Stylish CV Formatting for Creative Roles
We love these stylish CV layouts although they're not for everyone.
Click on the picture for more information.
They're perfect for mailing or handing to the end reader, particularly if you're in a creative profession. But we don't think they're suitable for uploading to online job sites; we think traditional, simple formats are better for online use.
It goes without saying that no matter how wonderful your CV looks, it's the content that counts. So if you're thinking of applying creative formatting, make sure that your basic CV is up to scratch first - skills, experience, achievements, qualifications, etc. And make sure you check it thoroughly before applying fancy formatting.
If you use Loft Resumes or any other form of creative formatting, please let us know what impact it had on your job applications. We'd love to know whether it worked for you.
andIt was National Careers Week a few weeks ago. Considering that my business is careers-based, I would have expected a big push on Twitter and other forms of media but I didn't notice any particular song and dance. What I did notice, however, was an article on how our National Careers Service, which was launched a year ago, is failing young people. You can read the article here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-21144825
I came across a short video yesterday about how to write your first CV, coincidentally produced by the National Careers Service. I doubt that the advice given in the video, and the sample CV provided, will do little to help job seekers secure an interview. The formatting is poor, there was no mention of targetting the CV, no section for skills and achievements and no mention of keyword matching and ATS. They advised that you include skills and achievements in the profile or in the hobbies/interests sections. Nonsense! They did, however, fare a little better on their cover letter advice. You can watch the video here: http://vimeo.com/60555694 but I don't recommend you follow their advice, so do exercise caution!
From time to time I look at what other CV writers (my competitors) are offering and, while there are undoubtedly some good, professional providers out there, there are also some who should be given a wide berth. But how can a jobseeker know who to trust or what to believe?
Jobseekers are often vulnerable and they don't know whether they're getting good advice or bad. It's certainly difficult. But here's a brief list of things to look out for.
There are many pitfalls to seeking CV writing and advice. So you need to exercise caution, ask lots of questions, be able to talk to the person who will write your CV (before you commit), bear in mind that you'll get what you pay for, and then trust your instinct.
Good luck in your job search and don't hesitate to contact us. We're always happy to talk.
Professional CV Writer and Career Coach
I exhibited at Bracknell Careers Fair last week. It was hosted by Bracknell & Wokingham College and organised by Bracknell Job Centre. The event was very well organised and promoted, and the college facilities were excellent. I'd never been to the College before and I was really impressed.
Whilst I was hopeful that the event would be well attended, I was totally unprepared for the influx of visitors that rushed into the exhibition hall when the doors opened at 10am. It almost seemed like the Harrods Sale with customers rushing in to grab the best bargains. Amazing.
From just a few minutes after 10am until after the exhibition officially ended at 4pm, I had a constant stream of job seekers all wanting their CVs reviewed. Visitors waited patiently in the queue which at times was 8-10 deep. It was relentless and way exceeded what I'd been expecting.
While the Government constantly talk about people who don't want to work, the people I spoke to all desperately wanted to get into work and they welcomed any advice I could give. They came from a range of ages, backgrounds and disciplines, from school leavers to executives, and they all had a story to tell. I just wish I'd had more time to spend with each of them.
Out of all the CVs I reviewed, however, only a small handful were reasonably well prepared. So there's clearly a need out there for more education on employability and job seeking skills.
I'm working on it!
By Barbara Patrick at Compelling CVs
There is an abundance of free CV templates (aka Resume Templates) available online and many companies who sell templated CVs.
We never use CV templates because every client is unique and "one size" CV templates aren't suitable.
Rather like the story of Cinderella, where all the ladies were trying to force their foot into the tiny glass slipper so that the prince would choose them, it simply doesn't work. It's far better that the slipper is designed to fit the foot!
We firmly believe that it is the CONTENT of a CV that is important. Whilst a CV template may provide some useful headings, you are still left with the problem of creating the content.
Whereas "Education" may feature highly on one client's CV, it may hardly feature at all on another's. This is because a client may have many years' experience where their education is totally irrelevant to the role or industry they are applying to.
Likewise, "Hobbies and Interests" may be totally irrelevant and omitted from one client's CV but included in another where they bring transferable skills such as leadership.
After content, keywords (to match Applicant Tracking Software Systems) and relevance are important too. CV templates can't assist with these either, except by suggesting useful headings.
Because our clients all have different experiences, achievements, skills and personalities, we build their CVs from scratch, focussing on their individual strengths. This is much easier to achieve through avoiding the use of CV templates.
Ultimately, our CVs are beautifully formatted and you would be forgiven for thinking that we use CV templates; we do not. What we do use is a particular "style" and "layout" that works extremely well for our clients, as our client testimonials bear out.
Barbara Patrick, Career, Job Search and Employability Coach, and Professional CV writer at Compelling CVs in Berkshire, UK
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