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Writing a CV that stands out

05 Oct 13:00 by Matt Styrka

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Use your creative marketing skills to stand out in the jobs market.

One of the key rules for writers is ‘show, don’t tell’. So when creating a CV, why only list your skills when you have the opportunity to demonstrate them?

It’s important to do so since the first taste an employer will have of your talents is your ability to market yourself.

Marketing attracts creative people. It frequently requires originality and the use of creative approaches. If you have a relevant skill, why not use it when building your CV? It could help you to stand out and even pique the interest of your prospective employer.

Once you have decided what information is going to be most relevant to your prospective employer, it’s time to bring it to life – you may only have a few seconds to capture the reader’s attention. Here are three suggestions:

  • Visual arts or design skills that can be used to create infographics, drawings and backgrounds will help your case – especially as you’ll need to keep it short and sharp, and these are excellent ways to condense information.

  • Apply your language skills to hook the reader from the very start and keep them entertained. If your prose is dry or neutral, people will skim over it. So don’t just write: “I am a professional, creative team-player”. Illustrate your qualities with relevant and exciting examples of your work.

  • Use your digital knowledge to build a powerful online presence that you can link to – from a bespoke website, to blogs and social media. It’s an area that should not be neglected. If you have a LinkedIn profile, ensure it supports the CV you’re sending out.

Finally, don’t neglect to mention other skills besides creative talent that are vital for the job at hand. For example, a high degree of numeracy or understanding of technology.

But before you start putting pen to paper, remember that just as wearing informal clothes to a job interview will damage your chances at a company with a more traditional culture, this kind of CV will probably only be appropriate for a particularly creative job. It also helps if the creative team has sight of the CV first, rather than an HR professional.

 

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