Companies like Enterprise receive thousands of CVs every week from people applying for internships, specialist positions and graduate jobs. So how can you make your application stand out from the rest? Here are some of the more unusual ways that you can give your CV a boost.
While it’s important that a CV is clear and concise, there’s nothing to stop you from having some fun with it by using some design flair. So instead of listing out your skills, why not express them as an infographic? (the free Canva online service is great for helping you create these); or if you’re applying for a position with a social media element, consider laying out your CV like a Linkedin profile page – Resumonk lets you do this for free. Even simple visual elements can give a CV a lift so try replacing standard bullet points with tiny motor cars (or whatever’s most appropriate given the company and the job application) or using the colours of the company you’re applying for in the bullets, rules, underlines and so on.
The personal statement that goes with a good CV is vital, so why not make it even more personal by shooting it on video and then providing a link to the video in the electronic version of the CV – or by including a memory stick with your application? A modern mobile phone can shoot HD video so you don’t need any fancy equipment. Just remember to keep it short, make eye contact with the camera and speak slowly and clearly. Personal statements delivered like this can be especially helpful if an employer is interviewing for customer-facing positions, because they get a chance to see you in action. It also means that they’re more likely to remember you when it comes to the day of the interview. Be sure to ‘top and tail’ the video with your name, email address and telephone number so that interviewers know exactly who you are.
If you’ve got an online presence – a blog, a website, YouTube channel – that contains material relevant to your application, be sure to link to it in the CV. It goes without saying that these links should reflect positive aspects of your professional life, rather than your personal one, but if you’ve been blogging about something relevant – the challenges of customer service, inclusivity in the workplace – or have video of you presenting to a group or perhaps taking part in a community project, then make sure you link to it. Demonstrating a lively, ongoing interest in the industry you wish to build a career in will always get you noticed.
Not the CV of course, but if you’ve got good hand-writing, then show it off by giving your covering letter that personal touch. These days, when very few of us write anything by hand beyond a scribbled note, there’s something engaging and distinctive about a nice handwriting style. It demonstrates care and a sense of pride in a job well done that will go down well with companies that share those important values.