SCHOOL LEAVERS: 5 Tips for Making Your CV Stand Out
If you are a fairly junior candidate embarking on the first real build years of your career – it can sometimes be a challenging and competitive space for you to get noticed or get your foot in the door particularly in Advertising, Arts or Media sectors.
For any one job, employers may receive tens, if not hundreds of applications. It’s therefore important to spend time and effort to pretty it up, and ensure it catches the eye. You don’t need a university degree in graphic design to compete in the job market, but there are a few basic things you can do to make your CV stand out from the crowd:
Show Your Creative Flair
Now, if you are not working in traditional conservative sectors whereby a colourful CV may be frowned at, then looking at ways to be cut through and be creative isn’t a bad thing. Gone are the days of a long, colourless, A4 reports with size 12 times new roman writing. There’s always space for a little time to think outside the box and showcase your creative flair.
Colourful templates for Microsoft word, Adobe Photoshop and InDesign can be found online, with the hard work done for you. A Google search will bring up thousands of choices of templates to type your information into for a quick résumé makeover.
Go Get an Internship
Struggling to put pen to paper and flesh out your limited experience? Internships are a great way to gain some real industry experience and provide you with some practical examples for your future CV. Fortunately in the world of Advertising and Media there are usually a good amount of intern opportunities – but they are competitive. Check Intern Options and The Loop for current PR and Media internships in Australia and also look at approaching smaller PR firms directly, publishing magazines and advertising companies (Like DDB, or Leo Burnett) as a direct approach if done well can be a faster channel. But keep reading and create a CV that will impress and get you in front of employers for face to face interviews as well.
Enlist Professional Help
The 21st century has seen a number of new resume formats flood the job market. You might be thinking of Barney Stinson’s awesome resume video, but I promise it doesn’t have to include that many action scenes or go that far!
From LinkedIn profiles, to YouTube videos, to online slide shows and presentations, anything goes. So get creative, but be appropriate and show your potential employer you can think outside the box.
These formats might not be appropriate for all industries, but are definitely looked upon favourably in creative sectors like media or arts. It can also pay to seek out a career consultant such as Katie Roberts Career Consulting who can give you a better understanding of the market play and what potential employers are looking for.
Triple Check Your Work
When applying for a job, it’s easy to get carried away with naming all the reasons why you’re perfect for the position. But you’re more likely to get your point across if you keep it succinct. Keep text concise and relevant, arrange information neatly and keep writing in an accomplishment driven style. Whilst your CV may have some creative flair – it still needs substance so make sure you take the time to plan and edit your work and past responsibilities. Be particularly mindful of spelling and grammar. This shows passion, attention to detail, and an understanding of the task. Write your CV carefully – don’t rush it. Once you’ve done your first draft, put it down for an hour then go back and re-read it to make sure its all accurate. Pass it onto a friend or family member and ask them to do a once over as well just to make sure you’ve triple check. I know the HSC probably wasnt that long ago, but you’d be surprised how neglected our writing skills and grammar can get in between practice!
Build Your Own Skills
Many of the steps listed may be time consuming, difficult to master and need developed digital skills. If you don’t have these, don’t be disheartened; like most things, you can seek out professional advice or enroll yourself in a one day computer skills or InDesign course. General Assembly hold many free events that give you great tips and advice on brushing up on digital skills, building your brand or creative writing.