11 Creative Ideas for Your CV

Nowadays, the average word documented CV just isn’t enough. Employers are receiving a variety of innovative and creative CVs from candidates, who are sending them in a bid to make themselves stand out from the crowd.
It’s always good to get inspiration from others to make your CV look the best that it can, so Webrecruit looks at some of the best designs from the interesting to the downright amazing.

1. The Infographic CV

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Credit: Zhi Liang __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2. The Milk Carton CV
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Credit: Miguel Rato
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3. The Historic CV

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Credit: Kelly Weihs
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4. The Envelope CV

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Credit: Zi-Huai Shen
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5. The Waiter’s CV

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Credit: Rick Mundon
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6. The Google Analytics CV

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Credit: Simon Fortunini
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7. The Doodle CV

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Credit: Liago Ramilo
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8. The Chocolate Bar CV
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Credit: Nicholas Begley
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9. The Google Search CV

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Credit: Eric Gandhi
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10. The Box CV
10. The Box CV
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Credit: Omondi Abudho
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11. The Illustrative CV
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Credit: Monica Gomes
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The above candidates have all made a great impression to their potential employers and to individuals sharing their work online, which is why it’s worth going that extra mile.
You can tell when an applicant has put time to their application, and it shows the hiring manager that they are passionate about their job and career.
Ready to send off your new CV?
View our latest jobs here.

Does your CV capture ‘Brand You’?

personal brandBy Matt Craven, Founder of The CV & Interview Advisors

Ever since Bianca Miller came runner up in the Apprentice, people have been talking about personal branding and good on her for bringing some publicity to an important concept, which in reality has been around for many years. Personal branding is all about bringing marketing principles into the way in which professionals approach their career and, in particular, the job market.
Personal branding is something that we have championed since way back in 2006 when we first launched our business, and our CVs, LinkedIn profiles and interview coaching methodologies have always had their foundations in sales and marketing principles as well as the psychology of how people recruit.
The best way to understand the concept of personal branding is to think about a job application as pitching for a contract (in the same way that a sales person does). A £50k candidate that expects to stay in a job for 3 years could think of a job application as a tender for a quarter of a million pound, 3-year contract (when you include salary, bonus, travel allowance, NI, training etc). If this was you, the product or service would be ‘you’; your CV would be your sales brochure that needs to explain how the company will achieve return on investment from your salary; the interview would be the sales call to win the contract; and your LinkedIn profile would be your public-facing website where the buyer (company) would go to do further due diligence on you.
The way companies procure and the way companies recruit are very similar and it is critical that your CV becomes more of a business case that explains why a company should hire you. All businesses have a brand, they stand for something, they have a USP (Unique Selling Point), and they have marketing collateral that communicates this to their audience.
In order to differentiate yourself from other applicants, you need to think in the same way and your CV and LinkedIn profile are key elements of your personal marketing collateral.
Both your CV and LinkedIn profile need an elevator pitch, they need a go-to-market description, they need a value proposition statement, they need to be written in a features and benefits style, they need case studies, and they need to be optimised for key words. These core elements are all straight out of the marketing textbooks but when applied to a CV and LinkedIn profile, you build yourself an extremely powerful set of personal marketing documents that will lift you head and shoulders above your competition, resulting in more interviews and job offers. This is what personal branding is all about and this is the present and future of CVs.
If you want to learn more about how to use personal branding strategies in your CV and LinkedIn profile, then join us for a free one hour Webrecruit webinar on May 13th at 7.15pm. The webinar will be delivered by one of the UK’s leading personal branding and advanced CV writing experts and will certainly give you a huge advantage in the job market. Register here.

Are Cover Letters Obsolete?

