Here at Gloss we are often inundated with CVs and applications for the creative roles that we have. Due to the nature of our sector, the CVs we receive vary greatly but this does bring about a few problems when it comes to standardisation and optimisation.
Your CV is the most important document when it comes to applying for a role and so we thought it would be a good idea to create a basic template so that individuals can adhere to if the feel like they need some help.
Remember – the CV’s main purpose is to document who you are and to get you an interview…it is a very subjective thing and there are no limitations to when it comes to creating one but there are certain criteria that we feel should be in everyone you do:
1. Name, address, phone number and email (mandatory)
2. Can you drive and do you own a car (very useful)
3. Portfolio (essential for creative / design roles)
4. Social Media (make sure that you have vetted them for professionalism)
1. Still a great idea to have this – sets the tone of voice, gives a hint of character and can state what you want
2. Try not to state generic things unless you believe it is a genuine USP (ambitious, team worker etc)
3. Use it to define who you are, what you do and what you want in your next role
1. After personal details, this will be the first port of call for a recruiter
2. Put yourself in the prospective employer’s shoes and think about what information they would like to see
3. Start each block with Job Title, Company Name, Location and dates (Mandatory)
4. You can add a URL if you think it is a company of note
5. Have a paragraph stating what this company does and your overall role within it (especially note sectors and specialisms)
6. Use bullet points to list:
a. Detailed responsibilities
b. Buzzwords and jargon for SEO / jobsite / differentiation
c. Skills used (vital to show commercial usage)
d. Industry specialism /knowledge
e. Use of numbers – targets, stats, analytics, team size etc.
f. Remember that content is king!
7. Repeat the above steps for each role – getting smaller the further away from current date
8. If you have no experience / have been out of work / are changing career then consider becoming a freelancer, working part time or voluntarily in order to put this at the top of your work experience (also bridges any gaps)…speak to a us if you need help with this
Good example of a clean layout
1. The further away from your graduation, the less important this becomes
2. If you are a recent graduate then it is vital to put in as much detail here as possible so include:
a. Different syllabus blocks
b. Sectors learnt
c. Dissertation details
3. Internships can go under work experience
4. Include grades if they were good
5. Remember that experience trumps education in the commercial sector
Skills / Awards:
1. If you want to list your technical skills again then do so but make sure they are in your commercial experience too
2. Recruiters don’t pay too much heed to this section unless they are looking for hard to find skills or ones taken for granted (powerpoint is a good example)
3. Lots of candidates bombard this section with any skill they have touched upon so be aware of this – skills in work experience count for more
4. Put any awards, incidentals or relevant pieces in here too
Hobbies / Interests:
1. Still essential to have this as it gives a good chance to show some personality
2. Your CV is there to get you an interview so don’t be modest
3. This is a good place to add things for you to gain chemistry at an interview (same teams, interests etc)
At this stage it is mandatory that you check for grammar and spelling – too many candidates are rejected from interview because of this…it is also a good chance to demonstrate your eye for detail and focus on quality.
1. The creative industry knows no boundaries so can be as many pages as you like
2. Keep it clean, make good use of white space, good typography and layout
3. Branded header? Treat it like a brief for a publication or brochure where you are the product / service
4. Quality is essential so take your time and get it right – we can generally tell a good candidate by the look of the CV before even reading it.
You should have a copy of your CV in word (some recruiters like to remove personal details prior to submitting and some jobsites only accept word) and PDF for the creative one. You should also use this content for LinkedIn although more attention will be required for SEO purposes.
Don’t forget that a CV is very subjective so there is no wrong or right but we prefer a CV that has all of this content (we only get asked for it later). Where possible, a CV should be tailored for a particular job but if your search is specific enough then one CV should cover all aspects.
Good luck and don’t be afraid to get in touch if you need help!