So you’ve spent weeks applying for every suitable job vacancy, but you do not seem to be making any head way at all, this may be because for every job that is posted, there are approximately 250 applicants. This high level of competition means it is absolutely crucial to have a CV that truly stands out from the crowd.
Below are five out-of-the-box application suggestions to provide you with the inspiration and ideas you need to put together an eye-catching CV that perfectly showcases your eligibility to employers, in order to help you land more interviews and in time, a brand new job.
Recruiters spend on average 5 to 7 seconds looking at your CV. A bold and well-designed infographic can be an effective way of standing out from the masses of black and white applications, giving you the opportunity to catch the reader’s eye and entice them to continue reading on.
Using an infographic as your cover letter or CV can also help to illustrate that you are creative, communicative and forward thinking. But remember, don’t go overboard. Keep the layout professional and simple, where the focus is on the information that you are providing. Also, why not think about personalising the colour scheme to match the company that you are applying for?
If you aren’t ready to commit to the idea of an infographic, think about including a timeline within your CV. This can also help to highlight your flair and personality to potential employers and in some circumstances, may be more appropriate than an infographic CV.
A timeline can help you to summarise your employment and education history in a format that will be both easy to follow and visually engaging for employers. It can also help you to clearly illustrate the progression of your career, while giving you the opportunity to clearly map out your skills, contact details and references.
Blogs are fast becoming a replacement for or an accompaniment to the paper CV, as they can help candidates to clearly showcase their creativity, personality and writing capabilities.
An online CV can be a far more interactive way for prospective employers to get to know you, as you can include links to your social media and any digital projects that you have been involved in.
Setting up individual pages for the different sections you would typically include in a traditional CV can also help you to clearly illustrate your skills and experience.
While the idea of creating a blog may initially seem quite daunting, there are many CV orientated themes and templates available on WordPress, Tumblr and Blogger to help you get started.
Filming yourself can be an ideal way to showcase your presentation and communication skills to prospective employers.
It is recommended that you approach your video like you would a face-to-face meeting. Introduce yourself clearly, engage with your potential employer within the first few seconds, maintain eye-contact and have a cheerful disposition in order to keep them interested and engaged. Also, try to keep the video to between 60 and 120 seconds, with a clear narrative present throughout.
It is also recommended that you use video editing software, so that your application looks slick and professional. A well put-together video CV can help you to demonstrate that you are willing to put in the extra effort needed to succeed, which many employers will find appealing.
Stripped back CVs
If the previous ideas seem too elaborate or inappropriate for the industry you are looking to work within, a stripped back approach can be just as effective.
When trying to write a stand out CV, many people overcomplicate their application by using elaborate fonts and complex structures. A CV that is clear and concise can instead speak volumes. Basic doesn’t necessarily have to equate to boring – use hints of colour, easy to read fonts and crisp formatting to clearly outline your expertise and experience. Also, keep your wording snappy and succinct, as this can be just as attention-grabbing as infographics, timelines and online CVs.
Regardless of what format you choose, the content within your application will be what most employers focus on when determining whether or not you are suitable for a position. The information you include should always be up-to-date and tailored to the role you are applying for. It also needs to clearly reflect your skills and experience while also being free from errors or mistakes to give you the best opportunity of getting through to interview stages when applying for vacancies.
Ashleigh Harman is a Digital Content writer for Portfolio Procurement, who are a permanent and interim recruitment consultancy for procurement professionals.