CV tips from someone who’s not applied for a job for many years

Someone recently asked me for CV advice. When this happens I usually get passed a dull, monotonous document.

Now, I’ve not had to be recruited or do recruitment for years. So I may not have valid advice, but here’s a couple of simple things that I think most people can to do make their CV better.

Use structure

Headings, font sizes, and formatting for emphasis can all break up a monotonous document. Use a bigger text size for the important stuff to catch people’s attention. But don’t go overboard.

Use bullet points and even columns to give it some structure and group information together.

Maybe even add a photo or other image, or just inject some colour?

Don’t be passive.

Claim what you’ve done!

Not: “Contributed to…”, “Developed…”, “Worked with…”

But: “*I* contributed to…”, “*I* developed…”, “*I* worked with…”

It’s a simple change, but it brings the document alive.

Use your skills to bring it alive.

You’re a designer? DESIGN IT! Add some custom illustration, or something.

You’re a web developer? Make a web version of it (have a print version too – HR may need it!) Add JS sprinkles.

You’re a professional crafter? Send your CV in cross-stitch! (OK, maybe not, but you get the idea).

Get creative! BUT… not TOO creative. You want to stand out, but this remains a professional summary of your work. There’s a balance to be found.

An example: My CV

As I say, my CV is ancient. But I tried to make it personal, stand out, easy to read, and not just a monotonous list of things I have done.

I’m NOT looking for a job, but see what you think:

CV Tools – they may help

I’m sure that there are a ton of templates that you can download and make use of that are better than just creating your own from scratch.

But there are also, nowadays, online services that help you write a nice-looking CV, such as Enhancv. These cost though, so if you can afford it, go for your life. Otherwise, perhaps they will serve as inspiration for your own “design”.