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 right way is essential if you're 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 create 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 right equipment 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 suit 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 show 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 suitable 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 show a strength or personal quality

More useful information

The 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.

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