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How to prepare your CV for the 21st century


For those of us who appreciate explanations which rely on figures, a job application can be easily summed up in just two: 250 and six. 250 is the number of CVs sent for each corporate job opening. Six is the number of seconds a recruiter will spend reading the average CV. And even though employment has been growing steadily and we’re seeing currently having the largest employment rate in over 45 years, the competition for each job is still stiff and there’s a real need for candidates to stand out.

One way job applicants can make sure their CVs stand out is by adding non-traditional CV elements. These additions shouldn’t be included at the expense of the traditional elements of CVs. But they can either expand on the traditional elements or present them in a way that will attract attention. In some cases, they can also show the applicants’ skill level and style, providing more insight to the recruiter.


If the recent push of video on social networks has thought us something, it’s that people love watching video more than reading text. Science explains it – our brain processes videos much faster than it processes texts. In fact, we have different brain processes for watching video and reading text, and the former is less demanding and tiring than the latter.

How to use this information to improve a CV? By including a video. It doesn’t have to be movie-grade quality or have an elaborate plot. An applicant with a decent smartphone could create a short clip where they explain why they are the perfect person for the job like they would in a summary section of a CV. And because it has low skill requirements, video can be utilised by digital marketing professional across the board – from direct response copywriters to content marketing managers. Video marketing production specialists and managers might be expected to create more impressive-looking videos.


Adding visual elements that will highlight and draw attention to key elements of the CV is a possibility. Using the psychological effects of colours can be helpful, as could using visualisation tools such as pie charts. Also, you can play with fonts: they will make your CV look more creative and interesting.

Visual CVs might be a better match for certain professions than traditional ones. Graphic designers, for example, can create their CVs in the form of an infographic. Data analysts can use graphic representations to show the relations between the amount of time they worked on different positions. Production coordinators can highlight their achievements using visual elements.


Interactive CVs take the ideas of the visual CV – expressivity and control of attention – and add interactivity to them. Just like visual CVs, they are best suited for those working in creative departments.

Animators and digital content specialists versed in coding can create ‘gamified’ versions of CVs. Social media marketers and community managers can use websites like Pinterest to create interactive CVs. Web designers can create interactive CVs that mimic the layouts of familiar websites like Amazon.

Video, visual, and interactive elements in CVs can backfire – they can render the information contained in the CV unreadable by applicant tracking systems. And some recruiters prefer to work with traditional CVs. In those cases, the best way to create a CV for finding a job of your dream is to follow all the guidelines and best practices laid out in the latest infographic from HandMadeWritings. It is based on hard facts and insights into the workings of HR departments and recruiting companies, and it is guaranteed to help any applicant create a professional-looking CV.

{{-RIGHT-click on this sentence for full size version of infographic-}}

Originally posted 2017-08-29 11:43:38.

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