Candidate applications are up by a whopping 55% but only 2% of applicants are actually getting an interview. The traditional CV no longer cuts the mustard. So, how can you make your CV stand out? By making it visual. Not a designer? No problem. There are a number of ways to make a CV for sore eyes.

Note: Of course, the focus of your CV should always be on the content. A graphic resumé should be the icing on the cake.

Is a Visual CV Right For You?

Creative CVs aren’t for everyone. They often don’t format correctly on large online boards like Jobsite and not every role will require you to show off your creative side. For senior roles, graphics may be ineffective. That being said, there are many roles that do incorporate a creative element. For the most part roles in the following are suitable for a visual CV:

‌• Hospitality and events

‌• Marketing, advertising, and PR

‌• IT

‌• Sales and retail

How Do I Make It?

Marketers across the world have a little secret, Canva. It is a free tool that helps you create LinkedIn banners, album covers, and resumés. They have a huge collection of free and paid for templates that can be quickly edited. Canva’s selection can be design heavy. If you’re looking for a tool that with more formal templates look at VisualCVHashtagCV, or Kickresume. While most of the templates of those sites are premium (paid), there is a good handful of free templates between them.

canva cv graphic visual

What Should I Avoid?

When making your new visual CV remember one thing: less is more! You need to assume that your CV will be read by a machine as well as a human. So, stick to legible fonts, a basic use of colour, and minimal use of images. That way electronic resume management (ERM) systems can scan your CV effectively. In a similar vein, make sure you choose fonts, colours etc that suit the company you’re applying for. Just as you would alter the content of your CV too.

Avoid plagiarism. While there are many templates out there try and customise them to suit your personality and tone of voice. Don’t search “creative CV template”, take the first one and fill it in. People will know and it will feel inauthentic.

However you decide to create a visual CV ensure it is the right fit for you. As we previously mentioned, not everyone requires one. Take a moment to think about it before you spend hours crafting the best looking CV.

This article was originally published on the ISL Recruitment blog. Read more posts from ISL here.

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