chosen recipients are the only ones who can access it. Probably must useful for those with plenty of relevant supporting documents or a portfolio of work.
Do’s: Keep it current and professional. Remember this is a CV document.
Don’ts: Upload any irrelevant attachments. Having a website isn’t an excuse to fill it with junk that will annoy the visitor.
Visual CVs can be a useful way of complementing the traditional CV but think very carefully before ditching the standard document version. Bear in mind that companies will need to store your CV, almost certainly necessitating a Word version. The traditional version also allows readers to find information quickly, which is essential for most recruiters. Disregard this at your peril or you may find your application treated in the same way.