As a CEO I am almost daily reading through CV's. And what stands out to me is that hardly any of them stands out. So if you are the goldfish in between many other fish you better make sure that we recognise you immediately!
One of my biggest frustrations while doing business in Pakistan is receiving dull CV’s from people applying for creative roles. I believe that if you are a creative person you breath creativity and know how to stand out and CV’s that look like any other are immediately trashed. And please don’t read ‘designer’ when I write ‘creative’. Except for a creative administrator I highly appreciate creativity amongst my team. Our software developers often have to come with creative - out of the box - solutions to problems. And I am glad so many of our software engineers are in fact very creative people.
“So how to make a CV that doesn’t bore you to death?”, I hear you asking?
And please allow me to be specific to what I have seen in Pakistan over the past years. To me, your CV doesn’t necessarily have to be colourful and shiny. But did you know that 98% of the CV’s start with a career objective that has the words ‘dynamic’, ‘grow-oriented’, ‘progressive’ or ‘team player’ in it? Or even worse: a career objective that has all four words?
Please make it personal. A CV is all about you. So please tell me something about you that really interests me and shows something of your personality. Such as your passions, hobbies, and everything that makes you smile. You might even dare to put a picture on your CV, you have a face after all! Especially if you are applying for your first or second job it is much easier to write about who you are than about your career achievements. If I am recruiting a fresh graduate I know that he or she doesn’t have a career yet and I am mainly interested in their personality.
Do not make endless lists of one day trainings and minor projects you have worked on with other people. Do you really believe that one day trainings are life changing and therefore worth mentioning?
In case you are looking for inspiration: check out this, this or this.
And finally: applicants are often afraid that employers will not accept their creative CV’s and students often encourage each other to use standard MS Word CV formats. But hey, do you really want to work at a company where uniformity in black and white instead of creativity and your personality is appreciated?