Any guesses how many CVs we receive at AF Selection each day? We receive around 100 every day for our consultants to read, digest, assess for the suitability for the role they’ve applied to, and, hopefully, register as a candidate. We expect the CV for a creative designer to really stand out from the crowd.
Now, it’s fairly obvious that we can’t register every candidate. But it really does make us think about what makes a candidate stand out in order to get an interview. One thing which has become hugely apparent, particularly with CVs for creative designer roles, is that designers seem to have forgotten that their CV or portfolio is their first opportunity to really wow that decision maker.
Perhaps we’re showing our age now, but in the days when CVs came through the post, you couldn’t forget the wows which would accompany the opening of the envelope to see a really ingenious, well-thought out CV. I remember one that came through as a milk-carton. Another had been lovingly printed like an airline ticket (wow, even they don’t even exist anymore!). Even ten years on, I remember that CV and the ingenuity that went with it.
Clearly markets have changed. No-one wants to spend money on getting 50 ridiculously expensive CVs printed, budgets are tighter. But you’ve probably already applied for more than 50 roles online. Recruitment websites haven’t always helped, allowing only a basic version of a Word CV to be uploaded. So what can designers do to really show their creativity?
Show That You’re A Creative Designer
I suppose thinking of yourself as the brief is a really good way to start. How would you sell you? I’m going to take a punt and say it wouldn’t be five paragraphs in a standard font stating job titles and dates. But the amount of creative designer CVs we see which are like this is quite astonishing.
In the olden days of recruitment, the first time the client saw your portfolio would be at interview. We used to spend ages with designers discussing the layout. Why, for example, they should maybe take out that old piece of university work now that they’d got ten years’ commercial experience. Now every client, every recruitment consultant, wants to see examples of your work with that CV. But it’s surprising how many candidates don’t attach one PDF to their application, let alone a portfolio showing the breadth of their work.
So, do something different, get yourself noticed. Do put the skills and experience you have, but make yourself stand out. You might not send a CV, it might be a presentation or a website. But if a job advert requests work examples, make sure you attach them. A CV will always only ever be a door-opener, but a creative CV is the equivalent of opening it with a bang, rather than peeking through a tiny gap.