UntitledBy Matt Craven, Director of the CV & Interview Advisors

Today, when we email CVs to recruiters and hiring managers, we simply pop a note in the email with something like “I would like to apply for xyz role, please find my CV attached” and if we are sending it through an online recruitment platform, the requirement to provide any narrative is even less. But, back in the day, the physical posted CV had to be accompanied by a cover letter – it was called a cover letter because it provided a cover note that explained why the heck we were sending this CV through the post.
The concept of a cover letter is therefore rather outdated but not because sending something in addition to your CV is a bad idea; it’s simply that the concept of sending a cover letter for the sake of sending one is flawed. My suggestion is that everyone in the recruitment lifecycle stops using old fashioned terminology (i.e. cover letter) and starts referring to this important document as a supporting statement. If everyone embraced this more appropriate terminology it would be much more obvious what the real purpose of the exercise is, which is to produce a document that dovetails with your CV and provides a compelling reason as to why a recruiter / hiring manager should consider your application.
A good supporting statement should identify the key requirements of the role and provide evidence that you, as the applicant, have the skills, qualifications and track record to add value to the role. One side of A4 should do the trick but for more senior roles when a supporting statement is requested, anything up to 3 pages might be appropriate.
The most common mistake that job seekers make is to simply pick out the key points on the job description and to do no more than say that they have had this experience at xyz company. Where this falls down is that being asked to perform a certain task doesn’t mean that you did it well! Providing evidence that you have a certain skill by giving a specific example with tangible evidence that you succeeded in that task is much more effective. In fact, we recommend writing evidence-based case studies in supporting statements to provide powerful evidence that you are a suitable candidate for the role, and taking this a stage further to explain how you can provide return on investment for the employer.

7 Visual Tips for Your CV

shutterstock_230625886Content is of course key, but a well laid out CV can make a lot of difference to your application. Whatever industry you are working in, employers need a clear view of your resumé, with concise sections. The following tips from Webrecruit are key visual considerations for your CV, which contribute to a great looking resumé.

1. Sections

Format your sections by bolding headers. This should be done for each area to make them more identifiable, including your personal profile, employment, education, hobbies and interests, achievements and more.

2. Personal Picture

Many individuals choose to add a picture to their CV, however, this can deter away from the content within the document. If you are going to add a picture, keep it small, so as not to detract focus from the important details.

3. Font

Keep the font consistent throughout, with clear headings for each section. Use professional fonts such as Times New Roman or Arial, and size 12. Avoid capitalising letters; this can present the wrong tone within the text.

4. Images

Try to avoid going over the top on the visual effects as these can make your resumé harder to read. You don’t have to create a mundane CV with no graphics at all, but try to keep images and borders to a minimum.

5. Text

Don’t have long chunks of text spread over 5 pages. Recruiters can be put off by a document that looks more like an essay.

6. File Format

Your CV should be a Word document or PDF format, so remember not to send it as a txt or JPEG file when in communication with recruitment agencies or companies.

7. Consistency

The appearance of your CV should be consistent throughout, with a logical structure. Your CV is a tool used to highlight what you can bring to a company, which must be laid out in a straight forward manner.
You can find some great resumé templates online, including the following found here.
Remember, your CV needs to be displayed in a way which makes each section clearly identifiable for the recruiter or employer. And, don’t forget the number one rule: watch out for spelling and grammar mistakes. Your CV is a marketing document, to present you and your relevant experience, so make it pleasant to view and easy to read.

7 Rules for Your Graduate CV

rsz_1gradsPutting together your CV can be an arduous task, especially if you are fresh out of University, but it is one that is worth investing time in. Many still fail to follow some of the most important rules of the resume, so Webrecruit have provided these fundamental tips to ensure you get yours noticed in the graduate job search.

1. Get the Basics Right

It may sound simple, but you may miss out some of the most obvious details on your CV. Include your email address and contact number as a start and an address so employers know where you are in comparison to the location of role. Your LinkedIn profile is also a great aspect to add underneath your contact information to show you are an active candidate, and can also act as a tool to showcase your skills.

2. Keep Your Format Simple

Keep your CV simple and clear to follow, and try to keep it within 2-3 pages. Unless you are applying for a designer or graphics role, it isn’t necessary to make your CV overly artistic, but to put it together as a document that is easy to read with clear sections and basic font. Recruiters or employers can then identify the parts of your CV that they are looking for quickly. Avoid writing your CV in paragraphs, and use bullet points to keep it straight forward.

