I’m a dreamer. I have to dream and reach for the stars, and if I miss a star then I grab a handful of clouds. Mike Tyson. Funny CVs work in a similar way and let me explain how.
While those stats aren’t always reachable and you may not become next year’s celebrity while you are out there looking for a job, you can certainly reach for those clouds – and it’s not as difficult as you might think. You see it all starts with the way you create your CV. It’s all in the image and the branding you create for yourself.
Let’s take a moment to imagine. What would that CV look like if you were a cartoon character? What would a cartoon character’s life be like? If Buzz Lightyear, were a real human being what would he look like?
Sure he would be handsome in his astronaut suit, but I wonder if it wouldn’t be strange watching him go everywhere in that big clunky suit. Ok so I started off with the most realistic cartoon character I could think of. But then there are also other favorites like Bugs Bunny, Homer Simpson, Charlie Brown, and even the Grinch. How surprised would you be to see them walking down the street?
Now imagine what their CVs would be like. This could be quite interesting. Would Bugs Bunny write a serious CV with an objective and work summary? If that were the case his CV branding statement might read something like:
“A professional with skills in eating carrots, causing headaches, networking with others. Self-confident to a fault and always willing to go the extra mile to come out on top.”
But what about the rest? Hmm, can you see Homer Simpson with a professional, stark white CV, a generalized CV made for the corporate decision maker?
Who knows, in my opinion he might just get the job.
However, as a cartoon character this person might be more interested in appearing in other types of cartoons, and a serious, generic CV probably won’t hit the spot here.
What’s the Point in This?
Ok so you probably aren’t a cartoon character. However your job interests may go beyond the traditional job hunt. That’s when you want to attract the attention of a recruiter with a highly visual CV, much as a cartoon character might. Something like this might be appropriate in that case.
What Type of Job Would Warrant an Almost Purely Visual CV?
Well, if you were an actor, photographer, comedian, artist, or even a sales person, a visual CV might be the ticket to your getting that job interview.
Let’s say you were Sheldon Cooper. Your job then would be to show your next employer how much better you are than everyone else. And probably the best way of doing this is through visual graphics, such as the one below.
O.K. so Sheldon Cooper is not a real person either. So how about Steve Jobs, who was certainly real. His interesting CV might look something like this.
A little over the top? Some think so, but now more coaches and recruiters agree that incorporating graphics into a CV can be the new trend, and one that isn’t simply for creative professionals anymore. Certainly if you are seeking out an office or management position you don’t want a fully graphic and entertaining but adding some color and some graphics can make that CV of yours stand out from the black hole of candidates.
It’s All about Taste
When it comes to creating a CV there is no one size fits all. As a cartoon character looking for a job on another cartoon, your colors would be highly intense, with lots of large loud graphics. This is appropriate because the targeted industry is the cartoon industry. Whereas, a corporate position requires a tasteful combination of text and graphics; keep in mind that in no way are we referring to cheap clip art and graphics. No we are referring to graphs, images that add value and can help the reader quickly assimilate the information without having to sit and read for 3o minutes. The following are 7 ways you can combine visual elements into your CV without having it look like it’s targeted towards the cartoon industry.
1. Charts and Bar Graphs
These demonstrate that you exceeded employer’s expectations. It illustrates your actual and projected performance. These can provide clear and obvious proof (in a matter of seconds) of your accomplishments.
Most certifications come from qualified service companies with interesting logos. Visually accessorize your accomplishments with certification logos. These can be placed in a pleasing manner to the side or as bullet icons for your accomplishments.
3. Industry Appropriate Icons
You can also include images that pertain to your field or occupation. This might be an engineering icon (in the case of engineers), a pen for writers, a chef’s hat for a chef, etc.
4. Drop Caps
These are large letters that are sometimes used to start a paragraph or document. They add a certain style but more importantly, can help focus the reader’s attention on areas you want them to see when scanning a document.
5. Text Box
A text box helps separate lists or certain sentences that you want to stand out in your targeted CV. This can be the perfect aesthetic object for a branding statement, or for outstanding accomplishments. A text box highlights skills that will particularly target an employer.
6. Spot Color
Liven up a CV with additional text color or icons like bullets or other specific textual elements.
You may not be Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie or even Bugs Bunny, but there’s no reason for your CV to be bland and dull. Remember the objective here; that of getting the job interview. And sometimes that requires you to go the extra distance, make yourself stand out from others. So in a sea of bland, your dash of color can be just the ticket to getting that all-important interview.
Have some fun looking at these great CVs: