How To Write a Creative CV


What is a creative CV?

A creative CV is a specialised CV that provides a platform for a job applicant to display their creativity in the CV itself. This creativity might take the form of graphs and charts, which might have bold colour schemes and other design elements intended to draw the attention of the reader. In this sense, a creative CV is much like a traditional CV, simply with added visual elements. However, there are other forms of creative CVs, such as making a CV as an online presentation or using a video format.

Benefits of a creative CV

A creative CV offers several benefits when trying to stand out to potential employers. Here are some examples of those benefits:

Draws attention

Creative CVs are a reflection of the applicant’s personality and artistic style and they are unique to that person. Recruiters might have to look through hundreds of CVs as part of the recruitment process. This unavoidably means that they don’t have a great deal of time to dedicate to each CV and will only be able to take a cursory look. Having an eye-catching CV might give you a better chance of a recruiter spending more time looking at your application.

Once you have the reader’s attention, they might then spend more time reading the important elements of your CV such as your qualifications and work experience. This benefits you, especially if your resume is composed of high-standard content.

Enhances readability

If used correctly, a creative CV can present information in a very concise manner. Visual methods of providing information, such as charts and graphs, give a clear picture of your strengths without the need for long paragraphs of text.

As a potential employer is only likely to spend a limited amount of time on a particular CV, a creative CV makes the most of that time and ensures a recruiter discovers everything they need. In this sense, a creative CV makes it far less likely that a reader is going to miss important information while looking through the information.

Showcases your creativity

A creative CV provides an opportunity to use different colours and styles to add personality to your application. In fields such as graphic design and digital marketing, where creativity is fundamental to the job itself, your CV can effectively act as an additional part of your creative portfolio. While all CVs should be tailored for each job, a creative CV allows you to showcase your relevant skills in a way that text alone cannot. This is particularly helpful for less experienced applicants, who don’t have long careers and often need to earn a position through their skills alone.

You can adapt these creative elements for the specific job opening. For a video editing job, for example, the creative CV might take the form of a short video. On the other hand, a graphic designer might want to incorporate design techniques and create a visually striking CV. When applying for a job in advertising, the CV can act as an advert for you.

Possible downsides of a creative CV

While a creative CV has a large number of useful benefits, it’s important to understand the downsides of using a creative CV. Here are some of those downsides:

It might be rejected

A creative CV carries inherent risk. With more applications than ever before, companies need to sort through large numbers of CVs. To filter out irrelevant applications and make their job more manageable, some companies now utilise an automatic system. This software scans applications to ensure that certain key skills are included on a CV before recruiters read it. Unfortunately, these systems usually only work with text. If your CV is in a creative format, such as a video or a digital presentation, the application software may pass over it.

With this in mind, it’s worth contacting the company and asking whether or not they accept a creative CV. You can give yourself some added insurance by including both a conventional and creative CV, meaning you won’t miss out entirely if the company uses filtering software. Always keep this in mind when making your creative CV.

It might be inappropriate

Many companies prefer to conduct their business more traditionally. This is particularly true in more formal professions such as banking or law. This formality will usually extend to the way the managers treat job applications. Recruiters in these professions will generally prefer traditional CVs rather than creative CVs and they might view any artistic additions to be unnecessary.

Again, the easiest way to determine whether or not a creative CV will be appropriate for a job application is to simply ask the company directly if you are unsure. As with automated software, you don’t want to end up in a situation where the recruiter dismisses your application before anybody has looked at it in detail.

Tips for making a creative CV

Now that you have a clearer picture of the advantages and disadvantages of a creative CV, you might still be wondering how to produce one. We have included some tips on how to write a creative CV:

Use unique fonts and colours

A creative CV is an opportunity to showcase your creativity but it’s also important to not go overboard with your design choices. There is a fine line between being perceived creatively and being considered unprofessional. You shouldn’t be afraid to include colours but it’s best to keep them muted instead of overly bright. For example, if you’re colour coding your skills in terms of proficiency, it’s best to use a darker green and orange instead of something bright like neon green.

Fonts should be similarly legible and consider keeping them at an appropriate size rather than making the text too large or small for creative reasons. You want to use your artistic skills to convince a recruiter to pay greater attention to your CV.

Make the most of your space

Try to summarise your skills, qualifications and work experience in short, relevant sentences. Avoid using unnecessarily long sentences in an attempt to pad out your CV; it’s better to be concise, even if it makes your CV shorter. Instead, you can include links to your online portfolio or any other work you have published online to convey information to the recruiter.

A creative CV provides opportunities to draw the attention of the reader towards parts of your CV that you want to highlight. For example, if you have previously worked for a particularly notable company, you might want to make their name bold or use a slightly different colour to emphasise it. Writing a creative CV isn’t about completely disregarding the conventions of a CV but using different techniques to enhance it.

Proofread your CV before submitting it

As with any CV, it’s important to avoid any errors. A creative CV provides various methods of imparting information but you still need to ensure that information is accurate. Try to pay extra attention to your formatting to ensure your CV has a proper format and follows grammar rules.

Even if you have checked your CV multiple times, it’s always worth asking a friend or family member to take an additional look for you. Ultimately, a CV isn’t written for you but for the recruiter, who might want something completely different out of the application. For this reason, trying to look at your CV from the eyes of a stranger may benefit you.


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