How to write a creative CV

The other day, we had a session on ‘How to write a creative CV’, which turned out to be really interesting and helpful.

First, we talked through all the elements that should be included in the CV:

  • name
  • personal statement
  • skills
  • employment history
  • educational and professional qualifications
  • references
  • contact details

…and we discussed in small groups (we were grouped with Graphic Design students) how to arrange those elements most effectively. It is obvious but most people miss out on this factor that what comes first should be the information the companies will be looking for, like your name, what you do and your skills. If you are a student, you will probably have more information on your education than your career, so you can put your educational qualification before employment history. But if you have had an internship or a placement that is related to the job you are applying for, then that should definitely come first. Also, don’t forget to talk about what you have learned or how you have developed from each work experience you include in the CV.

We also discussed about what should not be included in a CV, like your photo or marital status for example. (The only situation where you should include your photo is when it is professionally shot and you are sure it will add to the CV.) You should only include your hobbies or personal interests if it serves a purpose. For example, if you find out that the person receiving your CV or interviewing you is into skiing and you happen to be too, then it is a good idea to include that in your CV. Additionally, you do not need to include all the jobs you have had; include only those that benefit their perception of you.

In the same groups, we also talked about how to write a personal statement. We found out that you should focus more on what you expect to achieve in the future than talking on and on about the past.

There are five things to consider while writing your creative CV:

  • Length
  • Use of language
  • Grammer/spelling
  • Legibility
  • Content.

Here are examples of some more tips that I’ve found online:

  • Don’t let the medium interfere with the message.
  • A tasteful and subtle watermark or border can be effective.
  • Landscape shaped CVs (wider than they are long) are harder to format correctly but can stand out from the crowd.
  • Book format CVs (folded into four A5 size pages) are awkward to photocopy and to look at.
  • And here are some examples of creative CVs I’ve found. There are many more creative ones out there. One was in the layout of an old newspaper, and many others had really nice and elaborate design, while other successful ones look very simple but the design is clean and easy to understand.:

    Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the session and am looking forward to the next one this Thursday. At first, I didn’t really like the idea of grouping with students from another course, but the discussion turned out nice and interesting. We also got some insights and information from the Graphic Design students that we wouldn’t have known if we creative advertisers just stuck together.

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    2 comments

    1. Jetana Jumratsilpa · November 2, 2010

      I’m looking forward to seeing your creative CV soon.
      Think BIG!

      lol… dad

      • oeilsj · November 2, 2010

        thanks, dad! write now it’s just a draft. next week we’ll talk about putting our work/campaigns in the CV. right now i’m trying to publish my website created in iweb!

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