3. The Importance of Spelling & Grammar

As stated in our last blog – The 5 Rules of Jobseeker Etiquette – bad spelling can immediately put the hiring manager off your CV, as can bad grammar. Proofread your CV a few times before submitting it to an application, to ensure you don’t make even the simplest of errors which can lead to your CV being disregarded. Writing in third person can also leave your CV looking quite strange to read and won’t be the preferred choice by many recruiters e.g. “Steve is a Software Developer with over three years’ experience…”

4. Employment History & Education Layout

It is important to layout your employment history starting with your most recent role. It is also important to list your achievements and not just your responsibilities, as you want to promote yourself as a successful employee rather than listing a job description. This can be accomplished through action words such as ‘I created’, ‘I designed’, ‘I managed’ etc.
When making a new application, review your roles and note which aspects of your previous employment are relevant to the job you are applying for. This is the same for your education, if there is something you have carried out during your time in higher education that could be relevant, ensure this is listed clearly on your CV. If anything isn’t relevant within your employment history and education, keep it minimal.

5. Don’t be Generic

Generic personal statements or profiles at the top of your CV can be particularly boring to read and won’t always make you stand out from the crowd. It is continually the same sort of sentence that can be seen, for example “I am a good communicator with great people skills” etc. The sort of answers employers are looking for include, where did you get these people skills from? How have you developed good communication? So when making a statement, check that it is relevant to the role you are interested in, and back it up with valid evidence.

6. Include Additional Info

Hobbies and additional interests can show your motivation outside of the work place. Whether it’s something sporty, reading or cooking, remember to list (within reason) hobbies that you enjoy. Including this on your CV can show you are busy and active outside of work.

7. Use Keywords

Recruiters spend much of their time searching CVs on job boards and databases using keywords. Populating keywords within your CV can increase your chances of coming to the forefront of a search, making it worthwhile to include the right words. Think about the particular job titles that you are searching for, for example if you are looking to get into a Business Development type role, include words like ‘Sales Representative’, ‘Business Development’ and ‘Account Manager’. Some CVs contain a box of keywords at the top, which can be another method to boost your CV in searches.
Your CV is a marketing tool to sell you, the product to the hiring manager. Competition is extremely high as a graduate so ask yourself, what would you want to see if you were looking at it from their perspective? Tailor your CV, make yourself relevant to the position and match your skills to the role you are applying for; it’s all about being relevant.
Try our free CV critique service, for in depth analysis and feedback on your CV: CV Critique Service
Not sure what your starting salary should be as a Graduate? Check the following link: Graduate Salary Check

What Happens in Kavos stays on Your CV

Summer beach - BS

It can be a struggle to put your CV together after your summer of fun, but it is time well spent focusing on how your last few months have helped you gain valuable experience towards your career.
So you’ve just finished your season in Kavos, the holiday blues have kicked in and the next step as a job seeker is to fill in your summer on your CV. The following tips will help you to put your summer months into your resume’, in an effective way to keep attracting recruiters.

Be Honest

It may be the case with most seasons that you spent a lot of time partying, however this isn’t what you want on your CV. On the other hand you don’t want to be completely untruthful and advise the recruiter that you took a hands-on approach to the running of the business that you worked for. State what your responsibilities were, involving the key duties of the job role as well as what you achieved during your time.

Transferability

The term you want to focus on when writing about your summer on your CV, whether you worked abroad, traveled, or had a temporary job is transferable skills. Pick out the different hard and soft skills that you improved on during your summer time, which can be used for your career development. These different experiences can be a way to increase several skills, including time management, people skills or dealing with new situations and challenges. Travelling can tick off many boxes, from discovering and mapping out where to go during your travels to living within new cultures.

Show your Experience

Your cover letter can also be a useful tool to sum up what your summer has taught you, adding knowledge to help you in your prospective career. Don’t dismiss your summer by using only a small part of your CV to cover it as this can give the wrong impression, use it to prove what you have learnt over those three or four months.

