At CV Medic we get asked this question a lot! And the first thing is to separate out the two different finds of creativity:
1. Individual creativity
2. Professional creativity
Individual creativity: Everybody needs to cover this in their CV or resumé. It’s the way that you demonstrate that you are a problem-solver and bring your enthusiasm and intellect to your workplace. So, for example, when we’re creating an effective CV for a client, we look for areas where they’ve done things better – simplified systems, restructured forms, clarified reporting lines, a new process that improved sales … anything and everything that demonstrates your amazing creative talents being put to use for your employers.
Professional creativity: This is a totally different kind of creativity – graphic designers, web designers, writers, artists, photographers … many people need to get their X Factor out there, and the X Factor for all these jobs is creativity. So what are the dos and don’ts?
Don’t Forget The Software
Many many companies will be putting your CV into an applicant tracking softwareprogramme. These are great for hirers as they simplify the process, but not always great for candidates because the software can completely fail to recognise what a human sifter would. There are horror stories about people not getting interviews because they’d written their work history with dates, and then job titled the software ignoring the whole section because it could only read work history with job title and then dates. Do not neglect to present your information in a way that works for recruitment software as well as human readers. At CVMedic we specialise in meeting the needs of software algorithms as well as human CV readers.
Do Keep It Simple
Even the most creative job requires a simple, easy to read and pleasant on the eye CV. There are dozens of articles out there that suggest creative people should redefine their CV as a graph, or an infographic, a Vine or a twitter account. Not so. While any of these things is great, it should be additional to an excellent CV, not in place of. We recommend using any one of these techniques in addition to a CV – so you can present your skills base as an infographic, or you work history as a graph, by all means, but make sure that area of your career is simply and neatly covered in the traditional format too.
If you decide to do something creative, reference it clearly. Let people know that ‘because this position requires creativity, I have …’
- included an infographic of my previous project work
- started a twitter account to show my headline-writing skills
- rendered my work experience as a pie chart
… or whatever it is that you have done. By making it clear that you know they want creativity, you’re tell them that you’re employable and creative, not somebody who’s going to insist on doing things differently to everybody else – a.k.a. a liability in the workplace!
If you’re going to be creative, pick an area in which you have real skills, not one where you’re still a beginner. A CV in Minecraft might be a great gambit for a game designer, but not if their Minecraft techniques are primitive. Design a graphic for your letterhead by all means, but only if you’re actually doing this professionally, not just because you’d like to be designing graphics – your low level of expertise will let you down.
Above all – have a clean, classic, well-presented CV to back up your creativity. Without it, you’re probably not going to get an interview. Why not contact us today to help you with the basics, and then you can let your creativity soar!
Sheikh has been involved in the employment and recruitment industry, both in the corporate and third sector for many years now. He is more than experienced and has worked with a variety of prestigious organisations. You can follow him on Twitter for news, updates, advise, hints tips and strong doses of daily inspiration @CV_Medic