Alternative CVs

Your curriculum vitae (CV) is the story of you, and why you should be employed. However, there may be a better way to tell it rather than just putting it down on paper in a traditional CV.

Traditional CVs

A traditional CV presented in the correct way is essential if you are looking for a new job, but one of the main issues with traditional CVs is that it’s difficult for employers to judge a candidate’s personality.

If recruiters are short listing applicants based on their CV alone, they might be missing out on someone who is more suitable for the job.

Other types of CVs

There is more than one way to compile a CV but it should be tailored to the job you’re applying for. A creative or alternative CV should only be used if it fits the organisation of the post you are applying for. For example, for jobs in media, PR, or digital, a video CV could show off your skills but it might not work in other industries.

It is however, a good idea to provide your paper written CV along with any alternative just in case the person looking at it prefers that option. Also, they may not have the correct equipment to enable them to access your creative version.

Infographic CVs

An infographic CV displays your information visually. The purpose of an infographic is to help employers engage quickly with the CV and understand the main points. So instead of listing your skills, you could create a graph to show your development in each of them, or what you use day to day in work.

You’re not constricted by the same format that everyone else is using and can put emphasis on the information that shows you are the best person for the job.

You should think about logical ways of displaying the information and make it as clear as possible for an employer to see what you have to offer. Be careful and don’t go over the top with the graphics, your CV should still be brief, to the point and easy to read.

If you’re a designer or experienced with Illustrator, you’ll find this much easier. If you don’t have the technical skills, there are a range of services online to help you. You can use the basic versions of the websites listed below for free, but be careful about any add-on charges.

Online CVs

Employers are increasingly finding candidates online and are interested in work history, recommendations and information such as personal interests. Improve your chances by providing your CV information online.

LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn profiles are far more dynamic than traditional CVs but as you can only have one version, it must be appropriate for both networking and job searching. While traditional CVs are concise, your LinkedIn profile can contain paragraphs and full sentences.

You can also:

  • add blog posts
  • presentations
  • a portfolio
  • upload files
  • include a professional photo

Job hunters are advised not to use too many buzzwords such as:

  • enthusiastic
  • track record
  • motivated
  • passionate
  • driven
  • strategic

They don’t tell employers anything and are words that anyone can use.

You should instead use pictures and presentations to demonstrate skills without simply stating them.

Google profile

You can use your Google account to:

  • create your profile
  • upload a photo
  • add links for example to your LinkedIn profile
  • write a page that serves as a CV including an introduction, your current occupation, employment history

Facebook CV

This uses the home page layout with your profile photo on the left and has five tagged photos across the top as your CV sections. To learn more about this follow the link below.

Twitter CV

If you create a Twitter CV, you can upload your paper CV to display as your Twitter background ensuring you have a suitable Twitter name.

Sometimes the choices made when you're younger don't reflect you as a young professional so choose your Twitter name carefully

Visual CV

With a visual CV you can embed audio, video, graphs and Powerpoint files on your own page. You can then send the link to contacts and potential employers. You can learn more about this on the Visual CV website.

Video CV

There are apps on your smartphone which let you film a video CV, edit, upload and share it. A video CV doesn’t necessarily replace your traditional CV.

It can be used as an addition complementing it as well as demonstrating your enthusiasm and getting your personality across.

If you do decide to create a video CV, make sure you:

  • stay professional, from your outfit and location, to the language you use and the details you reveal
  • write out a script for the video and ask someone to check it – family member, friend or a careers adviser
  • record and re-record the video as many times as you need to
  • keep it short, around a minute to 90 seconds ensuring it is relevant and avoid rambling
  • be creative because if you're just reading out your paper CV, employers won't get that spark of personality which can you show off your skills
  • ask someone you trust – family, friends or a careers adviser for feedback before you post it

This is not appropriate for all sectors but if done professionally, a video presentation can get results. You can also create a webcam clip hosting it with your CV on a site such as ‘Meet the real me’.

YouTube video

A brief clip uploaded to YouTube can help with remote networking or a job search. You can then send the link in a speculative email if you're currently unavailable to meet in person.

Make the clip:

  • interesting
  • don't read out your CV or use bland cliches
  • be specific about what you can offer or tell a relevant story which demonstrate a strength or personal quality

More useful information

The About.me website lets you introduce yourself and details some of the highlights from your CV. You can also link to social media, websites and blogs and examples of your work.

Hoverboard lets you create a page with links to social media, a simple to use blog, space to add images and information about projects you’ve done and a timeline of your experience.

Share this page

What do you want to do?
What is your question about?
Do you want a reply?
Your email address
To reply to you, we need your email address
Your feedback

We will not reply to your feedback.  Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

This feedback form is for issues with the nidirect website only.

You can use it to report a problem or suggest an improvement to a webpage.

If you have a question about a government service or policy, you should contact the relevant government organisation directly as we don’t have access to information about you held by government departments.

You must be aged 13 years or older - if you’re younger, ask someone with parental responsibility to send the feedback for you.

The nidirect privacy notice applies to any information you send on this feedback form.

Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.
Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.

What to do next

Comments or queries about angling can be emailed to anglingcorrespondence@daera-ni.gov.uk 

What to do next

If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

Carer's Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912
Email 
dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Discretionary support / Short-term benefit advance

Call 0800 587 2750 
Email 
customerservice.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk

Disability Living Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912 
Email dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Employment and Support Allowance

Call 0800 587 1377

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Contact your local Jobs & Benefits office

Personal Independence Payment

Call 0800 587 0932

If your query is about another benefit, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

Comments or queries about the Blue Badge scheme can be emailed to bluebadges@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk or you can also call 0300 200 7818.

What to do next

For queries or advice about careers, contact the Careers Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Child Maintenance, contact the Child Maintenance Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about claiming compensation due to a road problem, contact DFI Roads claim unit.

What to do next

For queries or advice about criminal record checks, email ani@accessni.gov.uk

What to do next

Application and payment queries can be emailed to ema_ni@slc.co.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about employment rights, contact the Labour Relations Agency.

What to do next

For queries or advice about birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates and research, contact the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) by email gro_nisra@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries about:

If your query is about another topic, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

For queries or advice about passports, contact HM Passport Office.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), including parking tickets and bus lane PCNs, email dcu@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about pensions, contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre.

What to do next

If you wish to report a problem with a road or street you can do so online in this section.

If you wish to check on a problem or fault you have already reported, contact DfI Roads.

What to do next

For queries or advice about historical, social or cultural records relating to Northern Ireland, use the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) enquiry service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about rates, email LPSCustomerTeam@lpsni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about  60+ and Senior Citizen SmartPasses (which can be used to get concessionary travel on public transport), contact Smartpass - Translink.