Suitability

When searching for your next role, focus on the skills that you can draw from your encounters over the summer. Match these honestly with the requirements of the vacancies that you are interested in, to ensure your suitability as a potential candidate.

What does a recruiter really expect to see on your CV?

New EmployeesWhen you are applying for a job, whether it is the most humble shop or bar work or a position at the top of your chosen field, you will doubtless be aware of the considerable competition, and therefore the importance of communicating the suitability of your skills and experience to the specific role. Your Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a vital weapon in securing the role of your dreams, but with those recruiting staff often having only seconds to scan a CV, you will need to make an instant impression with it – as Webrecruit (http://www.webrecruit.co.uk) explains.
From the employer’s perspective, the huge volume of applications that they receive often makes it necessary for them to have a simple and definite plan for identifying suitable candidates. Chances are that they will have a clear list of essential requirements and will briefly scan your CV to determine whether there is a match. If there is, then you can expect the employer to more closely scrutinise your CV for relevant experience, minimum educational requirements and – of course – a desire to do the job that is being advertised.
However, the staff recruitment process can also be so rushed that a decision on whether to invite you to interview is based on only a cursory glance at your CV. You will therefore need to ensure that your CV succinctly and clearly communicates your roles and responsibilities, experience, skills and results and achievements. Your CV should be tailored to every job for which you apply. What you mention on your CV should therefore be consistent and relevant to the role, and it should be clear where, how and to what extent you added value to high profile projects.
Whether they’re overseeing an office, marketing, retail or finance recruitment campaign, hiring managers want to see results. So if you exceeded your target as a sales manager, you should state that target in amount or percentage form, also demonstrating how you overachieved. Relevant educational certificates should also be highlighted – particularly those that the selection criteria lists as essential or desirable.
But your CV shouldn’t just excel at the details – it should also quickly capture a hiring manager’s interest by looking, feeling and reading well. That means that your CV should be laid out clearly and consistently, with only one font type being used. Bullet points and bold type for headings also help to create clarity. Nor should there be any unexplained time lapses in your CV, or inconsistencies in terms of responsibilities held or achievements. Language should be relevant to your industry while not containing overwhelming jargon, and the formatting of your CV should enable it to be easily opened. The need to download software to access a CV is an immediate turnoff.
Webrecruit’s (http://www.webrecruit.co.uk) recruitment experts would always urge you to have a focussed CV, showing commitment and capability for your given field. As soon as it is opened, it should give the recruiter good reasons to employ you.

An Administrator’s guide to crafting the perfect CV

resumeIn today’s candidate-rich, job short market, we’re not immune to the fact that finding a job is hard. Particularly in the field of admin & secretarial jobs, the recent downturn saw a large number of redundancies within this function, making the competition for vacancies in this area fiercer than ever before.

In fact, this year, Webrecruit (www.webrecruit.co.uk) has received on average 166 applications per office administration role we’ve worked on. That’s a lot of CVs to read through to fill just one position.

So how do you make sure it’s your CV that catches the eye of the employer?

As an administration job seeker, writing your CV can be a particularly tricky challenge. Not only do you need to make yourself standout from the crowd, but you must also highlight your value & contribution to an organisation’s success.

To help you with your administration job hunt, here is Webrecruit’s step-by-step guide to crafting the perfect CV.

1. Name & contact details

I’m sure you don’t need reminding, but at the top of your CV, always begin with your name and contact details (email & phone number) in a clear, easy-to-read font.

2. Who are you & what do you want?

In no more than three or four sentences, sum up who you are and what your goal is (while keeping it relevant to the position you’re applying for). This initial paragraph might be all the employer will read of your CV so it’s paramount it creates impact.

Demonstrate yourself as a capable all rounder with exceptional organisational, communication & IT literacy skills. Identify your qualities and use the job description to highlight the skills that matter.

3. What have you achieved?

Listing your achievements demonstrates to an employer how you have previously added value and how you could add value to their business in the future.

It goes without saying that expert organisational and prioritisation skills are paramount in the delivery of successful admin support. Identify times where you have made a difference using these skills. For example, you may have implemented or improved an office process, saving time & money across the business.

