iapresentation

CV format – is it broken? Does it need fixing

Posted in content, design, forms, ideas by solle on 27/05/2009

Recently I have been playing around with my CV frustrated with the standard format. I have tried out various ideas including a persona style and one based on a grid but am still scratching my chin not quite sure if I have solved a problem that as one recruiter recently offered maybe ‘doesn’t need fixing’.

There is no doubt that a growing number of design types (especially those more at the beginning and development of careers – where ultimately a strong CV is most relevant) have realised that they have got to increase chances of being ‘noticed’ whatever it might be for and the starting point is obviously been to visually enhance their CVs.

various CV examples

The conversation has picked up with the growing interest and spread of infographics. Fine examples are Michael Anderson’s and Greg Dizzia’s. Web Designer Depot added to the discussion with a recent post 30 Artistic and Creative Résumés that garned plenty of discussion regarding readability and inappropriateness of overkill design – ‘a CV is meant to be a document not a poster’ ‘a CV is meant to convey information… your portfolio is for showing off your creativity’. And as one creative director writes quite scathingly ‘I mostly ignore these types of vanity projects when I get them. They look like some school assignment. I want to know about you in 5 seconds. And, that comes from the text.’

There’s no doubt that hiring folk when looking through CVs look for well organised and easily skimmable documents that a decision can be quickly made on.

So what to do? How do you create a balance?

The discussion has also started to appear on Twitter where some good ideas have cropped up such as Bob van Vliet and Clement Boutignon’s innovative use of Daytum.

My advice is pull out a grid and ensure that the written words describing your successes, experiences and deeds are easily readable. If you feel you can add some visual accoutrement to it without obscuring the main information then go ahead though a good barometer is to get as much feedback as you can from recruiters and HR professionals. Some will love innovation, some will be more than non plussed.

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One Response

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  1. hemenparekh said, on 12/03/2010 at 5:49 am

    Most jobseekers depend upon expert resume writers which is a sensible thing to do. Such professionally prepared resumes stand a better chance of catching a recruiter’s attention.
    But it is no more enough to catch attention
    A resume must succeed in amazing any recruiter by being interactive .
    In a resume, a recruiter should be able to find additional information about a candidate by
    viewing analytical graphs rather than reading
    clicking on knowledge , skill related keywords
    clicking on Candidate Name, Birth date, City location
    You will find this at CustomizeResume
    I will appreciate suggestions for further improvements.
    hemen parekh


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