CVs are important to show an employer that a candidate merits an interview. There’s no doubt about how a well-written and presented CV can increase the candidate’s chances of getting noticed by an employer, but should job-seekers take any notice of the creative trends when formatting their CV?

The main types of CV are chronological, skills-based or functional, and creative industries. The most popular style of CV used is chronological as it shows a clear picture to an employer of a candidate’s experience, education and skills in a logical order throughout the course of their career.

New formats for CVs have emerged over the last few years and some of the changes are quite dramatic. Instead of a wholly text-based document, there are now new structures for candidate information. The trends feature less text and explanations and more visual based images and icons and vastly summarised text blocks. QR codes, photos and infographics are becoming more popular too, and these items are generally more commonly featured in CVs for creative industries.

At Ability Plus, we are seeing more and more CVs using fashionable formats with quirky design elements and modern features. What we feel is most important when producing a CV is the text content to convey a candidate’s experience and the skills they can offer the employer/organisation and some good examples to show off their personality traits. A clear format with a legible font, logical order, and tailored to the job advert and person specification provides the best chance of an interview for a job-seeker.

Employers and hiring managers we talk to on a daily basis like to see a concise CV, which should be 2- 3 pages maximum, and that has been proof-read and checked for accuracy. The document should provide a detailed account of education, experience, skills, and achievements, to show the candidate fully to see whether they are a good match for the company and their culture.

Clodagh Reeve from Ability Plus says, “When I receive CVs to format before sending to an employer, I have noticed a change in the amount of text used, sometimes this can be a positive if the type of job requires it, but more often than not, the full extent of the candidate’s experience is not shown, and this can be disadvantageous”.

On they give great advice on what to put on a CV and what NOT to include. They advise no photos, and to keep the formatting and design elements to a minimum. See their infographic here

Career Monster have some short snappy videos with CV advice and do’s and don’ts, which can be found here:

This blog by Tom on explains why infographics and displaying information on CVs even in creative roles, is not appropriate

Job seekers should think about the industry that they are applying to work in. Having a trendy CV with infographics and icons may ‘look the business’ but think about whether it really shows an employer what they can offer them.

If you are applying for a role in a life assurance company, the format you have chosen might be more suitable for a creative industry role and could be disadvantageous to your application. Well-written and concise information about your experience, and stories about your career will ultimately help you get the role you want.

What kind of CV do you use when applying for jobs and what format do you currently use? As an employer, what kind of CV do you prefer to see and how do you like the information displayed?

Interested in talking to Anne and her team at Ability Plus? Call 662165 or email to make an appointment to discuss your needs, whether you are seeking employment, changing jobs, or you are an employer thinking about using recruitment services to grow or support your business.

Anne Hanna ‐ August 21, 2018