4. What’s your experience?

Include any relevant work experience (paid and unpaid) that will help you to stand out as a capable and qualified admin professional.

List this in reverse date order with your most recent position at the top, and include your job title, the company name, employment dates and your key responsibilities for the role. Remember, you’re selling yourself to an employer so aim to write your responsibilities as achievements and refer to personal strengths and skills that are relevant to the position you’re applying for.

5. List your education & qualifications

List any school, college or universities you attended and the qualifications you earned, including the years and the grade you finished with.

If you’ve received any additional training or certifications, list these as well, not to mention awards, extra curricular activities and anything else that sells you as a candidate. This is also a good place to list any office or computer technology you know, as well as other relevant skills such as audio typing, WPM and so on.

So now you know how to create a perfectly crafted administration CV, the rest is up to you. Just remember with every sentence that you write, demonstrate how it relates to the position you’re applying for and the added value you can bring. And don’t forget to follow up your application with a phone call. You can never have too much enthusiasm.

Good luck!

Looking for an office administration job? Why not check out Webrecruit’s latest jobs. Alternatively, you can register your CV here to be notified of any office administration positions we’re hiring for.

How to create an awesome video CV

Video CV, candidates, job seeker resources, get a jobIn today’s highly competitive employment market, job seekers are constantly looking for new ways to stand out from the crowd and grab the attention of a potential employer.

Gone are the days when hiring managers relied solely on a 2-page formulaic CV. Today, many new tools, the majority related to the explosion of social media, are transforming the way job seekers find and market themselves to potential employers.

In particular, webrecruit has witnessed a rise in job seekers accompanying their written CV with a video resume to stand out from the crowd…and, why not?

You can really showcase your message, brand and why you’re the best talent available. But despite this, getting it right can be a challenge – with a fine line between professional and outright cheesy.

If you’re considering producing a video CV, here are some things worth considering (and a few words from experience) to ensure you’re on the A-list.

But before I begin, there is one basic principal that most people miss when creating a video CV – keep it short.

Hiring managers and recruiters don’t have much time so you need to get straight to the point. The ideal time you should be aiming for is 1 minute so take the time to plan your ideas and communicate the important information in an efficient way.

Keep it relevant

There’s no point doing a video CV because you can. It needs to be relevant to the job you want to pursue.

For example, if you apply for a role in media, creative or social professions, it’s likely to have the desired effect – i.e. get you an interview. But if you’re applying for a job at a large law firm (despite Elle Wood’s success in Legally Blond!), your chances might not be as good.

What other value can you bring?

Don’t just read out your CV – that information is already available on your written version. Instead, use your video CV to demonstrate to a potential employer greater insight into you.

‘Your aim is to give an employer a real sense of who you are, what you’re like to work with and what you’ve achieved.

‘Use the opportunity to tell them why you would be the right person to hire, what you can do for them, your passions, and why you are successful’ says Richard Wyatt-Haines at Just90.CV.

Make it spectacular

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your video CV. The whole purpose is to stand out from the crowd so get clever, use a bit of humour and jazz up your editing.

Al Biedrzycki created this brilliant video resume to help get him noticed (needless to say he’s now happily employed).

Picturing recruiters sifting through piles of resumes and his being lost in the pile, he wanted to do something to stand out beyond the typical CV (as the intro of his video explains).

‘My inspiration really stemmed from this frustration and my willingness to not give up and try something new’.

‘I decided to lean on another medium (music video) to not only convey my struggles, but to also exhibit some of my creativity’ explains Al.

He advises ‘For job seekers looking to get noticed in a similar fashion, I think the recipe for success is timing, relevance and creativity.

‘Creativity will help you get noticed, but timing and relevance are very important too because they add an extra layer of power to the project. When all three work together, you get something timeless’.

Video CVs are not a new notion but they are becoming increasingly common. If you need some help creating a video CV, we may have just the answer.

webrecruit’s video CVs is quick and easy service at a fixed and affordable to help you stand out from the competition. Click here to find out more and for guidance on creating a compelling video CV.